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Gaurav Singh

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Google's Project Loon: Internet-beaming balloons to connect remote parts of the world

Wrinkled and skinny at first, the translucent, jellyfish-shaped balloons that Google released this week from a frozen field in the heart of New Zealand's South Island hardened into shiny pumpkins as they rose into the blue winter skies above Lake Tekapo, passing the first big test of a lofty goal to get the entire planet online.

It was the culmination of 18 months' work on what Google calls Project Loon, in recognition of how whacky the idea may sound. Developed in the secretive X lab that came up with a driverless car and web-surfing eyeglasses, the flimsy helium-filled inflatables beam the Internet down to earth as they sail past on the wind.

Still in their experimental stage, the balloons were the first of thousands that Google's leaders eventually hope to launch 20 kilometers (12 miles) into the stratosphere in order to bridge the gaping digital divide between the world's 4.8 billion unwired people and their 2.2 billion plugged-in counterparts.

If successful, the technology might allow countries to leapfrog the expense of laying fiber cable, dramatically increasing Internet usage in places such as Africa and Southeast Asia.

"It's a huge moonshot. A really big goal to go after," said project leader Mike Cassidy. "The power of the Internet is probably one of the most transformative technologies of our time."

The first person to get Google Balloon Internet access this week was Charles Nimmo, a farmer and entrepreneur in the small town of Leeston. He found the experience a little bemusing after he was one of 50 locals who signed up to be a tester for a project that was so secret, no one would explain to them what was happening. Technicians came to the volunteers' homes and attached to the outside walls bright red receivers the size of basketballs and resembling giant Google map pins.

Nimmo got the Internet for about 15 minutes before the balloon transmitting it sailed on past. His first stop on the Web was to check out the weather because he wanted to find out if it was an optimal time for "crutching" his sheep, a term he explained to the technicians refers to removing the wool around sheep's rear ends.

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Time Warner Cable Inc. has completed a deal to acquire Insight Communications, a cable operator with customers in Central Ohio.
The New York-based company will add 760,000 customers in Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana and add 2,800 employees to its payroll through the acquisition. Time Warner Cable (NYSE:TWC) originally announced the $3 billion deal in August.
Insight customers in the region will not see immediate changes to their service, but the company does plan to eventually change them over to Time Warner Cable products, said Judy Barbao, a Time Warner spokeswoman. For now, products, pricing and customer service processes will not change.
“They are Time Warner customers, but it will not be apparent that there is a change,” she said.

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Senate to vote on proposed Internet sales tax law

The U.S. Senate is expected to vote on a long-debated Internet sales tax law Monday, paving the way for millions of consumers to start paying sales tax on online purchases.

The legislation would allow the 45 states (and the District of Columbia) that currently charge sales taxes to require large online retailers to collect tax on purchases made by their residents. The law would only apply to online sellers that have sales of at least $1 million in states where they don't have physical operations, like a store or a warehouse.

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How to Create a Free WiFi Hotspot

Many business owners love to provide free WiFi internet service to their customers at their premises. But most of them don’t know how to create Free WiFi Hotspot. Let’s learn how to setup Free WiFi Hotspot.
Creating WiFi Hotspot is not a rocket science at all; however it requires you to be careful while setting up hardware and software involve in this process. We will walk you through step by step on how you can create your own WiFi Hotspot at your home or create Free WiFi Hotspot at your shop, cafe, coffee shop, bookstore, restaurant or hotel.

What is require to setup Free WiFi Hotspot

Internet connection (Cable or DSL)
Wireless Router
Broadband Cable Modem (Depend on type of Router, some Routers doesn’t require modem)
Ethernet Cable
Wireless enabled laptop (to Test)

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