4:29 PM

Google Uranus is
just a little too creepy

We're all simply nuts over Google Earth, that wonderful free application that allows users of the Internets to traverse the planet and snoop into people's back yards using often dated satellite imagery. There is an almost endless number of things we can do with Google Earth, which comes to you from the biggest, baddest operation in cyberspace, AKA the Monster of Mountain View.

Now you'd think that the minds at Google would be satisfied with data mining this planet for searchable goods...but you'd be wrong. A story found recently on space.com seems to indicate that they have their laser-guided, infrared sights aimed a bit farther out in the universe:

Google has joined the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) Project, which intends to complete the world's largest survey telescope by 2013. The proposed telescope – built atop Cerro Pachón in Chile – will be a ground-based 8.4 meter, 10-square-degree field instrument capable of providing digital imaging across the entire sky. In an endless series of ten-second exposures, the LSST will cover the available sky every three nights over a period of ten years.
Google wants to “organize massive quantities of data and then share it in the most useful possible form.” And they may be the only corporation with the digital muscle to do it, because every night that the LSST operates, it will store over thirty terabytes (30,000 gigabytes) of data. The format for the LSST images will be a circular mosaic providing more than 3 gigapixels per image, approximately 1,000 times the resolution of a typical digital camera photo.

Google is undeniably the planet leader in search technology, and their Google Labs are constantly working on a long list of innovations designed to pummel what's left of their competition into a milky white paste. Now, with the capability to scan the entire freakin' universe for information, is it that far of a leap to grasp the notion that maybe they are trying to get a jump on nailing down market share ahead of the commercial space travel boom that is now only a few years away?
Because we all know that those high rolling space tourists will require infinite amounts of streaming data to power their Crackberries, or whatever hand-held electronic gizmo we'll all be using in 2020.
It is inevitable that our grandchildren will live in a far different world than we do, and have access to space in a way we can now only imagine. When those days come and my grandchildren are sitting there on my knee waiting for a story from “back in the day”, I will gladly offer up some line of crap about how people once used “cell” phones that did not have interplanetary capabilities, or explain how before there was the universe wide web, users could only search for information on one planet.

How boring would THAT be, the kids would snark, laughing wildly at this horseshit, knowing that Dado (my assumed grandpa name) is really just a grizzly but loveable old fuzzball who never learned to download ringtones.

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