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Microsoft Sniffs Out Unused Wireless Spectrum

samzenpus posted more than 3 years ago | from the are-you-using-that? dept.

Microsoft 102

alphadogg writes "Microsoft researchers have designed a scheme for measuring whether licensed radio frequencies are actually being used so unlicensed devices can use it, something that may become necessary as demand for wireless applications grows. The architecture, called SpecNet, would sense and map where spectrum is being used and more particularly where it's not — so-called white spaces, according to a paper being presented next week at the USENIX Symposium on Networked Systems Design and Implementation in Cambridge, Mass."

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102 comments

Isn't this contradictory? (2, Interesting)

RightSaidFred99 (874576) | more than 3 years ago | (#35631512)

If you're using licensed spectrum, you must be licensed. So your "unlicensed" device must be licensed to use the licensed spectrum. It's not like the FCC's going to be like "Oh, well you are not licensed to use spectrum xx.x, but if nobody else is then what the hell, go ahead!". So really this is a licensed device that can optionally use unlicensed spectrum.

Re:Isn't this contradictory? (0)

moskzs (2027424) | more than 3 years ago | (#35631532)

Well, like the summary says it's a research made for when it becomes necessary and maybe they are going to suggest it to FCC. It's a good idea anyway, and we need innovation like this when the free space is going to end. Microsoft actually does quite impressive R&D on their labs.

Re:Isn't this contradictory? (0)

jd (1658) | more than 3 years ago | (#35631724)

Well, if home sites used a web proxy cache (eg: Squid) and sites didn't rely on massive amounts of bandwidth, we'd not have that problem.

Also, if wireless routers used directional aerials once a connection had been established, you'd have less risk of interference between devices and therefore more bandwidth available (since there'd be less sharing). In fact, you could probably get away with just having a bunch of fixed-position loop aerials (12 should be sufficient) and scrap the omnidirectional reception altogether. A docecahedron would look cooler, too.

Wireless is also overused, which is why the lack of security on it matters so much. Despite what the naysayers may claim, even in rural areas in the US it would not cost that much to have CAT6 to each house, and at that point no more expensive to run it through the house than it is to run cable.

Re:Isn't this contradictory? (3, Insightful)

postbigbang (761081) | more than 3 years ago | (#35631838)

No, no, and no.

1) you're not going reduce the demand for bandwidth, just like you're not going to make taxes go down, for long.

2) the whole point of wireless is mobility, not fixed point-to-point multicasting. The 802.11a/b/g/n frequency allocation sucks, although the a/n that uses 5Ghz has more non-interfering channel allocations. But density is not in your favor no matter what wise-ass antenna you try to use. There's leakage and uncontrollable other-device-location that will always thwart your design. Some over come this, but it's an endpoint problem that's really not covered at all by this misadventure that Microsoft is embarking on, and

3) You have no clue what it takes to do rural broadband, nor the problems of how twisted pair networking operates, over what kind of distances, and to what degree of external signal problems.

Go fish.

Re:Isn't this contradictory? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35631954)

Wiring up rual states is not 'hard' or anything. It is just a matter of cost.

For example Nebraska has a *HUGE* amount of fiber in rural areas (my friend was rattling off OC numbers I had to look up and they are quite drool worthy even from the 10 years ago he told me about it). But no one can use it due to laws that keep public utilities out of the ISP business. As AT&T and TW did not want to compete with someone who had experience in rewiring whole areas in months.

So the Nebraska tax payers payed for a stupid fast network that they can not access. My friend estimated 98% of it is dark. The part that is lit up has an amazing BW.

Hooking up rural is just a wiring problem. Most of it already has been wired up a couple of times for cable, power, phone, sewer, etc. Honestly they are doing a major disservice saying 'it costs too much'. They are ignoring a huge market then locking out any sort of competitor when they have no plans on doing it themselves.

Re:Isn't this contradictory? (2)

postbigbang (761081) | more than 3 years ago | (#35632076)

There's a lot of dark fiber out there.

But wiring it up IS a problem. You need poles, easements, contractors, and terminations. None of it's cheap. And fiber is a great solution if you can afford it. Some people have used Hughes sat dishes, which work ok if you don't mind the latency and cost.

You need people to fix it after bad weather, that have pretty expensive rolling costs, like training, trucks, TDRs, repair gear, and you have to pay them, their insurance, and so on. It's not a trivial endeavor.

We need something like the REA for other utilities, like broadband, etc. Then there's the backhaul/interconnect. You could help get it subsidized, but then we're back to who can we afford to subsidize, and to what cost? The rural poor are especially left behind.

Re:Isn't this contradictory? (4, Insightful)

jd (1658) | more than 3 years ago | (#35632418)

I've probably lived in more rural communities in more countries than you could shake a stick at, so cut the wise-ass remarks. If I say I know damn well that you can get CAT6 to people's houses, then I suggest you start by asking how, not telling me that it can't be done. I won't say the problem's not solvable unless I've actually done the work to know it is solvable and have the engineering skills to know what the limits of theory are in practice. The people who get things done are not the ones who say it can't be done. The ones who get things done are the ones who establish IF, WHEN and HOW -- questions you utterly fail to ask.

If you haven't asked those questions for each and every damn article you read and each and every post you reply to, you have failed.

Re:Isn't this contradictory? (1)

sirsnork (530512) | more than 3 years ago | (#35632650)

If you're going to run a cable to ever house, don't, for the love of god, make it copper. The install costs would be the same and you could be putting fibre in the conduit rather than copper, that way you can upgrade it without ever digging it up again

Re:Isn't this contradictory? (2)

RoFLKOPTr (1294290) | more than 3 years ago | (#35632918)

I've probably lived in more rural communities in more countries than you could shake a stick at, so cut the wise-ass remarks. If I say I know damn well that you can get CAT6 to people's houses, then I suggest you start by asking how, not telling me that it can't be done. I won't say the problem's not solvable unless I've actually done the work to know it is solvable and have the engineering skills to know what the limits of theory are in practice. The people who get things done are not the ones who say it can't be done. The ones who get things done are the ones who establish IF, WHEN and HOW -- questions you utterly fail to ask.

If you haven't asked those questions for each and every damn article you read and each and every post you reply to, you have failed.

