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The Internet

On The State of Wireless 129

There's a short piece on Mindjack about the state of wireless. Actually, the piece is a minireview of a piece that Nicholas Carroll produced at Hastings Research. Yes, it's a PDF, and yes, it costs money. Having read through it, it's also totally worth it, especially if you are an organization that does basically anything with wireless.
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On The State of Wireless

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  • by Anton Anatopopov ( 529711 ) on Tuesday October 30, 2001 @12:55PM (#2498111)
    It is clear that wireless is going to be the next big thing. Whatever Nicholas Negroponte says about 3G, it will take off, and the consumer will want it. Imagine being able to watch "Star Trek - TNG" on your mobile phone!

    The real problem with wireless at the moment is security. WEP notwithstanding, it is still far to easy to take an 802.11b equipped laptop outside a large corporation, and to gain acess to its network with little more effort than clicking a mouse.

    The way the CIA and FBI act on encryption now could see wireless thrive, or kill it off completely. Nobody would want an insecure wireless service, but if the CIA and FBI get their way, that's all that will be on offer.

    So, encryption (and governmental attitudes toward it) is the key to all this.

    • Ummmm (Score:4, Funny)

      by wiredog ( 43288 ) on Tuesday October 30, 2001 @01:03PM (#2498168) Journal
      . Imagine being able to watch "Star Trek - TNG" on your mobile phone!

      Just imagined it. Eyes hurt. Head hurts. From trying to focus on small screen.

    • by Sloppy ( 14984 ) on Tuesday October 30, 2001 @01:16PM (#2498264) Homepage Journal

      The real problem with wireless at the moment is security. WEP notwithstanding, it is still far to easy to take an 802.11b equipped laptop outside a large corporation, and to gain acess to its network with little more effort than clicking a mouse.

      But this really just makes a problem that already existed, more obvious. If switching to wireless looks insecure, then you're probably already insecure.

      That's why I think wireless will increase security: it'll get people to realize that they have to patch up their holes. Before wireless, they ignored the problem. I know of plenty of customer sites where you can log in to certain servers with full read/write permissions to everything, without even knowing a password. And anyone wearing anything that looks like a uniform and holding a piece of paper and looking busy, could effortlessly infiltrate their office and hook a laptop onto their ethernet (then log in, sniff, or whatever). Maybe with wireless, that kind of vulnerability will finally end.

    • Imagine being able to watch "Star Trek - TNG" on your mobile phone!

      Imagine the number of people jumping onto the train tracks when Wesley saves the day!
    • For corporate security, there are emerging some start-ups that I have seen that deal with restricting people's access to the wireless networks. Both of the units I have seen funtion as a firewall to the rest of the wired network. BlueSocket [bluesocket.com] is one of them, and Vernier Networks [verniernetworks.com] are the two I've heard of. They seem resonably secure to the rest of the network, but they still don't address the issue of encryption over the air.
    • It is clear that wireless is going to be the next big thing.

      It's far from clear. The wireless companies are trying to push this, but you have to ask why? I think the answer is that the market has become saturated. Anyone who wants one can get a cell phone for a few bucks a month. The only way that they can increase their income is by charging more, and the only way they can do this is by offering new services. However, this does not automatically mean that people will adopt them. Current estimates of the costs of 3G data [wirelessnewsfactor.com]is about $170 for 10Mb of data monthly. This would put your star trek out of the price that most people would pay. Unfortunatly the goverments around the world saw the spectrum requirements for 3G as a way to make money (22 Billion pounds in the UK, almost 100 Billion DM in Germany), plus the cost of building a new network. These have to be paid back, and that means expensive services.

      3G might become the next big thing, or it might become the next Iridium.

    • by Paul68 ( 262479 ) on Tuesday October 30, 2001 @02:00PM (#2498581)
      Nicolas Negroponte does make some valid points. 3G is not much of an improvement over what we have with 2G or can have with 2.5G (especially here in Europe with much coverage and no shortage of bandwidth like they have in Japan). Looking at the costs of 3G, licences, equipment and handhelds, one can quickly calculate that this wireless branch is going nowhere. It means that everyone who has invested in 3G technology has to write off the costs, have a good cry and start again.

      Having said that. Not all is lost. As mentioned before on /., WiFi seems to be going places and nicely filling the gap between a low-bandwidth voice and short message service and wireless broadband.

      On encryption however the comment is way off the mark. The between choice encryption or not does not equate wether or not there is legal intercept! The authorities need a place to get the bytes that you communicate. That place does not need to be the air-interface, in fact it is better to pick it off a router in the service provider's network. You and your wireless provider can agree on an encryption scheme that will keep your bits from being snooped by anyone with an antenna and too much spare time. (OK, well not your and your SP per-se but first the parties in the standards fora agree and that will enable a contract on privacy between you and your SP.) In fact as customers get more tech-savvy they will demand that the contract with their service provider will make statements about privacy of their data. It is then up to the service provider to keep their data safe (except from cops with warrants) even from their own employees.

      Before this post gets downgraded to -infinity, think for 2 seconds (or 2 minutes if you are just waking up). This is not a technical problem, good security technology is readily available. It is a legal and commercial problem!

      Some problems can not be solved just by looking at the technology, if you look at the legal and commercial framework in which services are deployed you find that you can solve some issues there as well.

      How difficult would it be to convince a court that you were damaged because your service provider did not safeguard your data and somebody used it against you to harm you financially or your standing in the community...

