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The Price of Free-dom

There’s a catch to free Wi-Fi. The plan for the current Wi-Fi system that Google is putting in place in San Francisco is said to have a max speed of about 5 times the normal dialup connection. That ain’t horrible and I think it will do fairly well for a typical person who just browses.

If you get service. Any “free” version is probably going to suck. Those of us who are already paying, will continue to pay for good service. If cities allow just one Wi-Fi service, there’s the good chance that you’ll get stuck with crappy service and no real chance to opt out. And no doubt some municipalities will have a monthly Wi-Fi charge; use it or not you have to pay for capability. So I’m not excited.

Kerry Neubrander, Nobrainer’s Blog http://neubranderinc.com/blog/2005/10/08/538/

Now It’s Comcast-Google-AOL?

Although Comcast seems like an odd partner in this heated mix of Internet behemoths Google and AOL, the Philadelphia-based cable company is the No. 1 high-speed Internet access provider in the world, not just the U.S. Comcast’s footprint, however, is not global, or even national, given that only Comcast customers can gain access to Comcast’s Web portals. While highly clustered in big metro regions, Comcast serves only about 40% of all cable homes passed in the U.S.

Moreover, despite its track record of strong success, Comcast is starting to appear a little old-fashioned to investors as Google, Yahoo, Skype and other Internet companies capture the imagination of Wall Street. A pact with Google that results in expanded online presence could give Comcast a lift.

Cynthia Brumfield

President, Emerging Media Dynamics http://www.ipdemocracy.com/aboutus.php

Apple Peel

So Apple introduces a new iMac with a snappy remote and “Front Row” software (great name) to navigate all your “media,” a new version of iTunes in which they are selling video, as well as a video iPod that can play your purchased video. The iMac even has S-Video out.

Very cool stuff.

But one thing has me baffled.

Why would Apple run right up to the door, only to stop? Why is there no video in? A cable-TV tuner and some DVR software are the only things missing. With those present, this would be a fantastic media center.

This leaves me thinking one of three things: 1) all those people at Apple are idiots, or 2) TV is so 90’s, or 3) a separate TV-like device that will integrate via 802.11g is in the works.

Eric Hancock

Software developer, Home Box Office http://eric.buzzword.com/2005/10/12#a4435

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