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San Fran Mayor Declares Wireless for All

CmdrTaco posted more than 9 years ago | from the throwing-down-the-gauntlet dept.

Wireless Networking 272

arvind s. grover writes "San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom stated yesterday in his state of the city address that every San Francisco resident will have free wireless internet access. They don't seem to have much set up yet, and no proposal was laid out for the installation of access points in every nook and cranny of the city. I wonder what vendor is going to get that contract...You might be better off finding a wireless node using NodeDB or this oddly-titled site: cheesebikini."

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How...? (5, Insightful)

Poleris (811180) | more than 9 years ago | (#10613835)

Is this mayor going to pay for this.

Re:How...? (5, Insightful)

Dr. Evil (3501) | more than 9 years ago | (#10613841)

No, the taxpayers will. The mayor's friends will get the contracts though.

Re:How...? (2, Insightful)

(SM) Spacemonkey (812689) | more than 9 years ago | (#10613910)

And pay the taxpayers shall. What could be the possible benefits to this? You need a computer to access the internet. I would awesome those who have a computer one are on average better off socio-economically than those who want one. This barrier to access (computer) itself prevents universal wireless from enhance equality, which is what I see as a major part of any governments role. Further many people (not just politicans) see this magic causal link between technology and better economy, educated populous, etc. However the internet is just a tool. It is as likely to be abused as it is to be used to help. A far better idea is to give ISPs incentives to lower their fees. Then again, only after you spend the money on education, health and a whole gamut of things more important than internet access.

Re:How...? (5, Insightful)

bigman2003 (671309) | more than 9 years ago | (#10613947)

And how many people who live in the city of San Francisco cannot afford a computer?

The median income [msn.com] is $74,000 per year.

San Francisco is a fairly expensive place to live, there are not a lot of poor people there. I'm sure they are only concerned with the people who actually have an address- not homeless people, who don't pay taxes, or vote.

Then again- cities spend a lot of money on streets, traffic lights, etc. And not everyone has a car...

Re:How...? (4, Insightful)

(SM) Spacemonkey (812689) | more than 9 years ago | (#10613978)

Then again- cities spend a lot of money on streets, traffic lights, etc. And not everyone has a car...
Traffic lights and such exist for safety as much as anything else. They also help people without cars, ever j-walked in peak hour? Perhaps internet give security for democracy by allowing free access to information. In that case I propose spending more money on libraries, with internet access. But I suppose libraries aren't sexy enough for a politican. Now wireless! That gets votes.

Re:How...? (3, Insightful)

bigman2003 (671309) | more than 9 years ago | (#10614014)

So city tax money can only be spent if it helps out the lowest common denominator? What about the other 99.99% of the residents (those paying taxes)?

Re:How...? (4, Insightful)

autarkeia (152712) | more than 9 years ago | (#10614035)

San Francisco has a ridiculously high poor and homeless population. It's truly obscene. However, you can bet money that the mayor is thinking much more about the poor and the homeless and the agencies that support them than he is about rich Pacific Heights Ladies Who Lunch. Google for "Gavin Newsom" and see what the guy stands for, and what's he's done for San Francisco. He's pretty cool.

The median income is so high because there are so many people here with so much money. "Poor" people here make more money than "poor" people in other areas, though, largely due to higher-than-federal minimum wage laws. Still, there are huge swaths of San Francisco that are "poor," and the mayor has focused a large part of his administration on serving the poor and the homeless.

Re:How...? (1)

Lshmael (603746) | more than 9 years ago | (#10614223)

Google for "Gavin Newsom" and see what the guy stands for, and what's he's done for San Francisco. He's pretty cool.

Too bad he's a replicant [thewavemag.com] .

Re:How...? (3, Informative)

geg81 (816215) | more than 9 years ago | (#10614324)

The median income is so high because there are so many people here with so much money.

If the median is $74000, it makes no difference whether the people above the median all make $75000 or $7.5m, the median will be unaffected.

Re:How...? (1, Insightful)

magarity (164372) | more than 9 years ago | (#10614364)

San Francisco has a ridiculously high poor and homeless population. It's truly obscene

Transient homeless migrate to whereever they get the most handouts. It's a real problem here in Denver as well. They know that a lot of people in this area give handouts so they flock here. Same with SFO. See your own last sentence:

the mayor has focused a large part of his administration on serving the poor and the homeless

Let me guess: this a focus on shelters and free meals? I bet if it was a serious transition to work program, they'd flee to other parts.

Re:How...? (2, Informative)

geg81 (816215) | more than 9 years ago | (#10614340)

And how many people who live in the city of San Francisco cannot afford a computer? The median income is $74,000 per year.

