“Loaded for bear.” That quaint phrase means that you have the biggest, baddest gun, loaded with the biggest, baddest bullet, because you may have to shoot a big, bad bear. It indicates that you have gone all out in an effort to be prepared for any situation.
“Loaded for bear” describes perfectly a team of determined young college students calling themselves “iFiber Redwire,” who, with parents, family and friends in tow, traveled from Cincinnati, Ohio to a rugged desert area near Las Vegas, Nevada to compete in the 3rd Annual Defcon Wifi Shootout Contest. The contest challenges teams to wirelessly connect two computers at extreme distances using the radio technology known as “WiFi,” and, on July 30, 2005, the efforts of iFiber Redwire paid off in an impressive way. After part of the team drove a trailer loaded with equipment to Utah Hill, near Beaver Dam in the state of Utah, iFiber Redwire used a fascinating collection of homemade antennas, surplus 12 foot satellite dishes, home-welded support structures, scaffolds, ropes and computers to wirelessly connect to their comrades who were located southwest of Las Vegas at the top of Mount Potosi. The final result was a full 11 Mbps data transfer rate over a distance of 125 miles, a new world record for an unamplified wireless networking connection.
More information and contest results will be posted soon to the official contest website at
Released by the Defcon Wifi Shootout Contest Staff.
Mesh networks are wireless networks, based on Wi-Fi technology, where each wireless “node” or “access point” connects with a number of other wireless nodes. Information flows from node to node, winding up either at its destination or the internet in general. Internet connections, in a mesh-based network, are provided by one or more nodes that connect to the internet directly (referred to as “backhaul”).
Robust and reliable, mesh wireless systems offer multiple points of connection to the network and no central tower. Mesh users can bypass obstacles like hills and trees by using different signal paths. Mesh networks are easily expandable at very low cost, and they have no single point of failure. Mesh networks also feature shorter distances between nodes, which means each antenna can broadcast at lower power, creating less interference and allowing more users to communicate simultaneously.” (from http://www.freepress.net/wifi/guide2.php)
The benefits of mesh technology are many:
- self-organized, dynamic routing and connection
- little or no centralized configuration
- each node is interchangeable with every other node
- overlapping wireless coverage areas ensure that no node is a point of failure
- no wires are necessary, as the network is entirely wireless
- organic build-out of the entire network is possible
- multiple separate networks can be built independently and grow into a single cohesive network
- redundant paths to backhaul
- easy/seamless addition of additional backhaul
Continue reading Why Mesh-based Wireless Networks Are Ideal for New York
The Digital Divide is a topic for great discussion for the past decade or two, since computers and information systems have permeated our society and culture. Many people have proposed solutions, and many have helped address some of the Divide’s many components. It is spoken about often, and has been categorized and explained from many angles. Fundamentally, it refers to the chasm that exists in our society between the have’s and the have-not’s, and about the inability for the have-not’s to join the ranks of the have’s. It is, in part, a problem of economics.
So how does Wi-Fi fit in?
The Digital Divide, in part, can be solved by proper application of technology. Indeed, technology is the silver bullet for the Digital Divide that has been trumpeted by politicians and corporations alike. But in reality, it is more about the use of technology, and not the acquisition of it. This point is often confused by many who talk about the bridge that it can help form. Technology must be both affordable, to address economic problem, as well as assistive in its use in helping people better themselves.
Continue reading Wi-Fi and the Digital Divide
S19.Afflatus Project is an online gallery dedicated to promoting visual and interactive art in mobile devices, such as cellphones, Pocket PC, Palm and convergence devices. We hope to explore art, design, interactivity, ergonomics, technology and experimentation with mobile devices and the audience.
If you are a artist creating art for mobile deivces, such as cell phones, PDAs, or convergence devices, please feel free to stop by http://www.s19.com or http://www.rhizome.org for more information.