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WiFi, Light Bulbs, And The FCC

Hemos posted more than 12 years ago | from the what-to-be-done dept.

Technology 247

JFMulder writes "According to Cringely, 802.11 WiFi wireless networking is going to get in lot of troubles when Fushion Lightning starts marketting low-power light blubs which causes interferences with Wifi signals. Read about it at I, Cringely. Supposedly the new kind of light bulb is a real electricity saver and can wreck havoc to wireless networks in a half a mile radius. So what would you prefer? Wireless networks or low cost light bulbs all around the country to save more and more on electricity?" Update: 06/13 03:52 GMT by M : Cringely confused the FHSS-or-DSSS 802.11 standard with the DSSS-only 802.11b standard, but the general warning about the potential for interference is certainly troubling.

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Hello! (-1)

on by (572414) | more than 12 years ago | (#3691942)

How are you?

FP for the CLIT btw... (-1)

on by (572414) | more than 12 years ago | (#3691956)



Re:FP for the CLIT btw... (-1)

YourMissionForToday (556292) | more than 12 years ago | (#3692027)

empty post is fun. plz ee my journal!

2nd? (-1)

on by (572414) | more than 12 years ago | (#3691946)

suck it down fargorts! lolololololol

first (0, Offtopic)

zet0n (266284) | more than 12 years ago | (#3691949)

first comment.

anyway i'm willing settle with the energy saving light bulb. it's good to save up energy that my oh so important PS needs.

Re:first (0)

lurwas (518856) | more than 12 years ago | (#3692071)

Ok. So the average geek has these two options: 1. Have light reflecting on his/hers monitor, and no net access. 2. Have no light reflecting on his/hers monitor, and net access. For you who chose number 1, I'm sorry to inform you, that you're reading the wrong web-page... And yes, they are female geeks!

In case it's slashdotted (-1)

Big Dogs Cock (539391) | more than 12 years ago | (#3692236)

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WiFi, Light Bulbs, And The FCC
Posted by Hemos on Thursday June 13, @07:04AM
from the what-to-be-done dept.
JFMulder writes "According to Cringely, 802.11 WiFi wireless networking is going to get in lot of troubles when Fushion Lightning starts marketting low-power light blubs which causes interferences with Wifi signals. Read about it at I, Cringely. Supposedly the new kind of light bulb is a real electricity saver and can wreck havoc to wireless networks in a half a mile radius. So what would you prefer? Wireless networks or low cost light bulbs all around the country to save more and more on electricity?" Update: 06/13 03:52 GMT by M: Cringely confused the FHSS-or-DSSS 802.11 standard with the DSSS-only 802.11b standard, but the general warning about the potential for interference is certainly troubling.

( Read More... | 98 comments )

Live via Satellite: NATO Aerial Surveillance Video
Posted by michael on Thursday June 13, @04:00AM
from the run-another-T-1 dept.
Factomatic writes "The BBC is reporting 'NATO surveillance flights in the Balkans are beaming their pictures over an insecure satellite link - and anyone can tune in and watch their operations live.' All you need is a satellite dish. John Locker tapped into the NATO aerial surveillance feed over the Balkans from England and has been e-mailing, faxing and calling NATO since November to get them to fix the problem. NATO denies it is a problem at all. I wonder if this would work in Afghanistan, too?" No, the article notes that Afghanistan is taking up all the secure communications bandwidth, and operations in the Balkans are getting kicked over to unencrypted channels. We ran an older story about the military's growing bandwidth crunch.

( Read More... | 135 comments )

A Wireless Alliance Forms
Posted by michael on Thursday June 13, @02:22AM
from the your-call-cannot-be-connected-as-dialed dept.
MikeD83 writes "A wireless alliance has formed between the likes of Nokia, Microsoft, Intel, Walt Disney Co., and almost 200 other companies. Their mission is to develop an open standard for how wireless phones can be used on any network." Whoo-hoo! DRM for cell phones! The group's website has some more information.

( Read More... | 159 comments )

Microsoft Case Proceeds
Posted by michael on Thursday June 13, @12:54AM
from the day-follows-night dept.
YeOldeCurmudgeon writes "This story just posted on Yahoo: Federal Judge Denies Microsoft Motion to Dismiss Antitrust Case. Microsoft's motion to dismiss the suit filed by the 9 dissenting states was denied. The judge agrees the states can sue." An article in the San Francisco Chronicle summarizes the case's current state and what's coming up next.

( Read More... | 211 comments )

Inside the Joint Strike Fighter Competition
Posted by chrisd on Wednesday June 12, @11:51PM
from the complex-work-for-complex-tools dept.
jonerik writes "The June issue of the Atlantic Monthly has this account of the history of the Joint Strike Fighter competition between Boeing and Lockheed Martin (which the latter company ended up winning this past fall, with Boeing now touting its expanding line of unmanned aircraft as the true future of tactical aviation). The article does a fine job of showing how the competitors dealt with the challenge of producing an aircraft (now dubbed the F-35) that the Air Force, Navy, Marines, RAF, and Royal Navy could all live with. Funniest part: Boeing's X-32 entry, with its enormous pelican-like jet intake, had some questioning whether the plane's bizarre appearance didn't hurt its chances more than its performance. 'Helpful as my contacts at Boeing were, no one was eager to claim credit for the design of the plane,' says the article's writer James Fallows." Fascinating article.