That's probably because the median income only counts those who are actually employed. But San Francisco has a large population of unemployed, illegals, and/or homeless. Those people could be helped quite a bit by widespread and cheap Internet access.

Note that in those statistics median household income is only slightly above the national median, while the median income (i.e., the income of those employed) is considerably higher.

With the money (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10613847)

He's going to sponsor a special abortion procedure. Three abortions for the price of two - and all proceeds going to support breast cancer.

Bunch of ghey baby killing motherfuckers don't know whats important in life. They just want penises up their ass and the erotic high they get from sticking a coat hanger in their uterus and pulling out the juicy pulp that might some day discover a cure to cancer. And then they'll whine when they get AIDS and try to get everybody to help pay for their preventable disease - and they'll get tetanus too but they will hold up signs instead of chanting stupid protestor bullshit.

Re:With the money (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10613925)

Actually I prefer to use the Miniature Chainsaw method. This involves inserting into the pregnant female a tiny chainsaw with special BabyShredder teeth that chops the fetus into a million pieces. Then the SuckOMatic is inserted (basically a miniature wet/dry vac) that sucks out the goo.

HOW'S THAT FOR MURDER YOU FUCKING ANTI-ABORTION COCK!

Re:How...? (1)

jav1231 (539129) | more than 9 years ago | (#10613848)

Exactly! The people will have to pay for it. But hey! It's for a good cause. Think of all the good it will do. I mean, the real good!

Looks like another tax hike ... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10613838)

Ah socialism, take from the upper middle class and give to the lower middle class

Re:Looks like another tax hike ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10613851)

True dat!

SF has a huge homeless population and oodles of very poor people who I'm sure will all be taking advantage of the free internet on their laptops!

Shea right....

Re:Looks like another tax hike ... (4, Insightful)

bigman2003 (671309) | more than 9 years ago | (#10614000)

One thing that ticks me off- is the assumption that the government cannot spend any money for services tht will benefit a large portion of the population, until there are no poor/homeless people left.

City government's job is not to solely start at the bottom of the socio-economic ladder, and start moving everyone up. The citizens in the middle don't need to wait until everyone below them has been 'assisted'.

Parks cost a lot of money- most cities attempt to provide nice parks for their residents.

Unfortunately, having a park near your house is not always a good thing. These days, a lot of parks have been turned into de-facto homeless shelters. Every city has the 'homeless park' where nobody else (who actually paid the taxes to build the park) can go. If you live in Sacramento, go hang out at Ceasar Chavez park, on any day other than the free music days. You will be surrounded by homeless people, and all of their belongings.

In the town I live in (see my sig) we have a park like that. It is the park right near downtown- which is surrounded on 3 sides by residential neighborhoods. Who goes to the park- kids? families? No...guys sitting around drinking until the pass out or puke. Great- another park that can't be enjoyed by the general population.

I am NOT saying that we should not spend money to help these people. What I am saying, is that when city funds are used to pay for something else OTHER than social services, it's okay. We can spend money (taxpayer money, and most of the taxpayers are not getting drunk in the park) for something that will benefit the other 99% percent of the community.

Our city also has a large/nice homeless shelter - which for our population is a great base of assistance. But not everything we do needs to be for the assistance of the same group of people. The other 50,000 can benefit from their own taxes too.

Re:Looks like another tax hike ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10614285)

Huh? I don't get it.

You are saying we should spend money on middle class priveledges regardless if people are living on the street and your example is that you can't enjoy your park because of homeless people!

If you took care of the homeless people then you could enjoy the park!

You could always just pull a Guliani and make being homeless illegal. (Guliani was a real asshole but now after 9/11 everyone thinks hes this sweet guy...bleh)

Re:Looks like another tax hike ... (4, Insightful)

ShieldW0lf (601553) | more than 9 years ago | (#10613932)

Ah socialism, take from the upper middle class and give to the lower middle class

When you're dealing with multinational corps for services, socialism lets you get maximum buying power and save money.

I'd say the ideal approach would be to have the city own the infrastructure and contract out the services, then make infrastructure maintenance and improvements a condition of the next round of contracts. That would ensure that the city maintains the ability to easily change companies and prevent them from ever being held over a barrel by their supplier.

Re:Looks like another tax hike ... (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 9 years ago | (#10614164)

When you're dealing with multinational corps for services, socialism lets you get maximum buying power and save money.

In what bizarre vision of socialism do multinational corporations even exist?

Re:Looks like another tax hike ... (1)

Carewolf (581105) | more than 9 years ago | (#10614219)

In what bizarre vision of socialism do multinational corporations even exist?

The one called socialism, as opposed to something called communism.

Re:Looks like another tax hike ... (0, Flamebait)

jav1231 (539129) | more than 9 years ago | (#10614303)

Socialism negates any reason for competition. With any luck, we here in the U.S. will ultimately defeat it on our soil. Unfortunately, it's pretty entrenched in SF.

fp (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10613839)

forst post!

