A "no, they wouldn't... yes, they are" moment followed as the screen on the stage switched to a feed from the Google+ "hangout" video chat of not one but four skydivers, and then showed their view as they jumped out over the city.
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Moments later, all landed on the roof of Moscone West, where a cyclist grabbed a package they'd carried, rode down to an edge of the building, and handed it to a climber who rappelled down the side to hand it to yet another biker who sprinted through cheering crowds, into the auditorium, and onto the stage.
A Google rep said the whole idea surfaced in a meeting some six weeks ago. It then required the cooperation of two district offices and the Washington headquarters of the Federal Aviation Administration; the mayor, fire department and police department of San Francisco; and NASA's Ames Research Center in nearby Mountain View.
(Disclosure: I've spoken at a couple of Google events, one paid for by the company.)
Google thinks the demo was the first legal wingsuit skydive in the United States from a rigid-structure airship (that framework distinguishes a zeppelin from a mere blimp). Ian Gregor, a spokesman with the FAA, didn't know if that was the case but said Google complied with the relevant regulations and an authorization specific to the event. He added: "Two FAA safety inspectors observed the jump, and it went off perfectly."