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Comcast May Put Wi-Fi Transceivers On Cars, Buses, Humans

timothy posted 1 year,11 days | from the put-an-ssid-on-it dept.

Networking 85

An anonymous reader writes "Comcast engineers want to put WiFi transceivers in rental cars, taxis, buses and even on humans to extend reach of its Xfinity WiFi network. They also detail an idea for offering incentives to drivers to move WiFi-enabled cars to areas where it needs WiFi coverage. The plan was detailed in a patent application published today by the USPTO (I wrote a story about it for FierceCable)." Speaking of extension, this sounds like a logical outgrowth of using wireless routers to grow the network. (I hope they choose their humans carefully, if this plan bears fruit.)

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85 comments

rule #1 (4, Interesting)

slashmydots (2189826) | 1 year,11 days | (#44321445)

Rule #1 of wireless networking. Don't attach your access point to something that moves or it really throws off your coverage mapping and disconnects people. How about their improve their crappy infrastructure so they can offer better bandwidth instead of wasting their money on yet another "netowork the homeless" caliber idea.

Re:rule #1 (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,11 days | (#44321549)

fuck off bitch

Re:rule #1 (1)

RaceProUK (1137575) | 1 year,11 days | (#44326003)

fuck off bitch

Where should he 'fuck off', o Lord?

Re:rule #1 (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,11 days | (#44321619)

The homeless don't move around that much, they tend to loiter in one area for quite a while.

Re:rule #1 (1)

g0bshiTe (596213) | 1 year,11 days | (#44321855)

Last I checked that had limited power sources as well.

Re:rule #1 (1)

MightyYar (622222) | 1 year,11 days | (#44321915)

Alcohol has quite a bit of chemical energy.

Re:rule #1 (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | 1 year,11 days | (#44322053)

Alcohol has quite a bit of chemical energy.

Ah, well, there's the problem - they keep trying to put the APs on homeless people, when they quite obviously should be implanting APs IN the homeless!

Re:rule #1 (1)

MightyYar (622222) | 1 year,10 days | (#44326619)

They could be external if they could use residual alcohol in vomit, blood, and urine.

Re:rule #1 (1)

tepples (727027) | 1 year,11 days | (#44321631)

[A moving AP] throws off your coverage mapping and disconnects people

If anything, Wi-Fi on buses appears intended to serve Xfinity Internet subscribers who commute to and from work on a bus. The passengers and access point are moving, all right, but their velocities differ by no more than 3 mph. Are you saying it disconnects the passengers or the bystanders?

Re:rule #1 (1)

icebike (68054) | 1 year,11 days | (#44321771)

[A moving AP] throws off your coverage mapping and disconnects people

If anything, Wi-Fi on buses appears intended to serve Xfinity Internet subscribers who commute to and from work on a bus. The passengers and access point are moving, all right, but their velocities differ by no more than 3 mph. Are you saying it disconnects the passengers or the bystanders?

Because of the way this Comcast wifi proposal works, YES, it disconnects people sitting in restaurants, or park benches or those changing buses as each bus runs by.

Remember this is part of a bigger proposal, that if you allow your Comcast connection to be used by others, you in turn will get to use any Comcast access point. Which means your phone, tablet, etc will log on automatically to the best signal. The disruption this could cause if you work near a busy bus line as buses run by your window every 5 minutes would be a mess.

Besides, just how reliable is wifi on a moving bus going to be? Even 3G or LTE feeds aren't that stable when driving around.

Re:rule #1 (1)

ethanms (319039) | 1 year,11 days | (#44322641)

AT&T hot spots exist on Boston's commuter rail trains... AT&T also has hot spots in cafes which are at the train stations... The routers are inside the train vehicle and the signal is generally not that strong outside of it. I would guess a bus will be similar. I think the likelihood of a bus driving by you kicking you off your existing connection is pretty low. Or at least, that's been my experience using AT&T hot spots while trains pull up, passengers exchange happens, and they pull away...

I suppose MAYBE if you're sitting right next to the bus and using one of the Xfinity outdoor hotspots the bus' signal could rival it so you might end up with a hiccup, maybe...

Re:rule #1 (1)

scubamage (727538) | 1 year,11 days | (#44326149)

The chance of the SnR being good enough to get your wireless card to jump is really REALLY low if you are stationary and the access point is moving.

