Friday, May 30, 2008

Dover's Wi-Fi Moving Forward

Once again, flying in the face of such wicked media-driven wi-fi flame-outs as Philadelphia and San Francisco, we are seeing that smaller cities are fulfilling the promise of municipal wireless Internet. And they're showing it's not that hard.

Yesterday's Foster's reported that the Dover NH City Council OK'd the plan to install wi-fi access points throughout the main downtown corridor. All it took was this:

1. Last year, Dover Main Street and Dover Chamber of Commerce applied for, and received, a $10,000 from the state Dept of Economic Development.

2. In December, Dover negotiated another $25,000 from Comcast when they re-upped their Cable Franchise Renewal Agreement. This is smart for both sides. Comcast has essentially a monopoly, so why not give a little back to the city? Gains a lot of good will, and since they offer Internet services, it's mission-centric to boot. Meanwhile, the city is well within its rights to ask for a little something in return for the franchise. It's your prototypical win-win.

3. Dover ponies up $30,000 of its own. This, too, is key. Many cities go too far one way or the other -- either they expect someone to come in and give them the wi-fi for free, or they try to buy and own the whole thing. Dover's approach is very reasonable. Take a little from the state, a little from private enterprise, and give a little out of the tax rolls. So to review: Multiple revenue streams + multiple stakeholders = wi-fi success story.

Meanwhile, stay tuned for big news on our eCoast Wi-Fi Project ongoing in Portsmouth!

Addendum: This just in! Today's Portsmouth Herald: City expands free wireless Internet access.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Sex and the City... of Portsmouth!

In today's Portsmouth Herald, Rachel Forrest features my old pal Dave Cummins, star of stage and screen! In one scene in the new Sex and the City feature film, we find Mr. Cummins sitting at the head table with stars Kim Cattrall, Chris Noth ("Big"), and Sarah Jessica Parker. (But Dave, where's Kristin Davis? She's my favorite! For obvious reasons...)

In a related story, local businesses are also trying to get into the act, but only David makes the scene for real!

"Sex and the City: The Movie" will be in theaters tomorrow. In fact, unless I'm reading this wrong, you can catch it at the Fox Run Regal Cinema at midnight tonight?!

Even better, Rotten Tomatoes has it at 65% fresh!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Bike to Work Day!

It's tomorrow! Now, I don't want to hear any excuses, cuz I'm doing it, too! My six-mile commute is no endurance run, and it's no cake walk, either. But it makes sense on so many levels: reducing my carbon footprint... saving the gas $... cleaning out my genetically-blocked arteries... sssallgood. ;-)

Skate over to the SABR site linked above and register for the free bagel at checkpoints around the Seacoast. Mmmm... Carboload!

I'll post a pic here of me on my bike as proof that I did it, and I challenge you all to do the same in the comments.

(Oh yah, but if it rains, screw my carbon footprint, I'm out!)

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Big Apple Comes to Boston

We've had an Apple Store (or as I like to call it, "Mecca") in Tax-Free-Salem-New-Hamsphire (as the advertisers like to call it) for many years. Now the company is opening a store in Boston. It's big news for sure: Front page of the Sunday Boston Globe's Business section this past weekend and its sparked an active discussion thread on

Big kudos to the Apple marketing group who came up with this Red Sox themed signage. Creating an homage to Fenway Park's Green Monster to hide the construction is a stroke of genius. And for Apple, the branding king of the world, to play off the Sox demonstrates just how powerful the Red Sox brand has become.

Incidentally, Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) is also opening a store in Maine this year, although in their typical AppleSecret M.O., they won't say when or where. The Portland Press-Herald reports it could negatively impact those independent Apple Authorized Resellers who had been holding down the fort. It's certainly a concern, but I tend to see it as a "rising tide lifting all boats" situation.

For instance, I bought a new laptop battery -- for the MacBook on which I'm typing now -- from a local independent shop called MacEdge. They're in the Bowl-a-Rama plaza on Rt.1 South, just a couple miles from my house, whereas Mecca is a solid 40 miles to the West. With gas prices these days, the more Macs are sold (be it at Apple retail stores, BestBuy, online, or through resellers), the more demand there'll be for local service centers for repairs, peripherals, et cetera.

I note that Michael Oh, who operates Tech Superpowers on all-too-near Newbury Street, is using the Apple Store's arrival to refocus his operations toward professional and business accounts, smartly ceding retail consumers to Apple corporate. And yes, as a true Apple geek, he's ramped up about the new store, too, even if might be competition: Check out the "Birth of an Apple Store" blog featuring his way-cool webcam chronicling the construction.

Most importantly, I wonder if I could get to Boston on Thursday night in time to get one of those free opening day t-shirts?

Monday, May 12, 2008

Local Boy Still Making Good

Old pal Dave Cummins has scored again! Here's the latest posting from his Facebook page:

David J Cummins (New York, NY) wrote
at 1:47pm on May 10th, 2008
If you are reading this and it is Tuesday May 13th...tune in to As The World Turns on CBS at 2pm EDT...or go online to and see it at 6pm EDT. Look for me in the background during the outdoor cafe scene shot at The Boathouse in Central Park...I think I may be right on camera...but speaking this time...but good things are coming...tune in soon for some big news.

Friday, May 09, 2008

The Wine Guy on the Shelf

Here's wishing Papa Campbell, Portsmouth's favorite Wine Guy, a speedy recovery from his recent surgery. The shop is open sporadically with "Backup Wine Guy" Paul running the show, so you might want to call ahead: 431-2640.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Back from vacation... Back to work... Back to blogging

Ever have one of those vacations when you come back and say, "Man, I need a vacation from that vacation!" Well, yah, that's me. Thanks to SkyBus, my Portsmouth-to-Punta Gorda door-to-door flight became the airline itinerary-from-hell. Our replacement flight down, Southwest (MHT to TAM), was OK, although we sat for an hour on the tarmac while they figured out why they couldn't refuel. (Really? How does that even happen? Ever pull up to a gas station and not be able to put the nozzle in the hole?!) So we arrived late, rented a car in Tampa, and didn't get to Mom's house until midnight. The flights back were on JetBlue. We left the house at 8:30AM. We loved the DirecTV in the seat-backs, but the turbulence on the first leg (FLL to IAD) was brutal for nervous fliers such as myself. ("Stewardess? Scotch, please. Actually, make it a double.") Then we sat at Dulles ("Putting the Dull in Dulles since 1962") for eight (8!) hours while we waited for our connector to get out of Boston, get down there, and get us back to Boston. When we finally got on the plane, there was a computer problem and they essentially needed to reboot the entire plane! Not sure if the pilot saw the BSOD in the cockpit or if they're running Vista or what, but that was weird. Of course, we arrived after C&J stopped running, so we rented a car and arrived home sometime after 3AM. For those of you doing the math at home, that's Florida to New Hampshire in about 19 hours.

Yep, I need a vacation.

Anyway, lots of blogging backed up in my queue, so stay tuned!