      OK, on the first case the service provider with try and claim that the technology is not available to secure this. BS On the second they will claim that the government has ordered them to leave this non-secure. Hmm, in some countries they have a point. The governments around the world are feeling the pressure from citizens organisations demanding more privacy.

      So the government will listen if one can demonstrate that they can get what they want (legal intercept) and the citizens can also get what they want (privacy).

      think about it.

    • Hello? Wireless is *already* the next big thing. The problem is the outrageous cost of spectrum, which leads to companies sticking to ill-conceived standards (i.e. 3G, Bluetooth, etc). 3G isn't going to provide anything you couldn't get from an 802.11{b,a} network with a similar level of infrastructural support. 802.11 is here *now*, and it works. We all know that. WEP is a stopgap and a dead horse to boot. For security, use peer-to-peer encryption (SSL) or a secure network (IPSec). I feel reasonably secure when I use 802.11 this way. So go out and get the Prism II chipset and build those 802.11 IP phones today! We'll get voice and data using proven technology based on open standards instead of the horrible situation we have now.
  • Perfect timing for this article considering Cisco just announced [yahoo.com] their new Mobile IP stuff.
    • by jgaynor ( 205453 )
      mod me down as OffTopic if you want but that is AMAZING! -

      Why isnt this a frontpage article? Basically cisco is deploying an upper atmosphere wireless IP layer for planes, shuttles and research craft.

      With the new version of the software, a Cisco router along with its entire network of connected IP devices can now roam seamlessly across network boundaries and connection types, the company said. For example, an airplane with a router running Cisco mobile IP can fly around the world with all passengers continuously connected to the Internet.

      He said NASA will deploy Cisco's mobile networks on low-earth-orbiting research craft to allow continuous connection to the Internet.

      With the economy as it is Cisco still has the capital and sway to create a wireless network that will blanket the WORLD? The potential to hack this is unbelIEVable. A strong mobile transceiver would be almost untraceable.

      Beyond the sheer magnitude of this is the complexity of the technical details behind it. This network has to be completely self healing and aware of where networks will show up next, all with astoundingly fast convergence time. No current routing protocol would be able to handle this without some serious modification. Im guessing its completely proprietary.

      for all you anime fans this is straight outta cowboy bebop - pictures of ed in the desert with a satellite dish come to mind.

      • i think you are reading a little to much into this article. All it was announcing was a new version of IOS that supports mobile IP, not a worldwide wireless network.

      • He said NASA will deploy Cisco's mobile networks on low-earth-orbiting research craft to allow continuous connection to the Internet.

        ...and what with Cisco's history in router vuneribilites we see a shift to a new 'elite own' in teenage bedrooms across the globe...

        ...they better not be setting default passwords!
  • by zerocool^ ( 112121 ) on Tuesday October 30, 2001 @01:02PM (#2498161) Homepage Journal
    If you're thinking wireless, and you're considering college, virginia tech. We just bought 4 OC-12's, and we're putting up wireless thru the entire campus this winter, or spring, i don't know which (i suspect spring). Its already available in some parts of campus.
    • Should've spent the money on some better linebackers for your football team. :)
      • i'll give you that. I'm in the marching band, and as such, i love the football. I go to all the games, scream with the best of them, yell "suck it" to the other team, and "the ref beats his wife" to ... well... the ref.

        I was disgusted with our game on saturday against SU. Our team thought they could stroll in to warsham field and sweep everything. We got cocky. And we sucked. We're a better football team than Syracuse, but they deserved to win, cause we didn't even bother to show up.

        Plus, its complicated by the fact that Grant Noel can't run, but that you have the good QB (randall) practicing/warming up with the 2nd team, so that you are afraid to put him in when Noel isn't doing so hot. but the real deal is that we have NO offensive line. Our defense is doin great, they're one of the best, and Ben Taylor is Engelberger mach][. But we need to kick our o-line in the ass a coupla times. Noel, even though slow, should have been able to avoid going down every 2 minutes of play - he was getting no coverage. They need to light a fire under it.

        Also, our recievers need to learn to hold onto the ball. We fumbled so many balls that game. Notice i'm not blaiming the ref's. There were some bad calls in that game, and might have changed the outcome, but we played an aweful game.

        The consolation comes in that everyone lost on saturday, the top5 isn't recognizeable from last week's. Another thing to consider is: if miami beats syracuse, and then we pull off beating miami... who goes to the Big East BCS bowl? Oh well, at least temple is everybody's bitch.

        ah well, carry on my wayward son.

        ~z
      • I'll agree with that, VT sux at football. Anyways, back to school where we already have wireless networking in my area. Course, they always give all the hightech shit to the electrical and computer engineers, cause we design that shit. Anyways, HOOK'EM HORNS!
    • Only 4 OC-12s? Sorry to hear that. Guess I was spoiled in college... =)
    • Or come to Dartmouth College... I'm sitting in a cafe on campus using our wireless network right now. ;)
    • ... or you could come to CMU which has had wireless for a while now [cmu.edu] (since at least 2000) ...
  • New /. low (Score:4, Redundant)

    by scott1853 ( 194884 ) on Tuesday October 30, 2001 @01:13PM (#2498245)
    What the hell is this? Slashdot linking to PDFs for sale. Anybody check to see whether or not the poster worked for the company selling the PDF?

    Kind of hard for us to discuss the actual story here when we'd be required to pay for the content. So instead, I'm betting most posts are going to be similar to mine. Might as well just mark everything as offtopic.
    • It's a trend. I see book reviews on /. too and most of those books cost money. Conspiracy?

