Alphabet Inc

Technology • Internet & Web
Alphabet shuts down Loon, its internet balloon company
Alphabet shuts down Loon, its internet balloon company
Credit: Alphabet / X moonshot division

Alphabet has announced it will shut down its internet balloon company Loon as "the road to commercial viability has proven much longer and riskier than hoped," according to a post on the blog of Alphabet’s X moonshot division.

"Sadly, despite the team’s groundbreaking technical achievements over the last 9 years — doing many things previously thought impossible, like precisely navigating balloons in the stratosphere, creating a mesh network in the sky, or developing balloons that can withstand the harsh conditions of the stratosphere for more than a year — the road to commercial viability has proven much longer and riskier than hoped. So we’ve made the difficult decision to close down Loon. In the coming months, we’ll begin winding down operations and it will no longer be an Other Bet within Alphabet."

Business
Google workers form union amid ongoing tensions with senior executives
Google workers form union amid ongoing tensions with senior executives
Credit: Alphabet Workers Union

Over 200 employees of Google and its parent firm Alphabet have formed Alphabet Workers Union amid increasing disagreements with the company’s senior executives, including the handling of sexual misconduct by former executives, Google's partnership with the Pentagon and the controversial departure of AI researcher Timnnit Gebru.

"We hope to create a democratic process for workers to wield decision-making power; promote social, economic, and environmental justice; and end the unfair disparities between TVCs (temporary, vendors and contractors) and FTEs (full time employees)," the union's website said.