The cafe´s name was Kafka. There were around 40 bloggers and journalists there. Kafka made me feel at home, the pictures of Che Guevara behind him even more so, and in the sign for the men´s toilet was a picture of Woody Allen, another idol. So here I was surrounded by very familiar faces in a country that is as far from my native Argentina as it can possibly be and yet so close.

The Taiwanese are very, very Linus. Surprisingly the mainland Chinese seem to be more Bills. What a paradox here. In any case they had tough questions for me vis a vis Fon. In the end I got the sense that the Fon movement, that started tonight in Taipei, will be a big success. But the Taiwanese did their due dilligence. I did not mind answering 4 hours of questions. It was all worth it. I also found people from the Open Source movement very interested in developing applications for the fonosphere. I said we would fund cool projects. Same with hardware vendors. Wifi Phones, wifi TVs, wifi radios, wifi games, this is hardware Mecca.

Afterwards we met with Accton and I proposed that we expand the memory of la fonera, our custom made social router to 8MB of flash so hackers can play with it. Now it´s 4MB. We are looking into this possibility. We are also looking at a USB port to add external memory to the mini linux computer router. Can you think what to do with this? Could we include a Bit Torrent client in it for example so your router is bit torrenting to and from your 60gb hard drive while you are at work…with your laptop?

There are many other bloggers covering the event. I will try to link to those in English and some in Chinese as well for those who understand it. In the meantime, thank you YK from Accton! You were great!

This is a blog made to promote the event (chinese) and this one to spread the voice (english and chinese)

Here’s blogger’s Ilya Lee presentation (english).

Here you can see some pictures from the event and from the party we had later. Also blogger Ching Chiao took some pictures.

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Libo on June 6, 2006  · 

Hi Martin,
since you asked, here it is my idea about what to do with some extra memory + cpu + USB port. A print server that works out of the box using the Bonjour (aka Randevouz) protocol. I love this feature I have on my Apple Airport Express, it makes the idea of a printer vanish and it turn the cable-driver-printer into the “source of paper with information I want on it”.
Interfaces have to vanish in the background 🙂 !

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Simon Leinen on June 7, 2006  · 

What to do with 4MB additional RAM? Personally I think it would be great to implement IPv6 routing for those of us who are restricted to a single IPv4 address from their provider, but who still want seamless access to their computers at home from the outside (with configurable firewall rules of course). Until broadband ISPs offer native IPv6 connectivity, the Fonera could build this using tunneling mechanisms such as 6to4.

Thinking of something with more consumer appeal, the router could provide access to a USB-connected webcam for home surveillance, and possibly other gadgets to control home appliances such as heating.

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Luc on June 7, 2006  · 

Welcome to Taiwan! It was really a impressive experience to be in FON party. Even though I still in school, I think that would work someday soon. One day, when I go travel or study abroad. I could use this and share this idea to my friends.
There can be lots work from local information service to global access service. Just like CNN NEWS, we could saw it everywhere.
However, thanks for coming Taiwan.

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Cem Mimaroglu on June 8, 2006  · 

One observation from the pictures u posted – Very few women – Was that due to the fact that you were in Taiwan or due to the topic-on-hand?

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Martín Varsavsky on June 8, 2006  · 

Yes Cem, Fon so far seems to be like football, a lot of male fans, a few women.


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tenz on June 8, 2006  · 

It is a cultural and gender fact that most Taiwanese boys are expected to study subjects about science and technology while they are in high schools, and girls are expected to be major in Humanities.

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iurgi on June 8, 2006  · 

Hi Simon,

That’s a good point; we already considered this, but for now, it’s been delayed temporarily.

For those who don’t know what IP6 (or IPv6, IP version 6) is: right now, Internet communication is based on a numbering system, similar to the telephony numbers. Every let’s say router, has a ‘telephone number’, known as IP address. But, if you have many network devices (PC, laptop, network printer, videconsoles…) connected to the router, you can’t reach them directly from outside your house… you need something similar to the extensions in the telephony system. You call the ‘known’ telephone number and then add an extension to it. This is the way currently Internet works, this is Internet Protocol version 4, also known as IP4 and IPv4.

This problem is going to be solved in the next release of the protocol: IP6 (not IP5!!!). With IP6, every network device will have a uniwue worldwide number (IP6 address). It will be related to the MAC address of the device, which is theoretically unique right now.

What does this mean? That we will be able to connect any device of ours, anywhere in the world and it will be accessible also from anywhere. The devices will need no network configuration anymore, and many other cool features willcome up.

Additionally, IP4 was designed to transfer only HTML static pages and data that requires no real time transmision (video streaming – tv, conference calls, audio, radios etc.), like document and file transfers. But now, with the multimedia revolution in the Internet, there’s a big need of coping this traffic which requires very a special treatment. IP6 will solve that as well as improve security and scalability. Public and Private IPs will disappear forever.

But this is something that needs to be implemented, and the most important part is that the ISPs and carriers do it. Currently it’s only used in experimental scenarios and some university campuses and intranets in some corporations. FON could do some kind of work around like that with tunnels and creating a FON IP6 network, but the bennefits it would nowadays bring to the FON Comunity is far from being interesting enough. There are some other features that will make the user enjoy FON much more than that right now.

I personally believe IP6 will start to be worth once the carriers and ISPs start to implement it… but this move requires lots of migratoin planning.

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Chiao on June 9, 2006  · 

>>Fon so far seems to be like football..

What is a girl sport? Badminton? 😛

Don’t know if there’s FON baseball fan, in fact in the US, Japan, Taiwan, in a baseball stadium, half man, 1/4 women, and the rest are kids and teens.

If you’ve been to any computer-related trade shows in Asia Pac, you’d see lots of girls…show girls to promote gadgets. I know it’s a bad business nature here, but it works from time to time. And this is why I talked about FON girls the other day. No offense!

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Emmanuel on June 9, 2006  · 

I live in Hong Kong, a city/country with one of the highest density in the world, high broadband penetration…

You seem to be rapidly expanding in the region, so…when is Fon gonna be launched in Hong Kong???

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Fred on June 9, 2006  · 


This is Fred, a fellow Taiwanese blogger of great people like Chiao and Schee. Sorry I was unable to attend your Taipei appearance since I was going to have a minor surgical operation the next day.

Fon is a very interesting idea/business initiative/infrastructure. I can’t wait to see how it works here, and definite I will be a part of it. Since I work as a marketing consultant specializing in the local ITindustry/user experience, I may offer some relevant help if needed.

Anyway, good luck!

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Karen on June 14, 2006  · 

Just found out about FON and decided to check it out. it’s truely an amazing innovation and i regret i didn’t know about the taipei FON event. yes in taiwan probably men are still more techno-savvy and are more keen on sports and new ventures. however, the vast majority of taiwanese bloggers are female! as a matter of fact i am going to study more about FON and spread the word in my blog right as we speak!

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