PollGovernments should feel duty-bound to provide free wireless internet in all major cities.
      – George, 2008-12-09 at 10:09:03   (13 comments)

On 2008-12-09 at 10:22:55, George wrote...
Should have been a survey, not a poll.
On 2008-12-09 at 11:00:32, Lee J Haywood wrote...
Actually, it's an opinion. (-:
On 2008-12-09 at 11:02:34, Lee J Haywood wrote...
I'm not sure that wireless is a necessity, but it's certainly an important step in modernising a city. At some point wireless will be as pervasive as signals for mobile telephones (or at least those two things will merge), at which point people will expect to have Internet access pretty much everywhere.
On 2008-12-09 at 11:16:25, George wrote...
But if that happens, it seems unlikely that it would be free. I think decent internet access should be provided by local government in the same way that rubbish collection or road maintenance (normally) is.
On 2008-12-09 at 11:19:26, Lee J Haywood wrote...
It's difficult to know what direction things will go in. There's talk of a Grid where each street has its own connection to the next, using relatively cheap rooftop transmitters. Here the network is truly ad hoc, not controlled by governments / companies. If I want to connect to a computer on a nearby street, the traffic doesn't have to go via London (or even the US!) as it does at present.
On 2008-12-09 at 11:59:48, George wrote...
Not a good time to have shares in a phone company I guess. Actually, is it a good time to have shares in any company?!
On 2008-12-09 at 12:40:26, Lee J Haywood wrote...
Was it ever? The whole point of such things seems to based on not being able to predict their future value but trying to anyway - which is basically just gambling. When Marconi shares were down to 12p I thought it might be a good idea to buy them - given that they were bound to increase. Luckily I've never bought any stocks or shares in anything - in Marconi's case the shares ended up being split and worth nothing anyway. I think it's better to stick to reliable savings, although the interest rates are relatively low (suddenly down to just 2% in the UK). Zopa seems good though - I'm getting over 10% back on the loans I've made through them, although my money is inaccessible whilst it is being borrowed.
On 2008-12-10 at 01:19:18, BorgClown wrote...
Agreed, although it should be used as a last connectivity resource. Government-sponsored wireless is slow, censored and prone to spyware. Restaurants provide much better service. Even from the parking lot.
On 2008-12-10 at 09:49:06, Lee J Haywood wrote...
Actually, short of using pre-validated certificates for everything (which is unlikely) it's also incredibly insecure. Even then, you only use HTTPS when security is vital but not for the majority of traffic. I don't even use wireless at home because it's pointless to do so.
On 2008-12-10 at 18:05:03, BorgClown wrote...
@Lee J Haywood: Not even for a PDA or cell phone? WiFi is a huge money saver when using Internet on my phone. And WPA is yet to be be effectively cracked, as WEP already is.
On 2008-12-10 at 19:47:53, Lee J Haywood wrote...
I don't use a PDA. I do use my mobile for web access once a week, but it doesn't cost all that much - not that it's very usable on a small screen. The security I was referring to was the trust in the router that you're connecting to, and its owner - not the transmission. Someone could easily set up a dummy/proxy connection point and if you connect to it then they'd have access to your traffic. Since I don't actually use wireless, I don't know really anything about it. When you're walking through a city how do you ensure that the connection is going through the city's own access points?
On 2008-12-11 at 03:02:08, BorgClown wrote...
It's silly that here we are charged by the kilobyte, you have to disable images to not climb up your bill. Speaking of wireless, my city has a few public access points, so if you need it badly, you just stay in one of them.
On 2008-12-11 at 03:07:47, BorgClown wrote...
I used to drive around with a wifi logger in my PDA. Correlating time of detection and route, I had a good idea of how many insecure networks were available. Fortunately those have been slowly made secure.