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The Internet

The Wireless City 268

Posted by michael
from the hey-buddy-wanna-buy-a-laptop dept.
bigfatlamer writes "This week's NY Times City Section has an article (FRRYYY) on wireless access in New York City's busiest park, Bryant Park. The director of the park has installed a free 802.11b network with complete coverage of the park with help from NYC Wireless. From the article: 'With some clever engineering and hardware from Cisco Systems and Intel, the wireless park was born. Just as park users could sit wherever they liked, so too could they gain access where they liked. The eight-megabytes-per-second connection was as free as the sunshine and the green grass.' NYC Wireless is currently working with the Parks Dept. to put similar networks in Madison Square and Tompkins Square Parks. If they could do Prospect Park (3 blocks from my house) life would be perfect." NYCwireless helps those who help themselves...
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The Wireless City

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  • We have cityless wires!
  • yup (Score:5, Funny)

    by dolo666 (195584) on Tuesday November 26, 2002 @02:09PM (#4760300) Journal
    ... and Pringles sales skyrocket!
  • Unacountable bits? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by LostCluster (625375) on Tuesday November 26, 2002 @02:10PM (#4760315)
    I'd love to see a wide-open WiFi access system installed at my local park, but I'm concerned that the network might be abused for use in spamming, DOSing, or other hacking. What logical restrictions should be put on a public WiFi center so that the majority of good people can enjoy the system while the small number of people who would do the Internet harm are foiled?
    • by stratjakt (596332)
      I'd imagine a transparent proxy that won't let you do anything past HTTP and POP3.

      I doubt they want warez kids sitting in the park to download their gamez on the fat wireless pipe, either.
    • I have a dream that in the future, there will a wireless network spanning that planet (a-la star trek subspace frequency).

      I also have a dream that there will be IPv6 to support such a grandiose network.

      As for security, in those years, thing will be 'much more secure'... like only some slight fraction of the servers today are.

      I also see that you will not need to propagate your email address for doing usefull things (like registration to porn sites, or mega-corporations who think they own you)... like some of us are already doing today.

      Ahhh..... it's just a dream.
    • by draziw (7737)
      Yes, they allow outbound:
      node faq [nycwireless.net]

      Is it secure? No! Wireless Ethernet is insecure by default. Any user on the Wireless Local Area Network (WLAN) can spy on unencrypted traffic from other wireless users. Wired connections are generally more secure when communicating with other servers. Users are advised to use SSL to connect to web pages and mail hosts, SSH instead of telnet whenever possible, and VPNs (virtual private networks) for all other data to ensure privacy and security. You may see literature saying that the 802.11b standard includes provisions for optional 40- or 128-bit link-level encryption over the air, however, current implementations require the encryption key to be shared by all users of the wireless LAN, effectively eliminating the usefulness of this security feature in an open network environment.

      Also fyi: How to find access [nycwireless.net]
    • by Thalia (42305) on Tuesday November 26, 2002 @02:27PM (#4760467)
      I am tired of the usual diatribe from security people that bandwidth is this great outlet for danger. Any system could be used for DOS, DDOS, Spam, spoofing, hacking onto other machines in the park, secret Chinese spy deals, and more. Get over it.

      Some would liken IP connectivity to a printing press, and argue the company providing the press must watch each item printed against copyrighted, subversive, or pornographic works. Others would argue it is like electricity, a utility that is provided fairly cheaply after the initial wiring is installed, and need not be charged for at all for small amounts. The few who see it as a wilderness, full of abuse and crime and desparados checking for weakness tend to sell computer security services.
      • by Incongruity (70416) on Tuesday November 26, 2002 @03:06PM (#4760836)
        The few who see it as a wilderness, full of abuse and crime and desparados checking for weakness tend to sell computer security services.

        You've never had your email address harvested by a spammer, have you? Through a security flaw in my University's content sharing arrangement with another university, many many email addresses were harvested and spammed bigtime. The dramatic increase in mail volume caused problems for our mail servers...nothing that the IT folks couldn't handle but it was a problem.