Good idea...but... (5, Insightful)

deanj (519759) | more than 9 years ago | (#10613840)

Good idea and San Francisco is a great place to visit, but shouldn't they do something to help the unemployed and homeless in that town? And when I say "help the homeless", I mean REALLY help them, like get them a place to live and a way to make a buck, not just handouts, which they've done in the past.

Re:Good idea...but... (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10613863)

Actually I think SF has a "workfare" program where if you show up at certain places in the morning (and you aren't drunk or high) you can get work for the morning sweeping and cleaning. Granted you aren't going to get paid much and really sucks but if you need a way to get on your feet it can be a start. Do that for a couple of mornings, rent a motel room for a week, get cleaned up, find a shitty fast food job, then just start building from there....easier said than done but at least it's a possibility.

Re:Good idea...but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10613970)

The program you describe may exist, but they also have _very_ generous stipends for everyone, no strings attached.

Re:Good idea...but... (5, Funny)

pyrrhonist (701154) | more than 9 years ago | (#10613887)

Good idea and San Francisco is a great place to visit, but shouldn't they do something to help the unemployed and homeless in that town?

What do mean? The Mayor gave them free WiFi! FREE!
They don't even need the cardboard sign that says, "Will work for bandwidth", anymore.

Seriously, what more do they need?

</SATIRE>

Re:Good idea...but... (5, Interesting)

seudafed (575243) | more than 9 years ago | (#10613893)

My girlfriend is interning at Berkeley Mental Health. You'd be suprised how many homeless people have web pages or at least email addresses.

sky

Re:Good idea...but... (3, Interesting)

bigman2003 (671309) | more than 9 years ago | (#10614040)

That's because in Berkeley, a ton of the 'homeless' people are just kids who thought it would be awesome to 'hang out in Berkeley all day and bum money for food.'

I would guess that Berkeley has one of the lowest average ages for homeless people. I always enjoy walking down Telegraph, and having kids with dreadlocks come up, and ask for food- while flashing teeth so straight, that his parents are probably still paying the orthodontic bills. These kids hang out with their Che Guevara t-shirts, and talk about how 'everything should be free'. But aren't willing to do anything other than ask for handouts.

Also, while sitting around in Davis CA, I've watch the same 'homeless' kids talk about going back to Berkeley, because they can earn a few hundred bucks on Saturdays. (In Davis, they generally hang out in front of Baskin Robbins, Chipotle, or Newsbeat). Of course after hearing them say this- the proceed to ask me for money 'for food'.

I really hate those kids...

Re:Good idea...but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10614161)

givemeaquarter.xanga.com ?

heykidgotacigarette.blogspot.com ?

Re:Good idea...but... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10613897)

This will help the homeless. Now they won't have to buy an expensive latte while getting their Internet access.

Re:Good idea...but... (0)

Otter (3800) | more than 9 years ago | (#10613960)

The impression that I get about the people in the SF Bay area is that, on the whole, they like having all those bodies lying in the street. It makes them feel "urban" and "real", especially given the mental comparison with Los Angeles that the residents of both cities always have going on, and they've convinced themselves that ignoring someone passed out in a pool of vomit is particularly tolerant and open-minded. Whenever a vistor comments on it, they always seem to talk about the "problem" with barely concealed pride.

Re:Good idea...but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10614046)

The idea is that, with internet access, and skipping a few showers, the homeless can become free software advocates.

Re:Good idea...but... (5, Insightful)

e40 (448424) | more than 9 years ago | (#10614097)

Federal social services have been cut, steadily, since the early 80's, started by Reagan. In the 80's there was a flood of homeless into the street from mental institutions. Anyone in Berkeley in the 80's could tell that most of the people on the street were plain nuts and needed full-time help.

Berkeley and SF are tolerant places. The cops don't throw them in jail (or beat them and tell them to get out of town). Many places across the US are very intolerant of homeless people, and will run them out of town.

The weather is good most of the year (not too cold, little rain).

Put all these factors together, and you get a recipe for attracting homeless people from all over the country.

It's not an SF problem, it's a US problem. The US should do something about this.

Re:Good idea...but... (3, Insightful)

cdrguru (88047) | more than 9 years ago | (#10614333)

We emptied the mental institutions because there was a general concensus at the time that these people were being abused by being kept in an institution. It was much cheaper to keep them locked away somewhere than it was to dump them out on the street and then try to clean up the mess. But, the decision was made that somehow it was unfair to these people to lock them away.

Now, mental institutions have never been one of my favorite places to visit, and especially not as an inmate. However, did we really do these people a service? I think not. However, this was absolutely not a case of "shrinking social programs" - this was all about liberating the mentally ill. Look where it got us.

