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New Orleans is a murder hotspot, with killing rates ten times higher than the US average. Now the cit is deploying motion detection video surveillance transmitted over a wireless network to tackle crime.

The Big Easy has the highest murder rate of any city its size - defined as areas with a population of 250,000 plus. Murder rates, however, have fallen by roughly half in areas covered by the surveillance network, according to local police.

And that's not all. Wireless is spreading to Louisiana's more peaceful suburbs at a rate that has helped propel its capital city into the big leagues of wireless adoption. The fastest rising city in the ranks of the America's most connected is state capital Baton Rouge, which climbed 67 spots to crack the top 20, joining big-names like Atlanta, Chicago, Portland and Boston, according to an annual Intel study of the most wireless friendly US cities.

Louisiana is now among 20 other US states where residents can log-on while trying to chill out at a spa or health resort, and one of 31 states where truckers can pull over and IM with a good buddy from the comfort of a rest spot.

These are some of the findings in Intel's annual Most Unwired Cities survey. West Coast cities are again the chart toppers. America's coffee capital, Seattle, is now the most unwired US city, having surpassed last year's winner San Francisco, the high-tech jewel at the tip of Silicon Valley.

The good folks of Seattle can stay connected from the world-famous Space Needle to the boarding gate at the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. Seattle is also one of many cities currently testing WiMAX - the technology that enables faster connection speeds from longer distances. Intel bases its findings on a survey of free wireless access points in 100 of the largest metropolitan areas in the US between January and April this year. ®

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