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posted by LaminatorX on Tuesday January 20 2015, @11:48PM   Printer-friendly
from the cloud-above-the-clouds dept.

Ars Technica On Sunday reported that Elon Musk (of SpaceX and Tesla fame) and Sir Richard Branson (Virgin Galactic, etc.) are each preparing to launch LEO (low earth orbit) constellations of satellites to provide world-wide internet coverage:

It was an interesting week for ideas about the future of the Internet. On Wednesday, satellite industry notable Greg Wyler announced that his company OneWeb, which wants to build a micro-satellite network to bring Internet to all corners of the globe, secured investments from Richard Branson's Virgin Group and Qualcomm. Then in a separate announcement on Friday, Elon Musk said that he would also be devoting his new Seattle office to creating "advanced micro-satellites" to deliver Internet.

[...] OneWeb, formerly WorldVu Satellites Ltd, aims to target rural markets, emerging markets, and in-flight Internet services on airlines, the Wall Street Journal reported. Both Branson and Qualcomm Executive Chairman Paul Jacobs will sit on the company's board, but Wyler did not say how much Virgin and Qualcomm invested in his company.

Wyler said that his company's goal is to create a network of 648 small satellites that would weigh in at around 285 pounds each. The satellites would be put in orbit 750 miles above the Earth and ideally cost about $350,000 each to build using an assembly line approach. Wyler also said that Virgin, which has its own space segment, would be launching the satellites into orbit. “As an airline and mobile operator, Virgin might also be a candidate to resell OneWeb’s service,” the Journal noted. Wyler has said that he projects it to take $1.5 billion to $2 billion to launch the service, and he plans to launch in 2018.

[...] On the other hand there's Musk, who's a seasoned space-business launcher that's starting fresh in the world of satellite Internet services. The Telsa and SpaceX founder announced his plans to launch 700 satellites weighing less than 250 pounds each in November.

His satellites would also orbit the Earth at 750 miles above. Musk spoke to Bloomberg on Friday evening explaining that 750 miles above the Earth is much closer than the tens of thousands of miles above the Earth at which traditional telecommunications satellites operate.

Then it got even more interesting.

Ars is now reporting Google might pour money into SpaceX — that it really wants satellite internet:

The Information reported on Monday that, according to “several people familiar with the talks,” Google is considering investing in SpaceX to support its plan to deliver hundreds or thousands of micro satellites into a low (750 mile) orbit around the globe to serve Internet to rural and developing areas of the world. The Information's sources indicated that Google was in the “final stages” of investing in SpaceX and valued the company at “north of $10 billion.” SpaceX is apparently courting other investors as well.

[...] The Information added another interesting tidbit that was not widely reported in previous discussions of SpaceX's plans for global Internet service: “Mr. Musk appears to be trying to get around his lack of spectrum rights by relying, in part, on optical lasers.”

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  • (Score: 1) by Arik on Friday January 23 2015, @12:22AM

    by Arik (4543) on Friday January 23 2015, @12:22AM (#137083) Journal
    You're trying to shift the definition of AJAX to not include ecmascript but I believe that is what the 'J' stands for, no?

    "I also don't think form validation qualifies as a webapp."

    I used to agree with you, a few years back. Ecmascript is harmless in and of itself, a little extra flash here save a pageload there it can be used right!

    Over time I have seen I was wrong, wrong, wrong.

    OK, it *can* be used right but it almost never has been historically and as time goes on that just gets worse. And even if it was always used right (instead of almost never used right) it *still* wouldnt be worth the security nightmare it unleashes.

    It is *in principle* impossible to secure any system that executes 'webapps' handed out by random web pages. And in practice that is the single security hole through which virtually every mass exploit of the past decade and more has been delivered through.

    "I browse with noscript on in FF and often have to switch to Chrome to use some sites. Especially if trying to buy something."

    I switch to a different browser for those websites in certain cases, but NEVER to buy something. I only go to those websites if it is officially required for me to get paid (intranet, bleh.) I've switched suppliers more than once rather than give them control of my computer in order for ME to give THEM money. That crap will not fly.
    If laughter is the best medicine, who are the best doctors?