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Baltimore Inner Harbor To Go Wireless

timothy posted about 11 years ago | from the oversubscription dept.

Wireless Networking 230

An anonymous reader writes "The City of Baltimore has made free wireless internet available in the Inner Harbor in hopes of bringing in more tourists and business conventions. According to this article on Sunspot Internet service will be available free of charge to portable computers from the Baltimore Science Center to the World Trade Center along the touristy waterfront. Need to check your e-mail when sailing the Chesapeake Bay? Just dock at the Rusty Scupper and whip out your laptop."

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IMPORTANT FACT (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7103491)

Disney Corporation is an agent of Satan.

Good to know.

Woohoo! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7103495)

Warsailing here I come... I'll bring a new meaning to piracy on the open seas.

Re:Woohoo! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7103562)

...just wait until real pirates board your ship and slit your throat for you laptop.

Re:Woohoo! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7103575)

I shall h4x0r their onboard computers and destroy them... sorta like in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.


Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7103649)

To quote Hurricane, What's up wit dat?

Re:Woohoo! (0)

notsewmit (655779) | about 11 years ago | (#7103569)

Arrr! Me loves me Wi-Fi

Re:Woohoo! (0, Troll)

Swift(void) (655825) | about 11 years ago | (#7103709)

Except for the fact that a harbor [] isnt open sea

Re:Woohoo! (1)

LordNimon (85072) | about 11 years ago | (#7103752)

I bet you're a lot of fun at parties.

Re:Woohoo! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7103815)

no problem, just get a large enough Pringles can and you can be out in the ocean warsailing pendant free.

that is very cool (1)

FinalCut (555823) | about 11 years ago | (#7103497)

I always enjoy my time at the inner harbor when in Baltimore. Now I can get work done while I lounging as well. I like it.

Re:that is very cool (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7103724)

Chowing down at Phillips and fragging at the same time. Sweet!

Re:that is very cool (1)

ClarifyAmbiguity (683603) | about 11 years ago | (#7103775)

People use the Internet for more than bitching about movies and downloading porn?


Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7103498)


Me first (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7103503)

My first first after 5 years


Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7103623)


FP (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7103508)

I, for one, welcom our new harbor overlords.


Sweet! (0, Funny)

whitelabrat (469237) | about 11 years ago | (#7103514)

Now the homeless in Baltimore can be geeks too!

Re:Sweet! (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7103522)

The homeless in Baltimore already ARE geeks. They're laid off tech workers.

Re:Sweet! (1)

LittleGuy (267282) | about 11 years ago | (#7103614)

Wow. Hooters at the Inner Harbor *and* wireless.

Isn't life great for a Charm City Geek.

Oh great. (-1, Flamebait)

bo0ork (698470) | about 11 years ago | (#7103515)

More high frequency radiation. Just what we needed. Now someone will tell me that all those radiation sources (2G, 3G, wireless LANs, digital handsets, etc) don't add up, and each must be considered individually. Sure. Tell that to your sterile grandchildren.

Re:Oh great. (2, Insightful)

Dead_Medic (662827) | about 11 years ago | (#7103567)

Just wait till you have to register for the service, and a bill is passed that all your records are accessible for the governement, or better yet Baltimore sells info about your surfing habbits to a 3rd party. But i still think it is cool though.

Free internet (1)

dkoudijs (696167) | about 11 years ago | (#7103517)

Is this going to be a recuring theme? Free internet outside of Starbucks?

Re:Free internet (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7103585)

I'd be happy enough with free internet inside of starbucks.
wtf? $4 for the coffee just so I can pay $30/month + 20 cents/minute to use the internet in their store? I don't even own an notebook with wifi and I avoid starbucks because of that.

Re:Free internet (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7103608)

I thought they offered a flat fee service. I'm close to a couple of Starbucks (well, who isn't, but really close), and they have WiFi. I wonder if I could get access at home with a good antenna.

