The ability to work remotely has become an important tool in the business world and the addition of WiFi access on trains and airplanes has been of great assistance. Last week I ended my two week long visit to the East coast for the holidays and attempting to catch up with my community managing and other Open Garden related duties was the goal for the flight.
For accessing the Gogo network on Virgin America, there are generally several options. Usually it comes down to choosing between plans that are time limited, outrageously priced or (here’s the key) limited to mobile devices. The mobile plan is about a third the cost of the non-mobile plan, both lasting the duration of the flight.
Knowing about the existence of general radio interference in airplanes, I was nervous about purchasing a plan that could render ineffective on my laptop for a six hour trip. But what better way to do some real-world, necessity based testing for Open Garden, right? So I took the plunge and purchased the plan through my Droid Razr Maxx and connected with Open Garden to my MacBook Air. For the first 5 minutes, I was getting some interference issues (both WiFi and OG connection dropping) but after stabilizing, I was able to use my MacBook Air for the remainder of the flight with absolutely no dropped or lagging connections! The ability for Open Garden to save in costs while travelling are limitless and I encourage everyone to find and test ways to make Open Garden useful to other unique situations!
“Can we share lessons between neurons and networks in the way we nurture and develop both?” That’s one of the questions Tiffany Shlain tries to answer in her latest video “Brain power” released together with a Ted book.
I love and recommend her work as it is directly linked to the basic concept that lead us to start Open Garden. For those of you who remember our first video that was explaining our concept of mesh network for Android Open 2011, the mesh network was compared with neuronal network formed in our brain.
This idea was first explored by the paleontologist-philosopher Pierre Teilhard de Chardin’s 1955 book, The Phenomenon of Man, who explores the “noosphere,” or the collective human consciousness — the Earth’s mental layer formed by the totality of human thought. Peter Russell coined the term “global brain” in his 1982 book of the same name. In it, he expands on Marshall McLuhan’s 1960s concept of a global village — a world closely connected by telecommunications. Russell takes McLuhan’s global vision further, speculating that new telecommunication technologies will lead to a full awakening of humanity’s consciousness.”
For decades, it has not been possible to have open communications systems on the physical level. In a world of wires, network access meant physical access. Wireless networking enabled the technical possibility of a completely open network.
An open network is better than one with many silos, as long as free riding is contained, because, to a given user paying a given cost, an open network provides connectivity that is faster and in more places. To see how an open network creates additional value, consider two people, you and me. We both have the same type of connection at home, and pay the same for it. Occasionally, we are near each other’s houses, but we do not know each other. Consider the baseline world as we have it today: I can use my network when I am home and you can use your network when you are home, but we can’t use each other’s networks. Imagine a world where both of our networks are open. Now each of us can use the other’s network when we are next to the other’s house. Given that my network is mostly not used at any given moment, you using it for brief periods when you are near costs me very little. However, my ability to use your network when I am near your house creates new value for me, far greater value than what I lost when you used my network. Thus, for the same price, the open network served both of us better than a closed one would have.
The sharing of last-mile Internet capacity extends the way the Internet works already everywhere but the last hop to the connection at the very edge. On the Internet, users already share capacity of all the links. This is what makes the Internet so cost-effective. This statistical multiplexing principle allows to achieve better level of service for any given amount of capacity. Not only is statistical multiplexing used on the Internet, similar principles apply to airline overbooking and even fractional reserve banking.
The goals of the movement are also our goals.
The place of Open Garden in the Open Wireless ecosystem is that of a tool. One of the concerns of potential adopters of open wireless is free riding. Open Garden guarantees mutuality by the very nature of our software: to access Open Garden, users need to install the app, and installing the app also enables sharing of their own access.
We look forward to working with Open Wireless coalition to bring about a world where more utility is extracted from networks and where the openness and the sharing that exists everywhere else on the Internet also extends to the very edge of the network.