Rob "Community Wireless Networks" Flickenger has written an excellent primer on, well, community wireless networking for PC Magazine. He covers all the basics of technology and social phenomena, and imparts some of the vibrance of community networking, too.
The captive portal provides Web site redirection, which you may have encountered when surfing the Web from hotels that provide DSL access to rooms. When the Wi-Fi card in your laptop associates with the access point and you try to open a Web site, you are redirected to an introduction page that identifies the network and invites you to log on (sometimes after paying a nominal fee for access). Once cleared with the authentication service, you are redirected to the site requested.
The hot spot has its place in any community network project because it is relatively simple to set up and provides immediate benefits. For little more than the price of the hardware, homes and businesses can use the wireless network to access a high-speed DSL line (or other appropriate network connection), sharing its cost. Sponsors can charge competitive fees for Internet access to help offset the cost of operations.
The hot spot has one critical limitation: You can set it up only where high-speed Internet access is already available. What if you want to extend network access outside of DSL and cable range, or you want to bridge two networks together but can't afford a dedicated telco line?
The Cobham catalog, exposed by The Intercept, features countless pages of surveillance gadgets sold to U.S. police to spy on American citizens: tiny black boxes with a big interest in you. In the creepily bland feature lists and nerdy product names is a whisper of a dark future; perhaps darker than anyone can imagine.
This image depicts the most commonly-found stylesheet colors on the web’s top sites—Paul Hebert did an amazing amount of analysis and this is just one of the intriguing visualizations he came up with. Most of these are obvious staples, especially HTML red and blue, though it’s interesting how far the blue “cluster” is from the […]
With the cacophony of an election year ablaze with unparalleled drama being fought on the front lines of Twitter, we find ourselves slowing down and staring at it like a bad accident. The need for escapist relief is perhaps more dire than usual right now. This fall, if it’s drama you crave, but the Hillary […]
TV antennas are making a comeback, and the Ghost Indoor HDTV antenna is a great example of why. Unlike the old bunny ear-style antennas, this compact antenna is barely noticeable and picks up channels easily. Plus with the addition of streaming services like Netflix, we find ourselves with plenty to watch without a pricey monthly cable bill. The Ghost […]
I’ve never really felt the need to purchase a smartwatch because a lot of them aren’t very functional, but at just shy of $30, the Martian Notifier Smartwatch was worth checking out. For that low of a price, it actually does feature an impressive amount of functionality, and comes in handy when you don’t want to be carrying around your […]
Geek Fuel is a subscription delivery service that caters to those of us that love comics, gaming, and general geek culture. Every month, Geek Fuel will assemble a box of goodies with a value of $50 or over. The specific items are a mystery, but you’ll always get an exclusive t-shirt not found anywhere else, a full […]