Network Infrastructure for the Neurosphere

“The dream behind the Web is of a common information space in which we communicate by sharing information. Its universality is essential: the fact that a hypertext link can point to anything, be it personal, local or global, be it draft or highly polished.”

– Tim Berners-Lee


Network Infrastructure for the Neurosphere

I’ve covered Zigbee in past postings. Z-Wave is a competing standard (actually, a proprietary approach) that allows a user to discover Z-wave-enabled controllers around the home. At the recent CEDIA expo of high end consumer electronics, I saw Z-wave lighting (controllers inside the face plate for the wall switch), thermostats, garage door openers and window shades. (I’ve been manually opening and shutting shades over the course of summer days trying to keep air conditioning needs lower – automation would make a big difference.) There are systems that allow the user to open the garage door which signals a pre-set of other settings – heating, lighting – to turn on when you get home. Other systems allow remote Web access to your home controls (don’t give out the password!) I especially like the “self-organizing” bit in this material.

“Zensys is a leading provider of wireless networking technology for control and status reading applications. Our Z-Wave™ technology is an RF based, two-way; mesh network, communications protocol that enables everyday devices to be controlled and monitored wirelessly. Zensys offers a family of low-cost, low-power, integrated MCU/Transceiver chips embedded with Z-Wave, as well as a suite of development tools and services making it easy for companies to develop wireless products for residential and light commercial applications including lighting and appliance control, energy management, access control, security, and building automation.

Z-wave is self-organizing – each node discovers each other, self-healing by routing around dead spots. Each node does not store topology information – important in a network w scarce resources.

Is command – based – requires short acquisition time.”

Locust World

Network Infrastructure for the Neurosphere

Technology wildly alive. I love it.

“Bio-diverse networking unleashed!”

London Calling

Network Infrastructure for the Neurosphere

In several geographic areas around the world, wi-fi networks are proliferating as grassroots phenomena. Me, I look for Starbucks because I count on my T-Mobile subscription. Which model will out? T-Mobile is getting my money right now, but the grassroots thing has organic momentum behind it. The hacktivists have to get over the idea that somehow, the connection to the Internet backbone is automagically free. But beyond that, they’re on to something…

“In the last five years usage of wireless networks worldwide and in the UK, especially in London, has grown enormously. Community networks, commercial providers and public sector initiatives have been turning to this now-generic technology to provide themselves with local, low-cost networks. As this technology hits the mainstream, expanding the potential scale and utility of these networks, Wireless London addresses the creative possibilities, policies, practicalities and potential of Wireless London.”

“This study looks at how wireless networking (WLAN) in London has developed over the last three years from hacktivist pastime to mainstream pursuit. Comparing networks built by freenetwork groups, commercial hotspot providers, and public sector initiatives the study also examines the sales and uptake of WLAN equipment and makes some direct measurements of wireless activity in the Greater London area. Finally the study looks at the development of WLAN in the home and makes a recommendation for a Wireless Festival for London in 2004/2005.”

“The Node Map is a core part of the Wireless London project. There have been many attempts over the last four years to solve the problem of visualising the network, keeping networkers in contact with each other, and connecting the technical infrastructure of the network with the cultural and social fabric of the city.”

Intelligent Buildings Leadership Forum

Network Infrastructure for the Neurosphere

Interesting leap from “automation” to “intelligent buildings”.

“The Forum is being produced by the Continental Automated Buildings Association (CABA). CABA is a not-for-profit industry association that promotes advanced technologies for the automation of homes and buildings in North America. Our mission is to encourage the development, promotion, pursuit and understanding of integrated systems and automation in homes and buildings.”

Hard to Serve Communities

Network Infrastructure for the Neurosphere

Models for reaching the remaining five billion without internet access?

“ITI San Diego will focus on broadband deployment issues, a key component of the

Commission’s Strategic Plan. On the first day, July 27th, and the morning of the second day,

July 28th, presentations and discussions will focus on wireless methods of delivering broadband

solutions, strategies for aggregating demand and creating effective partnerships, and how to

acquire spectrum through FCC auctions, or through the secondary markets processes.”

