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A Wireless Hotspot For Your Car — Why Not?

timothy posted about 4 years ago | from the not-wijacking-just-drafting dept.

Wireless Networking 135

nk497 writes "UK mobile operator 3 has unveiled a wireless hotspot for cars. It's essentially a repackaged version of their MiFi wireless router, which lets users create their own wireless hotspot using the 3G network. While drivers will hopefully steer away from using the web at the wheel, 3 predicts the mobile hotspot will let passengers entertain themselves as well as offer a hookup to email, music and traffic data."

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135 comments

Car hotspot? (4, Insightful)

YrWrstNtmr (564987) | about 4 years ago | (#31780674)

Not 'Why not?', but rather 'Why?'

Re:Car hotspot? (0)

mcgrew (92797) | about 4 years ago | (#31780768)

Tailgate parties? Beach parties? Any outdoor activity that isn't in a hot spot?

Re:Car hotspot? (5, Insightful)

eln (21727) | about 4 years ago | (#31780792)

If you've got people at your beach party asking where they can go to check their email, you're doing it wrong.

Re:Car hotspot? (3, Funny)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | about 4 years ago | (#31780836)

Hey, don't knock on us if we want to have a beach lan party.

Re:Car hotspot? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31781432)

Hey, don't knock on us if we want to have a beach lan party.

I do it every year in January.

Re:Car hotspot? (2, Funny)

BobMcD (601576) | about 4 years ago | (#31781552)

If you've got people at your beach party asking where they can go to check their email, you're doing it wrong.

What if they're livestreaming the video and vlogging it to all their Facebook pals?

Re:Car hotspot? (3, Insightful)

zach_the_lizard (1317619) | about 4 years ago | (#31781576)

Then the carrier is probably going to be angry that they went over the unadvertised bandwidth caps, charge them more, and cut them off.

Re:Car hotspot? (2, Funny)

garcia (6573) | about 4 years ago | (#31780802)

Why? Because when I'm driving 27 hours to the beach from Minnesota I'll want true Internet access in my car, not just my iPhone?

Re:Car hotspot? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31782298)

Well can't you just tether your laptop to your iPhone via Bluetooth or 802.11 and set up a personal area network that way? Oh, wait...

Re:Car hotspot? (1)

rm999 (775449) | about 4 years ago | (#31780822)

Well, Internet in your car would replace standard/satellite radio and gps units. There is just too much money in those industries for it to not happen.

I still can't think of why not - most people I know already carry a 3g connection with them all the time. Why not actually use that in the car?

I already pair my iPhone to my car's stereo via bluetooth to listen to internet radio. Google is leading the charge to put free GPS units in everyone's cars. If I owned stock in any sort of GPS or terrestrial/satellite radio company, I would sell it now.

Bluetooth music sound quality is aweful. (1)

DRAGONWEEZEL (125809) | about 4 years ago | (#31781540)

I only use it for podcasts.

The first time I tried it I was like, no $%^4 it works!

The next time I tried it, I was like wow, I can change tracks on my phone from my steering wheel!

The next time I tried it, I turned it up to a decent enough level and was utterly disapointed.

Now I use bluetooth for making calls, usb for "my music" aux in for my wife's zuneHD.

I have a soney MEX-BT5700. Maybe it's just sony, but I'm not a huge fan of bluetooth for anything but recieving calls in the car. That and to get the music fxs to work correctly, I have to disconnect and reconnect it every time I get in the car.

Re:Car hotspot? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31781830)

Now Google wants to know where we go? It already knows what we do, who we talk to, and what we are interested in. Now it wants to know where we are, and where we go. Tinfoil hat mafia, your paranoia is coming to fruition.

Re:Car hotspot? (2, Informative)

LWATCDR (28044) | about 4 years ago | (#31781186)

1. RVs
2. Passenger

If you are in a car with a bunch of kids it may be useful for them to entertain themselves.
Also when my wife and I evacuated from Hurricane Frances it would have been great if one of use could have hit nhc.noaa.gov to get updates.We where in a panic that some friends of ours where going to get trapped in their cars by the storm. It would have been a comfort to know that it slowed way down and weakened. Frankly the radio wasn't a lot of help with info.

