Slashdot is powered by your submissions, so send in your scoop

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Communications Google The Internet IT Technology

Google's Balloons Connect Flood-hit Peru (bbc.com) 16

An anonymous reader writes: "Tens of thousands" of Peruvians have been getting online using Project Loon, the ambitious connectivity project from Google's parent company, Alphabet. Project Loon uses tennis court-sized balloons carrying a small box of equipment to beam internet access to a wide area below. The team told the BBC they had been testing the system in Peru when serious floods hit in January, and so the technology was opened up to people living in three badly-hit cities. Until now, only small-scale tests of the technology had taken place. Project Loon is in competition with other attempts to provide internet from the skies, including Facebook's Aquila project which is being worked on in the UK. Project Loon recently announced it had figured out how to use artificial intelligence (AI) to "steer" the balloons by raising or lowering them to piggy-back weather streams. It was this discovery that enabled the company to use just a "handful" of balloons to connect people in Lima, Chimbote, and Piura. The balloons were launched from the US territory of Puerto Rico before being guided south.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Google's Balloons Connect Flood-hit Peru

Comments Filter:
  • by SuperKendall ( 25149 ) on Wednesday May 17, 2017 @04:47PM (#54436769)

    Project Loon is in competition with other attempts to provide internet from the skies, including Facebook's Aquila project which is being worked on in the UK.

    We don't know who struck first, us or them, but we know that it was us that darkened the sky beyond redemption with millions of wireless nodes.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    sounds like a lot of hot air to me
  • by fnj ( 64210 ) on Wednesday May 17, 2017 @05:08PM (#54436921)

    The concept of freely-floating out-of-control balloons serving any purpose is downright loony.

    • The concept of freely-floating out-of-control balloons serving any purpose is downright loony.

      I saw a presentation by the Project Loon team, and the project leader made the same point. He said that the idea was so loony it had to fail, but they kept failing to find the reason. The Loon team has spent years failing to fail.

      That is the Google X methodology, BTW, "fail fast". Find a bizarre idea, think about the reasons it can't work, starting with the most likely to fail, then test to see whether it actually fails for that reason. If it doesn't, move on to the next most-likely reason for failure, a

    • Yep, that's why nobody has ever managed to travel anywhere by hot air balloon.

    • Reality has a well-known loony bias.

  • Am I the only one who had trouble parsing that?
    • Nope.
    • Seems pretty straightforward to me:
      Google's balloons connect flood-hit Peru.
      Possessive noun verb adjective noun

      In fact, I don't see any other other way to parse it. Though removing the hyphen would introduce some ambiguity.

  • I'm always upset when I see journalists using non-standard units. No one uses tennis courts anymore. Football fields, schoolbuses and milli-Library-Of-Congresses please! (Or, if you live in the UK, Football fields (the other kind), double-decker buses, and fempto-Houses-of-Commons.

Take an astronaut to launch.

Working...