Joe Sharkey in the NYT
I was in London two weeks ago, and joined a small group for a technology demonstration in a vacant room at the swanky One Aldwych Hotel in Covent Garden. [...]
Kay McCarthy, the hotel's telecommunications manager, explained that the system, once it is fully operational, would allow guests to buy a "scratch card"
with coding enabling them to log on for hourly increments. Wi-Fi zones are indiscriminate - anyone in the immediate vicinity of the hotel will be able to log onto the One Aldwych home screen and its promotional links. But only those who buy the access card will be able to continue onto the Internet itself.
Scratch cards? How tacky. I trust that the Savoy and Claridges will have a bit more class than that.
Meanwhile, in Blogaria...
James Lileks at the Mall:
I promise a lot of things here, but eventually I deliver. There will be T-shirts, some day. There will be video-blogs, soon. I�m going to add a weekly streaming video here, but since I don�t have broadband at home the notion of uploading huge files via my syrup-through-a-pipette connection was daunting. Then I remembered that the Apple Store has a wireless network. So. That night I roughed up a prototype of a weekly movie, and Sunday I went back to the store.
It�s simple: you open the laptop, and your machine hears the music of the spheres. Right there in my menubar was the name of the network. I connected, called up my iDisk - a virtual hard drive that exists GOD knows where on some computer somewhere in the world; could be next door or half a continent away. Doesn�t really matter. I transferred the movie to the iDisk over the wireless network, and then as long as I was there I let the laptop gulp up all the software updates it requested.
Apple! They think of everything!
Doc Searls on the road
I'm back at the same Starbucks, getting my hour's worth of wi-fi for ten minutes actual use. I can blog and get email, for some reason; but I can't browse, because I get redirected every time to an F-Mobile sign-up page.
Earth to Starbucks: Get another provider and give away the wi-fi for free, like milk and sugar. You're gonna be doing it eventually anyway.
Wi-fi is just another utility provided by businesses and municipalities as a civic grace, like toilets and light. Customers and citizens are already on the case. Follow the market. Take the loss and lead with it.
Glenn Reynolds on campus
The university where I teach, the University of Tennessee, has a high-speed wireless network that covers the entire campus. Now some of the bars and restaurants and coffeeshops nearby are catching on � one even has a big sign advertising �Fast Free Wireless Internet� as a way of luring customers. Right now it�s a big lure � sort of the way air-conditioning was fifty years ago. But soon it will be ubiquitous.
As I wrote over a year ago, businesses already seem to be rearranging things to suit personal technology by creating more comfortable places to sit, chat on cellphones, check e-mail, and so on.
Wireless Internet access is cheap and easy to provide (I have it at home, and so do countless other Americans), and as people get more and more used to it, spaces that don�t have it seem less and less appealing. I think that Doc is right, and that customers will come to expect it over the next few years. In some places, they already do. Kind of like toilets.
Cory & Aaron at the Stanford Spectrum Moot emancipating packets:
Finally, my old dialup modem conked out at home, so I bought an Airport Extreme Base station instead of a new one. I still only get 50 kbps, but I can use it in the garden now...