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Google Businesses The Internet Wireless Networking Hardware

Google and Skype in Startup to Link Hotspots 158

An anonymous reader writes "Google and Skype are investing in a new startup (FON, the Spanish startup) that plans to help hotspot owners charge for Wi-Fi access points. The plan outlines two different classes of customer; "Linus" members, named after Linus Torvalds, will share their hotspot with other Linus members for free and "Bill" members, named after Microsoft's Bill Gates, will charge for access to their hotspot. FON will get some of that revenue, and share it with ISPs."
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Google and Skype in Startup to Link Hotspots

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  • by TallGuyRacer ( 920071 ) on Monday February 06, 2006 @02:27AM (#14648862) Homepage
    Linus & Bill. I love it. Glad to know someone still has a sense of humour out there.
    • FON Website (Score:1, Redundant)

      by joewee ( 514938 )
    • Re:Fantastic names (Score:5, Informative)

      by agurkan ( 523320 ) on Monday February 06, 2006 @03:52AM (#14649139) Homepage
      I personally think Richard would be more appropiate than Linus. The freeness of Linux in particular and GNU/Linux in general comes from RMS's ideals, or more precisely his expression of some ideals common to many people. Linus has done a great job, but the antithesis of Windows is GNU.
      • Re:Fantastic names (Score:5, Insightful)

        by arodland ( 127775 ) on Monday February 06, 2006 @04:21AM (#14649222)
        Except that if it was up to Richard, we'd still be waiting to be able to boot the GNU system on more than two pieces of hardware. I'll take Linus on the "actions speak louder" principle. Which, if you think about it, applies perfectly well to this hotspot thing. It's about standing up for a certain standard (in this case, internet service) by demonstrating what you want and embodying the change and yadda yadda yadda.
        • Well, the kernel was only the last missing piece on a whole operating system develop by Stallman. Compiler, shell, editor, programming tools, the whole GNU shebang existed in 1991 for some reason, and that was NOT due to Stallman/ the GNU project inaction. Now that they got a kernel (i.e., Linus'), development efforts can be focused on other areas (not that HURD will be dropped, but there are other important areas that need more immediate attention; the kernel problem is, for now, solved).
        • Except that if it was up to Richard, we'd still be waiting to be able to boot the GNU system on more than two pieces of hardware.

          I doubt that, actually. HURD would have come a few years later, but the emergence of Linux really removed most of the urgency from its development, and allowed it to focus more on "ideal" design, which slowed it even more. That said, I really doubt that HURD in this alternate, Linux-less 2006 would have been nearly as good in terms of performance and wide-ranging hardware sup

        • You seem to forget that hurd development would have proceeded differently if linux were not around, not to mention that if it was up to Linus alone we would still be waiting to run any processes with our newly booted machine. To me the action that speaks louder than words is the initial restrictive license of linux, not to mention the whole bitkeeper thing. Linux speaks for the practicality of the open model, he produced linux to have a working system, not to have an open system. Given that it's a startup,
        • Linus doesn't seem too hung up on the idea that all software should be free.

          He developed firmware professionally and used BitKeeper to store the Linux kernel. I'm not stating an opinion on his actions, however, if actions speak louder than words, than Linus's actions say that he's rather ambivalent to whether or not software should be free across the board. Stallman, on the other hand, has written at great length regarding his views on free software.
        • Don't forget that the main product RMS ever made is the GPL and the ideals behind it. And I belive it's the GPL the main instrument in helping Linux become popular, and survive the years without been killed by unfair competition.

          Aside from that, an OS kernel is a great thing, but it's not rocket science. Of course it was really good for making the free OS happen early enough.

          More to the point, a free user that shares his bandwidth for free, and a paid user that wants people to pay him is obviously better r
      • Nah, noone would use a Richard point once they discover that it is not compatible with Bill points, or even Steve points, and once you have used the Richard point all of you systems become Richard points.

        That doesn't make nearly as much sense as it did in my head...
      • "I personally think Richard would be more appropiate than Linus. The freeness of Linux in particular and GNU/Linux in general comes from RMS's ideals, or more precisely his expression of some ideals common to many people. Linus has done a great job, but the antithesis of Windows is GNU."

        Actually, BSD is the antithesis of Windows, because it is the only completely free OS. RMS's GNU puts strings on it's "free" software that limit how you can distribute modified copies.
        • Actually, BSD is the antithesis of Windows, because it is the only completely free OS. RMS's GNU puts strings on it's "free" software that limit how you can distribute modified copies.