Re:Free internet (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7103717)

Last time I checked (about 6 months ago) I think it was like that. I just looked it up now; if you sign up for a 12 month term, it's $30/month for unlimited access. If you go month by month, it's $40/month.

Even if you pay the $40/month, you have to pay a $25 "early termination" fee if you want to quit after less than a year. There's more fine print here than a typical MS EULA.

They also $10 for unlimited access for 24 hours, or 10 cents/minute on a by the minute plan. Even that has a catch though...60 minute minimum charge, so you're out $6 as soon as you check your email.

My broadband account is only $40/month for month by month service and I certainly spend a lot more time at home than at a coffee shop. For how little it costs to set up a hot spot, starbucks could do it for free for the people paying for those coffees.

As I said, I don't have a wifi card for my notebook, but if they'd offer a reasonable service, I'd buy the card just to use the service and I'd go to starbucks everyday. Instead I go out of my way to go to Tully's or SBC (the other major chains in Seattle) just because of starbucks wifi.

St. Louis has had this for a bit... (4, Interesting)

KodaK (5477) | about 11 years ago | (#7103521)

I can't say it's helped draw in business yet, but it's here [] .

Agh! My Inner Harbor Wireless Network! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7103524)

I'm NOT supposed to get jigs in it!

Dock? (3, Funny)

nate1138 (325593) | about 11 years ago | (#7103525)

Just dock at the Rusty Scupper and whip out your laptop

Why bother? Just make sure you pick up a can of pringles before you set sail.

Security (1, Insightful)

MIKE HAWK TROLL (710836) | about 11 years ago | (#7103527)

How long before some idiot who assumes a level of security and has his/her credit card numbers sniffed, sues the City of Baltimore? And since there's no disclaimer given to people before they get access, there might actually be a case given most juries understanding of technology.

Dude (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7103670)

The N-Gauge kinda sucks.

Maybe if it was $150, and had about 10 times as many games.

But this thing is a middle-ager toy, has the erogonomics of turd.

How you can push it is beyond the understanding of human beings.

Leechers (2, Insightful)

Mostly Monkey (454505) | about 11 years ago | (#7103528)

I wonder how long it's going to take for someone to suck up all the bandwidth by using this for warez uploading or spam? It's a nice idea otherwise.

Re:Leechers (1)

tlovie (603161) | about 11 years ago | (#7103597)

I don't know... but it would be possible to block some unwanted traffic. If the whole thing was NAT'd, then you'd only be able to set up your leet w4r3z server on the wireless network. SPAM would be a problem, but I'm sure that most big providers would block that netblock and not accept anything from them. Just my $0.02.

Re:Leechers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7103629)

If you have a decent firewall, just block port 25 outgoing access. People in the harbor can use webmail or a ssh tunnel.

Waste of air. (-1, Offtopic)

princewally (699307) | about 11 years ago | (#7103536)

Christ! 5 lame AC attempts at FP. Get a life!

Re:Waste of air. (1)

SomeoneGotMyNick (200685) | about 11 years ago | (#7103679)

They were all just trying out the new wireless service using a quick message. They simply forgot to post it as

WiFiFP or FP.11b

Re:Waste of air. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7103694)


er, wait... awwww, crap.

Is this completely non-secure? (4, Insightful)

sixteenraisins (67316) | about 11 years ago | (#7103540)

I mean, can you really take a Wi-Fi equipped laptop and download mp3's to your heart's content without being tracked down to your IP? Or launch a DDoS attack anonymously?

Again, I guess you hafta take the good with the bad. I can imagine it won't be long before these wireless providers start paying attention to security on these networks.


Re:Is this completely non-secure? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7103672)

You mean kinda like the Internet at large? No one's making the claim that this is a secure, private network.

I've got it in my town... (3, Interesting)

NineNine (235196) | about 11 years ago | (#7103546)

I've got free wireless broadband in my town, too. I had to get an antenna to get it to my building, but it works great, and it helps my business a lot by saving $100+/month on a (slower) DSL connection.