Re:Car hotspot? (1)

idontgno (624372) | about 4 years ago | (#31781802)

If you are in a car with a bunch of kids it may be useful for them to entertain themselves.

"Dad, I'm lagging out in Dalaran again!"

Thanks. But no.

Re:Car hotspot? (1)

FooAtWFU (699187) | about 4 years ago | (#31781194)

A car is kind of a marginal place for WiFi - it's limited to passengers and people who are parked. At least with the regular MiFi you can take it with you somewhere else, which would make it more suitable for the "mobile professional" or even the family vacation. Is this service going to cost something like $60/mo as well? That'd be a little steep - it probably makes sense for the carpool/vanpool circuit, but that's not what I'd call a massive market opportunity or anything. Maybe if you knock a few tens of dollars off the monthly price, or did some sane metered-bandwidth offering (not that too many of those are actually available) I could see it...

Re:Car hotspot? (3, Interesting)

AvitarX (172628) | about 4 years ago | (#31781562)

Yeah, because pandora would be useless in a car only occupied by the driver.

This is not marginal, it is good that a non-manufacturer is working on this, as however much they charge, it's gonna be less than GM would for the same thing. Once internet in car becomes available like that, things will start to take advantage of it. Something like a iPad, or an Android device would be great to have instead of a stereo in a car. Just a flat screen 5-9 inches where my disk changer is. I wouldn't even need to look at it while driving to gain immense value.

GPS navigation, Radio, MP3 Player, Traffic alerts, AND passengers would be able to use internet too.

I hope this catches on, because I would line up as a sucker in no time. Though hopefully less than $60/month, as I won't be hitting it that hard (unless an hour or two of radio is what they consider a lot).

Re:Car hotspot? (1)

temojen (678985) | about 4 years ago | (#31781460)

For most users it may be of limited utility, But I can see it being useful for technicians who may want to be able to connect customers laptops to mobile hotspots to download patches etc, as well as a host of other uses. I've thought of doing this (albeit with a Dlink DiR-655 and rocket stick, not some $300 purpose built device).

Why? (2, Insightful)

Locke2005 (849178) | about 4 years ago | (#31781476)

One word: kids. Drop one of these in place, hand each of 5 kids a Nintendo DS, and watch them play games and leave you alone for the entire trip (At $190, even the new DS XL is cheaper than a netbook, as well as traveling better.) I already have an AC inverter plugged into the "cigarette lighter" DC plug for the purpose of recharging Nintendos and cellphones.

Re:Car hotspot? (1)

sigjuice (769539) | about 4 years ago | (#31781532)

Not 'Why not?', but rather 'Why?'

I guess looking outside the window of your car doesn't do it for people any more.

Re:Car hotspot? (1)

stefanlasiewski (63134) | about 4 years ago | (#31781886)

I'm on a long drive. The passenger in my car is bored and wants to browse the Internet. There are kids in the back who are bored with their books and want to play on pbskids.org . I'm driving, my wife has a laptop and wants to check the Traffic on Google Maps. We want to stream Pandora.com through our car stereo.

Yes, there are other options for some of these issues but a Mobile Hotspot seems better and cheaper then many of the alternatives.

I'm not sure why Slashdot has an article on this. Mobile 3G Hotspots for cars have been around for a couple years now, but they seem really expensive. Crutchfeld.com had one for about $300.

how about a speed trap early warning network (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31781956)

Radar detectors + automobile hot spots + a little GPS mashup goodness and we should be in for some real fun in the courts.

Don't forget the EFF on your holiday gift list this year...

Re:Car hotspot? (1)

Hymer (856453) | about 4 years ago | (#31781982)

I've got an UMTS WiFi router in my car for almost 2 years now. I'm using an Ericsson W21 because it runs on 12V and got external antenna connector (for the UMTS antenna).
Why ? Well, if you got several devices needing Internet connection in your car then a router is far better solution than separate UMTS modems (and far cheaper).
I've got an on board PC (running Linux) which I use to listen to music and news from the Internet and to talk over TeamSpeak and Skype. The kids can surf the net from their laptops from the backseat and my wife can even play WoW from her laptop and I can work while she is driving the car.
Do you still think you can live without a mobile hotspot in Your car ?

