Wifi Highway - could this work?

Bill Kearney Bill Kearney" <wkearney99@hotmail.com
Fri, 3 Jan 2003 13:33:37 -0500

> It doesn't matter if protocol level can handle it but the apps poop out.
> What do people do with network? Bidirectionally streaming video, audio,
> ssh, chat, email.

No, what do geeks permanently bolted to their machines use.  The great unwashed
are probably a lot less connected.  At least not on anywhere near the schedule
of geek users (us).

> Out of this only email or similiar high-latency
> messaging is not latency bound, provided the timeout is jacked up high and
> the app can deal with IP address mutating under its feet (most current
> apps can't).

Right, so deal with mutating IP (a fine idea) and/or think about restructuring
to deal with inconsistent connectivity.  It'd help more to deal with
inconsistent connections.  Situations of robust connectivity could be used to
'forward fetch' likely data.  Perhaps if you have a repository at the office and
the device knows you get good connectivity at 7am it might dump the data it
knows you aren't likely to use during the day in favor of snatching the office
oriented lumps of data.  VM for your handheld!

> > Granted, the interplanetary network, barring accidents, would have a
> > much higher degree of predictability than a roaming wifi user.  Gobs
> > of mathematics, talk about routing woes!
> I don't think it needs mathematics, just algorithms. And routing woes
> largely go away if you go to geographic routing, which only involves
> planning routes within node clouds less than a mile across. Gives you a
> robust low-juice realtime position fix as well.

Forgetting the age-old hassles of ISP peering relationships, of course.
Geographically oriented routing for anything other than the immediate wireless
vicinity is a bad idea.

> Most stream is bidirectional, as people hate lag (voiping with minute lag
> is really difficult). You can only keep on streaming during outages if you
> have a very fat pipe during those bursts when you have connectivity.

Oh too right, I remember the early days of satellite telephony links.  The
question is do people /need/ streaming or could better use of device-local
resources be used for caching/buffering purposes.

> The weird thing, why didn't this happen about a decade ago? Why does all
> P2P suck so badly in 2003 still, for that matter?

The saying "eating their own dog food" comes to mind.  The developers are
working on pipes with connectivity that is not typically available to normal
users (you know, the one's paying for all this...).  I've done wireless
development (ardis and ram) and it sucks a lot harder than most folks are
prepared to believe.

-Bill Kearney