Re:I've got it in my town... (2, Insightful)

KodaK (5477) | about 11 years ago | (#7103601)

I don't know if I would rely on a free service for a business. You don't have any uptime gaurantees, and you don't know that it's going to be there tomorrow. If you don't absolutely have to have Internet access you could get away with it, but if you rely on it at all for income you may be setting yourself up for a huge disapointment.

Good luck with your business though, seriously.

Re:I've got it in my town... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7103704)

Dear Sir,
we at our organization appreciate your opinion but would like to ask you to refrain from being so pessimistic.

Mr Blinky

Re:I've got it in my town... (1)

NineNine (235196) | about 11 years ago | (#7103727)

I have a retail store, so it's not essential, but so far, uptime in my town has been excellent. The nice thing that I can do is settle credit card transactions online instead of over a modem, which cuts the settlement time from about 20-30 seconds to about 2 seconds. Very nice. I'm lucky. A $75 Yagi directional antenna, and that was the only expense, ever!

Re:I've got it in my town... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7103766)

The nice thing that I can do is settle credit card transactions online instead of over a modem, which cuts the settlement time from about 20-30 seconds to about 2 seconds.

what the hell is wrong with you? sending cc's over a PUBLIC wifi? /me whacks you with a clue-by-four


Re:I've got it in my town... (1)

KMAPSRULE (639889) | about 11 years ago | (#7103849)

The nice thing that I can do is settle credit card transactions online instead of over a modem, which cuts the settlement time from about 20-30 seconds to about 2 seconds.
At my previous job (IT for a Chain Store), I spent a month replacing the 9600 baud modems with higher speed networking(Frame Relay) and we went from 30 second Credit card transactions to about 8 seconds. the frame relay went back to the main office and from there we had a reletively high speed connection of some sort to validate the credit cards with. I'm not sure what they were using for it as only the Network admin was allowed to work with or know about that line.
anyhow my point is that there was no way that anyone from the internet could hack and steal credit card numbers and I hope that there is some sort of security in the way you transmit over the community wireless.

Public Wireless Access (1)

KarmaOverDogma (681451) | about 11 years ago | (#7103547)

I love this idea. I hope we see more of it in more public places, like parks and libraries nationwide.

Oh great, now the Coast Guard will get involved (-1)

inteller (599544) | about 11 years ago | (#7103559)

When the RIAA issues cease and desist orders.

Re:Oh great, now the Coast Guard will get involved (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7103626)

Yeah, but to blow the MV Hillary out of the water. Service people must like their free music while patrolling the coast :).

Sweet for Otakon! (4, Interesting)

2Flower (216318) | about 11 years ago | (#7103561)

Every year Otakon holds one of the biggest east coast anime conventions at the Baltimore Convention Center, right on the Inner Harbor. If the WiFi reaches that far, I might be able to wank my inner geek by not only attending a japanese animation convention while wearing a schoolgirl costume with mechanical power-up accessories, but actually posting live cosplay photos back to my website at the same time.

Life is good. Or sad. Or good!

Re:Sweet for Otakon! (1)

2nd Post! (213333) | about 11 years ago | (#7103638)

Haha, imagine, an iSight + iBook + Darwing Streaming Server + scripts + .Mac

Live feeds of the con :)

Re:Sweet for Otakon! (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7103741)

If you think the wireless network at Harborplace will reach all the way up to Camden Yards and the Convention Center, then I've got a bridge to sell you.

Also good for otaku (1, Informative)

Cutriss (262920) | about 11 years ago | (#7103571)

Otakon [] always holds its conventions in Baltimore Inner Harbor, just off the waterfront. This would be nifty for running portable netcams and updating weblogs/fan pages with details about fanmade works and cosplay.

I mean, if you're going to geek, geek out fully, right?

Re:Also good for otaku (1)

Professor Bluebird (529952) | about 11 years ago | (#7103843)

The Convention Center is about a city block west of the harbor. Since it is also a big tourist spot, it would probably make perfect sense if they included the Convention Center in on this as well, although mmaybe not initially.