Why the shit would you run Cat6 rather than fiber? Cat6 is only good for 100 meters, it's not capable of anything close to the capacity of fiber, and it's susceptible to electromagnetic interference. The fact that you're suggesting running Cat6 to every home in a rural area shows that you have no idea what you're talking about.

Re:Isn't this contradictory? (2)

postbigbang (761081) | more than 3 years ago | (#35632958)

At lower data rates, Cat6 is good for longer distances, but I also disagree that it makes a good choice. Even shielded twisted pairs just aren't good for rural distances. This is the reason why DSL doesn't go far from a central office: the signal degrades.

Re:Isn't this contradictory? (1)

jd (1658) | more than 3 years ago | (#35633216)

I'll leave you to re-read the bit about dark fibre. And then look for the bit in my original post about running CAT6 across rural distances (amazingly, you won't find it). And then I expect you to say something sensible.

Re:Isn't this contradictory? (1)

RoFLKOPTr (1294290) | more than 3 years ago | (#35633300)

I'll leave you to re-read the bit about dark fibre. And then look for the bit in my original post about running CAT6 across rural distances (amazingly, you won't find it). And then I expect you to say something sensible.

I don't see anything about dark fiber, and you seem to be wanting to run Cat6 across rural distances. If that's not your intention, please explain how else you would go about doing so. If you suggest that we do so by running fiber to nearby distribution boxes and then running Cat6 to the home, why not just skip the extra hardware and gain some extra capacity by running the fiber straight to the home?

Re:Isn't this contradictory? (1)

jd (1658) | more than 3 years ago | (#35633510)

Then I will paraphrase what I've said across the posts.

First, plot the rural end-points.

Second, group them such that each group can be fitted to a line, curve or elipse, such that the distance required to build a spanning tree* between the groups plus the sum of the length of the groups is minimal AND the shortest distance from the line, curve or elipse to any given point within the group is minimized.

Third, fill out your spanning tree and groups with fibre at a depth at which ground temperatures will remain relatively uniform OR providing the fibre with a jacket such that the temperature variation is kept to a minimum.

Fourth, run fibre from the nearest dark fibre to the closest point in the spanning tree*.

Finally, where distances lie within the range of CAT6 (and if you've fitted those shapes correctly they damn well all aught to be), run CAT6 from the nearest point in the appropriate group to the location. You may well be able to get multiple locations off a single fibre tap in most village settings. Individual farmhouses will probably end up being one tap per house.

You now have CAT6 to each house and not have to run it rural distances. Whoopee. And all with your standard A-level plotting functions, some SIMPLEX and the knowledge that rural buildings aren't randomly distributed but are almost invariably on an extremely basic pattern.

The myth of the expensive rural network comes from the idea that you have to allow for randomly-placed buildings, maximizing the overall distances and maximizing the joins in the topology. That simply never happens. The pattern may be based on the geography (the norm for farming communities, since it's cheaper to build on flat land than on the side of a steep slope), it may be based on grids, and in the case of intelligent villages, it may be based around some central point. You can ALWAYS exploit these patterns.

*In some cases, such as running lines up river or glacial valleys, you may want to break with the strict tree topology and opt for a graph. It adds redundancy, reduces latency and does so at not a whole lot of overhead.

Re:Isn't this contradictory? (1)

RoFLKOPTr (1294290) | more than 3 years ago | (#35633602)

Allow me to present to you, your average picture of rural California [goo.gl] . Now how exactly do you propose that we run such a complex ring of fiber around such irregular areas with individual homes spaced out far more than the hundred-meter limit imposed upon gigabit-or-less Cat6 run lengths? The way I see it, every fiber tap will only be able to support one Cat6 drop simply due to the sheer distance between locations, which once again returns me to this question which you have yet to answer: Why bother with Cat6 in the first place? Why not just run fiber to every home?

Re:Isn't this contradictory? (1)

jd (1658) | more than 3 years ago | (#35633858)

I'm looking at that picture, particularly North May Road. I'm seeing houses that can be served by communal taps there. Fiber optic =modules= (never mind the rest of the router) can run upwards of $8000 a throw. Buy one for two or three houses and run cheap lines from the communal point, you end up saving a lot of money. Remember, the object is to prove this can be done cheaply. It may not be the best technologically, but if I can halve the costs without impacting bandwidth then my solution is (by definition) twice as cheap.

My claim is that the critics are inflating costs and looking at cases that simply don't exist in nature. Your own photo confirms that, with well-defined groupings and non-random distributions. In that example, I'd probably use the village to the right as one of the points for the outermost ring. The junction of Oak and Center seems a sensible point. For the village, you'd probably want to radiate out with the spokes passing through the middle of each block. A single block is small enough that a single router can run CAT6 to each house within the block and remain well within range. You don't need many villages, or indeed many houses per block, for the savings to significantly offset the cost of such a project.

For the more isolated dwellings, as I said, two or three are usually within 200' of a central point where you could have a communal tap.

Again, it's not the technologically ideal solution, but it's cheap enough that the claim that it's financially impossible is falsified.

Re:Isn't this contradictory? (1)

RoFLKOPTr (1294290) | more than 3 years ago | (#35634130)

So now you have the task of convincing farmers to let you dig up their land to place telecom infrastructure, and ensuring that they're placed in such a way that they won't possibly be compromised by the activities on the surface of the actively-farmed agricultural land. And you again have yet to say how it would be better and cheaper to run Cat6 (which requires all this extra planning, equipment, and space) when you could just run fiber next to the road and not have to worry about setting up special hardware within 100 meters of every location.

Re:Isn't this contradictory? (1)

jd (1658) | more than 3 years ago | (#35635012)

Rural American farmers are convinced by Sarah Palin. That doesn't show me that it's particularly difficult to convince them of anything. I'm willing to bet that many believe ghost stories and the moon landing conspiracy theories too. And these are the people you don't think can be convinced to put some cable in? Besides, look at the picture again. Those three houses on North May Road? Mid-point is not in any of their land. It's on the road. So what's your problem? Don't like losing the argument with your own data?

Secondly, what agricultural activities are likely to damage infrastructure? Stubble burning? About the most dangerous activity is breaking the soil in spring and they simply don't plough that deep.

