National Day Of Civic Hacking

National Day Of Civic Hacking is a national event, promoted by the White House, that will take place June 1-2, 2013, in cities across the nation. The events will bring together citizens, software developers, and entrepreneurs from all over the nation to collaboratively create, build, and invent new solutions using publicly-released data, code and technology to solve challenges relevant to our neighborhoods, our cities, states and country.

Twenty-seven cities have planned events where hackers will have access to data from The Department of Labor, The Census Bureau, and even NASA’s space stats. It’s a joint project from the U.S. government, Code For America, Random Hacks Of Kindness, and Eric Schmidt’s early-stage venture fund Innovation Endeavors.

In my state of Oregon, Intel and Thetus are teaming up again.

Portland’s TriMet transportation system has been a leader in data sharing. By making data on public transit accessible, TriMet has allowed for the creation of more than 35 phone applications since 2005 using TriMet’s open data initiative.

Geoloqi, a powerful platform for next-generation location based services, has free apps available at Apple’s App Store and Android Market. It lets you easily build your own geo-location apps and games on top of their application.

Their secret sauce is in the algorithms that conserve battery life, minimizing GPS, WiFi and cellular pings, while delivering 20 ft accuracy with “opt-in” control.

OpenSignal the team that offers an app that crowdsources carrier coverage, is launching WeatherSignal, which does the same thing, but for weather. It currently only works with the Samsung Galaxy S4, which has all the sensors the app can tap, but older ones can at least report temperature and manual reports.

President Barack Obama issued an executive order recently that aims to make “open and machine-readable” data formats a requirement for all new government IT systems.

The mandate may bring new life to efforts started by the Obama administration with the launch of Data.gov four years ago. It would also expand an order issued in 2012 to open up government systems with public interfaces for commercial app developers.

As part of the Administration’s Digital Government Strategy and Open Data Initiatives in health, energy, education, public safety, finance, and global development, agencies have been working to unlock data from the vaults of government, while continuing to protect privacy and national security. Newly available or improved data sets from these initiatives will be released today and over the coming weeks as part of the one year anniversary of the Digital Government Strategy.

Related Dailywireless stories include; Real-time Transit Maps, Apps for The City, Free Mobile Development for Cities & Governments, Augmented History, Public Safety 2.0, Everyone Can Create Mobile Apps!, Mobile Portland Demos, Developer Contests, Geo Tours, Japan Tsunami, Tracking Tour de France, WiFi Public Transport, E-911: Seeking a Location, Rental Bikes: Free with Location-based Apps?.

FirstNet’s Conundrum

FirstNet wants to build a dedicated nationwide LTE network for first responders. First Net is a stand alone LTE network that largely uses commercial cellular components. It supplements the push-to-talk voice network for cops and firefighters and is expected to cost taxpayers upwards of $25 Billion. AT&T and Verizon invested about $30 billion each in their LTE upgrades, notes Andrew Seybold — and they already had cell sites and infrastructure in place.

“The commercial carriers spend about $25 billion each year just keeping their systems up and running,” says FirstNet Board member Kevin McGinnis.

But it’s all about the apps. Public service apps will likely be first used on commercial LTE networks and may find a permanent home there, since FirstNet’s user fees may be headed for the sky.

FirstNet is supposed to receive $7 Billion from the incentive TV spectrum auctions, but it is certainly not enough to build out the network, according to Andrew Seybold. That means partners will be needed.

Whether public safety can “force” utilities and city agencies to pay more by switching to FirstNet for M2M and other services has yet to be determined. Those increased costs would likely be passed on (indirectly) to taxpayers to pay for FirstNet.

Alcatel-Lucent showcased broadband public service solutions with multi-agency interoperability at the International Wireless Communications Expo in Las Vegas last March. Urgent.com editor Glenn Bischoff got a demo of Alcatel-Lucent’s live applications, including facial recognition, a network connected media command table, and NG connected vehicles.

Motorola demoed the next generation of public safety, with the Connected Police Officer, a Real-Time Crime Center, the next-generation patrol vehicle, and integrated multimedia communications center.

Automatic License Plate Recognition (ALPR) delivers the ability to read vehicle license plates and check them against an installed database for rapid identity verification.

Different people have different opinions about the viability of FirstNet. I suspect it will only help big cities. Wouldn’t the effectiveness of first responders be reduced if they’re required to pay for more expensive and less available FirstNet service?

