WiFi along the Amtrak corridor

On the train down to New York yesterday, I ran MacStumbler for an hour and watched the WiFi access points fly by. Here are some highlights, Harper's Index-style:

number of access points30
number of open access points14
number of open access points named linksys7

I've never used MacStumbler's GPS feature, but with the advent of Google Maps that's suddenly a whole lot more interesting. It's easy to imagine the righteous hack that would spray access-point locations onto an interactive map.

I haven't heard much chatter about meshed WiFi lately, but an interactive visualization of the ad-hoc WiFi network could help tip things in that direction. Of course some folks are already living in the pervasive-broadband future -- Dewayne Hendricks, for example, who can also be heard on this ITConversations show.

Developers of connected software will usually say that robust offline capability is essential, and that's certainly true. Outlook 11's improvements on that front, to take one example, were a godsend to people intermittently tethered to their Exchange servers. Still, it feels increasingly pointless for a device to be disconnected -- and also increasingly unnecessary.

We'll always need intelligent local storage, but its purpose will evolve. Synchronization will matter less over time. Enhancing connectedness will matter more.

Former URL: http://weblog.infoworld.com/udell/2005/05/17.html#a1234