Bus every 5 minutes? (1)

tepples (727027) | 1 year,11 days | (#44323367)

The disruption this could cause if you work near a busy bus line as buses run by your window every 5 minutes would be a mess.

Where do you live that gets bus service every 5 minutes? Where I live it's once an hour, never at night, never on Sunday.

Re:Bus every 5 minutes? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,11 days | (#44323425)

Not everyone lives in Nebraska.

Re:Bus every 5 minutes? (0)

icebike (68054) | 1 year,11 days | (#44323499)

Try any random street corner in downtown of a big city or the bus stop at any mall.

But by your farm? Not so much.

Re:Bus every 5 minutes? (0)

tepples (727027) | 1 year,11 days | (#44323795)

Does a city of 200,000 [fwcitilink.com] look like a farm to you?

Re:Bus every 5 minutes? (1)

icebike (68054) | 1 year,11 days | (#44323855)

Tell you what,...

You go down town to central station and count how may buses go past in any 10 minute period.
The way I read your time tables you have at least 8 buses inbound and outbound in any 10 minute period just about all day long.

:15 after (1)

tepples (727027) | 1 year,10 days | (#44327005)

Central Station serves 17 routes, each about 50 minutes long. Most buses alternate between two routes, such as 8 North and 8 South. Most route pairs have two buses on them and depart from Central Station every 60 minutes at :15 after the hour; a few have four buses and depart every 30 at :15 and :45 after on Monday through Friday. This includes a pause to allow passengers to transfer and buses that are running slow (train crossings, traffic, wheelchair pickups and dropoffs) to catch up.

Re:rule #1 (2)

BrentNewland (2832905) | 1 year,11 days | (#44323639)

Remember this is part of a bigger proposal, that if you allow your Comcast connection to be used by others, you in turn will get to use any Comcast access point.

Not quite. I had a chance to see the internal Comcast documentation on this once. You won't have a choice, if you have one of their wireless gateways, it will eventually be turned on for you and you can't turn it off. However, the XFinity wifi network is completely separate from your network, so unless someone finds a flaw in the firmware it should be secure. And, your network gets higher priority, and any data usage by a wifi customer doesn't count against the download speed you pay for (if you pay for 30mb down you can get the full 30mb down while another customer uses the wifi).

Re:rule #1 (1)

scubamage (727538) | 1 year,11 days | (#44326115)

It's not even possible if there's a bug in the firmware by any stretch I can think of - they are two physically separate WiFi radios in the CPE. Each has its own chipset. Each AP gets its own IP, its own DSCP markings, its own class of service, etc. So far as the network is concerned, they are two entirely different boxes. They just happen to be collocated in the same device. I used to work right next to the guys who were in charge of the xfinity wifi project, and they walked me through it (now this was a year and change ago, but given the course of business that's not a lot of time for things to change since we'd have to have CPE vendors on board long ago with a set of technical requirements). Disclaimer: Comcast engineer.

Re:rule #1 (1)

pnutjam (523990) | 1 year,10 days | (#44326703)

(if you pay for 30mb down you can get the full 30mb down, for the first 10 second burst, while another customer uses the wifi,.)
FTFY

Re:rule #1 (1)

scubamage (727538) | 1 year,11 days | (#44326081)

I want to clear up what you're saying a little bit - specifically the "bigger proposal". All xfinity customers are able to access Comcast's wifi network, whether or not you opt in to the dual radio WiFi router or not. Also, this is a patent application, that doesn't mean it will become reality. Further, I work with the group that is behind this - they're not as dumb as you'd like to think they are. We have engineers sitting on nearly every standards board in existance, from SIPForum to the IETF to the IEEE. This is most likely forward looking. Disclaimer: Comcast engineer.

Re:rule #1 (1)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | 1 year,11 days | (#44321715)

High speed trains offer WiFi access in Germany. I assume it works, but I never use it. I use a flat rate 3G for 20€ a month, and am fine with that.

Of course, our friendly neighborhood NSA and DHS might find some uses for it At the customs check:

"Good new, sir, we won't be taking your photograph and thumbprint! However, as a foreigner, you will be required to carry this WiFi transceiver at all times. Enjoy your stay! We'll be interested in seeing where you choose to visit."

Re:rule #1 (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,10 days | (#44326615)

Comcast has it's eyes set on 5G!

It takes less wattage and has a much shorter rage due to the physics of higher frequencies.

