Photo of worker adjusting a wireless access point.

Worker adjusting the wireless access point outside my window.

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Saturday, March 29, 2008
Minneapolis Unwired: Bunch of articles as the network nears completion
Local media is reporting on the Minneapolis Wireless network. So far the reports are good.

First up is Brandt William's report at MPR which gives a good overview of the Minneapolis network and some background on other deployments around the country—most of which are not faring well. I get interviewed in Williams piece which ran on Wednesday, March 26. (Just noticed that he didn't mention my blog although he called me a tech blogger.)

MPR is in St. Paul and by coincidence the next two local reports originate at the St. Paul Pioneer Press. First
Leslie Brooks Suzukamo talks about the leaves of spring and their effect on Wi-Fi signals. Wireless vendor USIW thinks they've learned enough about the trees to ensure good reception. Lots of details are in this report including information about the BelAir nodes that are the hardware heart of the system.

Also from the Pioneer Press, Julio Ojeda-Zapata crosses the river to test the network armed with a laptop and iTouch. He experienced a couple of problems but overall he thought the network was satisfactory.

The number of USIW subscribers is not clear from the articles. I've seen figures ranging from 5,000 to 10,000 and I think pre-registrations are sometimes mixed in with true subscriber figures. Suzukamo quotes USIW head Joe Caldwell predicting 10,000 subscribers next month. I have another report that originated with Minneapolis wireless consultant Jim Fartad that there are currently 7,500 subscribers.

Challenge areas where there is no service are still a problem. USIW may have to install poles to get the job done there.

According to Farstad, 85% of the customers are using the Ruckus device for connecting. Some customers also need external antennas but the number is less than 50. Overal customer satisfaction is 90%. I would like to know how they are determing that figure as the buzz on the local internet tends to be negative.

Bonus link:

Steve Alexander at the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports on the new Wi-Fi network coming to the University of Minnesota.

After 7 years, U puts 'old' Wi-Fi network out to pasture

Extra! Extra! Boing Boing purloins photo then apologizes
[Post title is purely a commercial ploy to capture your interest and make some money.]

I am very interested in issues of intellectual property and copyright and strongly support Creative Commons. So does Aaron Landry but he has an issue with how Boing Boing reused a Flickr photo of his. He brings up some excellent points.

Aaron Landry » An Example of Creative Commons Not Working

Tuesday, March 18, 2008
Hitchcock embed via Hulu
I'm exploring Hulu tonight a bit. Found old Alfred Hitchcock hours and decided to watch one. I think the date on this was 1964 and I may have watched the original broadcast as a young boy. Listening to Hitch's intro of the episode, I know I didn't catch all the subtleties back then. I'm not sure I even liked the show but it's enjoyable now and I have several of them in my queue. Hulu stocks season 1 and 2.

If you don't have a Hulu account yet, I encourage you to check them out. Playback is pretty good at full-screen on my 15-inch MacBook Pro. They have a cache of old shows (Mary Tyler Moore, Barney Miller, Dick Van Dyke Show, Miami Vice, Rockford Files) some new shows (Bones, The Office, My Name is Earl, Terminator: Sarah Connor Chronicles, House) and movies (Usual Suspects, The Big Lebowski, Planet of the Apes).

It's a social network too. You can leave comments, subscribe to shows, share (send a show to another social site like Facebook or Digg), and embed.

For your screening pleasure this evening I chose the embed option. Here is Mr. Hitchcock introducing this evening's episode. [Just reviewed the post and Hulu sent along their branding and a commercial. Sorry about that but it's very short.]

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Tuesday, March 11, 2008
Minneapolis Unwired: St. Paul tips its hat to MinneMuniWifi
Pioneer Press congratulates Minneapolis on a successful Wi-Fi system. Network was supposed to be done today but according to the story, the recent cold snap set them back. So the new completion date is the end of the month.

Minneapolis looks like Wi-Fi winner

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