Living With Writers

So I take Vivian down to Erin to be breastfed.

Erin: Oh, look at that face! Isn’t she gorgeous?
Me: Yes, she is gorgeous
Vivian: (looks gorgeous)
Erin: (Taking Vivian in her arms) Would you like to gorge us, gorgeous?
Me: Heh.
Erin: (Looking at me) Do you think those two words are related? They would sort of have to be, wouldn’t they?
Me: Be sort of odd if they are, though.

Erin Now a Canadian Citizen

I should mention that Erin took her citizenship oath. No photographs. The ceremony was a low-key and solumn one.

The best part was seeing all of the families up to take their oaths. From all around the world they were, including India, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Sudan. A lot of stories here, a lot of struggle to come to Canada, much less become Canadian citizens. Erin felt that she was somewhat unworthy in the face of that, but I told her: ours is a love story. And that’s a good story too.

Toronto to go Wireless?

Spacing Magazine is reporting that Toronto and Toronto Hydro are considering plans to create a wireless hotspot through vast areas of the city, a move which could undermine the commercial offerings of Bell Canada and Rogers. But the initiative has the support of the centre-left leaning Shawn Micallef and the libertarian Jay Currie, who both believe that wireless networks are a utility akin to roads, transit and sewers, and while they probably have different ideas on how to pay for this new piece of urban infrastructure, the growth of this as urban infrastructure is a good thing for all:

Shawn Micallef
I look forward to wifi being everywhere, but this idea of “Municipal WiFi” can be approached from a variety of ways. There are those who think a pay-per-use sort of wifi that Toronto Hydro is planning is the way to go (and perhaps it is) but then what about Wifi being as important a piece of civic infrastructure as roads and sewers? A wifi-full city is good for business, just as the roads are — so wouldn’t charging for access be like setting up tolls on all our roads so “old economy” business and movement paid for municipal infrastructure too? You need to buy into the idea that wifi is indeed as important as roads, and to many people working in the “information economy,” it is — perhaps as important as keeping tolls off roads would be for, say, Fed Ex.


Jay Currie
Wi-Fi on the lampposts will mean that the existing internet access providers are going to have to a) reduce their prices, b) take advantage of the technology they already have and start running really high speed internet at a reasonable price.

Right now Shaw charges something like $60.00 a month for “high speed extreme” and $20.00 a month for “lite” - which is really very slow indeed. If you can pick up the “lite” service for free from the street lights, 20 bucks a month for “extreme” might be competitive.

Of course, in the US the big telcos and cablecos have been wandering around trying to make municipal wi-fi illegal. The sad part is thay have succeeded in many areas.

I’d like to add my support for the idea of wireless Internet as urban infrastructure, and I’d ask you all to look for an article I’ve written on Project Chapleau, which should appear in Business Edge a few weeks from now. Here, the isolated Chapleau Township in Northern Ontario was suffering due to the fact that it was miles away from anything, and could only access the Internet through dial-up. Thanks to a partnership between the community, Bell Canada and Nortel Networks, a wireless broadband mesh exists over the town, providing a single hotspot that’s hundreds of acres in size. The town as a whole is finding business a lot easier to conduct thanks to this initiative.

Laws to stop similar wireless initiatives would prevent the economy from growing as much as it could. There is considerable benefit to be had throughout the nation to build as many of these connections as possible.

Welcome to the real twenty-first century, where internet connectivity is as important as electrical energy.

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