August 20, 2013
Can We Trust Google With the Stratosphere?

The challenge is simple. Simple enough for a child to explain. In fact it’s a child’s voice, over a rolling piano and elegant animation that introduced Google’s bold new step into the future: Project Loon. “For each person that can get online, there are two that can’t… What if there was a way to light up the entire world? And make all of the world’s information accessible to all of the world’s people?” 
It’s a challenge that Google aims to answer — with a soaring, international balloon armada, beaming Internet to the parts of the world that don’t have it.
Project Loon has gotten a fair amount of attention. The few advertisements Google has released emphasize an idealist bent and the humanitarian potential of bringing a connection to the farthest reaches of the developing world. Criticism, from the likes of Bill Gates and others, has focused on whether the world’s poor need social networking and streaming video as much as medicine and food.
The proposed delivery system has thus far escaped similar scrutiny, which is too bad, because the very mechanics of Project Loon highlight serious legal, diplomatic, and government tensions, which Google is either ignoring, unaware of, or operating in spite of. And yet, that said, it’s not Google’s job to enforce regulatory oversight; breaking ground means new rules have to be invented, too.
Read more. [Image: Google]

Can We Trust Google With the Stratosphere?

The challenge is simple. Simple enough for a child to explain. In fact it’s a child’s voice, over a rolling piano and elegant animation that introduced Google’s bold new step into the future: Project Loon. “For each person that can get online, there are two that can’t… What if there was a way to light up the entire world? And make all of the world’s information accessible to all of the world’s people?”

It’s a challenge that Google aims to answer — with a soaring, international balloon armada, beaming Internet to the parts of the world that don’t have it.

Project Loon has gotten a fair amount of attention. The few advertisements Google has released emphasize an idealist bent and the humanitarian potential of bringing a connection to the farthest reaches of the developing world. Criticism, from the likes of Bill Gates and others, has focused on whether the world’s poor need social networking and streaming video as much as medicine and food.

The proposed delivery system has thus far escaped similar scrutiny, which is too bad, because the very mechanics of Project Loon highlight serious legal, diplomatic, and government tensions, which Google is either ignoring, unaware of, or operating in spite of. And yet, that said, it’s not Google’s job to enforce regulatory oversight; breaking ground means new rules have to be invented, too.

Read more. [Image: Google]

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  12. leilani354 reblogged this from theatlantic and added:
    Wow
  13. benrhughes reblogged this from theatlantic and added:
    Interesting that Gates is critical. The first thing this made me think of was his prediction of a totally connected and...
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  19. poynterinstitute reblogged this from theatlantic and added:
    Continuing on with our drones coverage - what does connectivity in the far-flung areas in the world thanks to Google’s...
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  24. naturallybadforyou reblogged this from theatlantic and added:
    Now lets look at this realistically shall we?I’m sure that these big leagues don’t give much of a crap when it comes to...
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