Straight Angle™: Ass-ociated Press!
Saturday, October 27, 2007

Ass-ociated Press! 

How many ever times I remind myself not to get worked up with Journalistic standards, I somehow get to read stuff that simply blows me over with its, logic, reason, in-depth analysis and expert opinion.

Take for example, the recent news item from Associated Press, which announced that AT&T is scaling back St.Louis's Wi-Fi Plan. The story starts off with the news, then goes on to analyze the problem- the reasons why AT&T is unable to fully enable Wi-Fi in St.Louis.

The gem of the news item was when the article declared the reasons for the scaling down.
........initially planned to mount the transmitters on city streetlights, but some of those don't have power during the day. Utility poles didn't always provide the straight line of sight necessary to beam the Internet to a computer. Other unsuccessful options were mounting the transmitters on stoplights and buildings and even attaching a battery.

Mounting transmitters on streetlights seems to be a good idea, till you discover some of them don't have power in the day- thats understandable- afterall, who would leave the power on for street lights during the day- what intrigued me, is the word "Some"- let that aside- there are much greater things to note.

Read the next gem of a reason- Utility poles didn't always provide the straight line of sight necessary to beam the Internet to a computer- what?- You mean really- You need a straight line of sight to beam what? You mean Internet? The famous series of tubes thing?

I couldn't control the laughter when I read it. There are dumb people, dumber people, dumbest even. But this sort of reporting assumes, everyone is dumb. I wonder who would be sitting behind the desk and writing such stories. But sure, these sort of stories more than enlightening us on the news and happenings around us, does definitely crack us up for a while!!

It is now Ass-o-ciated press- it seems!

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Blogger Mouly said...

Read the news published in St Louis dispatch on this; This has much detail and some clarity -


The contentious para is reproduced below -
First, they tried mounting them on some of the city's 51,000 streetlights, but most of those lack power during the day. Then they tried Ameren's utility poles, but most of those are in alleys, and the transmitters need a straight line of sight to send Internet to a computer. They studied stoplights and the sides of buildings, and even tried attaching a battery pack to each transmitter. Nothing worked.

10/29/2007 11:45 AM  
Blogger Krish said...

@Mouly:I don't understand this logic of lack of straight line- from my basic understanding of straight line in a 3 Dimensional space, I would assume that constructing a straight line between 2 points is nothing impossible- may be there might be multiple constraints- but it is not impossible and taking a very pessimistic assumption of St.Louis streets- which would mean none of the streets are straight- would still leave the project technologically viable. I think they are giving reasons for the lack of financial viability and they didnt want to admit that they wouldnt be getting money out of it and trying to pass it off as a good-will gesture turned impossible due to lack of technology!

10/29/2007 8:35 PM  
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10/31/2007 3:48 AM  

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