Photo of worker adjusting a wireless access point.

Worker adjusting the wireless access point outside my window.

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Friday, January 29, 2010
Some notes on using Posterous
  1. Good thing: pasted picture and text from a web site in Gmail rich text editor and the picture appeared in Gmail and at the Posterous blog when I sent the email! (I think you have to enable the "embed picture" thingie in Gmail labs to do this.)
  2. Bad thing: PST timestamp. If you're CST, all your posts are stamped 2 hours earlier. If you change one and then forget to change the next one, then they get out of order. Please, please fix this Posterous People!
  3. Bad thing: Editing at Posterous and saving often results in Posterous telling you it can't find the page. Use the back button to go back to the edited post and try again. If it still doesn't work, copy the changes, go to the Manage area and try editing again and saving. It usually works the second time around. This is a really frustrating problem.
  4. Tip: Send items in as private by sending to Then you can edit and view before going public. I usually do this when I use the Share on Posterous bookmarklet.
  5. Tip: If you send to it doesn't auto-post anything.
  6. Confusing: If you are a contributor on someone else's Posterous blog and you use the "post" address for email, it will auto-post to your Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, YouTube, etc. accounts and not the ones that belong to the site where you contribute. So use the tip from #5.

Posted via email from Peter's posterous


Thursday, January 21, 2010
Dia & Noche (kitties) update. They still like each other enough to stuff themselves in the kitty bed.

Thursday, January 14, 2010
Brooklyn Park getting WiMax?

Clearwire has a proposal in to provide a WiMax wireless network for Brooklyn Park. This will be the first WiMax network that I know of in this area. No investment by the Brooklyn Park; customers would pay for the service. Ostensibly they want to provide connectivity to people on lower incomes but prices they are mentioning do not seem very "low income" to me. (Maybe there is a tier they are not mentioning.)

US Internet president Joe Caldwell says that Clearwire's arrival "doesn't bother me a bit." That's interesting given that early on in the Minneapolis Wi-Fi deployment, US Internet was hopeful that other cities surrounding Minneapolis would want to contract with US Internet for wireless services. There was even talk of customers having the ability to use Wi-Fi across city borders if US Internet was the provider.

I would tend to be worried if I was US Internet. I don't think anything is stopping a company like Clearwire from providing services in Minneapolis if they could hang the transmitters. They could target areas of high usage like downtown and not be under any contract to cover the City. That could be a potent threat to US Internet's business model. (This is all conjecture on my part, of course. There could be something legal prohibiting another wireless provider.)

Read the story at

Posted via web from Peter's posterous

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Seward Market opens - story at Minnesota Public Radio NewsQ

Story at MPR on Maket's reopening one week after the homicides.

Posted via web from Seward Profile


Friday, January 08, 2010
The Recent State of the PF Hyper Blog
Since July 12 this year, I've been using Posterous as the front end for this blog. I think every post since then started out as a Posterous submission. Posterous is an amazing blogging tool where you can do almost anything via email including auto-posting to Twitter, Facebook, Flickr (photos), YouTube (video), Scribd (documents), and also other blogs like this one, Tumblr, or WordPress sites. Mileage varies and I've had to come here and do some additional formatting but for quick-and-easy, there is nothing else that equals it. (Sorry Tumblr, but I understand you don't process video as slickly as Posterous.)

In terms of categorizing my blogs, this one is my "business/serious" blog and Posterous is my more personal space. Everything here (since July) is also at Posterous and some things (like cat pictures) are at Posterous but not here (usually). Tumblr is also in the mix and gets many of the posts just because I like to keep a presence with the cool kids there.

Things changed a bit recently. My neighborhood in Minneapolis (Seward) lost it's newspaper and news web site this year due to financial constraints. So I started a hyperlocal community news blog called Seward Profile for the Seward Neighborhood using Posterous. I have a longer range master plan to create a system that any community can plug in and start blogging. To fund it all, I've put in a proposal at the Knight News Challenge (and I've been bumped to the second round).

Now it gets a bit confusing. I added my personal pfhyper gmail address as a contributor to the Seward. It seems when I contribute via my personal gmail, it triggers all the autoposting attached to my account including posting to this blog. I wasn't aware of that until today.

It's generated some strange postings. I posted a photo piece last night but it needed editing at Posterous. The problem is the Posterous editing doesn't change the post here at the PF Hyper blog so some of the photos are missing captions or have the wrong captions. In another instance, I think I deleted a post and reposted it but it didn't get deleted at this blog so it appears twice. I'm taking care of the issues now and I've figured out how not to trigger all my auto-posting when I contribute to the Seward blog.

Thursday, January 07, 2010
Tragedy in Seward: My Story
This is a reposting of my article at the Seward Profile News blog, a news site for the Seward Neighborhood in Minneapolis.

This isn't a personal blog, of course, but today I'm going to take the liberty of writing my story from last night as it relates to the tragedy. Partly it's community "news" I think and partly it is helping me in processing the event.

Last night I headed to Seward Co-op about 7:45. Mary was having friends over and I planned to park on Seward Co-op's public Wi-Fi and have some deli hot bar dinner. I was all bundled up, Sorrel boots bike messenger bag strapped to my back, and a long scarf.

