The Internet - The first Worldwide Tool of Unification ("The End of History")

" ... Now I give you something that few think about: What do you think the Internet is all about, historically? Citizens of all the countries on Earth can talk to one another without electronic borders. The young people of those nations can all see each other, talk to each other, and express opinions. No matter what the country does to suppress it, they're doing it anyway. They are putting together a network of consciousness, of oneness, a multicultural consciousness. It's here to stay. It's part of the new energy. The young people know it and are leading the way.... "

" ... I gave you a prophecy more than 10 years ago. I told you there would come a day when everyone could talk to everyone and, therefore, there could be no conspiracy. For conspiracy depends on separation and secrecy - something hiding in the dark that only a few know about. Seen the news lately? What is happening? Could it be that there is a new paradigm happening that seems to go against history?... " Read More …. "The End of History"- Nov 20, 2010 (Kryon channelled by Lee Carroll)

"Recalibration of Free Choice"– Mar 3, 2012 (Kryon Channelling by Lee Carroll) - (Subjects: (Old) Souls, Midpoint on 21-12-2012, Shift of Human Consciousness, Black & White vs. Color, 1 - Spirituality (Religions) shifting, Loose a Pope “soon”, 2 - Humans will change react to drama, 3 - Civilizations/Population on Earth, 4 - Alternate energy sources (Geothermal, Tidal (Paddle wheels), Wind), 5 – Financials Institutes/concepts will change (Integrity – Ethical) , 6 - News/Media/TV to change, 7 – Big Pharmaceutical company will collapse “soon”, (Keep people sick), (Integrity – Ethical) 8 – Wars will be over on Earth, Global Unity, … etc.) - (Text version)

“…5 - Integrity That May Surprise…

Have you seen innovation and invention in the past decade that required thinking out of the box of an old reality? Indeed, you have. I can't tell you what's coming, because you haven't thought of it yet! But the potentials of it are looming large. Let me give you an example, Let us say that 20 years ago, you predicted that there would be something called the Internet on a device you don't really have yet using technology that you can't imagine. You will have full libraries, buildings filled with books, in your hand - a worldwide encyclopedia of everything knowable, with the ability to look it up instantly! Not only that, but that look-up service isn't going to cost a penny! You can call friends and see them on a video screen, and it won't cost a penny! No matter how long you use this service and to what depth you use it, the service itself will be free.

Now, anyone listening to you back then would perhaps have said, "Even if we can believe the technological part, which we think is impossible, everything costs something. There has to be a charge for it! Otherwise, how would they stay in business?" The answer is this: With new invention comes new paradigms of business. You don't know what you don't know, so don't decide in advance what you think is coming based on an old energy world. ..."
(Subjects: Who/What is Kryon ?, Egypt Uprising, Iran/Persia Uprising, Peace in Middle East without Israel actively involved, Muhammad, "Conceptual" Youth Revolution, "Conceptual" Managed Business, Internet, Social Media, News Media, Google, Bankers, Global Unity,..... etc.)

Etiquette mavens say the book on manners must be rewritten, literally, to take into
account new technologies and social media (AFP Photo/Ed Jones)

A 2012 survey by Intel found that in several countries, a majority said they were put
off by "oversharing" of pictures and personal information on the
internet and smartphones (AFP Photo/Nicolas Asfouri)

Honouring computing’s 1843 visionary, Lady Ada Lovelace. (Design of doodle by Kevin Laughlin)

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Ambassador swims Nile at Khartoum for Facebook bet

Yahoo – AFP, 21 Nov 2015

Sudanese and Dutch women take part in an event to swim across the Blue
Nile in the capital Khartoum on November 21, 2015, as part of an event
organised by Dutch ambassador Susan Blankhart (AFP Photo/Ashraf Shazly)

Khartoum (AFP) - The Dutch ambassador to Sudan swam across the Nile in Khartoum on Saturday in a stunt that began as a bet to win more "likes" for her embassy's Facebook page.

