The hi pri of wi fi; and another Tiger review

In today’s Independent, I’ve written on the reasons why Wi-Fi hotspots still cost so much, even though it’s a mature technology (in internet time) that would surely see a boost by dropping the price. (Clue: it’s one of those economics and ‘captive market’ things.)

I’ve also done another review of Tiger, which makes many of the same points as the Macworld one, but with more comparisons to what’s going on in Windows.

Interesting: we’ve got someone at the office where I work who had a Windows98 laptop and wanted to connect it to the broadband. “Don’t do that!” we almost yelled. “Viruses, worms, untellable evil!”

Upshot: she headed off and bought Windows XP Home (thankfully, with SP2 included) for £99. Now all we need to do is find a way to install an antivirus program on it without putting it online. Seems I’ll be burning a disc pretty soon…

Update: ah, found the well-hidden page for AVGSoft’s antivirus (except it’s the first hit on a Google search for ‘free antivirus’, which must frustrate Grisoft a bit when it wants to sell people the thing).

Extra bit: for OSX Tiger owners, James Duncan Davidson has dug deep in the innards of /System/Library/ to find the Tiger intro movie and intro music that greets you when you install the system. The movie’s very impressive – someone’s bound to put it up soon. And it turns out that you can buy the song from which the intro music is extracted on the iTMS. But how did he find out which it was??


  1. He probably used Shazam to tell him what the track was.

  2. “I did, however, find myself looking for something to trigger the tasks against time – as in: “Do this at 4.30pm each day,” which doesn’t presently exist as an option.”



  3. I’m with you on the wifi. In Cafe Nero near Green Park on Sunday, I got 24 hours access for £5, but I had to give them my credit card details (must get around to reading that wireless security article on Ars Technica). I thought that Cafe chains were all about charging more, but making you happy to pay it via a pleasant experience (jazz, sofas, coquettish baristas, etc.). Free wifi would definitely make me stay longer, and drink more beverages I don’t need.

    £5 for 24 hours seems pretty reasonable, but I know that Starbucks et al won’t be using the same system, so I’ll either not be able to get the same prices, or I’ll have to sign up again. Pft.

    Go Islington Council. Maybe when Vodafone, O2 et al bring down the prices of their 3G mobile internet services, we’ll all go to them instead. None of this hotspot nonsense.

  4. Charles, the wonderful ‘growling head’ artwork accompanying your Tiger review in today’s Indie: brilliant. Please pass on my congratulations. Many thanks.

  5. Adrian – cron? No. Or at least, not in a way I could find. Because: what’s the command line or Applescript command to run a Workflow? open -…. doesn’t do it; that just opens Automator. Couldn’t find a way to script the operation of an Automator action.

    Still, smarter people than me will find it within hours, if they haven’t already. For an example already of a really clever use of Automator – if you understand Applescript *and* XML/RPC/SOAP (I’m only up with the first, but can hum the second) see – which just left me going “BRILLIANT” like someone out of the Fast Show, except without the walking.

  6. Is there any reason why they should charge for it? I mean, I pay £whatever a month, and that’s (in theory) whether I use it once or all the time. Given Nero et al aren’t being charged for bandwidth, is it reasonable for them to charge? I would have thought the simplest thing for them to do would be to offer a revolving password – free with a coffee, for example – and allow its customers to browse unhindered. But then again, I’m not in charge of everything. Yet.

  7. Does anyone have experience of using either the Islington or the Westminster hotspots? Where exactly in Westminster is it? Are there any others yet (I saw a reference to a Birmingham possibility somewhere).

Comments are closed.