Anonymous portable library that constantly receives free data from space


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I’m suspicious of this simply because satellite data is relatively expensive and keeping it going forever based on your $100 initial investment just doesn’t make sense. The only way this works is if it takes off in a huge way. That said, 2MB a day is a hilariously small amount of data. That’s on the order of 200 bits per second. That is realistic for a device that has at best a 12" whip antenna however. I assume they are on the C Band since Ku hardware would make it hard to hit their $100 price point.

A strange comment they make is that you can plug it into a dish for a 200MB/day dump. That suggests that they run two streams, a high speed one for people with dishes and a low speed one for people without. Or maybe they do some TDMA? That could help explain the outrageously low datarate on the low bandwidth station.

I’m also amused that the coverage map is currently North America and Western Europe, the people who need this the least.

Overall this is cute, but I have serious concerns about the long term viability of the satellite broadcasts and the utility of such a tiny amount of data per day covering a extremely diverse set of people (basically everybody on Earth). How do you choose what data to send every day? It sounds like they aren’t sure either and that’s why you can suggest topics, but it’s never going to be an easy question to answer.

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A link to the ‘Outernet’ site, for anyone that was as curious as I was about what the Outernet was.

It looks interesting. Apparently you can download Outernet archives and check out the data that it contains.

From the Outernet website:

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So basically daily “deals” and ads at 200 bits per second. What a world we live in!

You’re all too cynical. The project doesn’t even have a working prototype, which is proof they’re working really, really, really hard on it. Also, the ratio of executives to engineers on the project is like 2 to 1, which proves they’re gearing up for big sales. And also, just think of the huge market for it - how many people do you know who have a computer but no internet who also want to download advertisement-clogged content at 200bps? Tons.


Yes, that set of people probably does amount to several metric tons /snark

Oh shut up! Didn’t you hear the word, “everybody?” And the part about, “forever?” It’s people like you who make Ferdinand Magellan stay home and start a mutual fund.


So is this like a for-profit version of the Pirate Box with 3G?

Oh $h1t!!! and this is before the low speed rollout that should work with a DVB-T USB dongle!(this is how to build a cheap Ku dish, USB DVB-S, and rasberry pi based librarian gadget DIY, they do not have the low bandwidth signal service running yet)

Can we build an outernet receiver using a RTL-SDR dump using a cut antenna and a cheap($8) RTL2832 based PAL DVB-T USB gadget.
Can you RX from a window seat on an airliner once the low bandwidth signal is available?

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