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Facebook, Google Battle To Bring Internet To Remote Locations

samzenpus posted about 6 months ago | from the spreading-the-net dept.

Google 49

jfruh (300774) writes "Facebook and Google only make money from people when they can access the Internet, so it stands to reason that they're working to make sure everyone has access. While Google's Project Loon seeks to use balloon-borne equipment, Mark Zuckerberg envisions a system of drones and laser beams."

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Stupid (1)

BitZtream (692029) | about 6 months ago | (#46620867)

No really, they are stupid ideas.

I'd be a months pay that no one at Google has any intention of using this anywhere in the real world and that this is more just something to get news hits than anything anyone actually would be stupid enough to try.

Drones and blimps are clearly much more cost effective and reliable than say ... a simple steel tower.

Re:Stupid (4, Interesting)

Missing.Matter (1845576) | about 6 months ago | (#46620939)

I told my wife about the Google balloon idea and she said to me "What, you mean like in Gossip Girl?"

Apparently there is a story line in Gossip Girl (circa 2008) where one of the main characters is convinced to invest in a project to bring internet to Africa via balloons. In the end it turns out he's a scam artist and it was all a hoax. But I guess someone at Google saw it and said "Now wait a minute..."

Re:Stupid (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46621029)

Using balloons as quick deploy cell towers have been tested for about the last decade. I'm not sure if they've ever been deployed in a real disaster zone but it has been tested.

Re:Stupid (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46621039)

Maybe not at Google, but FB has already implemented this with some success (I say some due to lack of adequate data to quantify "success"). But if FB has done it, id gladly take your bet and say Google has already done this. RTFA.

To the second apart about being cost effective, RTFS.

Re:Stupid (3, Insightful)

swillden (191260) | about 6 months ago | (#46621103)

I'd be a months pay that no one at Google has any intention of using this anywhere in the real world

I'll take that bet. What proof of intention would you accept?

Re:Stupid (0)

DaMattster (977781) | about 6 months ago | (#46621501)

Agreed, these ideas are very stupid! Steel towers within line of sight of each other are much more practical.

Land acquisition (1)

tepples (727027) | about 6 months ago | (#46622689)

Provided you can afford the land on which to install a steel tower. It might be logistically easier to gain rights to airspace for a tethered balloon than to land space.

Re:Stupid (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46621705)

I agree that the ideas seem stupid, but it may be that in these areas the steel towers would be stolen and sold as scrap. Areas in extreme poverty may require that the infrastructure used by successful people be protected from thieves.

Re:Stupid (1)

YouGotTobeKidding (2884685) | about 6 months ago | (#46622271)

At least with towers it takes dedication and cutting tools to take them down. With a balloon all it takes is a AK-74 and a mag of ammo. Guess which is more common in most 3rd world countries. ;)

Re:Stupid (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46628627)

A generous effective range for an AK-74 is about 1km. These drones and balloons fly at nearly 20km. Good luck.

a bit off this morning (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46620927)

I was feeling a bit off this morning and I couldn't put my finger on exactly why. Then it came to me... like a light from the heavens... ... not enough news about celebrities sucking Obama's ass this morning!

drones and laser beams (4, Funny)

nitehawk214 (222219) | about 6 months ago | (#46620937)

What I envision is a sci-fi battle where Google laser beams are attempting to shoot down Facebook drones.

What I envision is a sci-fi battle where Google la (1)

Maria_Celeste (2490696) | about 6 months ago | (#46623733)

I'd pay to see that.

Re:drones and laser beams (1)

Em Adespoton (792954) | about 6 months ago | (#46623889)

What I envision is a sci-fi battle where Google laser beams are attempting to shoot down Facebook drones.

I envision Zuckerberg teaming up with these guys... http://www.huffingtonpost.com/... [huffingtonpost.com]

Lasers mounted on SHARK Drones for world domination.

Re:drones and laser beams (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46626637)

Reminds of Syndicate. Popcorn at the ready, FIGHT!

Don't compare money with substance (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46620957)

Zuckerberg is just a reasonably bright person with a shitload of cash, he's not some kind of networking prodigy.

I think it's kind of insulting to the big community of actual engineers at Google to compare all of their efforts against some hunch thought that Mark Zuckerberg had.

shitburger of a "law" (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46620973)

I would like to know the real number of how many people who have signed up through Obammycare are among those who DIDN'T previously have insurance. Allegedly we were forced to eat this shitburger of a "law" because there were oh so many poor, desperate people who couldn't get health insurance! Boo hoo hoo hoo!

Yeah? Well how much do you want to bet that most of those people who didn't have insurance before STILL don't have insurance, because they don't CARE.

