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Fonera 2 To Launch With Extended Functionality 119

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the real-community-sharing dept.
The next installment in the Fonera router family is set to make its debut in a couple of weeks, and the additions to the hardware are relatively impressive. Promising full support for networked storage, automatic downloads, sharing of a USB 3G connection, and a few other perks in addition to the normal range of functionality found in the Fonera routers this package packs quite a punch. "Like the original Fonera and Fonera+ routers, the principals of this hippie-love-in-styled product still apply. You buy the router and hook it up to your internet connection as normal. The trick is that the router shares a part of your bandwidth on a public-facing connection. Other Fon owners can log in and use this public network for free. In turn, you — as a Fonera owner — can travel the world and use other Fon hotspots. It's a neat idea and everybody wins, except the money-grabbing telcos."
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Fonera 2 To Launch With Extended Functionality

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 06, 2009 @07:17PM (#27482659)

    Would have a hotspot open to all.

    Not just the evil consumers that evilly used their evil money to buy the evil Fonera.

    • by luvirini (753157)

      Well.. in many places it is illegal to use an open accesspoint without permission.

      • by Red Flayer (890720) on Monday April 06, 2009 @07:31PM (#27482803) Journal

        Well.. in many places it is illegal to use an open accesspoint without permission.

        Just wait... pretty soon it'll be illegal to provide an open accesspoint.

        Because, you know, terrorists (or even child pornographers!) might use it.

        The sad thing is, I'd be actually scared to put one of these up. People wardrive around my neighborhood all the time during the day... what if one of them was transmitting kiddie porn? Would I be legally liable? Even if I wasn't legally liable, would the potenital inconvenience of the legal issues outweigh the benefits of this product?

        What if I live in Australia -- would I have to retain logs of all the traffic? And when will Americans be required to do the same?

        • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Monday April 06, 2009 @08:14PM (#27483143) Journal
          "But officer! My router firewall is strictly RFC 3514 compliant! Only a hacker could have done anything evil with my internet connection, and I can hardly be responsible for that."

          *gets booked on kiddie porn/terrorism charges and shived in jail*
          • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

            by Anonymous Coward

            "But officer! My router firewall is strictly RFC 3514 compliant! Only a hacker could have done anything evil with my internet connection, and I can hardly be responsible for that."

            People won't understand the joke since we all know from head every RFC.

            this is /. you must be new here

            • Re: (Score:1, Troll)

              by Nutria (679911)

              People won't understand the joke since we all know from head every RFC.

              Google. It's really fscking simple to use...

          • RFC 3514 is the evil bit.
            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RFC_3514 [wikipedia.org]

        • by hairyfeet (841228)

          Which is exactly why I lock down my customers wireless routers using WPA. Because all it takes is for some perv to download kiddie pron on your line and it is YOUR life that is going to be screwed. So what if you are innocent? The question is how many years and how much in lawyer's fees would it take to get you out from under that cloud. So while a "share and share alike" idea might sound okay in theory, with the totally insane witch hunt we have going on when it comes to kiddie pron it simply isn't worth t

          • by Nutria (679911)

            the totally insane witch hunt we have going on when it comes to kiddie pron

            Have you ever seen kiddie porn?

            Usenet makes it all too simple, and let me tell you: it's not busty blonde 17 year olds "this close" to 18, and it's really, really disgusting.

            • by dissy (172727) on Monday April 06, 2009 @11:10PM (#27484401)

              the totally insane witch hunt we have going on when it comes to kiddie pron

              Have you ever seen kiddie porn?
              Usenet makes it all too simple, and let me tell you: it's not busty blonde 17 year olds "this close" to 18, and it's really, really disgusting.

              Dude... How does the horribleness of those pictures in any way/shape/or form justify putting tens to hundreds of thousands of innocent people through trials and basically branded as guilty pedophiles for life, only to discover they really were innocent and let go?

              Those peoples lives are ruined forever. Friends and associates lost, families torn apart, carriers ruined... All because the accusations make front page news for weeks, and the retraction and court outcome is 2 lines in small print somewhere towards the bottom of page E-10...

