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Wireless Freenets As The Parasitic Grid

timothy posted more than 13 years ago | from the pejorative-terms dept.

The Internet 375

Lester67 writes: "Infoworld has a pretty cool article on the "the Parasitic Grid," which is basically people (mainly in large cities) opening up their high-speed access through 802.11b to anyone that wants to use it, and how it may threaten telecom profits. One guy has a pretty interesting use for a Pringles(tm) can too (but only after you've removed your hand)." This article ties together several of the recent stories on free-for-all community networking, and fits in nicely with the recent post on bridging networks with 802.11b.

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another post. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2221872)

This post is another post.

Re:another post. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2221920)

Haha i rule u all. Since there is no "first" post my post is technically just another post. But it's on top of ppls comments list. Therefore I propose that first posts now say "top post". If people point out that if someone is viewing newest first it is on the bottom, then say that by "top" you mean "best". If they still disagree with you then just kick them in the nuts.

Thank You.

U R A dufus (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2221975)

that only works for people reading some version of "oldest first".

Re:U R A dufus (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2221995)

If people point out that if someone is viewing newest first it is on the bottom, then say that by
"top" you mean "best".


read my explanation dammit

Re:U R A dufus (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2222058)

Crap. You'll probably insist I read the article next. Oh well, no one ever said trolls had to be coherent.

Hey Rob! For the formatting options, could you add "goatse enhanced" in teh 2.21 patch (which we know you're frantically working on, trying to plug all the holes in 2.2)? thx.

pirst fost (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2221875)

i know it's not cool anymore, and they scramble around the order of the first couple of messages, but i'm gonna have to take this one anyway...
better me than that ascii art guy...

I r0x0r! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2221880)

finally! Firstus postus!

I can now quit slashdot!

Re:I r0x0r! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2221898)

damn I sux0r.

Pringles can? (2, Funny)

SpanishInquisition (127269) | more than 13 years ago | (#2221881)

What kind of chip do you have in there?

How can this work? (2, Insightful)

Reality Master 101 (179095) | more than 13 years ago | (#2221883)

I mean, wouldn't they interfere with each other? Would you sit down and reboot in order to DHCP an address? When you walk around, would have to reboot periodically as you went to another station?

I mean, most of the complexity of the cellular system is "handing off" in a relatively seamless way.

I don't think the telecoms have much to worry about.

Re:How can this work? (3, Insightful)

echo (735) | more than 13 years ago | (#2221900)

You must run windows. There are OSes where you don't have to reboot in order to get a new IP address.

Re:How can this work? (1)

epfreed (238219) | more than 13 years ago | (#2221928)

If you are useing DHCP, you don't have to reboot windows either.

Re:How can this work? (1)

echo (735) | more than 13 years ago | (#2221969)

Seriously? How is it a static IP change requires a reboot but a DHCPed one doesn't. Just proves that Linux is more modular than Windows. ifconfig is used by the dhcp client program to set the ip in Linux.. and it's also used to set the static ip. ifconfig does one job and does it well. Oh well..

Re:How can this work? (2)

smack.addict (116174) | more than 13 years ago | (#2222022)


How is it a static IP change requires a reboot but a DHCPed one doesn't.


It doesn't. This is just FUD coming from the Linux crowd.

Re:How can this work? (2, Informative)

haruharaharu (443975) | more than 13 years ago | (#2222043)

It doesn't. This is just FUD coming from the Linux crowd.

In windows 9x, you do need to reboot to change your static IP. WinNT claims the same, but you actually don't need to.

Re:How can this work? (3, Insightful)

RedX (71326) | more than 13 years ago | (#2222025)

From a command-line in NT/2000/XP, "ipconfig /renew" renews the IP from a DHCP server with no reboot required. Changing a static IP in NT does require a reboot, but 2000 and XP can handle it without the reboot. Can't speak much about command-line options in 9x as I haven't used it in ages, but I do know that changing a static IP in 9x will require a reboot as well.

Re:How can this work? (1)

Reality Master 101 (179095) | more than 13 years ago | (#2221932)

Alright, alright, you don't need to reboot, but it's still a pain (and you don't need to reboot Windows either).

Re:How can this work? (1)

Quietust (205670) | more than 13 years ago | (#2221953)

A pain?
Windows 9x? Run winipcfg, select the network adapter, click 'Release', then click 'Renew'.

Re:How can this work? (0, Flamebait)

Reality Master 101 (179095) | more than 13 years ago | (#2221958)

Funny, but I don't need to stop talking, enter "winipcfg" on my phone, click release/renew, and continue talking.

