Yesterday I went to have lunch with my friend Brandon, who is now the Technology Director of OJC Technologies. He told me about a piece of software he had been working on called WebEasel, which seemed pretty neat, even if I don’t have an aunt named Millie. We went to the Courier Cafe, where I had a canonical lunch of skinny dippers (the best potato skins, hands down, that I will ever find), soup (gaspacho) and half a turkey club sandwich, and a Green River phosphate. When I visit home I have very little time, so when I go to my old stomping grounds I end up ordering the same thing each time. I wonder if this serves to calcify my memory or something.
I also got to talk to Dave Young, who also works at OJC, but on the Champaign Urbana Community Wireless Network project, which got a grant from the Soros Open Society Foundation to build a free community wireless network. They are sticking wireless radios in streetlamps and on buildings and trying to make some sort of multi-hop network that is free to the community.
Another cool idea Dave was telling me about was using buses to deliver email wirelessly. So that when the bus drives by your house it drops off your email and picks up any email that you have to send. It’s a weird idea, and I’m not sure if it’s much more inexpensive then providing some sort of free low bandwidth internet access, but it’s a fun mental image. It reminds me of old scifi novels which try to high-tech-ify existing technologies.