        That kind of thing is the simplest example of abuse of the internet.

        The notion that the internet isn't actually an insecure, unsafe network that should, by its very nature be "untrusted" unless secured is a dangerous one. Just because you haven't had a problem yet doesn't mean that you won't.

        A free wireless connection to the internet means that someone with a laptop could sit out there and gerate millions of spams and never be traced back to anything more than a (likely spoofed) MAC address. The only way to stop that from happening is through thoughtful design and good network practices. IMHO, that includes exgress filtering on the network to prevent excessive spam...

        Not an IT security sales guy, -tcp

      • Your points are well taken. I agree with them for the most part. The problem though is this, how will the law view it. If my network facilitates a DOS attack on some company's server, can I be sued? I have this feeling that the law would hold me accountable for any mis-use. At the very least, they would want me to show I made an attempt to stop the abuse.

        Until the law views it the same way you do, it would be prudent to try.
        • by Fastolfe (1470) on Tuesday November 26, 2002 @03:57PM (#4761410)
          You bet you can be sued, unless you can demonstrate that someone else used your network to do harm. Here's the tricky bit, though: did you knowingly facilitate that user's illegal acts?

          If your network was broken into and someone did these things without your knowledge, you certainly can't be held liable for his acts. If you ran your network responsibly, you can't even be called negeligent.

          But when you open up your wireless LAN and let any and every Joe get Internet access through your network, and you deliberately make no effort to authenticate or gather sufficient information to a) track down abusers; or b) prevent abuse, one might suggest that you are acting as an accessory to whatever crimes are committed through your network.

          It's possible, though, that if this is going to be treated like any other public utility, that the city is going to be OK with the fact that they'll just need to track these users down in real-time, by triangulating positions and using surveillance cameras, though.

          And keep in mind that this is just the legal end of things. Generally when any customer signs a contract with a network provider, that contract includes bits about the customer not violating the ISP's terms of service, etc., etc. It isn't too far-fetched to assume that the city is subject to one or more ISPs' terms of use, and that they'll have to enforce those same terms on the general public that uses these public networks. If they are unable to reliably do so, the hosting ISP could be perfectly justified in enforcing penalties in the contract, perhaps including disconnection of service.

          There's no reason to assume that just because it's a "city" doing this that they'll be exempt from having to honor an ISP's terms of service. But who knows? Maybe they're expecting to be large enough that they won't consider themselves customers of ISP's so much as peers...
      • The security argument is really just a liability argument. For example: When someone sends a death threat to the President through your network, it may result in your network having an outage when the Secret Service sieze your computers. That's a pretty serious DoS.

        Think of liability as a hot potato. You better not accept it, unless you know who you're going to pass it to. If you fail in this, then you are the one who will end up holding it. A common carrier always has someone to point to. Do you?

    • What logical restrictions should be put on a public WiFi center so that the majority of good people can enjoy the system while the small number of people who would do the Internet harm are foiled?

      A big sticker which says "use at your own risk."

      C'mon, if you don't want anonymous users connecting to your system, put access controls on it.

    • Well I'll volunteer some time to walk the park and shoulder surf. I see anyone doing anything questionable(SPAM, etc) and it's a simple, "Leave now or I will gladly beat your sorry ass to a pulp." Or simply stand near them with a sign that reads "This man is distributing Child Porn" See what people think of that.
  • by the_verb (552510) on Tuesday November 26, 2002 @02:11PM (#4760318) Homepage
    As much as we want the 'net to be privately funded, it seems pretty unrealistic to expect networks like this to spring up privately. Like the road system, or sanitation, shouldn't access be a utility?