Re:How can this work? (2)

norton_I (64015) | more than 13 years ago | (#2222054)

Well, first of all, when your lease times out, you will get switched automatically. Of course, any active connections you have will be dropped, but your connectivity will continue. This will hork up SSH connections, but HTTP should be fine.

Assuming you can get information from the lan card when it switches base stations, you should be able to automate the release/renew cycle (on *ix or Win*). Even if it isn't a clean message, you should be able to monitor the MAC of the active base station on a short enough interval you can switch almost seamlessly.

The guys at O'Reilly working on this have an idea that uses a hash of your MAC as your IP address, so you can keep the same address when you move from cell to cell.

Finally, I believe that if you put point-to-point links between adjacent cells, and substantially increse the sophistication of the gateway software, you should be able to handle forwarding established connections when someone moves from cell to cell. Plus, then you could do bandwidth agregation, if you were really clever, and had a relatively dense network.

Of course, that involves a substantial amount of extra hardware, and correspondingly higher costs.

You can do it in Winblows (1)

Augusto (12068) | more than 13 years ago | (#2221940)

You don't have to reboot in windows to do this.

Just type in ;
ipconfig /release
ipconfig /renew


Of course, my WinNT laptop sometimes get confused and I really have to reboot to make it work. But that's not most of the time. Hey, it's Windows after all ! LOL !

Re:You can do it in Winblows (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2221992)

Yeah, all you trolls are experts at renewing your IP leases. If you know what I mean, and I think you do.

Re:How can this work? (0, Troll)

Jack_of_Hearts (135367) | more than 13 years ago | (#2222046)

If you knew what you were talking about at all, you'd realize that you don't need to reboot windows to get a new IP through DHCP.

Who reboots for changing an IP address???? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2221918)

Would you sit down and reboot in order to DHCP an address?

What are you talking about? *Even* in Windows you don't have to reboot for changing your IP address, if you use DHCP.

Who says you have to walk around.. (1)

BigSlowTarget (325940) | more than 13 years ago | (#2221942)

Heck - free highspeed internet access for anyone who buys a card? Why waste it on your laptop - plug in a server or two and start really using that bandwidth

Re:How can this work? (3, Insightful)

mindstrm (20013) | more than 13 years ago | (#2221979)

1) You don't need to reboot to get a new address.
2) This is more about being able to plop down somewhere and use the net, not about driving around in your car. If it were, read up on mobile-IP and such.

Re:How can this work? (1)

sstammer (235235) | more than 13 years ago | (#2221988)

wouldn't they interfere with each other?

802.11 offers 3 channels, so if adjacent access points coordinate which channels they use, then they need not interfere. Access points that are further away will not interfere due to their limited power limiting the propagation of their signals.

Re:How can this work? (1)

sportal (145003) | more than 13 years ago | (#2221994)

More modern OSes have less of a problem releasing and getting DHCP addresses.

Windows 2000 even has a nice feature that it monitors the link connection, when the link drops and is reestablished (even if only briefly) it sends out a DHCP address again. Works great for walking past a bunch of a access points on multiple subnets.

Mac OS X handles roaming between base stations relatively well (sometimes you have to turn Airport on and off).

This feature could probably be implemented in Linux/FreeBSD pretty easily but AFAIK doesn't currently exist. Instead you just tell your dhcp client to get another address. No rebooting.

Parasitic?!? (1)

1alpha7 (192745) | more than 13 years ago | (#2221884)

Matt Westervelt, one of the originators of what he likes to call a "symbiotic grid" rather than a parasitic one.

There ya go. What I do with the bandwidth on my T-1 is my business. If I choose to give it away, that's my business. There's nothing "parasitic" about it.

1Alpha7

Re:Parasitic?!? (4, Insightful)

quartz (64169) | more than 13 years ago | (#2221965)

From the article: Sharing a cable modem or a DSL line might annoy some folks [broadband providers], but it's probably legal[...]

Something tells me it won't stay legal for a very long time. Wait till there's enough of those guys to seriously annoy the big providers, and the watch them buy up some more laws...

