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From balloons to shrimp-filled shallows, the future is wireless

From balloons to shrimp-filled shallows, the future is wireless BY JEREMY WAGSTAFF (Reuters) – The Internet may feel like it’s everywhere, but large pockets of sky, swathes of land and most of the oceans are still beyond a signal’s reach. Three decades after the first cellphone went on sale – the $4,000 Motorola DynaTAC 8000X “Brick” – half the world remains unconnected. For some it costs too much, but up to a fifth of the population, or some 1.4 billion people, live where “the basic network infrastructure has yet to be built,” according to a Facebook white paper last month. Even these figures, says KurtisContinue readingFrom balloons to shrimp-filled shallows, the future is wireless

Wifitising: Great Idea, or Daft and Dangerous?

WiFi has become a commodity, something we expect to be able to find, but marketers are slowly waking up to its potential to get the message out—by renaming the service. But is it such a good idea? A Dutch company, according to Adrants, has started changing the name of its WiFi service continually—both to promote items and to nag freeloaders into buying coffee: By continuously changing the names of their store networks to such things as OrderAnotherCoffeeAlready, BuyCoffeeForCuteGirlOverThere?, HaveYouTriedCoffeeCake?, BuyAnotherCupYouCheapskate, TodaysSpecialExpresso1.60Euro and BuyaLargeLatterGetBrownieForFree, the chain is able to both promote items as well as guilt patrons into realizing free WiFi really isn’t totally free. SomeContinue readingWifitising: Great Idea, or Daft and Dangerous?

The Power Thieves

Why must those of us trying to find a power outlet feel like thieves? I’m sitting here at KL International Airport at what seems like the only power outlet (found after asking an information officer who clearly had been asked before) in the place, between a vast Samsung TV blaring bad images of Turkey to zero people and the cleaners’ entrance. At least there’s a power outlet: given my plane’s been delayed an hour, that’s the least I could hope for. But why should we have to put up with this kind of thing? Why should we be so inconvenienced? I want to see aContinue readingThe Power Thieves

What Probably Won’t Happen in 2007

The BBC has asked me to make some predictions about the coming year, something I’m always loath to do because I seem to get it wrong. Anyway, here are my notes. They’re based in part on my own bath-time musings, and partly inspired by the thoughts of others (tried to credit them where relevant.) 1999 just took longer than we thought, that’s all Web 2.0 is not just about AJAX, mashups, blogs and all that. It’s about building a platform. That’s now been done. All we need to do now is let people use it. That is already happening, but it will REALLY happen inContinue readingWhat Probably Won’t Happen in 2007

What Probably Won’t Happen in 2007

The BBC has asked me to make some predictions about the coming year, something I’m always loath to do because I seem to get it wrong. Anyway, here are my notes. They’re based in part on my own bath-time musings, and partly inspired by the thoughts of others. 1999 just took longer than we thought, that’s all Web 2.0 is not just about AJAX, mashups, blogs and all that. It’s about building a platform. That’s now been done. All we need to do now is let people use it. That is already happening, but it will REALLY happen in 2007: Delivery will get better RSSContinue readingWhat Probably Won’t Happen in 2007

Mapping Trends With Google

Google’s new Trends search is a lot of fun, and useful too. See how some things have taken off over the past couple of years, like Web 2.0: and Wikipedia (the lower graph is for volume of related pieces on Google News, the upper for ordinary Search): while others, such as WiMax, are more gradual: Interest in others, meanwhile, seems to have peaked. 2005, for example, seems to have been RSS’ year: whereas folk started to get less obsessed about spam in 2004: Some terms just seem to have leapt out of nowhere, such as “botnet”: while almost the whole history of interest in others,Continue readingMapping Trends With Google

The End of VoIP?

A provocative (or is it prophetic?) piece  from The Register’s Andrew Orlowski who sees the end of Skype and VoIP: It’s small, it’s boring and won’t turn any heads – but it probably spells the end of the road for Skype, Vonage and any other hopeful independent VoIP companies. It’s Nokia’s 6136 phone, which allows you to make calls over your home or office Wi-Fi network, as well as on a regular cellular network. UMA, or unlicensed mobile access, is the mobile operators’ answer to the threat of VoIP – and now it’s reality. UMA, he says, has the edge because in one phone youContinue readingThe End of VoIP?

From Cubicle Slave to Mobile Slave

I kinda liked the irony in this, but at the same time realised it illustrates the sad fact that many of us are slaves to the office even when we’re not there. Reuters’ website reports that the UK’s Trades Union Congress has launched www.workyourproperhoursday.com “where workers can take a quiz to diagnose themselves as a “desk junkie”, “stay late sheep” or one of five other types of overworker.” The idea, of course is to get people to work their proper hours and then go and have a life. While the Reuters photo on the left certainly captures the grimness of cubicle life, the accompanying “5Continue readingFrom Cubicle Slave to Mobile Slave

The End of Airport WiFi?

An interesting battle is going on in Boston over airport WiFi. If one side wins it may spell the end to WiFi in airports — at least those not operated by the airport itself. The Boston Globe reports that Logan International Airport officials’ ongoing quest to ban airline lounges from offering passengers free WiFi Internet services is angering a growing array of powerful Capitol Hill lobbying groups, who say Logan could set a dangerous nationwide precedent for squelching wireless services: Soon after activating its own $8-a-day WiFi service in the summer of 2004, the Massachusetts Port Authority, which runs Logan, ordered Continental and American Airlines toContinue readingThe End of Airport WiFi?

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