Re:Good idea...but... (5, Insightful)

ergo98 (9391) | more than 9 years ago | (#10614149)

The best way to help the least fortunate is often by increasing the size of the economic pie - basically by making the middle class richer by encouraging economic commerce and innovation (cue naïve sarcastic remarks about Reagan's trickle down economics. Note, however, that I'm talking about the middle class rather than the rich. Furthermore, I am not speaking about tax cuts, but rather programs or initiatives that expand the economy, such as encouraging technological growth). Perhaps the premise behind free wireless is that it will lead to a slew of new programs and services in the San Francisco area that will lead to a lot of taxable commerce - tax revenue that can then be used to provide mental health support for some of the homeless. The most effective route to a goal isn't always the most direct.

BTW: An enjoyable read for the armchair economist is the very enlightening The Birth of Plenty : How the Prosperity of the Modern World was Created [amazon.com] . It basically covers why some countries achieved such prosperity (hint - it isn't that they stole it from the poor countries).

Re:Good idea...but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10614298)

Why don't the homeless move somewhere else where it's not so expensive? I left the bay area because it was too expensive for me, and I make about 70K a year. I can't imagine what would keep the poor in that area... oh wait, it's the handouts.

Cool (-1, Troll)

Staos (700036) | more than 9 years ago | (#10613842)

Bet this will make the GNAA happy.

Sorry mods, I had to do it.

the headline is miss leading... (1)

Kjuib (584451) | more than 9 years ago | (#10613850)

I was wondering how on earth was the mayor of such a town was going to provide wifi access to EVERYONE or in the written words "ALL"... but I guess all takes on a new meaning to refer to everyone in a small area like a city or county. go figure.... I never would have guessed.

Is this necessarily a good thing? (3, Interesting)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 9 years ago | (#10613853)

I mean, the wireless isn't "free", taxdollars are paying for it. Unlike private solutions, people who don't use it will still have to pay for it. I'm not quite sure I like the government providing a non-essential service when there are already alternatives. Now the question is, does it mean increased revenue from tourism, better reputation, etc counterbalance the costs of the wireless access points/maintenance? Will some prosumers even want to use this service(as it may not be as reliable)? TFA was short on details, I'm willing to bet the mayor is trying to get re-elected, so he probably hasn't answered any of these questions yet.

Re:Is this necessarily a good thing? (4, Interesting)

Rayonic (462789) | more than 9 years ago | (#10613900)

> I mean, the wireless isn't "free", taxdollars are paying for it.

Indeed -- and what if I don't like the wireless service the city provides (the service is slow, etc.) I could get cable or DSL internet access, but then I'd essentially be paying for two internet connections.

Then there's the issue of rules. What kind of access restrictions will a city put up? Could you, in this instance, host a web site that gay people find insulting? I've never been banned from a service that I still had to pay for afterwards...

Re:Is this necessarily a good thing? (1)

ivan256 (17499) | more than 9 years ago | (#10614201)

Could you, in this instance, host a web site...

If they have any sense whatsoever, everybody will get a NATed address and be behind a giant firewall, so you won't be hosting anything.

Re:Is this necessarily a good thing? (2, Insightful)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 9 years ago | (#10613968)

well.. when you make paying something like this 'mandatory' (by making it appear 'free', as in you're going to pay for it anyways) makes an incentive to start using it(because it's there anyways and you don't have a choice of paying for it or not, so you end up using it to boost up your biz or life.).

maybe his trying to boost up it knowhow on it and make the city more competitive against other cities for businesses too.

Re:Is this necessarily a good thing? (5, Interesting)

AndroidCat (229562) | more than 9 years ago | (#10613974)

What kind of access controls will there be? Can any kind of abuser (spam, DDoS, port-scan, trojaned zombie, etc) keep connecting if (ever) disconnected? Will they block some ports like 25? What if someone sucks down most of the bandwidth in the neighbourhood? Can I run servers with dynamic DNS? Who do I report a DDoS from SF space to?

If they don't manage it, the rest of the Internet might just throw the San Francisco wireless IP range into a "blackhole at the firewall" list in self-defence. And if SF taxpayers can't connect to anyone, who do they call at "SanFran Tech Support" to complain?

Re:Is this necessarily a good thing? (5, Insightful)

k98sven (324383) | more than 9 years ago | (#10613998)

It's infrastructure. You could say the same thing about highways too.

It's very, very difficult to calculate the benefits of this, and really of any infrastructure investment.
(as far as I understand, there are no good models for this. Building roads is still mostly a political decision.)

But there are lots of things which conciveably balance the costs, most notably increased business productivity, competition and growth, and increased property value (which generates returns though property tax).