Re:Parasitic?!? (1)

Dimensio (311070) | more than 13 years ago | (#2222045)

I won't say most -- since I don't have the personal experience -- but I do know that the broadband provider that I use, @Home, does not allow a customer to share their access with other households. The wording is specific enough to cover LAN connections (either wireless or running Cat-5 to your neighbour's house) and dial-up. Thus doing so would be violation of a civil contract. Even if there were no legal penalties, you'd probably find yourself without access once they found out (spiked bandwidth is a symptom of such setups, the tech who installed our modem relayed a story of a guy who sold dial-up access and was caught because of that)

They don't have any specific provisions against NAT within a single household, and I'd raise hell if they started going after it.

Can you imagine... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2221885)

... a Beowulf cluster of these?

Thank you.

--Patrick Bateman, Esq.

CYIaBCoX SUYA?!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2221964)

Ahhh, master bateman, so nice to see you again. Shall we get down to business?

Can.

You.

Imagine.

(sounds like a Tom Sellek/AT&T commercial)

A Beowulf cluster of Pringles cans SHOVED UP YOUR ASS?!!!!

thank you.

2221887th Post! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2221886)

yeah baby!

Parasitic? (1, Troll)

sulli (195030) | more than 13 years ago | (#2221888)

What a flamebait headline. Kind of surprising for InfoWorld - usually they try just a little to sound pro-consumer. Maybe Ed Foster was on vacation?

a nice perk (3, Interesting)

caseydk (203763) | more than 13 years ago | (#2221894)

Imagine if apartment complexes began offering this as a simple perk to residence... Yes, we'll let you pay an additional 10/month to rent this card that will allow your computer to have wireless internet access...

Then you need a few techies to be willing to help set up the system... i know that i would be willing to accept a modest rent decrease in order to help supply some of the basic setup... for the long term, another solution would be required, but it's a nice way to start...

Re:a nice perk (3, Interesting)

Luminous (192747) | more than 13 years ago | (#2221925)

I recently moved into an apartment building that has never had any broadband access (no one has installed DSL and the cable isn't digital). As I was setting up the DSL service, I realized at a slight extra cost, I could provide wireless access to all the residents.

I'm actually going to present this to my management company and see if this is a perquisite they are willing to offer or if they would mind my going door-to-door and charging a small fee to run an apartment network.

If I were a landlord, I'd be all over this. No cables being pulled through my walls (okay, some wiring may be necessary for quality of service issues) and a selling point only upscale building have.

Re:a nice perk (3, Insightful)

Reality Master 101 (179095) | more than 13 years ago | (#2222017)

If I were a landlord, I'd be all over this.

If I were a landlord, I'd be all over it, too -- making sure everyone understood that I had nothing to do with it. The cost of a network like this is not the hardware, it's the support.

Maybe you want to be constantly going around fixing everyone's network connection, figuring out why it sometimes stops working when the refrigerator goes on, etc, but there is no way in hell I would want to do it. And there's NO WAY I would guarantee it to a renter.

A GREAT perk (1)

daveym (258550) | more than 13 years ago | (#2222049)

Hey where do you live? Sign me up!

Seriously, for a large apartment complex, this would be a really great setup for the building, even if you did have to hire someone to run/maintain everything full time. I think it would be really inexpensive for a large building (say, 200 units)......

Re:a nice perk (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2222038)

Personally I still don't see why an apartment complex doesn't just get a T-1 and wire up the building. If you want access they'll activate your port and you can pay a small monthly access charge like $20. They already usually charge extra for things like indoor garage spots, why not high speed net access? In our building for instance there are 96 apartments... even at $10/month it'd easily pay for a couple of T-1's and a class C subnet. Then just run DHCP. No administration needed. Just make sure the line's up and the DHCP server is running. Hell, get someone to volunteer to maintain it for free access or something.

Re:a nice perk (1)

Delphis (11548) | more than 13 years ago | (#2222048)

And for those people who say 'fuck that' and just buy their own wireless card to connect to the network with 'for free', how would the landlord notice? :)

Re:a nice perk (2)

bartle (447377) | more than 13 years ago | (#2222050)

Imagine if apartment complexes began offering this as a simple perk to residence

A friend of mine moved into a complex that offered this service and he immediately signed up. He generally got the worst of all possible worlds; it was a proprietary system brought in by another company, they gave him only one box which he has to keep next to a window to get a connection, the speed is slow, and so on. I believe he eventually gave it up for a cable modem.

In theory, sharing a internet connection across a whole apartment complex sounds like a great idea. In practice though, it never seems to work out very well. The complexes that I've investigated usually offer a pretty lame service aimed more at a casual user with no preconceptions or requirements. If you are interested in real broadband access, don't rent based on whether the complex provides access but rather on whether you can get DSL, cable, etc. through a third party.

