Archive for August, 2013


Posted by on Saturday, 3 August, 2013
Balloons for Google



I mentioned (last post) that Google defies gravity. Its latest gravity defying stunt, Project Loon, is cool, cool, cool.


I said.. what was it? – flip,  flip,  flip – here it is –  I said Google would disappoint you just like all the others. Nobody pumps out miracles forever. Google will crush your hopes. Again and again. Because Google is uninhibited when it is in creative mode. It doesn’t give a fig what you think. Nor does it care if it gets egg goo on its face either. It’s looking into the far future, something that twitchy investors don’t like much. And over that dark horizon there are some real wonders. One of them: Google’s Project Loon.

(That’s an n on the end. Project Loo was discontinued.  Image problems. This is Loon as in balloon. Okay?)

Where was I?

Google’s boundless ambitions to connect to every mud hut on the planet had hit a wall. There’s no Internet service in MudHutVille and not much hope of it any time soon. No fiber,  no copper,  no satellites,  no money to buy same.  No Google,  no Android,  no Adwords,  no Chromebooks.

What to do?


With enough balloons and a lot of google-ish ingenuity, thought Google,  maybe the Internet could reach all over the world without rockets and satellites .

Less, anyway

A  simple villager freaks out

How would this work?

That’s the elegant part. Google was looking for a way to get up there without all the muss and fuss of booster engines, without the ear splitting noise,  and without dumping the CO2 equivalent of 43 Detroits into the atmosphere. Google’s “Loons” are delicate, light, whispy things; they drift quietly through the air and are steered by rising or descending into prevailing air currents which do the pushing. Of course, balloons don’t get nearly as high as satellites. But with enough of them in the right locations, they can form a big network and do the job, can’t they?

Maybe. But this is an iffy proposition. Balloons can fail,  prevailing winds sometimes don’t blow right,  electronics packages go flooey. Lots can go wrong.  This atmospheric dance of the balloons would have to be able to compensate for all kinds of screw ups with extras of everything which can be deployed just as needed.  Still with Google’s great  experience running its many Internet “properties”, wouldn’t it be a  logical choice to pull this off?

The project is in a very early stage right now. Google will take its time  and try to make sure that whatever system it creates will work as well as its other fine efforts. There’s no guarantee that the project will ultimately succeed though MISTER ScienceAintSoBad thinks it has a great chance of doing so.

If  you live in a mud hut,  sweep the floor and figure out where to put your sit down log. You’ll be surfing before you know it.


– – – – – – – – – –

 Image creds:  The first image is from a video Google posted online. The second one – the line drawing – that’s by me (copyright 2013, D Chidakel)


Posted by on Thursday, 1 August, 2013





People have been asking some companies an annoying question lately.  What’s your next great idea?

Thanks for nothing.

It’s a ridiculous question right? A product that has a big impact on people in almost every corner of the world is by definition pretty unusual. Yes,  the IPhone comes to mind. The Mac,  IPod,  IPhone,  and IPad? All from one company? that’s plain abnormal.

When is Apple announcing its next blockbuster?

There’s something wrong with the question. After you part the Red Sea there’s no “For my next act” . It is true that some have gone on to do the impossible twice. Even three times. But EXPECTING the impossible? EXPECTING  it to be routine? That only happens in worlds created by Pixar.

Pixar and great ideas


Google and Apple have defied gravity. In fact Google still acts like falling down wouldn’t hurt. But as smartphones mature and Steve Jobs remains dead,  Apple shareholders want proof that Apple’s still ballsy enough to be cool.

Guess what? Apple’s is ballsy. But you may be waiting a long time for the next IPhone.  MISTER ScienceAintSoBad doesn’t think a funky watch or a “great” TV experience is like getting the waters of the Red Sea to part. And neither do the executives at the top companies who are under pressure to do something “amazing”. They have lots up their sleeves but not much of it is more than an incremental change to an existing technology.  At the moment,  Google,  with its Google fiber,  its self driving car, its fantastical  maps,  and its just announced  Chromecast dongle probably comes as close as any to a company that can keep a thousand  flowers blooming  but even Google,  which has certainly found some secret sauce (BigLikeGiant/FastLikeRabbit sauce?) has to disappoint you soon.

This isn’t about money or talent.

It’s about gravity.

– – – – – – – – –
Image credits: The top one? That was drawn by me. The lower one I kind of appropriated that from Pixar which, in theory, isn’t supposed to mind because it helps publicize its work. Here’s hoping.