Re:Car hotspot? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31782174)

Why you ask?

Because I'm rarely outside of wifi distance from my or my wife's car.
Because my car has it's own battery and backup generator.
Because I want to access my car's door locks, alarm system, etc.. directly without paying a 3rd party like On-Star.
Because I want to connect my car to my home automation for too many new capabilities to list.

But most importantly.... Because it's cool!

Sign me up (3, Insightful)

quantumplacet (1195335) | about 4 years ago | (#31780690)

Re:Sign me up (3, Interesting)

FooAtWFU (699187) | about 4 years ago | (#31781062)

Which people like to make fun of, but it can be handy to have a desk in your car that you use while parked when you have a few minutes and don't have a coffee shop or something nearby to step into.

Re:Sign me up (4, Funny)

nextekcarl (1402899) | about 4 years ago | (#31781148)

It can even be more handy while you're driving. I mean, trying to hold the laptop with one hand, while typing with the other and steering with one knee while using the other to shift gears is such a pain in the ass!

Re:Sign me up (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31781356)

Add getting a blow job and snorting coke and you have a deal.

Re:Sign me up (5, Funny)

Shakrai (717556) | about 4 years ago | (#31781422)

It's also handy for keeping track of your beer cans and half smoked bowls of weed too ;)

What's the difference between a stoned driver and a drunk driver? A drunk driver blows through the stop sign without even slowing down. The stoned driver stops at the stop sign and waits for it to turn green.

With the new UK legislation (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31780692)

Does "three strikes" shut off your car?

Already Doing This On Sprint With Windows Mobile (2, Informative)

meehawl (73285) | about 4 years ago | (#31780698)

Been doing this for years.

1. Plug HTC WM phone into charger outlet.
2. Activate WMWiFiRouter [wmwifirouter.com] app to share out Sprint 3G over USB, wireless, or bluetooth.
3. ?????
4. Profit!

Re:Already Doing This On Sprint With Windows Mobil (1)

uradu (10768) | about 4 years ago | (#31781008)

Yep, a mobile phone is a much more natural way of doing that. Why pay for yet another contract?! Using WiFi Tether on Android whenever the need arises.

Re:Already Doing This On Sprint With Windows Mobil (1)

Dr. Zim (21278) | about 4 years ago | (#31781114)

Amen. Works perfect on the G1 with Cyanogen's mod and T-Mobile doesn't seem to care.

Re:Already Doing This On Sprint With Windows Mobil (1)

karnal (22275) | about 4 years ago | (#31781626)

Actually, all of the HTC phones that run Windows Mobile can get the HTC wifi sharing app (looks @ phone) - on my touch pro (ATTfuze) it's in the comm manager at the bottom. It will share the media net connection without having to pay for the "tethering" program.

I've used it just a handful of times that I needed to test openvpn for clients. No one has fussed about it yet, and from what I've read, unless you're insanely idiotic about bandwidth on the computer/phone (torrent of a DVD etc) really there's no reason that ATT would ding you for it.

I do have to wonder if ATT would at some point look for something simple in the packets - like the laptop broadcasting that it is a member of a domain etc - to see if someone's tethered though.

Re:Already Doing This On Sprint With Windows Mobil (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31781530)

I'm doing just this right now with a rooted Cliq, wireless tether utility and T-Mobile. Mainly because a family member has zero Internet access. It's 3G speed, so not the fastest of connections, but good enough to get onto Slashdot, as well as the usual other sites while waiting for stuff. Plus, I'm also streaming a song and downloading an update for iTunes, so it is a fairly decent solution.

Re:Already Doing This On Sprint With Windows Mobil (1)

GreenEnvy22 (1046790) | about 4 years ago | (#31781444)

Me too. I currently use my android based phone with a 'wifi tether' app, which can share the 3g over wifi or bluetooth. I have a CarPC in my car for wife/kids, it gets internet from phone, so they can surf on long trips.

Re:Already Doing This On Sprint With Windows Mobil (1)

Otto (17870) | about 4 years ago | (#31781582)

Any jailbroken iPhone and the MyWi app works perfectly for this sort of thing as well.