              That is the witch hunt of which the GP speaks.

              And No, I don't buy your excuse for why that is OK to do to people, simply because the pictures are really really disgusting.
              If ANYTHING, that reason of yours should be EXACTLY why this madness needs to stop, so the real criminals taking the pictures and doing the child abuse might get caught, instead of given a week to get away while someone else is "investigated"

              You truly are a sick person to prefer innocent peoples lives are ruined instead of the real criminals caught

              • by PiSkyHi (1049584)
                I just had to let you know that you have hit the nail on the head when it comes to societies lack of vigilance for truth, merely vigilance for mob mentality dispensed "justice".
              • by Nutria (679911)

                tens to hundreds of thousands

                That's a pretty ambiguous number. Smells like propaganda to me.

                Come back with documentation, or I call BS.

                • by Jeruvy (1045694) *
                  Oh, well 679911 says this is BS so it must be true!! Come on now, everyone retract your BS comments now, you've been caught and called out!
                • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                  by spasm (79260)

                  Google 'operation ore'. From wikipedia: "Operation Ore was a British police operation that commenced in 1999, following information from USA law enforcement, and it intended to prosecute thousands of users of websites reportedly featuring child pornography. In the United Kingdom, it has led to 7,250 suspects identified, 4,283 homes searched, 3,744 arrests, 1,848 charged, 1,451 convictions, 493 cautioned, 879 investigations underway, 140 children removed from suspected dangerous situations (although the de

            • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

              No, it's 14 year olds sending cellphone pictures unclothed to each other. It's Lolita, and it's a little boy whose mother took a picture of him when he happened to put his penis though a chain link fence and winds up arrested because the photo developer became freaked out. It's Traci Lords, doing adult films when she was 16 and making a bundle at it.

              Is there absolutely disgusting porn involving abused children? Absolutely. Is anything classified legally as child porn automatically worth the furor and bother

              • by Nutria (679911)

                No, it's 14 year olds sending cellphone pictures unclothed to each other.

                What the hell are 14yo girls doing throwing themselves at boys? Have they no self-respect?

                and it's a little boy whose mother took a picture of him when he happened to put his penis though a chain link fence and winds up arrested because the photo developer became freaked out.

                Why in the hell is a woman taking a picture of her boy's penis stuck through a fence? That's just stupid. And weird. Really, really weird and disturbing that s

                • You don't know a lot of 14 year olds, do you? Or haven't you looked at the teen pregnancy rates, or noticed that puberty happens about then? The girls were out of line, but child pornography felony charges are insane for that.

                  And the little boy happened to have no pants and was smiling at his mommy. (If I remember right, he'd been in a kiddie pool in the backyard.) He was a toddler, and hadn't even noticed where he was standing, so it was a bit weird but funny. You mean to tell me your parents didn't save

                  • by Nutria (679911)

                    You don't know a lot of 14 year olds, do you?

                    I remember. Parents didn't allow girls that age to date, and they (the 8th grade girls) had more of a flirty "catch me if you can" attitude.

                    Or haven't you looked at the teen pregnancy rates,

                    Yeah, I have.

                    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                      Yeah, standards change. I certainly knew households where 14 year olds weren't allowed to date. I also know families where 14 year olds could marry (and one where a 14 year old girl did, with her parents blessing). And my grandpa remembered when women weren't allowed to show their ankles. And we both certainly know countries where women are not allowed to show their face in public, and cultures where their clitoris is removed to prevent sexual misbehavior. I _worry_ about trying to protect the children so m
                    • Like Victorian England, where sexual abuse and prostitution of children was rampant?

                      Yep... that's what the right-wingers want - a return to "innocence"! The only thing that will bring us is more child abuse.

                    • by Nutria (679911)

                      Yeah, standards change.

                      But are they changing for the better? I think not.

            • by glindsey (73730)

              The fact that you have seen it on Usenet, intentionally or not, means you downloaded a copy, meaning you are guilty of possession of child pornography and an obvious child predator.

              What, you deleted it? Okay, now you're also guilty of destroying evidence. You just don't know when to quit, do you, punk?

