Tuesday, 30 September 2008

Metro Round-Up: No GO; Riverside, Calif., Proceeds; Illinois Bus-Fi

By Glenn Fleishman
Go? No: Go Networks, a metro-scale Wi-Fi equipment maker acquired in Jan. 2007 by NextWave, is being shut down. Go announced their technology on 3-April-2006 at the height of interest in the municipal Wi-Fi market, at which point they thought their beamforming, MIMO gear would take hold. They believed they could provide superior coverage at far lower cost, especially when factoring in the need for fewer utility poles. As far as I can tell, they never had a huge win, and then the easy market evaporated.

Sunday, 28 September 2008

FWD: Skyhook Not Violating Your Privacy, Stealing Sheep, Eating Your Young

Skyhook Not Violating Your Privacy, Stealing Sheep, Eating Your Young
"The takeaway here is that if you use a public band, open to all comers, you can’t expect privacy. If you don’t like it, you can turn down the signal strength in your router, paint your home’s interior with signal-blocking paint, or switch from Wi-Fi to powerline and Ethernet. You could use cell data networks, which are highly private, but the operators know everything about you, and market based on that, anyway."

Skyhook Not Violating Your Privacy, Stealing Sheep, Eating Your Young

By Glenn Fleishman

A bit of backlash emerged from Skyhook Wireless’s partnership with AOL: Skyhook has been driving the streets of major cities for years gathering pinpointed signal strength information about Wi-Fi access points. It now has 16m access points recorded in 2,500 cities. This allows it to use a laptop or other device’s scan of its surrounding Wi-Fi environment to produce a GPS-like result. They just announced a partnership with AOL that couples their results via a free plug-in for AOL Instant Messenger (AIM) for Windows, that allows you and your buddies to see when you are physically near each other.

Anne P. Mitchell, a greatly respected unsolicited commercial everything fighter, seems to have misinterpreted what Skyhook does: “Skyhook’s trucks have been cruising your street, have identified your home wireless router by its unique code that only your home wifi has - and is correlating it with your location using GPS. And then they put it in a database.” Mitchell’s posting was picked up at Slashdot and amplified at Computerworld.

I told Mitchell via email that I thought she was looking at this through the wrong end the telescope. Wi-Fi uses a public band. There is no expectation of privacy. It’s one reason why I stress that everyone should employ Wi-Fi encryption of some sort or use a virtual private network (VPN) connection to make sure that their locally transferred data isn’t sent in the clear. (This is true mostly in urban areas, because proximity to potential crackers and sniffers is the real reason to employ these methods.)

While you can protect your data, you can’t protect your base station’s identity. That’s part of the risk and part of the benefit of using a public band. The BSSID, or unique interface address of the base station, is put out there as public information because it’s part of the protocol: Wi-Fi adapters need BSSIDs to identify base stations uniquely. (Spoofing the BSSID is one of the ways that evil twins and other attacks work by fooling your computer into thinking it’s connecting to a known network.)

The fact that BSSIDs are spat out with great abandon is why large-scale networks and coffeeshop hotspots work so well: the public space is flooded with information about what’s available. The next step is whether what’s available is designed for everyone to access or for just the owners of the access point. That requires an attempt at association, and then some kind of authentication if that’s enabled. But those next steps involve active attempts at infiltration: they don’t rely on passive monitoring of the public space.

The “unique code” that Mitchell refers to is the BSSID, but it only uniquely identifies a piece of hardware that has some temporal existence in your home and business. The correlation in Skyhook’s systems is by signal strength and coordinates, not by exact street address. I would suspect that Skyhook could probably connect the BSSID to an actual home in single-family house neighborhoods, but I don’t believe that they do, nor have a reason to: databases already exist that map most US residents to their household address, along with details about their income and so forth. What’s the benefit of knowing that a given BSSID is matched to a given address? I can’t tell, beyond knowing what hardware (Linksys? Beklin? Actiontec?) that someone at that address uses for a Wi-Fi network. Perhaps Linksys would direct mail addresses that used competing access points with coupons?

