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> Welcome to Redmond, The origin of the Barrens is upon us
post Apr 10 2008, 04:30 AM
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Moving Target

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What can I say, Redmond became the Barrens after the Crash of '29 when people just took off. The economy collapsed, and people left... left it barren.

Anyway, from The Atlantic:

The Next Slum?
The subprime crisis is just the tip of the iceberg. Fundamental changes in American life may turn today's McMansions into tomorrow's tenements.

Strange days are upon the residents of many a suburban cul-de-sac. Once-tidy yards have become overgrown, as the houses they front have gone vacant. Signs of physical and social disorder are spreading.

At Windy Ridge, a recently built starter-home development seven miles northwest of Charlotte, North Carolina, 81 of the community's 132 small, vinyl-sided houses were in foreclosure as of late last year. Vandals have kicked in doors and stripped the copper wire from vacant houses; drug users and homeless people have furtively moved in. In December, after a stray bullet blasted through her son's bedroom and into her own, Laurie Talbot, who'd moved to Windy Ridge from New York in 2005, told The Charlotte Observer, "I thought I'd bought a home in Pleasantville. I never imagined in my wildest dreams that stuff like this would happen."?

In other news, municipal wi-fi projects in the U.S. are collapsing at a death-knell rate because it's not profitable for the corporations like Earthlink to run them and cities and states with mandatory balanced-budgets and zero aid from the feds have more important things to spend their money on than such frivolity. And that was in the New York Times: Hope For Wireless Cities Fades As Internet Providers Pull Out.

And it's not like major tech corps weren't involved (just Google, Intel, MS) and large sums haven't been tossed in the dumpster. Plenty of money was wasted because, oh yeah, some contractors? They turned out to be crooked motherfuckers.
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O'Donnell Heir
post Apr 10 2008, 04:55 AM
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Hrm. Honestly in many metropolitan cities, attempting the noble idea of "Wireless for the Poor" always indicated two things.
1) You have a problem with underclassed underpriveledged
2) You can be spending that money on a lot more than internet access for them. Having access to the internet won't find them better jobs or educations any easier, and porn on demand wont make the crime problems go away.

However, smaller, middle class areas (Like here in the Plano,TX area) are where a city wireless access point will first take off here, not larger metro sprawls. It's trying to tackle the larger problem before you've even tested the technology on larger scales for most companies. Locally ours is still in the works and so far nothing has been stated that the end of the project is near. Though I'd like to state that apparently in certain cities in Asia and Europe you can wander around a city and never lose a signal.
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post Apr 10 2008, 07:33 AM
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Deus Absconditus

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I was driving from one Microsoft building to another today, for a meeting. I passed a house that was 90% complete and looked like someone had draped a Queen Anne style house in teracotta-colored marble. There was gilt copper trim. There was a fountain in the roundabout in the front. Leaded windows.

It was like someone started a drink with a splash of style and drowned it in Schlitz just to confuse the palette.

In that moment I realized two things:
1) It's probably unwise to wish gross financial woes on the people who sign my paycheck;
2) This is why I have to live on THIS side of Lake Washington.

Yet still, I found myself wishing for some gangers to take over that ugly-ass POS house and sell drugs out of it.
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