Say what you want about the Google hegemony, I'd trust them before San Franciscan landlords and neighborhood overlords any day. Reader Davis Freeberg saw San Francisco nutjobs shanghai a town meeting with Google and Earthlink, meant to bring the city one step closer to city-wide free and cheap wifi plans. He reports below, and adds more at his blog.
So I'm not really into all of the BS politics and normally stay clear of these sorts of issues, but last night I attended a town hall meeting hosted by Google and Earthlink and saw an angry mob rip apart Google and EarthLink over their proposed free WiFi initive.
Maybe I should have known that SF politics could get dirty, but for 2 hours Chris Sacca, Google's Director of Special Initives faced angry angry SF political gadflies who somehow think that Google giving away free internet access to the city will harm them.
After the jump, violence!
One crazy guy, at one point, actually started making threatening moves towards Sacca and had to be restrained when Sacca tried to tell him that his renters wouldn't need to sign special contracts if they want to plug their wireless access card into their home computers. When the guy threatened to block the wifi signals for his renters, Sacca pointed out that he couldn't block the air and the crowd went ballistic.
Political theater or political circus, I'll let you be the judge, but my money says that Google and Earthlink pull out of this deal in a year when the city still won't negotiate a reasonable agreement letting them give away free internet access to their citizens. If the deal does go through maybe the local SF nuts can use Tin Foil to help keep the free wifi signals from communicating with the microchips installed in their fillings.