Another Great Video of Local Kids Using Free Wi-Fi in the Playground

Here’s some more videos from the new CDSC Hotspot in Clinton Hill:

http://www.youtube-nocookie.com/v/tliPDpSiR30&hl=en&fs=1&

Continue reading Another Great Video of Local Kids Using Free Wi-Fi in the Playground

Photos and a Video from our Clinton Hill Hotspot Launch

One of the reasons why we build free Wi-Fi hotspots is the impact it has on local communities. Our Clinton Hill Hotspot is no different — check out the great photos of kids surfing the internet. We’ve even found some budding TV stars in the 2 kids who were interviewed!

http://www.youtube-nocookie.com/v/UhH236vYL9o&hl=en&fs=1&

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More photos after the break…
Continue reading Photos and a Video from our Clinton Hill Hotspot Launch

NYCwireless Launches New Hotspot in Clinton Hill For Brooklyn's Underserved Children

We are very proud to announce the launch of our newest hotspot in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn. The hotspot is a collaboration between Child Development Support Corp (CDSC), HARLOWTOWN and NYCwireless.

On Friday, July 31, 2009 at 11:00 AM at the Playground at the corner of Classon Ave and Lafayette Avenues in Clinton Hill, there will be a Ribbon Cutting ceremony at the hotspot, and we’d like to invite all press members and any NYCwireless member to come out and support the hotspot.

Contact:
Joe Plotkin
NYCwireless
212.982.9800 x9797

Marcia Rowe-Riddick
Executive Director, CDSC
718.398.2050 x8401

Free Wireless Internet For Brooklyn’s Underserved Children

Wi-Fi Hotspot launch set for 11:00 AM on Friday, July 31, 2009

BROOKLYN, NY, July 21, 2009 — NYC’s premier free Wi-Fi installation in a low-income community park, in a groundbreaking collaboration between a neighborhood service organization, Child Development Support Corp (CDSC), and private capital, HARLOWTOWN, will be launched at 11:00 AM on Friday, July 31, 2009 at Brooklyn’s Classon Playground.

The Classon Playground Hotspot represents a stunning triumph of community action to deliver a public service essential in the 21st century: high-speed connection to the Internet, the gateway to the information economy. The 2008 Diamond Report, commissioned by New York City Council, concluded that a majority of the City’s low-income residents, including many children, remain without broadband Internet access and computer skills.

CDSC and HARLOWTOWN, in conjunction with NYCwireless and TECH MEDIA, will provide free Wi-Fi and literacy classes to an underserved Central Brooklyn community. “We felt strongly that our kids needed this now,” said CDSC Executive Director Marcia Rowe-Riddick, “We hope that this partnership may serve as a model for other organizations to bring Wi-Fi and computer literacy into their communities without waiting for government funding or support.”

The Wi-Fi HOTSPOT is at Classon Playground, on the corner of Classon and Lafayette Avenues, flanked by the 88th Precinct Stationhouse to the North, Lafayette Gardens Houses to the East, and the Community Partnership Charter School to the West.

About Child Development Support Corp

CDSC, a 501(c)(3), was created in 1969 to address the needs of low-income and underserved communities of Central Brooklyn. During the late seventies, the organization began preventive and foster care programs to counter the ravages of the drug and gun epidemics in the lives of the families it served. Today, CDSC provides a full range of social service programs for children and families in Community Boards 2, 3, 8, and 16.

About HARLOWTOWN

HARLOWTOWN is a private NGO that sponsors community projects in Brooklyn and the Bronx, as well as furnishing legal services to the needy and to not-for-profit organizations in the US and across the globe.

About NYCwireless

NYCwireless (http://www.nycwireless.net) is a non-profit organization that advocates and enables the growth of free, public wireless Internet access in New York City and surrounding areas. NYCwireless, founded in 2001, is an all-volunteer organization with many active members in the New York metropolitan area, across the United States of America, and around the world. In partnership with city parks organizations, business improvement districts and local non-profit organizations, NYCwireless has built free, public wireless Hotspots at Bryant Park, Madison Square Park, Wagner Park, Brooklyn Bridge Park, Jackson Square Park, Union Square Park (in partnership with commercial wireless Internet provider TowerStream), Stuyvesant Cove Park (the first fully solar powered hotspot in New York), Tompkins Square Park, Bowling Green Park, City Hall Park, the South Street Seaport, the Winter Garden, the Atrium at 60 Wall Street, Stone Street, Wall Street Park, and the Vietnam Veterans Plaza, among others. In addition, NYCwireless worked with Community Access to build free wireless networks in three NYCHA-licensed affordable housing residences. NYCwireless also served as a member of the FCC’s Consumer Advisory Committee.