      What's next? Pictures at the top of the page inviting me to spend money on hardware?

      So what if the PDF costs money. If it contains valuable information, then it might be worth it. There's nothing stopping you from doing your own research and writing your own document and posting it under whichever free license you prefer.

      • Re:New /. low (Score:4, Insightful)

        by scott1853 ( 194884 ) on Tuesday October 30, 2001 @01:35PM (#2498391)
        Hmmm, book reviews give some content and offer some insight into what is for sale. Didn't get that here. I can follow a ThinkGeek ad and find out more about a product before I purchase it.

        I rarely see sites that say "pay us first, then we'll show you what you're getting".
    • Re:New /. low (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Cato ( 8296 )
      Why is this any different to reviewing a book? You have to pay for that, too, and this PDF is about the same price as some books - I suppose the expectation is just that anything online should be free.

      It might be better if stories about for-pay content are done just like book reviews, with enough information that you can decide whether to buy it. Also, such stories should only be about really interesting topics - there are a lot of for-pay tech reports out there.
      • Books go for $24 for an electronic version?

        Also, there are many more people here who are avid sci-fi readers than are avid research report readers. So even if the costs were equitable, fewer people would be willing to shell out the dough.

      • Re:New /. low (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Nater ( 15229 ) on Tuesday October 30, 2001 @01:58PM (#2498564) Homepage
        Why is this any different to reviewing a book?

        Because a book review is actual content. This article's got nothing. It basically says "Here's an interesting piece, but you'll have to pay to see it." That's very different from a /. book review, which generally consists of a few paragraphs of original writing.
      • Most book reviews on /. are much more in depth than the header to this article. The book reviews at least indicate why I might want to buy it, rather than simply saying 'it's worth it'.

    • by poet ( 8021 )
      Oh my god... somebody might actually have to get off their cheap ass and pay for something that is interesting.


      Kill them, flog them... make sure the company goes out of business by sending them a message that says, "We won't pay you to provide something that cost you money to create!!!!"

      • Re:New /. low (Score:1, Flamebait)

        by scott1853 ( 194884 )
        Oh yes, that's my whole fucking argument. Everything should be free or else boycotted.

        I can't believe that you're the only one that realized it. These /.ers are just so fucking stupid.

        Ya know what, you should just retire from posting while you're at your highest point. Go ahead, you're too smart to be hanging around here.
        • Glad to see the moderators don't need to be bothered with the ENTIRE post before passing judgement. Of course I suppose I should have enclosed everything in <SARCASM> tags to make it obvious to the idiots.
    • I think the point is, this isn't a review of the article, it is simply an advertisement. Advertisements go in the flashy banners, everyone knows that.

      Poundingsand.com [poundingsand.com] - Tshirts, including Micropoly and DMCAEVIL. This has been a plug, and not an ad.

    • Slashdot regularly posts advertisements as news on the front page.

      Usually it's for stupid shit, like deluxe ide ribbon cables or some super cooling fan.

      Slashdot != news.
  • by gosand ( 234100 ) on Tuesday October 30, 2001 @01:20PM (#2498293)
    In response to this article, I have a little tidbit of information that the govenrment doesn't want you or anyone else to know about. It will affect the way the internet functions in all areas, from personal affairs to business to entertainment.

    Click Here [poundingsand.com] to order my response. Cost is only $16.99, all major credit cards accepted.

    Sheesh.

  • Wireless "Last Mile" (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Mtgman ( 195502 )
    One of the major reasons networks like Sprint, AT&T and MCI can't bring programs like ION(rest in piece, you were a great idea, and deserved better. My friends who have the service will fight tooth and nail to keep it even though Sprint is canceling it) to residential businesses is because the "Baby Bells" own the local loops. I know that both Sprint and AT&T are watching wireless very closely. Both have been burned trying first generation fixed wireless and have had to stop offering the service because 1G wireless is just to unreliable. I'm not sure about MCI, but I would be suprised if they're not on top of it as well.

    With the next generation of wireless, we just may see some viable offerings from these companies for broadband. If, and this is a big if, it can be done before the Bells roll out DSL on a wide scale. The race is on, and the last mile is at stake.

    Steven
    • Sigh. A few corrections/clarifications.

      "to residential businesses" should be "to residences, or home-based businesses"

      "1G wireless is just to unreliable" should be "1G wireless is just to unreliable/expensive/difficult to set up."

      That'll teach me to read three different stories, four straight dope message board threads, eat lunch, carry on conversations with cube-neighbors and do admin work on a database server at the same time.

      Steven
  • I haven't read the PDF, but what information does it provide that isn't readily available on the net for $0? Seeing how there are plenty of articles and resources available for free, why should I pay $24 to download a PDF? I guess its convenient for "suits" who are not web-savvy enough to be able to research wireless from readily available and free web sources.
  • I was walking through the city the other day with a Shaman friend of mine. We played this game:

    He'd point to people and say, "Yeech! That guy's energy is severely messed up." And I'd run across the street and ask how often s/he used a cell phone.

    9 for 9. Each individual canvassed reported using a cell phone for, on average, two hours every day.

    Altered energy patterns were described as the following. . .

    A separate, small bubble of energy now integrated into the side of the person's larger bubble at the side of the head where the cell phone 'plugs' in; weird effects on the rest of the energy pattern, especially when the phone is in use. ('Bubble', being the loose term meaning a 3D version of a pattern which somewhat resembles that seen when iron filings are sprinkled around a magnet).