Clad in an bright orange swimsuit bearing the embassy logo, Ambassador Susan Blankhart swam several hundred metres (yards) across the Blue Nile with six other Dutch women and seven Sudanese women, cheered on by dozens of supporters on the riverbank.

"It was lovely, it was beautiful. I would recommend that everyone swims across the Nile," Blankhart said laughing, back on dry land after the crossing.

She had originally said that she would swim across the river if her embassy's Facebook page received more than 10,000 likes.

After she hit the target, the 63-year-old organised the swim with two charities to raise awareness about safe swimming in the Nile.

The group was watched over by a team of Sudanese lifeguards in kayaks and boats as they swam through the muddy water.

The swim was also aimed at promoting women's empowerment in Sudan, Blankhart said.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Uber drops Uberpop taxi service in the Netherlands

DutchNews, November 18, 2015

Taxi app firm Uber is stopping its controversial Uberpop service in the Netherlands, the company said on Wednesday. 

Uberpop allows unlicenced drivers to use their own cars as taxis, but has been branded as illegal by the Dutch courts. 

The company is withdrawing the service because Uberpop is a ‘hindrance to the constructive dialogue about modernising the existing taxi rules’, Uber Nederland director Niek van Leeuwen said in a blog post

The services Uberblack, Uberlux and UberX, which involve licenced drivers, are not affected. 

Uber said earlier this year it would support Uberpop drivers in getting taxi licences, but Van Leeuwen said in his post that ‘we expect many of them will not be able to do this because of the high cost of complying with all the legal obligations’. 

Earlier this year, transport ministry inspectors raised the fine payable by Uber for breaking taxi sector rules to a maximum of €1m. Uberpop drivers themselves can be fined up to €4,200 and are given a criminal record.

Related Articles:

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

UK fans try to push Eagles of Death Metal to No. 1

Yahoo – AFP, 16 Nov 2015

Gunmen attacked an Eagles of Death Metal gig at the Bataclan in Paris, 
gunning down fans and blowing themselves up as police stormed the building
(AFP Photo/Marion Ruszniewski)

London (AFP) - British fans of the US rock band Eagles of Death Metal, which was playing at a Paris concert hall targeted in Friday's attacks, have started a social media campaign to push one of its songs to number 1.

"Get Eagles Of Death Metal to the No.1 this week as a statement of support and peace," read the description of the campaign on Twitter on Monday.

A Facebook page calling on supporters to download the song "Save a Prayer", a cover of Duran Duran's hit single of the same name, had more than 6,500 "likes".

Campaign organisers said that the downloads would be "a nice gesture" and stressed they were not representing the band, who escaped unharmed, and their initiative was not being done for profit.

The song is at number 96 in Britain's charts and climbing, with a new ranking set to be released later on Monday ahead of the official ranking on Friday.

The campaign "has started gathering momentum," the Official Charts Company said in a statement.

The song is already at number three on the Amazon UK singles chart and number 1 on the iTunes rock chart.

It was at number 35 on the main iTunes chart.

Gunmen attacked an Eagles of Death Metal gig at the Bataclan in Paris on Friday, gunning down fans and blowing themselves up as police stormed the building.

The attack claimed 89 lives -- by far the worst loss of life of the night.

The band, which was formed in 1998 in Palm Desert, California, was celebrating the October release of their album "Zipper Down" with a European tour.

The band's previous highest UK single's chart position was number 73 with 2006 record "I Want You So Hard (Boy's Bad News)".

The video featured Josh Homme -- frontman of Queens of the Stone Age -- along with former Nirvana drummer Dave Grohl and Hollywood comic actor Jack Black, all of whom have made live cameos with the band.

Messages about the campaign were being retweeted on the official account of the British band Duran Duran.

It was unclear who would receive the royalties from the increased sales of the single.

A musical ensemble from Saung Angklung Udjo will perform in Paris on
Tuesday. (Photo courtesy of Saung Angklung Udjo)

Related Article:

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

This 15-year-old won $25,000 for devising a genius way to harvest energy from the ocean

Business Insider, Tanya Lewis,  Oct. 14, 2015

Hannah Herbst wants to bring renewable energy to the developing world.