So they’re not really associating your BSSID with your address; they’re associating a cluster of BSSIDs by their signal strength with a set of coordinates that represents a given Skyhook truck’s position on the street. BSSIDs aren’t persistent: they live and die with the life of the particular hardware. When it dies (or is turned off) or a new access point is purchased, the BSSID changes, too. I suspect that hundreds of thousands of BSSIDs disappear or move over the course of a month.

As a public band with no expectation of privacy, there’s no way for Skyhook’s scanning activities to be taken as an invasion of privacy. When Amazon drove its A9 trucks around cities taking photos of houses and businesses and exactly correlating those with street addresses, I don’t recall any outcry about privacy partly because Amazon was using the visible spectrum, publicly available, and public streets. In some countries, both Skyhook and Amazon’s activities would probably be illegal, but not for any reason that benefits the public.

Now the partnership with AOL is interesting, because Skyhook and AOL could conceivably associate a BSSID with a particular AIM user at a particular time. That’s tricky because the BSSID isn’t sent as part of any network communication to higher layers, and it would require AIM to reach down into the network stack (which is possible) and have the computer retrieve the BSSID information, and then AIM could send that along with other instant messaging data. And anyone who downloads the Skyhook plug-in for AIM conceivably wants their location to be known—presumably they’re not at home—so they can find their buddies. Perhaps a user ID plus the locations they use would be useful, but AOL can already do that by tracking the IP addresses at which AIM users log in, to a lesser degree of location precision.

There’s a related point, which is that Skyhook has no interest in revealing the contents of its database, which represents billions of scans they’ve performed, as well as scans submitted automatically by their Loki toolbar on individual computers. (The Loki scans help correct and enhance existing information and fill in gaps.) What they sell to partners is the ability to take a reading of all the signals via a Wi-Fi adapter and produce coordinates. Their database is their crown jewel, and one hopes they protect it well.

And anyone with similar resources can reproduce their database. People have been wardriving with GPS receivers for several years, and posting the results into giant databases that are publicly accessible. Skyhook’s system does even less and more: they post no information about individual access points, and they provide location information based on a scan, which the wardriving databases don’t offer directly.

The takeaway here is that if you use a public band, open to all comers, you can’t expect privacy. If you don’t like it, you can turn down the signal strength in your router, paint your home’s interior with signal-blocking paint, or switch from Wi-Fi to powerline and Ethernet. You could use cell data networks, which are highly private, but the operators know everything about you, and market based on that, anyway.

It’s a choice to use Wi-Fi, and it’s the same choice we made when entering any public space. People may take our picture, walk up to us and try to talk to us, stare at us—or ignore us.

Find a Wayport Hotspot


Find a Wayport Hotspot

Eye-Fi explore

For those who tag or organize, for those who blog or share in real-time, for those who need to upload here, there or somewhere else, and all the rest who are simply passionate about managing, sharing and saving their memories, there is now Eye-Fi Explore.

It uploads photos wirelessly to your computer and to the web, of course. But, Eye-Fi Explore also automatically adds geographic location labels to your photos and allows you to upload from more than 10,000 Wi-Fi hotspots across the nation. Your memories will be easier to search and more fun to share with geotags, and you’ll be able to upload them on the go.

SiRF Teams with Skyhook Wireless to Deliver Gps-Wifi Hybrid to Accelerate Location-Based Services


* Overview
* Management
* Board and Advisors
* Press
o 2008
o 2007
o 2006
o 2005
o 2004
* In the News
* Careers
* Contact

SiRF Teams with Skyhook Wireless to Deliver Gps-Wifi Hybrid to Accelerate Location-Based Services

SiRF’s Multimode Location Platform Promises to Boost LBS Availability, Revenues

SAN JOSE, Calif. and BOSTON, Mass., February 9, 2007 – SiRF Technology Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: SIRF), a leading provider of GPS-enabled silicon and premium software location platforms, and Skyhook Wireless, Inc., provider of the Wi-Fi Positioning System™ (WPS), today announced that SiRF has licensed the WPS in order to create a single positioning system for wireless carriers that combines the best of both GPS and Wi-Fi technologies. This system, which is scheduled for release as part of SiRF’s Multimode Location Platform later this year, promises to boost the availability and adoption of location-based services. The two companies will present a demonstration of the new hybrid GPS/Wi-Fi location technology at the 3GSM World Congress 2007 being held February 12-15 in Barcelona, Spain.

