feeds | grep links > USB Dead Drops, Mobile Mesh for Telephony, Facebook Bans Apps that Sold User Data, and More

  • USB dead drops, embedding the dark net in architecture
    Slashdot and BoingBoing covered this project by Aram Bartholl over the weekend. He’s cemented USB sticks into walls and other fixtures at a handful of locations, with plans to set up more such dead drops. The idea is that rather than passing storage containers hand to hand, file shares can simply plug in and copy onto and from the drives what they want. The project seems more like an art installation than an IT effort, a way of weaving asynchronous, anonymous sharing into public spaces.
  • Mobile mesh for wireless telephony
    Duncan Geere cross posted this article to Wired and Ars Technica, it is about research that really is quite similar to other mesh network plans about which I’ve read. Why not make the cutely named body-to-body connections simply provide IP protocol carriage with telephony being just one application carried? I would think the growth of smart phones is what is crushing networks more so than mere phone calls. It will be interesting to see if this work which was done at Queen’s University in Belfast can make better progress on the challenges of making a mobile device based mesh as good as or better than the fixed mobile networks we have now.
  • Facebook bans apps that sold user info to data brokers
    Sarah Perez at ReadWriteWeb has the details of some positive privacy news from the dominant social network. I do wonder if this practice would have persisted if the Wall Street Journal had not exposed it, though. Also, why isn’t Facebook built in such a way to make this sort of thing much more difficult, if not outright impossible?
  • Users sue Google, Facebook, Synga over privacy , Slashdot
  • Justice department rules isolate gene sequences should not be patentable, Techdirt
  • Google sues US government for only considering Microsoft solutions, Techdirt
  • Researchers claim better quantum tunneling, EE Times

TCLP 2010-08-08 News

This is news cast 221, an episode of The Command Line Podcast.

In the intro, my thanks to Mike for his donation for which he has earned a merit badge. A final reminder there will not be a feature cast this coming week, I’ll be out in San Francisco for most of the week. Also, a quick review of George Mann’s “The Osiris Ritual“. I reviewed his first novel, “The Affinity Bridge”, earlier in the Summer.

This week’s security alerts are RFIDs can be provably read at over 60 meters and an algorithmic attack on reCAPTCHA.

In this week’s news an algorithm to improve the energy efficiency of mesh networks, concerns over a citizen vigilante group monitor ISPs though the groups claims may be overstated, Google ends Wave development though is dedicated to learning from its failure in this case probably from its complexity despite adding more resources and opening up to more users, and unpacking what exactly went on between Google and Verizon especially as they deny claims of an anti-neutrality pact (even on Twitter). Odds are good they are still meeting and talking to some end which may be why the NYT is sticking to its story. Cringely has the most intriguing guess at their possible goal.

Following up this week EFF offers assistance to targets of the US Copyright Group and the FCC ends closed door discussions on its net neutrality plan.

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View the detailed show notes online. You can also grab the flac encoded audio from the Internet Archive.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.

The State of Wireless Mesh Networking

Timothy B. Lee has a good survey of the current field of mesh networking at Ars. The good news is that it seems to be thriving outside of the labs where it originated. Better, the costs of deployment and operation seem especially conducive to use in developing countries. This is consistent with the highest profile mesh networking about which I know much of anything, the OLPC project.

The throughput pales compared to fiber of cable broadband but is directly comparable to what many folks use in developed nations in lieu of running cable throughout their homes, plain old WiFi. I was pleased to note among his examples mesh vendors working on municipal coverage.

There’s also an excellent section on open versus proprietary, noting that much of the systems out there may be open at the lower layers but are largely proprietary. The author definitely throughs his weight behind the need for open standards to aid competition and adoption.