Saturday, August 27, 2016

Arcata Plaza's Free Wifi: Thumbs Down

Why does it piss me off that Arcata now offers free wifi on their plaza, as Lost Coast Outpost reports? Maybe I'm just an old curmudgeon. Not maybe. I am one, but that doesn't mean I don't have valid reasons for it.

Like this free wifi. It should be no skin off my ass, but I don't like seeing the gimme more free stuff crowd being appeased.

It also seems odd to me this free wifi was installed with no apparent opposition from the local hysterical environmentalists. After all, don't they come out in droves to protest just about every new cell phone tower proposal? Is there all that much difference between wifi and cell phone radiation? Didn't Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein declare wifi a potential health hazard? You would think Arcatans would be leaving town in droves.

But nope, the gimme folks win again. The best we can say is it's been paid for by someone other than those of us in Eureka. Let's hope the county doesn't go down this same road. And those proposing universal wifi are usually the same ones opposing all the cell phone towers.


At 9:38 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You're one sad dude Fred

At 10:16 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

How about more spending of taxpayers money for convenience when necessity should take priority?

At 10:43 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The invention of the internet was originally a gift, intended to be free to everyone. It was greed and monopolizers that grabbed it and are now charging money for access. In addition to being of the slowest speed in the entire world. Most nations have it free and at a much faster speed. WE pay for less.

At 11:10 AM, Blogger Fred Mangels said...

". It was greed and monopolizers that grabbed it and are now charging money for access. In addition to being of the slowest speed in the entire world. Most nations have it free and at a much faster speed. WE pay for less."

Sorry. Seems to me we have a very widespread and vibrant internet system brought to us by private business. I'm surprised it's as resilient as it is.

At 11:15 AM, Blogger Sally Sheffield said...

Is it true that using free Wi-Fi poses a security risk for phones and other devices? This is just something I've heard I don't have any information to back that up.

At 11:35 AM, Blogger Fred Mangels said...

Yes, wifi supposedly leaves you more vulnerable to others getting into your system or monitoring your online activity. Which is one reason I prefer regular hard line internet access.

I tend to think wifi is overrated, anyway. I've generally found it slower than hardline connections but that could be the equipment I use for wifi. Which isn't to say I don't get slowdowns on my cable connections on occasion.

At 8:43 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've seen headlines lately that mention that obama is dropping the usa from icann & turning it over to the UN or whoever, in October. On top of this, the TPP countries will regulate the internet if the TPP goes through. I suggest everyone hurry down to the bookstore or printer for natural healing plant tonic tutorials, any diy tutorial, & the like, because soon, those fun helpful pages will be history.
Got Epson salts, Apple cider vinegar, baking soda, parslain weeds, ... hooboy. Anybody with the funds to print out the helpful guides now, will make a nice buck or two in the underground market, & save a life too.

At 10:41 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Free wifi is just another amenity that the City of Arcata has chosen to provide, like park benches or sidewalks or litter receptacles. It means that if you're using your tablet or smartphone you don't have to use up your cell phone data allowance, and you can get better speeds.

The cost is probably pretty low, and according to the article you linked to (your link, by the way, leads to the KRCR story, not LoCO) the city is "partnering" with a non-profit and an insurance agency. It would be nice to know the cost, and how much the "partners" are kicking in, but I suspect it's pretty modest.

In short, yes, you're being a bit of an old curmudgeon. I sympathize, I fairly often find myself on the curmudgeonly side of issues. And I probably won't use the free Wifi on the Arcata Plaza much, if at all. But plenty of folks will -- students, tourists, locals, and, sure, "plazoids" too. But so what. Hey, maybe as a side benefit, it will reduce the endless parade of plazoids waiting to use computers at the Arcata branch of the library! (To be fair, I haven't been to the Arcata branch in a couple of years, so I'm not 100% sure that's still a thing.)


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