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Free Software Foundation Endorses First Product Of 2020: A $59~79 USD 802.11n WiFi Card

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  • fguerraz
    replied
    Originally posted by brouhaha View Post
    Either of us could bloviate about our interpretations of the FCC regulations until we're blue in the face, but in the absence of FCC publications stating a clear position on open source drivers, the history of enforcement actions is the only definitive information.
    No, really, show me an example I'm very interested: name and provide documentary evidence for one chipset that allows you to change the power table for the DFS channels or disable radar avoidance, without reverse-engineering a closed source firmware/driver blob. I'll buy the device today and give you a public apology on this forum

    Leave a comment:


  • brouhaha
    replied
    Originally posted by fguerraz View Post

    That's just bad faith. Try to imagin how that would fly in court.
    It's not in any way bad faith. The FCC requires that an end user not be able to change the setting. Recompiling a driver isn't something an end user is expected to do. Many 802.11 chipset device drivers already ship as open source, and yet would easily allow someone who recompiles the drivers to operate outside the frequency or power limits, or disable radar avoidance. The FCC has not initiated enforcement actoins against any of the vendors selling those, but they have initiated enforcement actions against vendors selling products that allow an end user to do such things without recompiling a driver.

    Either of us could bloviate about our interpretations of the FCC regulations until we're blue in the face, but in the absence of FCC publications stating a clear position on open source drivers, the history of enforcement actions is the only definitive information.

    Leave a comment:


  • aht0
    replied
    EEPROM on Atheros "n" cards can be re-written without soldering. I believe AR9462 are first ones where it's impossible due OTP EEPROM.

    Meaning, something like AR928x can be messed with a lot, see hackintosh forums for modifying hw id.

    Leave a comment:


  • fguerraz
    replied
    Originally posted by brouhaha View Post

    Not a single requirement or suggestion in that dcoument precludes the vendor providing source code for a driver. Obviously the vendor may choose not to do so, but that's not because it is mandated by the FCC.
    That's just bad faith. Try to imagin how that would fly in court.

    Leave a comment:


  • andyprough
    replied
    Originally posted by pal666 View Post
    i didn't say "different card on same chipset", i said "same card under different brand"
    That is literally the problem - buy the "same card" for $15 on ebay, and it still fails on a librebooted Thinkpad. Buy it again and again and hope for a lucky winner. There are small differences in version numbers that will leave you stuck with a worthless card. That's why a $60 price tag is not outrageous, if you could guarantee it would work the first time and every time.

    Your point about closed hardware sounds like wishful thinking. What did you have in mind? A Talos II workstation from Raptor? Those are great, but they aren't laptops. I want one, badly, but I can't take it on a road trip very easily.

    Leave a comment:


  • brouhaha
    replied
    Originally posted by fguerraz View Post
    I wish that was how manufacturers interpret the law, but you indulge in wishful thinking: the FCC does not just prohibit "selling a card or router that as sold allows the user to turn off DFS", it actively requires manufacturers to implement measure to prevent users from modifying the software that controls "RF parameters", see here.
    Not a single requirement or suggestion in that dcoument precludes the vendor providing source code for a driver. Obviously the vendor may choose not to do so, but that's not because it is mandated by the FCC.

    Leave a comment:


  • fguerraz
    replied
    Originally posted by brouhaha View Post

    There's no FCC regulation that mandates closed source firmware. There's nothing that prohibits anyone from developing open-source support for radio chipsets that work in bands requiring DFS.

    The FCC regulations prohibit selling a card or router that as sold allows the user to turn off DFS. That doesn't prohibit shipping source code. If a user modifies the source code to disable DFS, and operates the product with DFS disabled, the user is subject to penalties for violating the regulations.
    I wish that was how manufacturers interpret the law, but you indulge in wishful thinking: the FCC does not just prohibit "selling a card or router that as sold allows the user to turn off DFS", it actively requires manufacturers to implement measure to prevent users from modifying the software that controls "RF parameters", see here.

    Leave a comment:


  • pal666
    replied
    Originally posted by andyprough View Post
    You have no idea what you are talking about on both counts.
    you are failing to understand my simple ideas
    Originally posted by andyprough View Post
    Old Thinkpads are nearly the only laptops that can be librebooted
    and i call that circus because closed hardware can fuck you even better than closed firmware
    Originally posted by andyprough View Post
    , and one of the chief problems is that off the shelf atheros WiFi cards rarely work.
    i didn't say "different card on same chipset", i said "same card under different brand"

    Leave a comment:


  • DoMiNeLa10
    replied
    Originally posted by tildearrow View Post

    Calibration blobs?... Is it possible to bring your own calibration data?
    It will probably depend on the card you're using, and it might not be a documented feature. It would probably be of no use anyway for most.

    Leave a comment:


  • tildearrow
    replied
    Originally posted by DoMiNeLa10 View Post

    These need calibration blobs, so it will never happen. You either have to give up on 100% libre setups or stick with unbearably slow 802.11n. Honestly, I would not bother and just use wired connections at all times if I were to have to go back to that old standard. Even at 5GHz it's painfully slow.
    Calibration blobs?... Is it possible to bring your own calibration data?

    Leave a comment:

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