Category Archives: News

ANNOUNCE: City Centered: A Festival of Locative Media and Urban Community (in SF)

Our good friend Kari Gray is helping to create a technology arts festival in San Francisco this year called “City Centered: A Festival of Locative Media and Urban Community“. Kari originally contacted us about Spectropolis, our Wireless Arts festival from a few years ago, wanting to create something similar out on the west coast. What her team came up with is significantly and impressively more than Spectropolis was, while keeping the core goals of wireless technology and community engagement (leave it to a San Franciscan to one-up us on these concepts!).

There’s an open call for projects, and we think everyone should submit something to the festival. NYC has a lot of innovative, creative, artistic nerds and nerdy artists, and more representation of our great city in SF can only be a good thing!

Recent exhibitions, festivals and conferences across the US and in Europe have taken wireless networks, public space, locative media and urban environments as sites of intervention, creativity, and critique. Formulated within the emerging context of networked urbanism and mobile media, City Centered: A Festival of Locative Media and Urban Community will focus upon dynamics of the shifting, locative, cartographic and social space of the city. It is organized by educational, arts, community-based and civic organizations and asks how locative media can act as a platform and venue for community-led expression.

From within San Francisco’s Tenderloin district, this festival will celebrate the rich possibilities that art and technology offer for urban communication of place and place-based media. City Centered focuses on the use of locative media and wireless technologies for site-specific and neighborhood-based interventions. Artists, designers, architects, community and cultural workers –people, places, and devices — will meet for four days of street-side celebration, public exhibitions, a symposium, and workshops. The festival seeks new work aligned with the themes of creative mapping, urban storytelling, sentient space, body awareness, local history, contested spaces and gaming.

The festival’s main goals are:

  • to promote creative public use of free wi fi and open networks in the city of San Francisco
  • to encourage meaningful collaboration between artists and local organizations in connection with wireless networks
  • to introduce site-specific locative media art to urban places

    CBSMobileZone Shut Down?

    Our roving Wi-Fi reporter, Klaus Ernst, has checked out the Times Square area again looking for CBSMobileZone hotspots that were online (though barely functional) a few months ago. Here’s his report:

    when trying to connect at a CBSMobileZone lately I keep getting redirected to:

    no aptilo terms of service page coming up. Also the “cbsmobilezone.com” Website is gone. Could be accessed from anywhere not just their hotspots.

    Right by CBS on Sixth Av I caught a good one: upper case and lower case. Was always like that. My guess is that the lower case was their tryout and they never corrected it.

    The last time I was able to connect to CBSMobileZone was on Nov. 28 (Subway entrance 7th Av and 53 St) I checked the stats from an email I sent from there. The hotspots have definitely something to do with Verizon:

    from [10.128.6.248] (pool-71-167-227-24.nycmny.east.verizon.net[71.167.227.24])

    So is CBSMobileZone history? Have you heard anything?

    So, has anyone heard anything about CBSMobileZone? Is it in fact quietly shut down?

    Why No One Should Talk To or Read Anything from the Heartland Institute

    I had a very interesting email exchange today with Thomas Cheplick, a reporter at the Heartland Institute. For those of you paying attention over the past few years to the Telecom sector, you’ll remember The Heartland Institute as a Sock Puppet Organization that “that call themselves independent but have ties among each other and to the industries about which they are stating they have an objective opinion.”

    Apparently, Mr. Cheplick is writing an “article” on the recently announced Miami Beach Free Wi-Fi network. We are certainly in favor of local city governments trying to help local residents and provide a valuable utility, especially when it is used to enable city workers and public safety services to get roaming internet access to better do their jobs and to save the city and taxpayers money.

    But Mr. Cheplick’s bias against any such initiative, as well as the bias of his employer, shows through clearly in his initial email requesting NYCwireless comment. He even goes so far as to outright lie about the reasons behind the closure of other Muni-Wi-Fi networks (hint: it has something to do with the fact that the providers of such networks, such as Earthlink and MetroFi, either exited or went out of business). It seems clear to me that whatever Mr. Cheplick writes, its going to be heavily one sided, with a strong slant towards supporting big business and a big slant away from wanting to help local residents help themselves. Something to be aware of in case you come across Mr. Cheplick’s “article”.

    Interestingly, I’ve met many conservatives and liberals alike that are big supporters of people and small local governments helping themselves. Its a mystery to me why anyone (unless you are an executive as a large Telco or Cableco) would be against people becoming self-sufficient. But then again, I don’t have an agenda paid for by an incumbent big business.

    And yes, Mr. Cheplick, you are correct that “off-the-record” can be a two way street. So perhaps you’ll think twice about being naughty around the holidays. Hopefully, this public post will nicely match the lump of coal that was surely left in your stocking this year.

    Continue reading Why No One Should Talk To or Read Anything from the Heartland Institute

    NYCwireless on Advertising Age: Chasing Mobile Audiences Beyond Phones

    I was asked to sit on a panel last Thursday about “THE FOUR SCREENS: Everything you had no idea you needed to know but were afraid to ask!” by my friend Bill Sobel at SobelMedia. My fellow panelists represented a great variety of old and new media expertise, and I brought some mobile knowledge to the table:

    What comes after television, the internet and mobile is what has been commonly referred to as the fourth screen. But what is the deal with all these screens. What are they, why are they important and what do we as producers, designers, technologists and marketers need to know?

    • SCREEN 1: Traditional Broadcast and Cable Television starring Steve Ronson: EVP/AETN (A&E Television Networks)
    • SCREEN 2: Desktop, Laptop and computers starring Lance Podell: CEO/NextNewNetworks
    • SCREEN 3: Wireless and Mobile starring Dana Spiegel: Executive Director of NYCwireless
    • SCREEN 4: Digital out-of-home advertising and everything else starring Michael Kogon: Founder and CEO/Definition6

    The panel was picked up by Advertising Age: Chasing Mobile Audiences Beyond Phones:

    http://assets.adage.com/podcastvideos/3min122209.m4v

    Although they get all the press, phones aren’t actually the only devices that make up our rapidly expanding world of mobile communications. Laptops and portable game consoles are also being widely used by on-the-go consumers. And companies like Yahoo and Google are paying close attention to that. Both sponsored expansive free wifi services for the holidays. Yahoo’s blanketed Times Square, while Google’s took to the airports and skies beyond.

    Update on Times Square Wi-Fi Network

    Our own Klaus Ernst had a chance to check out the new Times Square Wi-Fi network, and snapped some pictures of the network’s home page (on his iPod Touch) and some of the advertisements in the area:

    I finally got connected at 43 and b’way. I tried saturday – no luck. No good at the steps either. Could this be new CBSmobilezone?

    I tried again Friday (12/4). Same thing. Ok at 43, nothing at 46th St.

    We don’t know of anyone that was able to get the CBSMobileZone network to work. Hopefully the quality and range of the Times Square Wi-Fi network improve.

    Times Square Home Page

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