The 15-year-old from Boca Raton, Florida, won this year's Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge for designing a probe to generate power and fresh water for developing countries by harvesting it from ocean currents.

She was awarded $25,000 and the title of "America's Top Young Scientist" at a competition at the 3M Innovation Center in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Herbst told Business Insider she was inspired by her 9-year-old pen pal in Ethiopia who has limited access to electricity. "I cant even imagine a day without electricity," said Herbst.

How the device works

Herbst's energy probe is made of recycled materials and costs just $12.

It consists of a 3D-printed propeller, connected by a pulley inside a plastic PVC pipe to a hydroelectric generator, which converts the mechanical movement of ocean currents to usable electricity. She tested her device in the Boca Raton Intracoastal Waterway, where the current coming in from the Altantic Ocean produces a large amount of untapped energy.

Using her device, she was able to power a set of LED lights.

She calculated that if her design were scaled up, she could generate enough electricity to charge three car batteries at once in less than an hour. That's enough energy to power saltwater desalinization pumps to provide a source of fresh water for developing countries. It could also power blood centrifuges for medical use, or coastal beacons for ship navigation.

The competitors

Herbst was one of nine finalists.

Over the past three months, each of them was paired with a 3M scientist as part of a summer mentoring program to take their inventions from design to prototype.

Herbst worked with 3M corporate scientist Jeffrey Emslander, whose research has helped the company reduce its emissions and produce its products using less energy. Here they are accepting the award:

The competition's second place prize went to Raghav Ganesh, an eighth grader from San Jose, California, for an invention that monitors physiological and environmental factors that can trigger meltdowns in people with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Third place went to Amulya Garimella, a seventh grader from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, who created a system that monitors EEG brainwaves and alerts the user when he or she is distracted.

Iris Gupta, a seventh grader from North Potomac, Maryland, won fourth place for her project to stop allergies at their source by inhalation or injection of nanoparticles that block particles that trigger allergies.

As for Herbst, she plans to donate some of her winnings to her Ethiopian pen pal, and a new building at her school. The rest will go into her college fund, she said.

She also plans to keep working with her 3M mentor to improve her ocean energy device, and eventually deploy it in developing countries.

Giant tidal turbine 'performing well' in tests off Orkney

"Recalibration of Free Choice"–  Mar 3, 2012 (Kryon Channelling by Lee Caroll) - (Subjects: (Old) SoulsMidpoint on 21-12-2012, Shift of Human Consciousness, Black & White vs. Color, 1 - Spirituality (Religions) shifting, Loose a Pope “soon”, 2 - Humans will change react to drama, 3 - Civilizations/Population on Earth,  4 - Alternate energy sources (Geothermal, Tidal (Paddle wheels), Wind), 5 – Financials Institutes/concepts will change (Integrity – Ethical) , 6 - News/Media/TV to change, 7 – Big Pharmaceutical company will collapse “soon”, (Keep people sick), (Integrity – Ethical)  8 – Wars will be over on Earth, Global Unity, … etc.) (Text version)

“…  4 - Energy (again)

The natural resources of the planet are finite and will not support the continuation of what you've been doing. We've been saying this for a decade. Watch for increased science and increased funding for alternate ways of creating electricity (finally). Watch for the very companies who have the most to lose being the ones who fund it. It is the beginning of a full realization that a change of thinking is at hand. You can take things from Gaia that are energy, instead of physical resources. We speak yet again about geothermal, about tidal, about wind. Again, we plead with you not to over-engineer this. For one of the things that Human Beings do in a technological age is to over-engineer simple things. Look at nuclear - the most over-engineered and expensive steam engine in existence!