The technology will be applied to special client software from SiRF for mobile handsets that synthesizes GPS and Wi-Fi measurements as well as to SiRF’s SiRFLoc Server to enable it to establish precise positioning from these measurements. As handset makers roll out a new generation of Wi-Fi-enabled mobile phones to enhance both data and voice communications, the SiRF-Skyhook hybrid technology will leverage this hardware ecosystem to provide greatly enhanced positioning availability and accuracy for location-based services. Using this new technology, carriers can boost their revenues by offering enhanced location-based services that are easier to use, handset makers can better differentiate their products, and application developers can create exciting new services that work anywhere, even when GPS signals are not present. The system will benefit consumers by enabling them to more quickly and reliably perform tasks such as planning a trip, finding friends nearby or locating the closest ATM machine.

“Our strategy is to enhance consumer experience with location enabled content and services by combining multiple sensors and signals to provide accurate location information everywhere. This is the first time a single positioning system has combined both GPS and Wi-Fi location data to get us a step closer to achieving 100 percent availability of accurate positioning,” said Kanwar Chadha , founder and vice president of marketing for SiRF. “By complementing our industry leading GPS performance with Skyhook’s Wi-Fi positioning in our Multimode Location Platform, SiRF is continuing to broaden its product line and pursue its mission to bring the benefits of location awareness to mainstream consumers.”

SiRF will be offering the new technology to mobile handset makers using SiRF SiRFstarIII GPS chip sets and to wireless carriers using its SiRFLoc Server, a carrier-class, standards-compliant, multimode Assisted-GPS location server that incorporates SiRF’s patented multimode technology. Any SiRF-based mobile handset with a Wi-Fi radio subsystem built in will be able to take advantage of this new technology by including the client software.

“This partnership creates an availability breakthrough for location-based services, offering handset makers and carriers a new hybrid GPS/Wi-Fi technology for anytime, anywhere location reliability,” said Ted Morgan, founder and CEO of Skyhook Wireless. “Wi-Fi and GPS are ideal complementary technologies for mobile handsets, enabling a more comprehensive location solution and a more robust infrastructure for exciting new location-based applications.”
About Skyhook Wireless, Inc.

Founded in 2003, Skyhook Wireless has pioneered the development of the first-ever metro-area positioning system that leverages Wi-Fi rather than satellites or cell towers to deliver precise location data supporting the growing market for location-based services. The Skyhook Wi-Fi Positioning System ( WPS) requires no new hardware, works indoors and outdoors, provides an instant location and is more accurate than current technologies in congested downtown areas. WPS serves over 70% of the US population and is expanding internationally. Skyhook Wireless is headquartered in Boston, MA, and is privately held. Investors include Bain Capital and Intel Capital. For more information visit www.skyhookwireless.com, send email to info@skyhookwireless.com or call 617-314-9802.
About SiRF Technology Holdings, Inc.

SiRF Technology Holdings, Inc. develops and markets semiconductor and software products that are designed to enable location-awareness utilizing GPS and other location technologies, enhanced by wireless connectivity capabilities such as Bluetooth, for high-volume mobile consumer devices and commercial applications. SiRF’s technology has been integrated into mobile consumer devices such as automobile navigation systems, mobile phones, PDAs, GPS-based peripherals and handheld GPS navigation devices, and into commercial applications such as location servers, asset tracking devices and fleet management systems. SiRF markets and sells its products in three target platforms: wireless handheld devices, such as mobile phones; automotive electronics systems, including navigation and telematics systems; and consumer and compute devices, including personal digital assistants, notebook computers, recreational GPS handhelds, mobile gaming machines, digital cameras and watches. Founded in 1995, SiRF is headquartered in San Jose, Calif., and has sales offices, design centers and research facilities around the world. The company trades on the Nasdaq Stock Exchange under the symbol SIRF. Additional information about SiRF and its location technology solutions can be found at www.sirf.com.