AlabamaCajun (My password is in my other jeans)

 

3G and 4G can run down the car battery (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | 1 year,11 days | (#44321453)

3G and 4G can run down the car battery even more so if packed and discounted car rental rate, free parking make not cover the cost of the new battery (yes car rental places like to rip people off with there damage games) so they may try to bill you the cost of new battery even if they don't put a new one in.

Re: 3G and 4G can run down the car battery (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,11 days | (#44321601)

3G and 4G can run down the car battery even more so if packed and discounted car rental rate, free parking make not cover the cost of the new battery (yes car rental places like to rip people off with there damage games) so they may try to bill you the cost of new battery even if they don't put a new one in.

1) The device could easily feature a cutoff switch to deactivate past a certain battery voltage, saving the battery from draining past the threshold needed to keep it healthy, and crank the car over when needed. 2) The device likely draws 1-2W (unless they are using massive tx power, which without a big ugly antenna is not allowed), and that is quite close to nothing when a 100AH car battery is concerned (83-166mA). Unless it's unhealthy for some other reason, 10AH (10% of the battery) would run the thing for 3-5 days. You would need to be parked a long time to kill a car battery.

Re: 3G and 4G can run down the car battery (2)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | 1 year,11 days | (#44321657)

1) The device could easily feature a cutoff switch to deactivate past a certain battery voltage, saving the battery from draining past the threshold needed to keep it healthy, and crank the car over when needed. 2) The device likely draws 1-2W (unless they are using massive tx power, which without a big ugly antenna is not allowed), and that is quite close to nothing when a 100AH car battery is concerned (83-166mA). Unless it's unhealthy for some other reason, 10AH (10% of the battery) would run the thing for 3-5 days. You would need to be parked a long time to kill a car battery.

yes but the rental cars some times push car maintenance out. So you may end with an car with an old weak battery that in some cases can run it down or lets say one day you use this and at the end of the day return it. It left 2-3 days at the car rental place and when the next user trys to start the car it does not start and you get the bill for a new battery + install + lost of use fee.

Re: 3G and 4G can run down the car battery (1)

niado (1650369) | 1 year,11 days | (#44321801)

1) The device could easily feature a cutoff switch to deactivate past a certain battery voltage, saving the battery from draining past the threshold needed to keep it healthy, and crank the car over when needed. 2) The device likely draws 1-2W (unless they are using massive tx power, which without a big ugly antenna is not allowed), and that is quite close to nothing when a 100AH car battery is concerned (83-166mA). Unless it's unhealthy for some other reason, 10AH (10% of the battery) would run the thing for 3-5 days. You would need to be parked a long time to kill a car battery.

yes but the rental cars some times push car maintenance out. So you may end with an car with an old weak battery that in some cases can run it down or lets say one day you use this and at the end of the day return it. It left 2-3 days at the car rental place and when the next user trys to start the car it does not start and you get the bill for a new battery + install + lost of use fee.

This is kindof a silly concern. A battery is a part serviced by normal maintenance, and will wear out regularly. They can't legitimately charge you for this, just because you happened to rent the car right before the battery died. They also can't really bill you for normal tire wear, windshield wiper wear, transmission fluid changes, oil changes, or whatever other wear accompanies the normal operation and use of the motor vehicle.

Re: 3G and 4G can run down the car battery (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | 1 year,11 days | (#44321885)

and rental cars with manual transmission blame the driver for any clutch issues.

And some of the wear and tear dents as well.

Re: 3G and 4G can run down the car battery (1)

ethanms (319039) | 1 year,11 days | (#44322747)

I assume you're not in the US? Never heard of a rental agency in the US with manual transmission, at least not mainstream rental within the past 20 years.

As a person who has rented many cars and had a share of problems, I have never had to pay for a mechanical breakdown--including flat tires or batteries--in the 50+ rentals I've done over the past many years. I've only had a dead battery once though, but I called the rental agency and they sent a tow truck to jump the car. I had a flat once they sent a guy out with a different rental car, I took the new one and he presumably changed the tire on the old one and drove it back to their lot...

So I'm surprised to hear that someone had to pay for a dead battery--the exception of course would be if the rental returned the car and left a light turned on or something, in that case I could potentially understand them trying to hit the renter for a fee...

Re: 3G and 4G can run down the car battery (1)

PRMan (959735) | 1 year,11 days | (#44321963)

That didn't stop a company from trying that on my co-worker in Denver. They wanted him to buy a battery out of his own pocket and change it out. Yeah, right. Then they were going to charge him a fee for not returning the car to the rental location. He said, "Go ahead and try it. I'll see you in court."