So, yeah, it's political.. but it doesn't automatically mean it's not economically justified. But whether it is or not is pure speculation. There's no way to tell in the short run.

Re:Is this necessarily a good thing? (5, Interesting)

autarkeia (152712) | more than 9 years ago | (#10614006)

The mayor is *not* trying to get re-elected. The mayor, in fact, is only in the first year of his 4-year term, and by just about any San Franciscan's account he has done nothing but kicked ass and mopped up the streets afterwards. He has completely revamped the budget, took a voluntary pay cut, reorganized the police and fire departments, cracked down on unsolved murders and crime, led the nation on human rights and gay marriage issues, and tackled San Francisco's biggest issue-- homelessness-- with a multidisciplinary team that seems to actually be working.

Say whatever you want to about Gavin Newsom, but he has been a major boon to San Francisco at a time when it's down. The WiFi thing of course could cost a lot of money, but imagine the potential benefits of pervasive, citywide, free access.

Good for the city (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10613855)

Now that they've won the war on the homeless, they can move on to the next big challenge.

Spitzer's iron wrist shits to music industry (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10613856)

I know it's OT, but go look at news.google.com. "Spitzer's iron wrist shits to music industry" is one of the headlines under entertainment. There's an article about the San Fran Mayor on there too btw.

Text of the article (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10613906)


Yeah, it's mildly funny. Especially since they misuse the word 'shits' in the text of the article too.

---

Spitzer's iron wrist shits to music industry
www.chinaview.cn 2004-10-24 16:06:47

BEIJING, Oct. 24 (Xinhuanet) -- New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer's office now shits their attention to the music industry, particularly its practices for influencing what songs are heard on the public airwaves.

Spitzer has recently taken on a procession of corporate powers from Wall Street analysts to mutual funds to insurance brokers. He began this investigation whether the United States' largest record companies are skirting payola laws by hiring middlemen to influence which songs are heard on the public airwaves.

Investigators in Mr. Spitzer's office have served subpoenas on the four major record corporations - the Universal Music Group, Sony BMG Music Entertainment, the EMI Group and the Warner Music Group - seeking copies of contracts, billing records and other information detailing their ties to independent middlemen who pitch new songs to radio programmers in New York State.

According to people involved, the inquiry encompasses all the major radio formats and is not aiming at any individual record promoter. Enditem

Stop Now (2, Interesting)

WhatsAProGingrass (726851) | more than 9 years ago | (#10613858)

"We will not stop until every San Franciscan has access to free wireless Internet service,"

"He said the city had already made free WiFi service available at Union Square, a central shopping and tourist hub"

So, everyone run down to the chopping center and get your free wifi. Problem solved.

Re:Stop Now (1)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 9 years ago | (#10613874)

So, everyone run down to the chopping center and get your free wifi. Problem solved.
Yeah, I imagine a lot of people running down to the chopping center would solve a lot of problems in San Fransisco, not just the need for wireless access points...:P

Re:Stop Now (3, Interesting)

bergwitz (702715) | more than 9 years ago | (#10613881)

"We will not stop until every San Franciscan has access to free wireless Internet service," Doesn't that also imply that they need a device to access the free wireless internet service? Like a computer or PDA. Free PDAs for the homeless? Off course, wireless is the only alternative for the homeless.

COOL! (5, Funny)

ferrellcat (691126) | more than 9 years ago | (#10613861)

I guess that means that THIS guy will finally get online! http://www.dkrupa.com/comics/28.jpg [dkrupa.com]

Re:COOL! (1, Redundant)

mp3LM (785954) | more than 9 years ago | (#10613869)

That's so wrong, I'm not even going to reply to it.

I agree (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10613943)


I agree. I'm not gonna reply to it either. Why the hell did you get modded redundant on that post though? Fucking idiot mods.

Re:I agree (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10613959)

be happy this isn't the political section. you'd get modded -1 flamebait there

Re:COOL! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10613957)

I don't know why you find the existence of a homeless person so "wrong." Maybe you should do something to help them instead of ridiculing them. Have you ever wanted anything that you didn't get in your life? Preppy white-collar shithead.

Re:COOL! (1)

JVert (578547) | more than 9 years ago | (#10614350)

Holy shit! the homeless have internet access already?

Re:COOL! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10614008)

You know, actually, you DID reply to it.

Dave Letterman before 'free wireless'... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10614088)

Here is Dave Letterman [edebris.com] , before he got his free wireless.

Just one question (5, Insightful)

AndroidCat (229562) | more than 9 years ago | (#10613877)

How many spammers live in San Francisco? How many will move there?