          • Widespread availability of open wi-fi might make everyone a little safer from legal persecution as it provides more anonymity to both users and subscribers of internet services. Witchhunting prosecutors assume that an ip address must be the owner unless clearly proven otherwise; an assumption hard to disprove to those without technical knowledge. It's obviously untrue, as many different people use the connection at different times, even with no wifi connection at all. And wifi can be easily hacked. A cl
            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by hairyfeet (841228)

              The problem with your theory is this: You assume that the cops, the prosecutors, and the judge are all going to be perfectly logical and reasonable about this, which has frankly become the Red Scare of the 21st century. You know what they say about assuming, right?

              The fact is the line stops at YOUR house. it is your door they will kick in, your computers they will take and possibly never give back, it is your name that will be in the papers the next morning, and it is YOUR ass that better have the money for

              • by zQuo (1050152)
                I agree. I agree with you totally. OMG, the stories you present are not very encouraging.

                People with open wifi or fonera may be taking too much risk, as your posts (and others here) really make it clear. But as long as they know the extra risks, they should really be applauded for being courageous.
              • by shlompo (1338043)
                I work for a company named Bzeek (www.bzeek.com). We provide a similar solution, using software only (without buying a router, just downloading).

                We are planning to solve the security issue by forcing all public traffic through an encrypted tunnel to a server, which means your IP will be out of the radar. The "line" will end back at the server, and it's up to us to provide answers, in case there was illegal activity over the connection.

                What do you guys think?
                • by hairyfeet (841228)

                  I'd say don't keep logs. not for a year, a week, an hour, or even a minute. Because if you do a setup like that every 3 letter agency is going to come to you constantly looking for fishing expeditions.

                  You see, the problem is right now we are all caught in a battle. One side is the "if you aren't doing anything wrong then you have nothing to hide" government never does anything wrong with their power types. On the other we have the "we need anonymity to preserve democracy" types who point out(and I believe r

          • by mrraven (129238)

            If we are really facing getting our doors kicked in for sharing our internet connections then we are actually living in an Orwellian police state and we ought to resist, not be cowards.

            First they came for the open wi-fi users, and I was not an open wi-fi user so...

            • by hairyfeet (841228)

              The problem with the whole "we got to resist" thing? They got the M1 and the F16 and you got...? And let us not forget they have the most powerful weapon on the face of the planet...the media. You would end up on Nancy Grace and every talking head show as "suspected kiddie fiddler pushing to let pedos get away!". You see how resisting kinda don't work in this case? When BOTH parties are strictly for more power to the fed, and when ALL media is owned by the elite...how exactly are you going to resist? Unless

              • by mrraven (129238)

                By resist I mean something more like burn Washington and the media down to the ground and shoot the survivors fleeing from the flames. And if that sounds "extreme" remember that is in essence what the vaunted founding fathers did. Of course we are cowards now aren't we? If people like us had lived in 18th century America we'd still be a British Commonwealth. :(

                • by hairyfeet (841228)

                  Again they got the F16 and you got...? They can take out whole city blocks from 35,000 feet while listening to their iPods while you if you are lucky have an AK47. Those in power will not give up that power without a fight, and frankly their weapons are light years better than yours. We haven't seen anyone in modern times pull a complete overthrow of a modern military for a REASON. It is because they can slaughter the peasants by the thousands while you won't be able to get close enough to even ruffle the r

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by itsme1234 (199680)

          Just wait... pretty soon it'll be illegal to provide an open accesspoint.

          It's been already illegal in Italy for quite a while. Yes, in its most pure form i.e. not if you have an open access point and somebody does something evil, no. You are breaking the law just by having an open access point (with internet access), even if nobody ever connects to it.

          • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

            by Anonymous Coward

            Just wait... pretty soon it'll be illegal to provide an open accesspoint.

            It's been already illegal in Italy for quite a while. Yes, in its most pure form i.e. not if you have an open access point and somebody does something evil, no. You are breaking the law just by having an open access point (with internet access), even if nobody ever connects to it.

            FONERAS are legal in Italy because visitors have to be validated using SMS. A Prepaid Mobile card is validated using a valid identity...

