Linux Makes Wi-Fi Happen in New York City
Wi-Fi adds a new and practical feature to civic life. For two decades, most personal computing happened indoors, attached to printers, networks, servers and phone lines. If we used our laptops outdoors, it was usually in the same disconnected way we still use them on airplanes. With public Wi-Fi, we bring the networked knowledge of the world out into the open air, and that changes things.
For all the years I used to visit the New York Public Library, I completely ignored the wasteland that was Bryant Park. This last trip was my first exposure to Bryant Park, because it was completely re-done in the fashion of the great parks of Europe's cultural capitals. With its lawns, fountains, shaded pavilions and chairs scattered on sidewalks outside restaurants with open doors, it seemed to me the height of civilization. It also made me love civilization and the graces that increase it. That's saying a lot, too. It is the public places that civilize our cities. Perhaps public Wi-Fi will civilize the Net as well.
New York City Wireless Organizations
Downtown Alliance: www.downtownny.com
New York's City Council Staff Report Network NYC: Building the Broadband City: www.council.nyc.ny.us/pdf_files/reports/broadbandcity.pdf
NYU's Interactive Telecommunications Program: www.itp.nyu.edu
Wireless in Other Cities
“Antenna to the East: Linux and Wi-Fi in Sofia, Bulgaria”: www.linuxjournal.com/article/6954
Asheville, North Carolina, Beampost: www.blaserco.com/blogs/2003/02/20.html#a95
Austin, Texas: www.austinwireless.net/cgi-bin/index.cgi
Intel's list of “Most Unwired” Cities: www.intel.com/products/mobiletechnology/unwiredcities.htm
Long Beach, California: www.longbeachportals.com
Paris, France: www.iht.com/articles/95233.html
Perth's WAfreenet: www.nodedb.com/australia/wa/perth/?
Portland, Oregon: www.personaltelco.net/index.cgi/PersonalTelco
San Francisco, California: www.bawug.org
Seaside, California: www.ezgoal.com/hotspots/wireless/f.asp?fid=57748
Seattle, Washington: www.seattlewireless.net
Winston-Salem, North Carolina: www.ezgoal.com/hotspots/wireless/f.asp?fid=65372
Free Software Projects
Dyne:bolic Linux: dynebolic.org
NoCatAuth: see p. 52 of this issue
Open Source Streaming Alliance: www.streamingalliance.org
Pebble Linux: www.nycwireless.net/pebble
Lindows MobilePC: info.lindows.com/mobilepc/mobilepc.htm
Media Box: www.ituner.com/products.htm
Soekris Engineering: www.soekris.com
Wireless Broadcast Public Wi-Fi, Network 2 Cable Network: open4all.info/laika
EFF list of wireless-friendly ISPs: www.eff.org/Infra/Wireless_cellular_radio/wireless_friendly_isp_list.html#list
“It's All about Height”: www.linuxjournal.com/article/6955
Doc Searls is senior editor of Linux Journal.
Doc Searls is Senior Editor of Linux Journal