They lost 2 regular customers that day that rented with them every couple weeks.

Re: 3G and 4G can run down the car battery (1)

icebike (68054) | 1 year,11 days | (#44321811)

Rental cars tend to be better maintained than average, and they tend to be newer than average, usually no more than 2 or 3 years old.

I'm sure Comcast wouldn't choose to use Joe's Rent-a-Wreck as one of their providers. If your experience is as you indicate, you need to start renting from a reputable company.

I also don't see the rationale for having WIFI transmitters on 30 rented cars parked in hotel lots or near conference centers.

Re: 3G and 4G can run down the car battery (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | 1 year,11 days | (#44321895)

read http://elliott.org/ [elliott.org] and just search for rent a car stores

Re: 3G and 4G can run down the car battery (1)

icebike (68054) | 1 year,11 days | (#44321943)

No thank you.

Re: 3G and 4G can run down the car battery (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | 1 year,11 days | (#44321937)

same Comcast that has billed people the full price of a new cable boxes for 4-5+ year old ones lost in fires / storms and so on.

Re: 3G and 4G can run down the car battery (0)

icebike (68054) | 1 year,11 days | (#44322029)

So what?

Read your service agreement.

Any time you rent someone else's property you are responsible for it.

Doesn't matter if it was a car or a lawn mower or a cable box. If its lost/destroyed, they can't rent it out to anyone else till they buy a new one, and since it was in your hands at the time it was lost you get to buy the new one for them. You agreed to that in writing.

How did you achieve an age sufficient to be turned loose on the internet without discovering this fact? Does your mom know you are using the net?

Depreciated value vs replacement value (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,11 days | (#44322801)

You can surely bet that comcast is writing off the depreciation of their equipment on their taxes each year. If you should lose their equipment, you pay the replacement value, not the depreciated value comcast is claiming on their taxes. Nice money making scheme for them. Each time a customer loses a piece of equipment it is a net profit. If I borrowed your car and wrecked it, I am not liable for the cost of brand new car, I am liable for the damages in the amount of the cars depreciated value before I wrecked it.

Re:Depreciated value vs replacement value (0)

icebike (68054) | 1 year,11 days | (#44323379)

We are not talking about Borrow, where there are no rules.

We are talking about a rental.

If you wreck the car of any rental agency you will buy them a brand new one. Plus any other costs they incur while waiting for the new car to arrive. They aren't going to be renting out some random second hand car with questionable maintenance. The liability would be way too high.

Again: Read the Rental Agreement.

You agreed to that when you signed up.

Re: 3G and 4G can run down the car battery (1)

adolf (21054) | 1 year,11 days | (#44323483)

Yep. And they're responsible for whatever gadgetry the car is equipped with. If that gadgetry kills the battery, that's Not My Problem.

Indeed, according to the service agreements I've read, once I drop off the car it is inspected to be in good working order and signed off on. Whatever happens after that inspection is Not My Problem: If it sits in the lot for a week or two and the battery dies, again, Not My Problem: It happened in their possession after they agreed, in writing, that the car was fine.

Furthermore, according to the service agreements I've read, if I pay extra for their insurance (usually $15/day or so), nothing I do to the car while it is in my own possession is my problem: I can (in theory) leave the car as a smoldering mass of freshly-oxidized iron at the side of the highway, call them up, and they'll bring me something different. That their car caught on fire is Not My Problem.

But whatever the case, I think everyone (including myself) is overthinking this. Car batteries die. And if you're in the business of making relatively new cars useful, you don't futz with replacing the battery...you just grab the jump-start kit from under the counter, hook it up, start the engine, disconnect the jump start kit, close the hood, and let it run for awhile. Since it is nowhere near old enough to have electrolyte loss, any meaningful sulfate buildup, or shorted cells, it'll be fine. Really.

The 10 minutes (maximum) that it takes Jill or Tom to do this is not worth the agonizing paperwork of making a simple dead battery someone else's problem.

Re: 3G and 4G can run down the car battery (1)

adolf (21054) | 1 year,11 days | (#44323667)

aaaaand. I just realized I replied at the wrong point in the thread.

Disregard.

