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Comment Re:The Wireless Networks are setup wrong! (Score 1) 151

This is excellent!

I would love to see your pitch if you can share.
If not I will post some of my thoughts and perhaps you can help vet them...

The objective is to provide a wireless data ecosystem that will optimize private and public spectrum usage through supply and demand based competition.

First I wanted to identify the players:
Wired Provider - brings data over a physical line to the wireless tower, sells data to the carrier.
Carrier - leases spectrum, controls wireless tower, sells data to card seller, buys data from wired provider.
Data Card Seller - sells data to customer, buys data from carrier.
Device manufacturer - creates devices for tower and mobile usage
Customer - buys device, buys data card.

Physical Specs:
Wired Provider - Fiber, coax, copper lines for data transfer to the carrier tower.
Carrier - Wireless Tower with wireless transceiver (LTE/WiFi)
Data Card Seller - nothing, ideally all virtual
Device Manufacturer - LTE/WiFi tower and mobile device creation
Consumer - LTE/WiFi device usage

Monetary Transaction Specs:
Spectrum Acquisition - the Carrier secures a spectrum license for a given region from the FCC
Tower Deployment - the Carrier secures physical real estate from a land/building owner, wireless transceiver equipment from a Device Manufacturer , electrical power service from a local utility or the land/building owner, and wired data service from a Wired Provider.
Mobile Device Acquisition - the Consumer purchases a mobile device from the Device Manufacturer or a distributor.
Data Card Acquisition - the Consumer purchases a Data Card from the Data Card Seller.
Data Payment - The Data Card Seller pays the Carrier for the Consumers data usage.

Connection Transaction Specs:
The Consumer device scans for available wireless providers.
Both WiFi and LTE/GSM specs provide Access Point (AP) Names.
Ideally the APN would indicate not only the provider but the current rate being charged for data by the AP.
The Consumer device then requests connectivity to an AP.
The AP provides limited access that will allow for the Consumer device to relay the credentials provided by the Data Card Seller.
Upon authentication with the Data Card Seller, the Carrier provides service based on the Consumers available balance, perhaps reserving chunks of data balance with the Data Card Seller.
The Consumer device is allowed to freely use data, the Carrier will then notify the Data Card Seller of the usage; the Consumers account balance will be decreased accordingly.
When the Consumer disconnects from the AP the remaining unused reserved balance will be released back to the Consumer account with the Data Card Seller.

Technical Issues:
Assuming an unlocked GSM/LTE/WiFi device, no SIM card, can a Carrier tower be configured to accept connections from the said device and provide more than emergency service?
What would be the issues, security and otherwise to such a connection?

Google with Android would be the ideal candidate to push this.
If smaller carriers adopted this they could compete with the likes of AT&T and Verizon.
Of course the big carriers will hate this, but once it gets enough traction they will have no choice but to fall in line.
I am sure I am over simplifying this in my mind, my knowledge of the industry is only as an outsider, customer, mobile developer at best.

I look forward to discuss this further!

Comment The Wireless Networks are setup wrong! (Score 3, Interesting) 151

We do not need huge carriers that produce individual networks.

Cell towers should run like WiFi access points, and the mobile device should handle the hand off between towers.
Each tower can even be run by an individual entity if desired.
Instead there would be entities that sell data credit.

A mobile device would have an account with a data credit reseller.
The mobile device can scan for access in its area and connect to a tower based on how the user priorities (cost, speed, signal strength...)
The tower would then charge the data credit reseller for the user's usage.

This setup allows for each cell tower to compete for users in an area.
This would allow start-up wireless companies to compete immediately.
Once enough individual towers went up then it would compete with the big carriers and force them to change.

Comment Ouya! (Score 1) 368

We will always need a device attached to the big screen in the living room.
A PC interface is just not practical, the physical form factor generally not slick enough, and the hardware not subsidized.
Developers love the security of console DRM as well.
The set top box, console, whatever you want to call it will give us video and single-screen multi-player gaming for years to come.

The hope is that we can have the best of both worlds with PC and console gaming.
Console: power on and go, no worries, a monkey can do it.
PC: no generation hardware stagnation, modding, no vendor hardware lock in

Now if we can just be free of the OS, or have an open OS.
That is where Ouya and Android come in to play.
Hardware is getting powerful enough that a Virtual Machine layer with some Just In Time compiling will be delivering sufficient performance on dirt cheap hardware.
Now if we can only sell the developers on the platform and get them away from Sony and Microsoft's closed gardens.
Ouya may not be the final solution, and open or Linux consoles have been threatened before...but I am still hoping!