            Thesame for Germany.

            Do check http://blog.fon.com/it to see FON in action in Italy.

            In the UK all "public" traffic is tunneled; so your own public ip is NOT misused

            in France only HTTP/HTTPS traffic is allowed on public hotspots...

            for each country the fonspots are following the local laws / legislations

          • That's just sad:

            Meshnets may be one of the best ways to roll out free wireless to the urban poor like in my hometown of Ypsilanti Michigan. Will someone please stop these overly paranoid police state loving yuppies hyped on fear from "reality" tee vee from shutting down everything that is the least bit challenging and interesting?

            http://www.metromodemedia.com/devnews/wirelessypsi0051.aspx [metromodemedia.com]

            http://www.wireless.ypsi.com/ [ypsi.com]

        • The "open" access point part of a FON router is not actually fully open. If you attempt to use it you get presented with a FON login page.

          All owners of FON routers have a FON login. Other people can access providing they pay a fee.

    • by Phoghat (1288088)
      Used to listen to Howard Stern. On his show he used to play the answering machine message from NAMBLA (North American Man Boy Love Association). This guy's voice is creeping me out because it sounds so much alike.
  • ... the "hippie" aspect is only going to be as effective as it is popular.
  • by gandhi_2 (1108023) on Monday April 06, 2009 @07:26PM (#27482737) Homepage

    can travel the world and use other Fon hotspots

    You're going to have to.

    Can anyone tell me how this affects/is affected by the new data retention laws coming out? The "open wi-fi" defense? Stuff like that?

  • Why, oh why... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by palegray.net (1195047) <philip.paradisNO@SPAMpalegray.net> on Monday April 06, 2009 @07:26PM (#27482739) Homepage Journal

    It does this all without a computer, so once you have it set up you can take your laptop out on the road and look forward to a new episode of Criminal Minds when you get home.

    Why must people continuously tout the ability of these devices to aid in copyright infringement? Before you stop reading here, consider this: I'm posting this from an Ubuntu laptop. I publish all my software under the GPL and BSD licenses. I publish 99% of my other content under Creative Commons attribution-only licenses. So I'm doing my part to make the IP scene a nicer place.

    All that said, it's ridiculous how many people would scream bloody murder over a GPL violation, while they're downloading someone else's content without the publisher's permission. This is beyond dumb, and it's precisely the reason BitTorrent is so poorly regarded by many publishers and ISPs. Yeah, I actually use it to download ISOs and other legal stuff, but to specifically encourage people to use it in ways that defy the law is idiocy.

    People can't demand that their own rights be respected while they trample on those of others.

    • Re:Why, oh why... (Score:4, Informative)

      by JesseMcDonald (536341) on Monday April 06, 2009 @08:00PM (#27483047) Homepage

      All that said, it's ridiculous how many people would scream bloody murder over a GPL violation, while they're downloading someone else's content without the publisher's permission.

      Two problems with this line of reasoning: 1) They may not be--and most likely aren't--the same people most of the time; Slashdot isn't some sort of group mind; and 2) Most GPL violations are carried out by organizations which otherwise vocally support copyrights, patents, and the like; even if one does not support these concepts oneself, it is still legitimate to judge others' actions by their own rules.

      One final thought: The GPL was created in opposition to existing copyright law; its purpose is to take advantage of copyright schemes endorsed by others and so unwisely formulated into law to create a sort of "walled garden" where copyright, to a greater or lesser extent, does not apply. It is thus perfectly consistent to be both anti-copyright and pro-GPL, to the extend that copyright does exist in the law.

      • Re:Why, oh why... (Score:4, Insightful)

        by corsec67 (627446) on Monday April 06, 2009 @08:08PM (#27483095) Homepage Journal

        It is thus perfectly consistent to be both anti-copyright and pro-GPL, to the extend that copyright does exist in the law.

        Without copyright laws, the GPL would be unenforcible. The BSD style licenses are the anti-copyright licenses. GPL uses copyright laws to have some interesting restrictions, but definitely does depend on copyright laws.

        However, the length of copyright protection is something else, and for most GPL software infinity+ years is longer than that version will be useful.