Your current ideas of capturing energy from tidal and wave motion don't have to be technical marvels. Think paddle wheel on a pier with waves, which will create energy in both directions [waves coming and going] tied to a generator that can power dozens of neighborhoods, not full cities. Think simple and decentralize the idea of utilities. The same goes for wind and geothermal. Think of utilities for groups of homes in a cluster. You won't have a grid failure if there is no grid. This is the way of the future, and you'll be more inclined to have it sooner than later if you do this, and it won't cost as much….”

"A Summary" – Apr 2, 2011 (Kryon channeled by Lee Carroll) (Subjects: Religion, Shift of Human Consciousness, 2012, Intelligent/Benevolent Design, EU, South America, 5 Currencies, Water Cycle (Heat up, Mini Ice Ace, Oceans, Fish, Earthquakes ..), Middle East, Internet, Israel, Dictators, Palestine, US, Japan (Quake/Tsunami Disasters , People, Society ...), Nuclear Power Revealed, Hydro Power, Geothermal Power, Moon, Financial Institutes (Recession, Realign integrity values ..) , China, North Korea, Global Unity,..... etc.) - (Text version)

“... Japan

Let us talk for a moment about Japan, and then I'll close the day of messages. There are thousands of souls on my side of the veil and they're just fine, more than fine. We have spoken so often of what happens at the Wind of Birth. I told you, before they even came in, they saw the potential. I looked in their eyes. "You may not last long. You know that, don't you? You're coming into this planet and you may not be here very long. And the passing that you will have with your family will not be pleasant, if any ever are. Why would you come in anyway?" I want to tell you what they said. When a soul has the mind of God, it understands fully what generates peace and what generates energy shift. You can clearly see what generates what the planet needs the most when you are about to arrive. So they said, "We're going to be part of one of the biggest compassion events the planet has ever seen." One earthquake, one tsunami. All of those who left that day will change the earth forever. And it already has. It was the same for the last tsunami as well.

Every single one of them on my side of the veil is getting ready to come back. Many old souls were involved, and just for a moment, if they could give you any information, if they could talk to you right now, if they could speak your language and look into your eyes, they would thank you for your compassion for them and those who are left. And they would say, "Be with those family members who are still alive. Enter their hearts every day and give them peace and keep them from crying, because we're OK."

Nuclear Power Revealed

So let me tell you what else they did. They just showed you what's wrong with nuclear power. "Safe to the maximum," they said. "Our devices are strong and cannot fail." But they did. They are no match for Gaia.

It seems that for more than 20 years, every single time we sit in the chair and speak of electric power, we tell you that hundreds of thousands of tons of push/pull energy on a regular schedule is available to you. It is moon-driven, forever. It can make all of the electricity for all of the cities on your planet, no matter how much you use. There's no environmental impact at all. Use the power of the tides, the oceans, the waves in clever ways. Use them in a bigger way than any designer has ever put together yet, to power your cities. The largest cities on your planet are on the coasts, and that's where the power source is. Hydro is the answer. It's not dangerous. You've ignored it because it seems harder to engineer and it's not in a controlled environment. Yet, you've chosen to build one of the most complex and dangerous steam engines on Earth - nuclear power.

We also have indicated that all you have to do is dig down deep enough and the planet will give you heat. It's right below the surface, not too far away all the time. You'll have a Gaia steam engine that way, too. There's no danger at all and you don't have to dig that far. All you have to do is heat fluid, and there are some fluids that boil far faster than water. So we say it again and again. Maybe this will show you what's wrong with what you've been doing, and this will turn the attitudes of your science to create something so beautiful and so powerful for your grandchildren. Why do you think you were given the moon? Now you know.

This benevolent Universe gave you an astral body that allows the waters in your ocean to push and pull and push on the most regular schedule of anything you know of. Yet there you sit enjoying just looking at it instead of using it. It could be enormous, free energy forever, ready to be converted when you design the methods of capturing it. It's time.