Third, your solution increases the cable needed (my solution minimizes distances) and increases the routers needed (my solution minimizes network devices). Therefore your solution is expensive.

Re:Isn't this contradictory? (2)

kullnd (760403) | more than 3 years ago | (#35634590)

"upwards of $8000 a throw" --- Ok, and they can also be had much, much cheaper... It is not as though we are going to be putting enterprise datacenter equipment inside of a house for internet. Even if the rural home had to buy the $1000 router with fiber capabilities so that they could plug into the fiber internet run into their house, I'm pretty sure that many of those residents would be more than willing to front that cost for some decent internet. (Not like those dishes referred to earlier are cheap, and they suck!)

Re:Isn't this contradictory? (1)

jd (1658) | more than 3 years ago | (#35635074)

I'm not arguing that it can't be done, I'm simply arguing that it's more expensive than sharing the higher-end gear. You can get a gigabit router for around $100. On the Google Maps link we were given, there's a village off Acampo Road with around 7 dwellings per block on average. One fibre router and 7 gigabit CAT6 routers will therefore run you $1700. 7 fibre routers runs you to $7000. There's about 15 blocks that you'd need to take care of. That's a savings of $79,500 by using communal routers. That's a significant savings for no difference in result.

Re:Isn't this contradictory? (2)

postbigbang (761081) | more than 3 years ago | (#35632984)

No.

If you ran Cat6 to a rural home than you made an expensive and WRONG choice at best, and used a hammer where a screwdriver should go. TSB-67 cable isn't designed for rural home runs at all; if you got any kind of data rate, it was through luck, not design.

I, too, get things done, and with a great deal of experience running an enormous variety of installations, I don't believe you. If you have the how, then why are you using the wrong stuff for long end runs?

Re:Isn't this contradictory? (1)

jd (1658) | more than 3 years ago | (#35633316)

Look, it's quite simple. I said nothing in my original post about running CAT6 across rural distances and made it explicit in my follow-up that you'd use fibre for the long-distance (including "last mile") and CAT6 only at the last moment (since routers that support fibre are generally expensive, so you don't want more of them than necessary). In rural towns and villages you find buildings next to each other. Why have fibre to both when you can have fibre to the midpoint between them and 50' at absolute worst of CAT6 to each?

Why are you insisting on picking interpretations that clearly don't make sense when I've already stated that a solution exists? If a solution exists, then stop and think about what that solution might be rather than yammering on about a flawed understanding you have for which NO solution exists? This isn't rocket science. If you are asked to solve for X, then don't go telling me what's wrong with solving for Y. You're not asked to solve for Y.

Re:Isn't this contradictory? (2)

postbigbang (761081) | more than 3 years ago | (#35633458)

I'm really familiar with business and rural broadband systems design. You'll have to trust me on that. Fiber is the best solution for the long run; it's better to terminate it and route indoors to a home cable plant of some kind.... call it a rural IDF.

Somewhere there's a communication breakdown; if on my part, I apologize. I've seen utilities try IP over utility wires in various configurations, modulated twisted pairs, point-to-point hybrid systems involving elaborate towers and pringles cans, and much other strangeness. Were I to recommend to Congress what to do, it would involve fiber to the home each and every time, and make the transport open to any reasonable provider as a service, as is done in a few progressive installations/sites/geographies.

Fiber is easier than ever to install, aerially, buried, across ponds, lakes and rivers, and alongside much other stuff. It's my preference, save that Corning wants to dominate the world with its fiber offerings.

No, not rocket science, but it has its own politic.

Re:Isn't this contradictory? (1)

jd (1658) | more than 3 years ago | (#35633640)

To defuse the tensions, I'll agree to a communications breakdown and we can ignore the blame game. Unless you want to blame Microsoft, I'll go with that.

Fibre to each house, although technologically the best solution, is problematic. Fibre-capable routers cost money. The best compromise is to have fibre to as few houses as you can absolutely get away with (which will be all farmhouses, some McMansions and isolates) and then have communal taps wherever two or more end-points are going to be within range of a cheaper option.

Even when you have fibre running to a house, not many computers will have fibre-capable network cards and you really don't want multiple fibre-capable routers inside. So the inside will have to be CAT6 and therefore the ports from the router to the inside will all have to be CAT6. As far as the house is concerned, it's getting one or more CAT6 lines and it doesn't see anything beyond that point.

Re:Isn't this contradictory? (2)

postbigbang (761081) | more than 3 years ago | (#35633700)

The fiber routers really aren't that expensive, and if you're sensitive, converting fiber to copper isn't that expensive, either. If you're going to go thru the expense, you might as well do it right unless geography and nearby drops are in your favor. Fiber terminations aren't that much more expensive than copper, and deliver long term viability that's hard to beat. If budget's a problem, then your up-thread spanning-tree suggestion is viable.

Ask the people in Loma Linda CA about what it's like to have FTTH; most don't care because they have two Cat6 jacks in every living space provided by a router in the upstairs master bedroom of all new construction in most of the past decade. Yes, the LL installation is close-in, has an IDF in each housing addition. But the principal is the same, and the retrofit isn't that much more expensive even given long runs-- no repeaters are necessary and fiber jackets are pretty bullet-proof and even spliceable these days.

Re:Isn't this contradictory? (1)

jd (1658) | more than 3 years ago | (#35633908)

I'd worry about anyone living in a place with such a weird name, but I think we're basically on the same page and I think we're in agreement that there is no practical reason (cost included) as to why any community, including rural ones, should have poor connectivity.

Re:Isn't this contradictory? (1)

oliverthered (187439) | more than 3 years ago | (#35634376)

I'm setting up a smart proxy to reduce my bandwidth usage. hopefully by 10-20% and have more clients.

Re:Isn't this contradictory? (2)

zach_the_lizard (1317619) | more than 3 years ago | (#35632040)

Cat6 has a maximum length of 100m (330 feet or so) for 1Gb Ethernet and below; faster speeds get less. Are you sure wiring rural areas with that is going to be cheap? You'll need more than just better cables; IIRC the distance comes from the travel time for a signal, and after 100m the latency is such that two stations will transmit at the same time, not knowing the other one is transmitting. So you'll need a switch or certain hubs (Class 2?) roughly every 100m.

