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Windows 10's Version of AirDrop Lets You Quickly Share Files Between PCs (theverge.com) 108

Microsoft is testing its "Near Share" feature of Windows 10 in the latest Insider build (17035) today, which will let Windows 10 PCs share documents or photos to PCs nearby via Bluetooth. The Verge reports: A new Near Share option will be available in the notification center, and the feature can be accessed through the main share function in Windows 10. Files will be shared wirelessly, and recipients will receive a notification when someone is trying to send a file. Microsoft's addition comes just a day after Google unveiled its own AirDrop-like app for Android.

Windows 10's Version of AirDrop Lets You Quickly Share Files Between PCs

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  • Nonsense (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 09, 2017 @05:38AM (#55518153)

    I used to have my "Airdrop-like" feature decades ago, simply by clicking on "share via bluetooth", until phone manufacturers (or OS companies) decided to ban sharing stuff over bluetooth. Which is the same Apple has, with the exception that they combine bluetooth and wifi (and I guess their own API) to pretend they did something new/unique.

    Computer monkeys at Google and Microsoft must be really boring if they are "implementing" airdrop. Just stop f*cking messing with the information users are allowed to share (allowed... ha... it's supposed to be my bloody phone!).

    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      I used to sync files via FTP to my phone, because the MTP implementation in Windows was broken. A couple of months ago Microsoft finally patched the issue and I can use USB again, which is much, much faster.

      That's the problem with wireless file transfer: it's slow. For large files I'll use USB and charge at the same time. For small files it's usually easier to just email/messenger app them to myself or keep them in cloud storage.

      • That's the problem with wireless file transfer: it's slow.

        Almost a decade ago, Bluetooth introduced the 3.0 + HS revision of the standard, which included "Alternate MAC/PHY".
        This enabled Bluetooth to using the 800.11 MAC/PHY used by WiFi to achieve faster transfert speed.

        If both device supported it (e.g.: smartphone with combined radio chipsets, or laptop using combined Wifi+Bluetooth mini cards) it means fast transfer.

        For large files I'll use USB and charge at the same time.

        Depending on the combination of feature supported by the phone (e.g.: 800.11N dual or even AC, but only USB2.0 micro USB, the transfert over USB m

    • Re:Nonsense (Score:4, Funny)

      by Waffle Iron ( 339739 ) on Thursday November 09, 2017 @10:30AM (#55519157)

      I don't like their new name for this technology, "Near Share". That's boring.

      Back in the Zune days, Microsoft used to call it "Squirting", which is a much more entertaining name.

      • I wonder if that was one of the reasons why Zune failed. The idea of squirting something to somebody else in public probably didn't (and still wouldn't) go over too well. I want to share files, not take part in a kinky porno.

    • Decade*S* ago? With which phones? How did you see the destination phone(s)? What name(s) did you see? Was the recipient asked if they wanted to even allow receiving a file?

      Even if the underlying technology is similar, making a usable UI that anyone can use instead of "Share mypic.gif via Bluetooth to 123.213.124" is doing something new....

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Just use woof its a simple python script that allows easy sharing temporarily. I have been using it cross platform for years.

  • I wonder if it will work with any of the other bluetooth sharing things, like the Samsung one.

    I wonder which one will become the standard, if ever, or if there'll eventually be half a dozen of them obstinately refusing to talk to each other.

  • by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Thursday November 09, 2017 @06:28AM (#55518249)

    Or may I say, a security hole waiting to be used?

    Quite frankly, this strikes me as one of those things that have very limited usefulness with a wealth of exploit potential behind it. What is the scenario for the use of this feature? When you have a meeting and want to exchange documents? What company does NOT have a wireless AP in their conference rooms these days? Oh, when you have to exchange documents with someone outside your company who you can't let on your WiFi for security reasons? Use an USB Stick. If you're security conscious enough to not let a stranger onto your WiFi that is administered and controlled by your IT staff, you should definitely be security conscious to NOT let some marketing or management computer illiterate make decisions about sharing stuff on his laptop, the same laptop that probably contains the marketing strategy or the financial data for the next quarter, most likely in the same folder as the document that should be handed over.

    So what sensible application is there for this security-hole-in-the-making?

    • How do you share files over wifi on Windows? I'm always baffled by this. Ethernet is literally "older than internet" yet every windows release breaks compatibility with previous versions and even within same version it kinda never works. How? Why?
    • Meetings at Starbucks? Exchanging 200 MB InDesign or video files?

      • VERY bad example. I don't know a single Starbucks that does NOT have free WiFi access.

        But if you're security conscious, get an USB stick and transfer the data that way. And yes, considering the awesome 2.1mbit of 2.0 + EDR (provided your device supports it, else you should be happy to get 700kbit), even USB 2.0 is faster. Hell, chances are that encrypting and dropboxing the file is faster.

        • I don't know anything about Windows' sharing, nor whatever Google demoed that's Airdrop-like..

          But do you mean literally setting up file sharing, and one person logging in, etc? That's FAR more difficult than the actual AirDrop UI.

    • It's for when one of your friends takes some cool pictures and you want them too. Yes, there's often wifi or you could just email them, but this is convenient.
      • Knowing just how well Bluetooth works in most implementations and just how convenient most drivers are, I'd guess you'll have it mailed faster than you get a stable Bluetooth connection going.

        • Actually, I've done this between a friend's iPhone and my iPad with no problem - transferring a whole slew of photos she took. We could have used email - we were at my house even. But AirDrop worked fast and easy.
          • Now try it with Windows, I dare you.

