Information is power, but for many parts of the world, access to the internet is slow in coming, and requires a great deal more infrastructure work to be done before local populations can have access to porn and cat videos. But an ambition plan by Google would use strategically placed balloons to cover as much of the globe as possible with internet wi-fi hotspots.
Most flights in the US don’t have in-flight WiFi, but that looks like it’s going to change rapidly. First, the FAA decided to start talking about loosening restrictions on electronic devices during take-off and landing and now the FCC wants to help all airlines to offer in-flight Wi-Fi.
Do you have a funny or interesting name for your WiFi router? TheGooglySmoog, who posed today’s Daily Discussion question, named his “Rex Banner”.
At this year’s SXSW in Austin, Texas, marketing group Bartle Bogle Hegarty (BBH) thought it would be fun and interesting to give Wi-Fi hotspot devices to local homeless people and give them T-shirts describing their roles as wandering hotspots. It’s an interesting idea, but it seems to be unsettling to most people attending SXSW.
This New Year’s Eve, Skype will be marinating much of Manhattan with free Wi-Fi. For 24 hours starting at noon on December 31st, just pull out your tablet, smartphone, or laptop and connect to a “Skype WiFi” hotspot and enjoy some free bandwidth — the underlying connection is being provided by Towerstream’s commercial WiMAX network.
As a result of so many people in Japan getting access to mobile broadband in such a short amount of time, there’s a bit of a public bandwidth shortage. So many companies have been stepping in, offering free public, no-registration Wi-Fi. The latest will be beverage company Asahi, who will outfit all of their vending machines with free Wi-Fi starting next year.
Fertility? Fuck that.
A couple years ago, there were studies done showing that keeping a warm laptop in your lap for extended periods of time could cause damage to sperm, and now there’s a possibility your Wi-Fi connection could be doing the same thing.
Hotel wi-fi is notoriously bad. Even at the couple times I’ve stayed in fairly fancy hotels for work or something, the wi-fi is fucking awful. And that was years ago, before iPads. These days, it’s not just people on laptops or on mobile phones sucking down that hotel wi-fi, it’s the iPads and other mobile tablets as well. And that also probably means the end of free hotel wi-fi.
More airlines are rolling out in-flight WiFi, so putting WiFi on trains seems like a logical next step. Oh, I’m sure you Europeans have had WiFi and hand jobs and free champagne and cheese pizza for years, but here in the US, we consider trains to be an afterthought.
There’s lots of new bells and whistles to be had in Mac OS X Lion, some of which seem really unnecessary, but one feature that could really come in handy is one that’s hidden. Inside Lion is a Wi-Fi diagnostics tool that lets you analyze the strength of the Wi-Fi signal you’re getting.