          Just like making slavery illegal limits our freedom?

  • geek pride (Score:2, Insightful)

    I know that here on slashdot and in the geek community in general, we wear our colors proudly. But does anyone else think that this naming convention is a tad juvenile?
  • Aliens (Score:5, Informative)

    by Qwell ( 684661 ) on Monday February 06, 2006 @02:34AM (#14648886)
    The guys from FON were recently at ETel in San Francisco. There are also Aliens, which are the people who are willing to pay for access.

    Linuses: People who will let others (Aliens and other Linuses) use their links, if they in turn can use other Linuses links.

    Bills: People who will let others (Aliens) use their links, for a percentage of the profits.

    Aliens: People who are willing to pay Bills to use their links (and since they pay, they can use Linuses links), but aren't willing to share their own connections.

    For more information about the different types of users, see http://en.fon.com/info/linus-meet-bill-meet-an-ali en.php [fon.com]
  • Competition (Score:5, Funny)

    by quokkapox ( 847798 ) <quokkapox@gmail.com> on Monday February 06, 2006 @02:34AM (#14648890)
    I really don't see how Google and Skype are going to compete with the free Linksys hotspots that are already well-established in the marketplace.

    I just don't understand what they could offer that would make me switch.

    They can't compete on price, nor anonymity.

    • Re:Competition (Score:5, Insightful)

      by DJCacophony ( 832334 ) <v0dka@myg0t. c o m> on Monday February 06, 2006 @02:47AM (#14648943) Homepage
      The idea is that they pay normal people to share their own access points (or in the case of "linuses", access is given out for free). While there may be wireless access available in alot of locations, if everybody who has an access point were to offer it, there would be alot more coverage.
      Think about the residential areas where there isn't a borders or starbucks nearby: You could connect to a "bill" access point hosted by your average joe (provided you bought the subscription), bill gets paid, and google gets paid. While one may think that google is getting something for nothing, it offers a universal payment scheme for residential access points everywhere.
       
      All this and I didn't even RTFA.
      • Re:Competition (Score:5, Insightful)

        by quokkapox ( 847798 ) <quokkapox@gmail.com> on Monday February 06, 2006 @03:04AM (#14649004)
        The idea is that they pay normal people to share their own access points (or in the case of "linuses", access is given out for free). While there may be wireless access available in alot of locations, if everybody who has an access point were to offer it, there would be alot more coverage. Think about the residential areas where there isn't a borders or starbucks nearby: You could connect to a "bill" access point hosted by your average joe (provided you bought the subscription), bill gets paid, and google gets paid. While one may think that google is getting something for nothing, it offers a universal payment scheme for residential access points everywhere.

        All this and I didn't even RTFA.

        Hardly anybody RTFA. Mesh networks with multiple outlets to the general Internet threaten the entire status quo; the telecom companies fear this and that is exactly why we all need to promote it. Your ability to get your bits in and out of your neighborhood network is terrifying to the established telecom monopolies as well as the giant media companies. This is what we have to work to implement immediately.

        • Well, the current ISP contracts are incompatible with this, but I'm not sure the are, or should be, terrified: A plan like this is based on every member having an internet connection -- if the linus model were succesful, it would actually be an incentive for buying an internet connection (value added without any work by the ISP!).

          Convincing the ISPs to change their contracts now (before this has had a chance to grow to the point where the value added actually matters) is another matter...

    • lol.... there are 3 such linksys hotspots I can pick up from my living room.... strangely enough they are all 3 on channel 6 too.... does this linksys hotspot network of which you speak default to channel 6 by any chance?
  • by Diseage ( 898509 ) on Monday February 06, 2006 @02:39AM (#14648907)
    Right now I can share my Wi-Fi spot with anyone I want. The only real software here is the "Bill" version which would allow charging. And guess what? I can do the "Linus" version with any wireless router I please.
    • but the crucial thing will be that people will now 'Linus' back to you, a 'give and ye shall receive' principle.
    • From their Forums. "ejovi; PostPosted: Sat Dec 31, 2005 01:05 FON creates two seperate networks. A local network for yourself and your household and a seperate network for users connecting through the wireless lan (external users). There is a firewall between the two." http://boards.fon.com/viewtopic.php?t=5 [fon.com] Maby DDwrt can do that but it's not the default. I'm interested in trying out their firmware just to keep my wlan seperate from the open acess.
    • Right now I can share my Wi-Fi spot with anyone I want.