Re:Already Doing This On Sprint With Windows Mobil (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31781736)

You dont need to jailbreak - just be outside the US. I can tether a number of devices concurrently to my iphone over bluetooth and share the net connection.

1993 LAN in a car with wireless data service (2, Interesting)

billstewart (78916) | about 4 years ago | (#31782360)

The first time I saw a LAN in a car was San Diego Usenix in ?1993?. It was Phil Karn's (KA9Q) car, and it was really just a thinwire Ethernet neatly installed from the front seat to the trunk. Laptops were much bigger then - he had a large clunky 386 machine in the front seat, and the alpha and beta versions of the Qualcomm cellular radios in the trunk. We were able to connect to a cell site at something like 9600 baud, and telnet to the Bell Labs firewall, which happily rejected our attempt to log in as "berferd".

Extreme! (2, Funny)

stimpleton (732392) | about 4 years ago | (#31780706)

Awesome! You could steer your car with one hand while holding a game controller in the other while playing a friend. Double points if its a driving game.

Re:Extreme! (1)

SpeedyDX (1014595) | about 4 years ago | (#31781832)

Even better! You can rig your steering wheel to be a game controller and play a driving game right from your car's steering wheel!! What could possibly go wrong?!

Nothing. Is what could go wrong. Nothing.

O goody (5, Interesting)

DeadDecoy (877617) | about 4 years ago | (#31780710)

Now I can look forward to people driving and twittering and emailing and watching youtube. On second thought, the resulting mayhem might be fun to put on youtube. It has a sort of Escher-esc appeal to you it. Jackass recorded on youtube crashing while watching youtube.

Re:O goody (5, Funny)

Angst Badger (8636) | about 4 years ago | (#31781090)

I foresee people getting rear-ended because the idiot behind them was tailgating to get a better signal off their unsecured AP. It'll give "wardriving" a whole new meaning.

Re:O goody (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31781608)

I foresee people getting rear-ended because the idiot behind them was tailgating to get a better signal off their unsecured AP. It'll give "wardriving" a whole new meaning.

It's called "wardrafting" - been there, done that.

Re:O goody (1)

nextekcarl (1402899) | about 4 years ago | (#31781734)

The next remake being planned by Hollywood: Mad Max, beyond MiFi, starring Mel Gibson, coming to a theater near you!

Re:O goody (4, Interesting)

EdIII (1114411) | about 4 years ago | (#31781824)

Already happened to me... in a way.

Was driving with across the US with a buddy on my laptop with a Verizon Wireless EVDO card. We decided to test it by entering a $150 dollar online poker tournament and we were doing very very well... until the signal went out.

I could have made a u-turn and went back to good signal, but that would have defeated the spirit of the test. So I sped up to about 105 mph. Right when we got back into the tournament (only lost about 10-15 hands) I looked up and noticed the state trooper behind us.

He had been following with his lights on for about 10 minutes.

To add insult to injury, the dipshit next to me went all in with 22's against a bigger stack while I was explaining to the state trooper that I was just tired and concentrating on the road in front of me.

Net Loss: $325

So yeah, there could be some distractions with a 3g/4g network available in the car.

Already seen my friend use his iPad while driving. (1)

Shivetya (243324) | about 4 years ago | (#31781208)

heaven knows what he was doing with it, I doubt that wifi was available while moving let alone public in his range...

seen conversions for it into various vehicles on the net...

hell if anything cars are becoming filled with too many distractions, my friends cx7 has more than a dozen buttons on the steering wheel! Ford is equipping newer cars with customizable displays, some that are interactive through, you guessed it, steering wheel controls. These are at the same line as the speedometer, which means eyes off the road.

People already play with GPS devices because automakers make them easy to use while driving, yet since the majority respond to touch you have to take your eyes off the road.

Distracted driving now seems to be a feature of cars.

Re:Already seen my friend use his iPad while drivi (1)

BobMcD (601576) | about 4 years ago | (#31781606)

Distracted driving now seems to be a feature of cars.

