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Athens, Georgia, to set up a downtown wireless cloud: a neat project to test the utility of a larger network run without a particular purpose in mind.
Military imposing limits on wireless device use: Although not focused on Wi-Fi, this new set of limitations is intelligent. But listen to this: President Bush's top cybersecurity adviser, Richard Clarke, said the technology industry was acting irresponsibly by selling wireless tools such as computer network devices that remain remarkably easy for hackers to attack. That worries me, because it's incorrect. The operating system is at fault, here. The fact that Mac OS, Windows, and Unix, by default, rely on insecure transports. It's clear that the time for insecure transmissions is long past, and we're playing catch-up. But you can't blame Wi-Fi for that. You can't fix encryption in the AP, only in the OS. The AP can aid a link's security, but it can't be "responsible" for it.
The article continues: The industry's most common data-scrambling technique designed to keep out eavesdroppers, called the wireless encryption protocol, can be broken -- usually in less than five minutes -- with software available on the Internet. That's Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP), Mr. or Ms. Associated Press reporter, easily found out in 5 seconds via Google or other sources. Five minutes? Not likely. 15 is the best I've heard.
Finally: "It is irresponsible to sell a product in a way that can be so easily misused by a customer in a way that jeopardizes their confidential and proprietary and sensitive information," Clarke said. Rather, companies need to understand better what kind of data needs to be protected and create end-to-end solutions.
Newsforge on small wireless ISPs: Every time I read a story like this, the tone is that it's a new development. In fact, small wireless ISPs date back to about 1997, and hundreds exist today. Of course, I've filed stories with the same tone, because most readers are unaware that this technology is so cheap and widely available as a final-mile alternative.
Fishy pirate story behind AOL/Time-Warner letter: According to this News.com story, AOL/Time-Warner traced a movie pirate's upload of a copyrighted film to a cable modem customer of theirs with an unprotected (but not community/shared) Wi-Fi connection. If true, and it sounds a bit fishy (not News.com's story, but AOL/TW's explanation), it would explain the bizarre tone of the letter sent to their wireless community sharing customers.
Numbers, we got numbers: 802.11 Planet summarizes two expensive reports on wireless networking revenue from the manufacture and deployment sides. It's all up, up, up. A cluster of Wi-Fi manufacturers (Linksys, Agere, and SMC) are now tops for shipments, beating out Cisco. [via Sifry Alerts, Werblog]