Tech Trends: Special Delivery – Who needs a Gas Station?

It seems the world can’t get enough of Silicon Valley startup apps. From Paypal to Uber to Slack, it seems we as a whole are ready for all of our day to day tasks to be relegated to our smartphones. While we are a solid seven years past “There’s an app for that”, it seems it is truer now than ever. But many of these apps aren’t just making life more convenient for a select few. Companies like Uber are up-ending the entire taxi industry and reshaping economies. As the landscape of day to day life rapidly shifts, lawmakers, established industries, and other entrepreneurs all scramble to keep up. Perhaps no where is this truer than in the emerging “gas on demand” industry.

Over the last year, several startups in California have begun developing apps and fleets to deliver gasoline straight to your car. It’s a little pricier than getting it from a gas station; while the gas prices will be calculated based on the cheapest stations available in your area, all of the apps charge an additional delivery fee, which can sometimes add about 50 cents per gallon. Still, the service has become quite popular throughout California for those who value convenience over saving a few dollars.

Technically, gasoline delivery on this scale is not permitted by many city and county fire codes. These entrepreneurs don’t seem perturbed, though, and see what they are doing as paving the way for new legislation which would allow their businesses, similar to the legal processes happening with regards to Uber. Some of these companies have more stringent safety protocols than others, though, and legislation would help to bring them all up to a standard which is safe for the road.

So, would you pay extra for gas to avoid having to go to the gas station? While the scope of these companies is currently limited to large cities throughout California, and a few others scattered through the country, it will likely not be long before they are within everyone’s reach. Let us know what you think in the comments.

Tech Trends: Project Loon


There’s nothing worse for most people in today’s world than a spotty wi-fi connection. It interrupts your work, your play–even some applications you don’t even realize you rely on can be impacted by a faulty wireless connection. But, many people forget that, as annoying as .1kpbs per second downloads are, there are large swathes of the world with little to no access to the internet at all. These areas tend to be low-income, rural, and forgotten by mainstream society. With information access being redefined as a human right, the gap between those with internet access and those without has served to reinforce power imbalances as old as society, creating an ever-widening gap between the haves and have-nots.

Enter Project Loon.

Google, ever determined to usher us into the future of our collective imaginations, has begun an initiative to bring internet access to the most remote areas of the world. This project could mean that billions of people in regions like India could gain internet access for the first time. It isn’t hard to imagine a future where all of our internet operates on satellite systems as opposed to the underground and undersea wiring system we have used since the ‘net was born.

The “Loon” in Project Loon is short for ‘balloon’, referring to the weather-balloon-like apparatus used to keep the transmitters in the air. They are deployed to 20km over the Earth, in that ambiguous area between space and the atmosphere. Perhaps in the future, this technology will be upgraded to full-on satellites as opposed to the balloon-sattelite-hybrid seen here.

What do you think of this new technology? What will the internet look like when its population suddenly swells by, potentially, billions of new users? How will this change the economic landscape of the net? Let us know what you think in the comments.

Originally posted at