Honk If You See A Dead Satellite - InformationWeek

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Honk If You See A Dead Satellite
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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???
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. 
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.

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.
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
12/23/2014 | 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.
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