( Read More... | 250 comments )

Calculators vs. PDAs in the Classroom
Posted by michael on Wednesday June 12, @10:44PM
from the crutches-for-the-weak-minded dept.
TheMatt writes "CNN.com is reporting about a new conflict perhaps emerging in classrooms: calculators v. PDAs. The article talks about how TI seems to be making their latest calculator more PDA-like, while PDAs are gaining TI-like functionality. A comment on current math education is this quote from the article: "When you have circles and ellipses, there is no way you'd be able to do this without a calculator," Jarvis said. "It helps us visualize what we're doing." Were the compass and geometry uninvented?"

( Read More... | 469 comments )

Universal, Sony Cutting Prices on Downloaded Music
Posted by michael on Wednesday June 12, @09:49PM
from the invisible-hand dept.
Don Symes writes "Sony Music and Universal appear to be getting ready to allow downloads of singles for $.99 and albums for $9.99 without crippleware or restrictions on personal copying/burning." Another semi-interesting piece submitted by several people is this propaganda from the recording industry. 2.8 million copyright-infringing CD-R's were seized in the U.S. last year (9 million world-wide); from that the IFPI extrapolates that 950 million copyright-infringing CD-R's were actually sold, world-wide. How do you get from 9 million to 950 million? Mostly hand-waving.

( Read More... | 391 comments )

Ask Slashdot: Making Users Back Up Important Data?
Posted by Cliff on Wednesday June 12, @08:44PM
from the it's-for-their-own-good dept.
Lux Interior asks: "Help! I am the ad-hoc computer guy in a small satellite office of a larger company. We have no CIO, no IT department, and no policies whatsoever as regards data retention or backup. Therefore, a lot of company property exists one place-- on individual hard drives. The office is made of almost entirely of rudimentary users, on WIN98 and 2000 machines, who never, ever, back up any company information. Has anyone out there had experiences in a small-office setting with: changing users' behavior in regards to managing their data; setting up best practices for backing up information properly; and making sure that the most computer-apathetic users comply with what you've put in place?" Sometimes the best way to make users conform to policy is to not give them a choice in the first place. Automated backup systems on each workstation can go a long way in helping this. Which software packages have such functionality (the more unobtrusive, the better)?

( Read More... | 809 bytes in body | 634 comments | Ask Slashdot )

Logitech Pocket Digital Review
Posted by CmdrTaco on Wednesday June 12, @07:25PM
from the don't-accidentally-run-it-through-the-laundry dept.
randomErr writes "Earthweb/Internet.com has this article about a new ultra slim camera for $130. It has no flash, zoom, or LCD monitor, and takes snapshots instead of spectacular pictures. The advertised resolution is 1.3 megapixels with and actual resolution of 640 by 480. But it's the size of a credit card, half an inch thin, with all-day battery and image capacity."

( Read More... | 188 comments )

Your Rights Online: What Is Public Domain?
Posted by timothy on Wednesday June 12, @06:27PM
from the and-such-small-portions dept.
whitefox writes: "The Seattle Times has an interesting article in today's edition on what is public domain. After sharing the experience one software writer had with businesses and people shying away from BitTorrent because they didn't understand the concept of 'public domain,' they take the reader on a tour of how public domain is being defined by groups such as Creative Commons and to the battle of copyright-extensions in Eldred v. Ashcroft."

( Read More... | 254 comments | Your Rights Online )
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FreeBSD Ports Collection Reaches 7000
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For crying out loud... (5, Informative)

The_Deacon (137827) | more than 12 years ago | (#3691952)

This was posted -- what, two or three weeks ago? Come on guys!

The old story even had a poster who mentioned that he'd used the lighting technology Cringley mentioned, and it's nowhere NEAR primetime, so it won't be causing probs for several years, if ever.

Yes, WE COVERED THIS WEEKS AGO (4, Insightful)

Animats (122034) | more than 12 years ago | (#3691997)

Exactly.

I want to be able to moderate stories down. And I want karma values for the bozos editing this stuff.

Re:Yes, WE COVERED THIS WEEKS AGO (-1)

TrollBurger (575126) | more than 12 years ago | (#3692040)

And I want karma values for the bozos editing this stuff.

Huh? How can the editors be expected to realise that this has already been posted before?

You actually think any of the editors *read* the shit (yes i mean 'stories') that gets posted on here?

I know that they gave up on that a long time ago, sheesh, as if they'd even read comments you people post. (Well, except of course when Taco decides to bitchslap an entire thread down automatically)

Re:For crying out loud... (1)

bokketies (584972) | more than 12 years ago | (#3692135)

excoos when askeng. Can tell anebode what is the famous WiFi? Reading the slashdot but do now not understend. Friends? Plaese help?

Excoos for speling

Re:For crying out loud... (0)

Khaed (544779) | more than 12 years ago | (#3692189)

You know, I have no idea either, and I visit Slashdot at least twice a day. Can someone explain it for myself and our polite friend here? Links explaining it work, too. Maybe I'm just missing something.

