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Can Google Connect the Unconnected 2/3 To the Internet? 99

lpress (707742) writes "Google, along with Facebook, is a founding partner of, which seeks "affordable internet access for the two thirds of the world not yet connected." Google is trying to pull it off — they have projects or companies working on Internet connectivity using high-altitude platforms and low and medium-earth orbit satellites. These extra-terrestrial approaches to connectivity have been tried before, without success, but Google is revisiting them using modern launch technology (public and private), antennas, solar power, radios and other electronics, as well as tuning of TCP/IP protocols to account for increased latency. For example, they just acquired Skybox Imaging, which has a low-earth orbit satellite for high resolution video imaging. In the short run, Skybox is about data, video and images, but the long range goal may be connectivity in developing nations and rural areas — substituting routers for telescopes. Skybox plans to operate a constellation of low-earth orbit satellites and that sounds a lot like Teledesic's attempt at providing connectivity in the mid 1990s, using the technology of 2014."
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Can Google Connect the Unconnected 2/3 To the Internet?

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  • by kruach aum ( 1934852 ) on Sunday June 15, 2014 @06:08PM (#47242349)

    From Google's perspective it does of course, because more people online are more people to sell ads to. But what about us, other connected citizens of earth? Will Mbembe's life really be enriched by being able to spend two dollars on special candies in Candy Crush? What about Min Soo-Ah, how will wifi balloons save her from living in a country where hot water doesn't reach above the second floor? How is this not just silicon valley jerking itself off?

  • by K. S. Kyosuke ( 729550 ) on Sunday June 15, 2014 @06:11PM (#47242375)
    Uh, people generally get their lives improved by being provided with news, information in general, and means to communicate.
  • Re:Split up Google (Score:5, Insightful)

    by darkain ( 749283 ) on Sunday June 15, 2014 @06:13PM (#47242387) Homepage

    How about we focus on Comcast / NBC / Universal / Time / Warner first? []

  • "Affordable"? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by wisnoskij ( 1206448 ) on Sunday June 15, 2014 @06:25PM (#47242437) Homepage

    So what is "Affordable" supposed to mean for subsistence farmers?
    What does affordable mean to somewho who cannot even conceive of the concept of money, for someone not even able to conceive of the concept of numbers?

    Affordable is not a word that even makes sense to use in the same sentence as 2/3 of the 2/3s.

  • by K. S. Kyosuke ( 729550 ) on Sunday June 15, 2014 @06:33PM (#47242477)
    The printing revolution? Or the African farmers who say that now with cell phones, they have an easier time trying to find better markets for their produce? Etc.
  • by nightglider28 ( 1243916 ) on Sunday June 15, 2014 @08:45PM (#47242989)
    I have mod points, but I'd rather simply explain this...

    Warren Buffet has actually made this exact analogy before (I believe when he and Bill Gates did a joint Q/A session). He acknowledges that he has no skills that would be of any use if he were on a deserted island. He's even joked that he'd be eaten in a couple of days if he were born while humans were still hunter-gatherers.

    What many fail to understand is that there are positions in society. I'm not talking about peasant versus king positions. I'm talking about people who are particularly skilled in a certain area and they can take advantage of those skills to make a living for themselves and/or make others' lives easier. Farmers are necessary, soldiers are necessary, teachers are necessary, and investors are necessary (note, I'm using the term investor as define by Benjamin Graham), etc...

    Why is manual labor considered morally superior to allocating one's money where it would do the most good? Why are those who pour hundreds or thousands of dollars into construction companies, mining companies, or wood/metalworking companies demonized for allowing companies in those sectors to expand their business, hire more people, and offer their product in larger markets?

    Did the rich build this country? Of course not. However, without the rich, no-one else could afford to.

    I would bet that the people who criticize the rich for having money are the same people who criticize those who finance expensive houses, a Mercedes-Benz, and Prada bags with debt for being irresponsible with their money.

    Is being poor supposed to be the only moral way to live?

In less than a century, computers will be making substantial progress on ... the overriding problem of war and peace. -- James Slagle