            You see, I don't doubt that it works on Apple stuff. Their whole selling point is "just works". Especially between Apple products.

    • by pnutjam ( 523990 )
      Dropping dick picks on nearby people's systems?
    • by Agripa ( 139780 )

      Use a USB Stick.

      I will get right on that with the current courage for removing full sized USB ports in favor of USB-C, dongles, or nothing.

  • by fubarrr ( 884157 ) on Thursday November 09, 2017 @06:30AM (#55518251)

    I congratulate Microsoft for this great achievement, they finally implemented a feature which Ericsson R520 had 17 years ago.

  • Sure, why not (Score:4, Insightful)

    by quonset ( 4839537 ) on Thursday November 09, 2017 @06:49AM (#55518283)

    Let's use the most insecure protocol ever developed to send potentially personal information into the ether for everyone to grab.

    What could possibly go wrong?

    • Let's use the most insecure protocol ever developed to send potentially personal information into the ether for everyone to grab.

      What could possibly go wrong?

      Manufacturers, choose the answer most likely to generate profit:

      A) Consumers don't give a shit about security or privacy.

      B) Consumers don't give a shit about security or privacy.

      C) Consumers don't give a shit about security or privacy.

      D) Both A and C.

      E) All the above.

    • Let's use the most insecure protocol ever developed to send potentially personal information into the ether for everyone to grab.

      What could possibly go wrong?

      Nothing. Every implementation of Airdrop, or similar systems use some form of encryption.

      Oh you thought you were more clever than the people who came up with the idea didn't you?

  • For security (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Baron_Yam ( 643147 ) on Thursday November 09, 2017 @07:39AM (#55518393)

    I'd prefer a system for portable devices that required physical contact.

    If there's so much data to move you can't hold the devices against each other reliably for long enough... you can probably find the time to sit them on a table.

    • I'd prefer a system for portable devices that required physical contact.

      If there's so much data to move you can't hold the devices against each other reliably for long enough... you can probably find the time to sit them on a table.

      Since we're talking about PC to PC, here you go: https://www.amazon.com/Belkin-... [amazon.com]

      • I was thinking something more like pad on my desk using a near-zero range inductive coupler to connect a smartphone or portable storage to my computer as soon as I put it down, or allowing two smartphones to talk back-to-back or edge-to-edge.

      • by joemck ( 809949 )

        Still way too fiddly for non-technical people. Unless it gets a system where you plug the systems together and both pop up something offering to transfer files through the cable, it's not going to catch on. Users cannot be expected to set up a SMB share, discover the other side's auto-configured IP, and then fiddle with passwords, encryption options and no-password sharing mode until some combination is found that works.

        One side needs to be able to offer files to the other, which sees a notification allowin

    • Right, that would be nice to have a standardized port that allowed for two-way communications on a cell phone. We had something close years ago, called "on the go" as I recall. I could get one of these "universal serial cables" with identical connectors on both ends. Not terribly expensive either, $5 or $10, maybe $15 if you wanted it longer or gold plated or something. The ports on the phones doubled for charging and data, and if I connected two phones together with these ports using this "on the go" c

  • This feature will probably have couple of tiny bugs. You know, putting disk usage to 100% for 5 days, wiping the hard drive of both computers, deleting installed programs. That kind of stuff.
  • I wonder what % of /. readers sees sees these "new feature" announcements as something to add to their ToDo list for blocking.

    Anywhere that security is more than a passing fancy is going to se this as 2 things. A new improved attack vector and an inte5resting way to leak information. Was this an NSA idea?

  • More stuff to disable on the work computers around here, until they fix all the bugs and security issues. Then more questions from the users about "why can't we have that airdrop thing?" and more of me being the 'bad guy' by telling them 'no you can't have it'.

    Since Windows is so good in the workgroup, why not just use the LAN!?

    • More stuff to disable on the work computers around here, until they fix all the bugs and security issues. Then more questions from the users about "why can't we have that airdrop thing?" and more of me being the 'bad guy' by telling them 'no you can't have it'.

      Since Windows is so good in the workgroup, why not just use the LAN!?

      Until you get calls from your users asking you to help them get their Skype for Business bluetooth headsets working for their meetings.

  • by bradley13 ( 1118935 ) on Thursday November 09, 2017 @09:06AM (#55518685) Homepage

    Wow, a whole new target for hacking. Bluetooth range is pretty variable - someone sitting in a conference room or a waiting room has a good chance of contacting a computer on the other side of the wall. Many users will be completely unaware that this feature even exists.

    How long until the first hack?

  • A breakthrough of this magnitude is a faithful reflection of MS's prowess and innovation, especially in the mobile world.
  • A native tool for bridging air gaps, circumventing network ACLs, and connecting wireless to external/unmanaged devices.

    I hope they don't forget to include a Group Policy setting to disable it. Bluetooth is bad enough on its own. I'd rather not deal with another chatty, proprietary network protocol.

  • We do not need this now. Fix your shit. I am tired of not being able to search by extension when the OS decides to randomly change default program without reason or permission.
  • Shoot. I was just starting to like the new Microsoft after Windows 7 and the failure of gnome3 for a desktop OS (not server). Windows was finally stable, gorgeous, and after Balmer released .NET core for Linux, SQL Server for Linux, R for Linux, Microsoft Code, and included Python and Android emulators with Visual Studio.

    Hell froze over and finally MS is getting with the times.

    Windows 8.1 was fine if you had a start menu replacement which was annoying as hell, but lighter than 7 and ran much better with mob

  • python -m http.server

Memory fault -- core...uh...um...core... Oh dammit, I forget!

Working...