    My friend notes that the alteration of people's energy patterns appears to be a cumulative effect, and that people with energy patterns altered in this way seem much more prone to 'fliers' and similar.

    This is a relatively new twist on my old mis-trust of wireless technology which up until recently was based purely on the disturbing and much pooh-poohed reports of weird effects to the nervous system resulting from EM radiation in the bandwidths common to Cell and PCS phones.

    Of course, the above is rather far to the left of where most Slashdotters are. Nonetheless, I'd like to point out the following;

    The human brain and nervous system are electrochemical in nature; this is why things like stun guns and EEG machines work. We emit EM radiation. Everybody knows this. Conversely, it is foolish to think that EM radiation when pumped through us will have absolutely no effect whatsoever. --And the straight mechanical heating of cells doesn't seem to be the issue in any of the lab reports I've read; the true issue appears to be that the functions of brain and nerve cells are in part mitigated by various electrical wave forms, and like AC and magnets, this is a two way street. That which emits EM can be affected by EM. Simple as that.

    Of course, those who stand to make billions of dollars from the entrenching of wireless technology will tell you a very different story; one which sounds a great deal like the "There's no proof," thing that the cigarette companies piped at us for decades.

    Okay. Enough. Do some of your own research before knee-jerking based on what you've been tricked into believing is true by Corporate media, bought & sold Governments, and school books provided by said interests.

    Have fun!


    -Fantastic Lad

    • Don't some people like yourself feel that magnets are good for your 'energy pattern'?

      Does it automatically stand to reason that cell phones are bad?

      Might it be fair to say that there is some good and some bad, like alcohol or caffiene?

    • Did you ask your shaman friend to point out people who have "good" energy and query them about cell phone usage? How does he feel about flying? How about tv?
      • Did you ask your shaman friend to point out people who have "good" energy and query them about cell phone usage? How does he feel about flying? How about tv?

        It worked like this:

        He'd only point out people who were not using a phone and did not have a phone visibly on their belt or in another obvious place. Then I'd go up and ask them how many hours they used their cell phone, not even bothering to ask if they had one or not. They always answered that their use was high.

        To be fair, though, we were just playing around while walking. It wasn't a carefully organized double-blind test designed to prove anything. While it is bad science, we were both working from the belief that cell phones caused the distortions to one's pattern. We were mostly just interested in how long people had owned a portable phone and how many hours daily they needed to spend on the phone in order to achieve such significant levels of pattern alteration. My insistance on discounting people with visible phones was just my way of subtly testing my friends' abilities, which I like to do just for fun, and although it's considered rude and tiresome, he puts up with it.


        -Fantastic Lad

        • Sigh...

          I wonder how many people out there are NOT using cell phones, just in general. Your friend probably had, at worst, a good shot at 85% accuracy. That's enough to sell any average joe on something, and a slam dunk to sell to someone who already wants to buy.

          He might as well have been predicting whether or not people were wearing underwear.
          Sheesh... and your friend considers it rude to test him? Gosh, we wouldn't want to offend his sensibilities. How about insisting that he actually tell you something he's got a fair chance of being wrong about... maybe he could pick out the left handed cell phone users. Of course, if he's any kind of a decent huckster, he'll spot the lefties faster than you will...

          BTW, you might ask your friend how the cells 'store' EM interference. If the effects are cumulative, there must be a way for cells to retain the EM interference they receive... and does it fade if you stop using a phone? If so, what's the 'half-life' of an EM interfered cell? How long does it last? How does cellular lifespan affect your total EM accumulation?

          Do you see how silly this is getting? Of course, your friend would be offended by objective (read: non-believer) types, so maybe you shouldn't mention all this stuff to him...
          • I wonder how many people out there are NOT using cell phones, just in general. Your friend probably had, at worst, a good shot at 85% accuracy. That's enough to sell any average joe on something, and a slam dunk to sell to someone who already wants to buy.

            Yes, yes. I've worked extensively behind the scenes with 'rabbit out of the hat' professional magicians. I know the drill. I know all about 'cold reading' and similar. I've studied this stuff for years, in all liklihood, in far greater depth than you have. And I've learned two things from my studies; 1) People can indeed nearly always be fooled. 2)A creative thinker can rationalize his or her way out of ANY corner in a convincing manner regardless of actual facts.

            Do you get what I'm saying here? I'm saying that it's a two-way street. I'm saying that if the genuine article came up and bit you on the nose, you could through creativity and an unbending faith in science, rationalize it into dust or swamp gas or whatever. --Which is just as moronic as True Believer syndrome.

            I'm not saying that there aren't hucksters and fools aplenty. There are. But I'm not one of them. Indeed, I come from a background rooted heavily in the sciences, and I began studying the esoteric long ago in an attempt to 'debunk'. But I promised myself I would perform always in as unbiased a way as possible, and as such, I've explored, experienced and 'seen' enough on both sides of the fence to conclude that there is actually much more going on in the world than the average Western tunnel vision allows for. Clearly, you'll not believe me, so I'll ask you this: have you ever actually studied and experimented with any esoteric material to determine its validity, or are you basing your beliefs on a few convenient examples of how people can be fooled, --and on what you have been told is the 'right' thing to believe?

            Sheesh... and your friend considers it rude to test him? Gosh, we wouldn't want to offend his sensibilities.