Re: 3G and 4G can run down the car battery (1)

Bob the Super Hamste (1152367) | 1 year,11 days | (#44326543)

Since it is nowhere near old enough to have electrolyte loss, any meaningful sulfate buildup, or shorted cells, it'll be fine.

While generally true I have gotten a bad car battery once. It lasted about 4 months before dropping a cell. Got it replaced under warranty and didn't have any problems for the next 3 years that I owned that vehicle. While rare it does happen. I did also check for a short in the wiring and that the alternator was good since it is really rare for a car battery to go bad so fast.

Re: 3G and 4G can run down the car battery (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,11 days | (#44321865)

Goddammit Joe. L2Speel. Grammmmmars is good.

Re: 3G and 4G can run down the car battery (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,11 days | (#44322041)

Wow, I can tell by your post that you know abso-fucking-lutely nothing about the words spilling from your anus like mouth.

Re: 3G and 4G can run down the car battery (1)

ethanms (319039) | 1 year,11 days | (#44322683)

WTF are you talking about?

Why would a rental car company charge you, the renter, for a dead battery in their vehicle as a result of equipment they allowed to be installed? Further, I seriously doubt a dead battery in a rental car would be considered "damage", I've needed a jump in a rental before, they usually apologize profusely and send a tow truck to get you going again.

Re: 3G and 4G can run down the car battery (1)

TheSeatOfMyPants (2645007) | 1 year,11 days | (#44322877)

WTF are you talking about?

Check out the guy's other posts -- they're all like that for some reason. I've been wondering what the deal is for a while now, especially since it's rare that anyone seems to notice anything awry.

Mesh Network? (2)

firex726 (1188453) | 1 year,11 days | (#44321465)

So wouldn't this be a moving mesh network?
I assume there would be issues if you're connected to a taxi that then moved out of range.

Re:Mesh Network? (1)

icebike (68054) | 1 year,11 days | (#44321923)

So wouldn't this be a moving mesh network?
I assume there would be issues if you're connected to a taxi that then moved out of range.

Yes, the story clearly states is is a Mesh Network structure.
It seems to me they would be counting on the moving portions to be able to contact residential base stations and or custom towers for their feed, and to re-transmit a wifi signal.

This is going to be disruptive to residential users in a big way.
Most modern WIFI Access Points select the best signal channel to avoid congestion. With buses and parked rentals showing up all the time this congestion avoidance is going to be working overtime. (Each change of channel is accompanied with a service drop for associated devices, so most routers do this only when the load is low).

Expanded coverage (0)

DarkFlite (807709) | 1 year,11 days | (#44321467)

Sounds good, until they patent "Expanding a wireless network by adding more access points" and sue anyone with more than one wireless router!

Re:Expanded coverage (1)

HomelessInLaJolla (1026842) | 1 year,11 days | (#44321519)

In related news, what is really happening is that Comcast may sublicense already existing wifi transceivers on cars, buses, and humans.

didn't sxsw already do this? (1)

gl4ss (559668) | 1 year,11 days | (#44321487)

except for of course if their patent says Xfinity.
but didn't sxsw pay some hobos a year(or two?) ago to already do essentially this.

how moving ap's to where they are needed is worth is a patent is somewhat difficult to explain, so if anyone can solve explain that they should patent the explanation.

Re:didn't sxsw already do this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,11 days | (#44321695)

Why yes, that WAS referenced in the summary.

The more time passes the less interested I am. (1)

intermodal (534361) | 1 year,11 days | (#44321511)

I'm surrounded by technology day in and day out. I have a smartphone and tablet, and I'm currently sitting in a room with four servers, two desktops, and three laptops around me (most of the non-server systems are prepping for redeployment). When I get away from the office, I want less digital contact with anything at all, not more. Add this into the excessive tracking of any and all digital footprint, and I'm constantly contemplating shutting off my phone any time I'm not specifically using it.

Sure, the product will get used. That was never a doubt that I had. However, whether it ought to be or not. Now that's a more interesting one. Bring into play more standard anonymization and encryption by default and maybe I'll come around. But I'll still be a skeptic.

Sure, I'll take a WiFi transceiver. (0)

fredrated (639554) | 1 year,11 days | (#44321533)

Just a moment while I bend over...

