Saturday, August 20, 2011

Wifi Access Point Chat and other Ad-Hoc ideas

For the past several weeks I've been without a consistent internet connection. I've been picking up whatever *cough* open wifi that I can, and visiting Grinders Coffee Co. on occasion in order to exchange data with others.

Being in this state of affairs I've wondered what people will do with all these wireless transceivers (wireless cards, access points, bluetooth, etc) if the Internet takes a dump on itself, or the plug is pulled by Ma and Pa Federal.

I've been contemplating novel peace-time systems of communication using wifi transceivers, and perhaps eventually linking neighborhood/apartment mesh-nodes with each other through longer distance CB or ham radio.

An access point serving a socket.IO chat server for anyone who connects to the AP.
Example of nodechat: registration is simple, user/pass/email (which isn't checked I don't think).

I posted an idea on twitter:
ad-hoc chat/server with some low level wifi broadcast packet tweaking?

I want to make something extremely transparent and allow ANYONE to be able to join in on the communication, an issue I can see is malicious code being pushed by "bad nodes"...

Suggestions from @rrrrrrrix:
or just use link-local xmpp (Bonjour) :-)
that paired with BATMAN (mesh network protocol) makes for awesome infra-less lan chat

At Defcon 19 I was able to go see a presentation talking about using the built-in transceivers on android phones to create an ad-hoc network of sorts called auto-BAHN [main site]. It seems to be in a very early stage, but I like the goal of having a standardized mesh protocol running on all smart phones that can be activated in case the cellular signal is lost (or activated on volition).

However, I do not own a smart phone with wifi built in, and I figure a lot of valuable human beings are without these smart phones, but may have a wireless card installed on their computer. Integrating an auto-BAHN mesh network into router firmware would also be a great idea to make longer range nodes that aren't reliant on battery life.

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