So in closing, do you understand what you're seeing? You're seeing intelligent design, quantum energy and high consciousness. You are seeing changes in Human nature. You're seeing countries putting things together instead of separating. You are seeing those who don't want war and instead want peace, good schools for their children, safety in their streets and a say in their government. We told you it was going to happen this way. I want my partner to teach these things that I have said in his 3D lectures for awhile. Many won't be able to know these things otherwise.  …”

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Laptop makers are making it harder to swap batteries: Consumentenbond

DutchNews, November 6, 2015

More laptop makers are making it difficult or impossible for users to replace the battery themselves, the Dutch consumers association Consumentenbond said on Friday. 

Five years ago, it was consumers were able to change batteries in 77% of laptops but this has now shrunk to 42%, the association says in a new report. 

In total, researchers checked out 600 different laptops to find out how easy it is to swap batteries. Apple came bottom of the bunch, scoring just three out of 10. Top was Lenovo with a score of 9.6, followed by Toshiba on 8.6. 

The association says a new battery costs between €40 and €80 but replacement by the manufacturer or a repair company costs up to €200.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Adele breaks record with million song downloads

Yahoo – AFP, November 2, 2015

Adele, pictured on February 10, 2015 at the Grammy Awards, releases the
 first track downloaded more than one million times in a week in the
 United States (AFP Photo/Frederic J. Brown)

New York (AFP) - Adele on Monday shattered a record with her long-awaited song "Hello," which became the first track downloaded more than one million times in a week in the United States.

"Hello," a piano ballad that is the debut single from the British pop star's first album in nearly five years, opened at number one for the week through Thursday on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart, which monitors sales, streaming and radio play.

For digital sales only, "Hello" was downloaded 1.1 million times, far outpacing the previous record holder, rapper Flo Rida's New Wave-sampling "Right Round" which sold 636,000 copies in a week in early 2009, tracking service Nielsen Music said.

"Hello" also broke by a wide margin the feat for streaming. The song was played 20.4 million times via on-demand subscription services, more than twice the record set two months ago by Canadian pop singer Justin Bieber for "What Do You Mean?"

Music industry watchers are expecting Adele's upcoming album "25," which comes out on November 20, to be the year's biggest release and say it may even rival Taylor Swift's blockbuster "1989" album from last year.

Adele's last album "21," which featured the heartache song "Someone Like You," was the top-seller in the United States for two years in a row and the biggest album by a comfortable margin in Britain in the 21st century.

Adele is planning to promote the album in the United States with a recorded-for-television concert at New York's Radio City Music Hall and an appearance on "Saturday Night Live."

"Hello" has amassed nearly 200 million views on YouTube, becoming the fastest video to hit the 100 million mark with the exception of "Gentlemen" by South Korean pop singer Psy, his follow-up to the most-viewed-ever YouTube clip "Gangnam Style."

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Saudi blogger wins Sakharov rights prize, sparking pardon calls

Yahoo – AFP, Arnaud Bouvier with Bryan McManus in Brussels, October 29, 2015

An Amnesty International activist holds a picture of Saudi blogger Raif Badawi 
during a protest against his flogging punishment on January 29, 2015 in front of 
Saudi Arabia's embassy to Germany in Berlin. The 30-year-old Saudi has been
 sentenced to 1,000 lashes for insulting Islam and is serving a 10-year jail term - 
case which has drawn widespread international criticism. (AFP Photo/Tobias Schwarz)

Strasbourg (France) (AFP) - Saudi blogger Raif Badawi, who was sentenced to 1,000 lashes and 10 years in prison for insulting Islam, was awarded the European Parliament's prestigious Sakharov human rights prize on Thursday.

The 31-year-old, who was arrested in 2012, is an outspoken advocate of free speech whose public flogging in January triggered international outrage when he was subjected to a first round of 50 lashes.

European Parliament head Martin Schulz
 called on Saudi King Salman to 
immediately release blogger Raif
Badawi (AFP Photo/Thierry Charlier)
Announcing the award, parliament chief Martin Schulz called on Saudi King Salman to immediately release Badawi, denouncing his sentence as "brutal torture" and demanding that Riyadh live up to Europe's standards on human rights.

