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Wireless Networking

Submission + - Apple Slips in 450 Mbps Wi-Fi in Its Base Station (

eggboard writes: Apple told a few reporters in briefings yesterday to look for significant changes in its two top-line base station models, which are noted in passing as "new" on the product pages: 50 percent throughput improvement and 25 percent distance bump. How did they do this? With Engadget's FCC tip about "3x3" models, I've determined that Apple now offers what seems to be the first mass-market 450 Mbps, three radio-chain Wi-Fi router. Virtually all other consumer routers max out at 300 Mbps.

Metasploit Project Sold To Rapid7 70

ancientribe writes "The wildly popular, open-source Metasploit penetration testing tool project has been sold to Rapid7, a vulnerability management vendor, paving the way for a commercial version of Metasploit to eventually hit the market. HD Moore, creator of Metasploit, was hired by Rapid7 and will continue heading up the project. This is big news for the indie Metasploit Project, which now gets full-time resources. Moore says this will translate into faster turnaround for new features. Just what a commercial Metasploit product will look like is still in the works, but Rapid7 expects to keep the Metasploit penetration testing tool as a separate product with 'high integration' into Rapid7's vulnerability management products."

Apple Blurs the Server Line With Mac Mini Server 557

Toe, The writes "Today Apple announced several new hardware offerings, including a new Mac mini, their (almost-literally) pint-sized desktop computer. In a bizarre twist, they are now also offering a Mac mini with Mac OS X Server bundled in, along with a two hard drives somehow stuffed into the tiny package. Undoubtedly, many in the IT community will scoff at the thought of calling such a device a 'server.' However, with the robust capabilities of Snow Leopard Server (a true, if highly GUI-fied, UNIX server), it seems likely to find a niche in small businesses and even enthusiasts' homes. The almost completely guided setup process means that people can set up relatively sophisticated services without the assistance of someone who actually knows what they are doing. What the results will be in terms of security, etc. will be... interesting to watch as they develop." El Reg has a good roundup article of the many announcements; the multi-touch Magic Mouse is right up there on the techno-lust-inspiration scale.

The Kindle Killer Arrives 542

GeekZilla sends coverage from Wired's Gadget Lab on the Nook, Barnes & Noble's first e-book reader. "Sleek, stylish and runs the Android OS. What's not to like about Barnes and Noble's new e-book reader? Despite the odd name, the Nook looks like an eBook reader that would actually be a worthwhile investment. Best feature? The ability to loan e-books you have downloaded to other Nook owners. The reader, named the 'Nook,' looks a lot like Amazon's white plastic e-book, only instead of the chiclet-keyboard there is a color multi-touch screen, to be used as both a keyboard or to browse books, cover-flow style. The machine runs Google's Android OS, will have wireless capability from an unspecified carrier, and comes in at the same $260 as the now rather old-fashioned-looking Kindle." Here is the B&N Nook site, which is still not visible on their front page and has a few non-working links. ( isn't set up yet.) Their comparison page takes dead aim at the Kindle. Among the advantages in the Nook's column: Wi-Fi, expandable memory via microSD, MP3 player, and PDF compatibility. (But remember the cautionary note B&N struck six years back when they got out of the e-book business.)

Comment Year-old Ars Technica piece covers similar ground (Score 2, Informative) 259

I wrote a long article for Ars Technica nearly a year ago that looked at the past, present, and future. The reality hasn't changed much since then.

Most so-called municipal Wi-Fi projects involved a handful of companies absorbing all the initial network cost in exchange for some to no city business and access to citizens for coverage. EarthLink, MetroFi, Kite, and AT&T were the most prominent. EarthLink got out of the business; AT&T still does some metro-scale networking (Riverside), and MetroFi and Kite shut down.

There are a ton of networks run entirely or nearly so for public safety and/or municipal purposes that have been very successfully in Oklahoma City and elsewhere.

Comment Re:Wait a Minute Here... (Score 1) 135

The final standard simply confirms what's been shipping in the market in largely unchanged form for over two years. The Wi-Fi Alliance has been certifying devices against a stable draft since 2007. There's no such thing as "pre-standard" devices in this category. Either they have a Wi-Fi seal for Draft N or they don't.