Beth Winkowski
Winkowski Public Relations
(978) 649-7189

CSR and Skyhook Wireless partner on Wi-Fi positioning technologies

CSR and Skyhook Wireless partner on Wi-Fi positioning technologies

Partnership makes CSR Wi-Fi ICs location-aware

BOSTON, MA - June 30, 2008 - CSR, a leading global provider of wireless technologies, and Skyhook Wireless, maker of the Wi-Fi Positioning System and XPS 2.0, the hybrid positioning system, today announced a partnership that will bring advanced location capabilities to CSR's Wi-Fi silicon. Skyhook Wireless' core technology, the Wi-Fi Positioning System (WPS), is software that produces accurate location information by detecting Wi-Fi access points and comparing them against a known database of geo-located points. By combining CSR's UniFi, embedded Wi-Fi chips, and GPS location solutions with Skyhook's positioning capabilities, this partnership will enable device makers to more easily support and launch location based services that satisfy consumer location needs.

The technology provided by CSR and Skyhook will capitalise on the emergence of Wi-Fi enabled mobile devices and provide greatly enhanced positioning availability and accuracy for the growing location-based services market. This technology will enable device makers and application developers to provide consumer-ready location technology that works quickly and accurately, indoors or outside. The system will benefit consumers by enabling them to more quickly and reliably perform tasks such as planning a trip, finding friends nearby or locating the closest restaurant.

"In addition to CSR's eGPS developments, CSR is excited by the potential of Wi-Fi to provide an additional dimension to location information. Skyhook's Wi-Fi location technology is a perfect complement to CSR's leading Wi-Fi and fits well with our GPS developments" said Raj Gawera, Head of product marketing for CSR’s Mobile Handset Connectivity Business Unit. "By combining Wi-Fi location information provided by Skyhook's technologies to other location sensors, such as GPS, the system has a lot of potential for boosting location technologies."

"CSR is a leader in Wi-Fi and GPS solutions," said Michael Shean, vice president of business development for Skyhook Wireless. "Skyhook Wireless is pleased to partner with CSR in order to further the vision of ubiquitous location availability and reliable accuracy."

For information about CSR’s UniFi Wi-Fi technologies, visit:
For further information about CSR’s location technologies, visit: http://www.csr.com/egps

About CSR

CSR is the leading global provider of personal wireless technology and its product portfolio covers Bluetooth, GPS, FM and Wi-Fi (IEEE802.11). CSR offers developed hardware/software solutions, based around its silicon platforms, that incorporate fully integrated radio, baseband and microcontroller elements. CSR's customers include industry leaders such as Apple, Dell, LG, Motorola, NEC, Nokia, Panasonic, RIM, Samsung, Sharp, Sony, TomTom and Toshiba.CSR has its headquarters and offices in Cambridge, UK, and offices in Japan, Korea, Taiwan, China, India, France, Denmark, Sweden and both Dallas and Detroit in the USA. More information can be found at www.csr.com.

About Skyhook Wireless
Founded in 2003, Skyhook Wireless has pioneered the development of the first hybrid positioning system to fully leverage Wi-Fi, GPS and cell towers delivering precise location data supporting the growing market for location-based services. Skyhook's hybrid positioning system XPS requires no new hardware, works indoors and outdoors, provides an instant location and is more accurate than current technologies in congested downtown areas. Skyhook Wireless is headquartered in Boston, MA, and is privately held. Investors include RRE Ventures, Bain Capital Ventures, Intel Capital and CommonAngels. For more information visit www.skyhookwireless.com, send email to info@skyhookwireless.com or call 617-314-9802.

