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Uncharted Territory

自分が読んで興味深く感じた英文記事を中心に取り上げる予定です

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途方もないプロジェクト

 
Wikileaksのアサンジ氏はグーグルの試みにアメリカの覇権主義の危険性を感じていましたが、素朴に評価してもいいものもある気がします。そもそもWikileaksだってインターネットが整備されたからこそ可能になったことですから。

世界の人々にインターネットを生き届けるための大胆なプロジェクトの実験が6月に実施されたようです。

Project Loon
BALLOON-POWERED INTERNET FOR EVERYONE

WHAT IS PROJECT LOON?
Many of us think of the Internet as a global community. But two-thirds of the world’s population does not yet have Internet access. Project Loon is a network of balloons traveling on the edge of space, designed to connect people in rural and remote areas, help fill coverage gaps, and bring people back online after disasters.

THE TECHNOLOGY
Project Loon balloons float in the stratosphere, twice as high as airplanes and the weather. They are carried around the Earth by winds and they can be steered by rising or descending to an altitude with winds moving in the desired direction. People connect to the balloon network using a special Internet antenna attached to their building. The signal bounces from balloon to balloon, then to the global Internet back on Earth.

字幕付き動画

このプロジェクトを取材した読み応えのある記事が最新号のWiredに載っていました。

The Untold Story of Google’s Quest to Bring the Internet Everywhere—By Balloon
BY STEVEN LEVY

When Loon people get expansive, they talk about many thousands of balloons spinning around the globe, designated recovery centers to bring down flagging units, and operations centers sending up dozens of replacements every day. “Remember, we said that there are billions of people who aren’t connected,” Cassidy says. “We want to help.” In more remote areas, Google could set up antennas linked to community hot spots, powered by solar and batteries in places where there’s no reliable electricity. It would be the perfect complement to those allegedly inevitable dirt-cheap smartphones.

If this happens, Google will not only bask in a feel-good glow—it will make some money too. No, Google X is not on a strict bottom-line regimen, the X lab’s Teller says, though his bosses require a “sanity” check once a project begins to rack up expenses. “As soon as you get sucked into making money as the goal, you leave behind the positive impact,” he says. “This is a Google-wide attitude—make the world a better place and the money is going to find us.”

まだまだ実現までは越えなければいけない壁がたくさんありますがこのような発想を持ち実験する姿勢には刺激を受けますね。
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Yuta

Author:Yuta
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