Well sure, but it was in the past as well. Ever since they added those pesky vanity mirrors, radios and (gasp) passengers, drivers have been finding themselves splitting their attention between driving and distractions in the car.

On the way home from Easter I was absolutely bugging the hell out of my wife by looking at her while she was driving. Just looking. Not saying or doing anything else. I had to stop before she wrecked and killed us all. No electronics involved.

Look, it's 2010... (1)

da5idnetlimit.com (410908) | about 4 years ago | (#31782022)

And while I'll not even once mention my long promised flying car (lying bastards !) we could AT LEAST have K2000 type cars. ...

I'll even give up the james bond options like jumping 20 feet and the rest (might keep the blond on a lease plan...and I won't keep the hasseldoff option 8p)

But at least a car that is autodriven and fully connected...
bonus points if it can fly ?

Dodge (4, Informative)

captaindomon (870655) | about 4 years ago | (#31780712)

This has been available for a year and a half or so on Dodge vehicles as an option: http://www.dodge.com/en/2009/ram_1500/innovations/uconnect/ [dodge.com]

Re:Dodge (2, Funny)

Pojut (1027544) | about 4 years ago | (#31780980)

"'Dodge' is the perfect word to put on the front of a van comin' at ya. If it says 'Ram' on the side, they're after your ass." -Gallagher

brilliant tracking (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31780760)

Why put a GPS tracker on the car in a mandatory and inflammatory fashion, when you can simply embed it in a product that's too good for the masses to pass up?

Re:brilliant tracking (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31780824)

Hey Captain Tinfoil: Own a mobile phone? Do you keep it in your pocket?

Re:brilliant tracking (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31781188)

Hey Captain Asshat, maybe his post had more to do with tracking of vehicles for taxes than personal tracking.

Re:brilliant tracking (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31782260)

Hey Captian NotPayingAttention, maybe he realized that you can't drive a vehicle without yourself in it.

And if this was verizon (2, Insightful)

nurb432 (527695) | about 4 years ago | (#31780806)

They would chase you down with their black van equipped 'bandwidth compliance team' then charge you for 3 full connections, retroactively, for 12 months.

Re:And if this was verizon (1)

PlazMan (40335) | about 4 years ago | (#31781324)

Maybe not since Verizon already allows up to four or five devices to share a 3G connection for free if you have one of the newer Palm phones.

Re:And if this was verizon (1)

nurb432 (527695) | about 4 years ago | (#31781566)

True, but if they have announced they are going after single customers that use the bandwidth they contracted for i cant imagine that they will be kind to sharing, even if they 'offically' support it.

Re:And if this was verizon (1)

nextekcarl (1402899) | about 4 years ago | (#31781754)

After the other story I just read, yeah, they would be complaining that people were using all of the connections they offer, "to do who knows what". Damn Verizon.

Why?? (2, Insightful)

Itninja (937614) | about 4 years ago | (#31780854)

Anyone I've had in my car for the past several years, especially anyone who has an interest in being 'entertained' in a car, already had their own mobile internet and/or networkable device. Why would anyone want to splice an already-slow 3G connection between several people and/or devices?

Re:Why?? (1)

johanwanderer (1078391) | about 4 years ago | (#31782134)

Anyone I've had in my car for the past several years, especially anyone who has an interest in being 'entertained' in a car, already had their own mobile internet and/or networkable device. Why would anyone want to splice an already-slow 3G connection between several people and/or devices?

Cuz, my map is red* and your is blue, duh!

----
* Disclaimer: customer might be cut off if usage exceed arbitrary threshold while in red coverage area.

Dangerous Driving (1)

geekpowa (916089) | about 4 years ago | (#31780870)

While drivers will hopefully steer away

Unlikely. I rarely commute by private transport, but when I do I am constantly blown away by the complacency that a large number regard the difficult and dangerous act of navigating a tonne and a bit of highly destructive, high kinetic energy, projectile of latent death that is the humble car.

Eating bowls of cereal, doing your makeup, reading the newspaper, SMSing, talking on the phone, watching a DVD, fiddling with a number of gizmos : GPS, MP3 etc. And soon - updating your facebook profile.

