Tag Archives | Wi-Fi

New York Public Library To Allow Patrons To ‘Check Out’ Free Internet Access

Partial map of the Internet based on the January 15, 2005 data found on opte.org. Source: Matt Britt (CC)

Partial map of the Internet based on the January 15, 2005 data found on opte.org. Source: Matt Britt (CC)

I’m personally of the opinion that the best possible thing that we could do would be to regulate the internet like a public utility and wire towns with free public hotspots here and there, especially now that you pretty much can’t get along in society without it. In the meantime, programs like these help to fill the gaps.

The New York Public Library is poised to allow its patrons to “check out” free, high-speed internet access, helping to bridge the digital divide between the rich and poor in the city.

With the help of a $500,000 grant awarded Monday from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the library will loan thousands of patrons portable “hot spot” devices that will connect their home computers and phones to high-speed internet. The program is scheduled to begin sometime this fall.

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Seattle Police Department Has Network That Can Track All Wi-Fi Devices

trackingThe mesh network is looking out for you! Via the Raw Story:

The Seattle Police Department purchased a “mesh network” in February that will be used by emergency responders, which will be capable of tracking anyone with Wi-Fi enabled device.

The network is not yet turned on, according to Seattle Police, but once it is, it will be able to determine the IP address, device type, downloaded applications, current location, and historical location of any device that searches for a Wi-Fi signal. The network is capable of storing that information for the previous 1,000 times a particular device attempted to access a Wi-Fi signal.

Jamela Debelak, of the American Civil Liberties Union (ALCU), is worried that police will use the network for more than just coordinating emergency responders; “Once these kinds of tools are in place, they don’t go away.”

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Wi-Fi Sensitive Push For Recognition Of Their Disability

wi-fi sensitive

Are people allergic to contemporary technology the victims of mass hypercondria, or the newest emerging disabled class? British Columbia, Canada’s Times Colonist reports an effort to ban Wi-Fi on the area’s mass transportation:

While debate rages on over the effects of wireless technology on human health, those who claim a hypersensitivity to electromagnetism have called on B.C. Ferries to provide options to limit their exposure.

Louise Campbell of Nanoose Bay says her sensitivity to wireless devices can make a ferry ride to the Mainland a nightmare. Campbell avoids restaurants, coffee shops, movie theatres and anywhere she expects exposure. Campbell has called on B.C. Ferries to provide a way to limit exposure to the ship’s wireless technology while on voyages.

Many in the scientific and medical communities have countered the assault on wireless with stiff resistance. Those who say they suffer call it a disability. Health Canada maintains that “there is no convincing scientific evidence that exposure to low-level radiofrequency energy from Wi-Fi causes adverse health effects in humans.”

Christel Martin, the Nanaimo representative for Citizens for Safe Technology, said more support is needed for people with the disability.

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Judge Rules Against Man Suing Over Sickness From Wi-Fi And Cellphones

A blow for the millions of Americans who claim to be allergic to the electromagnetic waves given off by 21st century technology. Arthur Firstenberg should perhaps join the Wi-Fi refugees living in the mountains of West Virginia. The Santa Fe New Mexican reports:

Arthur Firstenberg lost what might have been his final round in court Tuesday, when state District Judge Sarah Singleton ruled that no scientific study has yet proved that electromagnetic stimulus adversely impacts personal health.

In January 2010, Firstenberg, who has long argued that electromagnetic radiation emitted by cellphones, smartphones, wireless routers and other apparatus can cause illness, sued his neighbor, Raphaela Monribot, for $1 million over the use of such electronic equipment at Monribot’s west-side home.

Court documents quote Firstenberg as complaining that he suffered acute effects of electromagnetic stimulus (EMS) and that, “Whenever I returned home, even for a few minutes, I felt the same sickness in my chest and my health was set back for days.”

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Anti Wi-Fi Wallpaper Unrolled

index.phpYou’re not truly alone in the privacy of your home until you’ve plastered the walls with silver snowflake-patterned anti wi-fi wallpaper from Finland. ITProPortal reports:

A new type of wallpaper, which has been developed by scientists from the “institut polytechnique Grenoble INP” and the “Centre Technique du Papier”, will go on sale in 2013 after a Finnish firm, Ahlstrom acquired the license.

