eggboard writes: The New York Times ran a strange story that tried to explain why Wi-Fi fails when thousands of people gathered a tech event try to use a network set up by organizers. The story says Wi-Fi wasn't designed for that kind of use. I disagree, and explain why at length. The 1999 IEEE 802.11b spec might not have been designed for it, but 802.11g could handle mass numbers, and 802.11n is designed to deal with interference and large user bases.
eggboard writes: After examining the WWDC video and talking to two veteran Wi-Fi experts, it seems likely that the iPhone 4 has a Wi-Fi driver flaw that was part of the trouble in making a network connection during Steve Job's WWDC keynote. The other problem was the massive congestion caused by so many independent access points. (Congestion may have triggered the iPhone 4's troubles, too.) With mobile hotspots proliferating on phones and in portable devices like the MiFi, we're going to see more trouble in the future.
eggboard writes: Martin Beck, who in 2008 co-wrote a paper describing a way to inject packets into a secured Wi-Fi system, is back with a more extensive exploit. His "Enhanced TKIP Michael Attacks" still doesn't allow extraction of a key, and is limited to TKIP (not AES-CCMP) WPA-protected networks. Still, he's figured out how to put in large payloads, and to extract data sent from an access point to a client--all without cracking the network key. The attack requires proximity to sniff and inject data, but it's another crack in the older key standard (TKIP) that no one with serious security interests should still use.
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.
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."