        • by Ifni (545998)

          Without copyright laws, the GPL would be unenforcible.

          Without copyright laws, the GPL would be unnecessary. Without copyright laws, everything would be even more lax than BSD (which I believe still requires you to attribute your code). The purpose of the GPL is to acknowledge that because of copyright laws, a BSD style license is frequently a one way street - businesses use and enhance the software without giving anything back to the community, all the while they are able to sue if their changes to the code see unauthorized distribution. That is to say, bus

          • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

            by Anonymous Coward

            That may have been the original intent. But the GPL guarantees more freedoms than simple lack of copyright would entail.

            In a world with no copyright, you may be able to copy the binary around at will but would no longer have guaranteed access to the source code in the first place, one of the key principles of free software.

            • "In a world with no copyright, you may be able to copy the binary around at will but would no longer have guaranteed access to the source code in the first place, one of the key principles of free software."

              Laws (and contracts) are not Justice, but a means to down Justice into Real World. As such, without the laws and the mentality of copy rights, while not guaranteed to gain access to source code, your chances of not having it would be more or less the same than being suffocated by all your oxigen going o

          • The purpose of the GPL is to acknowledge that because of copyright laws, a BSD style license is frequently a one way street - businesses use and enhance the software without giving anything back to the community, all the while they are able to sue if their changes to the code see unauthorized distribution.

            Why do people keep spreading this FUD? The GPL is far more one-way than the BSD License. It's designed to be. When was the last time a GPL project gave code back to a BSD project? Oh, That's right, it *can't*.

            The problem is that $BIG_EVIL_CORP takes BSD code and modifies it for their use and the original project gets nothing back. So how is that any different than when one of Stallman's Faithful(TM) does the same thing?

            • by Ifni (545998)

              Why do people keep spreading this FUD? The GPL is far more one-way than the BSD License. It's designed to be.

              Yes, but it is designed to ensure that open source community benefits rather than some private entity. Or, more accurately, that the private entity is still able to benefit from it, it just can't stop others from benefiting as well.

              So how is that any different than when one of Stallman's Faithful(TM) does the same thing?

              Because when the change to the BSD code is added to code licensed under GPL, the changes are still available to the public. People can still learn from and improve that code and share their changes with the world. When a corporation does it, they can (at their option, of cours

        • by zotz (3951)

          "Without copyright laws, the GPL would be unenforcible. The BSD style licenses are the anti-copyright licenses. GPL uses copyright laws to have some interesting restrictions, but definitely does depend on copyright laws."

          Not really. Without copyright laws, no one can take some Free code and lock it up under copyright. Why do you need the GPL or BSD exactly without copyright?

          With copyright laws... We have what we have. Do your thing.

          all the best,

          drew

        • For what it's worth, I agree with you. The GPL was intended (according to its authors) to simply counter the effects of copyright, but in my opinion it goes somewhat beyond that mandate--as do BSD and all the other "free" licenses--which is why all my own released code is in the public domain.

          Still, given the stated purpose of the GPL as a "copyleft" license, designed to turn copyright against itself, I still think it's possible to be pro-GPL and anti-copyright without contradiction, while perhaps holding a

    • i just think the audacity of the narrator and the hypocrisy in what he's showcasing are hilarious. He was saying he doesn't support piracy in the video, but then turns around, right on the show, showing people how he could download pirated material.

    • by kyuubi42 (1424889)
      what's illegal about downloading a copy of a tv show which is broadcast (ie. one you could pick up with an antenna)? downloading a dvd rip would be one thing, but If I use my computer to record something freely available, why can't I throw it up in a torrent? I'm not going to get sued for recording on vhs and giving that tape to a few buddies.
      • You can't throw it up in a torrent because you don't have distribution rights for that material, period. As a point of fact, try doing what you described and then notifying the copyright holder of your activities. You'll find yourself in court within a week.
      • by trum4n (982031)
        "I'm not going to get sued for recording on vhs and giving that tape to a few buddies." It has happened before. Blame the National Football League.
    • Fon is from Spain. And is Spain, downloading movies/music from p2p for your personal use was established to be COMPLETELLY LEGAL.

