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The Assassination of Wi-Fi

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the sniper-has-range-on-the-target dept.

Wireless Networking 258

justelite writes "John C. Dvorak from PC Magazine has up an article looking at the new strategy of American cell-phone-service companies. From article: 'There is mounting evidence that the cellular service companies are going to do whatever they can to kill Wi-Fi. After all, it is a huge long-term threat to them. We've seen that the route to success in America today is via public gullibility and general ignorance. And these cell-phone-service companies are no dummies.'"

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How appropriate... (4, Insightful)

sconeu (64226) | more than 7 years ago | (#18231232)

I got "Nothing to see here. Move along".

your low number means nothing to dumbshit mods.... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18231356)

a shame really....

Re:your low number means nothing to dumbshit mods. (1)

ATMD (986401) | more than 7 years ago | (#18232192)

Why, should it?

Re:How appropriate... (4, Insightful)

Dogtanian (588974) | more than 7 years ago | (#18231416)

I got "Nothing to see here. Move along".
Offtopic?

Sounds about fair. Summary makes the article sound interesting. In reality, it says that WiFi is going to kick the mobile phone networks' asses in the near future, they might not like this, and it suggests vaguely that they might buy some politicians and run some misleading ads. That's it; there's no revealing of any great conspiracy or anything.

Re:How appropriate... (4, Funny)

Ngarrang (1023425) | more than 7 years ago | (#18231552)

There are two kinds of readers in the world. Those who hate Dvorak's writings, and those who haven't read his writings, yet. He reminds of day-time TV show hosts.

Does he make a point with his article? Not really. He writes nothing that hasn't already been known by anyone who makes it a point to read anything technical. *shrug*

Re:How appropriate... (4, Insightful)

timeOday (582209) | more than 7 years ago | (#18232342)

I only wish Dvorak were right... it would mean WiFi is a viable threat to cellphone companies. I hate US cell service to the point that I don't have a cellphone. They seem diametrically opposed to the very idea of the Internet - provide a data link and the applications will follow. For some reason people who would never think of paying per email happily pay per SMS (which is email), and pay several dollars for a ringtone. And since cellphones are so useful and therefore profitable, the current companies and their crappy policies will never get out of the way for better ones.

Re:How appropriate... (4, Funny)

utopianfiat (774016) | more than 7 years ago | (#18231688)

tl;dr, dude, tl;dr.
executive summary:
The first part was funny, you know, the part about John C. Dvorak writing an article. Stopped reading after that.

Re:How appropriate... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18232224)

Want to have some fun? A noob "hacker" has left his computer wide open while running scripts targeting computers running unpatched instances of SQL Server. 65.60.211.238 port 46944

Have fun.

Re:How appropriate... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18232372)

Hilarious. Can't believe he doesn't know the first thing about securing his Linux installation. I thought Linux was the shit. I guess a moron is a moron regardless of the operating system.

I'm too busy getting ready for Pride week (0, Troll)

heauxmeaux (869966) | more than 7 years ago | (#18231256)

to give a shit about this fuckin garbage!

Re:I'm too busy getting ready for Pride week (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18231364)

Do you mean gay pride, or the Pride fighting championship?

Re:I'm too busy getting ready for Pride week (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18231890)

Is there a difference?

Re:I'm too busy getting ready for Pride week (0, Offtopic)

PorkNutz (730601) | more than 7 years ago | (#18231998)

Judging by his name... I'd say Gay Pride.

Security. (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18231268)

"From article: 'There is mounting evidence that the cellular service companies are going to do whatever they can to kill Wi-Fi. After all, it is a huge long-term threat to them"

Poor security will kill Wi-Fi.

Re:Security. (4, Informative)

GoMMiX (748510) | more than 7 years ago | (#18231366)

Poor security didn't stop cellular adoption.

That aside, the article is off-base in my opinion. WiFi seems more likely to become a boost to cellular usage - expanding networks and lowering costs for providers. (IE: They combine their cellular service to work with WiFi VOIP - when a customer is in WiFi range, calls go over cheaper VOIP - when no WiFi is available it goes cellular.)

I believe there was a related article a couple of weeks ago where Google (?) was petitioning the FCC to require cellular networks to open their services to competitors - my speculation at the time was that they wanted to offer a full WiFi VOIP solution where you had cellular service when no WiFi was available.

To make my babble short, I think WiFi will expand cellular usage - not the other way around.

Re:Security. (1, Troll)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 7 years ago | (#18231740)

If Dvorak had taken about ten minutes to learn something about the differences in infrastructure between cell services and WiFi (hint, it has something to do with frequencies), he would have never have written this abortion. Or maybe he wouldn't have. The guy is a troll of monumental proportions, but instead of treating him like you would your average streetcorner religious zealot, somehow or other this guy keeps getting press. He's completely divorced from reality.

Re:Security. (5, Interesting)

troll -1 (956834) | more than 7 years ago | (#18232148)

If Dvorak had taken about ten minutes to learn something about the differences in infrastructure between cell services and WiFi (hint, it has something to do with frequencies) ...

Yes, that's right.

In physics there's measurement called "skin depth" which is the distance a wave travels before it's power level drops by 1/e or about 1/3. IIRC from my old physics 110A-B at Berkeley, it's something like wavelength/2*pi. So for higher frequencies (wavelength*freq=constant) the power drop of is greater. 802.x devices don't have much of a range because the FCC limits their frequencies in the GHz range.

A way to overcome this problem (partly) is to increase the power, but FCC uses the old 'inteference' argument to prevent this. The FCC allows 802.x devices only about 1mW/channel.

