Company plans to beam free Wi-fi to every person on Earth from space

“One ambitious organisation called the Media Development Investment Fund (MDIF) is planning to turn the age of online computing on its head by giving free web access to every person on Earth,” The Daily Mail reports.

“Known as Outernet, MDIF plans to launch hundreds of satellites into orbit by 2015,” The Daily Mail reports. “And they say the project could provide unrestricted Internet access to countries where their web access is censored, including China and North Korea.”

“Using something known as datacasting technology, which involves sending data over wide radio waves, the New York-based company says they’ll be able to broadcast the Internet around the world,” The Daily Mail reports. “The company’s plan is to launch hundreds of low-cost miniature satellites, known as cubesats, into low Earth orbit. Here, each satellite will receive data from a network of ground stations across the globe. Using a technique known as User Datagram Protocol (UDP) multitasking, which is the sharing of data between users on a network, Outernet will beam information to users. Much like how you receive a signal on your television and flick through channels, Outernet will broadcast the Internet to you and allow you to flick through certain websites.”

Read more in the full article here.

More info: www.outernet.is

MacDailyNews Take: And despots and dictators the world over ramp up R&D for radio jamming techniques to unprecedented levels.

MacDailyNews Note: Today is Washington’s Birthday in the U.S.A., a federal holiday and, as such, the U.S. markets are closed for the day. We will resume our normal posting schedule tomorrow.

Washington’s Farewell Address, September 19, 1796

61 Comments

    1. Along with neutrinos, microwave radiation from TV transmitters, radio masts, various other species of cosmic radiation…
      It’s a wonder people survive at all.

      1. Sorry gentlemen and ladies, but the earth has been being bombarded with varying intensities of EM spectrum, varying from mild to very intense, (and including direct Earth hits of intense gamma radiation), long before we developed human generated EM waves. Arguably, Cosmic radiation often out saturates what we artificially generate ourselves.

    2. We humans are bombed with far more dangerous EM radiation every day.

      What’s most dangerous is close proximity EM radiation in high concentration. Don’t cook in your microwave oven with the door open. Don’t blast a laser at your head. Don’t receive frequent blasts of x-ray radiation at the doctor’s. Don’t live with a radio/TV broadcast antenna in your house. Etc.

      1. How can you cook in a microwave with the door open? We have had 5 microwaves and all of them only run with the door closed. Of course like you, we always wear our tinfoil hats just in case.

        1. Pre-Internet here’s an old story (urban legend for all I know) of a guy who removed the door of his microwave, apparently stuffing a piece of paper in the latch to fool the machine. If I recall correctly, he sold food on the street in New York City to folks passing his van. He needed to heat up a lot of food quickly and found the door to be inconvenient.

          Needless to say, one day he discovered he was having abdominal pain. At the hospital they discovered that his microwave had cooked and killed off much of his internal organ system. Oops.

          1. That’s as credible as the one about the airman whose Hershey bar melted in the pocket of his jumpsuit, and so discovered—microwaves! Urban legends, like chain letters, persist only so long as people repeat them, Derek. And people do love a good story, much more than dry facts.

      2. Derek, the movies showing hundreds of thousands of people baking for 4+ hours in the summer sun in SoCal is not movie hype and there’s far more there than you will ever get from WiFi, in both cosmic rays and UV.

        I worked at Hobie Cat in the 1970s on the Hobie 16 and the foreman was I guy I swore was 85 years old. Wrong. Found out he was a 35 year old surfer who spent every day he could in the surf or on the sand for 3 decades. He didn’t last very long.

  1. The important thing to remember is that this isn’t a WiFi connection the internet in the way that we usually think of it. Instead, think of it as a broadcaster sending you content via WiFi from space. THe fundamental principle would be that a limited amount of content ( news, Wikipedia, educational material )would be made available. There doesn’t appear to be a method for consumers to send date back the same way – hence the term “data casting”.

    1. They could also cast encrypted entertainment content with users gaining access by paying for the encryption key. Hmm, starts to sound like DBSoIP. How would the WiFi channel allocation work?

  2. “MacDailyNews Take: And despots and dictators the world over ramp up R&D for radio jamming techniques to unprecedented levels.”

