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Elon Musk Plans To Use Satellites To Create Global Internet Access, Here’s How

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elon muskBillionaire PayPal founder Elon Musk is an ambitious sort. You don’t generally get “billionaire” in front of your name without a fair amount of drive. He has his own electric car company, Tesla; he’s working to develop a Hyperloop system between Los Angeles and San Francisco, announcing a test track in Texas; and his SpaceX is a key player in the race to privatize space travel. In fact, in Seattle recently, he even said, “One day I will visit Mars.”

The man thinks big, and in that spirit, at the same private event in the Pacific Northwest, Musk, in town to launch SpaceX Seattle, laid out an ambitious plan to use 4000 satellites to create a network that will deliver high-speed Internet anywhere across the globe. This is actually something he initially talked about at back in November.

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Want Free Data From Space? Check Out The Lantern

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lanternIt seems like everyone’s jumping on the “internet for everyone” bandwagon these days. But what about people who live in places where the government censors or blocks connections? And what about the data-mining, information-harvesting pitfalls associated with the internet? And what about the costs? The answer may be something called Outernet, a free information service that bills itself as “Humanity’s Public Library,” and its corresponding hardware, the “Lantern.”

The Lantern is currently in the midst of a successful Indiegogo campaign, having surpassed its $200,000 goal with more than two weeks left. The best way to think of the Outernet and Lantern is by likening it to a radio station and radio. Satellites send radio waves to Outernet, which functions like a radio station. Except instead of converting those waves into sound, it converts them into files, which are received, stored, and accessed on the Lantern, which essentially functions like a radio in that it presents the information to consumers. Thus, Lantern becomes a portable library that’s constantly updated with the data sent from satellites and the subsequent broadcast. Instead of simply playing sound, Lantern converts the signals into files of all types—music, videos, ebooks, webpages, etc. Someone with a Lantern can access the stored files via a device with WiFi.

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Elon Musk Wants To Provide Everyone With The Internet, Here’s How He Plans To Do It

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Elon MuskElon Musk is at it again. How many big ideas and projects can one guy have in a lifetime? Who knows—but it doesn’t appear that he’s going to slow down anytime soon. His latest idea involves satellites that provide internet access to everyone, everywhere.

Sound familiar? That’s because Musk isn’t the first person to get attached to the idea. Google announced its Project Loon program last year, which involves delivering the internet to everyone via balloons that coast on stratospheric winds. They bought Titan Aerospace last spring because of its drones that can hang out in the air for upwards of five years. Those drones, which can provide communications capabilities to remote places, will likely factor into Google’s quest to bring internet (ie, itself) to everyone. Facebook has gotten in on the action too, buying drone-maker Ascenta after Google snatched up Titan. So powerhouse corporations have already revealed their intentions to bring internet everywhere, but in true Musk style, he says he can do it better and cheaper.

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Google Buys Dronemaker Titan Aerospace In Bid To Provide Internet To Everyone

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titan aerospaceIf you go to the Titan Aerospace website, instead of seeing information about the drones it makes, you simply find the announcement that they’re “thrilled to announce that Titan Aerospace is joining Google,” as though that partnership is more important than the work they do. Maybe it is. It’s strange, though not surprising, that whatever was there two days ago is gone, erased, as though their real history starts at the moment Google acquired them.

Google hasn’t said how much it paid for the company, so we can use our imaginations to guess the amount, which undoubtedly is so large that for most of us it doesn’t even seem real. The bigger question, though, is what Google has in store for the drones.

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Europe Wants Its Own Internet

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NSACan you blame them? Given the endless revelations emerging from Edward Snowden’s busting of the NSA and their various and insidious spy tactics, Europe doesn’t want its information to be subject to the prying eyes of U.S. spies. Since not much deters the NSA, it seems that the only way to do that is to construct a new, Euro-specific data network.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel is meeting with French President Francois Hollande today to discuss the possibility. The two will discuss companies and suppliers in Europe that have the ability to keep their citizens’ private information private — or at least, not subject to U.S. surveillance. But building an entirely new communications network for Europe is a pretty daunting task.

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The Return Of Cicada 3301—The Greatest Internet Mystery

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Cicada 3301Attention sleuths, computer geeks, and conspiracy theorists. Here’s your chance to solve a mystery that’s been plaguing hackers and code-breakers for more than two years. Starting on January 5, 2012, an anonymous organization now referred to as Cicada 3301 began posting elaborate puzzles online. The first surfaced on the 4chan message board, and read: “Hello. We are looking for highly intelligent individuals. To find them, we have devised a test. There is a message hidden in this image. Find it, and it will lead you on the road to finding us. We look forward to meeting the few that will make it all the way through. Good luck.”

The initial problem wasn’t too hard to crack—there was an image of a cicada concealed inside the words—but the riddles became increasingly obscure and difficult from there, requiring specific knowledge about things like Medieval Welsh literature and ancient Hebrew codes. Code-breakers had to obtain voicemail messages and find physical clues around the world, including posters, like this one that appeared in Warsaw. After about a month, the organization went quiet—for a year.

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