Re:For crying out loud... (1)

sheepab (461960) | more than 12 years ago | (#3692146)

Hemos pulled a ChrisD. What, somebody had to say it!

I'd pay for Slashdot... (-1, Offtopic)

Tokerat (150341) | more than 12 years ago | (#3692182)


...if I knew I wasn't going to pay to see the same stories over and over.

(And thus fewer whining posts like mine. Please guys, run a little tighter of a ship so assholes like myself don't have to bitch.)

It's not so bad... (3, Insightful)

gnovos (447128) | more than 12 years ago | (#3692210)

Not all of us can reload evry 10 minutes all throught the day. Nor can we all spend hours digging through the archives to find what we may have missed. While I do agree that posting the same story two or even three times in a single day is a clear sign of lazy editing, having a potentially important story (and having my WiFi decimated is pretty serious in my world) repeated every so often lets those who missed it the first time hear about it.

Uh, oh... (3, Funny)

TheDanish (576008) | more than 12 years ago | (#3691954)

Light or WiFi? Light or WiFi?! Aaah, can't...choose...*head explodes*

Actually, I already have a few energy efficient lights around, and I don't really use WiFi, sooo... guess it doesn't apply to me.

Did you really think this was going to last? (3, Funny)

ObviousGuy (578567) | more than 12 years ago | (#3691958)

Until the geeks of the world learn to curb their appetites for lower power and roaming Internet, we are going to see these clashes.

Unfortunately, it's likely we'll see the death of one or the other before the geeks ever learn to use what they are provided in moderation.

Wot about LED's? (2, Redundant)

marcushnk (90744) | more than 12 years ago | (#3691959)

Why can't the world just grab a clue and use LED's instead... MUCH cheaper, MUCH tougher and MUCH better.

Re:Wot about LED's? (3, Informative)

Cryptnotic (154382) | more than 12 years ago | (#3692017)

LED's are not cheaper right now if you look at them in terms of lumens per dollar. They are also not very bright. You cannot use LED's as the headlights on your car, for instance. As the prices continue to drop, there will be more and more uses, but the technology needs to develop more high-power, high-output LED's in order to take over the place of incandescent and halogen bulbs.

Poor spectrum (3, Informative)

alienmole (15522) | more than 12 years ago | (#3692019)

You wouldn't want your house to be lit by current LED technology. They have a much narrower spectrum of light than any commonly used bulb technology - sort of the opposite of the "natural light" bulbs that some companies sell.

Isn't it too early? (1)

Axe (11122) | more than 12 years ago | (#3692020)

White leds are just afew yesars old, and are pretty darn expensive. If this RF excitation lamp thing is cheap and reliable as it can be, it will be more effective..

Not that I really want more EMI all around me into my brains. WiFi or what ever..

Re:Wot about LED's? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3692049)

Um, cheaper? A single white LED costs as much as a regular incandecent bulb. And it'd take a lot of LEDs to equal a bulb (I'd guess 10-20) Sure, $50 LED bulbs might save money in the long run, but since when has anybody in the Land of SUVs cared about saving money later versus saving money now?

Besides, white LED light is disturbingly like bad fluorescent light, only without the subtle flickering. They are seriously lacking in the red end of the spectrum.

Re:Wot about LED's? (1)

io333 (574963) | more than 12 years ago | (#3692177)

LED's don't actually use (much) less energy as compared to an incandescent bulb. They light longer when powered by batteries though because their intensity doesn't drop off as much as incandescents do as the voltage drops.

The most efficient light source (except for exotics) is still the flourescent tube.

Let me see if I can dig up a reference...

Ah, this should do:

http://www.resurgentsoftware.com/gpetrie/The_Per fe ct_LED_Light.pdf

Scroll down to page five. Note that the above link is a .pdf file. Also, I don't seem to be able to get the "Perfe" and the "ct" to stick together so you may need to cut and paste. Sorry. I don't know if it is me, or Mozilla that is doing it.... No, IE is doing it too. I guess I'm just unclueful.

NORNE Energy Is very concerned about this. (0, Offtopic)

tcd004 (134130) | more than 12 years ago | (#3691960)

It's in their "about us" section. [lostbrain.com]

Disclaimer: This is a joke. Don't get your panties in square-knot over it. Mod it down if you can't untie a square-knot.

We're burning some Karma tonight!
tcd004

Broadband access is far more important (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3691963)

While I agree that energy conservation is an important factor, consumption from light bulbs has to be balanced with all the rest of the devices in a home. What about TVs, or washer/dryers, or dishwashers? Or all of the industrial consumers? All those consume far more energy than regular residential light bulbs. Heck, we already have fluorescent bulbs for those who want to save. These light bulbs sound like a feel-good measure for those interested in saving the environment. Save the exchange of information FIRST.

Re:Broadband access is far more important (1)

Skyfire (43587) | more than 12 years ago | (#3691985)

Ummm, or computers, maybe? That there new Athlon isn't exactly a conservationist's dream.

Re:Broadband access is far more important (1)

Hafer (585097) | more than 12 years ago | (#3692122)

Yes, lets save the exchange of information first by not using those funny bulbs because there was no exchange of information before 802.11, right?

