Remember when I wrote about Facebook’s plan to use drones to connect the world to the Internet? Far fetched, yet true. Now I bring you the story about Google’s plan to connect the world using balloons. You read that correctly. Balloons. If I saw these two ideas in a movie, I would roll my eyes because they sound so crazy. Yet both of these ideas are being tested right now. In the case of the balloons, which is called Project Loon, Google envisions providing Internet access to rural areas via connected balloons hovering high above the earth. Loon is actually a project of Google X, which is a research arm of the search engine giant. Their more famous project is Google Glass.
According to multiple sources, Facebook plans to provide broadband service with a fleet of solar-powered drones. The Internet service won’t be available to most of us. Their goal is to provide Internet access to the two-thirds of the world that’s offline. In theory, the drones that Facebook are developing will use lasers to beam Internet access down to people in remote regions of the world. The drones are expected to fly autonomously for months at a time at an altitude of about 65,000 feet, which is above commercial airspace.
You know how some people can text and walk at the same time. And then they walk right into a water fountain. Well, the problem is going to get worst thanks to Google. The company is targeting the wearable computing market with their new Internet-connected glasses. According to several articles (links and video below), Google’s Internet glasses features a small see-through display screen that shows text messages, appointments, weather data, maps and other information. The glasses also supports voice commands so you don’t need a touchscreen, keyboard or mouse to text or perform other tasks. With the cool Internet glasses, you can even video chat with someone. The Google glasses are currently in the prototype stage.
Here’s a useful gadget: the Diamond Multimedia HP200AV Powerline AV Ethernet Adapter Kit. It expands your Internet connection by using the AC wall outlets in your home or office. All you have to do is plug in the two adapters to your electrical outlets. Then you plug one adapter to your cable modem or network router, and the other adapter to an Internet-ready device (TVs, media players, Blu-ray players, gaming consoles, computers). It’s great for streaming online content like Netflix or games to your TV. I wish I had this kit so I can stream content to my TV. I’m currently using a Wi-Fi connection, but sometimes the wireless Internet connection has problems that cause the video to pause way too often. Thanks to Diamond Multimedia, one lucky follower of geek dad blog will win the HP200AV Powerline AV Ethernet Adapter Kit. I would like to enter, but I’m sure you guys would have a cow if I picked myself as the winner. Just a hunch.
I was contacted recently about giving away a TP-LINK wireless N router. To be honest, until they contacted me, I had not heard of TP-LINK (Facebook | Twitter) before. That’s why they reached out to me — so I can help spread the word about their wireless networking devices. The company didn’t send me a review unit, but according to the reviews on Amazon, users love the TP-LINK TL-WR1043ND Ultimate Wireless N Gigabit Router (List Price: $80, Amazon Price: $65) I’m giving away. I’m actually a little envious because I’m using an older wireless G router with only Fast Ethernet, which is significantly slower than the TP-LINK wireless router. In addition to the router’s speed, I like the USB 2.0 port (my router doesn’t have one so I can’t easily share my external drive) and its Signal Sustain Technology (SST).