Cell phone companies on the other hand pay the FCC billions for the privilege of having exclusive rights (in the form of licenses) to low frequency 'prime' prime parts of the spectrum and with permission to use orders of magnitude more power than than 802.x devices.

Although there's the problem for bandwidth (think baud) of being inversely proportional to frequency (the lower the freqency the longer the range but the less Mbytes/second you get), there are some techniques to overcome this and which the cell phone companies themselves use.

Now, if the FCC would only set aside a small part of that 'prime' spectrum for experimental devices and allow those devices to use the same power as cell phone networks, then perhaps we could begin to experiment with a new kind of network.

When you look at what some folks are doing with mesh networking [wikipedia.org] and you combine that with higher power, lower frequency for 802.x-type devices, you begin to realize the potential of having a different kind of network, one that is neutral, one were you pay a wireless ISP for 'bandwidth' (just like you do for the wired Internet) and you access that network, with a device of your own choosing and use the bandwith you buy for voice, Internet, email, messages, video streaming, etc.. without any restrictions from the provider (unlike cell phone networks).

Of course, the cell phone companies are so influencial in Congress and pay so much money to government, it's difficult to see how this could become a reaility any time soon.

Re:Security. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18232250)

'prime' spectrum for experimental devices and allow those devices to use the same power as cell phone networks

With conventional technology that will only get you a screamfest where the devices can't understand one another among the devices which are screaming at some other device (i.e. interference). Sharing a frequency over a big area, without central control, is beyond the reach of currently available consumer technology.

Re:Security. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18232364)

But couldn't the FCC set something aside and regulate the spec? Couldn't it say we're putting aside a bunch of sub GHz frequencies with the ability to use such and such power and we're asking to IEEE to come up with a peer reviewed standard and we're inviting manufacturers to make products to that spec so third parties can write software to make it work?

They already do this to some degree with 802.16.

Re:Security. (2, Insightful)

bjourne (1034822) | more than 7 years ago | (#18231860)

That aside, the article is off-base in my opinion. WiFi seems more likely to become a boost to cellular usage - expanding networks and lowering costs for providers. (IE: They combine their cellular service to work with WiFi VOIP - when a customer is in WiFi range, calls go over cheaper VOIP - when no WiFi is available it goes cellular.)

How do you price it? If I have a WiFi capable device loaded with VOIP software that I connect either via my own, or an open access point to someone else using a similar setup, there is no reasonable way for carriers to extort money from me. The do not control the network and they do not control my use of it. That is what scares the shit out of them. There is no way out for them except for forcing manufacturers to not add WiFi support to their devices. Which is the exact strategy the carriers by large are using. So far it has worked because manufacturers are wholly dependent on carriers to sell their phones.

Next week: (3, Insightful)

Angostura (703910) | more than 7 years ago | (#18231272)

... how the purveyors of bottled water would like to see kitchen sinks banned.

I've been wondering... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18231344)

Hey Slashdot, why are PC users such ugly dweebs [imageshack.us] in comparison to Mac users [imageshack.us] ? Is it because nobody has the time or patience to put up with Windows/Linux except for friendless, sexless nerds like you?

Re:I've been wondering... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18231442)

Are those Mac users men or women? It's kind of hard to tell.

Re:I've been wondering... (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18231612)

I was actually about to say the same thing.

Re:I've been wondering... (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18232092)

They're women. See the proof [tinyurl.com] at that site.

Re:I've been wondering... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18231754)

He's right. I switched to Mac, and now the Thai trannies won't leave me alone.

Re:I've been wondering... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18231954)

Where can I get a mac?

Re:I've been wondering... (0, Troll)

wellingj (1030460) | more than 7 years ago | (#18232108)

Or maybe they realize it's not about what you look like but what you can do.
Go some where else with your petulant teenage ranting. Or do your self some
good and go learn something. Or just stand there and try to look pretty untill
some one gives you money. No body here gives a fsck what you think anyways.

Re:Next week: (1)

The Living Fractal (162153) | more than 7 years ago | (#18231796)

Yep.

Adapt or perish. I love how the summary says these companies are somehow smart for trying to do this. It's not an uphill battle for them, it's like trying to crane-kick a grizzly bear. You might pull off the kick, but you'll die for it. They're digging their own business graves.

TLF

But... it's Dvorak (3, Insightful)

IceCreamGuy (904648) | more than 7 years ago | (#18231282)

If pretty much anyone else said this, I might take it seriously, however, it's coming from John C. Dvorak.

Re:But... it's Dvorak (4, Insightful)

1point618 (919730) | more than 7 years ago | (#18231468)

He himself admitted to using "dubious facts" in trying to prove his case... which is why I've tagged this article with "dubiousfacts" and read the rest of it after he said that with a grain of salt. He made huge generalizations about how people see the internet that I've never seen, and he himself is confusing the difference between the web and the internet.

Re:But... it's Dvorak (1)

xigxag (167441) | more than 7 years ago | (#18231732)

I think he's accidentally right. Even a broken clock tells the correct time twice a day.

(More than that and it'll cost ya. $4K to be precise.)

Re:But... it's Dvorak (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18231938)

Let's go over a few unproven, albeit obvious, facts. - Dvorak

That pretty much sums up the article for yuh.

WiFi is not a threat to cellular networks (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18231292)

The range is ridiculous or requires big antennas, there is no handover mechanism that keeps connections, not even with hiccups, the total alotted bandwidth is a joke and in a band which is used by many other applications, including TV transmitters which use the whole available band. It's a completely different product.