Anyone remember the old commercial... (1)

steevo.com (312621) | more than 13 years ago | (#2221895)

Pringles New Fangled Potato Chip.

If they only knew.

i think they need more research... (4, Insightful)

htmlboy (31265) | more than 13 years ago | (#2221896)

from the article:

"Internet access will be the primary mover for these free networks. Sharing a cable modem or a DSL line might annoy some folks [broadband providers], but it's probably legal," said Phil Belanger, vice president of wireless business development at Wayport Inc. in Austin, Texas, a for-profit provider of 802.11b services at airports and hotels."

If the person who's sharing their connection to their ISP has agreed to an AUP prohibiting redistribution of service, account sharing, or wasteful behavior, I'd think such a system would run into legal issues. Granted, it'd be hard to stop, but I (not being a lawyer) have to think that guy's statement to be blantantly wrong.

chris

Re:i think they need more research... (1)

jedwards (135260) | more than 13 years ago | (#2221910)

What with doubleclick and all the spyware apps, there are already plenty of additional parasitic users of the bandwidth you have paid for.

Re:i think they need more research... (2)

Lxy (80823) | more than 13 years ago | (#2221937)

but I (not being a lawyer) have to think that guy's statement to be blantantly wrong.

Yes, he is wrong. Most AUP's prohibit this, even though there's not much they can do. It's perfectly legal for me to plug in the Linksys router/switch/access point and share the connection with my laptop. So if my neighbor points his Linksys card at me and starts leeching bandwidth, am I violating it? Will my ISP try to stop me? By setting up a wireless access point you're giving everyone around you free bandwidth. Using AirSnort you can get the MAC addresses, reprogram your card and you have instant internet, free of charge. So, what it comes down to is that yes it's against your policy but what can anyone do about it?

Re:i think they need more research... (2)

Masem (1171) | more than 13 years ago | (#2221954)

The same issue came up in the recent article on rolling-your-own DSL. Nearly every major provide prevents residental reselling of the connection, and even if this is a 'free' use, I'm sure that if someone sharing their line was discovered, they'd have their connection pulled.


Mind you, the idea is very cool, and if I were running an ISP with sufficient resources, I'd be making sure that I had a end-of-line tap with a wiretransmitter in a sufficient grid within a city such that one can simply tell people "As long as you are in downtown, you can access the internet from anywhere." I'd even pay (ie, reduce the rates) of customers already in the city to offer such a service from their homes if possible. The average consumer of broadband these days is no where near fullying using their speed, and this would be an easy buck on both sides to make.

wasteful? (2)

twitter (104583) | more than 13 years ago | (#2221966)

an AUP prohibiting redistribution of service, account sharing, or wasteful behavior...

What could be more wasteful than letting that connection sit all day doing nothing? Oh I forgot, it would be OK if it were sucking up addverts all day.

No, there is nothing the cable company can do if you are using NAT or masq. They will have to ban wireless, and I doubt they have the nuts to do that anymore than they could force Windoze on their users.

Re:wasteful? (1)

Maditude (473526) | more than 13 years ago | (#2222033)

No, there is nothing the cable company can do if you are using NAT or masq. They will have to ban wireless, and I doubt they have the nuts to do that anymore than they could force Windoze on their users.
And, when more (a number of them already are) broadband ISP's start putting all their vict^h^h^h^h customers behind NAT, then this isn't going to be worth much at all.
I think I'd go back to dialup if my ISP did that, tho.

Re:i think they need more research... (1)

bigpat (158134) | more than 13 years ago | (#2221990)

I think the point is that no cops are going to come bust down your door for what would amount to a contract violation.

So, it is legal in general to do this... ie not an FCC violation, but it may get you disconnected from your ISP and blacklisted as an Internet .Communist.

COULD THIS BE THE FIRST POST ? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2221901)

Maybe, but you never know now that we don't see post #s.

Parasitic Grid. (3, Funny)

tcd004 (134130) | more than 13 years ago | (#2221905)

Yuk. I sure hope that name doesn't stick.


Condit on the run. [lostbrain.com]

Grass-roots Networking (was Parasitic Grid.) (1)

sstammer (235235) | more than 13 years ago | (#2222013)

Bob Lucky [argreenhouse.com] of Telcordia/FCC has called it Grass-roots Networking. That's a more appealing name.

Re:Parasitic Grid. (2)

Hilary Rosen (415151) | more than 13 years ago | (#2222026)

All the good names are taken: ethernet, undernet, abovenet and freenet. Even overnet has a few takers in various countries.

