Spectrum auction heats up: The 700 MHz auction is the "last beachfront property in the wireless world," John Markoff writes in The New York Times. Barring further delays, rules for the auction should be set next month. There's a lot of jockeying in the band among major cell carriers and companies like Google and Yahoo. The tech companies probably won't bid, but they're concerned about the lack of protection for equal access to existing broadband systems. Several proposals in front of the FCC want the auction rejiggered to include more or different kinds of network access rules or public-safety spectrum allotments.
Singapore mooching case sets precedent: The AFP reports that the conviction in Singapore of a youth who had "mooched" Wi-Fi from a neighbor may set a precedent across legal systems. There are specific laws in South Korea or Hong Kong when hacking into a network isn't involved in using it. Another Singapore case involved mooching just a few weeks later: a man was imprisoned and fined for posting a bomb hoax using a neighbor's wireless network.
Las Vegas Strip unwired: Too easy to make jokes, but CWTI has unwired a hunk of the Strip. There's no mention of hotel or city partners, so this appears to be entirely a private and independent effort. Oddly, the company's press release page hasn't been updated since mid-2005.
Itsy-bitsy Wi-Fi chip: NXP will produce a 5 mm square 802.11g chip with all essential features. They're sampling the chip to manufacturers now with driver support for all major embedded operating systems. The smaller, typically the less power required to operate.
Wi-Fi into wine: Grape Networks uses wireless mesh technology to monitor vineyard conditions. The network's battery- and solar-powered nodes can check for a variety of soil and weather conditions. Cost is about $150 per acre with a 100-acre minimum for installation and about $75 per acre for yearly maintenance fees.
Jefferson Parish approves moving forward on Wi-Fi: Next step, RFPs.
Orlando launches Wi-Fi: Free wireless starts up in downtown Orlando. The full nine-square-mile test area will be up and running by July; this article says it was promised for late last year. The firm installing the network changed its hardware vendor midstream.
Daisy chained wireless for rural areas: Intel researchers consider daisy chains of up to 100 km by relying through intermediate antennas to avoid fiber-optic cost. This is the same group that helped install remote diagnostic link-ups in India that enabled eye checkups.