Beth Winkowski
Skyhook Wireless
(978) 649-7189

Al Haun
Precision Communications

Saturday, 27 September 2008

Wi-Fi networking news


Get the physical location of wireless router from its MAC address (BSSID)

Get the physical location of wireless router from its MAC address (BSSID)
Filed under: network, ruby, security, slashdot — Tags: network, ruby, security, slashdot — coderrr @ 1:20 am

A nice company called SkyHook Wireless has been war driving the country for years. Basically they’ve been paying people to ride around in cars and record the unique IDs (BSSID, aka MAC address) that your wireless routers broadcast. Doesn’t matter if your router has encryption on or not, its BSSID is still public and in their database (if they’ve driven past your house). They’ve then taken all this information and put it in a huge database. They’ve even made a nice little javascript API which given a BSSID will tell you its longitude and latitude. But it will only let you do this for yourself, only sending BSSIDs which you are in range of.

For their API to work it requires you to install a browser extension. Which contains, along with the extension source code (which is fully viewable, for Firefox at least), some compiled c++ code (loki.dll for windows). So what does the proprietary stuff do? It does the actual query to their API. And what does it send? It asks your wireless card to list all of the BSSIDs that you are in range of and sends those along with the signal strength of each.

So why can’t you just send any BSSID you want? Simple, because they don’t tell you how. The actual query is done inside of their compiled code, so it’s a secret and no one will ever figure it out. Well, only the people that try at least. After reverse engineering their code I did a google search on one of the unique-ish terms in the XML that is used as part of the API call and it seems there are others who know how to use this secret API of theirs.

So to keep things short. Here’s how to query their service to find the physical location of any wireless router whose BSSID you know.

Send an HTTPS POST request to api.skyhookwireless.com/wps2/location with XML in the following format:
view plaincopy to clipboardprint

5. beta
6. js.loki.com


10. 00AA11BB22CC
11. -50




You’ll receive back either this (success!):
view plaincopy to clipboardprint

2. 49.242250711.4624963150


or this (failure!):
view plaincopy to clipboardprint

2. Unable to locate location

Unable to locate location

Here’s a dirty little ruby script which does the query based on a BSSID you pass in from the command line:
view plaincopy to clipboardprint

1. require 'net/https'
3. mac = ARGV.first.delete(':').upcase
5. req_body = %{
10. beta
11. js.loki.com


15. #{mac}
16. -50


19. }.gsub(/^\s+|[\r\n]/, '')
21. http = Net::HTTP.new('api.skyhookwireless.com', 443)
22. http.use_ssl = true
24. http.start do |h|
25. resp = h.post '/wps2/location', req_body, 'Content-Type' => 'text/xml'
27. if resp.body =~ /([^<]+).+([^<]+)/
28. puts "#$1, #$2"
29. else
30. puts "not found"
31. end
32. end

require 'net/https'

mac = ARGV.first.delete(':').upcase

req_body = %{



}.gsub(/^\s+|[\r\n]/, '')

http = Net::HTTP.new('api.skyhookwireless.com', 443)
http.use_ssl = true

http.start do |h|
resp = h.post '/wps2/location', req_body, 'Content-Type' => 'text/xml'

if resp.body =~ /([^<]+).+([^<]+)/
puts "#$1, #$2"
puts "not found"

getloc.rb aa:bb:cc:dd:ee:ff

Or here’s a one liner for UNIX thanks to George:
view plaincopy to clipboardprint

1. MYMAC=AABBCCDDEEFF && curl --header "Content-Type: text/xml" --data "betajs.loki.com$MYMAC-50" https://api.skyhookwireless.com/wps2/location

MYMAC=AABBCCDDEEFF && curl --header "Content-Type: text/xml" --data "betajs.loki.com$MYMAC-50" https://api.skyhookwireless.com/wps2/location

* note: This API is how the iPhone’s “Locate me” feature works

(Script to) Locate Any WiFi Router By Its MAC Address sth posted in wifi

(Script to) Locate Any WiFi Router By Its MAC Address
sth posted in wifi on September 12th, 2008

I saw a slashdot post earlier today about a not-so-secret API from SkyHook Wireless to Locate Any WiFi Router By Its MAC Address. I thought this was pretty cool and useful, so I wrote up a quick python hack/script that would use the API, and I thought that I’d add this as a wicrawl plug-in shortly. It takes the BSSID as an input, and outputs all of the information it finds, and also can output a google earth KML file to import the location.