The question is, can your local wireless co-op become your ISP? Is the latency of hopping across consumer-grade access points all the way downtown where the shared internet connection lives going to suck, or suck really badly. I don't think any co-op will last long if it requires people to share their consumer-priced bandwidth in the face of telco and cableco opposition.

I can think up a few more uses for a Pingles can (0, Offtopic)

gwizah (236406) | more than 13 years ago | (#2221907)

And Im sure you ladies no what im talking about...


Oh yeaaaahhhhhhh....

Re:I can think up a few more uses for a Pingles ca (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2222037)

LOL! Nice work. ;-)

Pringles can waveguide? (1)

44 (409913) | more than 13 years ago | (#2221909)

Anyone have a schematic or diagram for this?

Re:Pringles can waveguide? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2221960)

Here ya go:

1 [slashdot.org]
2 [slashdot.org]
3 [slashdot.org]
4
5 [slashdot.org]
6 [slashdot.org]

Important Stuff: * Please try to keep posts on topic.
* Try to reply to other people comments instead of starting new threads.
* Read other people's messages before posting your own to avoid simply duplicating what has already been said.
* Use a clear subject that describes what your message is about.
* Offtopic, Inflammatory, Inappropriate, Illegal, or Offensive comments might be moderated. (You can read everything, even moderated posts, by adjusting your threshold on the User Preferences Page)

SCREW THE EDITORS (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2221913)

If they think they can stop people from legitimately claiming their first posts...I'll be posting willy-nilly.

Funny how things work out. (1)

Pop n' Fresh (411094) | more than 13 years ago | (#2221917)

Metricom couldn't keep Ricochet profitable, but neighborhood wireless is taking off. Maybe information really does want to be free.

Bad idea (4, Interesting)

eyrich (33605) | more than 13 years ago | (#2221922)

So what happens when one of the parasites starts uploading child porn? Who do you think the FBI will arrest first?

Re:Bad idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2222001)

My access point (based on webgears aviator) has been up for almost 2 years now. I never had any problems like this, but maybe that's because the upstream is shaped to 16K/s.

I just checked the logs (for this month.)
Down: 3GB
Up: 12MB
(And I live out in the countrysite...)

anti
ps:
still didn't lookup my account...
(anti@webhome.de)

to all my AC's languishing in Columbian prisons ! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2221923)

Have hope, for soon VA linx will be bankrupt ! your souls shall be set free from the eternal bonds of Michael's censorship. Dont despair, despite the despicable and deadly conditions your living under. There is hope for the future, Until that day, Fight the good Fight and always post under AC !

We Will Prevail !

Future View (1)

arestivo (459117) | more than 13 years ago | (#2221924)

The interesting thing about this type of network access is that eventually everyone will be a part of the wireless network and the Internet as we know it will no longer be necessary.

Think about it: Free, quick and mobile connectivity for everyone!

Is it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2221933)

Could this post be... FIRST?

Sub-$100 WAP??? (1)

Kevin DeGraaf (220791) | more than 13 years ago | (#2221934)

Contributing to its mass appeal are the low-cost solutions available. For less than $100, a volunteer can buy an access point

What? Please tell me where to buy a sub-$100 wireless access point. My credit card is standing by at the ready...

Re:Sub-$100 WAP??? (2)

frknfrk (127417) | more than 13 years ago | (#2222012)

I think they mean that is is sub-100 to use an existing computer as a WAP: add one of several sub-100 WiFi cards to an existing PC running Linux (free) and you have a sub-100 WAP (I guess). The cheapest REAL WAP I can find [pricescan.com] is 185 bucks for the USR access point. Asante, D-Link, and 3-Com are not too far behind (190s), ditto Netgear, Linksys, and on up to Lucent and Cisco. As for myself, I've had my Orinoco setup for about a year now, my wife loves it, my immediate neighbors love it, and I'd like to spread it across my apartment complex but we are not allowed external antennae :) I'll have to give the Pringles can idea a shot...

Re:Sub-$100 WAP??? (2)

baptiste (256004) | more than 13 years ago | (#2222014)

OK - so they must have slipped on the number keys, but the Linksys WAP11 can be had for < $200 after rebate! Granted, the Linksys sucked on early firmware versions - I had to powercycle mine often. But with 1.4f, its been a dream.

Re:Sub-$100 WAP??? (2)

Russ Nelson (33911) | more than 13 years ago | (#2222028)

Ephraim is confused. He's thinking of 802.11 PC cards, not access points.
-russ

yeah, right. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2221935)

"Once you pop, you can't stop!"