Always On

Network Infrastructure for the Neurosphere

Bruce Schneier is one the smartest thinkers about security, so his observations are purposefully scary, but check out that quote – “There seems to be no way to disconnect the Internet”

According to the specs of the new Nintendo Wii (its new game machine), “Wii can communicate with the Internet even when the power is turned off.” Nintendo accentuates the positive: “This WiiConnect24 service delivers a new surprise or game update, even if users do not play with Wii,” while ignoring the possibility that Nintendo can deactivate a game if it chooses to do so, or that someone else can deliver a different — not so wanted — surprise…We all know that, but what’s interesting here is that Nintendo is changing the meaning of the word “off.” We are all conditioned to believe that “off” means off, and therefore safe. But in Nintendo’s case, “off” really means something like “on standby.” If users expect the Nintendo Wii to be truly off, they need to pull the power plug — assuming there isn’t a battery foiling that tactic. There seems to be no way to disconnect the Internet, as the Nintendo Wii is wireless only.

Wi-Fi M&A in the Making?

Network Infrastructure for the Neurosphere

Innovative wi-fi technology provider finds alliance with major supplier to cable and telephone industries. (Cable’s an investor as well.)

“Wireless mesh networking leader, BelAir Networks, today announced that the company is entering into a agreement with ARRIS TeleWire Supply for the resale of BelAir’s product portfolio throughout North America. ARRIS TeleWire Supply, a leading full-line supplier of broadband Hybrid Fiber Coaxial (HFC) products in the U.S, offers tools, hardware and infrastructure products to the cable industry.”

Wi-Fi, Public-Private, Half-Full?

Network Infrastructure for the Neurosphere

On the whole, I’d rather be in…Champaign-Urbana?

“Wireless Philadelphia is a project that has been in development for several years, but which will not be finished until late 2006….However, the project has stirred up a hornet’s nest, and has implications for the whole of America…”What is very different about a mesh, versus a cellular network, is that we get the radios very close to where the customer is,” said Chris Rittler of Tropos Networks. “What this does is actually pretty amazing. It enables off-the-shelf devices such as laptops, PDAs and wi-fi phones to connect easily. It also really reduces the requirements on those devices.”

When Dianah Neff announced the project she faced an immediate legal and lobbying onslaught from the giant telecommunications companies, led by Verizon. Verizon lost its fight in Philadelphia but has succeeded in getting the law changed in the rest of the state. Essentially it has become almost impossible for any other community to set up its own wi-fi system.”

“Under the agreements, EarthLink will build, manage and maintain a wireless network over the City’s 135 square miles at no cost to taxpayers. EarthLink will install transmittal devices on approximately 4,000 of the City’s street lamp pole arms for which it will pay the City. In addition, EarthLink will provide City residents and visitors with free hotspots in 22 locations around Philadelphia, and provide the City with 3,000 free or discounted WiFi accounts and 700 discounted T-1 accounts to be used at the City’s option.”

Diluting Google

Network Infrastructure for the Neurosphere

More on the Google wireless infrastructure – now featuring a pay tier. It dilutes the experiment of whether network growth might be directed through more immediate, organic feedback from customer demand as measured by advertising success.

“The Google-Earthlink proposal endorsed by the city on Wednesday would see the companies offering a tiered payment system, including an Earthlink service that allows paying users to connect at significantly higher speeds than those who connect to a free service supplied by Google, which will be paid for by online advertising….Experts have warned, however, that the free wireless model remains unproven, and may not offer the best solution for smaller cities and towns addressing the “digital divide” to promote economic development.”

Wayne’s Wireless World

Network Infrastructure for the Neurosphere

Community owned wireless has the organic potential I look for in technology development. I’m not sure wireless community networks are different in kind from community networks like the moribund Boulder Community Network tried to be for internet access or community access television tried to be on cable.

“The Champaign-Urbana Community Wireless Network (CUWiN) has built a communications network using wireless networking equipment. This is essentially the same “WiFi” equipment used in homes and offices, but we put it on rooftops to connect neighbors and form a high-speed community network.”

But maybe they are different. Check out this sister network, the Tribal Digital Village.