[iDC] Citizen reports

molly wright steenson molly at girlwonder.com
Sun Jul 30 02:10:50 EDT 2006

I'd be keen to both hear more about that, and to get some more  
academic information about the mobile infrastructure. From the  
project I'm working on right now (part of which will be my thesis),  
I'd like to be writing about those power issues. Being in  
architecture school, I'm not quite sure where to start looking for  
that info ... any pointers? I figure some is dry telco infrastructure  
stuff, or woven together in Business Week articles ... but perhaps  
someone has written a tidy paper or book that outlines the layers of  
mobile infrastructure in a business and technology sense.

Count me in as someone interested in creating ad-hoc mobile spaces.  
This sounds fascinating.


On Jul 30, 2006, at 5:51 AM, nick knouf wrote:

> Thanks for posting information about a very interesting project.   
> Along similar lines, there's a musician living in Beirut who has  
> been chronicling his experiences through drawings and posting them  
> to his blog:
> http://mazenkerblog.blogspot.com/
> Beyond this, however, and to pull it into one aspect of the  
> "architecture" discussion, is the real concern about control of the  
> underlying mobile infrastructure.  Right now all of this technology  
> relies on a network built and paid for by a commercial/governmental  
> entity which has the ability to turn off access at their  
> discretion.  We've seen the result of this already when in 2004 T- 
> Mobile blocked TxtMob [1] messages during the Republication  
> National Convention in the US [2].  Perhaps mobile networks  
> overseas are more open or community owned; I'd be delighted if that  
> were the case.  But at least in the US, in my experiences and  
> understanding, the networks are locked down tightly.
> All of the emancipatory and liberating applications we can develop  
> are ultimately moot if the network providers decline to provide  
> access, either because of traffic concerns on the network, or  
> because of some political/social/business reason.
> This is where I think ad-hoc networking, based initially on the  
> bluetooth capabilities built-in to existing phones, comes in.  We  
> can use the ability of each phone to talk to each other locally and  
> independent of the provider's network.  Imagine a situation where  
> people run applications on their phone that pass messages amongst  
> each other, bypassing the commercial network.  One node talks to  
> another talks to another, passing messages down the line in a  
> geographic version of six degrees of separation.  Or where a  
> dissident or local can anonymously and transparently pass text/ 
> images to someone who has the ability to flee a war situation, the  
> text and images becoming available when the person is in a "safer"  
> geographic location.  This leverages the mobile and transitory  
> nature of many modern social networks, potentially enabling the  
> transmission of important information and thoughts beyond the  
> physically dangerous space.
> I'm quite interested in actually implementing something like this,  
> and would be glad to talk with others who share this interest.  In  
> any event, I believe thinking about mobile data networks beyond  
> those given to us by telecommunications companies is necessary to  
> ensure that cell phones can be used to their greatest social and  
> political potential.
> Best,
> nick
> [1]  http://txtmob.com/
> [2]  http://www.smartmobs.com/archive/2004/09/04/ 
> tmobile_blocke.html, http://www.nytimes.com/2004/09/09/technology/ 
> circuits/09mobb.html?ex=1154318400&en=45ce2293d63d23fe&ei=5070
> On Jul 28, 2006, at 12:10 PM, Erik Sundelof wrote:
>> Hi all,
>> I got an invitation from Trebor Schultz. Thanks for that!
>> He forwarded an email from John Hopkins.
>> "On one level, sounds great; on another, sounds like "Great White  
>> Father"
>> (see http://itf.typepad.com/about.html
>> <javascript:ol('http://itf.typepad.com/about.html');> ) gives  
>> virtual tools
>> from a far to fighting children to assuage their misery -- what is  
>> the use
>> of a virtual tool when bombs are raining down in meatspace?
>> I'm suspicious of the raw use of the term "voices being heard."  
>> After Eric
>> Sundelof listens, what does he do then?"
>> A virtual tool is very, very small in comparison to bomb rains.  
>> However it
>> is something that might help people to digest and seek answers. I  
>> am not
>> naïve and this is not a simple task. Why ask only what I am doing  
>> afterward
>> their voices are heard? Why not start to ask what we ALL are  
>> doing? Right?
>> You should read this blog entry by me to see what I mean as it is  
>> a topic
>> larger than suited for an email.
>> http://inthefieldonline.net/blog/2006/07/27/the-future-of-the-new- 
>> improved-m
>> edia/
>> Cheers,
>> Erik Sundelöf
>> -----------------------------------
>> Reuters Digital Vision Fellow
>> Stanford University
>> Email: erik.sundeloef at stanford.edu (work)
>> Email: erik at sundelof.net (residential)
>> Project website: http://inthefieldonline.net <http:// 
>> inthefieldonline.net/>
>> Blog: http://inthefieldonline.net/blog
>> Homepage: http://www.sundelof.net <http://www.sundelof.net/>
>> +1 650 646 8003 (cell phone)
>> +1 650 324 2454 (residential)
>> Address:
>> 488 University Avenue, #516
>> CA 94301 Palo Alto
>> USA
>> <winmail.dat>
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