I think the opening blurb pointed out a hitch there. Like the telcos are going to let the proletariate erode their profits -- even in the name of erasing the digital divide. I'm sure that we'll soon start seeing some changes in TOS for DSL providers (all three that are left, that is).

I still like Cringley's idea of leasing direct connections from the TELCO and putting wireless access points on the ends. Does anyone have numbers on what a kilometer of fiber and the neccessary modem equiptment costs?

why don't you do all us a favor and.. (0)

GaylordFucker (465080) | more than 13 years ago | (#2221936)

secure [berkeley.edu] the 802.11b protocal first before you go any further... thanks...

"might be legal" quote ... doesn't mean you can (2)

Shivetya (243324) | more than 13 years ago | (#2221938)

"Internet access will be the primary mover for these free networks. Sharing a cable modem or a DSL line might annoy some folks [broadband providers], but it's probably legal," said Phil Belanger, vice president of wireless business development at Wayport Inc. in Austin, Texas, a for-profit provider of 802.11b services at airports and hotels.

Now, its true it might be legal to share the cable modem or DSL, doesn't mean the providers have to let you. They could simply change their terms of service. Since these lovely providers seem to be competeing in the wireless market as well I am sure they can come up with inventive ways to slow the spread or stop it.....

Still you have to get people out there to use it, and perhaps the reason it flourishes now is because its too small for the behemoths to notice.

Re:"might be legal" quote ... doesn't mean you can (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2222027)

many TOS already have a line that says that only one computer can be hooked up to the line, and some have anti-server clauses also.

who's responsible for the script kiddies? (1)

random735 (102808) | more than 13 years ago | (#2221946)

When some script kiddie gets a wireless connection
in NYC and proxies through some volunteer's ISP
to run amok, who's responsible? The person
providing the access point, of course.

you certainly won't catch me running one of these free access points.

Re:who's responsible for the script kiddies? (2)

toupsie (88295) | more than 13 years ago | (#2221962)

Shhhh!!!!

Paying for Bandwith not access (1)

timmy the large (223281) | more than 13 years ago | (#2221947)

I think that this will merely speed up a shift away from paying for access and towards paying for bandwith. If alot of places start doing this you won't be able to pay for X dollars for high speed internet access, you will pay $X/Mb. This way ISP's aren't losing money on the deal. People need to remember that eventualy someone will need to pay for the bandwith. Maybe donations to the networks that are providing free bandwith will help offset there costs. ISP charities!!

Re:Paying for Bandwith not access (2)

baptiste (256004) | more than 13 years ago | (#2222051)

I think that this will merely speed up a shift away from paying for access and towards paying for bandwith.

I think that some ISPs will try this no doubt. But the uproar among users will be immense given the sharp rise in big ads on sites. SO more and more users install ad blocking software to block those ads to save bandwidth which in turn kills revenue on sites relying on ad revenue and those sites disappear, and - oh it coudl get ugly.

But I have to wonder if metered bandwidth is going to fly. They tried and failed to do it with local phone service. Same for dialup.

Besides, when we have something liek 95% of the fiber underground sitting dark - at some point the upstream costs HAVE to go down and bandwidth at that level becomes less of an issue. Besides - I'd expect the ultimate result of this - slower throughput for users as the LOCAL backbones of a network load up and they refuse to upgrade their upstream pipe. IN a way - thats the best option. I'd rather see a telco slow down the upstream throughput vs going out of bsiness paying for never ending upstream upgrades OR trying metered service.

Only time will tell. Right now I pay for 384kbps SDSL and its pretty much ensured bandwidth to the telco (via DSLAM ratios of customers to the backend T1) So any bottleneck I'd face won't be my pipe - it'll be their upstream connection. BUt you cna bet I'm gonna use that 384kbps for whatever i please :)

So how does one go about organizing? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2221951)

I just set up an "open" WLAN access point. So how does one go about organising this "parasite" network?

There is a database at http://www.shmoo.com/gawd/ [shmoo.com] but it doesn't seem to be well frequented. I live in Germany. There are only 3 entries :-(. I know that just about every Technical University in the country has lans, as well as tons of companys that don't have any security at all.

We need:
1) a quasi standard setup
2) a database with a map an geo data for organising everything
3) publicity

what do you think?

