[zeromq-dev] How do we activate and connect to WiFi hotspots in edgenets?

Lindley French lindleyf at gmail.com
Thu Jan 9 15:14:15 CET 2014

>There really is no cost to using a smartphone as hotspot except a
>little delay and some battery life, while switched on.

Battery life may be more of an issue than you realize. Wifi radios use far
less power than 3G radios, but they still *do* use power, and the pattern
of network activity can have a strong effect on battery life. The most
important thing to realize is that people "expect" their smartphones not to
use much power while they're idle. If you're doing network activity all the
time in the background, that isn't the case, and people will become unhappy
with your software and uninstall it. (Note the reactions to the first
release of Google Now, which committed a similar sin with location
services. GPS receivers use a lot of power too.)

To some extent you can be smart enough to reduce network activity
significantly while the phone is idle compared to active. Beacon less
often, include a parameter in the beacon letting other phones know you'll
only be "listening" for a short window after a beacon, etc. It's possible
to give the radio a break.

My concern is that once a phone is trying to host an access point, it gets
a lot harder to be selective about when the wifi radio is active. It has to
be on pretty much all the time. The exception might be ad-hoc mode-----once
one node creates an ad-hoc network (which is surprisingly tricky on
Android), others can sustain the SSID without it. However, if the anchoring
node was providing DHCP services, then obviously that won't work anymore
once it goes offline.

On Thu, Jan 9, 2014 at 3:06 AM, Pieter Hintjens <ph at imatix.com> wrote:

> On Thu, Jan 9, 2014 at 8:24 AM, crocket <crockabiscuit at gmail.com> wrote:
> > Nowadays, almost every city is covered with WiFi hotspots.
> >
> > And, almost every modern building and meetup is covered well by WiFi
> > hotspots.
> >
> > Most houses have a hotspot or two.
> >
> > Why don't we take advantage of existing WiFi hotspots? It would make
> things
> > so much easier while we devise a way to connect phones directly or wait
> for
> > 802.11s.
> You can, of course. There are some aspects to take into account:
> * It works perfectly e.g. in the home or office where people naturally
> put devices on their access point.
> * Many public hotspots, especially in the US, block client-to-client
> traffic.
> * Public hotspots are trivial to tap, if you care about anonymity.
> * There really is no cost to using a smartphone as hotspot except a
> little delay and some battery life, while switched on.
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