    --v.
    • Power companies, health care, and telephone service are private interprises. What makes the internet so special that it should be any different?
    • Why is it unrealistic to see them spring up privately? Just lock it down and sell subscriptions. The gov't is around to provide for *essential* services (such as transportation and sanitation). Net access is far from essential. I don't have high speed anything now because I don't want it, and I don't want to pay for it. I don't want to pay for it through my taxes, either.
    • Q: Under CDA, do government provided wireless access points have to run censorware filters?
  • It would be nice to get something like that here in New Orleans. Wishful thinking on my part... I just had a 30 minute conversation with a coworker explaining this newfangled internet thing.
  • by CrazyDuke (529195) on Tuesday November 26, 2002 @02:13PM (#4760338)
    ...The perfect day to go leech Gigs of pr0n in the park for free!

    Come on! Smile! You know you want to...
    • Lady walking her dog in the park.

      Man runs up to her wearing a trenchcoat. Man opens trench coat - flashing lady with moving images from www.hot-sex.com on LCD screens hiden inside his jacket.

      Lady screams.

      Man runs away into the bushes.
    • ...The perfect day to go leech Gigs of pr0n in the park for free! ... and the FBI jumps you in the park for virtual indecent exposure!!!
  • Security? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Doesnt this have security implications? If someone can anonymously access the net there is no way to trace them back...seems like the ideal camoflauge for anyone up to no good.
  • FRRYYY? (Score:5, Funny)

    by Aexia (517457) on Tuesday November 26, 2002 @02:15PM (#4760363)
    What does that stand for?

    "Free Registration Required, Yo Yo Yo"?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 26, 2002 @02:15PM (#4760366)
  • by smartin (942) on Tuesday November 26, 2002 @02:20PM (#4760407)
    I heard that there was a nycwireless node in Rector Park, which is a little park in Battery Park City surrounded by appartment buildings. So one day a couple of weeks ago i was walking past and figured i would give it a go. Opened my ibook, fired up macstumbler and found about 2 dozen nets, 2 of which were nycwireless. I was able to connect to and use all of the ones i tried, thought the nycwireless ones by far had the best signal. I'm willing to bet that if you go and sit near enough to some upscale apartment buildings (or for that matter, live in one) you can be pretty sure of getting access for free. It seems that most people think these things are plug and play.
  • Sustainability? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Mannerism (188292) <keith-slashdot@nOSPaM.spotsoftware.com> on Tuesday November 26, 2002 @02:20PM (#4760408)
    NYCwireless looks like a great initiative, but I have to wonder how sustainable not-for-profit wireless networks like this are. Even if sponsorship covers the initial infrastructure (and I can see a "give 'em the network, sell 'em the network adapters" strategy perhaps working for Lucent, Cisco, et. al.), there must be a substantial ongoing operational cost. Does anyone know whether NYCwireless or any similar operations have announced their long-term strategies?
    • Step One: Set up wireless network...
      Step Two:
      Step Three: Profit

      Tired old joke, but it seems to be a popular business model. There are a ton of websites and services with the same idea: give away lots of free stuff with no hope of gaining a profit. Look what happened to AdCritic.

    • Re:Sustainability? (Score:3, Insightful)

      by LostCluster (625375)
      Most businesses have more bandwidth than they need at any given moment, so the bandwidth is practically free to them since they were going to pay for it anyway. That is, until ISPs get wise to this idea and start with TOSes that prevent this use without paying extra for it. For some businesses, like shopping malls, they might write off the cost of WiFi bandwidth as a promotion to try to get geeks to stay in the mall, and therefore not pulling their girlfriends away from their shopping.
    • Re:Sustainability? (Score:2, Informative)

      by EyeSavedLatin (591555)
      From NYCwireless: "We are volunteer group constructing a community owned network of computers that share internet access over radio connections. Each access point is run independently by volunteers with their own equipment." So their "sustainability" plan is to try and build a community. What? A long term strategy of building a community? What? People should be allowed access to information? This concept would be idealistic and unrealistic if it were the burden of a company, but it's not. Will people try to make a profit off it it? Probably, but overall this is significant because it's a movement where costs as well as benefits are distributed. It's not a get rich quick scheme.
    • NYCwireless looks like a great initiative, but I have to wonder how sustainable not-for-profit wireless networks like this are.

