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The Bearer Of Bad Balloons

Google's Project Loon will kick off in Sri Lanka
The Bearer Of Bad Balloons© 2017 Time

Google believes that it will be able to keep a fleet (because that’s what people call a bunch of balloons, apparently) of free-flying (how does one “keep” free-flying balloons?) balloons that will wander 12 miles above Earth’s surface. 

So, for those of you that haven’t heard about Google’s (not-so) newish crazy scheme, it involves balloons. Yes, balloons.

In fact, Google believes that it will be able to keep a fleet (because that’s what normal people call a bunch of balloons, apparently) of free-flying (yes, for those of you wondering, how does one “keep” free-flying balloons, it’s a good question) balloons that will wander 12 miles above Earth’s surface.
And what will these wonder balloons do? Bring internet access to some of the world’s most remote areas.

Known as Project Loon (because even Google knows this is loony), it’s apparently the brainchild of X Labs team which none of us know anything about because it’s super top-secret, but it’s also the team that spearheaded Google Glass (hint: also a bad idea).

Afterthought: Is it top secret because it’s always so bad?

 

Anyways, Google really seems to think that this “fleet” of balloons (giant balloons, because apparently that makes a difference), 15-meters in diameter, will bring 3G to all the good boys and girls.

And yet, even Google called this project, and I quote, “pie in the sky”.

For everyone that read this far, good job, you get a cyber cookie. You are, like me, no doubt wondering - “won’t these balloons float away?”. Google says “nah”. They will be using wind and solar powered technology that controls the altitude, or so they say.

But dude, they’re filled with helium, and clearly nobody from Google has been to a kids birthday party, because those things pop. Like, POOF. In a second. And I'm not a mind reader, but I think these giant balloons are way more expensive than regular balloons.

My comment is more like, dude they’re filled with helium, and clearly nobody from Google has been to a kids birthday party, because those things pop. Like, POOF. In a second. And I'm not a mind reader, but I think these giant balloons are way more expensive than regular balloons.

As someone who has had faulty internet connection before, why would you subject people to that?

But in fact, Sri Lanka accepted the first formal invitation, and will receive the fleet in the next coming months. "The entire Sri Lankan island – every village from (southern) Dondra to (northern) Point Pedro – will be covered with affordable high speed internet using Google Loon's balloon technology," said the foreign minister Mangala Samaraweera, who also conveniently doubles as IT minister (I see what you did here, side eyes).

So, Sri Lanka has 20 million people, but right now only 3-4 million have access to the interwebs. It’s also a primarily rural country which is why apparently everyone thinks balloons will help. It’s also in the Indian Ocean, that receives monsoons every year, though. So… yeah. Balloons… with monsoons. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m a writer and love alliteration, but do you guys see where I’m going with this?

So, I don’t want to be bearer of bad balloons, but I guess we have to wait and see.

 

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