The results of the 600 MHz auction next year are unknown. How much money the auction will generate for FirstNet is one issue. What new kinds of data services will be enabled by 600 MHz spectrum in the commercial band is another issue.

With 120MHz potentially available on the 600 MHz band, and 40 MHz available on Dish’s MSS spectrum (for dual-band sat/terrestrial phones), commercial carriers could beat FirstNet at its own game.

Commercial LTE providers, offering better service at lower cost, can outgun the “good guys” at any incident scene. Hotspot 2.0 will provide seamless roaming.

Samsung’s Galaxy S4 enables Hotspot 2.0 and soon it will be on most smartphones.

FirstNet will be D.O.A.

Related Dailywireless articles include; FirstNet: Get Utilities to Pay for It, FirstNet Congressional Hearing, SF Public Service Net: In Trouble?, Street light Provides Wi-Fi, Cell Coverage, Hotspot 2.0, Public Safety Spectrum Grab, Public Safety: Show Us The Money, Seattle’s Gigabit Fiber CityNet, Chicago Announces Free WiFi in Parks, Municipal Networks: Good for Cities?, Genachoski : Gigabit Fiber in 50 States by 2015 , D-Block: It’s Done; Congress Pays, The 700MHz Network: Who Pays?, Big Bucks for 700 MHz Public Safety,

Cloud4Wi: Cloud-Managed, Geo-enabled Hotspots


Hi Sam,

how are you? I hope fine.

I am contacting you in order to introduce Cloud4Wi that, enabling next generation managed Wi-Fi hotspot services. Thus, it not only offers Internet access, but provides also geo web apps and active contents, as well as creates new revenue streams.

Cloud4Wi is the market place for web apps tailored to the Wi-Fi, capable of enhancing the end-user experience thanks to innovative application services and providing effective business tools to Wi-Fi hotspot services managers.

Cloud4Wi unleashes various business models and scenarios thanks the multi-level approach. Thus, Wi-Fi hotspot services managers can define and customize their own managed Wi-Fi hotspot services with the maximum flexibility.

Cloud4Wi is a vendor agnostic solution fully integrated with the most popular vendors of access and network devices, and firmware (e.g. Buffalo Technology, Power Cloud Systems, Meraki, Ruckus Wireless, Cisco, Tanaza, Deliberant, Nomadix, Aruba, Meru Networks, Coova Chili, Chillispot, DD-WRT, OpenWrt, Tanaza, Aerohive, HP, Juniper Networks, Opemesh). This ensures the maximum flexibility in the selection of Wi-Fi vendors with a considerable reduction of up-front investments and operational costs.

We believe we are working a unique approach that will permit all ISP/WISP, System Integrators and IT Companies to redesign the hotspot concept and ist business modell.

For your info WiTech thanks to Cloud4Wi is RedHerring Europe Top 100 and we working on worldwide footprint to support ISP/WISP market.

I appreciate a lot if you can consider our solution as new challenge in the market that can support the next step of wifi services.

I would like your post on Daily Wireless about “the next gen of public wifi” …. that consider Clou4Wi a pioneer of new approach …..

Please let me know what you think about it and cloud4wi?

Best Regards

Andrea

Hi Andrea:

Thanks for the heads up. Consider it done. Could you explain a little bit more how Clou4Wi incorporates geo web apps and how your product might differ from other cloud-managed WiFi services such as Tanaza or Power Cloud Systems?

Best Regards.

– Sam

Hi Sam,

firstly thanks a lot for your prompt response

Please find below the clarifications to your questions.

1) How Cloud4Wi incorporates geo web apps

Some web apps are published directly on the splash portal and leading page in order to enhance end-user experience (e.g. spot news, around you, couponing, instant win, chat etc.), whereas other ones and business tools can be used by the Wi-Fi hotspot service provider and location owner through the control panel in order to monetize the Wi-Fi network (e.g. direct marketing, geo-targeting, click counting, etc.).

2) How Cloud4Wi might differ from other cloud-managed WiFi services such as Tanaza or Power Cloud Systems

Whilst Tanaza and Power Cloud Systems speed up the delivery and provisioning phases of a new Wi-Fi hotspot (avoiding the expensive one-by-one pre-configuration of an access point), Cloud4Wi is an application layer with cloud hotspot controller that enables next generation fully customizable services through the Wi-Fi network thanks to active contents, web apps, business tools.