Whew! (1)

RealErmine (621439) | about 11 years ago | (#7103576)

Just dock at the Rusty Scupper and whip out your laptop.

I almost didn't make it to the end of that sentence. I'm glad the last word was "laptop".

World Trade Center? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7103578)

Didn't it collapse a couple of years ago? I mean, it'll be nice having wireless internet from Baltimore all the way up to New York, but couldn't they at least have said "Lower Manhattan" or "Ground Zero" or something?

Re:World Trade Center? (2, Informative)

TheShadow (76709) | about 11 years ago | (#7103599)

There is a World Trade Center in Baltimore. Which is the world's tallest pentagonal building.

Right now it's closed for a month because of flooding caused by the hurricane.

Re:World Trade Center? (0)

LinuxThis (646936) | about 11 years ago | (#7103747)

Interesting.. if i recall from md2600 [] meetings (held at the Barnes+Noble at the harbor across from the world trade center) there was already a distant access point in the trade center somewhere. It would be quite cool if we now had wifi at the meetings without antennas.

Now if only they could do this kind of thing out in Towson, or better yet, Perry Hall.. GODDAMIT.

Re:World Trade Center? (1)

Gunzour (79584) | about 11 years ago | (#7103830)

Most large cities have a world trade center. The one in New York was just the most well known.

Baltimore? Tourism? Muahaha.. (1)

Darth Fredd (663620) | about 11 years ago | (#7103582)

Down here, the big thing is the Beach, aka Ocean City, asseteque, etc. Tourism in baltimore? Well, lets see..theres an airport..and its a big town/small city.

Who here would go to a big town/small city just for free wireless when theres a beach a couple hours away??

Re:Baltimore? Tourism? Muahaha.. (3, Informative)

Skater (41976) | about 11 years ago | (#7103707)

I've lived in DC for four years. I've been to Baltimore many times during that stretch (a couple times a year), but I haven't made it to the beach once.

Baltimore has a great aquarium, the (currently closed) B&O railroad museum, Fort McHenry, the science museum, and on the waterfront a lot of shopping and restaurants. I've also gone to Baltimore to see shows like Penn & Teller. There are plenty of things to do in Baltimore.

So, I would go to Baltimore before the beach. Even without free wireless, which is irrelevant since I don't have a wireless network card and my laptop is too old to run one.

(And I love beaches, too.)


Travel Advisory (4, Informative)

techsoldaten (309296) | about 11 years ago | (#7103583)

Just in case you're thinking of going out to try this, Baltimore's Inner Harbor is notoriously expensive and you will be paying for access, just not to an ISP.

At most garages, it costs more than $10 to park, the restaurants in that area serve tasty but expensive food, moderately overpriced shopping stores surround consumers, and random Orioles fans, despondent over the team's performance, may accost you at any time in that area.

You would be better served going to Fells Point and playing video poker at any one of the dozens of bars.

Re:Travel Advisory (1)

stratjakt (596332) | about 11 years ago | (#7103648)

Dont forget to stop by the hard rock cafe, and spend 15 bucks on *the crappiest* hamburger you'll ever eat in your entire life.

Strangely enough, the food at the Hard Rocks in Toronto and Niagra is actually palatable. What's the deal with the B-mo Hard Rock?

Re:Travel Advisory (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7103793)

You went to the Inner Harbor and DIDN'T eat a hamburger at the cheesecake factory? or johnny rockets?

I have no son. No really I don't.

Expensive? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7103687)

Not by tourist standards. It certainly costs the same as any other major city in the US. Perhaps you live in Dundalk and grow your own food?

I dunno. The inner harbor is fun, although you've kind of exhausted the fun after you see the science museum and see and Orioles/Ravens game.

But the Inner Harbor is very good; there are a lot of local seafood shops that will server you crabcakes along with a natty bo.