Re:Sure, I'll take a WiFi transceiver. (4, Funny)

Tablizer (95088) | 1 year,11 days | (#44321731)

Reminds me of an old joke:

Bill Gates, Andy Grove, and Jerry Sanders (CEOs of MicroSoft, Intel, and AMD) were in a high-powered business meeting. During the serious, tense discussion, a beeping noise suddenly is emitted from where Bill is sitting. Bill says, "Oh, that's my beeper. Gentlemen, excuse me, I need to take this call." So Bill lifts his wristwatch to his ear and begins talking into the end of his tie. After completing this call, he notices the others are staring at him. Bill explains, "Oh, this is my new emergency communication system. I have an earpiece built into my watch and a microphone sewn into the end of my tie. That way I can take a call anywhere."

The others nod and the meeting continues. Five minutes later, the discussion is again interrupted when Andy starts beeping. He states, "Excuse me gentlemen, this must be an important call." So Andy taps his earlobe and begins talking into thin air. When he completes his call, he notices the others staring at him and explains, "I also have an emergency communication system. But my earpiece is actually implanted in my earlobe, and the microphone is actually embedded in this fake tooth." The others nod in approval, and the meeting continues.

Five minutes later, the discussion is again interrupted when Jerry emits a thunderous fart. He looks up at the others staring at him in stunned silence, and says, "Quick! somebody get me a piece of paper... I'm receiving a FAX..."

Oh God no! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,11 days | (#44321547)

Cars?!?

Comcast engineers want to put WiFi transceivers in rental cars,...

Oh, it's Comcast. It'll be out most of the time.

No worries.

Insurance companies will use them to raise rates (4, Interesting)

schwit1 (797399) | 1 year,11 days | (#44321551)

The insurance industry wants real time data from your vehicle on how, where and when you drive. The first step was the plug in device that give them some delayed data. The real goal is a constant wifi connection so your rates can be adjusted upwards for the slightest reason. They will compare your data with the weather, time of day, congestion, were you on the cell phone, etc.

You didn't come to a complete stop at all those intersections.
That light was yellow.
You were too close to the car in front of you
You were going over the speed limit or too fast for the conditions.

Re:Insurance companies will use them to raise rate (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,11 days | (#44321571)

They would also adjust good drivers down. You realize that insurance is an extremely low margin and competitive business, right?

Re:Insurance companies will use them to raise rate (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,11 days | (#44321705)

LOL
hey dumb-ass i got a bridge to sell you

Re:Insurance companies will use them to raise rate (1)

Zynder (2773551) | 1 year,11 days | (#44321949)

I am gonna echo the AC's response of LOL. If insurance was such a low margin business, why was it that the fall of AIG caused a nightmare in our economy and was too damned big to fail? If you have ever had to use insurance of damned near any kind, then you know they weasel thier way out of as many claims as possible. If you can't trust them to pay for your claims as faithfully as you paid your premiums, what makes you think any of thier stated earnings are credible? Hollywood accounting doesn't just happen in Hollywood. I'm sure they're always just as broke and scraping along as Exxon. To only be that destitute!

Re:Insurance companies will use them to raise rate (1)

Score Whore (32328) | 1 year,11 days | (#44322121)

You have it backwards. AIG was a counter party to deals far in excess of its assets. When everything fell apart, Goldman Sachs and friends came calling and asked that AIG pay up on all the agreements they made. Since AIG didn't have the assets to pay, well goodbye AIG. The government then stepped in and said it was bailing out AIG, but in reality AIG was just a conduit to send money to the big banks.

Re:Insurance companies will use them to raise rate (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,11 days | (#44323877)

They would also adjust good drivers down. You realize that insurance is an extremely low margin and competitive business, right?

Warren Buffett does a pretty good job describing how the insurance business works (in plain English) in one of his annual letters to his shareholders (page 8) [berkshirehathaway.com] . It is indeed a competitive business and as a whole is operated as a negative margin business. The concept of the float allows this to happen. It also allows an insurance company to treat their best customers to a larger than normal negative margin on their business via policy discounts because those best customers allow the insurance company to hold that float for a longer than normal period of time.

Re:Insurance companies will use them to raise rate (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,11 days | (#44321795)

They probably *should* raise your rates. Imagine all the people tailgating you, just to pick up your WiFi signal.....

Re:Insurance companies will use them to raise rate (1)

Anachragnome (1008495) | 1 year,11 days | (#44322585)

"Insurance companies will use them to raise rates (Score:5, Interesting)"

And then they will share all gathered data with the NSA...while accepting money, your money, in exchange. Shareholders, rejoice.