      You are slightly mistaken -- you are sharing your WiFi with anyone who wants Internet access and is motivated enough to crack your meager security.

    • being a "Linus" means that you get free access to the hotspots of all the other "Linus"es out there. If you don't open up for free then you have to pay to use other people's hotspots.
    • the bill version gives you a share in the charges.

      every fon hotspot will have a cost for 'aliens' and 'bills'
      if the hotspot is run by a 'linus' fon will get all the money.

      every fon hotspot in the USA will be free, for you, if you run a linus spot- which gets fon more net cash.
      but even your own spot, will be provided at a charge to anyone not a 'linus' themselves
    • When someone uses your connection for spamming/hacking/child porn or other illegal purposes you have some proof that:

      a) other people use that network connection rather than just you
      b) FON will know who they are and have contact details for them

      That is the reason I don't share my connection, fear that at some point I will have to prove my innocence and what I HAVEN'T done. We all know how hard it is to PROVE a negative is such cases.
  • by Pranjal ( 624521 ) on Monday February 06, 2006 @02:42AM (#14648916)
    And Balmer members will throw their wi-fi equipment at each other and threaten to fucking kill the linus members.
    • Or if you know someone's going to protect you is working for someone else drives. Slow down, let them catch up to 300 microns into a theft recovery mode' where in addition to reporting gps it would see a need to supply us with ...
  • by ben_1432 ( 871549 ) on Monday February 06, 2006 @02:44AM (#14648929)
    There will be a Larry model released later, but it's expected to remain in beta for the first 15 years, and unusuable for the first 15 weeks due to overwhelming underestimates of how many people would use something by Google.

    Like the Linus model, it will be free to use. However it will log everything you do for non-evil purposes.
  • by scsirob ( 246572 ) on Monday February 06, 2006 @02:46AM (#14648936)
    The launch of this service wouldn't be in seven weeks from now, would it?

    Like just after March 31st?!? ;P
  • I can only wonder what a "Steve" member is.
  • Liability? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by siwelwerd ( 869956 ) on Monday February 06, 2006 @02:51AM (#14648958)
    So if I sign up for this, and somebody using my connections downloads all sorts of illegal files, who is the RIAA going to sue? The obvious choice seems the subscriber of the internet connection which would be me. FON's website says
    "Am I responsible if a user uses my connection for any illicit activity?
    No. As long as you have not actively participated in the commission of a crime or do not have knowledge that a particular individual is using your connection to commit a crime or illegal activity, it is our understanding that you are not responsible. Nevertheless, this may vary depending on the laws of each country. Furthermore, FON discourages any inappropriate use of your connection by making sure that each user of the FON Community has registered and is identifiable."
    Not very reassuring to me.
    • Agreed. Thought it seems to me that it really depends on the policies of the ISP. Unless FON starts dealing with the big time ISP's to gain legal protection for its hotspot users, it seems like you could really be at risk. After having merely skimmed TFA, it seems like you could easily sign yourself up as a "Linus" user using a fake name, etc. and start abusing a Linus hotspot.
    • by fredistheking ( 464407 ) on Monday February 06, 2006 @03:57AM (#14649158)
      The MPAA is suing your ass for some movie you never heard of. They offer you to settle for $4000 or risk going to court and loosing thousands more. This is what happened to me. I talked to several lawyers and they all came to the same conclusion; "If it's only $4K you should take the settlement." It doesn't matter that I was innocent. The only thing that matters is the RIAA/MPAA has more money and time than me and they can bankrupt me, but not the other way around.

      A dangerous precident is being set right now and I feel as if we as private citizens are helpless.
    • So if I sign up for this, and somebody using my connections downloads all sorts of illegal files, who is the RIAA going to sue?

      Some grandmother in North Dakota who's never touched a mouse. The RIAA prey on the same victims as all those other scam artists who call up senior citizens in Kansas and sell them $10,000 tsunami insurance policies. It has nothing to do with who is actually uploading pirated content.

    • Re:Liability? (Score:3, Informative)

      by swillden ( 191260 )

      Not very reassuring to me.

      No? I think this is the bit that is reassuring on that count:

      FON discourages any inappropriate use of your connection by making sure that each user of the FON Community has registered and is identifiable."