Re:Just one question (1)

Joe the Lesser (533425) | more than 9 years ago | (#10614264)

Damn! Good point! Forgot we need to scrap any plan that in might some way increase spam! Phew!

ahhhhhhh (3, Funny)

DeathByDuke (823199) | more than 9 years ago | (#10613884)

let's go warflying dudes.

Well looky here. (4, Funny)

bryanp (160522) | more than 9 years ago | (#10613888)

He's got the circuses part covered. Where's the bread?

Re:Well looky here. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10614051)

Better than circuses: Free Pr0n for the masses!

So when the RIAA try some more lawsuits... (4, Funny)

N3koFever (777608) | more than 9 years ago | (#10613908)

...does the population of San Francisco get sued?

Re:So when the RIAA try some more lawsuits... (1)

Guppy06 (410832) | more than 9 years ago | (#10614252)

Piracy on the networks would be the equivalent of three or four San Franciscos!

Anti-competitive? (5, Interesting)

Spykk (823586) | more than 9 years ago | (#10613922)

I wonder what the local ISPs think about this. If it's wrong for microsoft to include a free web browser, is it wrong for the government to provide free internet access?

Re:Anti-competitive? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10613966)

I also wonder what ISPs in other places think about it. They have to put lots of money into the infrastructure and marketing. Then one day local goverment will decide to provide free wireless and all the investments will become next to worthless. Does it make sense to invest in the first place then? If yes then shouldn't you charge customers a bundle to recoup their inversments ASAP?

Re:Anti-competitive? (1)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 9 years ago | (#10614023)

well.. the local isp could sell this service to the goverment..

it's not like the service gets magically done from thin air - only thing that changes is where the money comes, directly from the customers or through a proxy(city gov.). hell, in this case there's probably MORE bucks to be spared and i'd be VERY surprised if some local or another wasn't involved in pitching this through.

Re:Anti-competitive? (1)

bob beta (778094) | more than 9 years ago | (#10614144)

i'd be VERY surprised if some local or another wasn't involved in pitching this through.

You're probably right. Some local outfit has lobbied for a government granted monopoly.

You stated that like it was some kind of good thing.

Re:Anti-competitive? (1)

Carewolf (581105) | more than 9 years ago | (#10614242)

Is it anti-competitive for the government to provide free road access?

And what is the difference between offering free infrastructure and offering free infrastructure?

The great deal with free infrastructure is that it is a lot cheaper to build, since you do not need all the tolls and accounting. In this respect wireless internet resemples city-streets more than it resemples highways which are easily tolled.

WiGLE! (4, Informative)

SuperQ (431) | more than 9 years ago | (#10613928)

of course, the BEST place to find AP's is WiGLE.net, the database has listings for 1,847,784 APs.

um, it's not free as in beer nor as in speech (5, Insightful)

humanerror (56316) | more than 9 years ago | (#10613935)

We already have a decent, FREE, and fast wireless network in The City: SFLan.org [archive.org] .

Do you really want to be bound by the government's TOS, for a service "sold" as free that you are in fact paying for, whether you use it or not?

Of course, using public money for questionable ends is nothing new... but dear Gavin already invests far too much of our money waging war on the poor (no, not on poverty... on the poor).

Re:um, it's not free as in beer nor as in speech (1)

alphafoo (319930) | more than 9 years ago | (#10614039)

SFLan.org is a great idea and I applaud the folks behind it, but your statement that it's a decent wireless network in SF is a bit of a stretch. According to the Nagios map, there are 30 active nodes in SF, but mousing over them shows that only about half are deemed reachable. And even if all 30 were reachable, there is not a single one within over a mile from my place in North Beach. Living in one of the most populalated neighborhoods and still being over 1 mile from an SFLan access point in a city that is only 7x7 miles across means SF does not have a decent wireless network.

SFLan's TOS doesn't matter to me because there's no "S" in it for me. I would be happy with whatever TOS the city came up with--- archive my packets for future inspection for all I care--- so long as I can get decent WiFi and don't have to rely on Starbucks to be my ISP.

Re:um, it's not free as in beer nor as in speech (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10614063)

SFlan may be free, but it is far from decent and fast. It needs serious improvement in reliability, latency, and external bandwidth before it can be considered a serious option. Part of the problem is that nodes and links fail frequently and there is no way to route around failures. Switching to a mesh network architecture would IMO vastly improve its performance.

don't they already? (1)

m33p (635261) | more than 9 years ago | (#10613953)

looking at the coverage maps for open access points in SF, it looks like everyone in SF already has wireless access.

-p.

Wireless in SanFran?? (4, Interesting)

jmcmunn (307798) | more than 9 years ago | (#10613955)

I have never been to San Fran myself, but my dad has on numerous occasions. And from his stories, the terrain in SF is "pretty hilly" to say the least. I have had problems at home with my wireless sometimes reaching from one floor to another without messing around with the antenae all the time. It seems like they're going to need a heck of a lot of repeaters/ap's for this to work out at all in that terrain.

