Anybody who uses a wireless connection regularly is painfully aware of the technology's shortcomings. For instance, I could connect to two other, unsecured networks within my neighborhood -- if I wanted to travel the speed of a aged snail.
Portland -- bless its heart -- has tried to install citywide wireless access, but Internet veterans have found the connection wanting, as this piece from Top Tech News explains. The problem is one of scale and economics: In order to provide really good access, you'd have to put so many nodes in that the business model falls apart.
WiMax is an emerging wireless technology that some say could make robust city-wide networks possible. We'll soon see. Sprint Nextel Corp. plans to deploy WiMax in Chicago, Washington, D.C., and Baltimore this year, with more deployments planned next year, Top Tech News reports.
While many news agencies and experts label WiMax as a "long shot" for now, feeling there are issues to be worked out -- security springs to mind -- before the technology can be mainstream.
Still, as the tag line for this blog notes, the bleeding edge is never as far away as you think. So, here are a few resources to debrief you on WiMax. You can peruse over the holiday weekend if rain ruins your picnic plans:
Otherwise, good luck with the ants this weekend.