What's next? (1)

vstat (456161) | more than 12 years ago | (#3691964)

Cell phones, laptops and PDAs with light switches?
I would pay to see that!

energy (1)

DopeThrone (585075) | more than 12 years ago | (#3691968)

i like hallogen instead, screw power companies , make some fusion shit, then give it to us for free,

Not a problem, an opportunity! (5, Interesting)

NewtonsLaw (409638) | more than 12 years ago | (#3691969)

Well the answer appears very simple to me.

If these lightbulbs are emitting RF in the 2.4GHz spectrum then when will some smart-assed entrepreneur come up with the dual-function lightbulb/WiFi node?

Half the guts is already there -- the transmitter.

If every household and business had these bulbs, think of the massive 802.11 network we could build!

Each bulb could become a node in a new, better, "brighter" Internet.

Okay so I'm kidding!

Of course if that doesn't work -- why can't they just use some sheilding on these bulbs? A very thin (transparent) metal-film conductive coating (of the type they use on LCDs) should do the trick quite nicely and at minimal cost.

Re:Not a problem, an opportunity! (1)

s.fontinalis (580601) | more than 12 years ago | (#3692006)

Speaking from experience sputtered coatings would add a couple of cents to the _manufacture_ of light bulbs, minimum. Probably close to a nickel - extrapolate this out to retail pricing and your probably talking about an increase of .25 to .50 cents. A substantial difference for the lightbulb world.

Of course my odea has always been to sell a stereo cabinet with "a new improved IR reflective coating that improves playback on your CD's" and doesn't allow one to use the remote. I wonder how many I could sell before the first return?

Re:Not a problem, an opportunity! (1)

squidinkcalligraphy (558677) | more than 12 years ago | (#3692129)

probably talking about an increase of .25 to .50 cents. A substantial difference for the lightbulb world.

Given that currently small flourescent bulbs (drop-in replacements for incandescents), which use less than a fifth of the power of incandescents cost about $10 (australian), 50c isn't much, really. I can't imagine these new bulbs will be particularly cheaper. at least nowhere near the 50c or so for incandescents.

Re:Not a problem, an opportunity! (4, Insightful)

CaptnMArk (9003) | more than 12 years ago | (#3692023)

Imagine the power the light bulb could save if it didn't radiate useless 2.4GHz interference in a half mile radius.

Re:Not a problem, an opportunity! (1)

_Wrath_ (91984) | more than 12 years ago | (#3692199)

I find the flickering light technology to be a more concievable form of lightbulb communication: http://cooltown.hp.com/mpulse/0102-consumer.asp

(And yes, slashdot covered this)

Re:Not a problem, an opportunity! (1)

jezreel (261337) | more than 12 years ago | (#3692163)

And what will happen if somebody accidentally peels or scrubs this coating off? You'd end up with a huge interference just because grandpa ditched the bulb and all the people in the office nearby 'd be really pissed :-)

rinse, repeat...

Maybe one could insert some kind of EM-shielding fluid into the bulb and shake it 'round until it dries...

There ought to be a way... (0)

Smelly Jeffrey (583520) | more than 12 years ago | (#3691972)

If they can magnetically shield speakers so they don't mess with CRT monitors, they ought to be able to shield these bulbs from emitting these waves too. Or perhaps something from the same school of thought as the leaden vest and the x-ray machine at the dentist's office is in order.

and what's all this about wrecking havoc anyway?

Re:There ought to be a way... (1)

blazen1 (583950) | more than 12 years ago | (#3692160)

"they ought to be able to shield these bulbs from emitting these waves too"

Yes, except that the shielding would also keep the light from being emmited, doh!

Re:There ought to be a way... (1)

DHR (68430) | more than 12 years ago | (#3692209)

no it wouldn't, you could have a sheet of metal full of smaller than 1/4 wavelength holes, and it would be shielded. btw, a wavelength at 2.4ghz is 13cm, so those are some pretty big holes.

Fushion (1)

teaserX (252970) | more than 12 years ago | (#3691977)

...like the fushions on my couch?

Re:Fushion (1)

reverius (471142) | more than 12 years ago | (#3692107)

I think he means "feushon". Not really sure though.

incoming random html crapflood! (-1)

on by (572414) | more than 12 years ago | (#3691978)

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Re:incoming random html crapflood! (-1)

TrollBurger (575126) | more than 12 years ago | (#3692072)

Thats a nice crap flood, be careful to wipe your hands afterwards.

You want to hear a funny story about crapflooding? The other day at Uni i was sitting at one of the computers, and i could see a guy in the next row of computers making a crapflood for slashdot. Except he wasn't using a random generator (which presumably you are), he was typing similar things above totally by hand.

After i realised this, i quickly threw all my books etc into my backpack (so i could make a speedy exit), logged off and walked up to his computer. I said "hey", he turned and looked up at me. I yelled point blank into his face "YOU'RE A FUCKING IDIOT" as loud as i could, mashed his keyboard, turned his monitor off and walked calmly away before he could do anything. I hoped it made his day a bit more surreal, and perhaps taught him a lesson (use some sort of script when crapflooding, lest crazy Unix geeks run up and yell things in your face)

One of the librarians looked at me oddly as I walked off, but i ignored her. So just keep that in mind.

