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Honk If You See A Dead Satellite
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SaneIT
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SaneIT,
User Rank: Ninja
12/23/2014 | 10:52:42 AM
Project Loon
I think this is one of those moon shot projects.  When it does eventually happen because someone is going to succeed, it is going to change a lot of things.  Right now we are trapped with telephone and cable companies because they own the wires.  When the wires disappear then a lot of boundaries will disappear as well.  How many tech companies had to consider the availability of high speed connections before choosing their corporate office space?  I've been on the bad end of a "we can drill under the road to get you something other than two pair copper but it's going to be expensive" conservation after someone had already chosen where to buy space.  That being said I have to say that blimps scare me a little less than 747 sized drones.  I get the feeling a blimp is more likely to be guided down slowing and under some kind of control if things go wrong and since they will be moving slowly they should be easier to avoid when those higher flying satellites are brought down.
tzubair
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tzubair,
User Rank: Ninja
12/27/2014 | 10:34:55 AM
Re: Project Loon
"When the wires disappear then a lot of boundaries will disappear as well.  How many tech companies had to consider the availability of high speed connections before choosing their corporate office space?"

@SaneIT: I think that seems to be one of the biggest advantages. This would allow companies to even have offices at remote locations where the land may be cheap. This may eventually prove to reduce pollution in the cities.
SachinEE
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SachinEE,
User Rank: Ninja
12/28/2014 | 1:48:26 PM
Re: Project Loon
@tzubair: Well, nice idea, but high speed networks at remote locations would mean higher costs for the network provider. If the network provider does not have the confidence of numerous companies willing to make their offices at remote locations, then they won't be providing high speed networks.
tzubair
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tzubair,
User Rank: Ninja
12/31/2014 | 10:42:08 AM
Re: Project Loon
"high speed networks at remote locations would mean higher costs for the network provider. If the network provider does not have the confidence of numerous companies willing to make their offices at remote locations, then they won't be providing high speed networks."

@SachinEE: This argument makes sense when you're going for the conventional broadband infrastructure with a wired setup. When it comes to providing connectivity through drones or satellites the cost goes down because a larger area can be covered without an incremental cost. I think this technology should actually promote internet connectivity in far flung areas.
batye
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batye,
User Rank: Ninja
2/3/2015 | 11:31:59 AM
Re: Project Loon
@SachinEE it all depends on the price of technology... as prices goes down... technology pop up everywhere... how I see it...
Gary_EL
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Gary_EL,
User Rank: Ninja
12/23/2014 | 1:40:41 PM
Satellites
The problem with satellites is their very limited bandwidths. Drones don't cost megabucks to launch, they can be cheaply returned to earth for repair, and for the same amount of money they can carry far, far more data back and forth.
SaneIT
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SaneIT,
User Rank: Ninja
12/24/2014 | 8:10:55 AM
Re: Satellites

@Gary_EL that's a great point and one problem that we see with things like satellite phones.  You can't just land a satellite, so some upgrades then send it back up.  The drones or blimps will cost much less to launch and will have a more flexible lifespan.  I don't know if the operating costs will eventually catch up and make a drone more expensive over it's life time but the fact that you could bring the drone down and put new radios on it to extend services seems like a good way to justify a higher operating cost.

ChrisMurphy
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ChrisMurphy,
User Rank: Author
12/24/2014 | 9:10:39 AM
Re: Satellites
Elon Musk has confirmed that he's working on a satellite initiative, with details coming in a few months. The Wall Street Journal first wrote about the plan, saying it could involve launching hundreds of low-earth orbit satellites. It's feeling like it won't be long until these alternative access options start changing how we think about Internet access. 
PedroGonzales
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PedroGonzales,
User Rank: Ninja
12/25/2014 | 7:10:34 PM
Re: Satellites
I think outer space is going to become are crowded place very soon.  Putting more satellite up in space to provide more internet access is not as simple as zuckerberg think it is.  It would really expend internet access to remote and mobile locations
SaneIT
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SaneIT,
User Rank: Ninja
12/29/2014 | 7:26:22 AM
Re: Satellites
I like Elon Musk's vision, really, but this is also the guy who was promising something much better than even the best mag lev trains just about a year ago.  That whole promise kind of fizzled out and we don't talk about it much.  I'm not holding my breath waiting for him to cut through the red tape required to put objects in orbit.  I'm not even sure how he would immediately make money putting the satellites up unless it is purely from the delivery stand point with SpaceX.  I don't see him making much money delivering satellite internet access to every Tesla sold.
tzubair
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tzubair,
User Rank: Ninja
12/27/2014 | 9:43:01 AM
Re: Satellites
 

"The problem with satellites is their very limited bandwidths. Drones don't cost megabucks to launch, they can be cheaply returned to earth for repair, and for the same amount of money they can carry far, far more data back and forth"

@Gary: Is there a rental that companies have to pay to any authorities to launch drones in the air for internet? If there are occupying air space then some authorities might be involved in controlling their use of the space.

 
Gary_EL
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Gary_EL,
User Rank: Ninja
12/27/2014 | 1:32:09 PM
Re: Satellites
It seems that one of the problems is that are very few regulations of any sort governing the operation and use of Drones.
SachinEE
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SachinEE,
User Rank: Ninja
12/28/2014 | 1:46:02 PM
Re: Satellites
"It seems that one of the problems is that are very few regulations of any sort governing the operation and use of Drones."

