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Open source Wi-Fi timeline: All of our memory is better than some of our memories. Thus I am starting the open-source Wi-Fi timeline project: it's got a modest goal - establishing the definitive dates and events along the history of 802.11b and related wireless specifications to the present. I realized in trying to put one together that many of the dates are hard won information, or require reading hundreds of press releases for me, but would be top-of-mind for others.
The open-source deal is this: I will retain the copyright for the work and offer it under the GNU General Public License. The GPL isn't exactly open source, but rather defines the terms under which a work must be collaboratively shared, and that no fee is required to use it, nor can anyone take it private. The GPL allows a creator to maintain rights in the work that open it up to all users. It's not public domain, but rather any changes to the timeline must be folded back in to the main project by being emailed back to me. Likewise, any research I do will get folded into the definitive version. Anyone can reprint the timeline as long as they reference the license or the definitive page. If you're putting together a book or a Web site, you can always use the timeline free of charge forever. If you research materials using the timeline as the basis, then you need to contribute the results of the research (individual events) back into the pool.
Start emailing me events. Try to include a title, the date (month and year at least), and the importance of the event. This could include the founding of a company like Wayport or Sputnik, the release of a protocol, or a defining event like the RC4 weakness paper.
An empty box containing only snake oil: In talking with colleagues in the last few weeks, we all agreed that there's a rise in the potential-snake-oil segment of the wireless industry. The story cited above was reported back in May 2002, and it's a good one to recollect: a cleverly handled demo fooled technical people who weren't able to touch the hardware. To quote Harry Potter's friend's father's advice, "Never trust anything that thinks for itself, unless you can see it's brain." Show me the hardware (and the FCC license)! Or better yet, show it to an independent testing lab.
Wi-Fi Radio, Radio: Doc Searls wants his: Doc wants a Wi-Fi radio that can handle audio broadcasts.
Rabbit Ears? Hammer Down! Nigel Ballard of the Joejava Wireless Consultancy once testified about the UK Rabbit service, discussed yesterday, an early mobile phone service that required proximity to a very few branded transceivers. Nigel wrote: You failed to mention the reason Rabbit failed, and it is so clear and obvious, it needs to be told. Rabbit was one-way! You could call out, but NOBODY could call you! Ha ha ha.
Up, up in the air in my beautiful solar-powered transceiver plane: Solar-powered transmission of 3G/UMT cell phone signals and HDTV were proven to work in tests of a solar-powered plane. This idea is gaining frequency (as it were) as a way to deal with final mile issues: everyone could have line of sight to a plane. [via Boing Boing]