What's the real scope of hardware openness?

Ian Stirling OpenMoko at mauve.plus.com
Mon Aug 6 18:24:00 CEST 2007

cedric cellier wrote:
> -[ Mon, Aug 06, 2007 at 06:02:05PM +0300, Mikko J Rauhala ]----
>>The point is that you must be a 1) criminal 2) sociopath to even want to
>>do this thing with the GSM radio in particular, even if you could.
> I like the OP's idea, whatever technically hard to achieve with actual
> divice, not because Im a sociopath, but because I find the idea elegant.
> No more need for costly and hideous GSM antennas...
> Much more robust (many routes to a destination)...

Unfortunately, this seems obvious, but is false.

If you are on average 20 nodes away from the destination, then on 
average, (neglecting routing problems) you, and all the nodes you route 
through, are sharing their bandwidth with 20 other users.

Then there is the problem that it isn't as good as this.

Because users are not evenly spread, there are 'hot' links, which are 
links between 'islands' of relatively isolated users.
This means that a vastly disproportionate amount of traffic goes to them.
There are similar problems with uplinks to the 'real' internet for 
long-term traffic.

Then you run into problems with interference.

Even neglecting users who are abusing the network, the noise floor goes 
up significantly, because everyone is 'shouting' at once.

Once you get a few people that decide that streaming video from their 
webcams to their office is a fun app, they utterly screw the people 
using the same frequency in the same range.

The problem _is_ the sociopaths.
With an open protocol, and open devices, and shared radio frequency it 
is simply impossible to stop them interfering with other users.

They get best (momentary) gain from the system by simply turning their 
radio power up all the way, and ignoring any traffic by stamping on it.

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