Geekpowa: Stuck in traffic again. This sux. [comment] [like]

Re:Dangerous Driving (1)

camperdave (969942) | about 4 years ago | (#31781570)

Driving is hardly difficult, especially in commuter or freeway traffic. In fact it is such a mind numbing task that people eat bowls of cereal, do makeup, read newspapers, SMS, talk on the phone, watch DVDs, fiddle with a number of gizmos, etc, just to pass the time. It's not complacency. It's boredom.

Re:Dangerous Driving (1)

BobMcD (601576) | about 4 years ago | (#31781674)

I rarely commute by private transport, but when I do I am constantly blown away by the complacency that a large number regard the difficult and dangerous act of navigating a tonne and a bit of highly destructive, high kinetic energy, projectile of latent death that is the humble car.

Successfully operating a vehicle just doesn't require one's full attention. It really shouldn't blow you away, unless you're just not familiar with how it operates. Certainly some things aren't compatible with making complex maneuvers, but all of the things you cited are perfectly fine if you're stopped at a stoplight or perhaps cruising at a constant speed on limited access with ample space ahead of you. The phrase is 'keep one eye on the road' and it is rooted in many successful applications.

If the act were as difficult and/or dangerous as you put it, then it would be unthinkable to even attempt to pilot the vehicle without intense training and a copilot, such as with an airplane. It isn't. Not by a long shot.

Re:Dangerous Driving (2, Informative)

geekpowa (916089) | about 4 years ago | (#31781926)

Your post demonstrates the complacency I take issue with.

I never said driving requires one's full attention,and I agree that under some certain circumstances, distraction while behind the wheel is not a significant risk as it is at other times. But this is not the issue.

Just because you have the basic motor functions down pat doesn't make driving a trivial task. It is a very intsensive activity. Ask any professional driver, an inner city truck driver

People regularly underestimate the complexity of the task. I saw a survey once where respondents where asked to answer if they were above or below average drivers. Over 70% said above average. Given that mathematically only 50% can be above average, it demonstrates that a significant number of people are overconfident and complacent behind the wheel of a car.

With all due respect, your comparision to aircraft pilots is nonsense. Maybe aircraft are sophisticated machines (my understanding is that modern craft pretty much fly themselves), but it is only half the picture

. How would you feel if the air traffic controllers were busy facebooking and texting away and not keeping their eyes on the task at hand?

Re:Dangerous Driving (1)

BobMcD (601576) | about 4 years ago | (#31782106)

How would you feel if the air traffic controllers were busy facebooking and texting away and not keeping their eyes on the task at hand?

The same way I would feel about any other member of society. If they are capable of executing both tasks as desired, the actual means of how they do so is of very little concern. Unless I'm their manager, which as far as I know, I am not.

Just because you have the basic motor functions down pat doesn't make driving a trivial task. It is a very intsensive activity. Ask any professional driver, an inner city truck driver

Driving is far, far, far deeper than basic motor functions. Road awareness can be learned as well, you know. Clearly driving a truck, particularly since it probably isn't an automatic, in a high-density situation isn't a good time to be putting on your eyeliner. However, chances are that driver knows what is straining her abilities and what is not. Likely better than you do.

People regularly underestimate the complexity of the task. I saw a survey once where respondents where asked to answer if they were above or below average drivers. Over 70% said above average. Given that mathematically only 50% can be above average, it demonstrates that a significant number of people are overconfident and complacent behind the wheel of a car.

I once saw a study where 83% of all statistics were made up on the spot and 98% of people didn't care. Likewise all self-report surveys are skewed towards social norms. Ask people if they're above average lovers and see if you don't get a similar skew.

It doesn't mean, necessarily, anything about their actual quality of effort. The proof of that will be in the pudding, as they say.

Again, if you're right, then the number of accidents has skyrocketed since the widespread adoption of the cell phone, and you can easily find data to back up your position. Go to Google, my friend. I await your return.

Similar product available from Dension (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31780964)

http://dension.com/index.php?pageID=238

(disclaimer: no affiliation whatsoever)

Will work great with... (1)

Grumbleduke (789126) | about 4 years ago | (#31781028)

This would work great with the UK's plan for a new Digital Economy [slashdot.org]. On no, wait - it won't. Can't have open wi-fi any more. Can't have any sort of Internet connection where anyone using it cannot be tracked down and punished for allegedly infringing copyright.