      Better ask why do you have such and such legal situation at your place...

      • Spain is the exception, not the rule. Better ask how the majority of the Internet population's ruling governments view such activity, especially since the device is being marketed worldwide.
    • ...look forward to a new episode of Criminal Minds when you get home.

      Maybe they meant "look forward to sexy cops jumping out of vans/bushes to smack you down and slap the cuffs on you."

      Remember: To be a criminal, you don't have to think like a criminal.

  • Seems to Me (Score:4, Interesting)

    by sexconker (1179573) on Monday April 06, 2009 @07:27PM (#27482743)

    Fon is against the TOS of most ISPs.
    Fon is illegal in many areas.
    Fon isn't as nice as just running a free hotspot.
    Most Fon users signed up back in the day just for the free router, which they promptly flashed with DD-WRT.
    Most new Fon users will be attracted to the "Make money with Fon!" option, and WiFi WON'T be free to the masses, but only to other Fon users.

    There's a reason Fon never got of the ground, and that's the simple fact that truly free WiFi is easy to come by, especially in areas likely to harbor Fon users.

    • by Twide (1142927)
      /agreed. If you have a home DSL Service then you are probably not allowed to be sharing it out.
      Most ISP's (here is AUS anyway) have in their contract some clause that prohibits this.
    • by fprintf (82740)

      Agreed. I got a FON when they were giving them away with a commitment to run a hotspot for a while. I never got an active connection, despite keeping the heartbeat alive for months. So I flashed it to DD-WRT, eventually bricking it when I tried to use it as a client instead of a router.

      Anyway, it was a cool concept and I really like the small piece of hardware. It is just unfortunate that it never took off here, I was really happy to run the router but when I saw zero connections realized I was just wasting

    • by tlhIngan (30335)

      Most new Fon users will be attracted to the "Make money with Fon!" option, and WiFi WON'T be free to the masses, but only to other Fon users.

      Depends.

      Last I checked, you had two options, a "Bill", and a "Linus" (you can guess who they're named after). Bills get paid a portion of the paid-wifi fees from people using their access. Linuses don't. However, if a Bill uses another AP on the fon network, they have to pay. Linuses don't. So it's gets paid and pay, or free and free, and you can only change your choic

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by sznupi (719324)

        Seems you haven't checked for a long time, Bills don't pay anymore for using For network. The status can be changed 2 times a year AFAI remember.

      • That's the old way, and it didn't work, so now they've changed it. Bills still get free Fon access, and you can change your status, and some other changes.

    • by shlompo (1338043)
      BT, an ISP, cooperates with Fon. That just means that it's actually their interest to get involved in the market, as it has the potential to compete with the cellular market.

      As for the legal issue, it's a bit Grey, and doubtfully will stand in court. Maybe someone has examples?
      Because the way I get my head around this: You can share your internet with your son, right? How about if he doesn't live with you, just came to visit? How about if it's just a visitor? Now what if that visitor stays for a few da
  • by ahoehn (301327) <andrew&hoe,hn> on Monday April 06, 2009 @07:29PM (#27482773) Homepage

    I think the concept of Fon is excellent. But not all that useful in practice.

    I live in a fairly populated area, and there are ~7 Fon routers within a five mile radius of where I live (Go to http://maps.fon.com/ [fon.com] to check around where you live). But every single one of those hotspots is in a residential area. Which is (I think) why I've never actually seen a Fon hotspot when I've been looking for WiFi. And, in the 6 months or so that I've ran a Fon hotspot out of my home, I've had zero outside connections.

    I think the key to success for Fon would be to target businesses where people are typically looking for WiFi. Coffee Shops, Hotels and the like. The way it is now, I'd have to camp out on someone's Cul-de-sac to find a Fon hotspot.

    • The way it is now, I'd have to camp out on someone's Cul-de-sac to find a Fon hotspot.

      I was wondering why that van was always parked outside my house. Now I guess I know.

    • It is new though. As more people adopt it more people will adopt it. (No that wasn't a typo). Its not like you are losing out anyways unless you live right beside a school or something. With support enough people will get it for the service to be useful.
    • by Blakey Rat (99501)

      Since you have one, maybe you can explain...