Re:Expensive? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7103726)

You can grow food in Dundalk?

I always envision Dundalk as Maryland's answer to Secaucus, NJ.

Re:Travel Advisory (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7103765)

You've obviously never been to the Inner Harbor.

Re:Travel Advisory (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7103854)

This just in:

Being a tourist visiting a major attraction may require spending of money.

Rusty Scupper? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7103592)

I didn't know there was a Rusty Scupper there.

Anyway, go to Phillip's instead. Or if you can afford it go to that art deco place in Little Italy (if it is still there - it's bee 10 years since I ate there).

Big Brother Factor? (3, Insightful)

lugar (561993) | about 11 years ago | (#7103595)

It'll be interesting to see how closely the wireless access is monitored. A government-provided portal to the Internet. Scary thought. It's got to be monitored to some degree, right? Otherwise it's simply a great open portal for spammers.

You must be so confused! (1)

goldspider (445116) | about 11 years ago | (#7103801)

It's free (beer), so it's good!

It's provided and monitored by Big Brother, so it's bad!

It's free (beer), so it's good!

It's inherantly insecure, so it's bad!

It's inherantly insecure, so it's good!

Re:Big Brother Factor? (1)

applemasker (694059) | about 11 years ago | (#7103817)

Suppose I were to whip out the laptop and start filesharing/downloading without any fear of being identified?

Seems like the RIAA would have a heck of a time trying to track me down from a public hotspot, no?

Traffic Wireless (3, Insightful)

LegendOfLink (574790) | about 11 years ago | (#7103607)

I live in Chicago, and let me tell you, what they (all big cities, not just Chicago) need is wireless connectivity through rush hour. It would be damn skippy to be able to read a few stories on Slashdot while sitting 45 minutes on the Ike without moving three inches.

Of course, I'm neglecting to think about all the accidents that might be caused...oh well, I guess we can sacrifice safety to read /.

WiFi (2, Funny)

rf0 (159958) | about 11 years ago | (#7103610)

So this means that I can be floating on a boat, enjoying the sun, the smell of the harbour and reading /. What more could a geek want apart from a girlfriend, faster laptop, respect from hispeers

Great :)


Re:WiFi (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7103678)

Dear Sir,
we appreciate your opinion but wish to advise you that from now that you please refrain from posting your personal dreams.

Thank you,
Mr Blinky

You know... (2, Insightful)

Meowfaceman (637882) | about 11 years ago | (#7103618)

I think maybe the crackheads and quite regular shootings I see every time I drive through that asshole of a city might need a little more attention than wireless at the Inner Harbor. I live 10 minutes from Baltimore, by the way.

You live where? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7103701)

"I live 10 minutes from Baltimore, by the way."

Note to /. readers: This means he lives near the Cockeysville Dump.

Bal'mer has its faults, but its a fun old-style city.

The direction for the future? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7103624)

I have been deploying WiFi hotspots in the greater New York area for the last 12 years and I'm glad to see that the acceptance of wireless technology is so strong. After the WEP decryption fiasco it has forced the manufacturers to make 802.11g (and the upcming 802.11k) protocols inherently more secure.

Our main client is a national bank that uses the WiFi technology to transmit transaction details securily from ATMs to the central datacentre. It has reduced TCO (total cost of ownership) by approx. 65%.

Which is nice.

What inner harbour? (4, Interesting)

stratjakt (596332) | about 11 years ago | (#7103625)

Isabel blew much of into the bay.

Seriously, though, B-mo needs to do more than just provide free wireless. Cleaning up the panhandlers, crackheads, pot peddlers and other assorted dirtbags would go along way to revitalizing the district's nightlife.

It's a cool place to go, it's a shame the city's so dirty and crime ridden. Working in the public safety field, and living in the area, I've spoken with lots of b-mo cops, and morale there is so low. They're just so overwhelmed with typical inner city crime that they've become completely apathetic.

