Chris Steins's blog

Chris Steins is co-founder and co-editor-in-chief of Planetizen.

Cities, EV-DO, WiMAX and Wireless?

Walt writes (subscription required, unfortunately) in the Wall Street Journal:

"The most important development this year in U.S. wireless communications wasn't the headline-grabbing mergers of various wireless carriers. It was the quiet, gradual rollout by Verizon Wireless of a technology called EV-DO, which for the first time is providing broadband-speed Internet access over the air from anywhere in the cities where it has been deployed."

Discovering Liferay

Liferay thumbI just discovered Liferay, an open source portal, after reading David Fletcher's discussion of Portal Architectures on his blog.

Although I have seen and evaluated PHP Website", I haven't seen see Liferay, which is equally -- perhaps more -- impressive.

Planning For Your Home Computer of the Future

Planning 50 years out is never easy -- in planning -- or in technology.

Thanks to Peter Gordon and Dowell Myers for the picture.

Computer of the Future.

Developing an Open Source Content Management Strategy For E-Government

Web-based communication in e-government In case you missed this on Planetizen, Abhijeet has posted his presentation and proceedings paper, Developing an Open Source Content Management Strategy For E-Government from his presentation at the Urban and Regional Information Systems Association 42nd annual conference.

Digital Dispersion

In which metropolitan areas did businesses move to adopt the Internet most quickly?

A July, 2003 research paper from Carnegie Mellon University, co-authored by Chris Forman, Avi Goldfarb and Shane Greenstein, explores the extent of commercial adoption of the Internet in the nation's 50 largest metropolitan areas.

The paper --
"How did Location Affect Adoption of the Commercial Internet?-Global Village, Urban Density and Industry Composition"
--explores the connection between industry composition and city size in explaining business use of the Internet.

Mobile HotSpots

I've been hearing a lot about WiMax, and thi article,Mobile 'hot spots' push limits from the St. Paul Pioneer Press explains how a Twin Cities tech entrepreneur has retrofitted an old TV-station truck to serve as a roving hot spot for Internet access. His technology firm has blanketed the metropolitan area with WiMax transmitters atop local skyscrapers.

"DeVaan's modified van performs a similar trick. Its mast communicates with any of the wireless-Internet transceivers Implex.net has put atop Twin Cities skyscrapers, including Wells Fargo Place in downtown St. Paul and several in downtown Minneapolis. Presto! The van is Net-connected. All DeVaan has to do is plug in his Webcam and point it... In addition to serving as a roving eye, the van can provide high-speed wireless Internet access within a 1,500- to 2,000-foot radius."

Open Sourcing CommunityViz?

Several colleagues have forwarded me this recent letter from CommunityViz, which suggests:

Sample 3-D image from CV
"The software will in the near future be made available at little or no cost. (This offering will include Scenario 360 v2.1 and later, and SiteBuilder 3D for CommunityViz.) We are in the process of exploring the logistics of this exciting new mode of distribution."

Accessibility Tools In Windows XP

I was interested to read inSetting sites on Section 508 about an accessibility tool built into Windows XP:

"There is a decent screen magnifier in Windows XP, which also includes a text-to-speech tool called Narrator. It is pretty limited and is only available in English, but it provides a useful tool in Notepad, Wordpad, Control Panel and Internet Explorer, as well as the Windows desktop and Windows setup."


You can launch Narrator easily by pressing the Windows logo key and the U key, which also lets you start and stop the tool.

Questions About Conservation Software

In recent years, many large conservation plans -- including the plan that led Australia to ban fishing on a third of the Great Barrier Reef -- were produced using a computer program called Marxan.

Marxan imageSoftware developer and Australian professor Hugh P. Possingham is now raising questions about the validity of the software in certain circumstances, Second Thoughts for a Designer of Software That Aids Conservation

Urban Markup Language / Street Graffiti

So we've all seen those spray-painted marks on the street -- usually they have a line, arrow and say "USA". As a planner, I've always had this nagging sense that I should know what they are.

Some brilliant editor at Wired apparently decided that it was time to figure it all out. A one-page feature, Urban Markup Language, (Brilliant play on words) in the September, 2004 issue of Wired Magazine offers nine images of the most common forms of the graffiti, along with descriptions of what they mean.

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