Posts tagged with "wifi":

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The City of New York says no to free porn (at LinkNYC kiosks)

You can't watch porn on the street.

That's what New York City is telling its citizens who use LinkNYC, the free wifi kiosks that the city installed in the Bronx, Manhattan, and Queens last February.

Designed to replace 7,500 anachronistic pay phones, the 400 kiosks let people check maps, the weather, recharge portable devices, and stand around for hours streaming pornography, sometimes while enjoying a beer or other substances.

To combat misuse, the kiosk operator, LinkNYC network, is suspending internet browsing at all stations (the wifi will still be available for personal devices, and users can still make phone calls). The city and LinkNYC network are working out a plan that hopefully will provide free internet to the public but restrict access to the more lurid corners of the internet.

“These kiosks are often monopolized by individuals creating personal spaces for themselves, engaging in activities that include playing loud explicit music, consuming drugs and alcohol, and the viewing of pornography,” said City Council member Corey Johnson in a letter last month to city and LinkNYC officials.

“I don’t think anybody should be able to sit there and watch movies all day long,” borough president Gale Brewer said. “People are pulling up sofas or chairs or what have you.”

A spokesperson for LinkNYC called the kiosk design "iterative" and noted that the speakers, which some users blast music on, are now turned down at night. The company's experimented with adding filters to block objectionable content, the New York Times reported.

This is why we can't have nice things.

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Here’s a bright idea: Tech firms wants to gather data through Kansas City street lights

Streetlights and lampposts are good for more than finding your way home and singin' in the rain. Tech firms Cisco Systems and Sensity Networks plan to help Kansas City roll out smart lighting that can broadcast and share data with city agencies and private companies. "Cisco's and Sensity's intelligent lighting platform transforms each lighting fixture into a sensory node in a powerful, broadband wireless network, creating a light sensory network for municipalities,” reads a Cisco press release. As part of a planned public wifi network, the smart lights could potentially gather and share data about public safety, traffic, and even retail analytics, although the release doesn't detail any specific programs. Lux magazine put the announcement in context:
Other cities embarking on similar projects include Los Angeles, San Diego, Copenhagen, Glasgow and Bristol, England, among others. In Denmark, the Danish Outdoor Lighting Laboratory is testing many of the principles. Hamburg, Germany is using smart streetlighting to help  it more efficiently run Europe's second largest port.
Kansas City is no stranger to high-tech experiments. Google's pilot program for high-speed, fiber-optic broadband infrastructure kicked up the terms “fiberhood” and even “Silicon Prairie.”
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New York City Calls For Free, Outdoor Wi-Fi Network With Reinvented Payphones

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has issued an RFP to create a network of free, outdoor Wi-Fi hotspots across all five boroughs. The network would become one of the largest in the country, and have a significant impact on the city’s streetscape. That's because the plan transforms New York's aging system of payphones—commonly known today as al fresco "toilets"—with what are being described by the city as public connection points. "By using a historic part of New York’s street fabric, we can significantly enhance public availability of increasingly-vital broadband access, invite new and innovative digital services,” said Mayor de Blasio in a statement. This RFP dates back to last year's Reinvent Payphones Design Challenge, which asked designers to envision ways to make payphones useful in the 21st Century. Sage and Coombe Architects won that competition with a proposal for a sleek communications portal called NYFi (pictured at top). According to the city, designs received through the RFP “will be evaluated on the basis of functional efficiency, aesthetics, security, durability, adaptability for various environments around the city—including historic districts and individual landmarks—and accommodation of people with disabilities.” While the 10,000 portals will certainly impact the city’s physical landscape, it will truly transform its digital landscape—whether or not we see it happening. Thanks to a pretty incredible visualization project called Immaterials: Light Painting Wifi, we can get a sense of the spatial realities of Wi-Fi. It is simultaneously profound, stunning, and invisible. Responses to the RFP are due by the end of June and the city plans to sign a contract by the end of this year.
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Kansas City: Silicon Prairie?

Google’s grand experiment on the Great Plains, dubbed “Silicon Prairie” by some, is to revitalize Kansas City with superfast internet. That network hookup could make KC a hotspot for new businesses, too, according to some entrepreneurs eyeing the new “fiberhoods” where the infrastructure exists. Kansas City may not have aspirations to be the next Silicon Valley, but Google’s investment has invigorated the city’s startup culture. On top of efforts to clean up the region’s vacant land and the highly-anticipated return of KC's streetcar, startups are just one reason that Kansas City will be a city to watch.