Re:WiFi is not a threat to cellular networks (3, Insightful)

gomiam (587421) | more than 7 years ago | (#18231570)

Parental warning: sarcasm ahead.

The range is ridiculous or requires big antennas,...

Range? Do you really think there's no cell tower at less than 100m from you? In San Francisco? Let me doubt it. Never mind these pesky new protocols (WiMax, for example, even if it's a braindead specification) who allow you to connect from kilometres away. On the antenna subject, a bigger antenna doesn't equal better reception.

...there is no handover mechanism that keeps connections...

...which must explain why I can keep my connections at the Faculty I work at while I walk about checking computers. Yeah, it must be a bitch having no handover there. Not to mention that IPv6 supports roaming, too.

...the total alotted bandwidth is a joke...

...compared to the humongous bandwidth [wikipedia.org] (2Mbps for stationary systems, wow!) you get with 3G (well, you may get 3Mbps or a bit better with 3.5G).

... and in a band which is used by many other applications, including TV transmitters which use the whole available band.

Transmitters that, as we all know, cover every WiFi signal in... ten meters around, since they are usually inside houses?

It's a completely different product.

Which explains why 3G works on top of IPv6. Yeah, it must be a completely different product: it provides the same service, uses the same technology. The only difference is the frequency range: 3G works on the 5GHz band (which requires almost line of sight to work, so there goes your complaint about range).

Next time, please document yourself beforehand. It doesn't matter your being moderated Insightful when your post if actually off base.

Re:WiFi is not a threat to cellular networks (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18231868)

Do you really think there's no cell tower at less than 100m from you?

The nearest cell tower is approximately 2 miles from here. No, I'm not in San Francisco. Inner city WiFi networks currently have more problems with too many access points competing for the scarce bandwidth. It's an unlicensed band...

I can keep my connections at the Faculty I work at

My experience with WiFi handovers in completely controlled networks differs. Not only does the computer not detect loss of signal fast enough, the renegotiations regularly kill open TCP connections. Nothing that couldn't be fixed, of course, but right now it's unusable for mobile applications. Even if you fix the handovers within one controlled network, you still need handovers at administrative boundaries. The problem is amplified by the short range.

(2Mbps for stationary systems, wow!) you get with 3G

I'll take working 2Mbps where I am instead of spotty 20Mbps where I am not. Like I said, different product.

it provides the same service, uses the same technology.

No, 3G provides medium range service and operates on licensed (read: exclusive) bands. The network is homogenous and enables seamless handovers in the whole covered area. WiFi is a local service on an unlicensed band with heavy interference. Coverage requires many more APs, so it will only be available in densely populated areas and that's where WiFi also faces most of the competition for the bandwidth. There are only 3 non-overlapping channels, all of which can also be used for private networks which interfere with municipal WiFi service. They're both digital and they're both networking technologies. That doesn't mean they're not in completely different markets.

Re:WiFi is not a threat to cellular networks (3, Interesting)

gomiam (587421) | more than 7 years ago | (#18232286)

Does that tower at 2 miles provide you with 3G already? At speeds near 384Kbps (3G maximum for mobile systems)?

On roaming experience, YMMV, of course. But I know it can work, since I'm taking advantage of it daily. You talk about handovers at the administrative limits, but forget that those handovers have been sorted time and time again (see standard cellular handovers between different commercial providers). Why shouldn't they now? And consider, also, that such handovers are less important when you get a city council to wire(?) a whole city. About range, please read again what I said about the 3G band range.

You'll take working service instead of spotty one. Good. But don't assume that, because current WiFi access is spotty, it will always be so. If I can get good WiFi access here in Spain for free, so can you in the US.

3G coverage, seamless? Methinks not, out of big cities at least. And yes, the 5GHz band allows for unlicenced use, so it's not exclusive (I'm starting to wonder if you really read my post): I can't fathom how 802.11a would be allowed otherwise.

I admit the current state of 2.4GHz WiFi leaves much to be desired, but in the US you already have 8002.11a, which works in the same band as 3G does, is already implemented and has less interference problems. And I still can't see how, suffering the same technical limitations, you can still say they are different products. Is IPv6 over 3G different from IPv6 over 802.11a WiFi? I just don't see it.

People get what they deserve (2, Insightful)

ehack (115197) | more than 7 years ago | (#18231296)

By definition, PEOPLE alect muicipal governments. If they want wifi they can ask for it. If they're too dumb to ask for it, they're too dumb to deserve it. Same goes for sewers and drinkable water.

Re:People get what they deserve (5, Insightful)

Brandybuck (704397) | more than 7 years ago | (#18231524)

Municpal governments don't provide food, yet the grocery stores are full. They don't provide clothing, yet I'm wearing a shirt. And unless you're homeless and it's a cold night, they don't provide shelter. Yet here I am with a roof over my head. Food, clothing and shelter are FAR more necessary to my well being than wifi, yet the market manages to provide those necessities to me without the help of municipal government.

For some classes of products, such as sewers and drinkable water, it may make sense to put your local conniving pocket-lining councilman in charge. But I'm far from convinced that wifi falls under that category.

Re:People get what they deserve (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18231680)

Muicipal ? Municpal ?

WTF ?!?

Re:People get what they deserve (0)

dodongo (412749) | more than 7 years ago | (#18231968)

yet the market manages to provide those necessities to me without the help of municipal government.


Well, I'll say it. Bullshit. The market only provides that to those who will pay -- sometimes pay exorbitant percentages of their income -- and if you don't or can't pay, fuck you.