There are plenty of areas with more than 100m of distance between houses, let alone the CO. 1 mile would be about 1600m, so if you must have cat6, that'd be 16 100m segments. Maybe add another 1 or 2 to account for patch panels, slack in cables, etc. That'd suck a lot.

Re:Isn't this contradictory? (2)

jd (1658) | more than 3 years ago | (#35632372)

There is, as other posters have noted, plenty of dark fibre. Communities, ESPECIALLY rural ones (and my mother's side comes from North Dakota, so I know how rural things get), have a central point. They're not randomly dotted around.

Option 1: For a close community, you find a central point and run a tap from the nearest dark fibre to that point. That gives you a rural hub to run from.
Option 2: You run a ring of fibre round the community, again running a tap from the nearest pre-existing dark, with branches as necessary. Use a curve-fitting algorithm for different groups of locations. You'll end up with everything inside CAT6 range.
Option 3: For simple street-based communities, run fibre along the street and have a switch convert to CAT6 every N houses the way cable does.

Where new fibre is being run in areas (such as North Dakota) where temperatures can vary wildly, either run the lines about 5-6 inches below the ground (where temperatures will remain essentially constant) or jacket the damn thing.

Re:Isn't this contradictory? (2)

Stickybombs (1805046) | more than 3 years ago | (#35633082)

5-6 inches? I hope you meant feet. The frost depth in southern Michigan is 42 inches. I'd imagine ND could be even deeper than that.

It's being done already! (2)

Cyberax (705495) | more than 3 years ago | (#35632556)

It's being done already, in other countries

My house is connected to 3 Internet providers. Each provider has a fiber-optic trunk line, mediaconverter and a switch with Cat5 wiring connecting individual flats to it.

Such providers are historically called "local local networks" (heh, almost like "ATM machines") here because they started appearing in late 90-s and early 2000-s when Internet connectivity was EXPENSIVE here, like 20 cents per _megabyte_ expensive. So operators of these networks provided 'local' resources for filesharing, game servers, forums, etc. Traffic to these local resources was either very cheap or completely free.

Oh, and I live in Ukraine.

So, wiring up everybody is possible. It's not that expensive because it was possible to do in a poor country 10 years ago. With much cheaper equipment it's even more possible now.

Re:It's being done already! (1)

mirix (1649853) | more than 3 years ago | (#35633740)

Communism is Soviet power plus the electrification^Wnetworkification of the whole country. - V.I. Lenin

As for the GP, no one said you had to run ethernet over the CAT5. DSL will give you a lot more range than ethernet over the same copper. But it would be stupid to lay copper at this point anyway.

Re:Isn't this contradictory? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35631862)

How many accounts do you have set up here? How long before you and the people who pay you to shill for MS realize that /. may be one of the few places where your strategy of effecting change upon the *social networks* will be highlighted and ridiculed.

Stick to facebook, shill-breath.

Re:Isn't this contradictory? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35632956)

Microsoft actually does quite impressive R&D on their labs.

moskzs (2027424)

* Two million + UID, Check.
* Only two comments ever, Check
* Both comments pro Microsoft, Check
* Right at the start of the comments, Check.

Sigh, can't you guys even be subtle with your astroturf?

Re:Isn't this contradictory? (3, Insightful)

Z00L00K (682162) | more than 3 years ago | (#35631534)

I can agree that it can cause quite a racket if the FCC ever gets a report of abused radio spectrum.

And what looks like unused may not be unused at all but can actually be used for measurements, alarm systems or even remote detonations so you can't tell that it's unused by sniffing it.

Something like the parking spot right outside your window that's empty when you are at home - that actually is used when you are at work by the maintenance company that happens to have an office in the building you live in.

Re:Isn't this contradictory? (2)

Richard_at_work (517087) | more than 3 years ago | (#35631544)

In quite a few places you can use a licensed spectrum legally without a license if your use is low powered and does not cause issue with a licensed device - if it does, the licensed device or user has the onus and can shut you down.

Re:Isn't this contradictory? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35631616)

Not quite. It's the difference between driving a car on the road, and driving it only on your own property. Stay off the public roads, and you're golden. Make a mess that other people have to deal with? Then it's trouble.

That's the analogy I'd use to cover it anyway.

Re:Isn't this contradictory? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35631734)

Yea, this isn't a technical problem. It's a legislative one. Meaning: forget thinking about it unless you have a few spare millions to bribe politicians.

Re:Isn't this contradictory? (2)

Sir_Sri (199544) | more than 3 years ago | (#35631796)

Imagine for a minute you could build a generically unlicenced device, which shouldn't interfere with licenced ones. So it works on unlicenced space (or on licenced space but it can't find a free channel), now you have two choices, either the device can fail to operate, since there are too many devices. Or it can automatically go hunting for new channel space.

Ideally a device should be able to hunt around for free wireless spectrum, and then resolve if it can stay there when something else shows up. I can see a lot of problems with this system, but in a low powered device the harm it could do is hopefully minimal.

Overall it's a good idea, and a useful research project. But it requires the government to manage its use, and well, depending on the party in power (and this applies everywhere, not just he US) the idea of more government controlling what your devices can and cannot do might offend people.

Re:Isn't this contradictory? (2)

postbigbang (761081) | more than 3 years ago | (#35631892)

This connotes that both sender and receiver know when channels switch. In Bluetooth, there's frequency hopping that allows this, albeit at really low power. But if your device is at one channel, and must suddenly shift away, then sender and receiver must know what they are, otherwise you're a broadcaster. Low power broadcast is ok, within certain bounds in the US, given certain spectra.

When the low power device interferes with something in a licensed band, it could be critical equipment, public safety, FAA, ship-to-shore, and other services that you shouldn't fool with or inadvertently jam.

Overall, I think Microsoft can find what it needs by polling with a spectrum analyzer, rather than have a bunch of people think they're doing something useful like SETI.

Re:Isn't this contradictory? (1)

wisnoskij (1206448) | more than 3 years ago | (#35631974)

Well I may not be understanding this right but that would basically just be a issue of firmware. I know I unlocked more channels for my wireless router by installing FOSS firmware on it and if using unlicensed channels became legal all you would have to do is update firmware for existing devices.