Wireless Networking

New iPod Touch Has an 802.11n Chip 135

eggboard writes "iFixIt has discovered a Broadcom 802.11a/b/g/n chip in the just-announced iPod touch (32 GB and 64 GB) models that uses single-stream 802.11n. Single-stream doesn't get the full power of N, but it boosts speed enough that — along with space-time block encoding, a feature coming soon to Wi-Fi access points with two or more radios — the iPod touch could be an effective networked media server, for streaming and transfer, possibly through the new iTunes Home Sharing feature."
Wireless Networking

Submission + - iPod Touch's 802.11n Chip for Networked Media Serv (

eggboard writes: "iFixIt has discovered a Broadcom 802.11a/b/g/n chip in the latest iPod touch (32 GB and 64 GB) models that uses single-stream 802.11n. Single-stream doesn't get the full power of N, but boosts speed enough that--along with space-time block encoding, a feature coming soon to Wi-Fi access points with two or more radios--the iPod touch could be an effective networked media server, for streaming and transfer, possibly through the new iTunes Home Sharing feature."

Comment Glenn Fleishman (Score 1) 322

I've looked through the comments, and I cannot tell whether anyone has read the paper linked or is commenting on the summary. The summary, derived from news coverage, is incorrect.

The exploit works only to recover a single MIC encryption key which is distinct for each packet. It allows a packet intended for a client to be falsified, but the packet has to be short and mostly known, like an ARP packet. The researchers require that they act as a physical man in the middle, as a relay between an access point and a client, where the client cannot receive signals from the access point.

It's very clever, but it doesn't involve breaking TKIP per se; it has nothing to do with key recovery for network encryption.

Wireless Networking

Submission + - Latest Hype on Broken WPA Is Incorrect (

Glenn Fleishman writes: "The hullabaloo about "WPA cracked in sixty seconds" that Slashdot linked to and that's all over the Internet is entirely incorrect, and it's not what the Japanese academics claim in the paper to which everyone links. The researchers found a way, using a physical man-in-the-middle relay, to speed up last year's exploit in the TKIP key method (in WPA and WPA2) that allows a falsified packet to be sent to a client when the packet is short and contains mostly known information. ARP packets are the example. The Japanese paper is very clever, and it reduces the time to break a key 37 percent of the time to one minute, but it requires a very specific physical insertion, and it doesn't provide key recovery of the TKIP key material. It only recovers a single per-packet key used in the MIC packet integrity checksum. The recommendation to move to AES-CCMP, available only in WPA2, is a good one. But TKIP is simply not broken, nor is "WPA" broken."

Submission + - Have We Entered a Post-Literate Technological Age? (

Sleeper55 writes: A recent Google-produced video conducts person-on-the-street interviews asking questions including "What is a browser?", "What browser do you use?", and "Have you heard of Google Chrome?". Most of the people in the video — who appear to be functional adults and who use the Internet regularly — come off as highly clueless. According to the video, only 8 percent of people queried that day knew what a browser is. The article explores the challenges (technical support, computer books) and implications (limitations on innovation) of dealing with a population that doesn't know the terminology for the technology they use.

Submission + - Advice on When Your Laptop Is Stolen (and Before) (

Glenn Fleishman writes: "David Blatner shares his unfortunately hard-won advice about what he did when his laptop was stolen without any remote recovery software installed. He had backups, a month out of date, but also had CrashPlan running, which allowed him to recover most of his missing files. The computer was never returned, but he learned quite a lot about what he could do next time. (The police did knock on the door of the last-used IP address obtained via CrashPlan, but an open Wi-Fi access point was running there, eluding pinpointing the villains.)"

Submission + - Amazon Releases Kindle for iPhone Software (

Glenn Fleishman writes: "Amazon has released free Kindle software for the iPhone, which provides access to the Kindle catalog of books, and any books a Kindle owner might have already purchased. The simple software has good legibility, and automatically synchronizes the currently latest-read page among any devices synchronized with the owner's account. It's quite simple and nifty, and suddenly makes a huge quantity of contemporary fiction and non-fiction available to read on an iPhone. It must mean Apple has no similar plans on the content side, or they wouldn't have allowed Amazon to publish this application."

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