The market didn't provide any of those necessities to you. You requisitioned them for yourself, deeming them to be fundamental to your well-being. Homelessness and below-living-wage jobs are a huge issue, even here in the US, where we're supposed to be a paragon of getting our free-market jollies off. Where's the benevolence of the invisible hand there?

Re:People get what they deserve (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18232188)

So what ?

The market is the best arbiter ou1t there ...

"Homelessness and below-living-wage jobs are a huge issue, even here in the US"

No they are not. People here , including so called poor, live fat better than most.
Keep your crusades to yourself, stay away from me fucker.

Re:People get what they deserve (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18232208)

And unless you're homeless and it's a cold night, they don't provide shelter.

Factually incorrect.

Re:People get what they deserve (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18232226)

Municipal government do provide oppression and rights violations under the guise of "common good" though. Honestly nobody can give me one example og how a city government does ANYTHING good.

1 - they make it illegal for me to sink a well to circumvent their city water.
2 - They have a law passed that if you dont pay your water bill they recieve ownership of your property.
3 - they get to add new taxes on you for services you dont agree to.
4 - they control you and what you do.
5 - they control what you do with your property and under the guise of "inspections" extort money out of you for everything they can.
6 - they find other ways of extortion... Parking permits, yes to park in front of your house IN YOUR DRIVEWAY you have to buy a permit. permits not required if you park in your garage.
7 - every single politician is corrupt or incredibly out of touch. It's a design flaw. Only the rich are allowedto be leaders because they set it up so you have to be rich to afford running for office, higher the office the richer you gotta be. Rich people dont know SHIT about what reality is. They only know their distorted reality. Real leaders is the guy that shovels shit 45 hours a week and is pissed off abotu how the cops dont shut up the dogs in the neighborhood.

so in essence you are right, if people would rise up and violently oust these rich assholes that fuck up society then we would not have this problem.

But Americans do a collective BAHHHHHH! whenever anything happens....

Re:People get what they deserve (2, Insightful)

Omnifarious (11933) | more than 7 years ago | (#18232306)

I am thoroughly convinced by the existing WiFi infrastructure. Right now if I want complete coverage over the city I either have to spring for some stupid WiMax garbage with awful bandwidth and a highly centralized provider, or I have to pay umpteen million different little fees to get access in this place or that palce. Airports are the absolute worst for this BTW.

This is not a workable situation that will lead anywhere that's good for the consumer in the long run.

I've come to the conclusion that the natural monopoly (basically all the lines in the ground) should be owned by the municipality and it should rent it to whatever providers want to route people's traffic. And it should be rented on a house-by-house basis. Every house should get to decide who routes their traffic.

I think something similar is appropriate for municipal WiFi. I want to pay only one fee for the stupid service, and I want it to work everywhere. The current situation will never devolve into that. Instead it will become increasingly balkanized as every provider tries harder and harder to capture ever tiny last drop of revenue that can be extracted.

Re:People get what they deserve (2, Insightful)

mmurphy000 (556983) | more than 7 years ago | (#18232350)

Citizens in many municipalities have much more competition for the goods and services you cite (food, clothing, shelter) than they do broadband Internet access. Moreover, in many municipalities, the rules that govern competition in broadband are natural (e.g., only so much fiber in available rights-of-way) or are set by larger political entities (e.g., state telecommunications regulatory commissions).

So, when you say:

yet the market manages to provide those necessities to me without the help of municipal government

please understand that "the market" works best for a municipality's citizens when it is not a natural or artificial monopoly.

In markets where there is inadequate competition, it's well within reason for a municipality to do something to provide better options for its citizens. That could be municipal broadband. That could be attaching riders to franchise agreement renewals with cable or phone providers to open up the market more (for municipalities that get to negotiate their own franchise agreements). That could be endorsing the actions of a non-profit that brings in a competitive broadband solution. Or who knows what else.

Conversely, if there's adequate competition, a municipality shouldn't need to bother, beyond perhaps offering WiFi in public buildings, parks, etc.

Re:People get what they deserve (5, Interesting)

Bastian (66383) | more than 7 years ago | (#18231536)

It's really not that simple. I used to live in a fairly small town (Galesburg, IL) where there was really only one provider for high-speed internet access. As a result, the price of broadband was very high, prohibitively so for most the residents in the town, which had a relatively depressed economy.

Several years back, the local government tried to set up a municipal ISP to provide cheap broadband for no profit. The final decision of whether or not to go for it was left to a referendum. In the months leading up to it, the local cable company (who would lose a lot of money if this went through) ran a massive campaign to turn public opinion against the municipal broadband project. At the same time, the law did not allow the city to run a similar campaign in favor of the plan. So the only information being disseminated to most voters was completely anti (FUD, mostly), and few of them got much of a chance to hear the other side of the story, let alone a reasoned and balanced overview of the pros and cons of municipal broadband.

Naturally, it got voted down. And it wasn't because the electorate was dumb. Due to the nature of the law and the fact that money is speech and the cable company had all the money, most voters simply were not informed on the issue - and it's a blue collar town, so most the people simply didn't have enough knowledge of technology to really be able to inform themselves. Maybe the plan still would have broken down had the whole situation not been a complete failure of democracy, but saying it's as simple as the electorate being able to ask for it if they're smart enough is a gross oversimplifcation of reality.

Wow: harsh (4, Insightful)

EMB Numbers (934125) | more than 7 years ago | (#18231574)

When you say "if they're too dumb to ask for it, they're too dumb to deserve it. Same goes for sewers and drinkable water" I have very mixed feelings.