            My friend has been tested and bullied by people like you since the day he was born simply because he is able to see more than you can, and because people have the arrogance to think that they have the right to demand 'proof' from anybody rather than go out and find it on their own. --Try to imagine if you were the only person whose eyes were sensitive to light; how would you feel if the blind populace constantly demanded proof of your ability, and then refused to believe you no matter what evidence you offered. Imagine even having your life threatened over it.

            As he puts it: "Your faith is your problem. I don't care what you believe, but if you believe I'm full of lies, then please just go away. I won't waste my time forcing people onto the path who are not ready. It's actually wrong to do that."

            BTW, you might ask your friend how the cells 'store' EM interference. If the effects are cumulative, there must be a way for cells to retain the EM interference they receive... and does it fade if you stop using a phone? If so, what's the 'half-life' of an EM interfered cell? How long does it last? How does cellular lifespan affect your total EM accumulation?

            Now, don't be silly. I didn't say that cells 'store' EM interference, although I can understand why you would jump to the nearest least logical conclustion regarding my post. --You are clearly predisposed to finding hucksters and fools under every rock. But I'll explain in any case:

            Living systems adapt over time to the repeated exosure of ANY strong enough stimulus, electromagnetic or otherwise. EM doesn't have to be stored; all it has to do is change the way a system functions for long enough for the system to alter its electrochemical qualities to satisfy whatever demands it percieves are being placed upon it. Like drug use; Heroine is not 'stored' in the body, but it's affect on the body accumulates nonetheless. --Or in keeping with the EM example, in a similar way it is just as ridiculous to say that hard drives 'Store' the electricity used to alter the polarity of the molecules in the magnetic substrate. Hard drives don't do this, but the net effect is still one of an altered state.

            Do you see how silly this is getting? Of course, your friend would be offended by objective (read: non-believer) types, so maybe you shouldn't mention all this stuff to him...

            Don't kid yourself. You are nowhere nearly as objective as you would like to believe. --It is far easier for you to believe that I am a fool who thinks that, 'cells store EM interferrence,' than face the horrifying possibility that I might actually know what I'm talking about. If I knew something which you did not, (impossible!), then that could potentially begin the unraveling of your safe little 'reality'.

            As Mark Twain once put it; Denial ain't a river in Africa.

            Good luck out there. You'll need it if you're ever going to grow up and wake up. --You've been so bamboozled, that even the slightest crack in the cage makes you jump into auto-pilot denial. I bet you even think that your reactions are your own, and are not the result of extensive cultural pre-conditioning. Silly rabbit.


            -Fantastic Lad

            • Oh, man, oh man. I think we've found a winner! This is going to be funnnnn!

              I've studied this stuff for years, in all liklihood, in far greater depth than you have
              You've almost certainly studied fakers more than I have... it's apparently an area of expertise for you. Fair enough.

              You also seem to have studied some pretty shifty ways of making a point, and as such you begin to wander into MY area of expertise; rhetoric (in the Roman sense) and legitimate constructive debate.

              Here's where the problem begins: ...I've learned two things from my studies

              Only two things about people? Probably not, but these are the two things you base the rest of your post on, and therefore in your context, the only things that apply. People will either believe everything they hear, or rationalize away everything they don't like.

              From this, you go through Clearly, you'll not believe me..., on to tested and bullied by people like you . Now, I'm not only possessing of a blind faith in science and a desire to rationalize away everything not already in my worldview, I'm also a bully who persecutes your poor friend because he's a visionary and I'm threatened by that.

              Then you perform a neat little sleight-of-argument: Try to imagine if you were the only person whose eyes were sensitive to light...
              What you're really saying is: try to accept my premise out of hand and place yourself in a similar (but more acceptable to your limited worldview) situation. Then you associate me with those folks who refuse to believe even good evidence! That's twice over a neat trick, because it assumes that good evidence exists, and then condemns me by association for not believing it, while all the while purporting to be a plea for understanding. Masterful!

              Next, we have a standard disconnection regarding faith. Luckily, your friend isn't of the 'believe or else' persuasion. He sounds more like the 'I cannot abide the faithless, sigh, poor benighted fools, I cannot help you if you cannot help yourself' kind of guy. Kinda sickening, but at least be won't be blowing up any buildings...

              (hey, see what I did there? I made a cynical joke, and also lumped your friend in with wacko terrorists and Pentacostal religious crackpots! woo woo! not bad, eh? You're rubbing off on me)

              Finally, we get to the actual EM argument! The thing is, hard drives are designed to retain their altered state until altered again. The body is permanently damaged, in a clearly detectable way, through heroin use. There is nothing I know of to suggest that EM fields have a permanent or cumulative effect on cells based on your examples. In fact, you basically compare apples to oranges with no discussion of why they might be similar, and also deride me for picking the "nearest least logical argument" while providing no proof that I did so. BTW, I'm not clearly predisposed to anything, certainly not based on your 'arguments'. Nothing at all about me has been illuminated by your series of verbal swipes.

              Now, you say: Living systems adapt over time to the repeated exosure of ANY strong enough stimulus but I can think of half a dozen strong stimuli that the body does not adapt do during its lifespan. Physical trauma. Electrical shock. Vertigo. Sunlight is a perfect example. Your skin burns in a cause-effect relationship if you lie naked in the sun all day for a year. Eventually, it bakes to the point that you won't burn so badly, but you haven't "adapted". It's stimulus-response. If you go back indoors for a year, your skin returns to its normal state. For an adaptation to occur (increased melatonin) it takes thousands of generations. So, now we're back to the original question re: EM interference; if EM damage is cumulative, what cellular process does it interrupt or alter to cause the damage, and how long will the effect last? Is it permanet? Do you propose that EM radiation has an effect like sunlight, baking the cells like a turkey? Or does it have an effect like what happens to my monitor when my cell phone rings, i.e. temporary frequency disturbance that fades immediately?

