Google wrapping its underwater internet cables in Kevlar to prevent shark attacks

Shark

Here’s a nice surprise for Shark Week! During a Cloud Roadshow in Boston, Google product manager Dan Belcher revealed some of the search giant’s extreme measures to protect its underwater infrastructure. The company will reportedly wrap its new subaquatic trans-Pacific high-speed internet cables with a Kevlar cover to keep them safe from shark attacks.

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Google’s Chief Internet Evangelist Vint Cerf discusses the fate of the Internet w/ Stephen Colbert (Video)

Vint Cerf, Google Evangelist, The Colbert Report

Vint Cerf, Google’s Chief Internet Evangelist and general co-father of the Internet, stopped by The Colbert Report on Comedy Central to discuss the origins of the Web as well as where Cerf sees the Internet going forward.

During the conversation, Cerf noted that “about 3 billion people are online right now,” a number which is unimaginably larger than what the Internet was intended for when it was being developed for the military and academia, and Cerf says we have another 4 billion people to go with expanding online access.

While Colbert comically recommended dropping free AOL CD’s to developing countries to promote the Internet around the world, Cerf pointed seriously to the role of the smartphone in spreading Internet access to third world countries. Read more

Google’s white space wireless database approved by FCC

Google_2591170b

The FCC has approved Google’s “white space” database operation. This will allow for the company to operate a wireless broadband network with unlicensed TV broadcast spectrum. There are currently 10 other companies working on similar networks, but Google is the latest to complete the Federal Communications Commission’s 45-day testing period. The database will keep track of the TV broadcast frequencies in use so that other wireless broadband devices can take advantage of what’s not being used.

“If a government communications system does not require spectrum at specific times, that spectrum can be freed up for commercial purposes during those times. With dynamic sharing, multiple users, including federal, non-federal and commercial entities, can all access available bands of radio spectrum,” Google wrote.

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Google unveils latest moonshot: balloon-powered Internet access

We’ve seen several reports of Google wanting to bring Internet access to emerging-countries, and the company has now announced a project that will greatly help it accomplish that goal. In a post on the official Google blog,  Mike Cassidy announced the next “moonshot” from Google’s mysterious X lab, balloon-powered Internet access.

Google believes that it might be possible to build a ring of balloons that travel around the globe on the stratospheric winds and provide Internet service to the earth below. The company does warn us that this idea is still in the very early days of development, but says that it has built a system that uses balloons carried by winds at altitudes as high as planes and beams Internet at speeds as fast or faster than current 3G networks.  Read more

Report: Google planning to develop wireless networks, low-cost Android devices for emerging markets

Google-internet-fiber

According to a report from The Wall Street Journal, Google is now in the middle of a new project that will see the company develop wireless networks in emerging countries including sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia. Google plans on teaming up with local companies to develop the wireless networks, which are said to use airwaves normally reserved for TV, but will first have to get government approvals:

Some of those efforts revolve around using certain airwaves reserved for TV broadcasts to create wireless networks, but only if government regulators allowed it, these people said. Google has long been involved in public trials to prove the technology—which operates at lower frequencies than some cell networks, allowing signals to be more easily transmitted through buildings and other obstacles and across longer distances—can work. And it has begun talking to regulators in countries such as South Africa and Kenya about changing current rules to allow such networks to be built en masse.

The report mentions that Google is also “building an ecosystem of new microprocessors and low-cost smartphones powered by its Android mobile operating system to connect to the wireless networks,” although it didn’t offer up any other specific information on the devices.

It also points out a Google X project that takes advantage of “special balloons or blimps, known as high-altitude platforms, to transmit signals to an area of hundreds of square miles,” but it’s unclear whether or not the two projects are connected. Read more

Talking Schmidt: “Google is a capitalist country … company”

Google's Eric Schmidt in Burma

In the fifth installment of our continuing series Talking Schmidt we bring you the most insightful lines from Google Chairman Eric Schmidt.

Schmidt, who is promoting his new book The New Digital Age with his coauthor Jared Cohen, responded to UK politician Ed Miliband’s call for “responsible capitalism” earlier this week.

He reminded Miliband that Google is a country… ahem, company powered by profit and projects like wearable computing and self-driving cars better serve Google than forfeiting more of its profits to various governments.

“Google is a capitalist country … company,” he corrected himself, to laughter from the audience. “It’s easy to say you would like us to have to have less profits and have that somewhere else. We will comply with the letter of the law, but we’re trying to avoid being doubly and triply taxes, which would prevent us investing in some of the wilder things we do.”

