Project Loon Taking the Next Step

It appears that Google has decided to see if Loon can become a real thing.

Alphabet spins drone and internet balloon projects into independent companies

Alphabet’s Loon and Wing are now more than just ‘projects’

Spinning projects out of Google-X into their own divisions holds no guarantee that they will succeed, but it is encouraging to see Google placing more behind its internet connectivity projects.  You might have seen the news about the ability for these systems to adapt and provide emergency coverage in the wake of the Puerto Rico devastation.

Project Loon delivers internet to 100,000 people in Puerto Rico

FWIW – Drone delivery (Wing)is an interesting spin out too.  I would have thought that this use case would have needed more time in the incubator.   But, perhaps that’s the strategy, prove the technology and then spin them out as projects quickly to see if they find their use cases.




Reducing Noise in Digital Images

NVidia has announced impressive progress in using AI to remove noise from “grainy” images without access to a clean version of the image to learn from.

By noise – they tend to refer to the grainy result of a low light digital photo, a side benefit being that they can also easily remove textual noise.  Currently, the result is “softer” than the original clean image, but I’m curious whether it will end up causing issues with watermarking or other copy protection schemes.  At what point will “good enough” be sufficient for a derivative use when we deal in low resolution imagery on the web all the time?

Many of us in collections rely on the use of watermarks to make openly sharing our collections more palatable to our donors.  Already, we have to warn them that there is no low barrier way to really prevent unattributed image reuse… This is simply going to make that conversation even more difficult.