Free WiFi to be introduced on Cyprus buses

Cyprus Updates shares the following:

Internet access will be available via wifi for free to passengers of Nicosia buses by next month. The service will start intiially on route 158 (Nisou – Pera Chorio) and then will be expanded to the rest of the routes. Furthermore, by 2012 buses will be equipped with Global Positioning System (GPS) which will allow tracking of their location and subsequently provide information to the passengers within the bus as well as at the bus stops.

I wish there was a confirmed authentic source for this rumor.  Even with that it would be difficult to believe.  This sounds more like Google experiment than Cyprus public transportation roadmap.  Great news if it will ever get implemented!

Fedora 12 and IntelliBook (rtl8187se)

I recently got my hands on an IntelliBook netbook (site in German, but the machine is actually Clevo M810L).  It’s a really small, light, and simple machine, which I got for nothing, and which, I haven’t got it for nothing, would cost me around 400 EUR.  The truth is, if I wouldn’t have bought it for 400 EUR.


The good things about it are: small, light, built-in WiFi and a rather large 160 GB hard disk.  The bad things are: non-standard keyboard layout (I touch type, so I don’t mind, but the other people in my home do), non-Linux-supported web camera, and really low battery life (around 2 hours or so).  Also the touchpad always gets in the way, and the whole case has this cheap plastic feel to it.

When I first got the machine, it was running Ubuntu 9.10.  While I have nothing against Ubuntu, I am a Fedora person.  I want a regular desktop, and I want my commands and configurations to be where I am looking for them.  So I replaced Ubuntu 9.10 with a recently released Fedora 12.  The Live USB installation was as simple as it can possible be – boot from USB stick into a desktop, click “Install to hard disk“, and click Next three or four times.

Once the Fedora 12 Gnome desktop booted up, I was slightly disappointed to find out that wireless wasn’t working.  Since it was working just fine in Ubuntu, I was pretty sure that fixing the problem won’t be hard.  And  I was right.

First, I established that the wireless card uses RealTek chipset (rtl8187se).  Secondly, I Googled for rtl8187se and Fedora 12, which led me to this blog post, comments to which suggested that I need to add RPMFusion to my yum repositories and install kmod-staging* packages (there are two of them, one generic, and one with specific kernel version).  Once the packages are installed, loaded up the driver with “modprobe rtl817se“, and restart both network and NetworkManager servers.  Not even a reboot is needed – NeworkManager picks up the wireless network adapter and connects to the network.  A test reboot confirmed that nothing else needs to be done and everything is just fine.

With that, I now have a little computer, which is easy to move around, and can even be given to my kid to play with.  If it wasn’t for the short battery life, it would be perfect for travelling.  So, either I’ll find an extended battery for this thing (which I doubt), or I will get myself another netbook for all the travels that I do.  Carrying around a full fledged laptop becomes heavy and ridiculous.

Google from the 700 MHz point of view

In the last two years, the well-known fact of Google offering free WiFi Internet access in Mountain View, California has almost been forgotten (except, of course, by people living in Mountain View and Googlers themselves).  At the time of news many were wondering about why Google is doing such a thing.  Not it all suddenly became obvious…

Slashdot reports that Google is preparing for a bid in the upcoming auction set up by FCC for a 700 Mhz radio frequency.  There are a few interesting twists about the offer – “open access” and “nation-wide”.  With these news, it’s hard to see the Mountain View setup as something else rather than a test platform.  With the recently released Android open mobile platform, the connections seem obvious.

The stakes for the band are high, and Google is planning to bid at least $4.6 billion USD dollars.  And they are paying this all out of their own pocket (not sharing with another company, etc).   Wh?  Because there are quiet a few things on Google’s agenda.

If you are like me, and need more information on this whole thing, here are a few pointers:

P.S. : Now those Indian telecoms have to re-think their position.

P.P.S. : In the completely unrelated news,  Ubiquiti Networks announced world’s first 700 MHz WiFi radio.  Here is the official press release.