              BTW, most drugs ARE stored in the body for a time... LSD, for example, is practically never gone.

              Finally, having derided me enough, we descend into: Don't kid yourself. You are nowhere nearly as objective as you would like to believe. --It is far easier for you to believe that I am a fool who thinks that, 'cells store EM interferrence,' than face the horrifying possibility that I might actually know what I'm talking about. If I knew something which you did not, (impossible!), then that could potentially begin the unraveling of your safe little 'reality'.

              Having (in your mind) soundly browbeaten me into a state of bewilderment, and exposed me for a faithless idiot in public, you feel safe in taking undisguised pot-shots at me! Unfortunately, you've shown me exactly nothing that suggests you might actually know what you're talking about, and quite a lot to suggest that you would rather attack me or dismiss me (or both) than present an idea.

              How very brash of you. Let me set the record straight. People can react in more than two ways to an occurance with no immediate explanation. I, in fact, take the path of most people who've studied the process of reasoned thought: anything that is true can be proven, and anything that can be proven is true. Your friend can see EM fields and auras, fair enough. That's a hypothesis. Design a method of demonstrating it, without moving the goalposts or resorting to any of the other nasty little debate tricks that lots of scientists AND extra-sensory proponents love so much, and I'll believe it! Willingly and without cynicism, because I'm actually objective. I have no motive and no emotional investment. Can you say the same?

              It might surprise you to know that my own beliefs run probably very close to your own. I, however, retain honest, real, unbiased objectivity and expect the same level of proof from all possible invloved parties. This includes myself, and being an accomplished aikido student familiar with ki (having been on the receiving end more often than I like...) I think it's perfectly fair of me. Your friend can see auras? Fine, but picking cellphone users out of a pool with a likely 85% positive hit rate isn't proof... in fact, it lends itself to falsehood and by doing so, he casts the mantle of doubt across his own shoulders. Gimme real proof. I'd ask the same thing from a new employee who says he can r00t my firewall. Okay, you 3733t hax0r you, get some! Prove it.

              What you've done in your post is nothing short of a rhetorical drive-by. When, BTW, did you lose your own objectivity? My guess is that you never had it. You were a debunker, and then you flipped. Now you're a defender. Neither one is very well equipped to make unbiased observations. I suspect your friend might like both sides equally well... I've found that those who set their goalpost at faith are likely to use the faithless as stronger proof of their belief! The more ridiculous the statement, the more faith required to accept it. The more you argue something's absurdity, the more it proves the power of faith!

              Now, would you like to try again, without personal attack as a substitute for reasoned thought? Without guilt by association, comparing apples to oranges, and false (or flawed) logical connections?

              Will you try again, under the scrutiny of someone who can actually see through your verbal trickery to the threadbare idea underneath?

              You're an expert in charlatans... well, gosh. So am I!
            • In thinking, I realize some of the points I made may not have been completely clear.

              In no particular order:

              The idea of a "nearest least logical argument" is self-contradicting. I'm surprised I didn't notice it earlier. If it were the least logical argument, it would necessarily be the farthest from any logical supposition it purported to contradict. If it were the nearest argument, it would necessarily be relativaly well grounded in logical thought. I suppose you could have meant that I chose the nearest argument to your own that followed your guideline of being illogical, but wouldn't that be like saying that neither position made much sense? You can't have meant that...

              On further consideration, I remembered that damn near EVERY drug stays in the body in one place or another, many for years after you're dead. That's how a medical examiner tells if you've been poisoned. Some chemicals reside in the fat cells, some in the eyes, some in the hair, etc. The effect of a drug has absolutely no resemblance to the proposed effect of EM radiation on the body.

              That reminds me, I've gone and accidentally gifted you the point that EM radiation is bad, and you really haven't even demonstrated that yet. Now we have to go back an entire step before we even get to talk about your original assertion, namely that the damage might be cumulative. Luckily, this is the net, and links are acceptable if you don't feel like laying it all out for me. Beware, however, that basing a strong argument on stupid facts will get you nowhere.

              By saying that I would ask someone to r00t my Linux firewall just as I would ask your friend to prove he can see EM aura disturbances, what I mean to say is: I don't let unsubstantiated claims stand. Claiming you're an elite super-hacker carries about the same burden of proof, IMHO, as claiming to be able to read EM signatures in people with your bare eyeballs. While both claims may be true, neither one can stand without substantiation. I rate your cellphone experiment at about the same level as our supposed hacker showing me the latest DoS script he downloaded as proof of his sk1llz.

              I should have added the 'straw man' tactic to the litany of crap you threw at me, but I missed that one. It was part of the 'ridiculous' HD example you gave.

              I missed a question of yours. Yes, I have experimented with my own ability to align and redirect 'energy' from my own body into that of my wife. She has a severe back injury and sometimes, if I can get into a particularly meditative state, it seems that I'm much more effective at fixing the bone misalignments and nerve problems than I am when I'm actually 'thinking' about it. I can't really be sure of what happens, but it's a curious thing. Also, as I mentioned, I practice Aikido and part of that training is the development of ki and its use. I have had both personal and observational proof of the existance of that particular force.