Stick it to the man (1)

loydcc (325726) | more than 13 years ago | (#2221952)

Good. That's how the net should have been in the first place. Kind of like Tesla's idea of delivering free electricity through the air to anyone who wanted it. When wireless bandwidth becomes broad enough for all who want it then voice over IP will replace the cellphone. Let the peons pay for AOL, us clever folk will build our own net and only other clever folk will be allowed on it.

freedom (1)

bigpat (158134) | more than 13 years ago | (#2221955)

let's let them (companies with competing proprietary wireless networks) try to make this sound evil and try to regulate it.

You can't get anymore american than Neighbors communicating with eachother and donating equipment for community use.

If you have the means, then I see this as a civic responsibilty to make this happen.

The telco companies are not going to like this (1)

ioman1 (474363) | more than 13 years ago | (#2221957)

Expect a law to be passed soon prohibiting this type of action. I think it is a great idea, but the telco companies will surely not stand for thie type of thing.

ENOUGH ALREADY!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2221963)

Yes, jeezus fucking christ, you can set up your dorm/apartment/block to share wireless fucking internet access. We know. Stop posting it already.

Errors in the article (5, Informative)

Gaewyn L Knight (16566) | more than 13 years ago | (#2221970)

Several people on the Bay Area Wireless User Group [bawug.org] mailing list have pointed out a large amount of factual errors in this article.
Such things as that the pringles cans are ANTENNAS not REPEATERS and that you can not get ANY wireless fully 802.11b access points for under about 160$ new (even on ebay).

For some more on this check out the mailinglist archive at [bawug.org]
http://lists.bawug.org/pipermail/wireless/2001-A ug ust/thread.html under the subjects "Did you know you were a parasitic grid?","Infoworld writer responds
" and "Unprofessional conduct on the part of Ephraim Schwartz". Definately shows how little this writer actually knows...

Re:Errors in the article (2)

frknfrk (127417) | more than 13 years ago | (#2222042)

Not true, buy a wireless card for around $80-$90 bucks (several models to choose from), plug it in to your existing old 486 laptop (free) running linux (free) and you've got a sub-100 access point. granted, it isn't quite 'NEW' but it sure works (and nicely, as a firewall/access point/print server).

Original connection? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2221976)

How is the original connection done? The center of the wireless? Somewhere the wireless needs to be connected to the rest of the internet. If it's cable or DSL, all the provider needs to do is limit bandwidth. Say to several GB's a month. Something a normal person would never approach in the course of normal browsing. The wireless people will be way way over the limit if it's used by many frequently.
Not to be a troll or anything, but I don't think the providers are in much danger. Someone still needs to use them.

psot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2221983)

frist

Interesting, but it will change (1)

prisoner (133137) | more than 13 years ago | (#2221987)

the way that ISP's charge if the movement ever gets any real momentum going. They'll switch to a price per meg instead of all you can eat. Either that or they will change the TOS to forbid it. That being the case, only business class lines will allow this and I don't see too many business setting up free wireless access points, either.

Liability (2, Interesting)

Bronz (429622) | more than 13 years ago | (#2221989)

I have one major concern on these wireless freenets... what happens when the freak who lives in a van down by the river pulls up outside of my pad, taps into my wireless access point, and starts threatening the big Dubbaya, or maybe arranges for some kiddie porn or something. Isn't there a fear of being the last identifiable link in the chain, and assuming liability for letting people use your connection?

Re:Liability (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2222030)

So, you set up you gateway to do some authentication, and require people to sign up before they can have access. DUH.

Co-op ISP? (2)

Gregoyle (122532) | more than 13 years ago | (#2221991)

I've been thinking about this for a while, and this is a good time to bring it up.

I've been reading articles about the incredibly low cost of fiber lines relative to T*'s; with common prices for a 1.5 Mb/s T1 being about $850/month and a 12Mb/s fiber line being approximately $1500/month. Also, with the fiber line you can get bandwidth upgrades without any physical modifications; you just call the provider, they flip a switch, and boom, more bandwidth.

Why not create a non-profit or not-for-profit a la Spindl3top [spindl3top.org] that goes out, leases a fiber line, and then provides instructions to roll your own DSL [pbs.org] . People could also use 802.11b with directional and omnidirectional antennae. You could, say, provide the wireless access for free (maybe with a bandwidth cap) and charge a small fee for the DSL access or no-bandwidth-cap wireless access. People would be able to split a mega-fat pipe at cost. Hmm, maybe if I run into some money I'll... ::goes to find some money::

Lariat (2)

Gregoyle (122532) | more than 13 years ago | (#2222002)

I meant to include this link [lariat.org] .