Finally, you can find more info about web apps on Cloud4Wi web site web apps section (http://www.cloud4wi.com/webapps), as well as you can watch some videos on our Youtube channel (http://www.youtube.com/user/Cloud4Wi)
Best Regards

Andrea

Clearwire Ownership Vote Delayed 2 Weeks

Clearwire has canceled its Friday morning vote where shareholders were expected to vote on whether or not to accept Sprint’s $3.40 per share offer, after Dish’s latest counter bid of $4.40 per share.

Dish’s deal values Clearwire at $6.3 billion, but unlike Sprint, Dish wouldn’t necessarily take complete control over the company. It is willing to settle for a minority stake as long as it can get 25 percent of the company. Clearwire has rescheduled the shareholder vote until Thursday, June 13, giving the special committee nearly two weeks to decide on Dish’s latest proposal.

DISH Network on Wednesday sent a letter to Clearwire Corporation with an offer to acquire Clearwire for $4.40 per share in cash.

Clearwire said its special committee found Dish’s latest proposal to be more “actionable” than Dish’s previous one.

Dish Chairman Charlie Ergen is also competing against Japan’s SoftBank Corp to buy Sprint, the No. 3 U.S. mobile service provider. Dish’s Clearwire buyout offer is separate from their Sprint bid.

Clearwire’s fate depends on the owners of the roughly half of the company’s shares that don’t belong to Sprint. Some minority shareholders in Clearwire, like Crest Financial, have fought Sprint’s offer for Clearwire as too low.

Crest Financial, which holds 8 percent of Clearwire’s stock, is fighting a proxy battle against Sprint’s takeover bid. Dish said it may buy out only minority shareholders as long as it can acquire at least 25 percent of Clearwire’s voting stock. Dish said it wants the right to pick at least three Clearwire board members and more if it acquires more of Clearwire’s shares.

On or before June 12, 2013, Clearwire intends to file with the Securities and Exchange Commission a Solicitation/Recommendation Statement on Schedule 14D-9 stating whether the Clearwire board of directors and the Special Committee recommends acceptance or rejection of DISH’s unsolicited tender offer.

Sprint offered to buy Clearwire in December for $2.2 billion but satellite TV provider Dish Network Corp announced a counterbid of $2.3 billion in January. The Sprint Buyout of Clearwire was also fought by some shareholders. Dish followed up in April by making a bid for Sprint.

Related Dailywireless articles include; Battle for Clearwire, Clearwire Committee Likes Sprint Offer Best, Verizon to Buy Clear Spectrum for $1.5 Billion?, Sprint Buyout of Clearwire Fought by Crest Financial, Sprint to Buy Clearwire, DISH Proposes to Buy Clearwire, Sprint Buying Clearwire?, Sprint + Dish?, Sprint Gets Majority Control over Clearwire, Sprint Won’t Buy Clear – For Now, Clearwire Cuts TD-LTE Deployment, China Mobile: Go For TD-LTE Launch, Dish: On the Move , Dish and Sprint Battle over PCS band Extension, Dish CEO: T-Mobile Partnership?, Clearwire: On the Hot Zone, Clearwire Cuts TD-LTE Deployment, South Korea Completes Nationwide LTE Coverage, Brazilian 4G Auction Raises $1.3B, Huawei LTE 4×4: Goes to 250 Mbps, Clearwire and China Mobile Announce TD-LTE Testing Plan

Kickstarter for Fiber Nets?

Craig Settles, Co-Director of Communities United for Broadband, says in a GigOm article today, that communities may want better broadband, but Google isn’t planning a nationwide roll out anytime soon. So cities are taking a page from Kickstarter to get their gigabit networks (or even community Wi-Fi).

The idea for using a crowdfunding platform as an investment engine for broadband solidified while Neighbor.ly CEO Jase Wilson served on a team, to help Kansas City plan for Google Fiber, reports Settles.

Neighbor.ly replaces Kickstarter’s “all or none” philosophy in which projects receive no funding if they fail to reach their fundraising goal in time, and relies on an “every dollar counts” approach. Whatever an organization raises by the deadline, it gets to keep. Juniper Gardens Apartments, a 390-unit complex that is part of the Kansas City Kansas Housing Authority and located in one of the poorest sections of Kansas City, Kan., is one of Neighbor.ly’s fundraising projects.