Dirty Panties!! (oh they're dirty)

(these are possibly the librarians panties i am talking about too)

Re:incoming random html crapflood! (-1)

on by (572414) | more than 12 years ago | (#3692092)

anyone who types in something like that by hand deserves to die...

Cringely Section (1)

sb_steele (513302) | more than 12 years ago | (#3691979)

I've seen this suggestion before... But I want to state again that I think Cringely deserves his own Section... I look forward to reading his article every week. It is always topical and insightful (even funny at times)... Also, everyone should read about the tragic death of his son here [pbs.org] . If you have children you know how scary SIDs is. If you have the time, please help with his cause.

How many people here (4, Funny)

unsinged int (561600) | more than 12 years ago | (#3691982)

could do without the lights and just rely on the glow from their monitor?

12% of slashdot judging from the current poll: Preciousss, the sunsss hurtssss.....

:)

Uncontrolled frequencies are doomed anyway (5, Insightful)

jukal (523582) | more than 12 years ago | (#3691984)

802.11xx are doomed anyway, as long as the frequencies can be used without regulation. Yes, wlan shrinks cells automatically and delivers less when there is more users and traffic, and yes, you can "just" add network elements. However, when it really becomes a success story, it is doomed. WLAN with it's uncontrolled frequencies just will not work in very tightly populated areas if a significant percent of people begins to use them. And we don't even need any assisted interference to achieve the congestion.

Re:Uncontrolled frequencies are doomed anyway (3, Interesting)

foniksonik (573572) | more than 12 years ago | (#3692126)

I'd think that at some point wireless will be ubiquitous like cell bands and you won't need to broadcast your own.. isn't that what you meant by 'success story'.

Not broadcasting your own means much less interference AFAIK. This will happen soonest in tightly populated areas.. looked to Japan to be the first to have public access WiFI.

Course i have to ask how does WiFI scale to N users per square mile/km?

Real McCoy Challenge (1)

fldvm (466714) | more than 12 years ago | (#3692227)

>>>The prizes come from my backpocket and my beautiful, intelligent and creative wife Forget the backpocket prizes, I want the beautiful wife prize!

Again? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3691988)

Deja vu!

we need another frequency. (3, Interesting)

beckett (27524) | more than 12 years ago | (#3691989)

the 2.4ghz band is a mess. cordless phones, video transmitters (X.10!), 802.11, and Bluetooth all share that band of frequencies. Granted, this is what was pretty well inevitable with the FCC unrestricting the 2.4ghz band.

now there are technologies they never thought of, like interference from this light. I seriously have a problem with any of these 2.4ghz products: i'm not even guaranteed that my video transmitter will work with my phone without interfering.

i'll wait until Ultra Wide Band [gcn.com] products become available. 3.1ghz phones are just around the corner. then watch us roll into GPS territory. maybe we should just switch back to carrier pigeons (:

All this 2.4 GHZ radiation. (1)

HFXPro (581079) | more than 12 years ago | (#3691991)

Another thing producing radiation at 2.4GHZ. I wonder how many things have to be around before I start getting cancer. My HAM radio book says I should try to limit individuals exposure to radiation at frequencies this high up in the spectrum. Now it seems that every one potentionally is going to be producing radiation at this range, although at a lower total output level. However, if I have 400 people around me producing 1 watt, I could end up with getting 0 or 1000's of watts of energy at this frequency depending on where I'm standing. Perhaps I should go and purchase a Tempest suit or make my own.

Radiation in my brain.. (2, Funny)

Axe (11122) | more than 12 years ago | (#3692053)

..my monitor.. my cell phone.. my brain hurtz and I can't do math.. numbers escape me..

Dude, do not tie you panties in a knot. 400 people around you will need to shove their wi-fi up your ass and wrap you in tin foil for you to absorb all that energy. Not that it is entirely impossible, it's for you to tell, but for most of us - highly unlikely usage pattern.

Some data HERE [mcw.edu]

Re:Radiation in my brain.. (1)

HFXPro (581079) | more than 12 years ago | (#3692193)

Actually, I was trying to make a point. Never mind though.

Huh? (0, Funny)

GafTheHorseInTears (565684) | more than 12 years ago | (#3691992)

WTF is a "light blub"?

asdgasg (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3691993)

wo ??? [pchome.net]

Maybe It's Just Me... (3, Insightful)

krmt (91422) | more than 12 years ago | (#3691995)

Perhaps it's because I've never used a wireless network in my life for computing, but I'd much rather have low cost lightbulbs myself.

Low cost lighting benefits everyone, rather than the relative few who can and will access wireless networks. I can see the power in wireless, but since most people will never take advantage of this, and you can be environment-friendly in the process, I say go for efficient lighting. As Cringley briefly mentions and then forgets for the rest of the article, it will decrease energy usage and reliance on oil, which will really benefit everyone.

This whole "war on terror" would not likely be happening without our (the US's) incredible appetite for oil. Anything we can do to curb this will be beneficial, and that to me is far more important than being able to get sports scores and news headlines on my Visor.

