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O'Reilly Open Source Convention
Sheraton San Diego Hotel, San Diego, CA
July 23-27, 2001

News Coverage


Community Wireless Networks

Rob Flickenger
Schuyler Erle, MetaCarta

Track: Emerging Topics
Date: Friday, July 27
Time: 4:45pm - 5:00pm
Location: Bel Aire South

Imagine this: You're driving about town in your car. You pull up to a stop light. The person in the next car is listening to a song by one of your favorite bands, on MP3. When you pull away from the light, you are listening to the same song in your own car.

How would this work? Erle & Flickenger believe it is possible to build portable, anonymous, wireless, peer-to-peer file sharing networks, by gluing together off-the-shelf technologies such as 802.11b, IP networking, HTTP services, and ordinary notebook PCs. Using application-specific software, peers can advertise their presence on a common, private, wireless IP subnet. Peers can then negotiate file transfers, based on user preferences, on a wholly unattended basis.

The session will demonstrate a proof-of-concept implementation of this technology. It will discuss potential further developments, as well as inherent limitations of the component technologies. It will briefly touch on implications of anonymous wireless file sharing for censorship and copyright enforcement.

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