      1970: This Internet thing sure seems like a great initiative, but I have to woder how sustainable not-for-profit wired networks like this are.

    • Re:Sustainability? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by NickV (30252) on Tuesday November 26, 2002 @03:34PM (#4761166)
      In most areas of the US, I would say you have a valid point, but it's pretty easy to make a non-profit sustainable wireless zone over Manhattan because of the sheer density of the island.

      The key is having enough wireless routers out there to provide a signal for a bunch of radii of coverage so that there are no "dead zones." In a place like LA, you'd need 100s and 100s of routers spread over relatively sparse sprawl. The nice thing about Manhattan is you can have one or two people put up a router and that router will theoretically cover hundreds to thousands of people.

      This is exactly why (if you look at the map found at the wireless map [nodedb.com]) you'll see that Manhattan is ridiculously well covered, but the other boroughs (which are sparser) are not.

      Will this work in all of America? Keep in mind that after Manhattan -- The Bronx, Brooklyn and Queens are the three densest counties in America (with SF as #5.) And it's not really working in any borough outside of Manhattan...
    • Mesh networking/NAT.

      I don't know the first thing about the different mesh networking plans, but this'd be an excellent sort of problem to solve:

      If certain users have bandwidth that they'd be happy to share, and a WAP, someone needs to make a configuration utility that allows them to easily share their internet-bound bandwidth with the network.

      The part that's really different from a wifi bridge is that this needs to be ad-hoc. So that internet access providers can enter and exit the network without fubaring connectivity. Between folks like the pakketto keiretsu author and regular ad hoc networking folks, I'm sure it could work.
    • Re:Sustainability? (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Cyno (85911)
      That's like saying Linux isn't going to sustain itself. What's its long-term strategy to support its developement cost? The long-term strategy is to provide FREE wireless internet access. The long-term strategy is to provide FREE quality software. Only freaks and capitalists care about the long-term strategy you have in mind, ie. money. The rest of us just want it to work.
  • by smd4985 (203677) on Tuesday November 26, 2002 @02:25PM (#4760444) Homepage
    this is great news. the drug dealers in the park will be especially happy - they can create a web service infrastructure with their suppliers! .NET has its first customer!!
    • This is off-topic, but of interest: Drug dealers don't hang around in parks anymore, and technology is part of the reason. Why? Because pagers are cheap.

      These days most dealers run their businesses out of their cars, not their streetcorners: You page them and they deliver to your home. (Or, um, so I've heard.) Sure beats hanging around on a street corner in the middle of the night with drugs and cash in your pocket. Some believe that this is part of the reason violent crime dropped in the mid-90s nationwide: Less crack dealers on the corner, less people trying to rob crack dealers.

      The exception still seems to be Washington Square Park, which from what I've heard is still an alright place to score. I'd suspect that it's because WSP has lots of tourists and college kids who are new in town.
    • by _ph1ux_ (216706) on Tuesday November 26, 2002 @03:00PM (#4760787)
      When your "customer" is on the hunt for a fix.
      And you can check the status on the big bust down at the docks - thereby inflating the cost of crack on the spot, thats one degree of separation.
  • by Quaoar (614366) on Tuesday November 26, 2002 @02:26PM (#4760458)
    I don't think you're going to attract too many wireless nerds with THAT approach.
  • Sweet (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Gary Franczyk (7387)
    Now if they could set up wireless access on the beaches here in Florida, we would have something!
  • by coene (554338) on Tuesday November 26, 2002 @02:26PM (#4760460)
    Free Wireless Internet in the Park, thats what its all about?

    Well, at least it's not the Hokey Pokey. Thank god for small miracles.
  • heh (Score:5, Funny)

    by Ooblek (544753) on Tuesday November 26, 2002 @02:27PM (#4760463)
    The eight-megabytes-per-second connection was as free as the sunshine and the green grass.