Re:Maybe It's Just Me... (1)

ObviousGuy (578567) | more than 12 years ago | (#3692043)

You said it.

It really irks me to see countries like Germany turning away from clean energy like nuclear. Until fusion comes around, nuclear is the best choice we have for cheap and abundant power generation.

Re:Maybe It's Just Me... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3692115)

Funny thing you say that... Germany has the most installed wind power in the world, and they are the size of what? 1 large US state?

Re:Maybe It's Just Me... (1)

Hafer (585097) | more than 12 years ago | (#3692181)

Wow, do you really think nuclear power to be *clean* ?? There is no such thing as clean power supply. Don't judge power technology by "what could be done" . Judge it it by "what actually has been done".

Okay, I know I'm gonna get flamed, but... (1, Flamebait)

KagatoLNX (141673) | more than 12 years ago | (#3692221)

When disposal is properly handled, nuclear gives the best energy per environmental impact per dollar.

Even with that, it doesn't have a huge lifetime (a few generations?) due to limited quantities of uranium.

And before you brush me aside over the disposal issue, think about the yearly environmental impact of improperly disposed motor oil and the like.

Face it, disposal of nuclear waste, even if it leaks, is hardly Chernobyl. How many bad radition leaks have there been? How may bad oil spills?

I'll be the first to embrace fusion when it gets here, but for now, the nuclear track record looks good enough for me.

Noone cares about wasteful CPU's, why 'bout WiFi? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3692046)

Lots of people waste their money on excessively energy-consuming CPU's - Intel, AMD - while equally powerful systems, about equally priced, exist that consume a fraction of the energy (and produce a fraction of the heat), and are exempt from MS-tax to boot.

They obviously don't care about that. Why would they start caring now?

Re:Maybe It's Just Me... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3692159)

you haven't used 802.11, it rox

Shine on! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3691996)

You crazy diamond.

I am SO bored.

Isn't it simple? (3, Insightful)

An IPv6 obsessed guy (545330) | more than 12 years ago | (#3691999)

So what would you prefer?

Maybe it's just me, but this is a no brainer. Sure, I'm writing this from the shitter thanks to my 802.11b network. Sure, I like using my laptop anywhere near my apartment. But if these lights are the real deal--prime time or not--I'll gladly move to an 802.11a network if/when they're widely used. Light bulbs waste a tremendous amount of energy nationwide, and if these bulbs can help reduce that, then great! We can only abuse the earth so long. We can wait until after we drop a deuce to check email, or can upgrade to 802.11a if we really can't.

Of course, widespread adoption of the new lights is a huge concern. Look at how energy efficient compact flourecent lights are, and how relatively few are actually used.

Re:Isn't it simple? (0, Offtopic)

spoco2 (322835) | more than 12 years ago | (#3692120)

"...I'm writing this from the shitter..."

Ok... urgh... smelly keyboard, smelly...

And people got annoyed at me for reading a magazine in the crapper cause they thought it made it dirty... but a whole laptop.

No-one else will be touching your laptop boyo...

Or is that the point?

The bulb is not even on the market yet (1)

ReverendRyan (582497) | more than 12 years ago | (#3692000)

Since the bulb is not even on the market yet, what is to stop the company from improving the design at the last minute? And where did the author of the article get this information to begin with? It seems kind of shaky.

It seems to me that if this *really* poses a problem that it will be noticed and dealt with quickly, assuming that a sufficent number of people with high speed wireless live in an area with one of these lightbulbs being used...

Too much power? (5, Interesting)

forand (530402) | more than 12 years ago | (#3692016)

Anyone know exactly how much power these lights are supposed to give off? If these are supposed to save power better than current technologies(e.g. florecent) they need to put out 12W. But the claim is that it interfers with 2.4GHz so how much power is going out in that band if the whole thing is only using 12W? It seems unreasonable that 12W falling off at 1/r^2(okay I assume a sphereical bulb) would have enough power to interfer with WiFi .5miles away. So does anyone know the power output(or usage) of these lights and exactly what intensity a WiFi will pick up?

Re:Too much power? (3, Informative)

ColaMan (37550) | more than 12 years ago | (#3692121)

er,
Don't Wi-Fi cards output in the 20-100 milliwatt range usually? I'd presume that these lights only produce a minor amount of 2.4ghz of output or the FCC'd be all over them. The 2.4Ghz band *is* regulated still - there are limits on power output etc.

Anyway, it all depends on how it is distributed across the 2.4Ghz spectrum - I presume it's peaked being RF excitation, which normally means you're aiming for a narrow energy state in your gas. So, a single 500khz-wide peak with all output power going into it ain't going to hurt too much.

But the other extreme is also true - a few watts of energy, dispersed across the entire 2.4Ghz range will just wind up being a low-level noise.

/Cringly? & did you read the article? (1)

RevDobbs (313888) | more than 12 years ago | (#3692018)

1. Why are Cringly's articles automatically turned into /. posts.

2. Did the submitter read the article? The gist of the story was that 802.11b would work just fine with the new, RF-noisy lights.

