Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Another Network in a Different City

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  • barnaclebarnes,

    Don't hold your breath over the John Cale concert - I was sorely disappointed in his 2002 concert at London's Festival Hall. I guess having the Boredoms warm up for him was a mistake in retrospect - they absolutely rocked the joint. Cale was actually so bad that we left the concert. Not pretty but maybe I will give him another chance.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 84 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Don't hold your breath over the John Cale concert - I was sorely disappointed in his 2002 concert at London's Festival Hall.

    The reviews have been great this year -- see here.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18509 posts Report Reply

  • Thom James,

    Ah, the Chev, how I love thee. How I love havin brekkie on my deck overlooking Meola Creek on a lazy Sunday morning. How I love summer barbies & footie down in Coyle Park. How I love Sage's lamb madras. How I fucking hate it when my DSL connection goes slower than England v South Africa, or just bloody crashes and burns altogether

    Auckland • Since Apr 2007 • 63 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    Does the government even need a strategy for mesh networks?

    The idea's been around for ages. I can see why it hasn't taken off here. I, for instance don't live within cooee of anyone else with a wireless router. If I wanted to be part of such a network, I couldn't. I'd be starting it up. Which means I need to be the guy on the fringe with the connection to a Telco. Which means I might as well keep all the bandwidth to myself, since I'm paying for it. I could share the cost of a really fat pipe, if I was prepared to do all the work setting it up and take all the risk that no one would want to buy in. Even if there were interested neighbors, I'd end up being tech support for half my neighborhood, which would doubly suck because I couldn't just not answer the phone - they would be forever popping over to find out why their router reset itself, or if the Telco was down. Or, more likely, why their PC wasn't booting up fast, why their mouse broke, etc.

    Unless there is a professional third party on call for the tech support, I can't see it working. And if they were, they'd want to have a hand in supplying all the gear, otherwise it would be an absolute nightmare of a job. At which point they're just another telco.

    In very densely packed suburbs or the city centre, it might work, but I bet it would mainly be the choice of nerds who knew how to fix it themselves, or clients of local entrepreneurial nerds.

    Then again, there's a lot more nerds than there used to be...I'm not writing the idea off, just thinking we're looking at a few years away for NZ.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8305 posts Report Reply

  • Mike Brown,

    Wellington • Since Dec 2006 • 7 posts Report Reply

  • Robyn Gallagher,

    How I fucking hate it when my DSL connection goes slower than England v South Africa, or just bloody crashes and burns altogether

    It sounds like things here in Mt Eden are moderately better. I'm on holiday this week and I'm shocked at the novelty of having reasonably speedy DSL at home. Normally when I use it in the evenings it craaaawwwllls along (though mysteriously seems to jump back up to speedy at midnight...)

    But I know that my parents DSL is in the sleepy seaside settlement of Raglan is faster than what I get here.

    These old city suburbs weren't built for these modern times.

    Raglan • Since Nov 2006 • 1842 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd,

    My WiFi router's SID is my street address - sadly, no one's ever asked for a login. But I can see three other networks from home.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2917 posts Report Reply

  • Peter Darlington,

    It sounds like things here in Mt Eden are moderately better. I'm on holiday this week and I'm shocked at the novelty of having reasonably speedy DSL at home. Normally when I use it in the evenings it craaaawwwllls along (though mysteriously seems to jump back up to speedy at midnight...)

    That must be when all the filthy pR0n heads and copyright thieves have finally sated their respective lusts for the evening.

    But I know that my parents DSL is in the sleepy seaside settlement of Raglan is faster than what I get here.

    Yeh, here in little old Brightwater, south of Nelson it's usually great. I reckon it's one of the defining differences between a telco and a network company. Networks usually work better at the hub than on the fringes. With telco's it appears to be the other way around.