      So when the RIAA comes delivers their lawsuit, you should be able to go to FON (or even your own logs perhaps?) and find the name and address of the person who actually did the downloading. Begin able to say "I didn't do it, X did, and here's the proof" puts you in a pre

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Will sit atop their houses and type their messages the old fashioned way.
    • It was a dark and stormy night...GREETINGS IN GOD. I AM THE ONLY SURVIVING NEPHEW OF GENERAL SIR CHARLIE BROWN, WHO WAS TRAGICALLY KILLED IN AN AUTOMOBILE ACCIDENT IN JULY 2005, LEAVING AN UNCLAIMED PERSONAL FORTUNE OF $64,000,000 (SIXTY FOUR MILLION DOLLARS US). YOUR NAME HAS BEEN PASSED TO ME AS A TRUSTWORTHY AND RELIABLE PERSON

      etc

  • by Jivha ( 842251 ) on Monday February 06, 2006 @03:01AM (#14648995)
    Let me get this straight - Google, Ebay/Skype, Sequoia and Index are investing $22 million in a startup that

    - aims to do something obvious("FON's idea is not entirely novel - in fact, several companies and associations have tried to tie together free Wi-Fi hotspots into networks, but no one has succeeded on a large scale.")
    - doesn't yet have a plan on how to prevent the notoriously insular/suspicious ISP's from blocking this service("FON faces a hurdle in that most ISPs prohibit subscribers from sharing internet access with people outside their household")
    - doesn't have the software for the "Bill"(read: paying) part of the idea for the next 4 months
    - is going against the grain when it comes to wi-fi trends(wasn't Google itself planning to offer free wi-fi in SF?)
    - is treading slippery legal ground here(consumers reselling their Internet connections to others)

    But wait, Google is investing in it so I guess this really must be a great idea right?
    • But wait, Google is investing in it so I guess this really must be a great idea right?


      Well, you must admit that Google's track record has been fairly good... they figured out how to make $$$ on search-engine advertising, back when everybody else thought it would be unworkable to do so; perhaps they will figure (or have figured) out how to make this work as well.

      • That was a marketing / business problem. The problem here is very legal. I am yet to see a consumer grade internet access service contract that doesn't say (though not necessarily in these words): "We will turf your ass to the curb the moment we gain wind of you 're-selling' (even at 'Linus-like' free) this connectivity'.

        Google can have all the creative and intellectual muscle in the world, but until it starts supplying that Internet connectivity itself, having all that creative and intellectual muscle ain

        • Yet it's happening every day. People are charging higher rents due to ADSL/cable being included. This is reselling and this is happening. Sure, once there is a big target, it will be shot - but if you RTFriendlyA they're in talks with ISPs. The difference is there.

          There are chances Open Source crushes this, by the way. Implement some Open Source (just to reinsure no spyware is included), securely encripted software that setup this, and voilà. Why paying any commission at all to these people? you can k
    • Slippery legal ground? They offer money to ISPs so it will be done by agreement, they only have to get one ISP in any area to sign up and that ISP will gain more customers who want to use the FON system.

      Think about it, all other things being equal, if with one ISP you can use FON and with another not, and you can gain something from it (free roaming) then the ISP who accepts FON will get more customers, plus the revenue share FON are offering.

  • by cyberjessy ( 444290 ) on Monday February 06, 2006 @03:03AM (#14649002) Homepage
    This has all the potential to start a new revolution in P2P bandwidth sharing, just like Napster. In the end, the whole this is pretty good for easy/cheap internet access. But....

    The whole thing rests with a private company.
    Unlike Napster:
    1. The entry barrier is huge. [We are not dealing with data alone]
    2. It is difficult to switch to another service; unlike Kazaa to eDonkey to BitTorrent. The reach of the service is local, for Napster it was anyone anywhere with a Network Connection.
    3. The guy who started this, is more of a shrewd businessman. He may not give a damn about all that "Freedom" that we really care about.
    4. Lots of chicken and egg issues for a competitor to spring up [like ISP support]

    By 2008, if this service has 5 million people hooked (like Napster); then where will we stand? To emphasize, unlike switching email providers, or P2P servers, the entry barrier will be monstrous; and only an investment from the likes of Microsoft or IBM will create a competitor.