I found the information amazingly and scarily accurate so far. When I check for my local Access Point it gives me my physical address (in addition to the coordinates) within two street numbers.

Here’s some anonymized output from the script:

./get-coordinates-from-bssid.py 00:11:22:33:aa:c6 ~/tmp/output.kml [*] City: Boston [*] Country: United States [*] Address: Fancy Pants Rd [*] Longitude: -70.17905 [*] County: Middlesex [*] State: Massachusetts [*] Output KML File: /Users/aaronp/tmp/output.kml [*] Street Number: 1337 [*] Postal Code: 02138 [*] Latitude: 40.3823964 [*] Finished..

Let me know if you find it in any way useful. I would guess though now that it’s been slashdot’d that the service will likely change as soon as people really start using it. Hopefully not though, :)

2 Responses to '(Script to) Locate Any WiFi Router By Its MAC Address'

1. 1.:: Hackology Blog ::. - Get physical location of wireless router from its MAC address(BSSID)
September 15th, 2008 at 11:02 am

[...] http://midnightresearch.com/pages/locate-any-wifi-router-by-its-mac-address/ [...]

2. 2Find a WiFi router by it’s MAC address | LiamM.com
September 16th, 2008 at 11:02 am

[...] a street address) given a BSSID (MAC address of a WiFi network). I stumbled on to a post on Midnight Research Labs in which they’ve provided a python script that you can use to access this [...]

[OSM-talk] BSSID database

[OSM-talk] BSSID database
Anthony osm at inbox.org
Sat Jan 19 14:44:41 GMT 2008

* Previous message: [OSM-talk] OSM needs a measure for completeness
* Next message: [OSM-talk] BSSID database
* Messages sorted by: [ date ] [ thread ] [ subject ] [ author ]

Anyone know where I can get a free database of BSSID locations? I'm
trying to hack together a wifi positioning system for my iPod Touch.

Any chance OSM would be interested in including such a database? It
seems like a project well geared toward thousands of people collecting
local data by driving around recording stuff.

Sorry if this is a FAQ. I searched the archives for "BSSID" and
didn't come up with anything.

Find a WiFi router by it’s MAC address

Find a WiFi router by it’s MAC address

Skyhook the company behind the WiFi pseudo GPS in the iPod touch and the iPhone apparently has an API that allows you access to their database. Using this database you can find the physical geographic location of a WiFi router or access point.

I know today I was going to continue on with explaining som eof the tools in the ultimate portable hacking device series. But I saw this and wanted to talk a little about it while it was still fresh in my mind. We’ll follow up with the iPod hacking tomorrow.

Well the gist of this is that Skyhook has an API that can be used to find longitude and latitude (And sometimes a street address) given a BSSID (MAC address of a WiFi network). I stumbled on to a post on Midnight Research Labs in which they’ve provided a python script that you can use to access this API.

Basically you run the script with the BSSID as an argument and optionally the name of an output file (something.kml) that can be imported into Google Earth.

So for example

./get-location-from-bssid.py 00:13:10:44:81:60 something.kml

Which gives you output like this

[*] City: Vancouver
[*] Country: Canada
[*] Address: Fake St.
[*] Longitude: -122.8452458
[*] County:
[*] State: BC
[*] Output KML File: ./something.kml
[*] Street Number: 4242
[*] Postal Code: V3W 8R9
[*] Latitude: 49.156984
[*] Finished..

And a nicely formatted .kml file you can import into Google Earth.

Now when I tried running my own BSSID through the API it came up with the correct longitude and latitude but didn’t include an actual address so your results may vary. But really the longitude and latitude seem to be incredibly accurate in my testing so the address almost seems redundant. This would be a great tool to pair with the output of kismet to allow you to do some wardriving without a GPS device.

As always if you have any comments, suggestions or questions please post them below in the comment section.

