Profile of Fon founder and his plans for future in the New York Times: The head Fonero, Martin Varsavsky, gets a write-up from a confab he put together and hosted at his vacation home on Menorca. Varsavsky is nothing but interesting, something I've heard from everyone who has met or had business dealings with him, and this article partly details his upstart challenge and the shifting focus at Fon. I've been saying for a long time that Fon locations may be numerous and require no coordination for their growth, but only locations convenient to frequent use would have a real impact, such as in retail locations. John Markoff notes that Fon has simplified its roaming model--non-Foneros pay, Foneros don't--and that Varsavsky is now focused on bigger wins, like Fon's Time-Warmer and BT deals. Markoff also gets the detail that Fon is losing €500,000 a month down from €1m per month. Varsavsky is interested in WiMax to supplement Wi-Fi, but I can't see any model in which the frequencies useful for WiMax will be widely available enough for this kind of roaming system.
Creative drops Wi-Fi music player: The formerly leading portable music player firm, before Apple and Microsoft entered the biz, confirmed a report that the Zen Share existed, but that the company chose to drop that Wi-Fi-enabled player. An under-wraps player may appear in about two months that could include Wi-Fi--the name Zen X-Fi could be revealing or not, as X-Fi is an audio-processing technology.
Inspiair's physics-defying technology sold, relabeled Max-Fi: I express my doubts about the combination of marketing promises, including area covered, low latency, and speed, and the collision of those promises with the laws of physics as well as regulatory issues. The lack of sales, noted in the article, tends to confirm my opinion, which is precisely what happened with Vivato after early positive response led to devices being built that couldn't meet the mark. Current claims are 30 sq km with 14 access points for outdoor coverage at the port of Antwerp, a network that's in a test. I wrote about Inspiair back in 2006.
Foster City, Calif., turns down MetroFi equipment offer: The city decided against paying $200,000 for MetroFi's gear, which serves about 1,500 people a month, partly because yearly operations would top $125,000.