WiFi in a gondola

  Forum Editor 07:47 05 Jul 2009

It seems that some cities are able to move a good deal faster than others when it comes to connecting their citizens, and if you click here you'll hear about one of them.

Exactly the same thing could happen in many of our cities and towns, and although some places have been quicker than others to see the advantages we still appear to be falling short.

  wiz-king 08:21 05 Jul 2009

Dont let it happen! Its bad enough trying to dodge pedestrians shuffling along looking at screens in their phones instead of where they are going - heaven help us if they start wandering around with laptops.

  Forum Editor 08:31 05 Jul 2009

Good point, although I doubt it would happen. It's not that easy to surf the web whilst wandering around with a laptop in your hand.

This whole thing about universal access to the internet raises some interesting issues. I often use coffee shops, and I can guarantee that whatever time of day it is there will be at least one person tapping away on a laptop, using the free WiFi connection. One place that I visit regularly looks like a computer trade event every lunchtime - there will be fifteen or so people, all using their laptops.

What are they all doing - is there so much information floating about that we can't nip out for a coffee and a toasted sandwich without going online and catching up?

The day will come when all of us have more or less constant and free internet access in public places. Lots of people see that as a good thing, and lots don't. It would be interesting to know what the people who use this forum think.

  laurie53 08:35 05 Jul 2009

Not my scene though it wouldn't bother me one way or the other, as long as they don't behave like so many mobile users, wandering up and down, generally getting in the way, and drowning out your own conversation (live, with a real person!).

  Bingalau 09:52 05 Jul 2009

I remember when I first heard someone talking/shouting into their mobile phone on a train. "Oh God!" I thought, "Why does he have to tell his girlfriend every station he is at etc. Hope this craze doesn't catch on." Well it caught on good and proper and now everybody is doing it except me. Even I have got used to it, in shopping aisles, on buses, trains, walking in the park. 02.00 hrs outside my house etc. Why do they have to shout though? I have a mobile phone in my car which I keep for emergency purposes and I know how to use it. My grand children have taught me how to text. But one thing I will not do is shout in to the damn thing. I don't own a laptop (yet) but with my grand kids who knows? I do hope that if and when I do get one, I will be able to use it anywhere.

  dagnammit 20:33 05 Jul 2009

I use a mobile phone but majority of the time it's on silent and if I see a missed call I'll return it later, when it's suitable for me to do so.

In terms of internet usage (wifi) I can only see the need for it if I'm to be away from home/work for a few days minimum. Don't really need it for a visit to the City Centre on a shopping trip.

Where I can see the benefit of free wifi spots is for tourism. It's a great thing to boast about your City. Also with lots of cheap devices sporting wifi and browsers it means the poorest amongst us can have Internet access. Which is a must... my kids love going online and reading about things they've learned in class. As an example the oldest has been fascinated by Florence Nightingale recently.

  Charence 22:26 05 Jul 2009

God, this brings back bad memories!! I hate having to wait for people to do things or to at least reply to my mail.

Being 'connected' is something which is nice to have. Not a necessity, but I could check my mail if I have nothing else to do, or on holiday; responding to people who have taken time to send a message.

  Forum Editor 23:59 05 Jul 2009

anywhere and everywhere reduces the ability to contemplate."

I'm not sure it reduces the ability to contemplate, but it probably reduces the need as far as many people are concerned. What happens is that the act of communicating becomes the important thing; it's more important than what is said. We've developed a culture of the immediate response - we're all expected to reply to emails as soon as possible, and to answer that mobile call whenever and wherever it comes.

There's no law that says emails must be responded to within a set period, or else, or that you have to Tweet ten times a day or die of shame.

  Charence 00:14 06 Jul 2009

There's no law, but when you go and visit office of recipient and find they're just sitting there playing solitaire, it's quite frustrating. Well that's one extreme.

Wifi spots are also convenient for accessing things like Google Maps when you're lost.

  SimpleSimon1 09:57 06 Jul 2009

>Or, there was in my day. Perhaps that
>demonstration of commitment has been replaced by
>being always connected.

Wouldn't bet on it. I remember working on a major s/w project a while back and there was a team from one of the major consultancies on it. They were all fairly young and because competition to move up the organisation greasy pole was so fierce, none of them would risk being seen leaving the office first. Consequently, they were all there until at least 9pm every night even though, at that stage, there wasn't any work to justify the late working.

  Stuartli 12:56 06 Jul 2009

One of the points made in the BBC story to which the FE provided a link was the sentence that included: "..and for those who live there it is free...", which has escaped any comment so far..:-)

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