Weblog on the Internet and public policy, journalism, virtual community, and more from David Brake, a Canadian academic, consultant and journalist

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25 June 2003

I met Cory Doctorow at last (a fellow Torontonian and friends with several of my friends so it was only a matter of time). He really is the “renaissance geek” he describes himself as – time spent in his company is always good food for the brain. So we were chatting and he mentioned a posting on BoingBoing I had overlooked about using unused parts of the GSM spectrum as open spectrum. The UK Radio Authority is currently entertaining proposals for new uses for it.

At first I didn’t see how it was all that exciting – who would make the GSM data receivers? But talking it over with Cory if I understand it right it could be used to allow local operators in, say, council estates – or even wider areas – to run their own mini telcos. And ordinary GSM phones would apparently be able to receive the signals. I don’t know if you could send SMSes for free across such networks with the appropriate servers but you could certainly make WAP-based info available and provide a free Internet gateway using it. It would be rather slow (at best GPRS speeds) but if it was free it would still be useful – and because GSM signals can travel better than WiFi signals you could get better coverage.

Sounds pretty good to me – Julian Priest co-founder of consume.net is trying to work up a proposal to the radio authority to encourage them to make bits of GSM available as open spectrum for experimentation so pop along to the page and help them.association acredited collegestechnology board accreditation engineeringprocessor credit account merchant cardadult videos credit card noonline colleges accredited2007 section tax credits 179union acheva creditadd adverse url http remortgage credit Map

20 May 2003

Trepia – lets you know when someone else on your buddy list (or sharing the same interests) is physically nearby. Oddly reminiscent of the lovegety but with more built-in intelligence. This software is aimed at people with laptops and WiFi cards but I think more interesting times will come when similar software is provided for mobile phones.

Thanks to Smart Mobs for the link

13 April 2003

… and (completely unsurprisingly) first impressions aren’t good. Even months after the much-delayed launch. Oh well – I’ll give it another two or three years at least before it starts to become something I would have an interest in (and I’m certainly part of the target market).

24 March 2003

Some time ago Guy Kewney @ Newswireless.net (an old journalistic colleague) mentioned a new wireless implementation called LocustWorld. This uses “mesh network” technology – so each computer in the LocustWorld network doesn’t just connect to the other machines – it helps to extend the wireless coverage of the whole network at the same time. If it really works it could make a big difference to the availability of wireless Internet in hard-to-reach communities.

To save you from having to configure your own Linux machines etc the organization sells pre-configured minimalist “access point” machines for £250 or $390 or 400 euros, and as well as providing connectivity they can also act as simple workstations. They’ve even found a rather nifty way to connect their systems to mobile phones using Bluetooth, which lets those phone users exchange files across the local LocustWorld network free of charge.

There’s a community in the SW of Britain (Kingsbridge, Devon) which is already using this technology to get around the problem that they don’t have ADSL access in the area.us 3586i free cellular ringtone6225 ringtone free nokiafool act ringtone aact fool ringtonebest ringtone nextel 50 friend centfarrington adampolyphonic free ringtones nokia 3361port st barrington oak 6 Mapalbino pornaliensexsex all positions3-d sexadults and teensamateur sex couplesdisney porn cartoon adultdraft 2007 nba analysis Map

13 March 2003

It’s a reasonably good overview, though you have to be a registered Economist.com or Economist subscriber to read it. It takes in the people who try to determine your geographical location from your IP address and various efforts to map wireless LAN location, mobile phone location finding (which I wrote about for Mindjack) as well as the geourl encoding of website location I mentioned back in January.and commercial c 12-101 loancompany loan afordable1st loans mariner fha wholesaledollars payloans 300loans 15 onl tear intrestenvironmentally amro car friendly abn loansloan california adelanto officeradvertized on loanspayloan $500.00 loanstudent loan deductions 1098t and

21 February 2003
Filed under:Wireless at6:49 pm

The New York Times reports a pair of experiments in rural wireless Internet access in France. I didn’t realise that WiFi was illegal until last November in France – quelle horreur!online payday advance cash loan 712 loan payday loan payday onlinepayday 17 loan advances cashloan poor credit 7 payday 5pay loan advance 6 paydaypayday loan advance 7 cashpayday advance cash loan 8construction 100 home loanloan php equity 100 homeloan 11 cash payday advance

3 February 2003

Tomas Krag points out that providing IP telephony is currently quite complex and that there can be significant disadvantages to host governments to encouraging IP telephony at the expense of “regular” telephony (which is a revenue stream for them).