Thursday, 25 September 2008

The State of Wireless London



This study looks at how wireless networking (WLAN) in London has developed over the last three years from hacktivist pastime to mainstream pursuit. Comparing networks built by freenetwork groups, commercial hotspot providers, and public sector initiatives the study also examines the sales and uptake of WLAN equipment and makes some direct measurements of wireless activity in the Greater London area. Finally the study looks at the development of WLAN in the home and makes a recommendation for a Wireless Festival for London in 2004/2005.

London Wireless Soundscape Project


Listen to the last show> soho end game

This project aims to broadcast simultaneous 'live' soundscapes from various locations around London. This is made possible using laptops to stream audio over the internet using 'Wifi' networking. The 'streamed' audio is then broadcast on Resonance104.4FM in central London.

Using free internet access points around London we will be broadcasting from different locations every fortnight.

Our first show was broadcast from the heart of London with Leicester Square and Covent Garden on 5th October 2003.We have broadcast from the Hackney Road, Paddington Station, Greenwich Naval College, Greek St and a multicast from Picadilly Circus. A recent show featured hydrophones submerged in the River Thames and Camden Lock.

If you want to take part by bringing your local soundscape to the airwaves then do get in contact. We're always looking for new places to broadcast.

The most recent show was part of the “Radio]art riot” on 15th October. The show can be found in our archives and is a special remixed version that includes the whole gamut of possibilities.

Central London Wi-Fi zone gets green light


Central London Wi-Fi zone gets green light

Council workers' access only

By Tony Smith • Get more from this author

Posted in Wireless, 30th April 2004 06:41 GMT

London will become one of the world's leading wireless city, the Westminster Council said today as it cut the ribbon on a project to turn the West End into a Wi-Fi zone for its workers.

The scheme, revealed by The Register over a year ago, is being extended from an initial test - put in place last September - in Soho Square, Greek Street and Frith Street. It now extends to the whole of Soho, bordered by Shafesbury Ave, Regent Street, Oxford Street and Charing Cross Road.

Westminster expects to have the infrastructure in place within the next six to nine months. "We're starting small because we need to build (the infrastructure) credibly," said chief executive Peter Rogers. The project has to meet "government expectations" on cost efficiency and quality of service, he said.

Council ICT director Simon Norbury said the build-out would not be easy, describing Soho as one of the harshest radio environments in the world, due to the high density of technology in the area.

Westminster will use the zone initially to connect noise-monitoring and CCTV cameras without the need to rip up the region's paving and lay down cables or partner with a service provider.

The motivation is primarily financial. Many of the other benefits - better protection of the public, for example - apply to whatever network the council uses. Westminster expects to knock more than £30,000 off the price of each camera, for example.

The other key advantage is mobility. The WLAN supports mobile cameras and makes it easier to move cameras to better meet police needs, for example.

The Council expects to extend the number of functions handled by the WLAN over time, primarily to allow steet-level Council opratives to file reports and access databases without having to return to base.

Beyond that, the Council hopes to extend access to residents to connect them to Council services. Rogers discussed the need to help "people live well in their homes and in the city". One such application is monitoring elderly and vulnerable residents. However, he said this remained a "very long-tem" goal.

Ultimately, the Council wants to offer commercial services, but Rogers admitted that would require a different regulatory framework to permit local government to operate as a commercial entity.

It's for that reason that the WLAN will remain private, Rogers said. ®

FON Density projects


FON Density projects objective is turning complete neighborhoods into free and open WiFi Zones. Places where you can always be connected and where WiFi is cheap (for non FON members) or free. They are also grassroots efforts to bring WiFi to all through the contributions of individual business owners and residents. By everyone sharing a bit of their internet connection, we can make internet access pervasive and available to all. We hope FON Density projects will set an example for neighborhoods and cities of how a community based approach can be successful in creating WiFi coverage.

Residents who want to become Foneros and share some of their broadband with the rest of the FON Community gain free and unlimited access to over 250,000 FON Spots around the world. Residents and all of our Foneros visiting the neighborhood will enjoy WiFi coverage.