      How does this differ from me just keeping my access point unencrypted and available to the public? Is the only difference that Foneras get dots put on a online map somewhere?

      • by Ambvai (1106941)
        The official line is that Fonera users can connect through Fonera users' connections and that non-Fonera users can pay to use it. My unit broadcasts as two points-- a private and a public. You can set access restrictions on them as well as the amount of bandwidth that's accessible from the public connection. (Down to something like a 56k connection if I recall correctly.)
    • by shlompo (1338043)
      You are right of course, but a bit short sighted...

      Suppose you have an iPhone, with the new WiFi-only Skype application. Now you want WiFi wherever you are, even at a friends house, without configuring your device - it should connect automatically.

      That's the vision: seemless connectivity everywhere.

      Check out my company, at www.bzeek.com. We provide a similar solution using software only.
    • I just checked 3 areas where i'm most likely to be. In Danemark, Germany and France. All 3 three area are literally full of Fon access points. You don't have to move more than a couple hundred meters before you can find one, and this is in the smallest of the 3 towns (25000 habs).

      Maybe Fon is more an European phenomena than a American one.

  • It was a pretty good idea in the 'day' but in the modern era of bandwidth caps on most broadband accounts it is dumb. You are opening yourself up to an unlimited commitment to provide access to Fon users for the dubious benefit of being able to use the other access points.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Vectronic (1221470)

      I'm sure they exists, but why not per-IP password protection, with bandwidth limitations.

      Yours / Unlimited / %Password%
      Friendly Neighbour / 5mb/512kb / WhozYerNabor
      Public / 1mb/256kb / *

      Or a limited amount of free/public ones, like 5, that all share the same allotment of 2mb/368kb or something, seems ridiculous to me why anyone would "sign up" for this, when any router can toss out free IP's if you let it, I dont see what good an account will do unless it's only for accountability which can't really exists

    • by sznupi (719324)

      You can set bandwith cap for public WiFi in control panel of Fonera. Without checking I believe the lowest option is 128 kbps.

  • Promising full support for networked storage, automatic downloads, sharing of a USB 3G connection, and a few other perks in addition to the normal range of functionality found in the Fonera routers this package packs quite a punch.

    But will it fit inside a pineapple?

  • ISP ToS (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Kindgott (165758) <soulwound@@@godisdead...com> on Monday April 06, 2009 @07:43PM (#27482919) Journal

    I can't speak for anyone else, but it's against my ISP's Terms of Service to provide others with access to my internet connection.

    Even if I just left my access point open, I'd be in violation.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by papasui (567265)
      Just about every ISP has wording that would make sharing the connection against the ToS. Will they ever find out, probably not unless your neighbor is the network admin. The real concern in my opinion is the responsibility you are taking allowing a complete stranger to utilize your connection. You're the subscriber, the ISP knows who YOU are. Even if you can't legally be held accountable, I'm sure you can have a good chunk of your time wasted by having to testify in court that your Wifi was being anonym
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by ion.simon.c (1183967)

        The real concern in my opinion is the responsibility you are taking allowing a complete stranger to utilize your connection.

        I live in the United States. I've been using my home internet connection to run a Tor exit node for... three? six? months now. I have yet to hear an official complaint from anyone.

      • by hankwang (413283) *

        About the accountability: in order to get meaningful FON access, you either need to pay by credit card for access, or you have to purchase a FON router. All logins to FON are logged and logs (username, time, date) are available to the owner of the router. FON also keeps track of the MAC addresses. If you are accused of criminal use of your internet connection, it will be pretty easy to trace down the person who used your router.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by artg (24127)
      BT, the UK equivalent to AT&T (big ISP, major carrier) has an agreement with FON : Current BT routers have a FON-like access point and owners of FON and BT-FON routers can use each other's bandwidth. BT-FON users also get free minutes on BT's paid-for hotspots (which are in more useful places than residential areas). BT has long had a reputation for all the user-unfriendly activities of AT&T etc, but they presumably see commercial benefit in doing this - probably in both increasing their hotspot co
  • Legal responsiblity (Score:3, Interesting)

    by papasui (567265) on Monday April 06, 2009 @08:01PM (#27483057) Homepage
    I'm interested in what the legal ramifications of 'sharing' your internet connection is when someone you share with does a questionable activity. I'm talking stuff like child pornography, online fraud, etc.
    • by dirvine (1008915)
      In th UK at least the stuff being transmitted is only an alert to the police and others (I think). What happens next is your house is raided and your computer removed for investigation (probably never to be returned).