3. Yes, a more insightful webpage & technically detailed website was listed on slashdot just a couple of weeks ago.

microwave radiation (1)

splorf (569185) | more than 12 years ago | (#3692025)

Let me get this straight, 802.11 and cell phones are very limited in power emission to (sensibly) keep our microwave exposure to safe levels, but now these light bulbs are going to be everywhere that emit enough microwaves to drown out wireless data stuff? Will the light bulbs give us cancer or sterilize us? That seems like a much more pressing question than the energy-savings vs. broadband access tradeoff.

seen it before... (1, Troll)

mumkin (28230) | more than 12 years ago | (#3692026)

May 8, '02: Hemos posted New Lighting Technique to Wipe Out WIFI?" [slashdot.org]

Mr Cringley has cribbed a bit belatedly :)

Re:seen it before... (1)

mumkin (28230) | more than 12 years ago | (#3692047)

..oops, or rather it was "New Lighting Technology to Wipe Out Wi-Fi Access?"

hee hee. "My new lighting technique is unstoppable!"


--

I bet this will cost me... (1)

sheepab (461960) | more than 12 years ago | (#3692028)

....but its too irresistable
To quote a famous rapper, modified for the slashdot masses

So the FCC won't let me be
Or let me be me so let me see
They tried to shut me down on 802.11b

Eminem sucks. You aren't funny or clever (-1)

xdfgf (460453) | more than 12 years ago | (#3692088)

See topic

Lightbulb Power Consumption (2)

ActMatrix (246577) | more than 12 years ago | (#3692029)

Many people don't realize just how much power light bulbs consume. To borrow some statistics (source [fireshui.com] ): 25% of US energy consumption and 10% of the average residential energy bill comes from lighting. Light bulbs are horribly inefficient - 90% of the electricity they suck up is wasted as heat. So from an infrastructure standpoint, a cheap energy-efficient bulb can make a huge economic and environmental difference.

They will just light up more bulbs. (1, Insightful)

Axe (11122) | more than 12 years ago | (#3692064)

Make gaz cheap - people will drive SUV. Make lighting efficient -- they will light up more.

Just get us fusion power.

asdfasd (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3692030)

slash [slashdot.org]

giggle (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3692031)

zz fuck

žshit (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3692051)

Ì âÆ fuck

network through neon bulbs? (2)

edrugtrader (442064) | more than 12 years ago | (#3692055)

i don't have links but i thought someone else set up networking based on the flickering of neon bulbs... maybe a fusion light bulb network would run faster than the 802.11 it is destroying? and at 1/2 mile link a pop they might be cost effective... a few bulbs in every building!

Another first for light bulbs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3692069)

Not only do they contaminate the night sky with light pollution, but they are now
taking on the invisible EM spectrum. Is this a great country or what? </sarcasm>

I'm going to replace the headlights in my monster SUV with these babies ...

FCC regulations (2, Interesting)

panurge (573432) | more than 12 years ago | (#3692093)

Doesn't the FCC have something to say about this? The European EMC Directive covers the emission spectrum from DC to the Big Bang frequency, and I remember well getting all the technical papers as the conventional fluorescent manufacturers faced up to the fact they were going to have to redesign their ballasts and ignitors. Even if this particular bit of spectrum is unregulated, what about harmonics? Surely they would be up there in the key shortwave radar bands, raising the noise floor?

The EMC directive: you're allowed to radiate gibberish, brain-dead stupidity, pornography etc. but NOT NOISE

Savings? (1, Insightful)

BrokenHalo (565198) | more than 12 years ago | (#3692095)

...or low cost light bulbs all around the country to save more and more on electricity?

Who believes we'll save on electricity? OK, I might be a cynic, but experience tells me that if everybody started using low-power light bulbs, the power companies would just hike the price per kW-hour.

Re:Savings? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3692124)

and this would cause yet more innovation in energy efficiency.

There goes another one (1)

BoBaBrain (215786) | more than 12 years ago | (#3692109)

I would complain about this "story", but I'm getting slashdot for free (or at least, for the price of ignoring a few adds).
:/

Re:There goes another one (2)

foniksonik (573572) | more than 12 years ago | (#3692141)

Are you the guy pirating my WiFi signal? /. for free huh? costs me at least $15/month at home, 'free' at work though. $15/month means I have roomates not some ultra cheap broadband access.

Re:There goes another one (1)

BoBaBrain (215786) | more than 12 years ago | (#3692156)

- Are you the guy pirating my WiFi signal? -
Are you the guy messing up my light bulb?

- 'free' at work though -
I think you answered your own question.
;)

Re:There goes another one (2)

foniksonik (573572) | more than 12 years ago | (#3692230)

yeah but the real question is do you like my sig?

Damnit! I want my cake and eat it too! (2)

teamhasnoi (554944) | more than 12 years ago | (#3692116)

I want Wireless Light Bulbs OR Light-Up Wireless rays. Either will fit into my plans of world dumbnation!

Wireless lightbulbs? If that' not idiocy, what is? (1)

kiwipeso (467618) | more than 12 years ago | (#3692127)

How the heck are you supposed to run a network at all if there is severe interference in the way of the information ?

Is it really true that the US patent office is dumb enough to not even do any safety checking procedures at all ?