    Nelson • Since Nov 2006 • 881 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Beard,

    I'm still stuck with Woosh at home, since I've moved flat a few times and don't want to go through the hassle of installation and having to have a landline. It can grind down to dialup speeds at times, but can be acceptable at others. Nevertheless, things like streaming video and torrents remain exotic concepts to me.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1039 posts Report Reply

  • Mike Graham,

    Are mesh networks what IndraNet (Christchurch based NZ company) have been doing for a while? http://www.indranet.co.nz/technology/

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 195 posts Report Reply

  • StephenR,

    I have a wireless network point and a decent telstra fibre connection, but I have a 10GB monthly limit. Mostly that's not a big problem, except when a new Ubuntu release comes out, but it would be the main reason I'd be reluctant to leave it wide open to the world.

    Do mesh networks in other places survive because they don't have bandwidth caps?

    Incidentally, the latest Ubuntu release makes setting up wireless WPA2 security much easier. It's about the same complexity level as setting it up on the XP laptop and total time (including detecting I needed proprietary drivers for the network card and downloading them automatically (after asking permission)) took about 20 seconds.

    Wellington • Since Sep 2007 • 4 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    A friend of mine lives in LA. She gets her wireless internet through the telephone/light pole outside the apartment. Apparently the city/county council has them installed and they pay to have a login. Which made sense to me, one good wireless connection could do 50 people rather than 50 people having a connection. And also no need to run wires into the buildings, just lay cables along the street.

    Presumably she can move her computer anywhere in the county and it'll still work.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6147 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell,

    sigh - just the thought of Dunedin's old unused gas mains running up every street in my neighborhood and most of the city makes me sad - they were supposedly sold in their entirety to Telecom for $1 so that Clear wouldn't get them - selling the 'copper' back to the govt might free them up for actual competition and I might get the fibre to the curb I really want

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2031 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell,

    I think one of the main problems with wireless mesh networks (we were trying to design one in the early 90s) is that they need a certain access point density in order to 'jell' (they are pretty pointless unless most APS can see at least 3 others) - in Dunedin for example you might try and saturate the student quarter and then build out from there

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2031 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Biggs,

    I saw John Cale at the gluepot both 83 and 86...he played twice each time and I saw both shows. The Bruce Mason blurb says he last played here at the Gluepot. He actually stopped back thru 2 weeks later from Aussie and played at the Windsor (or the bar next door that's now full of pool tables). So altogether I saw him 5 times. A wee bit obsessive I know but the tickets were quite cheap. All the concerts were just him and a piano or guitar so will be interested in seeing him with a band backing him up.
    Can't imagine him filling up the Bruce Mason but like to be proved wrong.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    The idea's been around for ages. I can see why it hasn't taken off here. I, for instance don't live within cooee of anyone else with a wireless router. If I wanted to be part of such a network, I couldn't. I'd be starting it up. Which means I need to be the guy on the fringe with the connection to a Telco. Which means I might as well keep all the bandwidth to myself, since I'm paying for it ...

    The administrative and set-up costs for this kind of thing should theoretically fall within the scope of the government's Broadband Challenge malarkey.

    You're not talking about you, as Joe user, buying a big, fat pipe and hoping everyone else plays nice -- it'd be a co-op. If wireless access points are $150 each, you can buy 1000 of them with your government funding and give the buggers away to anyone who'll have on their roof. That'd do the Chev.

    The attraction for the telcos is in only having to deliver to a single point of entry for the network. In Europe, they compete quite strongly to deliver service.

    I can see advantages in having local data local too: a local cache for internet content from TVNZ/TV3/RNZ/etc would be pretty cool. And ping times for neighbourhood gaming would rock ...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18509 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Rowe,

    I saw Cale at the ICA in London, must have been 99-00 something like that?

    Not a standard gig though, it was him and a DJ and they were joined by a woman singer at the end for a song cycle about spies in WWII (or something). He played a lot of the 'hits' but messed with the arrangements and melodies so they were unrecognisable until you heard a bit you knew. It was a good show (not even half full) but I'd like to hear him play with a band. If he smiles once during the show that'll be more often than Lou Reed did when I saw him :)

    Lake Roxburgh, Central Ot… • Since Nov 2006 • 557 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    Just guessing here, but I'd think mesh networks would suffer the other problem of abuse being very difficult to resolve. It totally depends on the network and what it allows, but I can see people sitting somewhere along the way using non-standard settings and basically rorting. They might refuse to allow any traffic through them, or slow it to a crawl, so as to maximize their own. They might watch the traffic hoping to glean stuff. It doesn't have to be as sensitive as passwords to be something you don't want your neighbors (and whoever happens to be passing by with a wifi device) seeing. Do you want them to even know what sites you visit, what news articles you read, how much P2P you download? Or even when you are home and using your computer?

