back to article Welcome to our Wi-Fi: Devicescape reinvents landing page

Wi-Fi leeching tech Devicescape has reinvented the Wi-Fi landing page, popping a notification into the Android menu to alert those users for whom the internet is no longer the web. Devicescape calls the technique PopWiFi, and hopes to sell* the service to businesses already giving away Wi-Fi to customers who currently might not …

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Meh

That's basically a client app which automatically logs on to free Wi-Fi points, bypassing any landing page though the use of crowd-sourced experience to provide connectivity without user intervention.

What on Earth does 'croud-sourced experience' mean? I recognise all three individual words but not in this context. Is it like that wisdom of crowds thing some illusionist claimed to use to predict the lottery on tv a few years back?

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Crowd-sourced experience even...

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Pirate

It sounds like their client monitors the browser session to find out how one user gets past the landing page then by magic everyone with their client installed is logged in automatically getting everyone past the landing page.

Then if businesses pay a price their client also notifies the user.

Nice Wi-Fi access point you've got here, be a shame if nobody saw the advertising.

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Holmes

"... bypassing any landing page though the use of crowd-sourced experience to provide connectivity without user intervention."

It means "we took it from the press release". Which in turn means "written by a marketing droid"

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bypassing the landing page...

That no doubt contains a "by clicking connect you agree to our Terms and Conditions".

I wonder if that is legal?

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Is it like that wisdom of crowds thing

The intelligence of a group of human beings is inversely proportional to the number in that group.

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It drops off faster than inverse!

Like the old country proverb that goes: ‘One boy is a boy. Two boys are half a boy. And three boys are no boys at all.’

(Possibly the 'country' was originally China)

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Re: I wonder if that is legal?

Clicking isn't signing a contract.

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Joke

Crowd-sourced experience

Stole someone else's login credentials so you don't need any?

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Re: I wonder if that is legal?

Yes it is. Clicking has the same legal ramifications as any fancy doodle you draw to symbolize your name. At least in the U.S.

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RE: What on Earth does 'croud-sourced experience' mean?

<snark alert>

A 'croud-sourced experience' is the collective, subjective judgment of, (take your choice here) sheeple, ID10Ts, (L)users, which is worth shit.

</snark alert>

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Re: Crowd-sourced experience

I'd like to know how it accesses the crowd-sourced experience (remote database) prior to connection to the local WiFi when there is no local 3g/4g coverage and the device hasn't been in that location before ...

I'd also like to know just how chatty this application is, to auto roam on to local WiFi...

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(Written by Reg staff)

Re: Re: Crowd-sourced experience

The answer to that question is very interesting, and the key to DeviceScape's technology. The short version is that it uses a DNS request (which can pass through wi-fi before authentication), the longer version is here:

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/11/21/unlimited_mobile/

Bill.

P.S. Turns out Republic isn't using DeviceScape, but the technical details are still pertinent.

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Facepalm

connecting users to 11 million Wi-Fi hotspots without the user, or hotspot owner, ever knowing it happened.

Naturally, this represents no security issues whatsoever. No sirree. No problems here.

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Anonymous Coward

Yes, just let me get my virus-o-mat up and running on my laptop here in the corner of Starbucks. Free WiFi, everybody welcome, won't hurt a bit...

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terms and conditions

What about those landing pages that have "Terms and Conditions" that you have to agree to?

If you are bypassing and them have not read them what kind of legal issues if any might accumlate?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: terms and conditions

Because everyone reads the Terms & Conditions before ticking the box, of course...

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wi-fi providers their own worst enemy

The pub near me offers free wi-fi but it is a lot of trouble to use.

How would the average person understand why their tweetbook app is reporting "no connectivity" despite the wi-fi icon being lit?

Even if they can figure out that browser-based signup is required they still are faced with typing in several fields of registration data. Simple on a laptop but irritating on your phone keyboard. Then a password a random mixed case string which really is tricky on a phone especially when fighting against the spelling corrector.

The owners were quite proud when they put in the free wi-fi but I suspect they are disappointed at low customer take-up...

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Re: wi-fi providers their own worst enemy

Solution could be as simple as printing QR code on receipts, that point to local activation urls. Once code is scanned, page opens and wi-fi session activates itself. And for people with laptops - the usual method will suffice.

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FAIL

Re: wi-fi providers their own worst enemy

F--- that. Either they provide free & open wi-fi that works, or they need to stop advertising it as such. If I have to jump through a dozen different hoops to use it, then that's false advertising as far as I'm concerned.

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Re: wi-fi providers their own worst enemy

@Gene Cash

You seem to be overreacting a bit... If an establishment advertises free wifi for customers, it isn't unreasonable to have a step which establishes that users are indeed customers. This doesn't equate to "jumping through a dozen hoops", just one. There are no end of offers which require punters to fulfil various requirements to obtain something for free.

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There are idiots who need this stuff

Saw it in a Trevelodge last year. A woman bitching at reception that they couldn't get the internet on her ipad. She really didn't understand the difference between the internet and Facebook.

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