NYCwireless September Meeting at NYU (RSVP required!)

Wednesday, September 28th, 2005 at 7:30pm sharp
NYU Interactive Telecommunications Program (ITP)
721 Broadway (at Waverly Place) Room 406

A special meeting: Everyone is invited but space is limited
RSVP required for building admission
RSVP by Wed. 5pm to: joe@nycwireless.net

Agenda:

  1. Wireless to the rescue: Restoring communications in Katrina’s aftermath – Report By Dustin Goodwin and Terry Schmidt
  2. Controlling Interference: Cognio introduces their spectrum analyzer, a tool to manage growing RF interference problems

Terry Schmidt and Dustin Goodwin have just returned from providing wireless communications networks in the areas devastated by Katrina.

IP network, unlicensed wireless, and VOIP are incredibly flexible technology that can be used to deploy data and voice communication in ways not possible with traditional technology. Nowhere is this more apparent then in disaster zone where police, fire, and storm victims are cut off from the rest of the world. Learn how a Naval Post Graduate School, Cisco, Tachyon and Redline alliance along with a healthy does of motivated volunteers connected three Mississippi towns at ground Zero of Hurricane Katrina back into the communications grid in only a few days.

Terry and Dustin will present their first hand accounts, including photos, as well as the technologies used and why.

Terry Schmidt is a co-founder, board member, and former President of NYCwireless. Dustin Goodwin also serves on NYCw Board of Directors, and has led NYCwireless campaign to provide free wireless access to Community Access Houses in Manhattan, The Bronx and Brooklyn. Terry and Dustin both work for Cisco.

Cognio will explain how to use their laptop spectrum analyzer to troubleshoot everyday RF problems. Spectrum Analyzers have the ability to view all RF activity not just 802.11. Cordless phone shutting down your Wifi network? You’ll never be able to figure out unless it’s your phone or you have a tool like Cognio’s. Great for people looking to learn more about diagnostic tools used to troubleshoot wireless network problems.

Special thanks to NYU ITP for their graciously hosting this month’s NYCwireless meeting. Thanks to Red Burns, George Agudow and Nancy Lewis.

September Board Meeting Agenda

  1. 1. New Projects Update
  2. NY Done Right Partnership
  3. October Meeting Location/Speaker
  4. World Summit for Free Information Infrastructure Participation and Presentation

Wifidog Rolls Out — with Offer!

Our pilot testing of the WifiDog federation is complete. WifiDog is a hotspot management software from Ile Sans Fil that runs on a standard Linksys WRT54G using open source firmware. With WifiDog, we can now have a federation of nodes that have access to a central server for:

  • real-time monitoring of node status
  • managed user authentication
  • splash page and login page hosting
  • web-based content management (though we haven’t quite figured it out yet!)
  • traffic statistics for each node (user counts, total throughput, and traffic by time of day)

Our federation now looks like this: http://auth.nycwireless.net/hotspots_map.php

Our goal is to look like this: http://auth.ilesansfil.org/hotspots_map.php

We want YOU to upgrade to a WifiDog. If you run an NYCwireless hotspot, we want you to switch to a WifiDog unit. If you’re planning to put up a New York hotspot, we want you make WifiDog part of your setup.

For more info on flashing a Linksys so it can run WifiDog, please see:

But wait! We’ll trade you! If you bring us a brand new plain jane Linksys WRT54G or GS, we’ll give you back a preconfigured Linksys WifiDog.

Thanks and we look forward to hearing from you! Congratulations to all who have contributed so far, and to future members and users!

NY Daily News Published Poorly Researched Article about New York City Hotspots

also published on Wireless Community blog

The New York Daily News published a poorly researched article today about new Wi-Fi hotspots in New York City. They fail to mention the dozen or so parks that NYCwireless has already helped “light up”. Here’s the letter I have written to the newspaper in response:

The article “Wi-Fi umbrella to cover 10 city parks” by Austin Fenner on Sept. 13 claims that New Yorkers will “soon be able to surf (the Internet) in city parks.”

This has already been the case for the past 4 years. NYCwireless, a non-profit organization that advocates and enables the growth of free, public wireless Internet access in New York City and surrounding areas, has worked since 2001 to bring free public Wi-Fi to city parks and other public spaces.

Working with other sponsoring organizations such as the Alliance for Downtown New York and the Union Square Partnership, local businesses, and residents, NYCwireless has helped bring Wi-Fi to Bryant Park, Union Square Park, City Hall Park, Tomkins Square Park, the South Street Seaport, and Bowling Green Park, among others. NYCwireless also works with other non-profits, such as Community Access, to bring free Wi-Fi to underserved and underprivileged city residents in Manhattan, Brooklyn and the Bronx.

These Wi-Fi hotspots have been in use by many New Yorkers and visitors to the city for the past 3-4 years, and have been featured in numerous newspaper and magazine articles.

Wireless over-crowding study needs participants!

NYCwireless is looking for NYC residents that think they are receiving interference from neighboring wireless access points. We hear this complaint often enough that a study of the problem is required. Access to your apt will be required so we can monitor RF utilization with diagnostic equipment. Please shoot me an email (wireless-study@voipexperts.com) with the description of your problem and your location. One way to “see” interference is to bring up the list of wireless networks your computer can detect. If your getting a list of 5 or more wireless networks then maybe your suffering interference. Although there is no way to know for sure until we test on-site.

August Board Meeting Agenda

  • New Projects Update
    • Wrote letter of support for “Media and Urban Life in North America: Montreal, New York City, Mexico City” project
    • WiFi Dog Update
  • Policy Update
  • Fundraising/Development:
    • Met with Brooklyn Polytechnic WiCat? project about potential partnership
  • Administrative

July Board Meeting Agenda

  1. Civitium Meeting Update
  2. New Board Member Update
  3. WiFiDog Update
  4. Open Community Network (OCN) Update
  5. Free Press Partnership
  6. World Summit for Free Information Infrastructure Participation
  7. Investors National Conference Application