    I will never sign-up for this!
  • Basically (Score:3, Insightful)

    by zullnero ( 833754 ) on Monday February 06, 2006 @03:05AM (#14649012) Homepage
    It looks like an attempt made by a company that wants to leech off some cash from various wireless APs, but wants to appease the /. community by giving it's product plans names like "Linus" and "Bill".
  • Aside from the fact that when Sputnik.com tried this back in 2002, WRT54Gs were not around.. how is this business plan and implementation any different?
  • ...Seriously.
    The whole "Hotspot" thing is getting old. Really, how many people would use a system/service that:
    1. Is not engineered to be accessable country-wide on a single bill and with possibilities of international roaming?
    2. Is designed for SHORT distances from access points.
    3. Cannot hand over between cells.
    4. Is unreliable, no guaranteed uptime and no centralised management of links. (If a link goes down, who is responsible to fix it?)
    5. Has no "standard" protocol etc. configuration EVEN FROM T
    • The whole "Hotspot" thing is getting old. Really, how many people would use a system/service that: 1. Is not engineered to be accessable country-wide on a single bill and with possibilities of international roaming?

      Did you RTFA? The system under discussion does indeed work internationally.

      2. Is designed for SHORT distances from access points.

      Wifi serves my needs well. I can get online from almost any restaurant or cafe in my neighborhood, which is about 90% of my usage. The rest is in airports and ho

  • I'd love the Linus model and will promote it everywhere. I'd like to be the customer of the Linus model, yet my business will be a Bill model :)

    I wonder if anyone will release a Darl model too.
    • I wonder if anyone will release a Darl model too.

      That would be the hotspot that is not connected to the internet, yet it broadcasts an SSID and automatically files computer hacking charges against you when you connect.
    • I wonder if anyone will release a Darl model too.

      Yes, but it'll just be a guy going from door to door with Darl decals and telling people that they need to place them over the name on the Linus model.

  • by Y-Crate ( 540566 ) on Monday February 06, 2006 @03:44AM (#14649123)
    The "Jobs" class of connections.

    You open your laptop, attempt to sign onto the wireless network, and a man in a black turtleneck walks up to you, swipes your credit card and hands you a glass of Kool-Aid.

    It takes 30 minutes for the first ping...but after that you can connect to anyone in the world for the next 12 hours. In fact, the connection is so good, you can leave your laptop and just move your life-spirit to the actual server you are connecting to, and savor the magnetic aura of the hard drives, whilst having full access to your iTunes library...even the songs that won't be written for another 20 years.

    Beat that shit.
  • by anti-NAT ( 709310 ) on Monday February 06, 2006 @04:03AM (#14649172) Homepage

    Skype is both closed source and more importantly uses closed VoIP protocols. It is the antithesis of the 'Linus'. If you don't think that matters, then you just don't get it.

  • Can someone come up with an OS type project for this so people can do a share and share alike type thing for their wi-fi?

    Is there already such a thing?
    • Can someone come up with an OS type project for this so people can do a share and share alike type thing for their wi-fi?

      That is the Linus side. As to the code, it is freely available via their site, so copying is not that difficult. In fact, it is the linux set-up for the linksys w54g model

  • FON's website (Score:4, Informative)

    by FleaPlus ( 6935 ) on Monday February 06, 2006 @04:06AM (#14649183) Journal
    The article didn't really tell too much about what's distinctive about FON, so I went to their website here:

    http://en.fon.com/ [fon.com]

    And of course, their blog: http://blog.fon.com/en/ [fon.com]

    It still isn't too clear though on what the advantage is of having a "Linus" hotspot instead of just having it be open-access. My guess is that the main benefit is that hotspot users are authenticated with a "global" ID, which would help deter abuse, spamming, etc.
    • Re:FON's website (Score:5, Informative)

      by raju1kabir ( 251972 ) on Monday February 06, 2006 @05:24AM (#14649381) Homepage
      It still isn't too clear though on what the advantage is of having a "Linus" hotspot instead of just having it be open-access.

      Are you sure you read the site? The reason to run a Linus hotspot is so that you will get reciprocal access to all the other Linus hostpots out there.

      [And how did parent get modded informative? All it said was that the author didn't have any information to add.]

      • And cheaper access to the Bill hotspots?
      • Are you sure you read the site? The reason to run a Linus hotspot is so that you will get reciprocal access to all the other Linus hostpots out there.

        Sure, but I guess I'm still not seeing how this differs from just running an open-access point, from the POV of somebody running a hotspot.

        And how did parent get modded informative?

        Probably because I was the only person who actually mentioned where the company's website was.
        • Sure, but I guess I'm still not seeing how this differs from just running an open-access point, from the POV of somebody running a hotspot.

          I find this comment confusing. The reason I'm enticed to run one is so that I can get access to lots of other hotspots all over the place. To me that provides significant value.

