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Google's Internet-equipped magic bus lights across India

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When you spend all of your workday bloggin' it's easy to lose sight of the fact that some folks don't have access to basic utilities, or HDTV, or -- the horror! -- the Internet itself. In the time-honored tradition of Hippies and earnest seekers alike, Google has headed to rural India, where it will be focusing its philanthropic endeavors (or perhaps its shrewd marketing endeavors) for the next month and a half. The company's Internet bus will roll through towns in the state of Tamil Nadu, providing connectivity via satellite, and content and instruction in both English and Tamil to people whose only previous exposure to the online world (if any) has been via cell phone or cyber cafe. This is all part of a broader scheme to expand into the Indian countryside, and if the trip is a success more are sure to follow. The company's services already include transliteration, news, bidirectional machine translation, and soft keyboards for a number of Indian languages, and a host of kick-ass Ravi Shankar tunes now available on Google Video.

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