    I know the telcos already know all that, but you at least have a relationship with them that you signed up for.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8305 posts Report Reply

  • slarty,

    My WiFi router's SID is my street address

    Same here. And same here.

    Mesh doesn't need an Internet link in the first instance - it can simply grow up for gamers. I think there's certainly going to be gentle growth in terms of P2P and VOIP as kids realise what they can do (and have WiFi enabled mobile phones) a bit like the CB period I had in my teens.

    Don't forget the Internet is mesh - it just uses wires (mainly). It grew and survived because it is out of control and robust.

    Money for infrastructure? Maybe multiple providers connect at the edge and charge you only when you leave your local grid. This financially encourages the extension of the network and acts as an arbitrage system (even to the extent of least-cost-routing: if you are a business you could sell the off-peak extra evening capacity to your local grid). People are encouraged to go see the neighbour and ask to mount an aerial on the roof!

    So, TV (Porn), Voice and Games will probably drive it I reckon.

    Go Orcon: set up hub points on all the exchanges that you connect through, and appoint a local rep (maybe through a local school) to encourage the grid...

    Since Nov 2006 • 290 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    If he smiles once during the show that'll be more often than Lou Reed did when I saw him :)

    Dude, he's blowing kisses this year ...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18509 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    When I was at Wellington Airport the other week -- and before I discovered the free wi-fi -- I could see CafeNet Melrose East access point. Couldn't connect, but I thought that was quite impressive.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18509 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    I can see advantages in having local data local too: a local cache for internet content from TVNZ/TV3/RNZ/etc would be pretty cool. And ping times for neighbourhood gaming would rock ...

    There's mega advantages to it. Local file sharing, offsite backups, local cache generally.

    You're not talking about you, as Joe user, buying a big, fat pipe and hoping everyone else plays nice -- it'd be a co-op.

    Someone has to run even a co-op. The internet connection would not be free, so the costs would have to be passed on somehow, and the money collected. The network would have it's own running costs which would also need to be paid for.

    I'm sure these problems are soluble, but ultimately the actual organization will not be an amateur affair. Whoever sets up the connection to the net must be a pro, and there will be tech support, you can take that as guaranteed.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8305 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole,

    Russell said:

    The attraction for the telcos is in only having to deliver to a single point of entry for the network. In Europe, they compete quite strongly to deliver service.

    That's in Europe, Rus, where they have this bizarre thing known as, well, competition. It's a bit of a strange concept in this neck of the woods.
    I'd be really interested to try and get something like this going in my moderately-affluent Remuera/Epsom border area, maybe hooked up to Vector since their honking great pipe runs right down GSR. Dunno whether they'd actually be interested, though, or whether even the fairly rich folks living around me could afford what would doubtless be a quite extortionate fee.

    The pit from whence crawl… • Since Mar 2007 • 3889 posts Report Reply

  • M adas,

    Hmmm syndication moment...

    There was a brew I had the misfortune to secure as a sponsorship product in the early naughties, that had (to the best of my recollection) Tequila and Guarana, went by the name of Mez and ... you guessed it... tatsed like vomit..... Didn't stop the crew getting mildly hammered on it on at least one forgettable occasion...

    Since Dec 2006 • 2 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    That's in Europe, Rus, where they have this bizarre thing known as, well, competition. It's a bit of a strange concept in this neck of the woods.

    Fer sure. That's where public and community fibre would come in handy. It's not about getting it to everyone's doorstep, just to every community.

    Meanwhile, YouTube's New Zealand front door is open. Looks quite good.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18509 posts Report Reply

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