Comment Re:Maybe this is what we need (Score 1) 223

Maybe this will prompt someone to come up with a better way to collect and distribute the news to people without charge.

It is called Twitter, enjoy...of course it still costs you a device, connectivity charge, and eventually whatever monetizing means Twitter comes up with.

We should not need to pay to find out what is going on in the world around us.

You do not need to pay, go out in the world and get it yourself.

Now if you expect someone to bring it to you on a platter with any level of quality, and reliability, trustworthiness then it will come at a cost.
That cost may be tax dollars in your socialist society that feeds, clothes, bathes, and medicates you, or from advertising views or pay-walls.
Of course I do not know of any news service that provides that caliber of news today for pay or free anyway, so Twitter should be sufficient for you.

Comment Re:Seriously, what's your budget? (Score 1) 208

If I can justify it to my boss then I can get the budget for it, but perhaps not all in one lump sum. Of course justification is hard without specific project examples. The first project is a small GSM device. Another project on the board involves FPGA devices for custom encryption algorithms and communication. Sorry for being vague, I wanted to leave the question a little more open for fun, and for those with a more limited or greater budget. Thanks!

Comment Re:How much room have you got? (Score 1) 208

1 - what size of space you are thinking of using?

11' by 14' to start, but it can be expanded into the adjacent room of the same size.

2 - what sort of support services are around it (eg, is it a shed at the end of the garden with no power, a basement room with mains power, a barn......) ?

1903 built commercial building, second floor, stained concrete floor, electrical wiring with proper grounds, windows, brick wall, glass wall, and sheet rock wall.

3 - what sort of budget do you have to spend?

If I can justify it to my boss then I can get the budget for it. Of course justification is hard without specific project examples. The first project is a small GSM device for example. Another project involves FPGA devices.


Comment Re:Sounds like homework assignment (Score 1) 208

Haha, perhaps I am a poser, I am for sure a sucker for a good troll; but at least I am not an Anonymous Coward today.
In retrospect I certainly could have posed the question better.

First, why do you capitalize "electrical engineer", when it is not a proper noun? I think it is just for show, and to try to sound more impressive.

I typed EE instead of Electrical Engineer, then changed it, that is why they ended up capital.

Second, if you were an electrical engineer, you would know what the hell you need to do your job, and you wouldn't be asking vague bullshit questions on Slashdot.

A valid accusation, I admit I am a bit rusty on hardware, but primarily I was trying to be concise with the question, not vague. I could have dumped my current shopping list of soldering irons to spectrum analyzers in the post but I did not want to scare anyone off with a TLDR question. My primary objective was to get more specific suggestions, models and distributors, but not limit responses to that either. I thought it would be fun to leave things a bit more open.

Third, what is the point of vague details such as "prototype some hardware"?

The company I work for is still fairly young and does contract work, we have a handful of electrical engineers on staff, myself included, who are itching to attract hardware projects and start some of our own. For a specific example, one project we are currently working on involves GSM radios. I do not want to limit the lab equipment to a specific hardware application so I was not more specific.

Comment Re:Background? (Score 1) 208

I am an Electrical Engineer who has been doing software development for a few years. The company I work for is looking to prototype some hardware for a project. I have put together my shopping list, but I am sure I am forgetting or missing something, especially in the furniture area. I have never really had to buy such equipment since it was always in place at school or the labs I worked in.

Comment Re:Sounds like homework assignment (Score 2) 208

Interesting point. I did not think people would be interested in my life story so I kept my question as brief and to the point as possible. I am an Electrical Engineer who has been doing software development for a few years. The company I work for is looking to prototype some hardware for a project. I have put together my shopping list, but I am sure I am forgetting or missing something, especially in the furniture area. I have never really had to buy such equipment since it was always in place at school or the labs I worked in. So if I was a surgeon, I did not pay much attention to the brand of the hospital bed my patients were lying on and would be interested in what other surgeons have found they like now that I need to procure my own.

Submission + - What Equipment and Furniture for an Electronics Hardware Lab?

bartoku writes: Slashdot, what equipment and furniture would you put in your dream electronics hardware lab?

I am putting together an electronics hardware lab and looking for suggestions on everything from equipment to furniture for the lab. My aim is for a professional grade setup, not just a hobby lab. The goal is to be able to test and debug modern electronic device prototypes. I would love to see money is no objective suggestions along side more economically practical solutions. Links or contacts for good distributors to acquire the equipment and furniture is also welcome. Also commentary on renting versus buying new or used higher end equipment to be economical and keep up with equipment that will become obsolete quickly.

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