    They forgot to add free as the smell of dog-shit, annoying joggers, muggers, pick-pockets, mumbling homeless people, ranting homeless people, hari-krishnas, and I'm sure the occasional "hey, wanna buy a watch" guy.

    Sorry, never been there, I'm sure its nice.

    • Re:heh (Score:4, Informative)

      by dr00g911 (531736) on Tuesday November 26, 2002 @03:08PM (#4760864)
      Not sure what your opinion of NYC is as a whole, but I have to tell you that Bryant park is a very, very nice area to hang about in.

      I first visited it because my girlfriend works for a downtown revitalization consortium in my city, and when I went to visit NYC (this was a couple years ago) she had me take a pile of photos and QuicktimeVR nodes of the park -- as it's the very model of an urban public park these days. It's a few blocks north of the Empire State building.

      Awesome grass, pretty trees, an awesome view, upscale sandwich carts (reminds me of Central Park) -- and get this:

      The tables and chairs in the park aren't concrete or nailed down. They're comfortable and light and you're encouraged to shift and move around anywhere on the block.

      It's a *VERY* popular lunch and sunbathing spot.

      It's a pretty huge experiment that's been really successful and is being copied by a lot of cities trying to revitalize their own downtown areas right now.

      Sure, you get a couple of wierdos from time to time -- but, hell! It's New York City! You *PAY* to hang around those same wierdos in the Village come nightfall.
      • Ha!

        The lawn is usually closed, they open it up during the summer now and then, but usually when i walk by it's closed. It's closed right now, probably letting the grass recover after the fashion show.

        You can't sit at the tables this week, all the open areas are taken up by the booths selling holiday knicknacks.

        It's a nice park and all, but it seems that it's more for use by paid parties (fashion show, circus, microsoft, and the current booths) than for the people.

        • Re:heh (Score:2, Informative)

          by gray peter (539195)
          Not true at all. In the summer there's a bar/munchies spot and movies. The "paid parties" are mostly in the non-sunbathing times of the year. And also to correct a few comments up, it's actually 10 blocks north of the Empire State Bldg.
      • The tables and chairs in the park aren't concrete or nailed down.

        There are chairs? When I visited NYC the one thing that i niticed the most (after walking around all day) is that there is nowhere to sit that isnt on the goround or doesnt require you to buy something first pretty much anywhere in the city. In times square there is a little park with benches in it. This park is fenced off from the general public. Despite this there was a bum sleeping on the bench. NYC's solution to the homeless isnt "build more homeless shelters" its "get rid of places where the homeless can sleep" because that will certainly solve the problem.

  • Like many other Slashdotters, I'll be travelling over the weekend (DFW to PIT). And, I'll be taking my laptop along. I've heard that some airports have 802.11b, but is there a list anywhere of public locations with Wifi access?
  • Private vs Public (Score:4, Informative)

    by KarmaBitch (562896) on Tuesday November 26, 2002 @02:29PM (#4760485)
    Amazing that this park is run by a private company and not by the city?

    See company's can do nice things...
    Don't bash all of them
    • Amazing that this park is run by a private company and not by the city?

      See company's can do nice things... Don't bash all of them

      The fact that Bryant Park Restoration Corporation is a specifically not-for-profit company just might be relevant. And quite possibly they're funded do this "nice thing" by local developers, property management companies, and other businesses, who stand to gain quite a bit from having a squeeky clean park. (Note that park rules prohibit panhandling, which the city can't legally do in parks that it controls.)

      Sure companies can do nice things ... if there's something in it for them. (And quite right, too, but excuse me if I'm not naive enough to start fawning over them for it.)

  • by hotsauce (514237) on Tuesday November 26, 2002 @02:30PM (#4760498)

    Pah! I am sitting in Oakland (home of U Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon) with my iBook on a free Telerama connection. Apart from Telerama (which will turn to a paid service when they have the entire city covered), the City of Pittsburgh has a free net downtown, and Telerama and others cover all major neighborhoods.