Re:shitburger of a "law" (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46621035)

When you learn to properly craft a sentence you will have some chance of advancing your cause. This 'shitburger' of a law is the best, most patriotic and democratic thing anyone has ever done for this country. Suck it.

Re:shitburger of a "law" (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46621155)

most .....democratic thing

Yea, that's why it was passed via bribery, coercion, lies and in the dead of night and by means of a procedural deception in congressional rules.

You Democrats are so fucking transparent it makes me want to throw up.

Re:shitburger of a "law" (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46621109)

I'm one.

party of the rich (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46621037)

http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/Party-of-the-rich-In-Congress-it-s-the-Democrats-5363121.php

"WASHINGTON (AP) — Republicans are the party of the rich, right? It's a label that has stuck for decades, and you're hearing it again as Democrats complain about GOP opposition to raising the minimum wage and extending unemployment benefits.

But in Congress, the wealthiest among us are more likely to be represented by a Democrat than a Republican. Of the 10 richest House districts, only two have Republican congressmen. Democrats claim the top six, sprinkled along the East and West coasts. Most are in overwhelmingly Democratic states like New York and California.

The richest: New York's 12th Congressional District, which includes Manhattan's Upper East Side, as well as parts of Queens and Brooklyn. Democrat Carolyn Maloney is in her 11th term representing the district.

Per capita income in Maloney's district is $75,479. That's more than $75,000 a year for every man, woman and child. The next highest income district, which runs along the southern California coast, comes in at $61,273. Democrat Henry Waxman is in his 20th term representing the Los Angeles-area district.

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi's San Francisco district comes in at No. 8.

Across the country, Democratic House districts have an average per capita income of $27,893. That's about $1,000 higher than the average income in Republican districts. The difference is relatively small because Democrats also represent a lot of poor districts, putting the average in the middle.

Democrats say the "party of the rich" label is more about policies than constituents."

Re:party of the rich (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46621133)

It's become apparent to me that wealth does not always correlate well with intelligence. However, most educated people are Democrats. That's because stupid people need religion to justify their actions and beliefs, and the Republican party has (fatally) aligned itself with the religious faction. Perhaps a good short term decision; but one that will doom them as the world evolves.

Re:party of the rich (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46621185)

http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/volokh-conspiracy/wp/2014/02/16/the-7-political-groups-most-likely-to-believe-in-astrology/

Truth is kryptonite to a Democrat. Suck it.

Re:party of the rich (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46621249)

Kryptonite has no effect on humans. Or are you saying democrats are supermen/women?

No, truth is "disease" to all politicians. And they are right. It never wins an election.

Re:party of the rich (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46621277)

"No, truth is "disease" to all politicians."

True enough, but cynical.

Try a little Ted Cruz or Thomas Jefferson.

Never say never.

Re:party of the rich (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46621479)

Did you just compare Ted Cruz to Thomas Jefferson? because if you did thank you for that I needed a good laugh today.

Re:party of the rich (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46621785)

In many ways Jefferson calling for abolition of slavery is very much like Cruz calling for total repeal of Obamacare.

Of course, logic and honesty are anathema to a moderm progressive, but there it is.

Date() (2)

N!k0N (883435) | about 6 months ago | (#46621051)

Sounds a lot like Google TiSP [google.com] (albeit, a few days early).

Trolling (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46621139)

They're just trolling. People living in these areas would not have the money to pay for such an access model. You can't finance something like this with banner- ads.

One practical problem with 3rd world internet... (4, Insightful)

netsavior (627338) | about 6 months ago | (#46621169)

I think universal access to information is great, socially it is empowering and amazing... but FB and Google are not charities. As tfs says "Facebook and Google only make money from people when they can access the Internet"

The internet is only available to the the richest 30% of the world.

Advertisers currently access to the eyeballs of the top 30%

Accessing the eyeballs of the very poor or extremely remote populations does not make sense from an advertising standpoint.

Re:One practical problem with 3rd world internet.. (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | about 6 months ago | (#46621287)

But it does make sense from an arms race standpoint: facebook and google probably have the same eyeballs right now. If facebook were to have more eyeballs than google, facebook's revenue would go up and googles down.

It also makes sense for advertising for advertising. People are talking about it and not in a "Can you BELIEVE what facebook changed now? Fuck facebook! I'm going to quit it for the rest of the day!"

Re:One practical problem with 3rd world internet.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46623057)

I'm pretty sure that the guy that owns Mexico's cell phone networks (Carlos Slim I believe) would disagree with you. Just because they aren't in the richest X% doesn't mean you can't advertise and make money from them.

