One of Google's so-called moonshots is trying to get its high-flying internet balloons off the ground in Kenya, where the tech giant hopes to deliver 4G cell phone services in its first commercial test ever.
Born in 2011, Loon is now collaborating with Telkom Kenya to bring services to remote mountain villagers in the coming months.
But Reuters tech reporter Paresh Dave says there are lingering doubts about the viability of the balloon technology.
SOUNDBITE: PARESH DAVE, REUTERS CORRESPONDENT, saying: "Some of the wireless carriers wonder if Loon can overcome some of the reliability and technical challenges that still exist.//In other cases it's related to the financial viability of these balloons.
Does it actually cover enough people to make sense economically for these companies.
In other cases there's regulatory questions around sort of safety and will governments allow these balloons be floating high above people." The giant helium balloons - which fly twice as high as airplanes - have already shown they are useful.
Loon provided free services to wireless carriers in Peru and Puerto Rico after cell phone towers were knocked out by an earthquake and hurricane.
But the balloons face some practical issues.
Namely, wind- which moves the balloons out of range - and the sun.
UV rays mean the balloons have to replaced every six months as the plastic deteriorates.
The project has to deal with a few issues on the ground, too.
Loon faces a lawsuit by rival Space Data, which alleges Google stole its ideas in 2008.
And then there's the issue of competition.
SOUNDBITE: PARESH DAVE, REUTERS CORRESPONDENT, saying: "Things like lasers, blimps, drones, a lot of companies a lot of startups looking at a lot of different technologies.
And of course even satellites.
Several billionaires with companies looking at satellites like Elon Musk and Richard Branson and Jeff Bezos." But none of that is holding back the balloons from flying.
Kenya's government just gave final regulatory approval for Loon to move ahead, and Indonesia issued preliminary approval for Loon to fly on over.
Google on Monday announced a partnership with security firm ADT and said as part of this multi-year partnership, it will 'make a Dollar 450 million investment in ADT'. "Today, we're announcing a long-term, strategic partnership between Google and ADT, a leading US security and home automation provider," Rishi Chandra, Vice President and GM, Nest, said in a blog post. Chandra said that Google will combine its Nest devices, services, and technology with ADT's leadership position providing security solutions for "millions of homes and small businesses in the US." "Over time, Nest's devices, powered by Google's machine learning capabilities will enhance ADT's security monitoring and become the cornerstone of ADT's smart home offering. The goal is to give customers fewer false alarms, more ways to receive alarm events, and better detection of potential incidents inside and around the home," Chandra said. Chandra said that ADT customers will also have access to Nest Aware, a service that keeps people informed about important events at home, including intelligent alerts and event history recording for up to 30 days. "As part of this multi-year partnership, Google will make a Dollar450 million investment in ADT in exchange for shares of a newly created Class B common stock having all the rights and preferences of ADT's common stock except for the right to vote on the election, appointment or removal of directors," the blog post read. "Upon the closing of Google's equity investment in ADT, Google will own approximately 6.6 per cent of ADT's outstanding aggregate common equity. Google's equity investment, which is subject to customary closing conditions, is expected to close in the third quarter of 2020," Chandra added.
On Monday, ADT announced that it will be partnering with Google on a new line of smart home security products. Business Insider reports shares of ADT surged as much as 100% Monday to an all-time high of $17.21. Google will invest $450 million for a 6.6% ownership stake in ADT. The partnership will combine Nest hardware and services with Google technology and ADT's installation, service, and professional monitoring network. The partnership is focused on residential and small business security.
Australia will force U.S. tech giants Facebook Inc and Alphabet Inc’s Google to pay Australian media outlets for news content in a landmark move to protect independent journalism that will be watched around the world. Libby Hogan reports.
This year, few are witnessing the annual migration of thousands of wildebeest from the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania to Maasai Mara National Reserve in Kenya — one of the seven wonders of the world.View on euronews
Credit: euronews (in English) Duration: 00:50Published
Latin America has seen an explosive spread of the coronavirus, with no end in sight. According to CNN, roughly half of all new COVID-19 cases originate in Latin America as a whole. However, individual Latin American countries are faring differently. Uruguay has a strong public health system and coherent pandemic control policies. But in Mexico, Colombia and Peru, workers' income has probably declined by 80% during the pandemic. That's put even basic health care out of reach.
Sugar consumption is linked with larger fat deposits around the heart and in the abdomen, which are risky for health, finds a new study. Excess sugar consumption is a worldwide problem. The six countries with the highest sales of sugary drinks per capita are Chile, Mexico, Argentina, Peru, the US, and Saudi Arabia. The demand for sugar is expected to increase in Asia, Africa, and Russia. This observational study examined both sugar-sweetened beverages (such as soft drinks, fruit drinks, energy drinks) and sugar added to foods and beverages for sweetness (for example when cooking or in processed foods). The researchers analysed the association between long-term sugar consumption and fat stores around the heart and other organs. Researchers found that sugar intake over the 20-year period was related to fat volumes later in life. Higher intakes of both sugar-sweetened beverages and added sugar (/topic/sugar) were related to greater fat stores around organs in a stepwise fashion.
Isaias, downgraded from a hurricane but still a powerful tropical storm, moved along Florida's eastern coast on Sunday, bringing strong winds but no longer posing a storm surge threat. This report produced by Chris Dignam.
Tropical Storm Isaias formed Wednesday over the Caribbean Sea. According to the National Hurricane Center, Isaias is forecast to make landfall over the Dominican Republic before noon Thursday. According to CNN, the treacherous storm will then make its way towards Florida. Tropical storm warnings are issued for Puerto Rico, the US and British Virgin Islands. The entire coastal region of the Dominican Republic and the north coast of Haiti is also under advisory.
US President Donald J. Trump has had a fraught relationship with Puerto Rico ever since Hurricane Maria devastated the island. Nearly 3,000 people died as a result of the storm and aftereffects, including widespread power outages. In fact, CNN reports that in Maria's aftermath, Trump once floated the idea, to then-acting DHS Secretary Elaine Duke, of selling the US territory. Can we outsource the electricity? Can we sell the island? You know, or divest of that asset? President Donald J.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo on Wednesday said that the federal government is "making a historic mistake" in its handling of the coronavirus, citing 20 states and Puerto Rico who are seeing spikes in cases.