Negroponte Focusing On WiFi

from the sounds-good,-but... dept

Earlier this week Nicholas Negroponte was quotes talking about how carriers should just skip 3G, and now he’s going on in Wired about how WiFi is the future of wireless and will (of course) change everything. He goes through his pond/lillypad analogy, stretching it a bit too far. Like many of Negroponte’s predictions he seems to assume things will catch on a little bit faster and a little bit easier than is probably true in real life. Certainly, I’m a big fan of WiFi, and I think that the grassroots nature of it could lead to some very useful things. However, the backlash from folks (such as AT&T and Nokia) who see open WiFi nodes as a threat to their business are likely to hold back “universal” open WiFi showing up anytime soon. He also seems to ignore the fact that this “broadband system built by the people for the people” is only built by the people for a very short part of the network – at which point it hops onto the network built by the large phone company.

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Comments on “Negroponte Focusing On WiFi”

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1 Comment
Anonymous Coward says:

wireless internet

Nick May wrote:
> What exactly does the term “wireless internet” refer to?
> Clearly NOT to an access method (fixed line or wireless).
> So to what – a combination of a set of business models involving walled
> gardens and semi proprietary markup?
> Or has the term entirely disappeared up its own fundament?
> Nick

Gee, I thought the term had taken a more nefarious turn… as in
“war driving is not a crime” or Nokia’s most recent definition of
Windows XP’s wireless modality. Of course if Ballmer/Microsoft
is doing it (whatever “it” is), *it* must be *hot*:

Unfortunately Hoffman was just a little too early to put up the
“steal this bandwidth” web page (and associated access point(s)).
Still… the point is well made that carriers who are late to
the “3G” party may find themselves pumping furiously to get
the last dregs out of the “free beer” keg thanks to all the street
performers chalking up the sidewalks.

Is it bad fourm to show up at a revolution/party in a suite and tie?

Not that keitai’s have become unimportant… it’s just that the
current mores of the average “wireless internet” user have made
the keitai an expensive alternative. The only thing holding back
mass adoption is the right device and demarcationless VoIP. Gota’
wonder what’s going to happen when tLPoE* figure out how to use
Yahoo’s BB VoIP via an unsecured access point. 7yen per miniute
billed to the poor sap with the access point is far too tempting
a target to be left alone (waves arms and mumbles something about
using IPv6 or DNS to provide portability across alien, hostile
carriers and changing end-point numbers)…. and with that (the
inclusion of voice and wireless), I believe I’ve managed to stay
on topic for the list.

Please keep in mind that turning cell phones into P2P devices/nets
won’t stop the tide… 802.11b has an ad hoc mode that people
aren’t paying very much attention to at this particular point in
time (I keep wondering when someone is going to modify the various
GNUTella clients out there to use wireless as hoc… not very
usefull in real life, but could be a neat party trick at a
conference or gathering or Con or average Japanese office). The
final thing to remember about ad hoc is that it potentionally
removes the naughty-naughty out of “wireless internet” use.

* – the Latent Powers of Entropy

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