WiFi Launcher?

Bill Stewart bill.stewart at pobox.com
Fri Mar 25 14:21:09 PST 2005

>Thus spake Tyler Durden (camera_lumina at hotmail.com) [25/03/05 10:30]:
>: Has anyone heard of a utility that can search for a WiFi hotspot while
>: driving and then launch an email?

It's a harder problem than you'd expect -
Wifi doesn't have a long range, so you have to detect the hotspot,
decide if you can handle or evade its authentication, do that,
and then send your message before you've driven out of range.

If you're in range for 100 meters at a 18kph city crawl (or bike)
that's about 5 meters/sec so you've got 20 seconds, and it can work.
If you're driving 90kph and catch 10 meters of the edge of a range,
you've got 0.4 seconds to do the job, which is pretty dodgy -
lots of mail servers take a few seconds to really sync up,
especially if you've got to do a DNS lookup or two.

Directional Antennas are unlikely to be useful -
if you've got them aimed right, you might win,
but you're much more likely to miss entirely
or have only a few meters that you're in range.

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