Linux Makes Wi-Fi Happen in New York City

Community groups, startup companies and even the phone company are using Linux to make New York City into one big happy wireless network hot spot. How is your town doing?
Enlarging Civic Life

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.

Doc Searls is senior editor of Linux Journal.

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Doc Searls is Senior Editor of Linux Journal

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Re: Linux Makes Wi-Fi Happen in New York City

Anonymous's picture

Personally, I'm looking for this kind of 'exciting development' in my neighborhood, but rural New Hampshire is not going to go WiFi for a few decades, I'm certain!!! I'm glad someone is doing it, though.

I really loved the ghetto blaster conversion idea - very reminiscent of the 1970s trend of converting floor standing 78 RPM Victrolas to use 'modern' turntables (to play LPs/45s) and adding an AM/FM reciever to make a former cast-off into a retro home entertainment center.... just like this Bass-Station, for today.

Great article!

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