New record breaking parachute jump achieved.

Two years after Felix Baumgartner’s record breaking jump back to Earth from 128,100 feet, a new record has been set this week with a jump from 135,890 feet.

The attempt has been prepared in secret by a Google engineer, who declined help from his employer worried that it would just become a marketing event.

Mr. Eustace was carried aloft without the aid of the sophisticated capsule used by Mr. Baumgartner or millions of dollars in sponsorship money. Instead, Mr. Eustace planned his jump in the utmost secrecy, working for almost three years with a small group of technologists skilled in spacesuit design, life-support systems, and parachute and balloon technology.

He carried modest GoPro cameras aloft, connected to his ground-control center by an off-the-shelf radio.

Although Mr. Baumgartner was widely known for death-defying feats, Mr. Eustace describes himself as an engineer first with a deep commitment to teamwork. He pilots his own Cessna twin-engine jet and has a reputation in Silicon Valley for thrill-seeking.

'Google grown big and bad': Assange reveals company and its founder's links to US govt

Oct. 24 2014

One of the world’s largest internet companies, Google ‘should be a serious concern’ internationally, WikiLeaks co-founder and Editor-in-chief Julian Assange says, revealing its connections and donations to the White House.

"Google is steadily becoming the Internet for many people. Its influence on the choices and behavior of the totality of individual human beings translates to real power to influence the course of history," Assange writes in his article, an extract from which is published in Newsweek.

Based on Assange’s personal encounter with Google’s chairman Eric Schmidt, the story of the corporation’s connections with the US government is intertwined with Schmidt’s personality.

Graduating with a degree in engineering from Princeton, Schmidt joined Sun Microsystems, a company that sold computers and software, in 1983, and over the years had become part of its executive leadership.

Sun had significant contracts with the US government, but it was not until he was in Utah as CEO of Novell that records show Schmidt strategically engaging Washington’s overt political class,” Assange writes.

Referring to federal campaign finance records, Assange says "two lots of $1,000" to a Utah senator in 1999 was the future Google CEO’s first donation, with "over a dozen other politicians and PACs, including Al Gore, George W. Bush, Dianne Feinstein, and Hillary Clinton…on the Schmidt’s payroll" in the following years.

Ahead of his interview with Google executive chairman in 2011, Assange was "too eager to see a politically unambitious Silicon Valley engineer, a relic of the good old days of computer science graduate culture on the West Coast," but says Schmidt "who pays regular visits to the White House" is not the type.

When visiting Assange, who was living under house arrest in England at the time, to quiz him “on the organizational and technological underpinnings of WikiLeaks," Eric Schmidt was accompanied by Jared Cohen, the Director of Google Ideas, who also works for the Council on Foreign Relations, a think tank specializing in US foreign policy.

While describing Schmidt’s politics as “surprisingly conventional, even banal," Assange says the man behind Google "was at his best when he was speaking (perhaps without realizing it) as an engineer."

Talking about Cohen, the WikiLeaks co-founder names him "Google’s director of regime change."

According to Assange’s research, "he was trying to plant his fingerprints on some of the major historical events in the contemporary Middle East," including his interference with US politics in Afghanistan and Lebanon.

"Nobody wants to acknowledge that Google has grown big and bad. But it has,” Assange says, providing not only data on its direct connections with the White House, but also remembering the PRISM program scandal, when the company was “caught red-handed making petabytes of personal data available to the US intelligence community.”

Google is “luring people into its services trap,” and “if the future of the Internet is to be Google, that should be of serious concern to people all over the world,” Assange concludes.

Many CIOs think that supporting personal technology is about … delivering the worst thing you can without raising any significant objections … If that is your approach to technology support, you had better offer as few choices as possible, because you are going to have the least qualified people you can accept.

Now, what we do here at Google is really different… The people we hire to do support are more like systems administrators in another company. The first responder closes the ticket over 90% of the time in my organization.

All kinds of things happen as a result. People are happier. Your organization can change technologies more easily… In the end, we discovered that it is far less expensive to have people who are experts than it is to dumb it down.

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