Tuesday, November 29, 2005

New Orleans to go Wi-Fi

City-Owned WiFi System To Be Announced Today

Hurricane-ravaged New Orleans will deploy the nation's first municipally owned wireless Internet system that will be free for all users, part of an effort to jump-start recovery by making living and doing business in the city as attractive as possible.

The system, which Mayor C. Ray Nagin is scheduled to announce at a news conference today, also will be used by law enforcement and for an array of city government functions, such as speeding approval of building permits.

Washington Post

I am sure all of the commercial internet providers are going nuts over this announcement even though they are still not able to provide access to most of New Orleans. Years ago, the library in my hometown offered free dialup internet access to all patrons. It was one of the first libraries in the country to offer this. The local ISP sued the library for ruining his business.

Also, check out this Reason article about the failure of journalism during Katrina. The interrupted rescue due to gunfire and the 7 year old rape victim stories never happened.

On September 1, 72 hours after Hurricane Katrina ripped through New Orleans, the Associated Press news wire flashed a nightmare of a story: “Katrina Evacuation Halted Amid Gunfire…Shots Are Fired at Military Helicopter.”

The article flew across the globe via at least 150 news outlets, from India to Turkey to Spain. Within 24 hours commentators on every major American television news network had helped turn the helicopter sniper image into the disaster’s enduring symbol of dysfunctional urbanites too depraved to be saved.

Golfer Tiger Woods spoke for many of us on September 2 when he remarked, during a tournament in Boston, that “it’s just unbelievable…how people are behaving, with the shootings and now the gang rapes and the gang violence and shooting at helicopters who are trying to help out and rescue people.”

Like many early horror stories about ultra-violent New Orleans natives, whether in their home city or in far-flung temporary shelters, the A.P. article turned out to be false. Evacuation from the city of New Orleans was never “halted,” according to officials from the Coast Guard, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and the Louisiana National Guard. The only helicopter airlifts stopped were those by a single private company, Acadian Ambulance, from a single location: the Superdome. And Acadian officials, who had one of the only functional communications systems in all of New Orleans during those first days, were taking every opportunity to lobby for a massive military response.


Blogger Moulton said...

If and when our technoculture evolves to a totally interconnected Borgian 'hivemind', you can bet your bippy that jokers and spammers will flood the circuits with garbage, idiocy, baloney, and insidious viral marketing.

And as a result, the populace will become even more confused, deluded, distracted, annoyed, and dysfunctional.

November 29, 2005  
Blogger lemming said...


I am officially in denial...

November 29, 2005  

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