The nonprofit Connecting for Good builds wireless networks, secures computing equipment and provides digital literacy training for low-income communities. They wanted to install an indoor-outdoor wireless network at Juniper Gardens but needed to raise nearly $40,000.

The Neighbor.ly effort raised $34,500 and equipment manufacturer Ubiquiti made up the difference with an in-kind contribution of product.

The concept of non-profits funding cheap or free WiFi in apartments seems like a wonderful idea. But it’s no guarantee.

My adjoining apartment building, which is Section 8, was “unwired” by One Economy last year.

The Oregon program was funded with $1,139,200. The $1.1 million investment was supposed to bring 1,293 units of affordable housing in 7 housing projects in Portland. Five of the projects were with the Housing Authority of Portland, and 2 with Hacienda CDC.

That amounts to nearly $1,000 per apartment. The plan was to deliver 2 years of free Internet Access followed by affordable access ($10/mo) and a site-specific web portal.

After nearly a year’s delay, the building was “unwired” using Meraki gear and an ISP providing 8 DSL lines of 7Mbps each. Then, after barely a year of service and no warning, One Economy decided to shut down the “free” WiFi service.

One high ranking One Economy official (now laid off, along with ALL the Portland staff), told me that One Economy decided to shut down their US operations and move into international development. Their rationale: The FCC’s new program to fund cable internet access for $10/month (if you have kids in the school lunch program).

But our 80 unit building is 90% single occupancy. Virtually nobody qualifies.

Now nobody has “free” internet access. The backhaul connections were turned off, and the five Meraki plug-in hotspots on each floor are currently radiating interference to everyone.

What a piece of crap.

One Economy billed taxpayers nearly $1,000 per unit and bailed early. Now the Housing Authority of Portland has no interest in continuing the service — there’s no money in it for them.

I don’t know if any laws were broken, but it makes me wonder what happened to all the money One Economy received.


UPDATE: Tue, Jun 4, 2013

Sam,

Thank you for forwarding a link to your article in dailywireless.org. We are currently reviewing options related to the recent cessation of One Economy’s wireless internet services at Home Forward’s building in the Yard’s development. It is important to us to increase resident access to the internet whenever feasible.

Best,
Steve Rudman
Executive Director
Home Forward

Here’s the thing – anyone can do this. Put in a couple dozen Ubiquiti Unifi access points ($100 each), and feed each floor with 10 Mbps backhaul ($50/month). This is not rocket science.

Upfront costs might be $5K while monthly backhaul costs might be $250/month range. If 40 people (half the units), paid $10/month, that generates $400/month. The thing could be paid for in 2 years.

Why bill taxpayers $80,000 when empowered individuals could do the same thing for one tenth the cost? It’s a rip-off.

You don’t have to be a network guru. Tanaza, a vendor-agnostic solution, can cloud manage Wi-Fi Access Points. Tanaza’s cloud-based Wi-Fi management system has a simple, clickable interface. No expertise required. It can send an email alert if an AP dies.

Tanaza Powered APs such as Ubiquiti’s UniFi can embed the Tanaza Agent inside the firmware. They are monitored through a proprietary protocol that leverages keep alive-like packets. If the Tanaza Cloud Infrastructure stops receiving those packets, the device is considered off-line.

PowerCloud Systems, a Qualcomm and PARC-backed provider of WLAN-as-a-Service solutions, provides another WiFi-as-a-Service at low cost.

Yesterday I attended the grand opening of a new Portland startup incubator, in Northwest Portland.

Ted Wheeler, Oregon’s State Treasurer, was the guest of honor at the TiE Pearl launch, with venture capital leaders attending from Silicon Valley and elsewhere.

Wheeler explained that most states no longer seek to lure large companies. The logistics are now too expensive for most large companies to pick up and move to another state. The new thinking is to build-up each state’s own foundation of expertise, as exemplified by the dozen or so incubators now operating in the Portland Region.

Kelley Roy, Director of ADX, provides a DIY works space, and insight on the new economy at TED (above).

Perhaps affordable internet access could be a first step in creating a vibrant, grass-roots economy. But, if experience is any guide, don’t wait for any government plan.

Just do it!

Portland Startup Incubators include the Portland Incubator Experiment, Nike+ Accelerator, run by TechStars, PSU Business Accelerator, Upstart Labs, TiE Pearl Incubator, Oregon Technology Business Center, Cambia Health Solutions, Tech4Change! and TenX. Co-working space for startups in Portland includes NedSpace, Collective Agency, Beam Development, General Automotive and ADX.

