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Wireless Networking Toys Hardware Technology

WiFi Seeker, Finder, Detector Roundup 168

captainJam points to this review at of five reasonably priced hardware WiFi finders. A snippet: "If you're not using a WiFi enabled PDA, you either have to turn on your handtop or laptop, or wake it from standby just to check if there's a network in the area. While a WiFi Finder / Seeker won't make a connection out of thin air, it will conveniently tell you whether there is a WiFi network in the area."
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WiFi Seeker, Finder, Detector Roundup

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  • by The Cisco Kid ( 31490 ) * on Monday November 29, 2004 @12:18AM (#10940547)
    The point is to save you the trouble of opening the laptop if there is *NO* wap in range.
  • So what's inside? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Alwin Henseler ( 640539 ) on Monday November 29, 2004 @12:31AM (#10940589)
    With prices ranging from $25-$50, I can't help the obvious thought: what needs to be inside such a WiFi finder, and... what should a simple thingie like this cost?

    Duhh.. antenna (cheap), plastic box (cents), couple of LED's/switches (cents), batteries (included?), small PCB (cheap), some dedicated IC's (???, anyone got some info here?), design/packaging/retail etc. (large portion of street price?)

    Easy to build yourself as hobby project? Estimated price a couple of years from now?

  • Re:time (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Erwos ( 553607 ) on Monday November 29, 2004 @12:39AM (#10940614)
    Have you ever tried to take out a laptop and do something useful with it while walking?

    I could easily press a button on a keychain while walking. Hell, even that $50 fancy one looks easy enough to manage. There's NO WAY your laptop is going to be as easy to use.

    If I am hunting for a WiFi signal, I don't want to stop, find a place to rest a laptop, spend thirty seconds setting it up, and then clicking a couple times to see if, indeed, there is a signal even ONCE. Screw doing it over and over.

    "I don't really see the use for these devices"

    Stop being so self-centered, and maybe you would.

  • Re:Application? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by rgriff59 ( 526951 ) on Monday November 29, 2004 @12:47AM (#10940634)
    Quickly looking for WiFi where it should NOT be seems like a good application. With access points at a nearly trivial cost, even a well intentioned but clueless employee can potentially compromise a private LAN. Even the best thought out policies could fail due to $25 in equipment from Best Buy in a lunch sack.
  • How about... (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 29, 2004 @02:15AM (#10940894)
    just asking: "hey, is there a wireless internet connection available here?"...
  • by Have Blue ( 616 ) on Monday November 29, 2004 @03:31AM (#10941067) Homepage
    I would assume that, since the 2.4Ghz spectrum is unlicensed and used by lots of things other than wifi gear (Bluetooth, cordless phones, etc), there needs to be some sort of filter that detects 802.11 frames flying by.
  • Re:Application? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by DrSkwid ( 118965 ) on Monday November 29, 2004 @08:00AM (#10941623) Homepage Journal
    Here's our UK legislation :


    Computer Misuse Act 1990

    An Act to make provision for securing computer material against unauthorised access or modification; and for connected purposes.

    Be it enacted by the Queen's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:--

    Computer misuse offences

    Unauthorised access to computer material.

    (1) A person is guilty of an offence if--

    (a) he causes a computer to perform any function with intent to secure access to any program or data held in any computer;

    (b) the access he intends to secure is unauthorised; and

    (c) he knows at the time when he causes the computer to perform the function that that is the case.

    (2) The intent a person has to have to commit an offence under this section need not be directed at--

    (a) any particular program or data;

    (b) a program or data of any particular kind; or

    (c) a program or data held in any particular computer.

    (3) A person guilty of an offence under this section shall be liable on summary conviction to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months or to a fine not exceeding level 5 on the standard scale or to both.


    So it could be argued that authorisation is required *before* attempting to access. Leaving the gates unlocked is not an invitaion to enter.

APL hackers do it in the quad.