Here's today round-up of brief Wi-Fi items.
David Strom highlights the risks of in-flight Wi-Fi: David, who I have known for many years, writes about how much data people may wind up exposing on in-flight Wi-Fi networks, but not over the wireless network. It's a fascinating point of view. His seatmate on a recent flight revealed a ton of information to David's casual visual inspection, including passwords. He recommends privacy filters. 3M makes a host of these.
The Boston Globe looks at why Salem's free downtown Wi-Fi effort faltered: It's an interesting roam around that city, but doesn't precisely answer the question of why downtown businesses didn't continue to fund the group effort. Various shops have free Wi-Fi, but perhaps each wanted to have people come closer, instead of creating a commons. Boston's own OpenAirBoston municipal effort isn't even mentioned; the Boston Globe ran a long feature last August on the effort's small but interesting progress. (You can read the background about OpenAirBoston in this long article I wrote in 2006.)
Speaking of blasts from the past, the Washtenaw County effort appears dead: In Michigan, in the county that contains Ann Arbor, a long-running nearly unfunded private/public partnership has bit the dust, the local paper reports. The original firm, 20/20 Communications, bid on a plan with no funding to build it out, and a federal request for stimulus money was turned down. 20/20 apparently has sold the small number of current customers to 123Net, 20/20's president has left the firm, and the new company has no interest in county-wide service provision.