Most western Europeans didn't ask for sewers and drinkable water; they had them foisted upon them at tax payer expense in the mid 19th century. That is certainly true of the first modern large scale sewer system which was built in London. "The transcript traces more than 250 years of human misery, due largely to ignorance of the hazards of poor sanitation. Citizens, physicians, politicians, inventors and police provided vivid horror stories of 'miasmas, plagues and sudden death" in the homes of London.'" http://swopnet.com/engr/londonsewers/londontext1.h tml [swopnet.com]

Ignorance is deadly but curable. Ignorance about the importance of sewers and drinkable water may seem inconceivable to many of us, but such ignorance in rampant around the world.

When I watch documentaries about poor ghettos in latin America, inevitably there are toddlers playing in open cesspools and teenagers standing around unemployed, uneducated, and idle. I see that and wonder why the teenagers aren't put to work digging sewers or at least keeping toddlers out of them. For the price of the cigarettes the teenagers smoke, children could be fed and sewers built and clean water supplies maintained. I always think to myself that people who prioritize cigarettes over sewers get what they deserve just like people generally get the government they deserve.

But then I am more charitable and assume that people live in horrid conditions because of ignorance. Ignorance causes poverty and death.

There was a documentary (I think on 20/20) about hunger in the U.S.A. A father was being interviewed and he explained that toward the end of the month, there is no bread left and the children have to go hungry for days. During the interview, the father was standing in front of his satellite dish and smoking. For the price of one pack of cigarettes, the children could have eaten basic stables like bread, potatoes, and canned vegetables for several days. For the price of the satellite dish and its likely monthly subscription, the children could have been clothed and fed.

I couldn't help thinking that the father's priorities were a little skewed and sad.

Re:Wow: harsh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18232150)

Fathers are people too.

There is a strange self sacrificing expectation people have.

Are the children going to self sacrifice in a hopeless situation too?

Re:Wow: harsh (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 7 years ago | (#18232422)

There is a strange self sacrificing expectation people have.

Well, unless you're very well-to-do, if you decide to have children then you'd better be prepared to make sacrifices. It's part of the game ... being able to comfortably support yourself doesn't mean you can comfortably support some number of offspring. Yet people have kids thinking it'll just mean a few sleepless nights, and are astonished when they see how much money a family costs, when their lifestyle suffers, when they have to make sacrifices. Frankly, I don't think the GP was unreasonable in expecting a father to put feeding his children on a somewhat higher plane than watching Monday night football and jamming cancersticks in his doughnuthole.

Are the children going to self sacrifice in a hopeless situation too?

A child being raised by parents that are unable to even feed him or her properly is already being made into a sacrifice.

Re:People get what they deserve (2, Interesting)

AusIV (950840) | more than 7 years ago | (#18231952)

By definition, PEOPLE alect muicipal governments. If they want wifi they can ask for it. If they're too dumb to ask for it, they're too dumb to deserve it. Same goes for sewers and drinkable water.

There is nothing about election in the definition of municipal governments, and neither muicipal nor alect even have definitions.

Drinkable water isn't generally provided by municipal governments, it's treated and provided by private water companies. I'm not sure who provides sewage services, but it's something of a necessity - without it health risks sky rocket. If someone doesn't want to pay for sewage, they don't get that option because of the health risks it imposes on those around them. If someone doesn't want to pay for drinkable water, they simply don't get it.

Wifi is another matter entirely. People can survive just fine without it, and there's no reason someone who doesn't want it should be forced to pay for everyone to have it.

Just because the government provides something doesn't make it free, it just means everyone pays for it in taxes instead of the people who use it paying for the service. In some cases this is necessary, but in the case of WiFi it most certainly isn't.

Great (1)

ozphx (1061292) | more than 7 years ago | (#18231308)

Various Telco Industry Association of America + *IAA.

= WiFi leads to copyright infringement and supports terrorism....

American gullibility... (1, Flamebait)

flyingfsck (986395) | more than 7 years ago | (#18231320)

Well, since research showed that 92% of Americans are religious, that confirms the gullibility part of the article, but Cellcos are not against Wifi. WiFi is a short range, spotty coverage service - Cellcos provide full coverage long range service. WiFi is no threat to them.

Re:American gullibility... (1)

blakmac (987934) | more than 7 years ago | (#18231384)

so is my cellular service.

Re:American gullibility... (1)

efence (927813) | more than 7 years ago | (#18231434)

WiFi is a short range, spotty coverage service - Cellcos provide full coverage long range service. WiFi is no threat to them.
Maybe WiFi isn't, but WiMAX is.

Re:American gullibility... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18231580)

WiMAX is (mostly) a licensed band medium-range technology, which makes it a direct competitor to cellular networks, but that is no surprise because it's basically the same idea as a cellular network, except for the type of traffic. Where WiMAX operates on unlicensed bands, there's a good chance that it will be impractical for mobile user connectivity due to interference and resulting low effective range or due to directional antenna requirements.

Re:American gullibility... (1)

Creepy Crawler (680178) | more than 7 years ago | (#18232052)

WiFiSuperDuperPowrXtraLolMax doesnt mean anything.

What matters is Watts, bits per Hz, frequency used, and average noise floor for frequency block. Thats all.

Re:American gullibility... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18231628)

WiFi is no threat to them.

Just like the automobile was no threat to the rail industry?

Re:American gullibility... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18232050)

Just like teh buttsecks was no threat to weenial-pussual strokination?

hi (2, Funny)

vimbuza (602901) | more than 7 years ago | (#18231334)

wifi is teh good.

