Please create an account to participate in the Slashdot moderation system

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 internet speed test! No Flash necessary and runs on all devices. Also, Slashdot's Facebook page has a chat bot now. Message it for stories and more. ×
Network Networking

Now Get Weather Alerts Even When Your Mobile Networks Are Down, Thanks To IBM's Mesh Networking (cnet.com) 75

Communicating news of severe weather events or natural disasters is something mobile phones are well suited to, but if there's limited or disrupted network coverage the message may fail to get through. But not anymore. From a CNET report: A new Weather Channel app, though, can get the message through even during earthquakes, tornadoes, and terrorist attacks when mobile networks can be overwhelmed and may not work. The Android app, geared specifically for developing countries, uses IBM-developed technology called mesh networking that sends messages directly from one phone to another. The result is that information can propagate even when centralized networks fail. Using Bluetooth and Wi-Fi networks, the app can send data from phone to phone across distances between 200 to 500 feet, IBM Research staff member Nirmit Desai said. It doesn't add any more battery burden than an ordinary app, and the mesh network can be used without having to reconfigure the phone's network settings.

Now Get Weather Alerts Even When Your Mobile Networks Are Down, Thanks To IBM's Mesh Networking

Comments Filter:
  • you insensitive clod!

  • Now? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by subk ( 551165 ) on Wednesday February 15, 2017 @01:52PM (#53875007)
    Really, now? Or the proverbial "now", as in "now we have done it once in a lab environment".
  • I look forward to the inevitable security problem that gets found with this app when bored researchers find some unintended way that this new app has a security hole big enough to drive a truck through.
  • If your communications networks have just been taken out by weather then the situation is already past the point where information about the weather is even relevant because it's already too late to do anything except hunker down in the basement (and maybe kiss your ass goodbye).

    • by clovis ( 4684 )

      If your communications networks have just been taken out by weather then the situation is already past the point where information about the weather is even relevant because it's already too late to do anything except hunker down in the basement (and maybe kiss your ass goodbye).

      I dunno. It could be handy if the cell towers were gone near you, but signals could be propagated from working towers at the edge of the incident through the mesh to those people in the path. I was once in the direct path of a tornado (only an EF2) that I knew was out there, but thanks to using satellite TV, the local weather station went "waiting for signal" just as things got interesting. It petered out about a mile away, but I had no way of knowing that and didn't know when it was safe to come out of my

  • by maggard ( 5579 ) <michael@michaelmaggard.com> on Wednesday February 15, 2017 @02:21PM (#53875259) Homepage Journal
    And a dozen other mesh strategies. Qualcom's LTE Direct [qualcomm.com]
  • by cpghost ( 719344 ) on Wednesday February 15, 2017 @02:42PM (#53875409) Homepage
    Sadly, Google amputated Ad hoc mode (IBSS) in Android, even though that would have been the perfect method in this particular case. Not the technically inferior Wifi-Direct. Some people have tried to hack CyanogenMod on some devices to resurrect IBSS mode on some devices [thinktube.com] a while ago, but that is not so easy. I think this deserves more attention and love by devs and by Google. There's no reason why we don't have IBSS (ad hoc) mode on those devices out of the box, so we could experiment with real P2P routing algorithms that would be ideal for disaster recovery and deployment of ad hoc meshes.
    • It is very difficult to control (censor) what passes over ad hoc networks. So it's best for Google to just disable it altogether.

    • There's the Serval mesh app: https://play.google.com/store/... [google.com]
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        (If you run git blame on serval mesh's source code, you'll find my name on about 80% of the code)

        Serval mesh uses Wifi and Bluetooth to share files and communicate securely. But it can't bypass google's removal of IBSS from Android. We've kept the code that turns on IBSS on some Android handsets version 2.3.3 or lower. If you really want a mesh network between phones, you can still get your hand on some old ones...

        Android's bluetooth & Wifi-Direct stack are a buggy mess. It's far too easy to stumble o

  • Let's start the pool on how long until someone figures out a way to spread a virus via this new mesh...

  • Mesh Networking was pioneered by Amateur Radio Operators (Also known as Hams), and the real, high-level engineering is being done by hams who have already set up Mesh networks to link mobile radios and the internet.

  • I have a weather radio that NOAA can trigger for warnings, and if I want real-time tracking information (like while I'm hiding in an interior room due to a tornado warning), local radio broadcasters simulcast the local TV station's audio feeds. Much more reliable, and doesn't require apps.

  • Most smartphones come with a built in FM feature so how about activating it instead, and use it for weather band radio? It's old tech, but it broadcasts for miles, not 500 feet. Its proven, reliable, relatively cheap, and can take advantage of the existing infrastructure. And we get a radio with our phone.
  • by SpaceGhost ( 23971 ) on Wednesday February 15, 2017 @11:04PM (#53878079)

    On October 4th, 2001, I read this post https://tech.slashdot.org/stor... [slashdot.org] on slashdot. The article it refers to, http://archive.oreilly.com/pub... [oreilly.com] describes "SMS Relay -- An Idea for Fault-Tolerant Communications", wherein the author proposes building a mesh-like network capability into the SMS programming of cellphones. It's still a good idea.
    And that article got me thinking about what I could do to make a difference. I shortly got my first ham radio license, volunteered with ARES, then the Red Cross, and now work there.

  • Have a look at the Serval Project. http://www.servalproject.org
    Requires rooted Android Phone

Imagination is more important than knowledge. -- Albert Einstein

Working...