Re:Insurance companies will use them to raise rate (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,11 days | (#44323745)

They will most likely do this as they have already passed laws that forces people to buy insurance, but I think their next step is to mandate a "black box" from within cars. Basically a box that keeps a detail about everything and possibly even upload it on a live basis. Insurance companies will do whatever it takes to screw people over, it's a scam but not everyone realizes this. They say you have to be a gambler to live life without insurance, but I say you have to be a gambler to live life with insurance.

Who cares? (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,11 days | (#44321559)

They can't even get their cable internet running correctly. Five months in and I still don't have two hours of connectivity or reliable DNS.

Wake me when an internet service provider does this instead.

Re:Who cares? (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | 1 year,11 days | (#44321667)

don't have DSL in your area?

Re:Who cares? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,11 days | (#44321723)

My happest experence with Comcast was when I got totally pissed at their service, climbed a ladder to cut their cable off my home then threw it in the road for cars to run over. Perhaps the WiFi idea will give them another way to fuck over the customer experence.

Re:Who cares? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,11 days | (#44321961)

do not use comcast dns numbers. they are crap. they are beyond crap.

use some of the larger ones. run by somebody ELSE. because comcasts are crap.

Handy list of them.
http://portforward.com/networking/dns.htm

More WiFi sickness suits.... (0)

TimO_Florida (2894381) | 1 year,11 days | (#44321633)

Get ready for the lawyers to start filing suits from the people claiming WiFi sickness (probably before anything gets rolled out, too...)

Re:More WiFi sickness suits.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,11 days | (#44322235)

where do i sign up

Fuck comecast (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,11 days | (#44321673)

Fuck comecast

Re:Fuck comecast (0)

Tablizer (95088) | 1 year,11 days | (#44321741)

Based on their service, somebody or something already did.

Re:Fuck comecast (1)

Reverand Dave (1959652) | 1 year,11 days | (#44322087)

No, you're confusing what they do with what has been done to them.

Legitimate reason now (0)

Tablizer (95088) | 1 year,11 days | (#44321681)

"Talk to the hand"

Using up bandwidth (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,11 days | (#44321751)

When comcast installs these points, their transceivers tend to drown out all local wireless routers (3,6,9) or whatever channels they are. I was talking to a friend in philly who can't get a good connection anymore to his own router because Comcast did this.

While expanding coverage is "good" doing it in a way that gives you a monopoly over the airwaves so that people *have* to use you is not.

Re:Using up bandwidth (1)

scubamage (727538) | 1 year,11 days | (#44326217)

Your friend is most likely right next to the antenna, and that sucks. Comcast has the FCC license to broadcast at a way higher power than what is alotted for a home device. He should be able to use any wifi tool panel and see what channel it is on, and pick another for his home device. The WAP's only broadcast on a single channel, so far as I know. That gives your friend a lot of options.

Sex 3ith 4 NIGGA (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,11 days | (#44321935)

Stupid. To the share. FreeBSD is reciprocating bad

yu0 F4il It (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,11 days | (#44322327)

ope8 pla7form, [goat.cx]

Why not just (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,11 days | (#44322725)

Put wireless access points on power lines? That way you can get both power and a wire to connect back to your network.

Sure, there is the issue of interference from electricity but I don't think that would be too much of an issue.

comcast.bs (1)

wbr1 (2538558) | 1 year,11 days | (#44323417)

I am a Comcast business class data customer. I do not use Comcast home services. Other than lousy DSL, they are the only game in town. Recently, xfinity wifi AP's popping up around town. Guess what, I pay more for business class data but my account is not eligible for their wifi.

Fuck Comcast. Unfortunately I am on a 3 year contract, so even if I move I have to stick with them.

let make our own (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,11 days | (#44323565)

screw their network.
Let's make our own.
http://project-byzantium.org/faqs/

They are going to lose that patent (2)

WindBourne (631190) | 1 year,11 days | (#44323983)

I have worked on a similar concept for police back in the 90's and can prove it.

Great (1)

thesinfulgamer (2537658) | 1 year,11 days | (#44324475)

They replaced my modem with a combo Modem/Router.... It's a POS. now I have to let strangers use my internet? I THINK NOT! I want to use my 59mbps to download porn by myself!

Fuck no. (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,11 days | (#44325639)

Only if they use a single channel (I suggest 6). Also, can someone tell AT&T to reprogram all of their devices to channel 6 as well? I can see 7 of them from where I'm sitting right now.

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