Re:Isn't this contradictory? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35632408)

In traditional /. fashion, I didn't RTFA, but I did see a MS researcher give an eerily similar sounding presentation a couple months ago. He discussed an algorithm to detect users on the 700 MHz spectrum. This is a "licensed" spectrum, but has been opened up by the FCC for unlicensed use on unoccupied channels. A major issue was determining which channels were not being used, and how to adaptively change when a licensed user starting using the channel. They discussed proposing a protocol to the FCC specifically for dealing with wireless microphones that operate on that spectrum.

Re:Isn't this contradictory? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35634588)

IEEE 802.22

Wouldn't be necessary with spread spectrum (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35631518)

This wouldn't be necessary if we'd convert to spread spectrum and use the entire spectrum for everything instead of dedicating specific frequencies to specific uses and devices.

Re:Wouldn't be necessary with spread spectrum (1)

ThunderBird89 (1293256) | more than 3 years ago | (#35631566)

How do you propose we handle several devices transmitting on the same frequency in close proximity? I'm pretty sure Disaster Relief would be happy with your idea, especially when their CBs are drowned out by a local, still-transmitting radio relay playing Rebecca Black.

Or how would a device know where to look for a broadcast intended for it? The way it stands, WiFi for example, know to look for WiFi broadcasts around 2.4GHz, and on specific frequency bands. If we spread that out even further, how would the wireless cards lock onto transmissions?

Re:Wouldn't be necessary with spread spectrum (1)

ktilford (675826) | more than 3 years ago | (#35631614)

ThunderBird89: you don't understand how spread spectrum works. It INCREASES resistance to interference when everyone uses the same spectrum. You're thinking in an "old school" way of doing things. The reason we don't use spread spectrum is because you can't eavesdrop on spread spectrum communications, so the CIA/NSA etc. won't allow it. Read up and learn:

Re:Wouldn't be necessary with spread spectrum (1)

ThunderBird89 (1293256) | more than 3 years ago | (#35631706)

Okay, I get it where my reasoning derailed. But still, it looks more complicated than single-frequency communications, especially frequency-hopping (which would make the most sense if we're talking about unused bands): synching up devices, and making a standardized format of checksums to identify each type to prevent one device using data from another type altogether...

Re:Wouldn't be necessary with spread spectrum (1)

PPH (736903) | more than 3 years ago | (#35631802)

Where is Hedy Lamarr [wikipedia.org] when we need her?

Re:Wouldn't be necessary with spread spectrum (1)

c0lo (1497653) | more than 3 years ago | (#35634698)

Cited in an Australian patent [theaustralian.com.au] ?

Re:Wouldn't be necessary with spread spectrum (3, Informative)

Sarten-X (1102295) | more than 3 years ago | (#35631858)

You're kidding, right? Instead of simply allocating the spectrum based on frequency, we have to allocate by frequency and time, synchronize all relevant devices, and build every device with proper radio hardware to switch frequencies rapidly. Maybe it's a small price to pay for the increased security of such a transmission... until the CIA/NSA/Illuminati/tinfoil-hat-enemy-of-the-week gets their hands on a single receiver, and they know the psuedorandom sequences involved anyway.

Most spread spectrum algorithms improve resistance to accidental interference, because they simply provide a "moving target". If two spread-spectrum devices are transmitting simultaneously, they will seldom interfere with each other during normal operation. If the interference is intentional, no amount of hopping or alteration will stop it for long, because the interfering transmitter can be designed to follow the same pattern, or simply broadcast on all frequencies the device will use.

Re:Wouldn't be necessary with spread spectrum (1)

artor3 (1344997) | more than 3 years ago | (#35632106)

That's completely impossible. Do you have any idea how much it would cost to make transceivers capable of using the entire spectrum? Do you know how long it would take for your wireless mouse to bind if it had to sweep through the entire spectrum to find the host? Want to change the radio station in your car? Better be prepared to wait a few minutes while it sweeps back and forth across the spectrum trying to find the channel (which itself is hopping around).

And even if it were possible, it would be stupid, because certain frequencies are better for certain things.

Snore (3, Informative)

dtmos (447842) | more than 3 years ago | (#35631554)

Microsoft has been in this space for years. They, for example, contributed to the original FCC TV white space trials in 2008 [fcc.gov] (see the February and March entries).

Re:Snore (1)

Bob_Who (926234) | more than 3 years ago | (#35631730)

White noise helps me sleep too...

Re:Snore (1)

Dolphinzilla (199489) | more than 3 years ago | (#35631986)

the military has been looking at this for a LOT longer than Microsoft - I heard some concepts for this back in the 90's

But whitespace... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35631556)

...is solely space that isn't being used at all, as in, not registered for use.
It is not space that isn't being used due to no activity at the present time. Maybe everyone is sleeping.

I propose a new name: grayspace.
Make sense, it is space not being actively used in a region for a specific period of time. Access to it may vanish at any time.
Power for devices using it temporarily should be limited so that legit uses for it can use the range without disturbances.

GPS signals are weak (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35631606)

Nothing found at L1, lets use this free spectrum for WiFi.

babys sniffing the truth while .gov snuffs it out (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35631608)

kind of like a kitten & rodent 'game'. starting to apply the truth requirement to ALL of our trustdead military-industrial rulers.gov, & others from our once service employees, the banks.

the truth is inescapable (unless we hide from it). looks like it's our only chance to let freedom ring for us, & our contemporaries around the world any time soon.

does anyone know why hitler's own population didn't take him out?

hitler showed up with 1000's of tanks planes gas (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35631714)

gotten by mail order? no. his population, 'business partners' built them for him, due to loyalty & patriotism? no. it was primarily fear & hunger that built the previous holycost. we're volunteers without knowing the agenda, which is depopulation. is there millions/billions of anybody we hate/fear now? queers? no. they have the fewest weapons of anybody. protesters? seen any? so the enemy remains terrorists, 70 years after they were last exterminated (millions of them) forever. being one of the unchosen can be difficult? knowing the truth about anything helps, even if it hurts first.

some terrorists escaped the last holycost? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35631818)

where are they/their offspring/bosses/rulers?

looks like we have to explode at least 1/2 of the world to find out if they even still exist. where would a band of highbrow generational chosen ones terrorists hide? in plain sight.