    When Telerama starts charging, I'll just cancel my ISP and use them everywhere. Free would be nice, but my ISP getting me wireless access everywhere in the city is great too.

    Of course, Pitt, CMU and Duquesne have their own wireless points all over for their students/staff. It's already reality in Pittsburgh, buddy.


  • by dailywireless (624587) on Tuesday November 26, 2002 @02:31PM (#4760518) Journal
    Portland, Oregon, is planning a re-designed Waterfront Park. Yesterday I sent them A Wireless Park Vision [dailywireless.org]. They liked it!

    Interactive, engaging and site-specific applications are a click away. The Dialtone Symphony [flong.com] (.ram [dax.aec.at]) is wholly produced through the choreographed ringing of people's own cell phones. Here are some other ideas:

    The Public Review Draft of Portland's Waterfront Park Master Plan [portlandparks.org] is available on-line.

    The Morrison Bridge [bizave.com], in the center of Waterfront Park, has phone line access. An Orinoco 2500 [proxim.com] ($1000) could drive Wi-Fi repeaters [dailywireless.org] on the north end (near Saturday Market) and the south end, (near the Alexis Hotel), providing blanket coverage. The repeaters [dailywireless.org] could be camouflaged [dailywireless.org] as animals or Oregon historic figures [ochcom.org]. Waterfront Park also has a direct shot to the Council Crest tower [custommetalworks.com] where Winfield Wireless [winfieldwireless.com] has a wireless ISP.

    Rent out Segway Scooters [segway.com] with built-in Pocket PCs. Your GPS position would trigger Oregon Historical Society's Narrated Neighborhood Tours [ohs.org], Portland Visitor's Association's Self-Guided Tours [pova.com], Portland Metro Maps [metro-region.org] or Lewis and Clark Maps [mapbureau.com]. Wireless cameras [dailywireless.org] could be helpful for the police, too.

    Jacksonville Florida's free wireless hot spots [jaxwiz.org] provide tourist information as well as internet access. Multi-lingual kiosks, incorporating webtablets with language translation are available now. Text to speech can be output in a variety of languages. And it sounds good. Human voice samples are now incorporated into text to speech. Choose a language, respond by voice.

    Parks have not caught up with the wireless society. Let's make it happen!

    • by don_carnage (145494) on Tuesday November 26, 2002 @03:15PM (#4760915) Homepage

      Parks have not caught up with the wireless society. Let's make it happen!

      As good as that sounds, I'm sure there are plenty of people who would prefer to keep technology out of our parks. I would hate for the sounds of wind in the trees, children playing, and birds singing to be drowned out by a cell phone symphony. Think about it.

    • RF-ID wrist bands for kids ($2.99) or "find friends" (free)

      This is a really interesting IDea. It would be a useful thing in theme parks and anywhere there are large crowds. What would be neat is kiosks with screens on them. and when you walked up and stood in the little circle in front of the screen it would show you as a dot on a map - and if the tags could be given a group ID - you could see all the other people in your group as dots (they are here) on the map.

      It would be neat to also be able to touch the map and set a waypoint for all the people in your group to meet up at.

      To add people to your group - you touch add ID - then the person you want to add puts his wrist up to a reader that has a very small proximity reader (so it doesnt add the people walking by mistakenly)

      Each band would just have a unique ID.

      (although it would be funny to watch the map update the location of your friends while they are riding around on roller coasters.)
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 26, 2002 @02:32PM (#4760527)
    Ahh, a peaceful day in the park. Trees waving in the wind, birds singing, and geeks typing furiously.
  • Green. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Trusty Penfold (615679) <jon_edwards@spanners4us.com> on Tuesday November 26, 2002 @02:33PM (#4760531) Journal

    Personally, I go to the local park to get some fresh air, look at something other than Windows and get a modicum amount of exercise.

    The last thing I want to do is check my email.
    • Then get your exercise and have fun with it. And I'm sure the people who want to check their mail and surf slashdot will do so as well. Can't we all just get along?