      It's what is on your computer that usually the 'case' made against you, from what I can see in the press and not whats simply transmitted. I would imagine the transmission itself is not enough evidence particularly for the reasons stated in this conversation.

      Unless anyone has seen different

  • Is illegal in some areas, soon most all.

    Cant risk people having anonymous access to the net can we?

  • Does Fonera indemnify me against getting sued by the RIAA for somebody else's use of my wireless connection? 'Cause if they don't, then I see a serious downside here.
  • This guy's toast!
    The MAFIAAs should be already on his ass...

    Dowloading movies and OSTs of movies *just* to demonstrate Fonera's functionality?
    Download a Linux distro torrent you fool!
    "I'm gonna delete them after this video"...yeah right-ah!
  • You can set it to isolate wifi connections, and set no password, and you're up and running.
  • by francium de neobie (590783) on Monday April 06, 2009 @09:19PM (#27483597)
    Even in a place as dense as Hong Kong, the public FON APs are close to non-existent - even if you've found one in some shopping mall, it's usually of poor quality. They're often terribly slow and drop your connection regularly.

    Now with unlimited HSDPA 3G plans being available here (I've been using one with my iPhone 3G), it's much easier to get Internet connection with your mobile phone. Previously, I've been using an old version PdaNet on my iPhone to do it. But with the 3.0 beta firmware (I'm an iPhone developer so I can get beta firmware from Apple) now I can just tether via USB. If you've got an unlimited 3G plan like me and some other 3G phone (like a Nokia), you can even do the tethering without fiddling with jailbreaking or beta firmware.

    So, the only use of a FON left is to use it as a regular wifi router at home. But even for that, it's terribly insufficient - it doesn't have uPnP, DMZ or DDNS clients. So again, the only useful thing you can do with it, is to jailbreak it and install dd-wrt (or some other free router firmware) into it, so at least you get basic things like DMZ and uPnP.
  • by Artemis3 (85734) on Tuesday April 07, 2009 @01:11AM (#27485285)

    I don't really like the fonera scheme. The only reason i even know such thing exists, is because someone brought me a device with the fon sticker on it and i started researching how to remove their customized openwrt with either true openwrt or dd-wrt, which i did successfully, and the device became a regular wifi ap.

    Fonera is not even a mesh, its plain regular wifi access, for which you have to have an account with them (centralized), by means of paying a fee, or sharing your wifi. Terrible.

    The hardware they use is good, strong and compact, atheros based iirc. These are the same used in the much better open-mesh [open-mesh.com] project, which is what meraki could have been before it corrupted itself into oblivion.

    Open-mesh lets you mess with the hardware all you want, does not force you to authenticate to third parties, does not forbid you from modifying/installing your own software. Its the opposite of Fonera and Meraki, in the spirit of the Free Software they run things with; they just provide you the tools (hardware and software) to roll your own wifi mesh and do with it whatever you want, no third parties involved.

    • by sznupi (719324)

      Though otoh Fon did get some cooperation with telcos going...I imagine it would be much harder with meshing capability.

  • Bzeek has a feature to share your 3G connection for quite a while now.
  • It seems to me that usually people tend to thing that the fon system if about connecting people for free to the internet. It's only a small part of the system. 99% of the foneras users will pay to access the internet and about 30% of the money will be given to the guy sharing his bandwith. So all of this is more about reselling your bandwidth than realy "sharing" it.
  • Interesting my government established monopolistic, money grabbing, no customer service providing, fiber obstructing, Phorm deploying telco., actually ships Fon on all its routers and gives you incentives for enabling it.

    Hint: BT Internet.

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