Re:hi (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18231454)

eye wood liek two doo ewe wear yuo puu!!

JUSES JUSES JUSES HES TEH GOD HES TEH CHRUST

Reason: Don't use so many caps. It's like POO-STABBING

If they can get hteir prices down... (3, Interesting)

canuck57 (662392) | more than 7 years ago | (#18231388)

They might actually kill WiFi provided they can get their prices down to $49 worth of hardware and the cost of a land line, supply at least 2 computers and more bandwidth, enough for video, or at least as much as WiFi.

So when I can use 3 computers for $29/mo I am game... but forgive me if I don't hold my breath waiting. Oh, and skip the roaming and by the minute charges. And can I share videos with the neighbors for free...without being monitored?

This is an ancient business model... (4, Insightful)

agntvbb (1071702) | more than 7 years ago | (#18231402)

...Like GM killing the municipal trolley systems of the 50s. The idea that business can provide a "more efficient" delivery of some product is often total and complete BS.

Re:This is an ancient business model... (4, Insightful)

feepness (543479) | more than 7 years ago | (#18231626)

...Like GM killing the municipal trolley systems of the 50s. The idea that business can provide a "more efficient" delivery of some product is often total and complete BS.

You're right. Government has too much power available for business to come in and take advantage of.

Re:This is an ancient business model... (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 7 years ago | (#18232414)

Actually, I don't see why businesses would want government to stay out of their matters. After all, when you look a little at recent regulations, you'll see that more and more laws are geared towards keeping you, the customer, from doing something that would cut into their profits.

Seems a bit Over hyped (2, Insightful)

phoenixwade (997892) | more than 7 years ago | (#18231432)

I'm not convinced that the big, evil cell phone companys are really trying to kill WiFi. Nor do I think they will. But if the author does, where are the examples. Where is the smoking gun that some cell phone company or other has petitioned a municipality to kill the free WiFi in the community? An add that only shows that Sprint is trying to sell their product?

  In all honesty, I think the author is having a slow news day and doesn't have anything else to whine (sorry, write) about. But then, I've not been a fan of his work for quite a while, and whining grates on my nerves.

Same owners (1)

HomelessInLaJolla (1026842) | more than 7 years ago | (#18231600)

The same major investors in WiFi companies are the same major investors in Telcos are the same major investors in a majority portion of the stock market.

The only thing which is happening here is the creation of an illusion in order to exploit the American consumer's inability to keep up with the markets as well as the major investors.

In short: We're being milked.

toronto and rogers (3, Interesting)

BRUTICUS (325520) | more than 7 years ago | (#18231452)

Interesting....as soon as Rogers telecommunications here in toronto learned that the city announced they would be offering free wifi internet for a year and then paid.... Rogers retorted and announced their own wi-fi service... as if they had to pull it out of their ass

News at 11! (1)

Godman (767682) | more than 7 years ago | (#18231474)

Ford wants Chevy to stop making trucks

Re:News at 11! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18231826)

The Ford-Chevy rivalry reminds me of the rivalry between the squirrel and the blue jay at my backyard feeder. So busy chattering and shrieking at each other that often they don't even notice the cat.

Alrighty... (3, Insightful)

feepness (543479) | more than 7 years ago | (#18231568)

We've seen that the route to success in America today is via public gullibility and general ignorance.

How do we mark the summary as a troll?

I'm not saying it doesn't happen, but come on.

good luck (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18231592)

they're late to the party. cat's out of the bag.

Summary is wrong. (1)

Jeff85 (710722) | more than 7 years ago | (#18231638)

From the summary: "And these cell-phone-service companies are no dummies."

However, George Vaccaro proves otherwise. [slashdot.org]

QOS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18231646)

the reason people won't ditch their cell phones for wifi phones has something to do with quality of service -- the cell carriers have it and public wifi doesn't. and just because wifi has greater speed potential, doesn't mean that you will get anywhere near those speeds on a public network. dvorak also seems to not understand that cell broadband is mostly for business users.

Is the public so stupid that if given the choice between that service and free municipal Wi-Fi, they'd want the slower expensive service over the free faster service?

no, the public isn't considering this service.. it's business users and they are willing to pay for QOS. What happens when they travel outside of san fran?

Re:QOS (2, Informative)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 7 years ago | (#18231824)

They really are two fundementally different technologies. WiFi isn't really designed for roaming, and it sure isn't much good at any distance for non-line-of-sight without raising power levels far beyond what anyone is allowed to do. Since WiFi actually wants to deliver a meaningful amount of bandwidth, that's just the way it is. Cellular networks, on the other hand, don't have the bandwidth issues, since voice communications and text messaging are hardly in the same league with surfing the Internet for pr0n at 1280x1024 in 32 bit color. Dvorak just pulls this stuff out of his ass. He doesn't give a shit whether it represents reality, has any evidence, or even is conceivable.
The fact is that cell and WiFi aren't mutually exclusive, and in large urban centers where one can expect good coverage, phones will doubtless be able to access IP networks directly, whereas where there isn't coverage, or where a guy is just making a phone call, the cellular network will do just fine.

Re:QOS (1)

argeybargey (894693) | more than 7 years ago | (#18232086)

There are a couple of companies that make WiFi roam quite well.
Amongst others...

RoamAD (http://roamad.com/ [roamad.com] ) is a good example of a commercial company with rollouts that make WiFi roaming work.

Cohda Wireless (http://www.cohdawireless.com/ [cohdawireless.com] ) is a startup that also has a roaming solution, as well as some novel solutions to the non-line-of-sight problem that you mention. Actually, increasing the power doesn't fix the non-line-of-sight performance. The multipath increases with the power, so by boosting the power, you are also boosting the multipath components. The problem is solvable with some clever receiver algorithms which are still 100% wifi compatible.