"This man has had... imposed on him one of the most cruel penalities which can only be described as brutal torture," Schulz said. "I call on the Saudi king to immediately free him."

Watchdog Reporters Without Borders (RSF) echoed the call, urging King Salman to pardon the father of three.

Badawi, who co-founded the Saudi Liberal Network Internet discussion group, was detained in 2012 on cyber crime charges.

Like most Saudis, Badawi is a Sunni Muslim but his network had announced a "day of liberalism" and called for an end to the influence of religion on public life in the kingdom.

He was arrested and the website shut down on grounds it criticised Saudi Arabia's notorious religious police.

He was initially charged in 2013, and last year a Saudi court sentenced him to 1,000 lashes and 10 years in jail.

Saudi blogger Raif Badawi, 
photographed in 2012
(AFP Photo)
His wife Ensaf Haidar, who fled to Canada with his children, hailed the award as "a message of hope and courage" which came just two days after she warned that her husband's flogging was expected to resume.

"I hope that this prize is going to help advance" Badawi's cause and allow him to rejoin his family, Haidar told AFP.

She said she had not spoken to him in six days and was not sure if he even knew that he had won the prize. "When I last spoke with him his morale was low, so I hope this news gives him hope," she said.

'A message to his torturers'

The award was also hailed by the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) which said he had played a major role in promoting freedom of expression and attempting to foster public debate in Saudi Arabia.

"Raif has spoken up for all Saudis who simply dream of enjoying the same rights as other human beings. He has paid dearly for his commitment and this Sakharov Prize sends a clear and strong message to his torturers," said FIDH president Karim Lahiji.

Born on January 13, 1984, Badawi studied economics then went on to run an English-language and computer learning institute, says Haidar, who married him in 2001.

He eventually found his calling as a writer, focusing on free speech.

The network that he co-founded was described by Paris-based RSF as "an online discussion network whose aim is to encourage political, religious and social debates in Saudi Arabia".

Supporters of Saudi blogger Raif Badawi protest in Paris against his sentence of 
1,000 lashes for "insulting Islam", on May 7, 2015 (AFP Photo/Stephane de Sakutin)

In a blog posting last year which was translated into English, Badawi wrote: "It requires courage to respect others' views, to appreciate others' beliefs and choices along with their right to believe them."

RSF named Badawi as one of three winners of its press freedom prize last year.

Sentence upheld

After his arrest, a court in the Red Sea city of Jeddah sentenced him in 2013 to seven years in jail and 600 lashes for insulting Islam and setting up the liberal network.

An appeals court overturned the original verdict, sending Badawi's case back for retrial with his sentence increased last year to 10 years and 1,000 lashes. The sentence was upheld by a Saudi court in June.

Citing an informed source, Badawi's wife on Tuesday said Saudi authorities had "given the green light to the resumption of Raif Badawi's flogging", saying it would take place "soon" at the prison where he is being held. The information was posted on a website dedicated to her husband's plight.

Ensaf Haidar, wife of jailed Saudi blogger Raif Badawi, in Berlin on May 21,
 2015 prior to the Amnesty International's Ambassador of Conscience Awards 
2015 ceremony (AFP Photo/John Macdougall)

Britain on Wednesday announced that a Briton facing the threat of flogging in Saudi Arabia for being caught with home-made wine is to be released from custody.

The prestigious Sakharov human rights prize is given every year to honour individuals who combat intolerance, fanaticism and oppression.

Last year, it was awarded to Congolese doctor Denis Mukwege for helping victims of gang rapes by soldiers.

Past winners include Pakistani education campaigner Malala Yousafzai, late South African president Nelson Mandela and Myanmar democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi.