Reminds me of the static IP address days (2)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 3 years ago | (#35631652)

Remember assigning static IP addresses by the seat of your pants? Pull a number, X, between 2 and 253 out of your ass, ping 192.168.254.X, if nobody answered, go ahead and assign your new network printer to it. Hey, what could go wrong?

Re:Reminds me of the static IP address days (1)

slimjim8094 (941042) | more than 3 years ago | (#35631948)

Ah, I remember that as a tech back at my high school. Only problem is, we had more than 254 computers, so we would be continuously knocking computers off the network. But it was OK, because it was almost never the same people. Then Netware would break, and things got interesting.

Eventually we figured out that we could assign the lab computers to a subnet. Implementing this took some fighting becase "it worked well enough".

Glad to be done with that...

Re:Reminds me of the static IP address days (1)

Bios_Hakr (68586) | more than 3 years ago | (#35632710)

If you had a single class-c, wouldn't subnetting make it worse?

A /24 has 254 usable IPs. A /25 only has 252 usable. For every subnet bit you set, you lose more and more usable IP space.

With that being said, subnetting (especially CIDR) is an invaluable tool. It breaks my heart that a lot of our newer network engineers just can't do it. They learned it to pass the CCNA and then went back to using CIDR calculators.

Re:Reminds me of the static IP address days (1)

slimjim8094 (941042) | more than 3 years ago | (#35634080)

Can't say I'm a network engineer, so subnet may be the wrong term. We were all behind a NAT, so we just made a new /24

Re:Reminds me of the static IP address days (1)

Bios_Hakr (68586) | more than 3 years ago | (#35634286)

No problem. Yeah, NAT is the way to go for most networks.

If you have a large network, you can do a 10.0.0.0/8 and then subnet/VLAN that down.

Re:Reminds me of the static IP address days (1)

kullnd (760403) | more than 3 years ago | (#35634630)

I would agree with you if anyone calls themselves a network engineer (or even network administrator) they should be able to figure out CIDR without a tool, but you bet I use a calculator! Are you suggesting that I should pull out a piece of paper and write a bunch of ones and zeros when I can just pull up the CIDR app on my phone and be done with it? I subscribe to the "work smarter not harder" idea, which includes the use of tools I have available to make my life easier... And no, I am not a "newer network engineer", been doing this for a long time and welcome the tools. Nate

Re:Reminds me of the static IP address days (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35635440)

If you had a single class-c, wouldn't subnetting make it worse?

A /24 has 254 usable IPs. A /25 only has 252 usable. For every subnet bit you set, you lose more and more usable IP space.

With that being said, subnetting (especially CIDR) is an invaluable tool. It breaks my heart that a lot of our newer network engineers just can't do it. They learned it to pass the CCNA and then went back to using CIDR calculators.

My memory and my CIDR calculator both tell me that a /25 has 126 usable IPs

Are you perhaps mis-remembering the 252 number which is the last octet of a /30 netmask (2 usable IPs) or the penultimate octet of a /22 netmask (1022 usable IPs)

If you're unable to reply to this comment please check your network setup with a CIDR calculator

Re:Reminds me of the static IP address days (1)

Bios_Hakr (68586) | more than 3 years ago | (#35638642)

You are correct that a /25 has 126 usable IPs. I was referring to the fact that the engineer has a single class-c to work with. If he applies a /25 to a class-c, he will have two subnets with 126 usable IPs in each; a total of 252 IPs for the class-C.

Re:Reminds me of the static IP address days (1)

bryan1945 (301828) | more than 3 years ago | (#35636012)

"They learned it to pass the CCNA and then went back to using CIDR calculators."

Just like I had to learn the capitals of the 50 states, then went back to looking it up when I needed to. No, I'm not a network engineer nor a CCNA; did have to do some network subnetting once in a (rare) while. There is a reason we human-like beings build tools- to make make stuff easier and quicker. But if you're happy memorizing stuff a program can do just as well, more power to you (seriously- I have respect for anyone that is an expert in their field).

Re:Reminds me of the static IP address days (1)

cthulhu11 (842924) | more than 3 years ago | (#35634948)

How friggin big was your high school that it had more than 254 computers??

Re:Reminds me of the static IP address days (1)

slimjim8094 (941042) | more than 3 years ago | (#35635092)

Well, it was a high school and a middle school, separated by a block or two. They actually had a pretty decent 10 megabit (or so) microwave link set up between the schools, because they could only afford a T1 at the one and centralizing the network made sense (I guess?)

In any case, the middle school had 5 computers or so per classroom (to facilitate group projects), the library had about two dozen, and all the offices and other rooms had a few each. Probably about the same in the high school, except each teacher had only the one because students would use the library or their own computers.

Now they have *two* T1s (3Mbps symmetric) but it's fine fir their purposes, I suppose. And they figured out DHCP and even a few VLANs! I'm astonished they're able to keep it all running (well, basically).

Re:Reminds me of the static IP address days (1)

cthulhu11 (842924) | more than 3 years ago | (#35635330)

Wow. My high school had five computers -- Apple ]['s. Four in the physics classroom where the asshole teacher only let them be used once a year, and one in a math classroom where the hoods camped on it playing games. Oh, yeah the attached Vo-Tech had an IBM 360 that a former teacher had run FORTRAN card jobs on.

Re:Reminds me of the static IP address days (1)

slimjim8094 (941042) | more than 3 years ago | (#35642790)

Uh, this was about 6 years ago. But the computers might as well have been Apple ][s. To their credit, they weren't wasting money - the computer labs and library got the new computers on about a 3-year cycle (30 new computers a year or so), and the rest got 'trickled down' through the district on a need-based system - labs in the high school and the HS library got them first, those newish machines went to the teachers in the high school, and their only-slightly older machines went to the middle school and elementary schools. We still had a large (but rapidly decreasing) number of machines running Windows 98 - and they actually worked pretty much OK, because they weren't being used for anything more complex than a powerpoint and Google a few times a year.

Re:Reminds me of the static IP address days (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35632058)

This is how IPv6 address assignment works today.

Re:Reminds me of the static IP address days (1)

artor3 (1344997) | more than 3 years ago | (#35632460)

Only now, with RFC 1924, you don't even need to pick a random number. Just smash your face into the keyboard a couple times, and voila: 4)+k&C#VzJ4br>0wv%Yp! A perfectly usable address!