    • This is Bryant park we're talking about. You could walk around the perimiter in about 2 minutes (if you speedwalk). It's two blocks from Times Square, so it's noisy, crowded, and pretty expensive.

      Fresh air? You kidding, there's no such thing as fresh air in NYC.

      It's a nice, cozy park, except it's really crowded; during lunch it's difficult to find a chair or table. The lawn is frequently closed so the grass gets a chance to breathe after hosting the fashion show, circus, the myriad of functions. Right now most of the free space is taken up by holiday shopping stalls.

      Hmm... the antennas are probably just out of LoS... should run downstairs and pick up a pringles can and play with it.

  • by stinky wizzleteats (552063) on Tuesday November 26, 2002 @02:55PM (#4760750) Homepage Journal

    Homeland security secretary Ridge today ordered thousands of law enforcement officers to scour the grounds of Central Park looking for a warez web server believed to be operating from a remote control car.

  • by psyconaut (228947) on Tuesday November 26, 2002 @02:56PM (#4760762)
    The number of people mugged for their laptops and PDAs in New York's Bryant Park has increased dramatically recently. NY Police are baffled.

    -psy
  • by Slashdotess (605550) <gchurch@NOspAm.hotmail.com> on Tuesday November 26, 2002 @03:00PM (#4760785)
    In the Wireless Network I worked for on my city [hgncomnet.org], we had quite a few problems with kids using bandwidth for piracy and whatnot. As a result, we unfortunately had to block p2p ports, but the free service has been good for our community.
  • Eight Megabyte (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Rosonowski (250492) <rosonowski@gmaDEGASil.com minus painter> on Tuesday November 26, 2002 @03:04PM (#4760816)
    The eight-megabytes-per-second connection was as free...

    Ok, am I the only one who caught this? I'm hoping (not really) that it's a terminology error, because a 64mbps connection sounds real, real nice, especially when it's free.

    The project as a whole, though, sounds very cool. I think I would like to try that out when I go this summer.
  • Personally, I'd love to see a public wireless access point in Tompkins. I spend a great deal of my time in the coffee shops next to the park (alt.coffee and pick me up) and would consider dragging my laptop out with me if the range was sufficient. I had been considering getting one of the Sprint PCS Vision plans, but a few public access points would make this less of a necessity. Also, depending on where they put the transmitter, my roof may be line of site (from E3rd between C and D). I could definitely be inspired to set up a pringles can and see how it goes.

    On a related note -- I have a Linksys WAP11 in my apartment and recently stopped bothering with the encryption, figuring that if anyone else in my building wanted to use it, I don't really mind. However, I'd love to know if they were. Is there anyway you can check out who using the connection short of just sniffing the LAN for packets that are not your own?
  • What happens when someone starts using that free connection to hack people/companies?

    Or are there lots of cameras in the parks with automatic facial recognition?
  • by BSDevil (301159) on Tuesday November 26, 2002 @03:19PM (#4760959) Journal
    ...because according to the Bryant Park People [bryantpark.org] NYCWireless is run by a bunch of computer wizards!
  • Any of you seen the site PublicInternetProject.org [publicinte...roject.org] They catalog over 13,000 access point in New York City. Including half a dozen in central park.


    From thier site:

    Research Specifics, Overall Statistics:

    1) 13,707 unique nodes within manhattan
    2) 4,038 (29.46%) WEP enabled

    That is a little better than just Bryant Park.

  • New York City's busiest park

    In what units does one measure "business"?
  • by N8F8 (4562) on Tuesday November 26, 2002 @04:01PM (#4761465)
    Glad to see the city thinks fiscal responsability is a good thing.
  • I live directly across from it on 7th street (East Village).

    I wonder if I'll be able to tap into the network for free. :)

    The city has been trying to pimp this area for a while now, it was really bad years ago. I guess they'll do anything to get MORE people here (E. Village = one big ass bar and resturant)
  • ...using your laptop out there in anything approaching direct sunlight...

Numeric stability is probably not all that important when you're guessing.

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