Re:One practical problem with 3rd world internet.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46623219)

I think universal access to information is great, socially it is empowering and amazing

Dear Sir or Madam,

My name is Dr. Rasheed Nback Adulakalamar and thanks to Google Loon Project I can finally contact you regarding my last will and testament that I intend to leave to you totalling $150,000,000 (ONE HUNDRED AND FIFTY MILLION US DOLLARS). While my many gold mines in this African nation of Congo have given me vast riches, it has left me destitute for friends. I remember when we met once in an airport once and although you probably don't remember me, I have always regarded you as a great friend to me. Your kindness was respectable. I am now on my deathbed with no family of my own, and I do not trust my estate lawyers. So I would rather deposit my enormous fortune, obtained by selling airplanes, directly into your largest checking account. International customs will only allow me to transfer a sum of this size into a checking account with at least $5,000 (FIVE THOUSAND US DOLLARS) positive balance. Please fill out the following information and reply to me so I can make this deposit to your account and God Bless. Matthew 13:7

Name:
Routing #:
Account #:
Social Security #:
Name of Childhood Pet:
Favorite Sports Team:

Re:One practical problem with 3rd world internet.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46629371)

Just because they aren't charities in themselves that doesn't mean they can't do charitable work. And providing free internet access now could still have a long term payoff, if the people in the areas they provide internet access to use it to develop their economy.

1st world Internet problems (2)

Pumpkin Tuna (1033058) | about 6 months ago | (#46621205)

Maybe first Facebook and Google can convince AT&T to actually install the equipment needed for me to get DSL, or convince the cable company to run the 0.4 miles of line down into my subdivision so that I can get real high speed Internet at my house.

Embrace the skynet (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46621207)

In Capitalist America, a BotNet is YOU!

And sharks. Don't forget sharks. (2)

gestalt_n_pepper (991155) | about 6 months ago | (#46621275)

Because what are laser beams without them?

Re:And sharks. Don't forget sharks. (2)

hodet (620484) | about 6 months ago | (#46622095)

That's the next wave for bringing internet to people on remote ocean islands. Patience patience.

Re:And sharks. Don't forget sharks. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46622893)

It will come with a warning label. "Please do not look into the internet with remaining eye"

envisions a system of drones and laser beams. (3, Insightful)

Chrisq (894406) | about 6 months ago | (#46621281)

Mark Zuckerberg envisions a system of drones and laser beams.

I think the USAF envisions the same thing.

Living in Africa (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46621395)

I live in Northern Mozambique in Africa. Our NGO pays $1000 (USD) per month for a 1Mb/s symmetrical dedicated line. It's delivered via fiber, even out here. The incumbent state-owned provider is over $2000/month for a 1Mb/s copper line. The only other option is VSAT but that's 10:1 contention or higher unless you want to pay $8k/month or more. VSAT with contention is unusable during the day.

We don't need balloons, we just need fiber terminations with reasonable fees. If we could get 10Mb/s for $500 that would transform the country.

Stupid "battle" (2)

hAckz0r (989977) | about 6 months ago | (#46621587)

They both have a common goal, to get a network to the masses. Just make nice, join forces, and get the job done. Enough with the story headlines and get on with it.

Re:Stupid "battle" (1)

Hillgiant (916436) | about 6 months ago | (#46624153)

They both have a common goal, to get locked in as the de-facto monopoly.

FTFY.

"Remote Locations" ?? (1)

Bruinwar (1034968) | about 6 months ago | (#46622523)

How about our connecting our rural areas? We got those areas electricity back under FDR, we can get them broadband now.

Facebook != the Internet (1)

txoutback (1886680) | about 6 months ago | (#46622631)

Is facebook bringing the internet, or just facebook to remote locations?

Re:Facebook != the Internet (1)

tepples (727027) | about 6 months ago | (#46622707)

Facebook bringing Facebook could demonstrate enough of a market for me-too competitors to bring more of the Internet, just as dial-up ISPs competed with 1990s AOL's walled garden.

Old news. (1)

Anathem (1983388) | about 6 months ago | (#46623201)

These two stories were reported over a year ago.

kinda forgot the 1,300,000,000 people in China? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46623847)

kinda forgot the 1,300,000,000 people in China?

who all live without Facebook as it is 'not accessable'?

Pure spin doctor BS.

Jesus Christ.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46626607)

And everyone thinks the NSA is bad.

Perhaps Google, Facebook, etc. should just convert their motto to the following and be done with it:

We are the Borg. Your biological and technological distinctiveness will be added to our own. Resistance is futile.

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