Hooked on e-mail? Do you go into internet withdrawal when you can’t Google or Yahoo at will? There’s a new way to get on the ‘net. Brandon Kusenda works at Neo Computers in Iowa City and helps clients set up a wireless internet connection. A lot of campuses and some businesses have wireless local-area networks, many of them free of charge, and you can make one at home as long as you have a high-speed cable internet service. He says it’s quick and handy. Kusenda says “wireless is definitely the future” and with big cities like New York and Chicago blanketed with wireless connection service, some free and some not, he thinks it’s “definitely where it’s going.” Just as a wireless phone can let your conversations be overheard, however, a wireless computer connection also carries hazards. He says there are security issues because the device will let anyone with a wireless “card” in their computer connect, unless you set up security for your network. Wireless networks have exploded in popularity in urban areas, and there’s a brand-new one for travelers at the Des Moines International Airport. The Des Moines International Airport has gone “wireless,” and the terminal’s a “hot spot.” Airport spokesman Roy Criss explains the airport has installed technology to let carriers of computer technology get on internet without cables or wires to connect them. Folks can bring their laptops and Palm Pilots and not have to hook up to hardware to get on the Internet while they’re waiting for a flight. Dozens of airports around the nation offer such “wi-fi” connections, and Des Moines has the service for both travelers and the airport’s own administration and businesses with offices in the terminal. Like a call on an airport pay phone, however, you’ll pay a toll. Logging on to wireless internet at the Des Moines airport will cost you $3.95 an hour, $10 a day, or $39.95 a month. Other wireless access locations in the state include the Sheraton Hotel in Iowa City, a Holiday Inn in Cedar Falls, and at least three bars in Des Moines including “Miss Kitty’s Dance Hall and Cyber Saloon.” ISU and the University of Iowa have wireless access on campus and the University of Northern Iowa’s working on installing the so-called wi-fi service.
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