Video: Pirate Wi-Fi on New York City subway “L Train Notwork” Behind the Scenes from Matthew McGregor-Mento on Vimeo.

There was recently a pirate wi-fi network on New York City‘s L train. Available only in the last cars of the Brooklyn-bound train and only from 8am until 10am, this underground pirate wi-fi network was live and available only for a week. If you’re wondering why or how or who put this together, allow me to fill in those blanks as best as I can. tends to do precisely what their name advertises–they really are masters of cool. The L Train ‘Notwork’ was just one of their endeavors and here’s how it went. The people over at WMCS powered the ‘Notwork’ with person-portable battery-powered web servers. The wi-fi didn’t connect commuters to the internet, though. Instead of connecting train passengers to the whole world wide web, it connected them to content provided by local artists in addition to a chat room. Check out the behind the scenes video above for a look into the the world and work of the people who put this project together.

Find out more about what WMCS did for the L train here on Laughing Squid and keep up with WMCS so that you might be tuned in for their next cool endeavor here on the WMCS website.

L train hits and kills a man

A man was struck by the L train at Union Square this afternoon. Service between 8th Avenue and Bedford Avenue has been temporarily stopped because of the incident. According to, an MTA conductor for the NYC Subway said that the service would be affected for a couple of hours. The popular train should be running again in time for this evening’s rush hour.

While very few details have been released about the man hit by the train, witnesses are reportedly saying that the man jumped in front of the train, leaving his groceries behind on the platform.

Photo by: Bill Michalski, Songbill at Flickr

Chicago (once again) considering premium rail link to O’Hare

If you have ever flown into Chicago’s O’Hare airport, you’ll know that the train ride between the airport and downtown is not a great experience. Sure, it’ll get you where you need to be, but when compared to other major international airports, it could really do with an upgrade.

So, once again, Mayor Daley has dusted off the plans to launch a premium rail link connecting Downtown with the airport. The O’Hare Express may or may not run over existing tracks, which already brings out a major problem – an express train will never be an express train if it has to constantly wait for existing commuter trains.

Other options include creating bypass tracks, but with a proposed $15 or $20 fee for the premium link, the ride duration would really have to come down considerably when compared to the current 45 minute trip. In the previous proposal to create a fast rail link, only 10 or 15 minutes could be shaved off the ride, which would obviously be a very hard sell.

My thoughts? It doesn’t make sense to do this unless they are willing to do it right. The link needs dedicated tracks, new modern rolling stock and modern stations. When you compare the Blue Line with the rapid rail services in Hong Kong or even London, it isn’t hard to see that we have a lot of catching up to do.

[Photo from Flickr/Senor Codo]