Wouldn't it be cheaper just to run hard-wired fiber into every building, and drop off a linksys wireless router to everyone? Probably not really, but it sure seems like it is going to be very difficult to get a good wireless network in that terrain.

is there an election coming up in SF that this guy is trying to get votes for?

Re:Wireless in SanFran?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10614226)

While it is "pretty hilly" ie some streets have steps for sidewalks it does allow for easy transmition in my opinion since you have line of sight to most places. Place some high gain anntenas on the top of all the large hills: twin towers, grandview park/Golden Gate hights, turtle hill, Pacific heights. From there you would probably cover most of SF and just have to place some wifi spots in hard to reach areas for wifi like golden gate park .

There is no such thing as a free lunch (4, Insightful)

toupsie (88295) | more than 9 years ago | (#10613958)

1) Someone has to pay for it. It will be a freebie to certain voting blocks and a huge cost to others. If you are net tax contributor to the coffers of San Francisco, leave now!
2) This will be a freebie to the criminal elements of San Francisco and a huge cost to the law abiding, non-ubergeek. Consider yourself "pwned".
3) Expect this project to cost 10x what it is initially claimed. Gavin Newsom has a lot of paybacks for getting himself into power in San Francisco. Cost overruns will be massive.
4) This is best suited by corporation competition not government largess. Do we really want municipal Ma Bells all over the country?

If you want to do this on the cheap, make the homeless wear waypoint hats for their welfare checks. (insert joke about the waypoints keeping the government satellite signals out of their heads).

"...every nook and cranny" ? (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10613963)

I'm sorry, but I refuse to read a story about San Francisco containing that phrase.

What about the silver tinfoil dancing robots? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10613975)

the tinfoil crew will flock to these beacons of shinney delight, as they dance the day away to outkasts bombs over baghdad on-top of milk crates in union square... ... extends 32 ounce plastice cup

Free internet ???? (3, Insightful)

mritunjai (518932) | more than 9 years ago | (#10613981)

Does everybody in SF already has free medical facilities ? Free shelter ?

Umm "free" , i dont think so (2, Insightful)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 9 years ago | (#10614021)

There is nothing that the government does/offers that is 'free'.

You have paid for service via your tax dollars..

And until politicians stop treating our money as such, the waste and over taxation will continue.

Another site listing Wi-Fi is WiFiMaps.com (4, Informative)

drewzhrodague (606182) | more than 9 years ago | (#10614022)

Another site listing Wi-Fi is WiFiMaps.com [wifimaps.com] . This covers mainly the US, and data is updated by our users who upload their wardriving scans.

An who is paying for this? (1)

thelizman (304517) | more than 9 years ago | (#10614033)

"Free" wireless? Try "taxpayer funded" wireless. This is yet another taxpayer funded wealth redistribution program. But, as a geek, I don't mind so much, because its free interent. As an economist, the connective power of the Internet has economic benefits for society the same way the highway system and public streets do.

By the way, its good that michael didn't post this. When Bush proposed universal high speed access for all Americans, michaels left wing-nut two cent comment was "but he doesn't say how he's going to pay for all this".

"FREE ELECTRICITY FOR ALL" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10614062)

attributed to Nikola Tesla.

I can see it now. If /. had been around, in Tesla's time:

"what about the poor who can't afford light bulbs?"

"and who is going to pay for it?"

"if you're too poor to afford a light bulb, you don't need electricity, and besides, those who can afford the light bulbs will be payig the tax."

"i have visited the USA but never again if they offer free electricity."

"it will only lead to a reduction in individual privacy because the GOVERNMENT will now know how much electricity you are using"

"if you're doing nothing wrong, why should it matter if the government knows? I bet you're one of those criminals who grows reefer under lights!"

ad nasuem

Heh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10614078)

Well.As the west coast may get the Nintendo DS earlier than anyone else in the country. All I can say is that I expect them to make use of this opporunity to test the cr@p out of the thing and hack it however they can before i finally get mine.

Need to know what exactly it can and can't do in WiFi.

Wireless for all is a question of state of mind (1)

xiando (770382) | more than 9 years ago | (#10614082)

While many people today view their personal networks as private things that must be guarded, many people are today starting to view wireless access points as public goods instead of something that needs to be protected.

A free everywhere wireless network is quite possible. I've heard quote a few people say things like "Well, if my ISP goes down it's OK, I got two neighbours who also have their networks open". Opening your network to everyone is not unsafe or a bad idea, it's a question of overall security. Allowing ANYONE who happen to be behind your firewall access to a service is stupid. The right thing to do is to secure the service with passwords regardless of who or what uses it. Viewing all networks as public and securing properly according to this is much better than the old firewall approach.