    Why bother? Chinese government will shoot down any such satellite that flies over the territory of China. That’s it!

    1. According to the international treaties, to which China is signatory, outer space is not considered national airspace. The problem, though, is that the vertical limit of sovereign airspace has yet to be defined by an international treaty, so every country treats their airspace differently. US considers the Karma line the limit (altitude of some 100km), as it is accepted by FAI as the boundary of outer space.

      Not sure what China, North Korea or Cuba use…

      1. That would be the Karman line (after the Hungarian scientist Theodore Von Kármán), although I’m sure they do get to use some good karma by adhering to the Karman line…

    1. Latency isn’t an issue with one-way communication. Referring to it as WiFi is gives the wrong impression because it’s more like broadcasting, that’s why they use the term “Datacasting”. It’s not a normal internet connection, you can only receive pre-determined content.

  3. Nonsense. “Hundreds of satellites by 2015”
    Do they count on some alien civilization to do that?
    They should hire Al Gore to sell this idea . Sorry , he is already discredited with the human global warming hoax .

    1. You *could* launch a *lot* of cubesats on a single booster.

      Realistically, to make the 2015 date, they would have already had to have scheduled those launches a year or three ago, which isn’t likely.

      Knowing the propensity for journalists to get things right, the statement might have actually been “we’re hoping to get the first ones launched late 2015”.

    2. Much has been going on with the space program over the last five years. Cubesats, for example, are small, low powered, and cheap satellites, and hundreds have already been sent into orbit over the last few years. They way cubesats have been supplanting conventional satellites is in many ways similar to how microchips have been supplanting conventional computers.

      On a personal note – Alexander, what do you know about anything? You seem to have that special kind of ignorance that compels you to smear your shit on everything around you.

    3. Oh dear. Alexander the Denier.

      The phrase “human global warning hoax” is the modern equivalent of ‘hee haw’ in my estimation.

      But I certainly agree that The Greenhouse Effect has been messed with by politicians to the point of being barely recognizable. Gore was a lousy spokesman. I prefer actual science to anything remotely political.

  4. I’m sure NASA and other space agencies are just thrilled with the idea of hundreds of cube-sized projectiles hurtling through the lower orbits. Has no one seen Gravity?!?

  5. A) This is one way traffic FROM the Internet. From what I can see, there is no ‘Inter’ at all. That’s not the same as the real “Internet”. I don’t even comprehend how one decides what to access, since there is no feedback.

    B) Since there is no ‘Inter’ here, who gets to choose what you get to see? What is broadcast at you in your area? Isn’t this just lamed down TV?

    C) Here come the missiles to shoot down the satellites. We know full well that loon cases like North Korea will happily shoot down a few if only for the propaganda value to foist on their victim citizens. Rah rah us for blowing stuff up.

    ∑ = Not good enough. ‘Better than nothing’ doesn’t suffice. We’re talking about the INTERnet. This is all about full and complete full choice for every human on the planet. That’s what’s required.

      1. It’s spam broadcasted from space. That’s the basic idea behind this setup. petabytes of nonstop sponsor material relentlessly beamed down on every continent with no way of stopping it other than using a combination of jamming signals and tinfoil helmets.

    1. D) If it is just one way to send a radio broadcast, why not just beam a radio signal?

      E) Cubists are temporary low earth orbit objects, they don’t last long before burning up in orbit. Normally used for research and student projects.

      F) Cubists are tinny, and relatively cheap. Sending a rocket to try and shoot one down (or hundreds of them) doesn’t make sense.

          1. One of my brothers was very into astronomy when we were kids. We’d combine his little home star projector with my tape recorder and make humorous planetarium shows to which we’d subject our parents. One of the shows was about ‘space junk’, which is an increasing problem to track and avoid. The movie ‘Gravity’ from last year brilliantly illustrated a worst case scenario. Sometimes I imagine us creating giant Hoovers in space to suck up all the junk we have flying around up there.

  6. Lol! At least Ginger and Mary Ann are with you, if you were stranded with only Fatty and the notoriously wooden Professer… well god help you. Who ate the Howell’s BTW?

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