We follow the alleys to the Co-op. I live on 24th Ave. E just south of Franklin. The alley behind our house "T's" as you approach Franklin Avenue and you must go left or right travelling parallel to Franklin. I went right (west). A few steps and I was behind the Seward Market. I heard a loud "bang." It sounded like wood breaking but I thought it could be a gunshot. As I got to the street and looked toward Franklin, I saw someone exiting the Market. It didn't feel right and I avoided the person thinking if that was a gunshot this was the shooter. I circled Bethany Lutheran Church and went through the parking lot to Franklin and walked back to Market. Two men were approaching me. They had heard the shots too. They reached the market before I did, crossed 25th and told me there were bodies in the doorway and store. I called 911 immediately to report a shooting and we walked to the Market entry. 911 dispatch started to ask if there was a robbery and I said "No! There are bodies here. Three bodies. We need an ambulance. " Police and ambulance arrived shortly. (I'm not sure why I thought I only heard one shot.)

I really appreciate the kind words from so many of you checking to see if I'm OK and I will try to get back to you all personally. I am. Of course, I am still processing what happened and my nearness to the tragedy itself. I am so saddened by this event but still feel that I live in a safe urban area. This is a fluke and "not indicative of our community and will not detract from our vibrant, diverse and welcoming neighborhood" (from the open letter now circulating).

My heart goes out to the families of the victims.

Please join your neighors in a candlelight flashlight vigil at the Seward Market (2431 East Franklin) this evening at 7:45. Bethany Lutheran (right across the street) will open it's doors for warmth and Seward Co-op will provide hot drinks and snacks.

Posted via email from Seward Profile

Tuesday, January 05, 2010
Minneapolis Unwired: The network is just about as complete as it's going to be
Minneapolis is officially unwired says the Star Tribune:

The $20 million Minneapolis wireless Internet network has been completed after 2 1/2 difficult years of technical and political delays. The city's next step: getting the police and fire departments using it this year.
The City's basic requirement was for coverage of 95% of it's 59.5 miles and performance meets the City's expectations, according to Minneapolis Chief Information Officer Lynn Willenbring. There are 16,500 private subscribers, according to Joe Caldwell, marketing vice president of US Internet, which owns and operates the network. The company hopes for 30,000 individual customers.

Getting City departments to use the wireless network is another story. So far Sprint cellular services trump US Internet Wi-Fi services with the City using less than half of the $1.25 million a year worth of services it's paying for. Luckily  unused money can roll over to future years of the 10-year contract. (What happens if there is still unused money after ten years?)

Esme Vos wrote about the network today at MuniWireless, stressing the need to upgrade to 802.11n units sooner rather than later if it's not been done already. (I don't think it has.)

US Internet has improved customer service in the last year and now sends out (and charges for) a technician on each install. General satisfaction of users on the system seems to be growing. I'm seeing far fewer complaints via my Google Alerts than in previous years.

Posted via email from Peter's posterous

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Saturday, January 02, 2010
Resurrecting online news in Seward Neighborhood (Minneapolis, MN) or "the hyperlocal beat"
Seward Neighborhood on the east side of Minneapolis and bordering the Mississippi River, has had a community newspaper, the Seward Profile then The Bridge (and more recently the Bridgeland online news site), for a long, long time. (The Profile may have been the first community newspaper in Minneapolis. I'm still trying to verify that.) In 2009, due to finances, the newspaper ceased publication and the online site stopped updating. Seward was left with no distributed news source.

The Seward Neighborhood Group (SNG) sends out an email biweekly newsletter which covers SNG meetings and a few community events. The Seward Neighbors Forum is another news source with a total subscription base of about 300 (Seward population is 7,000.) (I co-manage the Forum.) Even with these, there is a news hole.

The SNG plans on publishing and delivering a quarterly news sheet of some kind in 2010. This will help but I think we still need to find a way to "report" more on what's going on in the neighborhood and even dig out the small events which could benefit from wider exposure. Of course, I think the Internet is probably the best way to do this so on December 18, I launched the Seward Profile News Blog.

It's my hope that we can use the news blog as a source for print stories in the quarterly news sheet. But beyond that, I think we are at a tipping point in providing current and relevant news online and keeping it very, very local (or hyperlocal which is a somewhat new term for this sort of thing).

Of course to do this, you still need some kind of editing structure and you need some reporters or journalists out there sending in stories. My plan is to enlist folks in the community (anyone interested really) to provide the news. To start, I'll serve as editor, but long-term, I'd like to see a community person take on that role and somehow find funding for a stipend (maybe $200 a month?).

The qualifications of the "citizen journalists" I'm looking for are very basic, especially on the technology side. First, you can write engagingly and you are interested in the neighborhood. As for "professional journalism" qualifications, you can learn them as necessary. The main ones are don't write fiction and source all your statements or clearly mark them as opinion.

As for the technology side, a new (free) blogging tool is emerging called Posterous and if you know how to email, you can post to the news blog. (If you don't know how to email, I'll teach you.) Posterous is an amazing new type of blog called a "microblog" which is set up to allow very quick posting. If you want to add photos, simply attach them and Posterous will display them with your piece. Same with video. This ease of publishing should see Posterous being used more and more for small group and community blogging. No other service currently offers the ease of use of Posterous.

I have applied to the Knight News Challenge for funding of this project. I want to create a kind of turnkey system for communities to use to establish an online news blog. I'll also be seeking other funding as soon as I find a fiscal agent. (Knight News Challenge doesn't limit proposals to only nonprofits so I could apply for that one as myself.)

I once had a dream of becoming an editor and publisher for a small newspaper. The web and blogging has somewhat allowed me to fulfill that dream. This step takes me a bit closer.

Posted via email from Peter's posterous

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