              Examples of how people can be fooled are perfectly relevant, especially when it's extremely possible that they are being employed! Apply Occam's Razor as needed.

              As for being told the 'right' thing to believe, well, we aren't talking about belief. We're talking about demonstrating proof. I covered this numerous times, but I don't think I made it perfectly clear. Belief and proof are sometimes at odds, and an objective thinker trains himself to distinguish between the two.

              Quickly, in defense of the logical burden of proof: any logical conclusion based on a complete set of true facts must be correct. All hypotheses are required to shoulder this burden, and any that meet this standard must be accepted as fact.

              By "creative thinker" you really mean "good bullshitter". I hadn't specifically pointed that out, but I think I beat that particular point into the ground in my previous post.

              Man, is this starting to read like Usenet or what!

              Lastly, I just couldn't pass up the chance to publicly snicker at the heroin/heroine homonym mistake you made... I laughed so much that I had to reread your whole post so I could maintain the thread in my mind. Those heroines sure do have an effect on the body...

              LOL!
              • Ha ha! Marvelous!

                I under-estimated you. Pardon my hubris, but for every guy like you, I run across a hundred others who really are as tiresome and pre-programmed as you first appeared in your initial post. Very good!

                My approach, (mostly through compunction rather than planning), tends to be one made up from acidic remarks and brow beating unfairness and even a touch of hypocrisy just to see if I can't make people stop and think along a slightly different track for a second or two. Almost trolling, I suppose. --Though in truth, I feel I am exploding with tons of amazing knowledge; things I've seen and done, a great deal of which I don't like to share because of how crazy I know it sounds. But I digress. . .

                I should mention up front that I dislike debate a great deal. I find that two debaters will often jump into silly duels of hair-splitting. Many of the points you raised, while valid, like your complaint that narcotics are in fact stored in the body, are for the most part, quite beside the point. I find debaters tend to very quickly lose sight of the big picture and the purpose of their discussion in order to 'win points' from one another by dissecting the minutia. Language is not an exact science, so it's entirely possible to mis-interpret one another, (usually on purpose), indefinitely rather than look at the core of what a conversation is really about. I find debate, with its scoring mechanics, and established confrontational nature runs very much counter to the purpose of real communication. (And you'll pardon me if I open myself up like this to easy blows by attempting to take this up to the level of a discussion proper and treat it like one.)

                Nonetheless, I'd like to clarify what I meant when I used the heroin (heroine? Erg.) analogy, because I think it's a useful way to describe what I'm talking about in regard to EMR and how it can affect people:

                From my understanding, and very simply, when a drug enters the system, the body produces chemicals required to counter-act and neutralize the drug. When the drug is used regularly, the body responds by maintaining a level of self-produced anti-toxicant in order to maintain a balanced body chemistry. This is why it takes larger and larger doses of a given narcotic to achieve the same 'pleasurable' effects; you're trying to keep one step ahead of the body's balancing mechanism. This also explains the cravings for a regularly used drug; the natural anti-toxicant when unused against the drug, are often themselves toxic and cause the shakes and erratic emotional behavior and similar.

                While there is certainly no question that measurable tissue damage is one result of regular drug use, the unbalanced body chemistry resulting in shakes and cravings and erratic moods is not the primary result of tissue damage or of quantities of the drug which have been absorbed into fat cells, but rather of the body's own response to the repeated stimulus of a foriegn agent in the system. And that's where I was trying to draw the parallel.

                Phew! All that from a little hair splitting. (And my original point was. . ?) Well. . , I've had quite enough of that! I'm going to assume from now on that you will try to reach to catch my points in the future rather than play tennis with them, and that if you do single out a piece of language which can be turned on its ear and made to sound silly, that I really wasn't clear and that you really do need clarification, which I will happily offer. I will, of course, extend you the same courtesy.

                Anyway. . .

                Yes. I do indeed believe in what my friend can see and do. I am far beyond the point where I need to have the existence of magic proven to me. The fact of the matter is that I've seen and done some astonishing things which have no analog in the pseudo-science realm sold to us as the 'real' thing. I have held extended conversations and practiced martial arts while in dreaming, all fully verifiable when awake on the following days. I even have the limited faculty to see auras glowing an inch or so around people myself, (not just in dark rooms or with extended straining eye exercises or any of the other techniques people often use to fool themselves). This, actually, was the primary reason for my shifting from debunker to the other camp, and for seeking out people who could explain what was happening to me. I regularly experience a list of other peculiar things. (And no, I don't and never have taken drugs beyond very limited alcohol use or the rare dose of headache medicine. I am in excellent health.)

                The problem is that nothing I have seen or done, while it has all served to make a massive and very positive difference in my life, can be shared with, or much less, proven to somebody who has been hammered with the scientific method since birth. "If you can't prove it, then I refuse to believe it!" And I suppose that's fair enough, but it is very frustrating to not be able to talk about this stuff. It's even worse when I see people being actively shut down and directed away from higher awareness by the harsh and pervasive constraints placed upon people by that which is Western culture.

                A big hurdle is one of faith; one of the many sorcerer's contradictions. Seeing is believing, and vice versa. --Unfortunately, faith has been made into a filthy, filthy word. Sometimes I think that the world-spanning cult of Christianity has been fostered to such nauseating levels specifically to make the more sensible people knee jerk too far in the opposite direction. --This takes care of practically everybody: the fools are religious and thus blinded and controlled, and the smarter people blind themselves by throwing the baby out with the bathwater, locking themselves within the limits of incomplete scientific knowledge as it is fed to us piecemeal by institutions which place humanity's best interests very, very low on their list of priorities.

