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Google's Internet balloons not just pie in the sky

It's the focus of all of Google's crazy "moonshot" ideas, to quote Sergey Brin, who is the driving force behind the esoteric directions that the firm's R&D seem to take. Self-driving cars, 3-D mapping smartphones, crazy intertube-connected glasses (whodathunkit?) are all concepts that are becoming concrete products. And Project Loon is one of these.

If you haven't heard of it before, Loon, which launched exactly one year ago today, is Google believing that faster internet speeds can be brought to the smartphone-toting, mobile obsessed earthlings via a network of balloons that sit 60,000 feet above the world's surface. That's almost twice as high as the cruising height of a commercial jet, people. High. What Google eventually envisages is a huge fleet of these balloons, controlled via complex algorithms, that can take off and hover above remote parts of the world that are completely unconnected.

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