No laptops allowed: So-called topless (nice sexy term for "laptop-less") meetings are coming into vogue? It's hard to tell if it's a trend, but to judge by conferences I've attended, no one pays attention to anything any more. Banning laptops might be an advantage to promoting shorter meetings--people will be jonesing so hard for their 'top that they'll cut to the chase.
Internet Archive offers fiber-based service to public housing project: Forget Wi-Fi. How about 100 Mbps to each apartment in a 260-unit project (Valencia Gardens)? That's Brewster Kahle, Internet pioneer and all-around good guy, written large. His efforts intend to put high-speed service into 2,500 units, mostly by the end of the year. The project ties into city-owned fiber, and is routed through the archive's high-speed NOC. With this project and the Meraki Free the Net mesh effort, San Francisco could move out of the status of a developing nation in terms of widespread broadband access.
Boston Wi-Fi project launches: The first pilot project under the direction of Openairboston launched today, with a square mile in Roxbury and Dorchester, passing about 8,000 homes. Service is free for 30 days, then $10 per month thereafter.
Open Range Communications gets $267m loan for rural broadband: The funds are intended to push service into an extraordinary 518 rural areas across 17 states. They've raised $100m privately, too, GigaOm reports. They won't deploy just one set of technology, but will sublet spectrum and use a satellite range for ground service, Om Malik writes.
Chrysler will put Wi-Fi into cars: Bloomberg News reports that Chrysler intends later this year to offer dealer-installed cellular Internet links in cars. The Chrysler chief for this effort misuses the term Wi-Fi, though, as it's cell data with car drivers required to obtain a cell subscription. The service will move to factory-installed after 2008. There's not much detail on what drivers and passengers will be able to use the service for in this brief article.
Wi-Fi chip shipments dectupled in five years; revenue quintupled: ABI Research notes that 440m Wi-Fi chipsets will ship in 2008, 10 times greater than in 2003. However, revenue is just 5 times higher, which shows how even with more advanced chips in the mix, the race to the bottom continues. Broadcom was the leading vendor in ABI's analysis.