[FoRK] [wingcat@pacbell.net: [extropy-chat] History in the making is so bland...]

Eugen Leitl eugen
Wed Nov 16 01:49:24 PST 2005


----- Forwarded message from Adrian Tymes <wingcat at pacbell.net> -----

From: Adrian Tymes <wingcat at pacbell.net>
Date: Tue, 15 Nov 2005 21:06:56 -0800 (PST)
To: 'ExI chat list' <extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org>
Subject: [extropy-chat] History in the making is so bland...
Reply-To: ExI chat list <extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org>

So, being a resident of Mountain View, I watched the City Council
meeting where they were discussing Google's proposal to light up
city-wide free Wi-Fi.  It was your typical public government meeting -
comments by one side, comments by the other, everyone keeping to an
enforced schedule.  (Someone even protested the cost of the war on
Iraq.  Dude, wrong forum!  Mountain View spends no money there, and has
no power to directly influence it.  But back to the Google bit...)  A
few highlights:

* The "what about radiation exposure" group was out in full force.
  But due to the way the meeting was structured, and some foresight by
  the Google rep and the mayor (who I've met and like - you have to be
  tech-friendly to get elected around here), every issue they brought
  up had been addressed before they got to read their prepared
  speeches.  "Place all nodes at least 20 feet away from...?"  They're
  apparently planned to be on 30 foot poles, with radiation exposure at
  20 feet away (i.e., 10 feet off the ground directly under them) waaay
  under the FCC's reccomended guidelines - which, they noted, are what
  cell phones typically operate at.  One council member noted that he'd
  think there'd be a lot more real data about the problem, given the
  decades we've been exposing ourselves to far more serious RF sources
  like CB radio.

* There's still room for competition, if we find this service
  unsatisfactory - this only uses about a tenth of the lightpoles in
  the city.  (It also only reaches 80-90% of the city, for want of PG&E
  owned lightpoles they can get to in the rest.)

* The "competing" offer MV had been considering had been from a
  company planning a for-pay service over a much smaller portion of the
  city.  The agreement for that had been made over a year ago, and
  despite an extension, they still have yet to deploy, and were already
  being investigated for that by city staff.

* The proposal passed unanimously, with no need for thought: a few
  seconds after the call was made, all the vote tracker lights went
  green simultaneously.

And the most interesting tidbit...

* On the topic of affordability of hardware, the Google rep said that
  they're a member of the $100 laptop initiative at MIT.  Last I'd
  heard, they were still hemming and hawing about needing to get things
  down in price, to a degree that suggested that much development was
  still needed.

  If I heard him right, the rep casually mentioned that Mr.
  Negroponte's unveiling the prototype tomorrow in Egypt.

  Day-umn but I hope I heard him right!  ^_^
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Eugen* Leitl <a href="http://leitl.org">leitl</a>
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