Internet Archive to fund super-high-speed Internet in public housing

Living in public housing is nothing to write home about, and certainly nothing that offers lifestyle advantages over what most people fortunate enough to afford something more elaborate have.

But thanks to the Internet Archive, and its founder, Brewster Kahle, residents of one San Francisco public housing development may soon have something over everyone else, especially those who like high-speed Internet connections.

The Internet Archive says it will allow those who live at Valencia Gardens Housing in San Francisco's Mission district to access the Internet at 100 megabits per second. By contrast, my Comcast Internet service delivers 6Mbps via … Read more

Southwest plans high-speed Internet trials

Southwest Airlines announced Wednesday that it plans to begin trials of satellite-to-airplane broadband Internet service sometime this summer.

Spokeswoman Marilee McInnis said Wednesday morning that initially Southwest plans to test the service on four planes. But because the airline's planes fly many different routes, she did not anticipate--at least not yet--that travelers would be able to plan to fly on one of those planes.

That means that in the early going at least, the service--which will allow passengers to access the Internet if they have their own Wi-Fi-enabled laptops--will be available at random.

McInnis did not say if Southwest'… Read more

Long power outage a wake-up call to be better prepared

I've just emerged from a brief visit to the 19th century (via a storm-driven 36-hour power outage) and among all my other experiences and impressions during this odd weekend, none was more powerful than an extremely visceral understanding of just how fragile our modern infrastructures are.

This all began when, just as I was about to run out of my Sausalito, Calif., house on Friday morning, I decided to do a quick e-mail check. Oddly, there was no Internet connection, and after a cursory check to see why, I realized that our power was out, a condition that had … Read more

Enough of conferences with no power strips

REDWOOD CITY, Calif.--As a fairly frequent conference attendee, I have had to deal with all kinds of little annoyances that come with the endless confabs that go on these days.

Over the years, one of the ones that has most bothered me--and annoyed others--has gotten somewhat better: the lack of Wi-Fi. It's not perfect, of course, but more and more I'm finding that I can get online wirelessly, something crucial to me as a reporter.

But one pet peeve has not gotten any better, and I, and others, have had enough: the lack of power strips.

I'… Read more

In search of an iPhone/AT&T buddy

Okay, I admit it: I want an iPhone.

I'm surrounded by them these days, it seems. On the bus. On the streets. At work. Everywhere I go, I see people pulling them out and the gadget hound in me is suffering a little bit.

Since the iPhone came out, and since Apple announced the iTouch, I've been parroting a standard line when anyone asks when--not if--I'm going to get one: I say, either when the iPhone is available on Verizon, my carrier, or when the iTouch has a 60 GB hard drive. Whichever comes first.

But, I … Read more

All hail the lobbyconners

Over the last few years, I have been to a whole lot of conferences. They've been in cities like Austin, Phoenix, San Diego, New York, Las Vegas, San Francisco and so on, and have covered any number of topics.

And over the years, I've started to come to the conclusion--as so many have before me--that the endless panels and keynotes are hardly worth the time it takes to sit through them. After all, how much value is there really in listening to six people talk over each other for 35 minutes?

In the end, as everyone knows, the … Read more