Monday, November 19, 2007

What About Municipal Wi-Fi?

Following several years of failed promises for municipal Wi-Fi projects--and growing consumer demand--a recent review in the San Francisco Chronicle reports that "the reality is somewhere in between hype and hopelessness."

Municipal (for most of those interested, read free) Wi-Fi in Tacoma has never got off the ground, largely for lack of any clear business model and in observance of services already ambient by companies like Clearwire. Efforts by the Rainier Communications Commission to create a county-wide system also failed to gain traction--for the same reasons.

The Chronicle article by staff writer Ryan Kim provides a bird’s-eye view of municipal Wi-Fi adoption, and it contends that the movement is slowing down, but progressing with clearer goals and a more logical approach that includes acknowledging that:
  • There's a learning process that big cities and counties in particular have been absorbing the hard way;
  • Municipal leaders are learning that they need to ensure that projects are profitable for their vendors;
  • The ad-supported free model, which Google had proposed for San Francisco, seems to be taking a backseat to more realistic approaches that rely on governments as anchor tenants;
  • Cities are backing off some of their talk of broad public access and bridging the digital divide in favor of more immediate goals, concrete applications and services;
  • The most popular uses among municipalities are public safety, remote worker access, meter reading and surveillance cameras.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Cyber Defense Workshop at the UWT

A Cyber Defense workshop will be held at UWT on Saturday, November 17, from 10:00 to 1:00. Anyone is welcome to attend--students, faculty, staff, friends, relatives, anyone interested in the technical aspects of network security. This workshop will be a Network Mapping Challenge.

The group will start in the Embedded lab, Cherry Parks 206D.

Linux experience helpful, but not required. Participants who already have network mapping software on their laptops, will be able to use their own machine.

For more information contact Don McLane (

Thursday, November 8, 2007

SST 2008: Save the Date!

Save the date now to join technology professionals from around Western Washington for South Sound Technology Conference 2008 on Thursday, November 29th, from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. (registration begins at 8:30 a.m.) in the Carwein Auditorium at the University of Washington Tacoma.

This year's conference will focus on how blogging is changing the way South Sounders communicate, socialize and take action. Come join the conversation on how blogging is transforming the exchange of information, and the influence on journalism, business, civic leadership and the public at large...