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What's the most annoying noise?
Bluetooth combo housekey & mp3 player
Army of microwave ovens squatting next door
Too many walls, trees, & passing trsffic
Britney Spears
Ben Laurie on consume-thenet
99.99% of consume-thenet

Votes: 1741 | Comments: 5
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Steal This Film II Released

By vortex, Section News
Posted on Fri Dec 28th, 2007 at 23:48:38 GMT
Steal This Film II is finally released! Sequel to part one concentrating on The Pirate Bay, and the copyfighters Piratbyran, this installment brings the history of technology and politics of media distribution to the masses in tasty and easily digestible form. From Eben Moglen to Howard Rheingold, from yours truly (vortex) to kids in the street simply stating they've never bought a CD in their lives. It's a high quality production that questions the very productisation of the human cultural need to communicate and share. As the introduction states, "This is not a film about piracy". Torrents available for xvid, DVD, iPod, and HD formats.

Comments >>

Berlin OLSR Wireless Mesh Testbed at Wizards of OS 3

war peddlaz
By vortex, Section News
Posted on Wed Jun 16th, 2004 at 10:37:33 GMT
What happens when 20 very funky wirless meshcubes supplied by 4G Systems get together with Andreas Tønnesen, the author of a fresh implementation of a mesh routing protocol called Optimised Link State Routing (OLSR)?

Why, mesh madness at the Wizards of OS conference of course!!

snapshot of Berlin MANET mesh (click for detail)

The network consisted of 3 rooftop meboxes together with various indoor units providing a stable backbone, with multiple roaming meshboxen (in cars, on foot, and on rollerblades!!) filling the gaps of coverage between the Berlin Conference centre, and c-base (the oldest crashed spaceship on earth!). The topology diagram represents the self-formed routing mesh between each meshbox.

the amazing tiny meshbox

Each tiny meshbox features 2 wireless interfaces, one to join the MANET mesh, and the other used as a classic access point for non-meshed wireless clients (essid:

The mesh works suprisingly well, although Andreas has his work cut out in some debugging, as some members of the OLSR mesh occasionally lost their routing tables causing the mesh to briefly lose contact now and again.

mesh coverage between Berlin Conference Centre & c-base

A wireless survey utilising kismet and a GPS unit gave a good indication of the area covered.

(6 comments) Comments >>

Mesh Group Approved by IEEE

By vortex, Section News
Posted on Wed Jan 21st, 2004 at 15:26:23 GMT
By Glenn Fleishman
Special to Wi-Fi Networking News
Permanently archived item

IEEE approves formation of mesh task group for 802.11 protocols: The IEEE has approved the formation of a Task Group for fulfilling the promise of the wireless distribution system (WDS) that's been part of 802.11 since the beginning, Robert Moskowitz of TruSecure's [1] ICSA Labs wrote in to tell us. The mesh task group will work inside of the 802.11 Working Group to take the extremely vague specification for the WDS and provide a protocol for auto-configuring paths between APs over self-configuring multi-hoptopologies in a WDS to support both broadcast/multicast and unicast traffic in an ESS Mesh, according to the group formation proposal that was approved.

The WDS part of 802.11 specifies the original and destination machine's MAC addresses, but also provides for two addresses for intermediate machines. Inpractical use of WDS to bridge wireless networks using gear from Linksys,D-Link, Buffalo, Apple, and others, each access point has a very loosely defined idea of where to pass traffic to get it closer to the destination address. The current implementations -- mostly a single Broadcom standard -- broadcast MAC addresses across access points as if the access points were ports on an Ethernet switch.

The new task group will provide a wider range of tools for establishing the paths between access points while also providing a protocol that can bedeveloped against. Right now, multiple implementations of simple WDS don't always work together, and even multiple devices all using Broadcom's chipsetand firmware use different ways of connecting and won't always interconnect.

Bonus: Explanation of WDS from [2] The Wireless Networking Starter Kit, 2nd Edition. Here's how my co-author Adam Engst and I describe how WDS works from ourbook on wireless (2nd edition released last fall):

WDS is a clever part of the original 802.11b specification from 1999, but it wasn't until 2003 that it started appearing in standard, inexpensive equipment. WDS connects access points wirelessly as if they were ports on an Ethernet switch. On an Ethernet switch, each port keeps a list of all the machines connected to it and broadcasts that list to each other's port. Every computer on the switch's network receives these broadcasts and uses them to discover the MAC addresses of all the other accessible machines. Whether a computer wants tosend data to another computer that's on the same or a different port, it makes no difference: the originating computer still puts the same destination address on the packet. The switch, however, recognizes the destination address of each packet and routes it to the correct port and onto the destination computer.