Of course, according to Stephen Timms [parliament.uk], Minister "for Digital Britain", if someone was worried about wireless connections being used by other people, he "could introduce a password so that somebody driving up outside his house would not be able to use his [connection]". So wireless is perfectly secure. Although this is the same person who was recently caught referring to [imgur.com] an "Intellectual Property (IP) address" so possibly not the best person to be running our digital economy.

I need a bigger boat (3, Funny)

maxrate (886773) | about 4 years ago | (#31781088)

I've been waiting for the day where I can finally congest a road and a 3G network simultaneously!

Does this mean (3, Funny)

British (51765) | about 4 years ago | (#31781330)

Will people be moving their houses around parking lots to scan for open Wifi spots?

Re:Does this mean (3, Funny)

catbertscousin (770186) | about 4 years ago | (#31781430)

What the - my car battery is dead for the third time this week?? Man, I gotta change my MiFi password again. I guess "cowboynealzcar" just won't do it.

Use your phone (1)

chill (34294) | about 4 years ago | (#31781382)

Nokia N900 with Joikuspot [joikushop.com]. With true multitasking, you can run it in the background while also running the turn-by-turn navigation [sygic.com] on the main screen. Just to annoy the iPhone addicts, run the media player and pipe it thru your FM radio with the built-in FM transmitter.

It'll even gracefully handle a call while doing all that, properly muting the music and gracefully interjecting the voice commands from the GPS.

I've had it do all that once, just to show it could be done. Be sure to have the phone plugged into power, or your battery is going to drain faster than you can believe.

I sort of already have this (1)

Anarki2004 (1652007) | about 4 years ago | (#31781496)

Its called a 4G WiMax connection and a battery powered router. Sure it only works in the chicagoland area, but I don't really leave the chicagoland area, so its just fine for me. 10megs down 1 meg up anywhere I want. The ping isn't the greatest, but its still good enough to play Quake 3.

Re:I sort of already have this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31781684)

1 word: Overdrive

Connectify (1)

Faffe (915522) | about 4 years ago | (#31781514)

Well, isn't this what you use Connectify for? No need for extra hardware and maybe even an extra subscription for the dongle.

I think it's time for the self-driving car (2, Insightful)

dr2chase (653338) | about 4 years ago | (#31781616)

Because it's pretty clear that the humans aren't paying attention to the road anymore.

Great for a long trip. (1)

runner_one (455793) | about 4 years ago | (#31781644)

Last year we took a three week road trip with two teenagers in tow. I have a Verizon aircard and configured my tablet to act as a hot spot. Diving for those thousands of miles was made easier by having the teenagers distracted by being able to be online at anytime from the back seat with their laptops. Surprisingly I had usable signal for about 90% of the trip, except for in Yellowstone, Death Valley, and out near Promontory Utah.

Autonet Mobile (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31781806)

Autonet Mobile (http://www.autonetmobile.com/) has been doing this for years.

This could be very useful (1)

RavenousBlack (1003258) | about 4 years ago | (#31782248)

I could see this being the true death of the radio. At least the radio in the current AM/FM format. I can't think of how many times I've wished my car had some kind of access to the internet so that I could listen to last.fm.

Not new (2, Interesting)

Nerdposeur (910128) | about 4 years ago | (#31782390)

I work in the cellular industry, and this isn't new, other than being kinda small like the MiFi. If you wanted WiFi with a cellular backhaul in your car, you could have gotten that from Linksys, Cradlepoint, or JBM (now Sixnet) and others anytime in the last few years that I've been in this industry, probably much longer. If you were content to get an Ethernet connection and add your own WiFi hotspot, the list expands to Airlink, Bluetree, Digi, etc. And that's just off the top of my head.

Of course, geeks will always find a way. A friend of mine in high school created a dash-controllable MP3 stereo system for his car in 1999. He had an entire PC running Linux in the trunk and the display was re-purposed from a home security system. But that's not exactly a consumer-friendly setup.

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