PSA: "Free Public Wi-Fi" is NOT a Free Wireless Internet Hotspot

Public Service Announcement

I often get asked why our hotspots aren’t providing internet access, only to learn that someone is trying to connect to the network named “Free Public Wi-Fi”. When I explain that the network named “Free Public Wi-Fi” is not only never going to provide free internet, but is also a Microsoft Windows “virus” (in a loose sense), they are astonished.

But its true! As a result of the way Microsoft Windows XP “Preferred Network Lists” function, Windows will try to connect to each of the preferred networks in the order they appear in the Wi-Fi card’s Network Properties panel. Usually, people have a few preferred networks, and when they are at home or at work, one of them is available and Windows will connect to that Wi-Fi network.

However, in a public space, most likely there will be no network named after one of the preferred networks. As Windows tries to connect to each network name (or SSID) in turn, it eventually gets to one called “Free Public Wi-Fi”, which is likely in the list from a user’s prior attempt to get free Wi-Fi (that’s the viral part). When Windows tries the network named “Free Public Wi-Fi”, since its an “ad-hoc” network, it will start broadcasting over Wi-Fi for other computers that are also looking to join the “Free Public Wi-Fi” network.

At some point, as its broadcasting for “Free Public Wi-Fi”, someone at another computer thinks “Oh, what good luck! Someone is offering free Wi-Fi for the public,” and that person then connects to the Free Public Wi-Fi ad-hoc network, and then their computer becomes a “carrier” for the Free Public Wi-Fi virus.

Its quite unfortunate that Microsoft’s attempt to be helpful in reconnecting to a known Wi-Fi network has caused this terrible virus to propogate. While most of the time, accidentally connecting to this rogue network won’t cause your Windows computer any harm, it is possible to catch a computer virus from the computer broadcasting the rogue network. To make sure your laptop isn’t in harm’s way, make sure you have the latest Windows updates, have your firewall enabled and properly configured, and have up-to-date virus protection. And most important: check your Wi-Fi card’s Preferred Network List to make sure that the Free Public Wi-Fi network isn’t listed. If it is, be sure to delete it from the list!

And of course, if you have a Mac, since your computer won’t attempt to reconnect to the network in the same way as a Windows laptop, nor will it propogate the Free Public Wi-Fi (nor is it susceptible to Windows viruses, for that matter), you are most likely safe.

NYC MTA Looking to add Wi-Fi Services to LIRR and Metro-North Railroads

Esme Vos of MuniWireless just sent us a copy of an RFEI (Request for Expressions of Interest) she received from the NYC MTA about their interest in adding Wi-Fi internet access aboard LIRR and Metro-North Railroads and in stations. The RFEI is just a preliminary step in what many New Yorkers (and NJ and CT residents) think is a sorely missing feature of the MTA’s rail lines, given how many other railroads both in the US and in the rest of the world offer Wi-Fi.

There’s no mention of “Free Wi-Fi”, but that’s to be expected as this type of service is both expensive to install and requires a lot of maintenance, both costs that the MTA is likely unwilling to bear. This means that if Wi-Fi is to become available on the LIRR and Metro-North Railroads, its going to be as a for-pay service to commuters and riders. The big question the MTA is looking to answers is: What’s the best infrastructure technology to use to provide Wi-Fi internet aboard trains.

The RFEI has lots of details about ridership numbers that I haven’t seen posted elsewhere, which should help any company understand the number of users each train is likely to have. Interestingly, Metro-North riders are more likely to have internet access at home or at work (92% vs 90%) and Metro-North riders are more likely to have mobile internet access on cell phones and PDAs (42% vs 27%).

Also not discussed at all is the fact that many LIRR stations already have Wi-Fi internet access as provided by Cablevision on Long Island, though riders must be Cablevision subscribers in order to access the network.

Request for Expressions of Interest in Broadband Wireless on Trains and in Stations http://d.scribd.com/ScribdViewer.swf?document_id=17219578&access_key=key-18mseo4j9ev7iwm6v7xs&page=1&version=1&viewMode=