Each access point in a WDS-connected network works in just the same way as aport, tracking the MAC addresses of all the connected computers and broadcasting lists of addresses to other access points. When a computer connected to one access point wants to send a packet to a computer connected to another, WDS ensures that the first access point delivers the packet tothe appropriate access point, even through intermediate access points. In the end, WDS appears seamless to you, and no special magic is involved. It's just a clever way of keeping track of which computers are connected to which access points and making sure data can flow from any computer on the network to any other computer.

URLs referenced:

[1] <>

[2] <>

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Compact Wifi SWR meter design

war peddlaz
By vortex, Section News
Posted on Sun Dec 14th, 2003 at 21:13:26 GMT
After three unsucessful attempts at building a WiFi standing wave ratio (SWR) meter, raylab has found a new SWR meter design from the Netherlands, which looks relatively easy to build.

SWR meters allow antenna builders to measure how well signal transmissions flow through cable and antenna installations, which makes it an invaluable tool for DIY antenna builders.

This is invaluable in (heh) more rigorous testing of our helical, patch, spider, garlic and omni antenna constructions and lastly of course draws us ever closer to developing hot, aesthetic templates for spray-on WiFi antennas.

Stay tuned for a review of our first prototype.

(1 comment) Comments >>

Linksys Access Point breaks GPL?

By adamb, Section News
Posted on Wed Jul 30th, 2003 at 07:57:03 GMT
O'Reilly's sysadmin and community wireless champion Rob Flickenger has blogged details of suspicious findings on firmware of the Linksys WRT54G wireless access point.
"Now that we are able to execute arbitrary commands on the WRT54G, it is obvious that Linksys is running modified software covered by the GPL. One perfect example of this is Zebra, the advanced dynamic routing software package. By opening the firmware file directly, as well as by making queries through the makeshift ping interface mentioned earlier, we noticed that the zebra running on the WRT54G doesn't use the standard configuration file locations. This means that it must certainly be a modified binary. So, naturally curious, I wanted to find out what Linksys had to do to get Zebra running on this hardware. I stopped by the Linksys "GPL Code Center", and downloaded their zebra archive. You can imagine my disappointment when I realized that this is in fact just a copy of the original source code available from Where are the changes to the source tree? I have just asked Linksys that very question, but as they still haven't gotten back to my first query, I expect my email to be filed under irrelevant and forgotten."
Rob's email to Linksys asking to obtain the source of the code is archived on the NoCat mailing list.

(2 comments) Comments >>

John Perry Barlow speaks in London on Politics and Ownership

By vortex, Section News
Posted on Mon Nov 4th, 2002 at 23:42:05 GMT
jamie was first to notice that the Institute of Comtemporary Arts in London is hosting an evening with John Perry Barlow this Wednesday at 7:30pm GMT.

"Once called the Thomas Jefferson of cyberspace John Perry Barlow has been a Wyoming rancher, co-writer of songs with The Grateful Dead, and a key figure in debates about cyberliberties, copyright in a digital age, and the digital divide. He has been on Wireds masthead since its inception and his manifesto A Declaration of Independence of Cyberspace has been widely distributed on the net. On an increasingly surveillanced planet, and in a world where intellectual property is owned by major corporations such as AOL/Time Warner, John Perry Barlow talks about politics and ownership."

The relevence?, consume and other groups are actively parpticipating in the drafting community networks ownership and responsibilities documentation, including supporting as a template for all open wireless networks for interfacing with each other. This documentation and declaration of infrastructure ownership redefines the power boundaries and economics of telecommunications infrastructure.

It promises to be an intriguing evening ...

(1 comment) Comments >>

Berlin: Urban Drift & BerLon @ BootLab

war peddlaz
By vortex, Section war peddlaz
Posted on Thu Oct 17th, 2002 at 10:34:24 GMT
Just when you thought architecture conference proceedings were getting stale, Berlin group BootLab played host to BerLon, an open wireless network workshop as part of the now regular Urban Drift conference proceedings.

The London participants included warpeddlaz vortex, Alexei@raylab & gio from free2air, together with the usual Consume suspects James Stevens & Julian Priest, Mute Magazine & youarehere's Simon Worthington, east-end-net Armin Medosch, Limehouse limey Saul Albert, and last but not least direct via NYC, garlic wielding vampire hunter Shu Lea Cheang.

London & Berlin BerLon participants

Update [2002-10-17 13:11:9 by vortex]: Stay tuned. More info and content on Berlon up soon ...

(2 comments, 272 words in story) Full Story

Connecting Islands with 802.11b

By Anonymous Hero, Section News
Posted on Wed Sep 18th, 2002 at 14:14:59 GMT
70,5 km - New computer wireless connection world record established in the Canary Islands, Spain

One month after beating the Spanish national record, until then 35km, with a 54km link, the Canarian Asociation of Wireless Networks has established a new world record of 70,5km linking the Islands of Tenerife and Gran Canaria.

(2 comments, 478 words in story) Full Story

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