Related Articles:

Protesters call for the release of Raif Badawi outside the Saudi embassy
in The Hague, Netherlands. Photograph: Jaap Arriens/NurPhoto/Rex

Friday, October 30, 2015

Bringing the Internet within reach of 100 million Indonesians from 20 kms above Earth

Google Blog, Thursday, October 29, 2015  

In Indonesia today, only about 1 out of every 3 people are connected to the Internet. And even though most of their connections are painfully slow, they’re doing some pretty incredible things. Startups like motorcycle delivery service Go-Jek are building impressive adaptations to Indonesia’s unique challenges, while small businesses like fashionable hijab shop HiJup are using the web to redefine marketplaces.

Still, a majority of Indonesians don’t have access to the educational, cultural, and economic opportunities of the Internet. That’s why we’re pleased to announce that Indonesia’s top three mobile network operators—Indosat, Telkomsel, and XL Axiata—have agreed to begin testing Project Loon balloon-powered Internet over Indonesia in 2016. These tests represent an important step toward bringing all of Indonesia online.

From left to right: Ririek Adriansyah, CEO of Telkomsel; Dian Siswarini, CEO of
XL Axiata; Alexander Rusli, CEO of Indosat; Mike Cassidy, VP of Project Loon;
Sergey Brin, President, Alphabet Inc

Loon balloons act like floating mobile phone towers; flying on the stratospheric winds at altitudes twice as high as commercial planes, each balloon beams an Internet connection down to the ground, and as one drifts out of range, another moves in to take its place. Loon can help telecommunications companies extend their networks; high in the sky, we can help overcome the difficulties of spreading equipment across an archipelago of 17,000 islands of jungles and mountains, providing connectivity to even the most remote islands.

Project Loon balloons travel approximately 20 km above the Earth’s surface in
 the stratosphere. Winds in the stratosphere are stratified, and each layer of wind 
varies in speed and direction. By moving with the wind, the balloons can be 
arranged to form one large communications network
Over the next few years, we’re hoping Loon can partner with local providers to put high-speed LTE Internet connections within reach of more than 100 million currently unconnected people—that’s enough speed to read websites, watch videos, or make purchases. From Sabang all the way to Merauke, many of these people live in areas without any existing Internet infrastructure, so we hope balloon-powered Internet could someday help give them access to the information and opportunity of the web.

But it’s not the only step Google is taking toward making the Internet both accessible and useful for people in Indonesia. Android One phones are helping to make high-quality smartphones more accessible in a country where most people first access the Internet on a mobile device. And along with that, we’re working to ease the use of data with features sure as Search Lite, which streamlines search so pages load more quickly, or by optimizing web pages so that they require less data to load. Indonesia is also one of the first countries where YouTube users can take videos offline to watch later during periods of low or no Internet connectivity.

We’re also doing what we can to ensure that language isn’t a barrier to the opportunities of the web. Google Translate was introduced for Bahasa in 2008, and more recently we’ve expanded it to Sundanese, a language that’s spoken by nearly 40 million people living on the island of Java.

Soon we hope many more millions of people in Indonesia will be able to use the full Internet to bring their culture and businesses online and explore the world even without leaving home. And for those of you who’ve never been to this country of rich culture and natural beauty, we invite you to head over to Google Street View to explore the famous temples at Borobudur and Prambanan.

Posted by Mike Cassidy, Vice President, Project Loon

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Net neutrality in the air after EU Parliament votes in favor of TSM

The European Parliament has voted in favor of a telecommunications bill that drops roaming charges across the EU. However, the bill also threatens net neutrality in the 28-nation bloc.

Deutsche Welle, 27 Oct 2015

The European Parliament Tuesday voted in favor of the Telecommunications Single Market (TSM) bill after amendments proposed by several Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) were rejected.

"Today's vote puts an end to the legislative vote on the TSM. The parliament has shown leadership throughout the…process," said MEP Pilar del Castillo Vera after the EU Parliament passed the bill.

"There can be no doubt that the Internet is a valuable asset. It is full of opportunities for all. We need to handle this asset very carefully. This regulation establishes the guarantees required to ensure the Internet gives equal access to all without discrimination," Castillo Vera noted.

The TSM effectively ensures that telecommunications companies cannot charge mobile users while roaming within the 28-nation union.

