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Monday brain food

Monday night was rad. Media Alliance did an informative thing at 111 Minna on wifi in San Francisco. Larry Lessig did an incitement and wry presentation and slideshow on the history of communication monopoly, specifically touching on how AT&T stifled any sort of creativity when they felt the least bit threatened. One example of this is being the Hush-a-Phone case. With the FCC in their pocket for many decades, AT&T got their way until they were finally broken up in the 80’s. After Larry, a panel discussion followed by three people representing communities that have stakes in wifi access. A reoccurring point of the evening was that whatever gets deployed in San Francisco, should be ‘network neutral’ and ‘platform neutral’ meaning that the city and the provider don’t get to decide who does and does not have access to the network. Neutrality being the key concept here.

After the intellectual fun, a bunch of us headed across the street to a Thai restaurant to munch and shoot the shit. It was cool meeting Jimmy Wales, the genius behind Wikipedia, one of the best things about an open Internet. Rene shot some video of Irene interviewing Jimmy and Irene interviewing Craig Newmark (yes, THAT Craig).

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Lessig at SF Wifi Media Alliance Event

If you live in SF and care about democratizing Internet access, you should attend this free event. Media Alliance is making it happen and Lawrence Lessig is gonna throw down a few words. And check out Awesometown, funny as fuck.

Lawrence Lessig on Wireless in SF: Digital City or Divided City?

When: Monday, October 10 2005 @ 07:00 PM PDT – 10:00PM
Where: 111 Minna Gallery
111 Minna Street
between 2nd and New Montgomery
San Francisco
Description: Join Media Alliance for this dynamic panel discussion on creating universal, affordable Internet access through municipal broadband utilities. Featuring a presentation by Professor Lawrence Lessig and a panel of local community Internet experts, the evening will include Q&A with the audience.

After years of advocacy by MA and other groups, Mayor Newsom announced earlier this year his goal of free wireless Internet access for all San Franciscans. Cities across the country are implementing municipal projects, though with varying degrees of commitment to bridging the digital divide.

This evening will explore the significant opportunities for city-run projects to expand Internet access and usage by under-served communities, and improve cost, service and consumer choice for everyone.

The talk will be followed at 9pm by music from DJ’s Kid Kameleon and Ripley.

Cost: $5, Free for Media Alliance and EFF members

7-9 pm Discussion: Lessig, Panel, Q&A
9-10pm DJ’s Kid Kameleon and Ripley