In previous broadcast of .RU - daily Runet review we've mentioned that Google had unexpected troubles and expenses in the form the “right to be forgotten” – Europeans now can demand that Google looks into certain information available about them and makes it unavailable through the search engine. This information has to be either false, irrelevant or outdated – and whether or not a request is valid is up to a new team to decide. Just how big of a team is currently unknown – but during the first day the service went live 12,000 requests on data removal were filed – and that’s just in Europe. I wonder if similar cases will follow in other jurisdictions. In any case, a lot of things can be said about Google, but being cheap isn’t one of them - it can afford a team of legal experts; it can even afford a fleet of satellites!
That’s right, it appears that Google is now heavily investing in satellites to help spread internet access. Just how much? Over a billion dollars. A report by the Wall Street Journal indicates that the company plans to launch a fleet of 180 satellites to beam down internet access to those parts of the world where traditional connectivity does not exist. In order to do so, the company hopes to utilize small, yet versatile low-Earth orbit satellites, which are somewhat closer to Earth than their bigger brothers. While the smaller versions have capabilities similar to traditional orbital satellites, they’re much more affordable.
This is an extension of the Project Loon. The company proposed using balloons to spread internet connectivity. According to the official website, Project Loon utilizes balloons floating 20 kilometers above earth and uses software algorithms to determine where these balloons need to go. These floating routers then moves into a layer of wind blowing in the right direction. Thus they are arranged as one huge communications network. The first experiment was conducted in New Zealand. Over two dozen balloons, each 15 meters tall and 12 meters wide, were launched in New Zealand, with around 50 testers going online using their signal. So far the project has not seen wide implementation – although one managed to circle Earth in just 22 days and eventually the company hopes to establish an uninterrupted internet signal around the 40th parallel of the southern hemisphere.
Earlier this year Google swooped bought out Titan Aerospace, an American drone producer. It was previously reported that Facebook was looking into buying Titan Aerospace; not sure what changed there. In any case, the company currently has two drone models, neither one of them is military and both are capable of autonomously flying high above earth for years due to their solar batteries. According to TechCrunch, the estimated price for the Facebook-Titan deal was around $60 million, so one can wonder what Google offered the American aerospace manufacturer. They internet giant announced that they were planning to employ Solara drones to not only provide internet connectivity to hard to reach places, but to also take aerial shots of mother Earth. So, who knows, we may have a big brother situation on our hands soon enough.