After reading Erica's wireless post and the resulting comment drama, I was reminded of something I've been meaning to mention here.
As you might imagine, I am a big fan of collaboration. I'm also a big fan of easy-to-locate wireless access - not so much because I travel around with my laptop frequently (I don't, my laptop stinks and I spend most of my time either at home or at work, where I have all the internet I can stand), but because I would like to have such access available to me, when and if I need it. I'm like that.
Enter FON, which I think is a fantabulous concept/service/device.
FON is a wireless router that you can buy and configure to allow other FON owners access to your signal (but not your computer stuff) - for free. So, If I own a FON, and I travel to an area with my laptop (or WiFi phone!) where someone else is a FON user, I can hop on their wireless network (and vice-versa). To me, this is sharing at its best. And, if you would like to offer your signal to those who don't own a FON, or care to open up their signal, you can - and a make a few bucks in the process!
At $40, the FON is priced comparably to other wireless routers (and, as the FON has grown in popularity, the price has increased, just FYI).
Naturally, FON is most popular in places like NYC and parts of California, and it's been a bit slow to catch on here, which I think is due, in part, to that fact that FON, like Skype, is not an American company. But, I am planning on buying a FON as soon as I can so that I can join the 13 other people (really) in RI using it (and I had to laugh - one of them is on Prudence Island - a place with no public restrooms, restaurants, stores, and a one-room school house).
If each of us not only talks this up, but hooks one up, imagine the network we could build!