Archive for September 6, 2005

DI.Y. Electroplankton

The demo that Nintendo gave out via wi-fi of Electroplankton has been scoured onto the net.

Right now no emu will run it from what I understand, but you can transfer it to your DS using WiFiMe

September 6, 2005 at 8:17 am 2 comments

New Orleans Fixes

A recent study showed that unemployment in poverty drenched areas can be decressed by 45% by providing people with cars. Obviously providing the poor of New Orleans with one car per family would be a bit of a stretch, but for a moment let’s look at the possibility of creating a car-sharing program like flex-a-car.
Nearly one out of every 3 people in New Orleans lives below the povery line. Approximeitately with 1,377,000 live in New Orelans. Divide by 3 and we get about 459,333. That’s a lot of people to provide cars for. Assuming we provide a car for one out of every 10 people living in povery we’d need 50,000 cars. The Toyota Sienna retials for 27,000 and gets 40 mpg, GM has a minivan that gets 40 mpg and retials for 5,000 USD in China. Assuming we take the more expensive Toyota van that’s 50000 x 27000 = 1,350,000,000. That’s obviously a lot of money, after all Katrina’s impact is more than 50 billion in damage, but look at the cost versus public transportation. A monorail starts at about 10 – 35 million per mile, hence 10 miles is 350 million and 100 miles is over 3 billion (although the cost actually goes down the longer the monorail) bus systems are costly too. With the car-share though we have the additional problem of how to access the car-share service. Phone is the easiest choice with rf-id tags in the car to track them. Then you have gas which let’s say the driver has to supply, then you have maintenance. But let’s keep the following in mind, even amonst the poor, many do have cars. So 50,000 is our high for the number of cars that would need to be supplied. All this aside, there’s also the question of context of the initial study. Sure there was a 45% increase in employment, but will that matter in Lousianna were unemployment is sky high anyway? Well actually Lousianna’s unemployment rate was below the national average with New Orleans unemployment rate dropping a good deal over the past few years. So yes, signs were looking good for Louisanna before this all happened.

Now let’s look at the next thing. Internet. The ride share could be accessed by the internet. A mesh network using WRT54G costs about $200 per square mile New Orleans is 350 square miles with 180.6 of that on land I’m not sure if that figure covers the outlying areas that make up about 1 million of New Orlean’s residents though so again the figure is kinda sketchy. 181 squaremiles times 200 equals 36,200 dollars. Now we have to connect some of the WRT54Gs to the internet and also probably squeeze a few more becuase of loss of signal in New Orlean’s historic neighborhoods. I can’t seem to find anything that tells me how many packets per day the average american sends so I can’t estimate using that how many internet connections a mesh network would need to handle 1,377,000 people’s internet traffic (that being the high). Of course wi-fi sucks and how many people could share one router is also a problem, but 4 routers by square mile doesn’t seem bad for providing people with decent internet. I know apartment complexes and hotels use fewer routers for all of their guests. Let’s say once every 3 miles we install a connection to the internet hence we would need 61 internet connections, let’s say cable connections. Let’s say $40 per month for the connections 40 times 61 equals 2,440 per month to feed the wi-fi network. Put the wi-fi routers that touch down onto the net on top of government buildings (post offices etc) and your good to go. This estimate doesn’t include the cost of cat-5 cable and either DSL or Cable modems, but most are provided free with installation these days.

The internt is great, but now they need computers and wi-fi cards, but both are ridicilously cheap if they can’t just be our-right donated to the poor. Install ubuntu and your good to go.


September 6, 2005 at 7:30 am 1 comment


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