I thought the one-button online click was pretty bad, but anyone who doesn't even bother to go through all the safety steps involved in the counter-checking has definately wasted too much time sleeping in the office.

I'm off to have tea and sleep it off now.

5 Years to go... (2, Insightful)

Ma$$acre (537893) | more than 12 years ago | (#3692131)

Watch out! A technology that is 5 years away will probably seriously impact a standard that, although in heavy use today, will be superceded in a couple of years.

Now they not only tell us what vaporware is coming, but what other vaporware might impact it!

Someone call the Police and file a WGAS Report.


PS. If there was even a choice to be made it would be for the Lights. Reduction in power consumption is good for everyone but Oil companies and Opec.

What nonsense. (5, Insightful)

AlphaOne (209575) | more than 12 years ago | (#3692136)

I find it incredibly hard to believe that one of these low power lights can radiate so much field strength in the 2.4 GHz band that it will knock out wireless networks for a half mile.

These lights are governed by the same standards as WiFi networks with regard to field strength. Namely, FCC Part 15.

These light fixtures would likely be considered "incidental radiators" by FCC Part 15.

An incidental radiator must use "good engineering" practices and must not cause harmful interference to radio services.

It seems to me that wiping out a half mile of wireless networks is harmful.

Just for sake of argument, let's bump these lights up a notch to "unintentional radiators," which means they generate radio energy internally for whatever use but do not by design radiate it into space. In this category, they are limited to 500 microvolts per meter of radiated field strength as measured at 3 meters distance.

This is exactly the same field strength limitation placed on intentional radiators in the 2.4 GHz band.

This means that these lights may only produce as much radio energy as a WiFi base station/client card with a unity gain antenna.

The FCC has also classically ruled against unintentional radiators which cause interference with intentional radiators due to their excessive field strength, regardless of whether they meet the requirements of Part 15 or not.

The FCC normally requests that unintentional radiator manufacturers show good faith by being far below the legal limits permitted in Part 15.

I'm not even going to go into the fact that WiFi is a spread-spectrum system and is very immune to traditional forms of interference. Unless these are spread-spectrum, intentionally radiating low power lights, I don't think we've got much to worry about.

Also, whomever thinks the FCC just doesn't care what goes on in the unlicensed portions of the spectrum is wrong. They certainly don't chase down every Part 15 violation, but they do randomly sample finished products from a variety of manufacturers to determine their compliance.

The manufacturer gets into trouble if these things don't meet Part 15 requirements, so these lights will simply never get off the ground if they interfere as much as it has been said they do.

Better question... (3, Insightful)

gnovos (447128) | more than 12 years ago | (#3692145)

I have a MUCH better question that Lightbulbs vs. WiFI:

What would you prefer? The WB Network or WiFi+Lightbulbs?

Why are the "people" shoved into this tiny band where they have to fight against microwave ovens and friggin lighting systems while bottom of the trash heap networks are given the rest of the spectrum FOR FREE to put crap on the air that provides no value and nobody watches anyway? Shouldn't those airwaves go to something good and useful, and actually help promote society?

Re:Better question... (2)

foniksonik (573572) | more than 12 years ago | (#3692152)

I agree wholeheartedly with this opinion... please mod up.

Kevin here also seems to agree... calling our airwaves a 'precious natural resource'.

http://www.gcn.com/21_6/dod/18161-1.html

"Spectrum management decisions are always complex and challenging," said Kevin J. Martin, another FCC commissioner. "In an environment where the amount of unencumbered spectrum is decreasing while demand continues to grow, it is even more critical we make interference and sharing decisions that do not waste this precious natural resource."

These would probably be illegal (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3692147)

If you have ever spent any time in or hear a hospital, you have probably seen signs telling you to turn off your mobile phone.

If these bulbs can disrupt WiFi then they are probably putting out enough RF noise to cause problems with medical equipment.

Unless someone can come up with a method of keeping them the necessary safe distance from a hospital or other medical institution, they will probably be outlawed by most civilised countries (ie those with hospitals) before they reach the shelves.

802.11 was here first!!!! (1)

saden1 (581102) | more than 12 years ago | (#3692150)

I got Phillips light bulbs all over my house already so it's wireless LAN for me.

The choice is obvious. (1)

Procrasturbator (585082) | more than 12 years ago | (#3692154)

We choose the wireless networks. They're more important to communication, and overall, our economy.

Plus, let's go ahead and use up all the electricity we can. Let our kids deal with the problem. Those bastards deserve it.

Obvious Solution (2)

Ralph Bearpark (2819) | more than 12 years ago | (#3692176)

Fushion Lightning should join the Wireless Alliance [slashdot.org] .

Each of those little light bulbs should come with an RJ-45 socket.

Regards, Ralph.

Hehe Geek Power (1)

muzzmac (554127) | more than 12 years ago | (#3692191)

The biggest problem with any technology like lighting that messes with geeks is the geeks will ultimately destroy it in anger.

They'll either throw rocks at the bulbs or hack the company using them and shut them down. :)

what they don't know is... (-1, Offtopic)

SquireCD (465008) | more than 12 years ago | (#3692197)

some of us wanna be on TV! a little to the left, no no, a little more, oh.. to the right a little.. you got it!
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