Google does things

When browsing through ICT4D news today I several times came across Google investments or projects so I thought I’ll present some of those in short. Hat tip to PSDBlog for pointing.

Google partners with HSBC Bank and the Liberty Global cable company in this project, trying to provide internet access for Internet Service Providers (ISPs) on the whole world with a network of satellites.

From their homepage:

At O3b Networks, our mission is to make the Internet accessible and affordable to everyone on the planet. We will enrich lives and ensure equal and fair access to information through ubiquitous, high-speed connectivity to the world’s content and applications. … The Internet has become the world’s information exchange and everyone should have the opportunity to be participating. [homepage]

Lovely claim and great idea – but there’s also criticism as the founder and CEO already had some bad experiences with trying to bring internet to Africa.

Link to a NY Times about the project article here.

  • Putting news paper archives online

From the NY Times again:

Google has begun scanning microfilm from some newspapers’ historic archives to make them searchable online, first through Google News and eventually on the papers’ own Web sites, the company said Monday. [snippet from here]

This means that maybe soon the archives of newspapers are searchable on the web for free. This is great in the context of ICT4D, as in lesser developed countries often there exist few facilities to search for information – and free information in the internet is accessible at least for some people. Just referring to the discussion about Open Access.

As widely covered, Google launched their own web browser these days. Now I found an interesting blog post on Herald Tribune, claiming that Chrome is particuarly applicable for internet access in lesser developed countries, due to its focus on the web as the platform.

Think about computer users in the developing world. Many use Internet cafes rather than having computers in their homes, and those cafes typically don’t have the latest machines. Their models run with slower processors and clogged connections on smaller screens. For them, a slimmed-down browser could be a godsend: fewer images to load, less drive space used and the convenience of those Web-based applications. [from here]

As I didn’t read so much about Chrome yet, I wasn’t aware of that, but in generally I support the idea.

Every device which gives the user the possibility to store, process or provide data on another platform than the own slow and unreliable one, is lowering the barrier to access this data.

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Google does things
was published on 12.09.2008 by Florian Sturm. It files under global
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