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    Tragedy of the commons. This reminds me of a larger political battle, the sale and licensing of other radio spectrums. There’s a chapter in one of Lessig’s books devoted to the argument that airwaves should be a free for all. We’ll find a way to make it work. After all, that’s how Ethernet hubs work. (Clearly dates the book.) of course, the reality is that nobody uses hubs. Everybody uses switches. There is no shared medium, just a dozen point to point links to a central authority which routes packets.

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      Tragedy of the commons, as originally formulated, referred to depleteable resource i.e. a common land being overgrazed until it is no longer fit for use. Radio spectrum is a renewable resource. Additionally, the area in question seems private, so the solution to tragedy of the commons is applied: a private entity, wanting to defend the use of his own space, polices it.

      The allocation ofuse of radio spectrum falls under the use of space, for which the solution is Georgism. A person using a space pays all other people who could have used that space the rent value of that space.

      Even when you use ethernet switches, the space occupied by the ethernet cable prevents others from using it. This might not sounds important but if you imagine a very nice switch that everybody wants to connect to, there can only be so many lines running to it. But ethernet lines just have much bigger pipe so we haven’t reached the point where this is a problem.

      For the rogue access point problem, if it’s in private space then the owner should have absolute power over deciding who could use and when. If it’s in public space then anybody should be able to use it. Just as a person can use a road even though he’s not filling up his car.

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        Georgism can be difficult to implement. I go to a public park and I’m going to use some RF spectrum for an hour. Who do I pay and how?

        I’d say we’ve already done this, just at a much larger scale, with the FCC auctions.

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      Failing that, we will shut off power to your area until you come forward or a neighbour rats you out.

      What a nice and friendly atmosphere they’re trying to create!

      For an event that has EM on its name, this seem pretty absurd. Events like this are perfect for testing out p2p networks, creating ad-hoc LANs with friends, random LANs for gaming/file sharing and what not. In contrast, CCC and Defcon have a big number of ‘third-party’ networks online, without major issues.

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        Based on the event’s name and that it’s on a campground, I briefly thought they were trying to keep spectrum clear for actual experiments. That would have changed how I felt.

        But that appears not to be the case, so yes, I agree with you that however reasonable the position, it’s creating an unfriendly atmosphere.

        Whether it’s justified for this conference and what it’s trying to be is a more complicated question. :/

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          Yeah, but DefCon has the Feds there to keep the peace between the WiFi’s!

          This seemed reasonable to me:

          First, please don’t put us in this situation; it is unpleasant for all involved, and we’d rather spend our time enjoying the event than being authoritarian.

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            They’re being authoritarian just by having this ‘rule’, and they’re imposing this situation on themselves as I see it.

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              This is about as authoritarian as telling house guests to remove their shoes.

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                Your argument is invalid because you’re comparing apples and oranges. Shoes are not a medium of free communication, and you can walk without them.

                A more appropriate analogy imo would be a shoe conference that you would have to enter barefoot

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                  OK, let me revise. This is as authoritarian as telling house guests that they can’t light a bonfire in my living room to send smoke signals.

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                they’re imposing this situation on themselves as I see it.

                In the sense that they’re the ones who are trying to run an outdoor conference of nearly 2k attendees while providing them with good WiFi, I suppose that’s true. If you mean something other than that, not really - as per the linked page, it’s mostly a consequence of how WiFi works.

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            Kinda grumpy of them, but interesting.

            Is the price of Wifi included in the ticket?

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              It is grumpy of them, but as an attendee to cons I appreciate it. I was recently at HOPE and their wifi was great, considering it was free. I can only imagine how nice it would be if it didn’t have to step around the hundreds of other APs.

              This also gives them carte blanche to shut down malicious APs without needing to offer another reason.

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                I was there two years ago - WiFi was very much included. You also have access to ethernet ports on a switch at the nearest Datenklo.