Most of us access the internet via a wi-fi link in a building, wether a house or a flat, or using our smartphones. We've gotten used to the access 'on tap' of all our web-based communication needs, at any time of the day. I always notice this when I travel abroad and if there isn't a strong signal in the vicinity, I cannot access emails or my social media accounts. I then have to wait to get back to my hotel, and connect in to the wi-fi network in the building. That can sometimes be more trouble than it should, with hotel reception not always knowing the newer passwords and so on. But all said and done, it's good to have the ability to link up and connect anywhere in the world.
That's something which may well be on Elon Musk's mind, too :-
Elon Musk planning satellite 'constellation' to deliver Internet access
Musk is a man on a mission. Or a series of missions, if you peruse the internet. The man behind Paypal and now Tesla, is always striving onwards to innovate and execute as rapidly as possible. And having a cluster of small sattelites, which he may not be directly involved in the development of, is an interesting way to eradicate the complex looms of wiring and fibre optic we currently have.
It also occured to me that he could break a sort of covert monopolisation of the current phone networks, on whom the ISP'S ( internet service providers) are entirely dependant upon, in order to provide the first physical point of contact in a network. By using a non-invasive, orbiting system of what are essentially high powered 'master routers and switches' which will pipe directly to any device WITHOUT ( hopefully), needing a phone line connection, he has also done away with the need to dig up more roads and other areas, to lay down more cabling. So there's also a potential environmental benefit, to go with it. God willing this will all work out, as I can't wait to have full speed access on tap, without the need for reliance on ( in the UK, as of writing this), additional and costly phone network bolt-on charges if mobile, as that's the only way you can have it fuss-free right now, 24 hours a day, at your convenience.
Being environmentally friendly is something that doesn't always come easy to any of us, whilst on our daily commute. Getting from A to B usually involves some form of polluting transport system, wether it's driving our own cars or on buses and taxis. But this isn't always the case. There's always a choice to be cycling your way around a place. And in the Netherlands, they do this more than anywhere else :-
Not Surprisingly, The Netherlands Is The First Country To Launch A Solar Bike Path
Up to 70% of all journeys in Amsterdam are made by bike. That's amazing. So it's understandable that with this in mind, they've decided to come up with this hybrid concept. A remarkable achievement and whilst it's still at an early test stage, I can see it becoming a de-rigeur scenario quite easily. Yet I'm still trying to get my head around the aforementioned percentage of bike journeys in the capital, quoted in the article. No wonder it's one of the cleanest and most environmentally friendly cities in the world. The populace have clearly embraced the idea of being educated about global concious living, more than anywhere else.
Education and the willingness to learn new things, is something I've always been up for. Even as I've gotten older and seen more things fall by the wayside, I can put my occasional cynicism aside in order to find out more about the concept and idea behind the product(s) or services.
However, not everyone wants to embrace innovation with the same zeal :-
8 Pieces of Advice and Wisdom Regarding the Internet From Ann Landers
The late Mrs Landers clearly had a large bee in her bonnet about the internet. Some of her advice is valid, but the rest is fairly misplaced. Perhaps if she'd have lived long enough to see social media in full flow, she may have changed her opinion of it. Having said that..well, maybe not.
The internet is here to stay. That in itself is unquestionable. But in order for us to keep on using it, and keep our planet and it's resources in check, means we all have to think a little before consuming it all to the levels we have done. Up until now, the knock-on effects haven't been unmanageable . But in the future? That's a different ballgame to quantify.
The Elon Musk concept of sattelites providing 'net access, will potentially do away with a lot of cable and pipework based pollution. But the rest of it is up to us. Bike paths, wether solar panelled or otherwise, are a great start. And electric cars are a workable, win-win scenario, too. Now we just need to figure out how we can consume a little less, yet still feel happier and more importantly, feel like we're still THRIVING.
Looking after ourselves doesn't feel like a chore, as we've become more savvy to the pleasures and pitfalls of various lifestyles due to the amount of information freely available, regards to the benefits and consequences of them. Yet looking out for our planet and its environment, can feel like hard work. That's the side of the equation that needs to be rebalanced.
Just like the wheels on a bicycle, the evolutionary cycles of this planet need to keep on turning freely, so we can too.
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