John Lister's picture

Google to Offer Internet by Balloon

Google says it should have a network of Internet-carrying balloons circling the Earth next year. It will mean users in some parts of the world will be able to get a continuous Internet connection without access to cabling, phone lines or a cellphone ... network. The idea is to use similar technology to satellite Internet, but at a considerably lower cost. The balloons, which carry radio transmitters and receivers, run on solar power. The balloons will operate 12 miles above the ground, in the stratosphere, which isn't high enough to lock into orbit like satellites. Instead, the balloons will ... (view more)

John Lister's picture

Facebook Drones Could Bring Internet Everywhere

Facebook is said to be buying a company that makes airborne drones. It seems it's not an attempt to carry out snooping or attack rivals, but rather a plan to extend Internet access to places it's impossible to reach at the moment. The company in ... question is Titan Aerospace, which manufactures what it calls "atmospheric satellites." Unlike traditional satellites, they operate around 20 kilometers (12 miles) above Earth, which is just short of the point of being in orbit. Drones such as the Solara 50 look and operate similar to an airplane, but have solar panels on its wings, ... (view more)

Dennis Faas's picture

MIT Wins $40,000 'Balloon Hunt' Thanks to Internet

A government contest whereby participants were requested to spot ten weather balloons at once has been won by the Massachussetts Institute of Technology (MIT). But MIT took the prize thanks to the help of a network of ordinary Internet users ... recruited under an intricate cash reward system. The content was launched by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the same group which developed a network commonly acknowledged as the forerunner of the Internet. The idea of the contest was to see how people would use online networking to solve a problem too big for any one individual. ... (view more)

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