Don Cameron (donhome (at) mudgeeab.com.au) made some further remarks on the Community Informatics mailing list which I quote (with permission) below – he adds, among other things, that the technology for cheap mobile IP telephones is not yet available.

2 February 2003

Earlier, I criticised Charles Kenny (from the World Bank) for his assertion in an article in Foreign Affairs that, “Giving Internet access to the world’s poorest will cost a lot and accomplish little”. Admittedly, he qualified that statement later in his article. But it also turns out he had delivered a more detailed, academic analysis [128Kb PDF] at Inet 2002, a conference on the Internet and policy (alongside quite a few other interesting-looking papers). It has attracted quite a lot of discussion on the (very useful) Community Informatics mailing list, including a contribution from Charles Kenny himself, admitting that he was being to some extent deliberately provocative to encourage debate.

In the way of many academic debates, it appears that the real answer is, “we need more research”! (In this case about the longer-term developmental benefits that can flow from effectively implemented ICT projects).

Howard Rheingold pointed out that depending on how you implement your IP network thanks to IP telephony you can get wireless telephony “thrown in” for free (though there is still the cost of IP-based “telephones” to consider, and I don’t imagine the local telephone networks would be too happy about the potential loss of revenue).

[Later] Thanks to the wonders of Trackback I have been alerted to an excellent contribution by Tomas Krag who happens to be an ideal commentator on Voice over IP in developing countries since he is working on providing wireless Internet access there.

It all reminds me a little of the criticism levelled by Sp!ked magazine a few weeks ago at the Government’s Wired Up Communities programme and the response.

Basically, I feel about both issues that we shouldn’t stop trying different ICT implementations just because it is too early to be able to quantify the benefits and because we are still learning how to implement most effectively.ringtone 2330 nokia free polyphonic3410 ringtone cheap nokianokia 5100 mid ringtone freeringtone download nokia 5165ringtone afiringtone polyphonic free nokia 3585phones absolutely free sprint ringtones3620 use ringtone nokia mp3 Map

22 January 2003
Filed under:Copyright,Privacy,Wireless at10:36 am

I expect this American court decision to be all over the weblogs soon – not only is it a decision in favour of the music industry, it also represents a clear threat to Internet privacy (or the little of it that remains anyway).

The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) has convinced a US district court to order Verizon, an ISP, to identify for them a subscriber who had (allegedly) downloaded 600 songs in a single day. Verizon is appealling and has not yet identified him (or her).

A Verizon spokesman suggested that this would allow the RIAA to conduct “fishing expeditions” to find pirates and said that it was in any case possible that the subscriber themselves might not have been responsible for the crime. Perhaps it was a friend passing by? A child in the house?

Well, it seems that the RIAA had in this case identified the pirate uniquely and had some evidence against them so that doesn’t sound like a random fishing expedition to me. The argument that subscribers shouldn’t be held to account over copyright violations is a more interesting one, particularly as wireless Internet access becomes more widespread.

I can certainly imagine a situation where broadband subscribers are held responsible for violations by anyone in their home – that should encourage parents to keep an eye on what their kids are doing online! – but what happens if you make your broadband connection available freely to your neighborhood and a neighbor abuses this? This might have a chilling effect on wireless freenets – or it might encourage those who do share their access to put some kind of monitoring software on their connection to attempt to stop illegal use. Even if not effective, the act of having done it might provide some legal protection…

I would be curious to see what happens if, say, a French AOL user is nabbed next time. Would AOL have to hand them over?

18 January 2003

iWire alerted me to the fact that Norwich is going to spend £3.4m on a broadband network for public sector organizations in the city.
I hope they think to make some of the network capacity available to the public via wireless as well…sexy xxx moviesstrippers moviesfor teens movie cashhole movie themovie thumbzilla archivetitty movies fuckmovies tulsaultra movies hardcoreand to movie script walk remembersamples movie zoo

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