Project Loon

Google marks Project Loon’s balloon birthday with LTE tests

Google marks Project Loon’s balloon birthday with LTE tests

Google's Project Loon has celebrated its first birthday by delivering internet access to a remote Brazilian school, floating a balloon-borne LTE connection as it demonstrates the system has wings rather than being full of hot air. Announced last year, Project Loon aims to use a network of high-altitude balloons circling the globe to fill in empty gaps in internet service, a scheme which although derided as ridiculous at first, is now looking increasingly practical.

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Google’s Loon team wants Telco leases, but that’s a tricky offer

Google’s Loon team wants Telco leases, but that’s a tricky offer

Google’s ambitious Loon project is designed to connect the world, specifically in places where connectivity is nearly impossible via traditional methods. By controlling the sky, Google hopes to bring not only a connection, but one that’s 3G or better to “two out of every three people on Earth”. Even more ambitious, Google wants to lease their balloons to Telcos.

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Titan Aerospace: These are the drones Google just bought

Titan Aerospace: These are the drones Google just bought

Google is adding a drone specialist to its roster of recent acquisitions, with startup Titan Aerospace set to bring its Solara solar-powered unmanned planes to the search giant's airstrip. Billed as "high altitude persistent solar-electric UAVs," the Titan Aerospace drones will theoretically fly for up to five years without needing to land, cruising more than 12 miles up and flying at speeds of up to 65mph.

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Google buys Titan Aerospace solar drone startup

Google buys Titan Aerospace solar drone startup

Google has acquired drone maker Titan Aerospace, the autonomous solar-powered flying vehicle company believed to be next in Facebook's sights, in a move it says will help Project Loon in bringing internet to developing markets. The deal sees Google snatch Titan Aerospace out from under Facebook's nose, after the social network had said earlier in the year that it was in talks around a potential acquisition.

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Bill Gates: Innovation to nearly eradicate poor countries by 2035

Bill Gates: Innovation to nearly eradicate poor countries by 2035

Technology comes in many varieties, and though the left arm may be doing something vastly different than the right arm, both intersect at the same point -- the human element, where for better or worse technological innovations alter our lives. Many innovations have both taken place and grown in the tech industry's recent past that promise to shape our future, from 3D-printed eye cells as a potential cure for blindness to virtual reality and artificial intelligence. In part because of these innovations, the poverty in present-day poor countries will more or less be eradicated by the year 2035, says Bill Gates.

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Google’s Project Loon dissects a global Internet balloon antenna

Google’s Project Loon dissects a global Internet balloon antenna

Some of the technical details behind Google's Project Loon were revealed in a recent video explaining the inner workings of one of its global Internet antenna balloons. Network engineering lead Cyrus Behroozi popped off the top half of one of the bulbous shells to point out the various parts of its two main components: a radio and the antenna itself. The design, Behrozi said, was intentionally simple, but it could become more sophisticated over time as the prototypes continue in their development.

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Google Project Loon explains smart balloons for flocking internet

Google Project Loon explains smart balloons for flocking internet

Google borrowed flocking patterns from birds for early design of its ambitious Project Loon, rolling out blanket coverage simulations to prove to naysayers that delivering wireless internet access from the stratosphere is practical. While some have questioned how the project expects to be able to consistently provide service when the mesh-networking balloons responsible are moving at speed through the changeable atmospheric winds, Project Loon pointed to research done by one of the search giant's Rapid Evaluators that proves it can be achieved.

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Bill Gates: Google web balloons “won’t help” key issues

Bill Gates: Google web balloons “won’t help” key issues

Bill Gates has slammed Google's Project Loon, which would bring internet connectivity to developing nations using high-altitude balloons, arguing that getting online won't help core issues like malaria, and suggesting that the search giant has lost its way when it comes to altruism. "When you're dying of malaria, I suppose you'll look up and see that balloon, and I'm not sure how it'll help you" Microsoft founder Gates told Bloomberg Businessweek, when asked whether he saw schemes like Project Loon helping low-income countries. "When a kid gets diarrhea, no, there's no website that relieves that."

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