There will be, if the market is ready for drones everywhere. Drones are not the long term solution to this problem anyway. Make bigger dishes maybe? That'll cost a ton to implement. 
Gary_EL
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Gary_EL,
User Rank: Ninja
12/28/2014 | 5:09:30 PM
Re: Satellites
I agree that drones aren't the long-term solution to internet access - Fiber optical cable is. But, there are parts of the world that don't even have clean drinking water or reliable electricity, so a fiber-optic network is only a wonderful dream. The reason I like the idea of drones over satellites is that they can be launched with very little muss or fuss, and they can be launched and operated locally, giving locals a chance to get in on the fun and to hone their tech skills. Space is starting to get very crowded, especially geosynchonus orbit. Also, drones impose less latency, which can be a factor in other things besides video gaming. Finally, the simpler solution is usually the more elegant solution, and who doesn't like elegant solutions?
tzubair
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tzubair,
User Rank: Ninja
12/31/2014 | 10:36:36 AM
Re: Satellites
"It seems that one of the problems is that are very few regulations of any sort governing the operation and use of Drones."

@Gary_EL: I think there's a technical issue with that because once the drones are in the air then they do not fall under any geographic restrictions of any country. We need something like an international body that control the usage. Something similiar to the international aviation authority.
Gary_EL
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Gary_EL,
User Rank: Ninja
12/31/2014 | 2:50:38 PM
Re: Satellites
Oh, I think we can get started without the approval of every little country in the world. If a drone takes off and operates in one country, who cares what the "International Community" thinks?
batye
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batye,
User Rank: Ninja
1/2/2015 | 2:34:18 PM
Re: Satellites
interesting questions as I would think we gonna started ask, who gonna own - what or who is controlling it ??? 
Gary_EL
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Gary_EL,
User Rank: Ninja
1/2/2015 | 2:59:58 PM
Re: Satellites
A drone isn't a satellite. If it's over the US, it's in our airspace. If it's not supposed to be there, we can simply shoot it down. No approval from the UN required, asked for, or even wanted.
batye
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batye,
User Rank: Ninja
1/2/2015 | 9:02:26 PM
Re: Satellites
interesting point, remind me of 1960 Cold War...
zerox203
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zerox203,
User Rank: Ninja
12/24/2014 | 4:52:58 AM
Re: Honk If You See A Dead Satellite
Well, this is a nice change of pace for articles here on InformationWeek. It's easy to forget the big picture when we're busy talking about hardware specs, quarterly vendor plans, and networking protocols. All of that comes together in a longterm outlook for what our future society might look like. That's what we're working towards as technology professionals, and it actually lends itself quite well to philosophical thinking and a creative style of writing. We are talking about changing the world, after all. It's worth giving ourselves a pat on the back for how far we've come, and stopping to take a look at where we're going next.

I really, really like how you describe future network possibilities as an alternative to telecomm-controlled wires, Howard. Not that it's a pie-in-the-sky possibility if someone's in the right place at the right time, but that it's the next natural progression. We very much choose to forget that 'internet' does not equate to the way we access the internet today. Thank you for reminding us of how important those less fortunate all around the world are in this discussion. How much more valuable this internet access would be to them precisely because they don't have access to a good education, or a fair socioeconomic system. I'm glad you mentioned that cruise ship article, because it made me think the same things. Take care. Happy Holidays.
MarkT551
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MarkT551,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/24/2014 | 12:30:30 PM
Riddled with errors
So you rejected my comment where I pointed out your misunderstanding of the orbital mechanics for LEO satellites.  Now I read down further and see you positing that there will be geostationary satellites over the North Pole.  You DO know that's physically impossible, don't you???
nasimson
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nasimson,
User Rank: Ninja
12/29/2014 | 2:18:21 AM
Re: Riddled with errors
@ Mark:

> there will be geostationary satellites over the North Pole.  You DO know that's physically impossible,

Pardon my ignorance about geostationary satellites over the North Pole. Why is that impossible?

Thanks for your thoughts in advance.
kstaron
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kstaron,
User Rank: Ninja
12/29/2014 | 12:42:04 PM
Re: Riddled with errors
The reason you can't have Geostationary orbit at the North Pole: You get geostationary orbit by matching the rotational speed of that point of Earth with the satellite. The North Pole is effectively standing still so a satellite would have to have a speed of 0. A satellite has to have some momentum to stay in orbit so it would fall out of orbit with a speed of zero. (Not a physicist, but I think this logic is sound.) So no spying on Santa.
nasimson
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nasimson,
User Rank: Ninja
12/30/2014 | 1:08:02 PM
Re: Riddled with errors
Thanks kstaron.

I guess the same logic would apply to South pole as well. But what about places very close to the two poles like Iceland, Toleku, NewZealand and the like?
SaneIT
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SaneIT,
User Rank: Ninja
12/31/2014 | 7:14:32 AM
Re: Riddled with errors
Does the satellite have to be geostationary? Couldn't they be geosynchronous satellites with enough overlap to do hand offs as the satellites passed through a specific zone?
nasimson
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nasimson,
User Rank: Ninja
12/29/2014 | 2:13:43 AM
space pollution
First we got water pollution, then soil pollution & air pollution and now space pollution. More and more junk we leave in space, more difficult it will be for our future generations to continue accident-free space endeavors. They might be cursing us for leaving so much junk behind.

Next is lunar pollution!


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