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Talking Schmidt: Don’t Be Evil is “the stupidest rule ever”

(Businessweek / Peg Korpinski)

(Businessweek / Peg Korpinski)

In our continuing series Talking Schmidt we bring you the most insightful lines from Google Chairman Eric Schmidt.

Schmidt, who is promoting his new book The New Digital Age, spoke with NPR over the weekend on the Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me! program in a rather lighthearted appearance.

NPR host Peter Sagal asked the executive chairman how much Google knew about its users at the top of show, which prompted Schmidt to admit, “Well, as much as you’ll let us know.”

Schmidt also mentioned that the company really doesn’t quite know the definition of evil, from its famous slogan “Don’t Be Evil,” and that he thought it was “the stupidest rule ever” when he joined the company.

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Following Google, AT&T announces plans for 1 gigabit per second network in Austin, Texas

Screen Shot 2013-04-09 at 2.20.49 PM

Following Google’s announcement that it will bring its speedy Google Fiber network to Austin, Texas, in mid-2014, AT&T has created competition by announcing it plans to bring fiber-optic internet connectivity to the Lone Star state as well.

Today, AT&T announced that in conjunction with its previously announced Project VIP expansion of broadband access, it is prepared to build an advanced fiber optic infrastructure in Austin, Texas, capable of delivering speeds up to 1 gigabit per second.  AT&T’s expanded fiber plans in Austin anticipate it will be granted the same terms and conditions as Google on issues such as geographic scope of offerings, rights of way, permitting, state licenses and any investment incentives. This expanded investment is not expected to materially alter AT&T’s anticipated 2013 capital expenditures.

AT&T says it believes it will be granted the same privileges as Google in this regard. The full press release is available below:

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Check out this video showing off Google Fiber TV’s features

Currently available in Kansas City, Kan., Google Fiber has proved to be a disruptive new service from the folks out of Mountain View. The service not only offers groundbreaking Internet speeds “100 times faster than broadband,” but also a radical new television service that offers content from a slew of sources: broadcast TV, cable, Netflix, and other Internet services. Google offers three plans: free Internet with a $300 construction fee, $70 per month for Gigabit Internet, and Gigabit + TV for $120 per month that includes a Nexus 7 to use as a remote control.

While we’ve seen brief encounters with the service, BTIG Research (via AllThingsD) has now given us a solid hands-on of the Google’s Fiber TV offering. The research group uses still shots to explain the features; but nonetheless, by the end of it, you’ll probably wish Google Fiber was available in your area. You can check out the video below to see the 905.28mbps down and 794.59mbps up speeds and how the Nexus 7 and TV interfaces work off each other.

Full video below:

Google Fiber delayed in KCK over wire dispute, cable competitors say BPU favors Google

Google Inc., announced last spring that Kansas City, Kan., landed the search engine’s super-speed Internet project, but disputed details within the original agreement over wires and fees have created a troublesome hurdle, and lawyers and engineers are still attempting to find middle ground nearly 10 months later.

The local community was nicely suited for hanging Google’s cables, so it vied against 1,100 other United States localities that were courting the Mountain View, Calif.-based Company and its ambitious Internet plans. Subsequently, KCK became known as the first “Gigabyte City” or “Fiber Town.”

“Since we announced our plans to build experimental, ultra high-speed broadband networks, the response has been tremendous. Hundreds of communities and hundreds of thousands of individuals across the country have expressed their interest in the project,” said Google on its Fiber Network website.

“We’re planning to build and test ultra high-speed broadband networks in a small number of trial locations across the United States. We’ll deliver Internet speeds more than 100 times faster than what most Americans have access to today with 1 gigabit per second, fiber-to-the-home connections. We plan to offer service at a competitive price to at least 50,000 and potentially up to 500,000 people,” Google added on its official blog.

The story continues below.

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Google Fiber network speed test boasts impressive results

Remember Google Fiber? That little experiment determined to bring “universal, ultra high-speed Internet access”, making for a network “100 times faster than what most Americans have access to”. Seems like those claims might not be too far off if you believe the rather impressive speed test below, posted by Redditor TheTeam who claims to have just received access to the network.

Google announced last year their dreams of “downloading a high-definition, full-length feature film in less than five minutes” via the experimental Google Fiber network. The process of building and testing networks in select cities is already underway, with the first city in the community selection process set to be announced by the end of the year. However, an initial experiment at Standford University and the surrounding area started rolling out as early as last month, according to a report from PaloAltoPatch.

Google explains:
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