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Showing posts from December, 2013

iPhones Be Chatty

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You'd think a great company like Apple would care about my privacy BUT NO.

Behold, my iPhone:


You see what's going on here?  That's my iPhone there.  Apple_57:8d:89.  (Filtered using wlan.sa == f4:f1:5a:57:8d:89 if you're curious.)  And look what it's doing.  IT'S PROBING.  The iPhone of a respected security do-gooder like myself is out there for any hooligan to see.

Do I look like the type of person who wants the world to know that I used my phone at the MGM Signature in Las Vegas?  (Well, maybe.  I could've prevented the phone from probing by just tapping on the SSID instead of typing it in.  But typing in SSIDs on iPhones/iPads is a neat trick for keeping stinky captive portal splash pages from coming up over and over again on guest WLANs.)  Or on the VerizonWiFi network at Staples Center?  (Which added a captive portal and lost A TON of guest connections, thus harming overall channel performance for all WiFi users in the arena.)  Why would I want that? …

Why I Ask Why (And My Review of Matthew Gast's 802.11ac Book)

802.11ac: A Survival Guide is a recently published handbook about 802.11ac.  The author is Matthew Gast, a very knowledgeable WiFi guy who follows the IEEE 802.11 Working Group closely.  I recommend the book if you work in WiFi.  It is informative.  There is great attention to detail.  All areas of the subject are covered.  But I was left uninspired.  And my uninspiration (is that a word?) was the result of the book being short on something that I always hope to find in any technical writing: the Why.

In some ways yours truly is the target audience for the book and in some ways I'm not.  I need to know the intricate details of how WiFi works.  (Point)  I already knew most of the tweaks that 802.11ac is making to 802.11n.  (Counterpoint)

The physical layer is the most important part of 802.11ac, and that is where this book wins.  For example, before I read the book I was unaware that 802.11ac allows devices with different channel bonding capabilities can access a wider channel at t…