How Project Loon is Providing Internet Access to the World’s Most Rural Communities

At Moocow we make sure we’re always ahead of the game when it comes to the latest tech and web trends. We’re always on the look out for great stories, updates and info relating to the world of tech. Recently in the news, we stumbled across a great little project named Loon.


Originating as a research project from X (previously Google X) in 2011, Loon LLC helps provide internet access to rural and remote parts of countries across the globe. The project works by placing high-altitude balloons in to the stratosphere at altitudes of roughly 18km to provide an aerial wireless network that citizens can access in some of the most cut-off areas in the world. As of July 2018, Loon has since changed hands and is now owned as a separate company by Alphabet Inc. The project was named “Loon” originally after Google stated the concept of the project was near to impossible, referring to it as “loony” but it’s had a remarkable impact on many communities so far.



Each Loon balloon is constructed from polyethylene and when launched, can produce internet coverage to areas across 2,000 square miles. The balloons are capable of staying active for many months before needing assistance or alterations and they’re a perfect option for areas with hazardous terrain that disallows the construction of tower networks. In a recent interview with WIRED Loon CEO Alastair Westgarth discussed the quality of the internet access communities would receive, stating You would have no concept that it was a different signal, you’re just getting a standard LTE 4G signal, from the balloon.”




With sites already in Puerto Rico, Brazil, Sri Lanka and New Zealand, Loon’s next stop is Kenya. The company are set to work alongside Telkom as part of a commercial project to provide internet access to areas of central Kenya as of 2019. This new venture hopes to help connect citizens of the country living far out from the city center where internet coverage is vastly limited. The potential for this project is huge, and we’ll hopefully be seeing a lot more Loon programs cropping up all over the globe in the near future, with hundreds of communities being able to gain access to the web.


(Images:Courtesy of LoonLLC/EEESpectrum)

Take a Closer Look at Your SEO and Avoid These Optimisation Misconceptions

At Moocow, we pride ourselves on having the most up to date knowledge on the latest web news, tips and trends. With technology and techniques developing daily, Moocow are continuously working hard to help find new ways to develop your business.

Myths in SEO are often formed when people are not up to date with their SEO knowledge, or when businesses create SEO ‘tips’ that are a con to get you to pay out big money for techniques that don’t really matter all that much.

Since the turn of 2018, we have seen rapid changes to the way SEO works across many web design platforms. Below we’ve cleared up a few fibs you might have been told previously in regards to your website’s SEO.


Keywords do not matter as much as they used to – TRUE

There is a great deal of focus put on keywords, however they may not be as important as many think. They are useful too have but do not necessarily need to be your primary focus. It’s a case of still having them but not making them the full focus. It’s still important to use keywords in meta descriptions tag lines and titles on your web pages, however there are a ton of other important ways that can get you discovered quicker.


You can reach the number one spot for a certain keyword – FALSE, you can’t anymore

It is no longer possible to reach the number one spot for a certain keyword due to the way Google has recently changed the way their rankings work. Unless you’re a big corporation like Apple or Coca-Cola where your search results would automatically lead you to a top spot, you can no longer predict what will be at number one for a particular keyword search. You could type in ‘mobile’ into Google search one day and it come up with a bunch of info on mobile first, but the next day it could just as likely come up with a page on baby toys.


Link building is dead – FALSE, it’s more alive than ever

It’s a common misconception that link building is “dead” however this just isn’t so, and has been largely discussed by companies such as Moz and Forbes. If anything, it’s link farms that are dead. According to Moz, using anchor text and links to “topic-specific”sites will still help to attract traffic to your site. The more attention your site receives, the easier it will be for Google to rank it higher in search engine results. Working alongside other companies through social sharing can benefit your company awareness greatly also.


SEO companies can guarantee to get you #1 ranking – FALSE, no one can

Despite what many companies would like to brag, no one can guarantee this. And this is the sort of con to watch out for when looking for a company to help with your SEO. A reliable SEO company will be able to work with you to make your site consistently popular on Google and improve its rankings. This will not necessarily mean being able to achieve that number one spot. When it comes to getting help with your SEO, look for honesty over false prophecies. You don’t want to be left out of pocket and without the results you wanted to achieve in the first place.


Different pages should have different keywords – FALSE

This really isn’t necessary, as although the importance of keywords are still relevant, it’s still only a minor part of what helps rank your website. It makes sense to have your primary keyword featured across your whole site, as that’s what Google picks up and makes searches relevant to your business. You don’t need to bother creating a ton of background pages each with different keywords, as it’s likely to make your rankings more confusing.



Google Hints on Gmail Update and Improvements

At Moocow, we pride ourselves on having the most up to date knowledge on the hottest tech trends and web news. With technology and techniques developing daily, we’ll make sure you’re getting the latest info on what’s happening in the world of web.

Google has recently revealed that it will be making new updates and changes to its Gmail service. Although an official date has not been set for the release, sources have hinted that an unveiling may happen during Google’s yearly developers conference, which will be hosted this year on May 8th. The company has previously revealed upcoming developments at similar events.