Wi-Fi should be everywhere, says London mayor

Wi-Fi should be everywhere, says London mayor

London 2012 Olympics could drive mobile internet rollout in the capital, according to Boris Johnson

Wi-Fi should be everywhere, says London mayor

London 2012 Olympics could drive mobile internet rollout in the capital, according to Boris Johnson

Written by Angelica Mari

Computing, 23 Sep 2008

London mayor Boris Johnson wants London to become a "Wi-Fi city" and to use the Olympic Games in 2012 as an opportunity to kickstart plans for mobile web access.

"Let's do it, beginning in Stratford in this fantastic area of opportunity," Johnson told the BBC London radio station.

"I certainly think there is a case for dealing with people who are information technology-poor, and trying to help people get online," he said.

"What we need is a city where anywhere you go, you can log on, you can get on the web. They've done it in other parts of the world; why on earth can't we do it? Let's look at ways that we can improve the infrastructure in this city so that there's Wi-Fi access everywhere."

Johnson told the radio station that his proposition is better than the £300m Labour plan announced by Gordon Brown this afternoon to offer free computer access to children from disadvantaged families, to increase their chances of finding a job.

"I think that's the way we should be going, rather than bunging money to people, which sounds a bit like a desperate bribe by the prime minister," he said.

The mayor claimed that the Wi-Fi project would not represent an increase on council tax bills to fund the 2012 games. The event has a budget of £9.3bn and the mayor does not expect spending to surpass that mark.

The introduction of my project in Chinese


Tuesday, 23 September 2008

The draft of the final representation

1. Until now, the amount of data seems big enough and the financial consideration, so the duration fieldwork may be shorten.
2. After fieldwork, I may need at least 3 months for coding the data.
3. The coding rule will become the principles of house theory for constructing the final work. So the final work is embodying and visualizing the theory.
4. This project will produce the a field to represent the different urban Wi-Fi landscape. The participants can choose which city they want to login and become cyborgs in the different cities by their intersubjectivity.
5. If no participants enter the field of artwork, the field will present the different urban wifi landscape, the images of wifi ap and the personal wifi route.
6. If anyone enters the field, participants will interact the theory then their behaviours revise the framework of theory.
7. I need more time than fieldwork.

Sunday, 21 September 2008

the sample page

I am beginning to construct a new page to analyze and review the data that I have collected in the past year. The page locates in http://fireant.itaiwan.net/urban_image/choose_city.php

Friday, 19 September 2008

Space and Social Value

Lefebvre, Henri (1979). "Space: Social Product and Use Value", in J.W. Freiberg(ed.), Critical Sociology: European Perspective. New York: Irvington. pp.285-295.

Is space a social relation? Yes, certainly, but is is iherent in the relation of property (the owenership of land, in cparticular), it is also linked to the productive forces that fashion this land, Space is permeated with social realtions; it is not only supported by social relations, but it also is producing and produced by social relations.-286

Sapce as a whole enters into the modernized mode of capitalist production: it is utilized to produce surplus value. The ground, the underground, the air, and even the light enter into both the productive forces and the products. The urban fabric, with its multiple networks of communication and exchange, is part od the means of production. The city and its various installations(ports, train stations, etc.) are part of capital.-287

Abstact space reveals its oppressive and repressive capacities in relation to time. It rejects time as an abstation - except when it concerns work, the producer of things and of surplus value. Time is reduced to constraints of space: schedules, runs, crossings, loads.-287

Space is a use value, but even more so is time to which it is intimately linked because time is our life, our fundamental use value. Time has disappeared in the social space of modernity. Lived time loses form and social interest except for the time of work. Economic space subordinates time, whereas political space eradicates it because it is threatening to existing power relations. The primacy of the economic, and still more, of the political, leads to the supremac of space over time.-291

The words like below don't appear in this article
"Space is not one of objects, it contains objects, the relationship of object juxtaposition. Space is a result of an operation set, and can not be reduced to one object."

Thursday, 18 September 2008

The Wi-Fi Colour from Berlin

Thanks for Uli providing Berlin Wi-Fi colours