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Binghamton keeps free WiFi, Syracuse wants unmanned drones

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Boot up Binghamton - free WiFi prevails.

A local TV station will help the city of Binghamton to continue its free WiFi service by paying for ads on the landing page, reports Steve Reilly at the Press & Sun-Bulletin:

"I supported the free Wi-Fi when it initially came before this council very clearly on the condition that it sustain itself," said Councilwoman Terri Rennia, D-3rd District, "and that hasn't happened." Under the contract with Fox 40 WICZ, the city will collect 70 percent of the advertising revenue generated from an advertising page that users will view when they log onto the internet service.

Unmanned drone testing
Senator Schumer wants Syracuse to be the test site for a new unmanned military drone, the MQ-9 Reaper, reports Mark Weiner at the Post-Standard:

For almost four years, the FAA has banned flights of the Reaper, an aerial surveillance drone, out of Hancock Field. The agency has cited concerns about the drones sharing civil airspace and runways with commercial aircraft. Without authority to fly out of Hancock, the Air National Guard was preparing to base two of its Reapers at Fort Drum, near Watertown, and begin its first local training missions this summer by remotely operating them over the Adirondacks. If Schumer’s legislative move succeeds this week, it would help ensure the future of 1,215 jobs at the base in Mattydale and potentially lead to millions of dollars in radar research contracts for local defense companies.

BU research
A team of Binghamton University engineers have nabbed the 2010 "Best Paper" prize from the Digital Watermarking Alliance for their work:

Serving as a modern day version of writing with invisible ink, steganography enables additional hidden information to be exchanged during regular communication without anyone knowing. In today’s world of technology, this means hiding secret communication data in digital media files. “A digital picture of a dog may contain an entire PDF document even though the image itself may look completely innocuous to most people,” said [BU professor Jessica] Fridrich. “I like to call this research a ‘Swiss-Army Knife’ for steganographers. It’s a very general and elegant framework to build stego systems that work in the best possible way and hide the maximum amount of information, without creating any artifacts that someone might use to find out that secret communication is taking place.”

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