A number of handset manufacturers are making handsets which switch between gsm/3g and a local wifi hotspot. Say you want to download a bunch of data (emails, work documents, etc). You head to the nearest hotspot and the handset switches to wifi via the internet (still maintaining the connection). You grab the data you want and then keep driving. This, as well as voip via wifi, will definitely take the cream out of the cellular profits.

Cellular Carriers = Mainframes of Wireless (4, Interesting)

Nooface (526234) | more than 7 years ago | (#18231676)

This editorial in Forbes entitled "Wireless Shootout: Suits vs. Cowboys" [forbes.com] points out that cellular carriers and next-generation WiFi technology may be replaying the past competition between mainframes ("suits") and PCs ("cowboys"). The cellular carriers are inherently limited in their ability to adapt to modern wireless requirements because they operate under three fundamental constraints: a build-out mentality, vertical integration, and complicated pricing. The author points out that this same mindset ultimately caused mainframe suppliers to lose their dominance to the more nimble PCs in mainstream computing, and predicts that for the same reasons, more adaptable next-generation wireless technology such as WiMAX [wikipedia.org] and ZigBee [wikipedia.org] will ultimately prevail over cellular infrastructure in the future.

Cellular Wifi Products (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18231756)

Motorola, Nokia, and Samsung all have Wifi/GSM phones rolled out. Cellular operators (Tmobile, BT, Orange) have nothing but *benefit* by providing phones which use Wifi.

This article (which I didn't read based on the author) is *probably* uninformed.

Wi-Fi isn't always accessible (1)

SnotBob (970745) | more than 7 years ago | (#18231774)

Wi-Fi may be much faster but my Verizon BroadbandAccess Kyocera pcmcia cell card is more reliable. I can usually get a connection anywhere my regular cell phone can. Granted, it isn't much good for downloading the latest episode of my favorite tv show, but it really shines when I need to access a website at work that is blocked by our stupid websense proxy. Or I can take my laptop and sit in my car at lunch at surf the internet without having someone look over my shoulder. The real plus is for people that travel all day for work to different job sites and need reliable access. You can't always get a Wi-Fi connection and even if certain cities install it like they do here in Tempe, Arizona, it is only good within the city limits.

No matter Dvorak's personality, he's right (1)

postbigbang (761081) | more than 7 years ago | (#18231798)

Muni WiFi sucks, and the reasons are many. Nonetheless, free calls are the direct enemy of the mobiles/cell companies.

The reason Muni WiFi sucks is that it's haphazardly implemented with the weakest of security, and no session management (802.11n/x) to cross boundaries. But the native 'possibly-free-if-slow' portion means that native VoIP can work well. Uh oh, easy to understand why fixed, not-very-mobile free calls has them worried.

But 3G and '4G' also uniformly suck-- yet have a decent build out, no lost sessions crossing cell boundaries, have an even implementation, and aren't very fast, although the cell companies want to sell you video on your cell phones-- a hilarious sort of thing at best.

Like him or not, he's dead-on.

WTF? (4, Interesting)

cowtamer (311087) | more than 7 years ago | (#18231838)

I'm sorry, but this article says nothing more than it's title.

There are no:

1) Facts
2) Specific instances of any wireless company activity
3) Conspiracy theories about how they might be going about this...

While it may be true that widespread wi-fi may threaten a part of the cell phone provider business model, the article makes no mention of any company doing anything about it (save the introduction of a couple data access cards).

The article also does not address the common-sense fact that Wi-Fi (as it currently exists) can't replace the type of coverage that the cell phone company can give you.

It seems that Dvorak's editors have even lower standards than those of Slashdot!!

Municipal Wi-Fi (0)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 7 years ago | (#18231892)

I didn't read the article, what with Dvorak being the author and all; but I found the timing interesting from a personal perspective. Our small little town (Puget Sound area, so small but not isolated) just in the last two weeks sent out a questionnaire to area residents, basically asking 1) do we want public wi-fi, and 2) if so, what needs would we want it to fill (e.g. in our homes, in the city core, etc.). I'm wondering if this is just our local government waking up, or if there's some behind-the-scenes money pushing this.

Being up here, the first thing I usually think is "Microsoft may be up to something" - so in the comments I tried to explain why any proprietary, single-platform solution would be bad. There was nothing in the questionnaire that indicated anything of that sort; but when government is involved I have pretty low expectations. It would only take one MSCE to get the ear of a naive but ambitious city councilman who wanted to appear smart, to really screw something like this up.

Who do I trust the most? (1)

davidwr (791652) | more than 7 years ago | (#18231894)

When I'm in a coffee shop, do I trust that the coffee shop login is really the coffee shop login?

If I do trust it's legit, do I trust the people running it to not make critical mistakes that could compromise my data?

If the answer is "no" or "I don't know" then I may be looking for alternatives.

If I pay a company whose business it is to do telecommunications, I'm more likely to trust them to get it right. If they screw up the PR could be a nightmare. If the coffee shop screws up, well, they can just go back to making coffee and survive as a business.

Re:Who do I trust the most? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18232062)

Don't trust anyone. If you're sending critical data over unencrypted connections then you're doing something wrong, period. This goes just as much for your house as it does for the coffee shop.

All it takes is one bored tech at your ISP to start browsing through your traffic.