Re:Reminds me of the static IP address days (1)

Bios_Hakr (68586) | more than 3 years ago | (#35632740)

For most link-local addresses, yeah, it kinda works like that. Of course, the host is going to pull additional info from the default gateway and then *politely* ask if anyone else is using this IP.

If I read the documentation properly, there should never be a duplicate link-local. If a duplicate is detected, the newer host will just modify its address.

Re:Reminds me of the static IP address days (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | more than 3 years ago | (#35632966)

This is how IPv6 address assignment works today.

And how DDP worked c. 1985. The secret is a decent naming service, which AppleTalk had, so nobody ever worried about addresses. It worked very well for local networks. Lord knows why the rest of the world hasn't figured out mDNS's place by now.

Re:Reminds me of the static IP address days (1)

bledri (1283728) | more than 3 years ago | (#35636828)

Remember assigning static IP addresses by the seat of your pants? Pull a number, X, between 2 and 253 out of your ass, ping 192.168.254.X, if nobody answered, go ahead and assign your new network printer to it. Hey, what could go wrong?

Actually, the practice is getting standardized: ZeroConf [zeroconf.org]

What Net? (1)

wassermana (962167) | more than 3 years ago | (#35631668)

Did you say "SenseNet"? I don't see how could *that* could go wrong...

ANd after saying it couldn't be done (1)

matthelm007 (1392603) | more than 3 years ago | (#35631828)

Interesting. When they were creating the white space spec. MS (and others) said there was no way to create a device like this. Guess now they want one, it's easy, lol

Oh no, not evil Microsoft! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35631904)

Had this been Google or Apple slashdotters would be singing praises for such insight. Since it's Microsoft it must be sinister.

Get on your tinfoil hat!

Re:Oh no, not evil Microsoft! (1, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 3 years ago | (#35632112)

It's just like when a crook starts to give to charity. You automatically start to look for the reason because you're just not used to him doing something nice.

And what about Ham Radio? (1)

SandyBrownBPK (1031640) | more than 3 years ago | (#35631924)

If this will really be attempted, operators of emergency radio systems and HAM radio operators are going to collect a bucketful of fines!

Nobody cares about Scam Radio (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35632210)

The hams aren't even using the frequency they have, which is why the FCC is taking away their UHF allocations and giving them over to actual productive users.

Ham Radio is just a big scam so that a bunch of Republican retirees can sit around with ancient equipment and chat with their buddies without having to pay for phone time or internet access. They do nothing that cannot be done better by actual professional crews and they do nothing in the research arena anymore. In a few more years, the majority of the hams will be dead, and we can take the huge swaths of potentially useful spectrum they squat on and put them to actual productive use.

The process is beginning today. In 20 years nobody will know or care what a ham radio is. The world will be a better place for it.

Re:Nobody cares about Scam Radio (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35632424)

Productive use, you mean like the frequencies sold off by the FCC a few years ago that have amounted to... nothing so far? Yeah, I'm waiting anxiously for that...

Re:Nobody cares about Scam Radio (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35633062)

How about a global RF-based internet, controlled only by the UN and free to all people on the planet? High-speed high capacity links on microwave and UHF, slower-speed longer-range links on VHF and HF. Free internet, controlled by no government and no corporations, for and by the people. The technology exists. The frequencies exist. We just have to get rid of the hams and get the work done. The broadband monopolies would die, and their regimes of censorship and thought controls with them.
This would be a great leap forward for all mankind, and all we have to do is clear out the hams and then make it happen.
This is the kind of stuff the hams are SUPPOSED to be doing themselves, but they're too lazy and/or invested in the existing regimes to do it.

Re:Nobody cares about Scam Radio (1)

CamoCoatJoe (972244) | more than 3 years ago | (#35635024)

How about a global RF-based internet, controlled only by the UN and free to all people on the planet? High-speed high capacity links on microwave and UHF, slower-speed longer-range links on VHF and HF. Free internet, controlled by no government and no corporations, for and by the people. The technology exists. The frequencies exist. We just have to get rid of the hams and get the work done. The broadband monopolies would die, and their regimes of censorship and thought controls with them.
This would be a great leap forward for all mankind, and all we have to do is clear out the hams and then make it happen.
This is the kind of stuff the hams are SUPPOSED to be doing themselves, but they're too lazy and/or invested in the existing regimes to do it.

Why would the UN get involved with this? What makes you think that UN control would mean no effective governmental control? A UN-controlled internet would likely turn into a recording/movie industry-controlled internet. It would have every spy agency getting whatever access they wanted. Countries would force each other into it, and blame the treaties they signed so no one has to answer to their people.

Free? Yeah, right. Who would pay for it? Are you talking about a zero-infrastructure network? If so, it's easier said than done. If not, who pays for the relays that have to support ever-increasing traffic?

If you think that hams are just being lazy by not building this, then get a ham licence and do it yourself. Seriously. If anyone had such a project that looked fairly viable, I'd get whatever licence needed to get involved right away and jump in. If you become a ham, you won't need permission from anyone to launch such a project. Prove that they're being lazy by ceasing to be lazy yourself. There's nothing stopping you.
(Me? I'm so lazy I haven't even become a ham yet. I'm guessing the same is true of you. Maybe I should get around to fixing that.)

Re:Nobody cares about Scam Radio (1)

sv_libertarian (1317837) | more than 3 years ago | (#35634608)

Ah, I was gonna reply with a well reasoned response disputing all your claims, but I see you are posting as AC. Typical.

Re:Nobody cares about Scam Radio (2)

CamoCoatJoe (972244) | more than 3 years ago | (#35634954)

Okay, I'll bite. It's been a while since I've wasted time arguing on Slashdot.

Ham Radio is just a big scam so that a bunch of Republican retirees can sit around with ancient equipment and chat with their buddies without having to pay for phone time or internet access.

'Cause ham radio equipment is so much cheaper than the phones that they already have, and that they still use? Of the few hams I know, they all have phones, most of them including cell phones.

They do nothing that cannot be done better by actual professional crews

Some hams are also radio professionals. One ham I met was also a (cell phone?) network tech, who became a ham operator because he wanted to learn more about the fundamentals of radio technology. Being a ham makes him a better member of his "professional crew".

and they do nothing in the research arena anymore.