Last year when that crack dealer burned down some ladies home (because she supposedly called the cops on him), and killed her and her 5 children, it should have sent a wake-up call, but the b-mo police just hit the snooze button.

Oh well, wireless is pretty cool, but it's not an area that you'd want to sit in the open with your two thousand dollar laptop.

Re:What inner harbour? (1)

Greg McGreggor (712182) | about 11 years ago | (#7103698)

No joke. I was in Baltimore in the inner harbor area for a SANS network security training. My hotel was about 3 blocks away. Twice I was verbally threatened and promised with immediate physical harm while making this this 3 block walk in the week I was there.

Re:What inner harbour? (2, Insightful)

mosch (204) | about 11 years ago | (#7103780)

The inner harbor isn't that terrible. There always seems to be one or two bums asking for money or cigarettes, but it's not more prevalent than it is in any other major city, really. It's simply what happens when you put relatively affluent and impoverished areas near each other. I've never felt unsafe carrying cash for tasty food at Hampton's, Brighton's or the Rusty Scupper, as the tourist zone always seems to be fairly well policed. Personally, I'd love to be able to sit by the harbor and take care of my work while in Baltimore, instead of having to hole up in a hotel room that may or may not offer a relaxing view of water and boats.

Re:What inner harbour? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7103812)

Crime is way down thanks to O'Malley and what's left of Norris' legacy. Besides, all the panhandlers and bums hang out in the mini-park next to the Legg Mason building and Verizon.

The wrong attitude (4, Insightful)

GillBates0 (664202) | about 11 years ago | (#7103639)

But Paul Dowling, owner of Believe Wireless, a Towson-based company that charges customers $29.95 per month for wireless Internet access in Canton, Fells Point and elsewhere in the city, said he's worried that too much free service could drive companies such as his out of business or away from the Baltimore area.

"It's hard enough to compete against other companies. If the city starts providing for free what we make people pay for, it could really hurt us," Dowling said.

This is exactly the kind of attitude that hurts technology and customers. It results in monopolistic companies trying everything possible to stick to the existing model, and try and kill of competition (albeit superior in technology and better for the customer).

Microsoft's been trying to hurt Linux as much as possible, because it's a free alternative to their OS, which could potentially kill them.And ofcourse, our beloved RIAA's been trying to kill away a newer, technologically better solution, rather than trying to innovate and provide alternatives that people would pay for.

The right attitude should be to enhance their product so that customers would be willing to pay them for it, over the other cheaper (or free) alternative. Sheesh.

The Right Attitude (3, Interesting)

Chibi Merrow (226057) | about 11 years ago | (#7103807)

Your point MIGHT be valid if we weren't talking about the Government competing with a private business. That's not supposed to happen. A business can only use funds that have been voluntarily given to them by customers/investors to stay in business while the Government can force you to hand over tax revenues to fund whatever they want.

If the company who donated the equipment to the city was running a free hotspot as an advertisement for themselves that'd be one thing, but by getting the city government involved in the project they've probably set themselves up for a lawsuit. The Government is supposed to help along private business, not compete with it. A Government is always unfair competition... Because in the end they can always make you being in business illegal.

Coming soon to a convention center near you (2, Interesting)

TopShelf (92521) | about 11 years ago | (#7103662)

This will be a great benefit for people visiting Baltimore for conventions. The convention center (as I recall) is just a short walk from the inner harbor, so while taking a break from seminars and trade floor groupies, you can plug in without having to tromp back to your hotel...

Why no hot spots in St Petersburg, FL? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7103688)

I read that there are tons of hot spots popping up everyday around the country but here in St. Petersburg, FL. Why?

Where are the (legal) free hot spots?!

What is the point? (1)

GoofyBoy (44399) | about 11 years ago | (#7103696)

When I go someplace, I want to do things I can't do from home. And when I'm there I rather enjoy the weather/sights/activities rather than checking out the Internet.

Re:What is the point? (2, Insightful)

jot445 (637326) | about 11 years ago | (#7103782)

Would you like to book your next hotel room a little cheaper than you can by calling? Use the internet to book it, buy it at auction even, which can save you 60%-80%.

