The BPDA is looking to begin asking developers of large residential projects whether their buildings will give residents a choice of at least two ways to get broadband - including wirelessly. Read more.
At-large Councilors Ayanna Pressley and Felix Arroyo say that rather than just let old payphones collect trash and rust, the city should use them to set up free wireless zones.
The councilors say Boston could use more places where people could get online for free:
There is a digital divide between different demographics and socioeconomic levels and such a program would expand access to the internet for more Boston residents.
The two will ask the full council tomorrow to approve a hearing on whether Boston could follow New York with a pilot of free, anonymous WiFi.
Ronan Park and Town Field now have WiFi, the city announces, adding they join Boston Common, Statler Park in Park Square, Christopher Columbus Park in the North End, and the clubhouses at George Wright Golf Course in Hyde Park and William Devine Golf Course in Franklin Park.
Two users of Android mobile phones yesterday filed class-action lawsuits against the manufacturer of their phones and a software company that boasts it can track what Android users are doing even when their phones are in airplane mode.
In separate lawsuits filed in US District Court in Boston, Joshua Libby of Woburn and Dylan Ferreira of Fall River charge Carrier IQ's software, which is installed on Android phones made by HTC, violates their privacy and is illegal under a federal wiretapping statute.
I met today with some folks from Clearwire, which today launched a wireless broadband service in the Boston area. I'll have a more complete report later (and a coverage map), but for now, here are answers to questions folks asked me on Twitter:
BostInnovation reports Verizon has finished up Boston technical tests of its 4G wireless, which promises download speeds of 5 to 12 Mbps, and will now begin looking for users to test it out - with actual service to be offered by the end of this year. No word on cost.
Tim O'Reilly tweets that as of July 1, Starbucks will eliminate fees for using wireless in its stores.
OK, savvy travelers know there's free wireless at Logan for the holidays.
Ben Ostrander reports, though, that when you connect to loganwifi, you're given a choice: Free wireless or the traditional $10 wireless.
Anybody know if the paid WiFi is better somehow (better throughput?)? Or is it just for the sort of person you'd expect to see on a Chance card in Monopoly, using a $10 bill to light a cigar?
In Medfield I think we lost power for less than an hour today, but it was a reminder that reallly bad weather (even in '78 we didn't lose power, but remember that Quebec ice storm???)normal communications might be disrupted, and we'd be on our own.
Sharon Gartenberg cannot believe Framingham is considering spending $1 million to create a downtown wireless zone:
... OK, so we can't afford to replace the terribly inadequate branch library in Saxonville, but we have a million dollars to spend so "Police, fire, public works, and health inspection services personnel all could work away from the office more efficiently with laptops and wireless Internet access"? Um, I don't think so.
Markj is happy:
... Finally, Boston may get a chance to catch up with all of the other places that have free WiFi at the airport, with no thanks to AssPort. ...
In what is supposed to be a public place, it seems absurd to pay for wireless access, especially in a city that's supposed to be a high-tech leader.
Herald Managing Editor Joe Dwinell checks in from the Quincy Market rotunda, where he files a blog post via the marketplace's free WiFi - and where he learns from a visiting Mayo Clinic physician that the wireless service won't be giving him a brain tumor:
... He has pulled up a seat next to me to blog along. He's also asking about Mitt Romney and how a liberal Massachusetts can elect a Mormon Republican. Checks and balances, I say. ...
John Keith explains why:
... Free and low-cost wireless is available - I use it all the time, at the public libraries in Copley Square and in the South End. Starbucks has monthly plans costing $29.99 and $39.99. The city has also announced plans to install wireless along its "Main Streets."
If there was a demand for wireless access, throughout the city, you can bet that a private company would have already entered the market.
That no one has, shows there is really no interest in this, beyond a few, good-intentioned, but misguided politicians. ...
Sitting on the front porch trying to see if our wireless access point was up, I did a site survey - and discovered somebody on the block now has a wireless network called:
Fuck Off Losers
At least they were smart enough to turn on encryption.
Steve Garfield explains why he's not impressed with the city's recently released proposal for a citywide WiFi network that would include for-profit competition:
... Once we have WiFi all over Boston, I am NOT going to want to pay a daily charge or another monthly charge to get online. ...
Andrew spots a crew in Roslindale Square making a movie about a girl who runs away from Roslindale for Argentina. Plus, he discusses the difficulties of getting Wi-Fi in the Square.
Mike Mennonno finds himself in a WiFi pickle: His downstairs neighbor suddenly added encryption to her wireless network and he can't use the BPL wireless because of that matter of the outstanding library fines, which means he can't get a library card for the PIN he'd need to use their network:
... So I was stuck. It's Karma, of course. I could tell you the whole story of the card, the books, the fine, but it's very long, and very, very sordid. ...
BART, San Francisco's subway system, is looking for vendors to WiFi-enable its trains.
What if the T did that? Of course, this being Boston, you'd probably wind up with doofuses taking up three seats for their laptops and venti grandes - or whacking people in the head as they try to angle their Treos for maximum download speeds.
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