Startup PDX Challenge may winnow some 240 applicants down to 16 semi-finalists. Six will receive a $10,000 working capital grant, a full year of rent-free office space in Portland’s Produce Row.

The Technology Association of Oregon, Oregon Entrepreneur Network, Oregon Angel Fund, Rogue Venture Partners and Portland Seed Fund are some organizations that provide investment capital and advice for a variety of incubators. The Portland Seed Fund portfolio includes dozens of successful startups. Portland Development Commission sponsors a Startup PDX Challenge, Portland State sponsors a CleanTech Challenge and OSU sponsors a Venture Accelerator. Portland Seed Fund, alone, has invested $1.35 million in 36 companies which have created more than 200 jobs, with 25 of those companies raising more than $23 million in capital.

Silicon Valley’s incubator, Y Combinator, has become the model for many incubators. They run a three-month program for startups to polish their products for presentation to the investor community. Twice a year startup incubators generally invest a small amount of money ($14-20k + a small ownership percentage) in a large number of startups. The startups work intensively to refine their product and pitch to investors.

Events like Portland’s Demolicious, the Seed Fund Demo Day, and Portland Startup Weekend show off the best projects to investors and the general public.

Angels and Mentors have facilitated funding for Athletepath, Cloudability, Chirpify, Elemental Technologies, Geoloqi, GlobeSherpa, New Relic, Puppet Labs, Urban Airship and Zapproved among many others.

Startups tend to build on inexpensive open source solutions like Linux, MySQL, Apache, OpenStack and high-level programming languages like Ruby on Rails and Python. Portland startups like Puppet Labs helps companies like Twitter deal with their massive farms of servers.

HTML, JavaScript, CSS, and PHP make webapps interoperable. PhoneGap makes them mobile.

Responsive Web Design allows web layouts to display differently for mobile, tablet or desktop. CSS3 media queries help this process, delivering different CSS rules depending on the circumstances.

It’s time to get on this bus.

Related Dailywireless articles include; Spotlight Mobile’s Meridian: Indoor GPS, Hotspot 2.0 for Museums & Transit, Indoor Location Without GPS, Qualcomm & Cisco Team for WiFi Location, Real-time Transit Maps, Apps for The City, Free Mobile Development for Cities & Governments, Augmented History, Public Safety 2.0, Mobile Portland Demos, Developer Contests, Geo Tours, Where Conference 2012, Mobile Demolicious in Portland, Geolocation Takes Off , Portland Mobile Developers, Google Crisis Response Mapping, Walmart Labs Buys Mobile Develeoper Small Society , Spotlight Mobile’s Meridian: Indoor GPS, Mobile Portland Demos, Seattle’s South Lake Union: Tech Hub, Google Maps Indoors, Where 2.0 – 2011, Nokia: Location Via White Space, Indoor Location Alliance Formed, Cisco Small Cells, AT&T: 40,000 Small Cells, Microsoft Sponsors Free WiFi in NYC & SF, Chicago Announces Free WiFi in Parks,

Broadcom: Into the Internet of Things

Broadcom has announced two cost-effective, power-efficient wireless chips geared towards appliances, home automation and wearable devices.

The first SoC, the BCM4390 incorporates a highly-efficient WiFi radio for embedded use in products such as weight scales, thermostats and security cameras. It fits into the company’s range of Wireless Internet Connectivity for Embedded Devices (WICED) chips. It’s 802.11b/g/n standards compliant with support for single-stream 11n devices.

The second SoC, the BCM20732 features an ultra low-power Bluetooth transceiver, and targets devices like heart rate monitors, pedometers and door locks.

Wearable and sensor-based devices using low-power Bluetooth Smart can pair with smartphones and tablets and connect to the Internet to send and retrieve data from cloud-based applications. Broadcom is also contributing its Bluetooth software stack to the Android Open Source Project with support for both standard and Bluetooth Smart hardware.

Broadcom’s context-aware chips taps into other technology found in smartphones, such as MEMS sensors, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and Near Field Communication to provide consumers with intelligent, relevant information about their surroundings — in real-time.

Their BCM47521 is the industry’s first GNSS chip to enable geofence capabilities while preserving battery life.

More than 30 billion devices will wirelessly connect to the Internet of Everything in 2020, according to ABI Research.