Los Angeles lights up via Cafe.com: from their press release -- Cafe.com today announced the public launch of its high-speed wireless Internet service in coffee shops and other venues throughout Southern California’s Digital Coast communities. The company plans to have over 30 high-speed access points or ‘hotspots’
offering true broadband wireless Internet access by the year’s end and more to come in 2003. Their approach is one that apes other, so-far successful firms in this space that have managed to raise small amounts of money and achieve a good revenue flow (and sometimes even net income) in a location-by-location basis rather than blowing tons of venture capital in ways that require short-term success. Note, for instance, that they're expanding to 30 hot spots over eight months, not 300 or 3,000. Their first two locations? The Novel Cafe and the The Bourgeois Pig Cafe! A good pairing.
Their pricing model is inline with the Wayport/Boingo/MobileStar world view: 17 cents per minute walk-up (about $10/hour); $7 for 24 hours; $16 per month for 200 minutes, 8 cents thereafter; $35/month for 500 minutes, 8 cents thereafter. They're allied with NetNearU, which in turn ties them into GRIC.
News for 4/24/2002
Bluetooth storage device from Toshiba: interesting option for portable devices.
A workaround for Voice-over-IP-over-Wi-Fi: buy a couple of these babies and you can at least turn your laptop into a phone booth over Wi-Fi. Read the thread of discussion on Slashdot where they mention a freeware tool to use this for point-to-point calls with other users of the same software.