Worker adjusting the wireless access point outside my window.
Featured Tag: Wireless
Sunday, August 19, 2007
Minneapolis Unwired: A look inside the emergency response post-35W collapse
James Farstad, President of rClient in Minneapolis and the city's consultant on its broadband-wireless implementation reports on the night of the bridge collapse an how the Minneapolis Wi-Fi network helped with communication.
Minneapolis Bridge Collapse Provides Early Test of Wi-Fi Network
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
Minneapolis Unwired: Five things we gotta do for success
It would be in the best interest of us all in Minneapolis to take Gigi Tagliapietra's five qualities for success of muni wi-fi to heart. They show an understanding for just how important the Internet is becoming in all of our lives.
Minneapolis Unwired: Having City as an anchor tenant is the way to go
BusinessWeek sees problems with muni-wi-fi deployments with companies requiring cities to become the anchor tenant with guaranteed revenues. That sounds very familiar. Maybe it should be called the Minneapolis Option.
BusinessWeek: Why Wi-Fi Networks Are Floundering
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
Minneapolis Unwired: Muni Wi-Fi Meeting Tomorrow Night
City Wi-Fi Community meeting for Southwest Neighborhoods tomorrow night at Lyndale Farmstead Park, 3900 Bryant Ave. S., 5:30 p.m. to 7.
Whether you live in Southwest or not, you can attend for more information on what's happening with the wireless system.
For more information on this and future meetings, check the City site.
Thursday, August 09, 2007
Music censor of the day: AT&T
Update: David Isenberg talks about AT&T and censorship.
AT&T says that it was simply a mistake that their content monitor cut a bit from Pearl Jam's performance of "Daughter" during the Lollapalooza webcast last Sunday. The fact that the lines discussed George Bush had nothing to do with it:
George Bush, leave this world alone.In the world of Bush criticism, this is tame. No obscenities, for example. But AT&T, (in a fit of patriotism?) decided it was too much for the audience. And not even their audience. They are protecting all citizens that might want to listen to the webcast whether AT&T customers or not.
George Bush find yourself another home.
Read Pearl Jam's take on it.
Saturday, August 04, 2007
Will WiMax trump Wi-Fi?
Public Wi-Fi: Past its Prime? - Yahoo! News
The Wi-Fi vs. WiMax debate.
See the discussion at Techmeme too.
Who's going to win in the municipal arena? WiMax has lots of hype but few deployments. There's no easy way to get a laptop on a WiMax network (see the Yahoo article above.) I get nervous hearing all these wonderful things that WiMax will bring us some day. In the meantime, Wi-Fi is deployed and I don't think you can buy a laptop today that doesn't have a Wi-Fi card. I'm still betting on Wi-Fi over the long term in the municipal arena.
Here's a bonus link, Wikipedia has a list of WiMax deployments. (Actually most are "planned" deployments.) Thanks, CG.
Minneapolis Unwired: Tell us how to digitally include everybody
With little fanfare, the Minneapolis Digital Inclusion Fund Advisory Committee has released it's RFP with responses due by September 14. (Background info on the fund is here and the application form is here.)
I sit on the committee. It is a donor-advised fund of the Minneapolis Foundation. There is about $200,000 available in this round and grant awards will run from $5,000 to $30,000. US Internet will be paying another $300,000 after the City signs off on the network plus a percent of their revenues in upcoming years. Barring unforeseen circumstances, there will be another round coming in 2008.
Here is a list of a few examples of "eligible activities" for funding that the committee put together:
- Supporting technical literacy programs and initiatives
- Developing economic opportunities through digital access
- Using digital access for civic engagement and supporting accessible government
- Using digital access to aid in community and neighborhood collaboration efforts
- Distributing assistive technology to people with disabilities and the elderly to ensure equal access to digital content
- Distributing hardware to low-income households
- Providing relevant and engaging content in multiple languages
- Finding new and innovative methods to spur digital inclusion
- Implementing web-based English language training
- Closing the educational achievement gap between white students and students of color
Many current projects within nonprofits that may not seem digital could actually benefit from a shot of Internet and could easily become an inclusion activity. Look closely at what you're doing. Talk to some Internet geeks. (Most of us love talking about this stuff, especially if you buy the beer or coffee.)
How about a single mom project? Devise a program to provide at-home telecommuting jobs to young single moms. Provide hardware, training and the job itself. Find a corporation to work with and get some matching funds for the digital inclusion money.
How about a community economic development project where you set up an ecommerce server to sell over the Net? Free entry to the server for any qualifying business and then they pay a small percentage of sales. Again, make sure you train everyone in how to use those computers! This would have the potential of funding itself as more businesses became involved.
English as a second language... I have heard that classes are full and there is a waiting list. So use the Internet for some distance learning on demand. Team up with grad students at the U for a research project to provide curriculum and metrics. And budget training funds!
Those are just a few ideas and they are pulled out of my brain. I'm on a committee so you would have to convince us all (or at least most of us) to get anything funded. But the Internet space really lends itself to brainstorming like this because the potential is almost limitless.
I would love to see you add ideas in the comments. Maybe some of my sisters and brothers on the committee will also drop by and and add to the conversation.
Minneapolis Unwired: New Wi-Fi helps in aftermath of bridge disaster
ComputerWorld has a nice article about how the City of Minneapolis was able to utilize the new wireless network in the aftermath of the bridge collapse.
US Internet Wireless also opened the network for free service after the disaster. With the cell network maxed out for voice calls, some people were able to use voice over the Wi-FI system.
Wednesday, August 01, 2007
There's a spectrum auction around the bend and maybe we'll get lucky
The FCC will be auctioning off old TV spectrum in 2008 and they are hard at work today creating a set of rules for the auction. Past spectrum auctions are dominated by really big companies with lots of money (and lobbyists) and this auction will be no different except there's a new kid on the block named Google. And Google thinks the FCC should require openness:
- Open applications: consumers should be able to download and utilize any software applications, content, or services they desire;
- Open devices: consumers should be able to utilize a handheld communications device with whatever wireless network they prefer;
- Open services: third parties (resellers) should be able to acquire wireless services from a 700 MHz licensee on a wholesale basis, based on reasonably nondiscriminatory commercial terms; and
- Open networks: third parties (like internet service providers) should be able to interconnect at a technically feasible point in a 700 MHz licensee's wireless network.
Yesterday the FCC voted to require 1 and 2. Sad not to have 3 which would have really opened up the spectrum but any openness is welcome. Of course, enforcement of the openness will be another issue.
Washington Post has a good article about the whole situation, Susan Crawford reports on the decision, and Paul Kapustka at GigaOm has a good summary of what happened yesterday.
Given that AT&T is happy about the decision (see the Kapustka link), it may be (as Susan Crawford feels) unenforceable.