Maybe you want to know whether the marina has all of their boats rented for the next day? Luckily the marina just came online with their inventory system and it's now available on the web.

Just two fine examples of why you want the internet around even if you are vacationing. The internet is (also) a tool to be used to make your life easier. It is applicable in all walks of life, vacationing included.

bfd (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7103703)

Jacksonville did this over ayear ago at the St. Johns River harbor. This is nothing new, friends.

$29.95/month hot spot service (3, Insightful)

deander2 (26173) | about 11 years ago | (#7103710)

haha! this is a quote from a company that sells a $29.95/month hot spot service, and is upset with the city's new offering:

"It's hard enough to compete against other companies. If the
city starts providing for free what we make people pay for, it
could really hurt us," Dowling said.

DUH! ;-p

i do think that metered wifi access will fail as a business model. virtually every business where the cost of tracking and billing access is MORE than the cost of providing said access becomes just another gratuity. (like a public water fountain)

Ain't Socialism Great? (1)

goldspider (445116) | about 11 years ago | (#7103839)

Ahh yes, another triumph for Big Government (tm) over private industry!

And if this is administered as inefficiently and with as much incompetence as most other government beaurocracies, is this 'free' (actually paid for by Baltimore/Maryland taxpayers) service really going to be worth not having to pay for reliable service that thrives on remaining high-quality? I think not.

dig cam (1)

nitz7978 (712386) | about 11 years ago | (#7103725)

I can see it now... The Big Dig cam.

Re:dig cam (1)

nate1138 (325593) | about 11 years ago | (#7103820)

Um, that's Boston, not Baltimore.

Great. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7103742)

Montgomery County will wind up paying for another Baltimoronic boondoggle.

Security and QOS? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7103743)

I'd hope that they don't just simply roll out completely open and un-monitered wifi.

I'd imagine that at the very least they'd want to use some level of firewalling and packetshaping to make sure the network is useable by all and doesn't simply attrack wireless spam servers or 0 day warez servers.

Has anyone setup one of these types of networks? What has your experience been? Did it really "help business"?

I think Doug is behind all this. (1)

Medievalist (16032) | about 11 years ago | (#7103756)

It's just a clever ploy to reduce the bandwidth bills on the Badtz Maru [] .

Arr! A pirate's life for geeks! (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7103772)

Would ye be liking some sea fries with that crabby patty, matey? SPONGEBOB! I'm not paying you to lie around leeching the bandwidth.

Secure Anonymity (1)

barryfandango (627554) | about 11 years ago | (#7103831)

Once these sort of wi-fi areas become more pervasive, it should be incredibly easy for the Adrian Lamos of the world to do their work - drop anchor, drop bomb, sail on.

Hmm (2, Informative)

Erwos (553607) | about 11 years ago | (#7103846)

Being a long-time resident of Baltimore, I must point out that the crime in the Inner Harbor is not as bad as you think during the day. I'm not sure if I'd use it as a safe spot at night, but for standard touristy stuff, it's fine.

I like the idea of free wi-fi. Go to (Hooters|HRC|whatever) grab some food, find a nice spot to sit down outside, and surf the web while enjoying a decent lunch. Combine that with a few fun attractions (boat tours, science center, ESPN Zone), and it has the makings of a fun day out that doesn't require you to give up all contact with the outside world.

Why you're bringing the laptop on a fun day out is beyond me, though... sometimes, we should just unplug, I think. Maybe it's for PDAs with wi-fi (and lots of batteries)?


Tourism? What Do You Base Your Trips On? (2, Funny)

H8X55 (650339) | about 11 years ago | (#7103857)

come for the orioles, stay for the WiFi.

PS - Last time we checked, there were enough open business networks available, city sponsered ones aren't necessary.

New bumper sticker (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7103865)

"Baltimore- It's not just the stink that's wireless!"
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