You mean like making the first cell phones? CDMA was made and used by hams before anyone else. How exactly would an inventor experiment with a new radio tech idea? Auction for bandwidth just to find out if your idea even works? Ask permission to innovate? Yeah, that's American.

In 20 years nobody will know or care what a ham radio is. The world will be a better place for it.

Yeah, a lack of fault-tolerant, long range, emergency radio links will surely make this world a better place. If you figure letting polluting humans just die instead of coordinating rescue efforts is a net gain.

Ham radio is about freedom, something a few of us still care about, not just cool new cell phones. The freedom to transmit using any protocol, any modulation, to anyone, anywhere. For all the talk about the internet being a tool for free speech, it isn't nearly as free as ham radio. Hams have gotten information across borders in some of the countries cracking down on protesters, when the internet lines were completely cut off, and people were being searched for media at the border. They've got ATV to get video out of there. What do you have?

Re:Nobody cares about Scam Radio (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35635084)

Hey troll-boy,
there are hundred's of thousands of amateur operators around the world. Your American-centric political spin to this article is absurd given the fact that the amateur service and the licensed bands they operate therein are coordinated internationally.
Also, just an fyi, next time you read about such new technologies as SDR (Software Defined Radio), or Cognitive Radio, dig a bit deeper, you'll discover the origins of these new technologies, specifically, those engineers responsible for establishing these ground breaking concepts are hams working on their passion, many times outside the corporate environment.
Radio amateurs and their collaborative projects continue to generate commercial spin-off benefits, not to mention contributions made to defense/military initiatives. We plan to be around a little while longer thanks.

Fuck Micro$oft. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35631932)

Linux-busting arseholes.

What about the RF cochlea? (1)

AquaFX (42923) | more than 3 years ago | (#35631950)

"One major hurdle to clear: the cost of the analyzers, which go for $10,000 to $40,000 each. " I guess they haven't seen the RF cochlea [mit.edu] . That could be developed into something that could be included in every mobile RF device.

Re:What about the RF cochlea? (1)

artor3 (1344997) | more than 3 years ago | (#35632416)

That's a really interesting design, thanks for posting it. However, from their paper [ieee.org] (paywall) it seems like the RBW (to use the spectrum analyzer term) is dependent on how many of these filters you put in. If you want a fine resolution over a wide band, you're going to need hundreds of these things per decade, and thousands overall. Certainly possible, and I wouldn't be surprised to start seeing them before long, but maybe not that much cheaper than conventional spec ans -- remember, a lot of that $10k price tag is for software, support, testing, calibration, etc. And they won't be replacing conventional spec ans, because it doesn't seem like this tech is scalable down to really fine bandwidths (~1 Hz RBW).

Also, I disagree on the cochlea being incorporated into every mobile RF device. There's no reason for most devices to care what's going on outside of their operating band, so why waste space and power on this? It certainly isn't sensitive enough to replace the receiver, especially not while taking up less space.

Not even new then (1)

dtmos (447842) | more than 3 years ago | (#35632880)

See US patent 6,768,398 [google.com] , filed 12 December 2001. The RF cochlea is a relatively old idea.

This is BS (3, Informative)

hazydave (96747) | more than 3 years ago | (#35632100)

The Microsoft thing is BS.. not the idea in general.

The whole FCC idea of "Whitespace" is that we have a huge chunk of the best overall spectrum put aside for OTA television. But in most areas, most of that spectrum isn't used.. even given the losses due to original cellular (channels up to 83) and the more recent 700MHz auction for 4G (channels in the 60's on UHF).

So the idea of whitespace radio is simple: treat it as ISM radio (like 900MHz and 2.4GHz in the USA) once you acertain that the channel (in 6MHz chunks, just like TV, in the USA) is not used.

The problem is, just using sensing, you can't know if the channel you pick is clear. Your receiver can go into spectrum analyzer mode and not see a thing, but it's still very possible your transmitter is going to interfere with the guy down the street. who for whatever reason (rooftop antenna with 40dB LNA) can actually get that OTA channel.

Thus, the current plan for whitespace radiio... radios need to be location aware, and only use channels legal for that specific location. This is trivial to do, and it pretty much just works. Nothing MS is doing here improves this, far as I can tell. You can't be correct about the usability of a channel from a single monitoring point, whether you spend $100 or $100,000 on that spectrum analyzer. And so, given the need for one node in the network to have a separate internet connection, nothing MS does online is an improvement over the basic idea -- we absolutely know where the licensed radio is, because it's LICENSED! That license is for a certain areas, and no army of MS spectrum analyzers can be certain that your neighbor can't receive that channel, within the licensed area. Beyond that area, it just doesn't matter -- you get to use that channel anyway.

It's all fun and game (0)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 3 years ago | (#35632104)

Until the device goes "Oh look, nobody's using this, I'll grab it" and it happens to be an emergency frequency that HAS to be kept clean for, well, emergencies.

I dunno about your country, but in mine you better have a DAMN GOOD reason to use certain frequencies that are "unused"...

Re:It's all fun and game (1)

illumastorm (172101) | more than 3 years ago | (#35632488)

I'm pretty sure that if such a device was approved by the FCC it would be programmed to avoid using emergency frequencies.

Cognitive Radio (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35633432)

That's what it is called when you strip away the MS marketing jargon. There are reams of papers out there on this subject. Microsoft doesn't own the field, by a long shot

Try this with 121.5 MHz (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35633734)

121.5 MHz Is probably the most unused frequency!

However, I'm pretty sure ATC&FAA will kick your a** around if
your "smart" device is abusing it. On certain frequencies there's
not much going on for a very good reason and I don't think
it's a bright idea to abuse frequencies by intention even
worse by design.

Louis Vuitton (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35634182)

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Microsoft did not design anything (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35637726)

They did not develop anything. This is old technology, many wireless devices use this already.

Wasn't Google doing this a few years ago? (1)

kriston (7886) | more than 3 years ago | (#35640506)

Wasn't Google doing this a few years ago and own a patent or two on it?
If I recal correctly, the FCC disallowed this technology to be used in the upcoming Google phones.

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