Net neutrality in danger?

However, the bill also made telecommunications regulators and courts the final arbiters of net neutrality, leaving the Internet's future under their mandate.

"We are disappointed that the European Parliament has decided not to legislate on this critical issue," Estelle Masse, policy analyst at digital rights organization Access Now, said in a statement.

"By not supporting the necessary amendments to give clarity to the text, the Parliament has left it up to courts and national regulators to determine its meaning," Masse noted.

The bill's language remains vague with regards to the establishment of so-called "fast lanes" and zero-rating schemes.


World Wide Web inventor Tim Berners-Lee said earlier this week that if the text remained unchanged, it could "threaten innovation" within the 28-nation bloc.

However, critics of the bill in its current form remain committed to ensuring net neutrality, or the concept of an open Internet that is treated equally, and "without discrimination, restriction or interference regardless of its sender, recipient, type or content."

"We are determined to work closely with regulatory authorities in order to bring the necessary clarity to the text during the nine-month consultation period," Massed said.

"The fight for net neutrality is not over. The EU telecoms regulators are now tasked to finish the work started by the EU legislators to ensure that free expression online is protected."

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Friendly robot Pepper makes European debut in France

Yahoo – AFP, 21 Oct 2015

'Pepper' the humanoid robot communicates with the audience during a demonstration
 at WSJDLive technology conference in Laguna Beach, California, on October 20, 
2015 (AFP Photo/Frederic J. Brown)

Laguna Beach (United States) (AFP) - A humanoid robot name Pepper designed as an upbeat companion made its European debut on Tuesday helping shoppers with wine, and more, in a major shop in France.

The test run involves seven robots stationed in different parts of a Claye-Souilly region Carrefour store, where they are programmed to do things such as suggest food recipes or wine choices, or assess customer satisfaction, Magali Cubier of Aldebaran Robotics told AFP.

"The main focus is to entertain people and to test how they react to seeing a robot in a shop," Cubier said, standing opposite a pair of Pepper robots giving hugs and high-fives to attendees at a WSJDLive technology conference on the Southern California coast.

French Prime Minister Manuel Valls (L) meets Softbank's humanoid robot 'Pepper', 
at the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation in Tokyo, on 
October 5, 2015 (AFP Photo/Toshifumi Kitamura)

"It is the first time we are getting Pepper out of Japan, so we will see the reaction of users in France."

Aldebaran has sold 4,000 Pepper robots since they launched in Japan in June. The Paris-based company is about 98 percent owned by SoftBank Group in Japan.

Aldebaran sells one batch of 1,000 Pepper robots monthly, with an up-front price of $1,500 euros and then monthly subscription payments of about $200 euros for three years, according to Cubier.

Pepper was billed as a "new species" of robot capable of recognizing basic emotions such as happiness and sadness by looking at people's faces.

"Faces mean a lot to me; even more when they are smiling," a Pepper model said while describing its facial recognition capabilities during a demonstration.

"It is pretty clever because it keeps me from trying to interact with non-human things,. For example, those couches never talk back."

Japanese telecom giant Softbank's humanoid robot Pepper gestures alongside 
Tottori Prefecture Governor Shinji Hirai as they promote watermelon produce at a 
shop in Tokyo, in July 2015 (AFP Photo/Yoshikazu Tsuno)

Aldebaran in September began gathering research that showed people tended either use the robots as day-to-day home companions or took creative approaches of building in their own software applications for small business purposes.

Pepper was at WSJDLive as part of a quest for partners in the hope of expanding to the US market, according to Cubier.

"We see robots being more and more present in our daily life to help us; assist us; entertain us, live with us," she said.

Pepper's effort to spread to France and beyond comes with the challenge of adapting robots to different ways emotions are expressed in the world's diverse array of cultures and places.

For example, Pepper will shake hands with shoppers in France -- but not greet them with robotic pecks on cheeks, something Cubier promised to look into.

Residents follow Zora’s instructions during a physical therapy class.
(Regy van den Brand)

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