This week’s headline story: Facebook and Google Working Together?
Google has been working for several years on balloons that float in the stratosphere and function as aerial cell towers to provide Internet access in areas with poor infrastructure. Facebook is developing solar-powered drones the size of airliners for the same purpose, although they would link to ground stations, not directly to mobile devices. Now the two companies are collaborating on efforts to drive legislation that will allow their balloons and drones to fly freely across international boundaries to expand Internet access to the four billion people that don’t have it. Documents filed with the U.S. Federal Communications Commission show that both companies are pushing for international law to be modified to make it easier to use aircraft around 20 kilometers above the earth, in the stratosphere, to provide Internet access.
- Facebook’s Internet Drone Team Is Collaborating with Google’s Stratospheric Balloons Project [MIT Tech Review]
Other Headline News…
- Android Creator Andy Rubin Says AI Is the Future of Computing [NewsFactor]
The man credited for bringing us the Android platform, Andy Rubin, believes that AI will form the basis of the next big development in computing. Rubin told tech journalist Walt Mossberg that someday all the data and information going to and from Internet-connected devices, along with quickly evolving deep learning technologies, will create highly intelligent AI networks. “There is a point in time — I have no idea when it is; it won’t be in the next 10 years, or 20 years — where there is some form of AI, for lack of a better term, that will be the next computing platform,” Rubin stated.
and in Tech Industry news…
- Dell could spend $40 billion to merge with EMC and take over VMware [Business Insider]
It’s being touted as potentially the biggest technology-industry corporate takeover ever! Computer manufacturer Dell is in talks to merge with data center and cloud computing giant, EMC. EMC has an estimated value of $52 billion, and Dell, under duress, de-listed itself from the public market back in 2013. It’s rumored that dell is working to raise $40 billion from big banks to finance the deal. This merger would be complex and costly to execute. But the payoff could mean that Dell gets a broader enterprise business, while EMC gets some breathing room after its recent troubles.
- Microsoft’s Windows 10 Device Event: What Was Announced? [NewsFactor]
Microsoft held a big Windows 10 device event this week where it unveiled a new Surface Pro 4 tablet, three new Windows 10 phones in the Lumia line, and most surprisingly the new Surface Book, a high-performance laptop with a detachable screen and a $1,499 starting price that puts it on par with Apple’s comparably sized MacBook Pro.
- Handmade at Amazon Could Needle Etsy [Ecommerce Times]
Amazon is taking on Etsy in the handmade craft business. Yesterday the online retail giant announced a new specialty site to be named Handmade at Amazon. The site will be designed to sell original handcrafted wares to a unique set of customers.