Presenting the All You Can Eat Supermarket! (5, Funny)

Hobbex (41473) | more than 13 years ago | (#2222005)


Having seen the wonderful success that the "all you can eat" model has had in buffé resturaunts, I started the All You Can Eat Supermarket (tm). The model is simple, people come in to the store every day, and for a low price, they can take as much food as they wish to eat that day.

Of course, on entering, you have to sign the "Terms of Shopping" agreements, that by which you promise not to:
- Take food and then decide not to eat it.
- Share food with others.
- Save your food for another day.
- Eat more than three meals a day.
- Puke after ingesting the food.

If somebody signs these agreements, then they should stick to them, shouldn't they? If they aren't, then they are STEALING from me. If they don't like the terms, they don't have to shop at the All You Can Eat Supermarket (R) at all.

Well, it turns out that there is actually a large population (an you believe it!) of lowlife scum, who come to the All You Can Eat Supermarkey (TM), and then go home and feed their entire families with the food, or refrigerate leftovers and eat them for lunch the next day! If that is allowed to continue, then I will loose business, and people will loose their jobs!

Therefore, I am on my way to Washington to lobby for the passing of strict laws that allow monitoring of all food consumption of all people, so that this wholesale stealing of food cannot be done. So maybe that might hurt peoples privacy, integrity, and freedom - but how will business survive without it?

I don't know about you folks... (2, Insightful)

mystery_bowler (472698) | more than 13 years ago | (#2222008)

but I'm not sharing my connection with anyone until I can be almost 100% sure those who are using the connection aren't just using it for warez, mp3s and porn.

Re:I don't know about you folks... (2)

frknfrk (127417) | more than 13 years ago | (#2222053)

Just have a notice stating that all connections may be monitored for content, and if people don't like that they don't have to use your network. And when you find them using kiddie porn you blacklist their MAC address.

consume.net (2, Informative)

labratuk (204918) | more than 13 years ago | (#2222015)

This kinda thing has already been going on in the London (UK) area for a couple of years. It's not exactly the same, but the principle is very similar.

It's here [consume.net] , and speaking of which I wonder how its getting on: I havent had a look for a couple of months.

Tragedy of the commons (1)

Gnaythan1 (214245) | more than 13 years ago | (#2222032)

This could be a wonderful thing. I can see it working as long as it stays in small isolated areas full of smart techie people who don't mind sharing. But what happens when some sharklike business major realizes he can save a few bucks by routing into the middle of the free network, slowing everybody down to a crawl? For that matter what's to stop a telecom setting up a deliberate bandhog on all the free systems so that people will still want to pay for their (relatively) quicker service? I'm not as technically inclined as I'd like to be, so please answer as if you're explaining this to your grandfather.

"several"... (1)

xanadu-xtroot.com (450073) | more than 13 years ago | (#2222035)

This article ties together several of the recent stories ...

Yes, indeed. several stories now. When does reduntant become a bad thing?

foo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2222039)

bar

What if you just skipped the Internet? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2222052)

And built a wireless network. You'd still have to get over the ocean, true...but, even a nationwide or regional wireless net could be very useful.

Control freaks' worst nightmare, though.

Washington Square Park/NYCWIRELESS.NET (5, Interesting)

toupsie (88295) | more than 13 years ago | (#2222056)

Just last night I took my TiPB [apple.com] (Apple Titanium Powerbook) to Washington Square Park (NYU Campus [nyu.edu] ) and hooked into the NYCWireless free 802.11b network (link [nycwireless.net] ) at the northeast end of the park using my AirPort card [apple.com] . This was the first time I tried out one of these "Parasitic Grids". I was quite impressed. Sitting out on the grass (ignoring the guys selling grass [marijuana.com] ), I was surfing Slashdot, downloading updates to Fink [sourceforge.net] and chattin' with my friends on IRC. I was quite impressed with the speed of my connection (about 36kps) and my ability to roam from spot to spot in the grass in order to hear the guy playing violin better. Being able to take my computer into the great outdoors, tuning into a free wireless network and getting work/fun done to me has to be one of the best advancements in computers yet. Now the computer does not dictate the environment it works in, I do.


On a side note, any coffee shop that wants to kick Starbuck's ass ought to buy a cheap DSL line/Cable modem and hang a 802.11b base station and give away free bandwidth for the cost of a $4.95 mocha carmel frappa latte skim half-caf double-decaf cappachino.

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