                Anyway, that's a little snapshot of where I'm coming from.

                Take care, and many thanks for your being interesting and for entertaining with humor my trollish behavior!


                -Fantastic Lad

                • Wow! We get to be civilized and curteous?
                  Well then! Would you mind moving this over to email? It's easier for me at work to email commentary of this length... send me a quick note and I'll reply there.

                  And I promise, I'll can the forensic debate in favor of an actual discussion. You are right, many 'debates' do bury themselves quickly in minutia to the detriment of the actual point. Now that we've established that we're both reasonable people, we can actually talk about something!

                  Thanks! I'll await your note...
    • My friend notes that the alteration of people's energy patterns appears to be a cumulative effect, and that people with energy patterns altered in this way seem much more prone to 'fliers' and similar.

      Sounds like someone's been standing a little too close to the Resonator. Better get your pineal gland checked. And remember, they can only see you when you move so stand very, very still.
  • Is there really any doubt that wireless devices are going to become more and more useful in the near future?

    Five or ten years ago, practically nobody had a mobile phone. Nowadays, everyone does - hell, companies are even giving them away free. They're small, they're easy to use, and what's more they're rather nifty to have.

    At the moment, computers are large, expensive and difficult to use, but are getting smaller, cheaper and easier (?) all the time. They'll eventually get to the stage where, rather than shelling out a thousand dollars for a bulky desktop box, you'll be able to buy a variety of specialised portable/hand-held computers for only $100 or so - think along the lines of a PDA, but for mainstream use, not just business.

    Wireless applications are an obvious follow-on from that. It would kinda defeat the purpose of a 'wireless' computer if you had to plug it into a communications socket every time you wanted to use it.

    If that's too complicated for you to understand (maybe you're drunk right now, or something), imagine how utterly cool it would be if your mobile phone could do e-mail, USENET and read Slashdot.

  • Let's face the facts: wireless is another tool to have in the toolbox but it is not the second coming of Berners-Lee. It has its place and its reasons for use. There are applications and situations that will demand it and others will not. It will not, contrary to popular belief, revolutionize business. It will greatly improve some aspects of business but it is not going to change the way we live.

    Now I'm not saying it's unimportant. On the contrary, it will be exceptionally important. This however is similar to rails--without demand for trains and things to be carried somewhere, it's useless. It may be a better way to do things but it is nothing more.
  • Whoa... this is some smoking tech - and why pay the telco for leased lines or leased fibre - or buy your own then trench it... from a ROI standpoint, wireless is absolutely the way to go.

    Check out Wi-Lan [wilan.com]'s stuff, they had a press release yesterday "Operating at an unprecedented throughput of up to 192 megabits per second per six-sector cell, Wi-LAN's BWS Series includes access points and customer premises equipment (CPE), and can be used in broadband access applications alone or in combination with wired alternatives. The BWS Series also offers an eave-height integrated antenna and outdoor unit (ODU) that allows for quick and economical installation of point-to-point and point-to-multipoint applications. Wi-LAN's broadband wireless access systems are powered by the company's patented W-OFDM technology, allowing for increased capacity, non line-of-site capability, and superior resistance to multipath, resulting in higher effective data transmission rates and a typical range of 15 kilometres."

    • Notice the "per six-sector cell" in their press release: "up to 192 megabits per second per six-sector cell".

      The way I read this, is that a single cell (made of 6 sectors) can support 192 Mb/s, thus each sector would only be 1/6 of that speed (32 Mb/s). In most cellular systems, a user accessing the system would be only connected to a single sector so that MAX that a user would see would be 32 Mb/s.

      Not much better than 802.11b, and less than 802.11a.

    • Wi-Lan filed for bankruptcy recently, I'm surprised they are releasing new product. Their CPE gear cost about $1500 a pop last time I checked with them, way too high for the average consumer. I'd also like to see a range of 15km out of their hardware. From what I know it uses the 900mhz unlicensed band and last time I checked, you couldn't get that kind of range out of it without huge antennas. Maybe things have changed but for right now I think I'll stick with 802.11b. It may only allow for 11mbps but it works well and the cost isn't prohibitive.
  • The author (Score:5, Informative)

    by intuition ( 74209 ) on Tuesday October 30, 2001 @02:44PM (#2498853) Homepage
    Maybe you would like to see a picture of the author [vex.net] No? What about his wife Maxi [vex.net]..... or is it Lisa [vex.net]? If the first article wasn't deviod of any information, maybe you would like to read another [io.com] penned by the same man. Of course the author has already changed his homepage [io.com] to reflect the fact that his article was posted on slashdot.


    As for Hastings Research : maybe you would like to see a sample [hastingsresearch.com] of some of their other quality research. When have you ever heard a white paper draw a metaphor between market conditions and a glass being half full? [hastingsresearch.com] But seriously they do have a six foot magnetic whiteboard [hastingsresearch.com] to "prototype" their research. (they don't put rookies in center field either.) If you need to know they also provide a list [hastingsresearch.com] of profitable web sites. (Look to the bottom of the page for their judicious use of "keywords" to help prop up their standing in search engine results.)


    This is the worst article ever on slashdot.

  • It seems to me that optical links can be spatially focussed much more than RF links.

    While RF might be great for in-home networking, assuming you can surmount the security worries, optical seems like a much better bet for completing the famous Last Mile.

There are never any bugs you haven't found yet.

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