So, you are secured and it is OK for anyone to access your LAN, just open it up. Let anyone use the public Internet through your access point!

If everyone who has the Internet at home would do this in a mayor city then anyone there would be able to get the Internet free - anywhere - today!

Mayor's Rediculas Idea (1)

Louie1462 (824908) | more than 9 years ago | (#10614091)

This is just another attempt to socialize a service. Now in the short term it seems like a great idea because the more people you have in the funding pool the less money it costs. Being a very capatalistic person, I find it very disturbing that so many people in this country find it so equally conveniant to give their "wants" into the hands of the government. In the case of a government emergency, a private vender is more likely to continue service where as the government could use it as a tool against the people. I just thought it would be interesting to see the right side of the idea. Louie

Just like Berkeley. (2, Informative)

Kenja (541830) | more than 9 years ago | (#10614134)

I'm going to file this under the same heading as the "sunshine for the masses" law that Berkeley has on the books. Living in the bay area is a strange experiance indeed.

What's up with all the broken Coral cache links? (4, Interesting)

douglips (513461) | more than 9 years ago | (#10614140)

All the links in the story end in ".nyud.net:8090", in an attempt to use Coral. The problem is, that is appended after everything else, which makes it irrelevant.

Remember, its:
http://hostname.com.nyud.net:8090/rest/of/ur i?what ever
not
http://hostname.com/rest/of/uri?whateve r.nyud.net: 8090

Strangely enough, in this case all the links seem to work faster than their coral counterparts.

Fixed coral links:
Reuters story [nyud.net]
NodeDB [nyud.net]
cheesebikini [nyud.net]

Mayor sit in the bar... (1)

helfen (791121) | more than 9 years ago | (#10614163)

Mayor sit in the bar and said. - "And Wireless for All!". And he start to drink his beer.

Put those AOL CDs to use (1)

Vampyre_Dark (630787) | more than 9 years ago | (#10614195)

Yeah. Finally. They have found a use for all those millions of AOL CDs taking up city space. No landfill or dump will take them. So distribute them to the citizens of the city, and let them deal with the problem.

FREE INTERNET FOR EVERYONE!

Will the city decide what content is allowed? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10614228)

Anytime these kinds of things pop up, two questions should be raised :

1)Is this going to reduce competition (i.e. it favors one company at the expense of others).

Question #1 then leads to this :

2)If it reduces competition down to one or two vendors, at that point will content be censored/restricted - i.e. If you only have one provider, and it is the city or run through the city, is the city going censor content or access in some way, or monitor what goes on?

The rest of the Bay Area? (1)

SpamJunkie (557825) | more than 9 years ago | (#10614309)

What about the rest of the Bay Area? I thought I heard something about great net access in Palo Alto a while ago, can anyone remind me what I'm thinking of?

OTT-London and its Olympic Bid (1)

Insipid Trunculance (526362) | more than 9 years ago | (#10614310)

What are the odds our illustrious Mayor , Comrade Ken , will offer this or something similar to bribe Londoners to support the olympic bid.

I think Londoners dont want to pay extra council taxes for the next 8 years for the priviledge of providing Samsung ,Coca Cola et al with an advertising podium.

The reason Cities are choosing this... (2, Interesting)

Artifakt (700173) | more than 9 years ago | (#10614345)

... is the real alternative sucks.
Citys aren't doing this to squeeze out private companys that want to offer service to everyone.
Cities aren't even competing with companies that want to offer service to everyone making above 30,000 $ a year, or to neigherborhoods where everyone owns their home.
Cities are looking at getting into providing access because the companies in their areas are generally targeting the top 5% of the market only. They are tired of dealing with companies that want to wire broadband only to people making 200,000 $ a year plus, and living in sufficiently large groups of interested users.
My city dropped plans to create a utilities model wireless service when the local Bell brought in a multi-tiered ADSL system that swiftly ended up competeing with local cable internet. Before that, we'd seen such problems as a small high speed provider that wanted to connect up just a few new streets, only to see the economic downturn hit, the local developers put off building houses on those streets, and their investmwent go down the toilet.
While I'm qute happy that we have some competitive interest in this area and didn't end up setting up a new local utility, we waited about 4 years for the situation to resolve itself. 4 years of businesses that weren't interested in profit margens of less than 15%, and didn't recognize when they were taking bigger risks by cherry-picking than they would have by trying to provide service to the majority.

Does it not concern anyone... (1)

Loco3KGT (141999) | more than 9 years ago | (#10614367)

That you put the government in the control of the flow of information when you let them provide you with Internet access?

Is everyone ignoring China and what's happening there?
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