          • I find this comment confusing. The reason I'm enticed to run one is so that I can get access to lots of other hotspots all over the place. To me that provides significant value.

            Yeah, I think I was confused. After thinking it through a little more (juggling a bunch of other things at the moment), it makes sense.
  • Mesh networks (Score:2, Interesting)

    by fruey ( 563914 )

    A tough part of any agreement like this is, just like the article states, to actually get people to work together and provide access. There is an interesting perspective on how it might need a radical group who do it for kicks in Cory Doctorow's novel " Someone Comes to Town, Someone Leaves Town [craphound.com]" to get things moving.

    Personally, I think a time will come when WiFi access is very common, and some kind of roaming agreement between providers will cause your access to be metered by your ISP wherever you are.

    Tri

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 06, 2006 @04:32AM (#14649249)
    It seems very nice, but it is not going to work.

    1) The man itself. No one in Spain would buy a used car from Martin Varsavsky.

    2) In Spain it's illegal to resell or even share your Internet connection, the contract with the ISP almost always says so. It can be debatable, but it is what you have signed.

    In fact, FON has been around for some time with very limited success. It gets mentioned in the news just because Varsavsky is a known celebrity in Spanish ISP world.

  • Verizon, Covad and Comcast sure aren't going to like this one. If this shit works, three wireless hotspots (channels 1, 6 and 11) per apartment building will be enough. Right now I can see 12 routers in our building and in G range alone. This means Verizon/Comcast have $480 monthly from owners of the routers. If those hotspots are open (as in Linus) or open for a small(er) fee (as in Bill) - they'll get 1/4th of that. If this takes off, Verizon will need to learn to live a much leaner life.
  • by rduke15 ( 721841 ) <[moc.liamg] [ta] [51ekudr]> on Monday February 06, 2006 @05:04AM (#14649328)
    I understand they replace the router's firmware. So I wonder if that new firmware would addresses the problem of sharing your Internet connection without sharing your LAN.

    I do have an open access point at home, because I appreciate my ability to use other people's access points when I'm on the road, and so I feel I have to share mine as well.

    BUT, I don't want to share my LAN.

    It just happens that I do have 2 access points at home, so what I do is that I use the crypted one and leave the other one open for friends, visitors and passers-by.

    This is not a very good solution, because I need to remember to switch off the open AP whenever I connect an insecure machine on my LAN (like during OS install, etc.), and every time I switch it back on, I have to think about my notebook's firewall and sharing settings.

    What would be really great would be a router solving these problems in an easily configurable way: some authenticated users have access to the whole LAN while others have not.

    Until now, the only solution I have seen is a VLAN switch, which is too expensive for home use.
    • You don't mention if you use Linux, but that's how I managed this. I don't do Windows enough to know if it's possible that way...

      I just set up a spare Linux box with three NICs - one to the cablemodem, one to the wired LAN, one to the AP. Then just set up whatever software you want for isolating / verifying / authenticating. I used OpenVPN to allow access to the wired LAN, although I've considered trying out NoCatAuth as well. I am also thinking about implementing some firewall rules to impose throttlin
      • You don't mention if you use Linux

        Not really at home. My notebook is WinXP, the family machine is dual-boot XP/Linux. The servers I take care of are all Linux, but there is none of these at home. So ...

        I just set up a spare Linux box with three NICs

        that's not what I would like to do, even though it would work very well indeed. But I neither want to spend the time to set it up, nor do I want to have a bulky machine with a fan (the only ones I have for free) eat up space for something which I don't really nee
    • Assuming they're using the OpenWRT [openwrt.org] firmware as the basis for their firmware it is quite likely that the ethernet LAN is separated from the WiFi network. If you want to have a secure link between a WiFi connected machine and something on the ethernet LAN you'd need to open a pinhole and then do some sort of VPN.

      OpenWRT is pretty sweet, and FON's concept is actually appealing. But as someone else said there's this nationwide free WiFi network with the ssid "linksys" that's free, anonymous and available in

  • So, you pay an ISP for the connection, then pay them again when you allow others to share it?

    That's a sweeet deal. For the ISPs.
  • So when we get to a point where my neighborhood has a few of these Fon Linus networks for me to use, what if I get a Mushroom Network [mushroomnetworks.com] type router and start aggregating the networks to get mondo bandwidth? What if Fon teamed with people like Mushroom or WiBoost to offer this as an option from the get go? I'd love to get both functions rolled into one box.

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