What looks like a bog standard wallpaper roll actually contains silver particles that allows it to filter out up to three different frequencies simultaneously.

Other than preventing hackers from penetrating your network, the Anti Wi-Fi wallpaper could be useful in hospitals and anywhere where Wi-Fi signals could be considered as harmful.

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‘Wi-Fi Refugees’ Take Shelter In West Virginia Mountains

_55331114_55331113Is it mass hypochondria? More than ten million Americans believe they suffer from physical illness caused by cell phone and wireless internet networks. Some are upending their lives and retreating to remote Green Bank, West Virginia, a safe haven unpenetrated by Wi-Fi. Fast forward ten years, and you can bet they are going to be the last small band of humanity fighting the robot uprising. The BBC writes:

Dozens of Americans who claim to have been made ill by wi-fi and mobile phones have flocked to the town of Green Bank, West Virginia.

Diane Schou is unable to hold back the tears as she describes how she once lived in a shielded cage to protect her from the electromagnetic radiation caused by waves from wireless communication. “It’s a horrible thing to have to be a prisoner,” she says. “You become a technological leper because you can’t be around people.

Ms Schou is one of an estimated 5% of Americans who believe they suffer from Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity (EHS), which they say is caused by exposure to electromagnetic fields typically created by mobile phones, wi-fi and other electronic equipment.

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Wi-Fi Makes Trees Sick

Weeping Willow

A weeping willow. Photo: Jdforrester (CC)

René Schoemaker reports on PC World:

Radiation from Wi-Fi networks is harmful to trees, causing significant variations in growth, as well as bleeding and fissures in the bark, according to a recent study in the Netherlands.

All deciduous trees in the Western world are affected, according to the study by Wageningen University. The city of Alphen aan den Rijn ordered the study five years ago after officials found unexplained abnormalities on trees that couldn’t be ascribed to a virus or bacterial infection.

Additional testing found the disease to occur throughout the Western world. In the Netherlands, about 70 percent of all trees in urban areas show the same symptoms, compared with only 10 percent five years ago. Trees in densely forested areas are hardly affected.

Besides the electromagnetic fields created by mobile-phone networks and wireless LANs, ultrafine particles emitted by cars and trucks may also be to blame.

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Internet Savvy Swedes Launch ‘Angry Note 2.0’

Annoying or unruly neighbors? Instead of leaving angry post-its or banging on the walls when the music gets too loud, a group of Swedish apartments use their wireless internet names to speak for them. While this may take away from daily interaction with “angry neighbors,” it also takes away most other necessart interaction amongst neighbors. This would not fly in Mr. Rogers neighborhood. The Local from Sweden reports:

The angry note, such a common feature of neighbourly grievance in a shared block of flats in Sweden, is being supplemented by the adoption of provocative names for wireless internet networks, a new survey by broadband supplier Telia shows.

“Turn the noise down”, and “no trash in the stairwell, thanks” are two examples of wireless networks included in the Telia survey in what has been dubbed “Angry note 2.0”.

“Broadband names are starting to replace the angry note in the lift or in the communal laundry room, perhaps because it removes the possibility of actually running into a neighbour,” said Ola Karlsson, who is one of the judges in a competition launched to find Sweden’s best broadband network name.

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University Says “NO” To WiFi And Cellular Antennas

From the blog of Dr Magda Havas, PhD:

December 2009. If you are a student who is sensitive to electromagnetic energy or who does not want to be unnecessarily exposed to microwave radiation then this is definitely one university you should consider attending.

Lakehead University has opted for a fibre-optic network rather than a wireless network to provide access to the internet for students attending the campus in both Thunder Bay and Orillia, Ontario, Canada.

This is the first university in North America that has opted for the precautionary principle and that places the health and safety of students and staff above the convenience of wireless technology. Despite this policy students have access to the world wide web and have adequate cell phone access as well. What they don’t have is unnecessary exposure to microwave radiation.

We look to universities to provide leadership in society and this is one university that does just that.

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