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Posts Tagged ‘wifi’

A sunset over Greenlake in Seattle, there will probably be many more of these in the future.

A sunset over Greenlake in Seattle, there will probably be many more of these in the future.

The Comcast self-install package did arrive yesterday and set-up went well, now I have the delicious internet once again.

Of course getting a Comcast cable modem to cooperate with a wireless router was a bit of a trial as normal.

After setting several up in the past I have found out what settings need to be altered to get a Comcast cable modem to play nice with a wireless router.

  1. Get the connection working with your favorite computer via the ethernet cable.
  2. Go to network settings and write down the DNS server IP’s that are put there by the Comcast installation.
  3. Write down the MAC address for your computer (the one used to connect to Comcast successfully via ethernet).
  4. In the wireless router manually set the DNS server and MAC address to match the computer that worked.
  5. Power off the Comcast Cable Modem, plug it into the wireless router.
  6. Turn on the Comcast Modem.

Using a Belkin wireless router this was all achieved fairly easily by logging into the router configuration page using the IP number on the bottom of the router. Other brands such as Linksys have similar methods for configuring the modem.

And finally enjoy the freedom of a wireless connection.

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A light starburst, and the post is about starbucks, see they are almost similar in spelling!

A light starburst, and the post is about starbucks, see they are almost similar in spelling!

Many people may already know this but I did not (mainly because I do not drink coffee), there is a way to get mostly free internet at Starbucks.

The trick is to have an active Starbucks account. The best way to do this is to buy a gift card for $5 and then register it on the Starbucks website. The card and money have no expiration however the deal for the free wifi does. In order to keep the free wifi the card needs to be used or reloaded once every thirty days. The best way to do this is to go in and buy a seventy-five cent scone every week or so. This then keeps the card active and allows for the free internet.

I was initially led to belief that it was free and unlimited wifi, but it turns out to have limitations. From what I have read it is two free consecutive hours per day with the necessity of using the card. I do wonder however if it can be used at multiple Starbucks.

For some keeping the card used is no problem as they go to Starbucks often for coffee, I however do not partake of that particular beverage so have not had many occasions to go (though I like the Chai Tea Latte). I became interested in this since I eventually moving to Seattle and have an iPod Touch (I dislike monthly fees) and thought that free wifi around the city would be handy.

In a few months we will see if an iPod Touch and Starbucks (plus other free) wifi is enough to be comparable to an iPhone or other internet ready phone.

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Wifi Allergies

 

Science, it works.

Science, it works.

Last week walking around Nevada City I viewed a sign for an Alphabioticist. My parents asked me if I knew what that was. I thought about it. I quickly concluded based on my education that I knew of no such title or field and that it sounded fabricated. Of course I am willing to admit I am wrong so I looked it up online. In this case I was right and it is a blending of new age healing and religion (based on my source of Google).

This reminded me of something that I hate: Wifi Allergies.

Some people claim to have a heightened sensitivity to Wifi signals and that implementing programs like city or school wide wifi is detrimental to their health. I know that locally these claims prevented the city wide roll out of free wifi in Sebastopol

It is simply ridiculous. As a student of physics I find the ignorance of such claims appalling. Wifi radiation is the same radiation emitted by the sun, the earth, radios and even people. Wifi is between radio and infrared radiation, we are constantly exposed to radio emissions and are our bodies constantly produce infrared radiation. 

If someone was sensitive to electromagnetic radiation then they would suffer greatly from everything around them, sunlight and radios. Instead they are sensitive to just a particular band of radiation that of 2.4GHz or 5.0 GHz (depending on the wifi settings). I am assuming that they cannot be allergic to 2.4GHz as then they would also feel the same affects from cordless phones which operate at 2.4GHz.

Near the 2.4GHz band is the frequency used by microwave ovens: 2.45GHz. This may worry some but if we were directly exposed to this radiation we would just warm up like food in a microwave oven. The oven operates by thermally exciting water molecules so they vibrate and produce heat. So wifi at 2.4GHz is not effecting people.

This leaves the 5.0GHz band. Energy of high enough energy can hurt people, UV radiation and above causes skin cancer by altering the DNA in skin cells. But 5.0GHz is 100,000 times lower in energy then radiation produced by the body. It could excite a molecule similar to the way water is excited at 2.45GHz however this is vibrational energy and would just warm up the molecule. It does not have enough energy to break chemical bonds (which is roughly 1eV or visible light).

Claiming to be allergic to wifi without also being sensitive to the myriad other sources of electromagnetic radiation is unfounded and should not be taken into account when discussing development of large scale wifi plans.

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