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Wireless Networking Communications United Kingdom

London's Mayor Promises London-Wide Wireless For 2012 Olympics 130

Pax681 writes "[London Mayor] Boris Johnson declared that London will have all bus stops and lamp posts Wi-Fi enabled by 2012 for the Olympics. In an article on Tech Eye, Boris waxes lyrical (or as lyrical as he can get) about how it would be done at a Google Zeitgeist event in Hertfordshire. These would be public Wi-Fi hotpots; as such, would these break the new law on open access points? Would they be just the thing for people to use to infringe with impunity and anonymously bypass the chances of running foul of the Digital Economy Act?"
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London's Mayor Promises London-Wide Wireless For 2012 Olympics

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  • by bothemeson ( 1416261 ) on Friday May 21, 2010 @06:03AM (#32290932) Homepage
    how many lamp-posts there are in London? He's a well-meaning right-wing buffoon.
  • by commodore64_love ( 1445365 ) on Friday May 21, 2010 @06:49AM (#32291152) Journal

    >>>Give the new ones a chance - they'll have their faults for sure, but they won't be quite as control freak as the last lot.

    That's what we said over here in the American Union, and yet the "new lot" happily renewed the Patriot Act rather than let it expire, and they just passed legislation to start collecting DNA

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 21, 2010 @06:55AM (#32291178)

    In Sweden many Telia (old Televerket= state monopoly) phonebooths had wifi installed. You need an account to use them, so while it's "public" it's not like anyone can use them at any time for free. I have the service included in my iPhone plan (at a cost of 0 SEK), but I've never bothered to connect to one.

  • by gazbo ( 517111 ) on Friday May 21, 2010 @07:07AM (#32291242)
    Had I lived in London I would have voted for him solely for his appearances on Have I Got News For You. And I am not in any way ashamed of this fact.
  • by commodore64_love ( 1445365 ) on Friday May 21, 2010 @07:10AM (#32291260) Journal

    Ye have only had those articulated "bendy" buses 8 years. Seems like a huge waste of money to just dump them. According to wikipedia: "Research by London TravelWatch has indicated that such a withdrawal could prove costly to TfL. A study conducted in September 2008 found that replacing articulated vehicles on routes 38, 507, and 521, whilst maintaining overall route capacity, would cost an additional £12.6 million per annum."

  • by jecblackpepper ( 1160029 ) on Friday May 21, 2010 @07:11AM (#32291270) Homepage
    At least the new lot in UK have explicitly said that they are going to repeal some of the civil liberty infringing laws, including ensuring the removal of innocent people's DNA from the DNA database. Of course they've only be in power a couple of weeks haven't even yet placed their programme for government before parliament, but I'm at least hopeful that they will do some (all) of the things they've promised on civil liberties.
  • by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Friday May 21, 2010 @08:06AM (#32291500)

    Help me here, please, what's wrong with the busses? I've been to London twice, and so far I can't say that I found anything wrong with their public transport. Well, aside of the price tag.

  • by locofungus ( 179280 ) on Friday May 21, 2010 @09:41AM (#32292404)

    Nothing wrong with London's public transport. The problem is very large vehicles in London (centre). The roads are generally too narrow, too bendy and have too many junctions for very long vehicles.

    Many junctions have had their stop lines moved right back (20-30m from the junction) to allow the buses to turn into them. It's all too common for a car driver to be unable to see the point of stopping so far back so they stop a cars length or two in front of the line. Then one of these buses comes around the corner and everybody is stuck. (over the years this has got to be a lesser and lesser problem as more and more car drivers have directly experienced the problems it causes but it's never gone away completely)

    Or when the buses are going along a main road with two lanes they should wait until their exit is clear before entering a box junction (yellow hatched area where you are not allowed to enter unless your exit is clear and are not allowed to stop on unless you are turning right and are prevented from oncoming traffic). But cars in the other lane will "overtake" the bus and then pull across into the buses lane meaning that the 18m gap that the bus needs in front of it never happens. So the buses just block the junctions. (and pedestrian crossing are blocked even more often - it's not at all uncommon for once of these buses to end up slap bang across a pedestrian crossing for the entire green man phase - which tends to be fairly short anyway even when you've got a direct route across the road)

    These buses have a surprisingly brisk acceleration - and there is a significant proportion of bus drivers who will just pull away when there is a car or cyclist overtaking. Typically for a car it's not too much problem but many cyclists cannot then get past them but end up stranded in the middle of the road with a bus that is now going slightly faster than they are but has 15m of vehicle behind them preventing them from getting back in.

    For the people who use them, these buses are very good. But, unfortunately, they do not work well on the road infrastructure in central London.


  • by Budenny ( 888916 ) on Friday May 21, 2010 @03:37PM (#32297538)

    Boris is what is known as a national treasure in the UK. That is, someone whose utterances should be greeted with an amused smile of appreciation, but is sometimes, maybe a lot of the time, very much on target and right. But usually not conventionally right, right in a sort of coming out of left field way. Boris is as likely to be heard making comparisons to ancient history, complete with Latin or Greek quotations in the original, as to opine on Wifi. Don't take this stuff too seriously. On some things, like the subway, Boris will be crisp, matter of fact, to the point, and obviously correct when you think about it. On other things, like these here lamposts, all Londoners will know this is Boris being a national treasure, and smile indulgently. There is a code for when to take Boris seriously, which is most of the time, and when to take Boris as joking, which is some of the time, and when to take Boris as being a national treasure, as in the present instance. In this case all Londoners know that he is not to be taken all that seriously. There will be some wifi, and there will be some lamposts. But no, the whole of London will not be blanketed with open relays, and Boris, as soon as someone explains that to him, will see immediately that it is not on.

    How you have to see Boris, he is Mayor Koch, but in London. That is, he is like Koch was a real New Yorker, Boris is a real Londoner. The code is different, but its the same animal. Like Koch, he will get elected over and over again. He's what the Londoners think of as one of us. Though, of course, he is not at all one of us in any real sense. But he is a real Londoner, and people look through differences of class and education, and see that. As they looked through Koch's differences from them and knew they were looking at a real New Yorker.

panic: kernel trap (ignored)