Remaining fairly ambiguous with their announcement, Google are yet to clearly define exactly what changes and improvements we can expect to see. However, in a recent report from Android Authority, they have indicated towards ‘draft phase’ changes that we might be able to expect, including a feature for “snoozing” emails, “smart reply” options and other additional features that can already be found in the Gmail mobile app. The makeover seems to include a shift in making the browser version match up with its little brother app.

Although seemingly in its early stages, a launch of Gmail’s new updates are no doubt clearly in sight, and we can hopefully look forward to some handy web browser improvements headed our way in the near future.



Fancy Being a Dog For a Day? Google Japan Will Show You How

At Moocow we make sure we’re always ahead of the game when it comes to the latest tech and web design trends. And this week we just loved finding out about Google Japan’s cute new edition to Google Street View.

Launching just over a decade ago, Google’s Street View has become a well known feature of both Google Maps and Google Earth. After its arrival in the USA in 2007, it soon spread worldwide, presenting panoramic views of streets, cities and rural landscapes from countries worldwide.

We’ve all become engrossed in the world of Google Earth at one point or another, whether it’s getting a glimpse of what it’s like to roam the paths of countries we’re yet to visit, or even just seeing what other homes and towns are like in nearby areas when planning to move (you can now even tour Disneyland from the comfort of your sofa) So it’s fair to say a reasonable amount of fun can be had with the feature.

However, in recent news, Google Japan have managed to trump all of its attributes to date – by adding a version from the viewpoint of a dog. That’s right – an adorable trio of Akita pups named Asuko, Ako and Pu. Now traditionally, Google’s Street View has been filmed using specialist cameras designed in house with images captured by car, however now it’s time for our favourite four-legged friends to take the lead.

Google’s tech team have developed a device suitable for the pups whilst out exploring, a small camera that comes attached to a soft harness the dogs can wear. A video released earlier on Google Japan’s YouTube Channel shows a guided tour led by the dogs themselves starting off in Odate City, the place of origin for the Akita dog breed.

Mapping out the city with a few of the dog’s favourite hotspots, the video takes you on a first hand doggy guide to Odate, including a stop off point to the Akita dog museum and a view of the city’s famous statue of Hachiko. You can take a look at the footage from Google Japan here!


Web News: Google Chrome 61 Launched

At Moocow, we pride ourselves on having the most up to date knowledge on the latest web news. With technology and techniques developing daily, Moocow are continuously working hard to help find new ways to market your business.

News of the release of Google Chrome 61 came earlier this week, with the new update for browsers being made available over the next few days to weeks. It will be available to any device on supported platforms including macOS, Windows and Linux. The update comes with some fairly important security enhancements so making the move over will no doubt have some significant benefits. Other than this, details on any features have been kept fairly quiet. This is most likely due to the update focusing on bug fixes, security changes and behind the scenes modifications that won’t be majorly visible to day to day users.

A list has been posted showing several of the most important alteration:

  • Add initial set of new default user images.
  • Autoplay policy for HTML5 video: chrome://flags/#autoplay-policy
  • Data Saver site breakdown doesn’t add up to totals on version update. Also, don’t show negative savings.
  • DevTools: Add ‘Save profile’ toolbar button to performance panel.
  • Disable first run for managed profiles.
  • [Extensions] Don’t allow content scripts on the New Tab Page.
  • Enable automatically detected CUPS printers in the print preview dialog.
  • Enable asm.js -> WebAssembly by default.
  • Keep scanned host devices in the cache for longer (from 5 minutes to 2 hours).
  • Move extension unzip/unpack to background thread to prevent the blocking of the main utility thread.
  • On dual-GPU macs, blacklist MSAA for both GPUs if either is Intel.
  • Switch pause/mute buttons’ locations in RTL languages

Tech News: Google’s Getting a New Homepage for the First Time in 20 Years

At Moocow, we pride ourselves on having the most up to date knowledge on the hottest tech trends and web news. With technology and techniques developing daily, we’ll make sure you’re getting the latest info on what’s happening in the world of web.

Google’s famous search engine was launched in 1997, and since that day its iconic homepage has yet to change – minus a few animation tweaks to the logo when a celebratory holiday pops up. Despite boldly clinging to its design for 20 years, Google has finally announced that it will be giving its home page a brand new makeover, with the launch of a personalised news feed added to the browser version of the original Google search bar. 20 years is a long time to wait to make such a change, which makes this pretty big news for the company. So why now? You might be asking. The change comes after a massive surge in the amount of AI being used to predict search queries which is fast becoming a replacement for traditional search engines, a trend that is expected to continue to rise considerably in the future. According to recent statistics released, 99.9% of Google’s revenue is from the use of “search and video advertising”, and with search engines becoming a dying format, Google needs to up its game to stay ahead of its competitors. Google’s plan is to develop a news feed style homepage similar to how Facebook and other sites operate, with predictions of searches, latest news and what’s trending. So if you’re a Google user, be sure to keep your eyes peeled for some significant upcoming changes.