Re:Who do I trust the most? (2, Informative)

Rakishi (759894) | more than 7 years ago | (#18232248)

If the answer is "no" or "I don't know" then I may be looking for alternatives.

Yes, its called VPN and to be honest if you're using public/semi-public wi-fi hotspots without it then you deserve whatever happens to you.

Re:Who do I trust the most? (2, Insightful)

quanticle (843097) | more than 7 years ago | (#18232266)

"If I do trust it's legit, do I trust the people running it to not make critical mistakes that could compromise my data?"

I can ask the same of whatever data network the cell phone companies provide. What's their standard on encryption, authentication and other security matters?

Question for you: If you're that concerned about security, why don't use you a VPN or a SSH tunnel?

Re:Who do I trust the most? (1)

DamnStupidElf (649844) | more than 7 years ago | (#18232330)

If I do trust it's legit, do I trust the people running it to not make critical mistakes that could compromise my data?

If the answer is "no" or "I don't know" then I may be looking for alternatives.


If you think "legitimate" ISPs protect your data, you probably haven't heard of things like Carnivore or Eschelon, right? Well, keep being a good little citizen then. Move along, nothing to see here.

Really though, how could *any* ISP make critical mistakes with your data? Route it to the wrong address or drop the packets? That's what TCP is for. An Internet connection is just an endpoint to stuff packets into and hopefully get packets from, that's all. Anything you put in those packets is entirely your problem to protect with encryption and authentication.

One thing's for sure: (2, Insightful)

noidentity (188756) | more than 7 years ago | (#18231902)

The commonly-available "LINKSYS" Wi-Fi service won't be going away any time soon.

Re:One thing's for sure: (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18232130)

I did a survey of my home town last thursday. To my surprise I found only 5% open wireless networks. Last year's survey showed 40% open access points. People are either learning about WiFi security or they are beginning to have a knowledgeable friend set up the home router.

How YOU can save wifi! (4, Informative)

Bob Cat - NYMPHS (313647) | more than 7 years ago | (#18231960)

Go here

http://www.fon.com/en/ [fon.com]

get a damn wifi router, stick it on your cable/dsl (they give them away sometimes, too, but a few $ is worth it), now, you can get wifi from everyone else who is sharing their 'net.

I can walk a few blocks in most cities and get online. Help us (and yourself) out, m'kay?

I remember well... (3, Insightful)

djupedal (584558) | more than 7 years ago | (#18231978)

...same as when they killed CB radio. My response then is the same now - 300 watts of cold steel Palomar SSB amplifier.

Where's the beef? (2, Insightful)

digitig (1056110) | more than 7 years ago | (#18231980)

So, "There is mounting evidence that the cellular service companies are going to do whatever they can to kill Wi-Fi." What evidence, where? No mention of any such evidence in the article, just some business analysis.

How's It Going To Be Killed? (2, Insightful)

toonerh (518351) | more than 7 years ago | (#18232044)

The article's title is the "Killing of WiFi" and there not one word about how the telco's are going to do it. Jam the 2.4 GHz ISM band? Sue cities that offer free WiFi? Get the Congress to ban free WiFi?

Re:How's It Going To Be Killed? (2, Insightful)

Fulcrum of Evil (560260) | more than 7 years ago | (#18232318)

From what I recall, they generally sue the city and/or run smear campaigns when possible. Basically, anything goes. It's probably illegal to jam wifi directly, but what about a bunch of WAPs that don't go anywhere?

dorkvorak (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18232136)

hey, dorkvorak has raised his ugly head again, or at least some half-wit fucktard around here did it for him.
 
slashdot is showing how lightweight it really is.

Cant stop it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18232152)

I got in to help a community wifi setup before the corrupt local officials took the bribes from the companies to "outlaw" commuity wifi. So we are grandfathered. but I also help support illegal and subversive community wifi setups. all it takes is a few friends with Tv towers and setting up an accesspoint is easy. beaming wifi to a local park you can see also works really well with a dish.

Until the cellular companies give me 10megabit per second for free everywhere I will continue to subvert their corruption and help the feedom fighters of WiFi do our evil deeds of giving away free internet wifi access.

God I am incredibly evil!

Just Saying... (0, Offtopic)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 7 years ago | (#18232254)

I've often wondered why Slashdot "editors" allow / write these types headline when the article clearly doesn't support them. I believe it's because it them higher pagerank in a general Google search, and often front page exposure at Google News for random unsupported crap like this. The result is higher page views which of course is more money for The Core Slashdot Team.

"Wi-Fi is at 54 Mbps; has been for years." (1)

CatOne (655161) | more than 7 years ago | (#18232332)

Ummm... well sure in theory 802.11a and g can do 54 Mbps, practically you're doing very well if you get 15 Mbps on them.

And most of the current "free" Wifi options, e.g. Google's offering in Mountain View, are capped at 1 Mbps (some of this is a kowtow to the local telephone companies). So edge cards can compete with the "free" offerings, at least to date. Also, coverage of the edge cards is substantially better if you are moving.

Silly John C. Dvorak (4, Interesting)

dopenkly (1071658) | more than 7 years ago | (#18232418)

Are cell phone companies powerful?
Yes, of course

Do other companies, with political pull, have an interest in more global wifi access?
Yes, of course...

Will more global wifi access be free?

Not likely, but it probably will be available. Cell phone networks surely can profit from this and they already do. Isn't it lucrative to offer a cellular connection to the internet and then provide wifi from that location (shouldn't this be obvious to John)? I do believe that AT&T offered to provide me with overpriced wi-fi access the last time I walked into Barnes and Noble. I'm failing to find anything relevant in the entire article.
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