[extropy-chat] History in the making is so bland...
wingcat at pacbell.net
Wed Nov 16 05:06:56 UTC 2005
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
* 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
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
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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