Jason Lee Miller for WebProNews
Just when you thought Google couldn’t get any more jaw-dropping with its latest explorations, you realize with a sudden and exasperated “omigod” that this is bigger…much bigger than we imagined. Google, NASA, and MIT are going to change the world…again.
It was titillating enough to think of the seemingly inevitable GoogleNet, an ad-supported wireless network that would transform the Internet into a broadcast-style medium like radio or television. The scope of that, in the immediate future anyway, was hedged by US borders (or North American borders perhaps).
Then, Google hires the exalted Father of the Internet, CEO Eric Schmidt gets over his CNet freeze out, decides to move in with NASA, and is a sponsor of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s massively philanthropic ambition to put $100 drop-it-in-the-mud-if-you-want, hand crank powered laptops into the hands of the poorest children of the globe in countries like Brazil, Cambodia, Thailand, China, Egypt, and South Africa.
And you’re all, “huh?” Be careful to avoid anyone that may pat you on the back, your face could freeze that way.
Eric Schmidt says, “Google and NASA share a common desire-to bring a universe of information to people around the world.”
So after sifting through a string of recent mega-announcements, your mind…it gradually gets there…yes…oh…my-God. The whole world. But how?
Loren Baker at Search Engine Journal dutifully points out that in Brazil, Internet access, after an initial $130 sting for a modem, runs at about $50 a month-a considerable expense in a country where the average income is between $220 to $330 per month. At the first once over, you wonder what good it does to hand a kid a laptop if she can’t afford Internet access.
But Baker realizes that Google has to have some master plan in conjunction with this project.
“With rumors of the GoogleNet and Google Wi-fi in the works and their latest partnership with NASA, I highly expect Google to announce some sort of global wi-fi or satellite based Internet connection for the world’s poor to be announced once this One Laptop per Child program becomes a reality, which it hopefully will. Funded, by Google AdWords,” writes Baker.
We knew we were witnessing history. We may not have known to what extent history was being made.