back to article Wi-Fi starts getting chummy with its peers

The Wi-Fi Alliance has started certifying devices as being compatible with the new Wi-Fi Direct protocol. The protocol allows devices to connect to each other without an access point. The technically literate might cry that ad-hoc connections have been part of Wi-Fi since its inception, but this is different - although not very …

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Joke

Standards..

The nice thing about standards is that there are so many to choose from

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Silver badge

Power?

So what sort of power consumption can we expect from the new WiFi Direct? Bluetooth does seem to have managed to consume very little, but experience with normal WiFi shows that it eats phone batteries.

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Standards

"there are so many to choose from"

Yes indeed. But this has never stopped Microsoft from ignoring them and inventing a completely new SUBstandard of its own.

Did anybody mention Internet Explorer or Microsoft, the two worst SUBstandards ever invented ?

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Joke

Um...

...Microsoft is a company. Not a standard. (Sub or otherwise.) IE is a program, not a standard. Though it does poorly implment many standards. Unless you are honour Microsoft by saying "Internet Explorer is the standard against which all other browsers are judged." Personally, that seems a little bit too high praise for me.

(I prefer to judge all browsers against Firefox.)

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Thumb Down

Huh?

What do you mean "bluetooth has never taken off in the US"? Endless crowds of toolboxes with flashing earpieces beg to differ. Oh wait, they got another call they have to take.

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Indeed

"""But Bluetooth has never really taken off in the USA, partly because in Europe the phone shops demanded that operators gave support for Bluetooth in handsets ('cos the margin on a Bluetooth headset is so attractive). American shops didn't have such sway with the operators and even now Bluetooth isn't widely used."""

The shops might not, but the headset manufacturers sure do. They got their lobbyists to require hands free kit for all calls while driving, despite plenty of evidence that having a conversation, as opposed to having a hand on the phone, was what really caused accidents. For the couple months those laws were enforced everyone in my state bought at least one head set (as they discovered that their first cheap one was nearly unusable, and had to go buy another, nicer one, if they expected to actually talk while driving.)

As a result, every minimum-wage burger flipper walks around yelling to their acquaintances with their hands in their pockets, because they can't be bothered to hold their phone up, or something. Looks quite odd...

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Go

I can't talk to you; you're from Taiwan

I've been wanting something this for a while and, if it works as I hope, it could be incredibly powerful.

The catch? It probably won't, and if it does, the large tech companies will probably do their own flavours and / or make it incompatible with each other. I'm thinking of Microsoft in particular.

And also Apple. I can't receive a contact, or a video, or anything from any of my friends with a Jobsian device via Bluetooth. Making an iPhone that can't connect to anything other than another iPhone isn't clever, it doesn't protect the consumer, it isn't safety-conscious ... it's just fucking retarded.

Which I really hope won't happen here. Hope against expectation....

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DS

Is that the same as two Nintendo DS communicating over wi-fi, like they've done for a few years?

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Anonymous Coward

Trust

I don't trust bluetooth for anything more sensitive than connecting my phone to my headset in the car. And I don't think that WiFi direct will be any more trustworthy.

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Anonymous Coward

so

there'll be wifi headsets? isn't wifi more power consuming than it's azure fanged brethren?

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Boffin

how

So, how does it work ? Does everyone now ship a DHCP, DNS and NAT server in their WiFi stack ?

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Megaphone

Better WiFi

For a better WiFi (IMHO):

1. Make the devices talk to each other and work out which channels they use (instead of every single access point in my building using the same channel as my access point. I can't even change it because the AP does not belong to me so I cannot change its settings).

2. Have a standard way of identifying the "owner" / operator of an AP, to be able to talk to them about the AP.

3. Come up with a better encryption model than either no encryption, or encryption that you have to set up manually, and even then you have no encryption from other users. Instead have no encryption to set-up a connection, THEN negotiate and set-up encryption on your connection, and make the encryption different to all the other connections on the AP.

Oh you can go on incresing the "speed" you can get between 2 devices inside an EMC chamber if you want, but until lots of units can play nicely together that won't help the real-world experience.

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Joke

Ad-hoc connections have been part of Wi-Fi since its inception!

Can I have a "Technically Literate" badge please?

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Bluetooth is single-purpose

Bluetooth works fine for pairing headsets with phones. It doesn't work well for anything else, and that's why it never took off. Everybody tried to make money selling Bluetooth stacks for computers and other devices instead of ensuring universal interoperability. Have you ever tried to set up a Bluetooth network? It's frustrating and often fruitless!

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@AJames - Bluetooth is single-purpose

Not sure what you mean by that heading but I know you havent had a lot of experiance of bluetooth.

Bluetooth works perfect with my mouse, keyboard, phone, all typing and scampering and syncing/or taking phone calls. Thats its purpose. Lots of devices, low bandwidth, low power, manually enabled. Want more bandwidth use a cable which will always beat any kind of wireless connection. This WIFI Direct! Really what is the point, we have AD-HOC, it works! WIFI is currently dead in the water because everyone has an Access Point in the 2.4ghz range which now all interfere with each other. Cisco is the top AP because it scans the RF for least congested channel unlike all others like the horrid netgear which just picks a predefined channel, like 11, 11, 11, 11, 11... wireless fail! Oh now we have 802.11n there are even less channels to pick!

What we really need to do is pick 802.11a/5ghz or a completely new frequency and modulation to give us more channels/bandwidth/interoperability with other AP's.

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Pint

"Bluetooth leaps about the 2.4GHz band like a gnat on speed ..."

Pity the alleged Russian spies didn't use BT, they might be still enjoying the good life if they had.

Maybe this new WiFi standard offers an alternative for like minded 'tourists'. And another excuse for the FBI to demand more money.

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Grenade

Bluetooth has not taken off in US?

Maybe the lack of popularity in the US is less due to the carriers, and more to all the Bluetooth devices I've accumulated which don't actually work.

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