[Cerowrt-devel] archer c7v2 gets third party unupgradable firmware

Matt Taggart matt at lackof.org
Mon Feb 15 21:35:07 EST 2016

dpreed at reed.com writes:

> I'm giving a talk in a couple months at a very high level, about "what's
> at stake" as we move into the era of "5G" (for lack of a better word,
> this is what the media all think is happening, and what has the ear of
> the FCC).
> I'd love to have a list of brands and models that have "gone dark" to
> security improvements, bug fixing, and innovation - mainly just to
> point at, implicitly shame the industry and its captured regulators,
> etc.  This will be a modest part of the talk, which has some other
> well-docmented bombshells in it (like CG-NAT, for example, and the
> predictable failure of "white spaces" and the CEO-driven, rather than
> science-driven PCAST "spectrum sharing" that we are now experiencing).

In addition to the "gone dark" concerns you mention, I think there are a 
couple larger issues in the "what's at stake" discussion that you might 
want to think about and include in your talk:

1) Just as we've seen cell phones all but replace "land lines"; 
smartphones, phablets, and tablets replace laptops and desktops; I think we 
are starting and will continue to see cell data replace home broadband. For 
the non-geek market, 4g/5g is more than fast enough (faster than a lot of 
DSL), already built-in and working, doesn't require setting up additional 
equipment(that sucks by default unless you are a geek that can fix it), 
already paid for, etc.

For the average consumer, it's increasingly making more financial sense to 
buy a capable phone/tablet with good data plan rather than deal with 
broadband, a laptop, etc. Most of my relatives seem to be going this route.

This will result in further centralization of control of the internet. 
We're starting to see carriers in North America offering non-net-neural 
features like free data to certain sites (youtube, pandora, etc) but data 
caps for everything else.

Many consumers will still be paying for Cable TV and have a need for their 
SmartTVs, gaming consoles, and IoT crap to connect to the internet. So the 
provided proprietary cable/DSL/fiber gateway will still have (crappy) 
wireless. And maybe they use that wireless on their phone/phablet/tablet, 
but the cell data will probably replace that soon. But they will no longer 
have a traditional "wifi router" as we have in the past. So it's not just 
_some_ models going dark, but _most_ will and the wifi router will become a 
geek niche market? Maybe the google and amazon premium wireless voice 
activated things will take over part of that niche?

But most consumers may be giving up control of the network in their own 
house and won't be able to run something that properly solves 
bufferbloat/bad wifi/security problems/etc

Maybe the OpenHardware SBC on Kickstarter world will be what geeks turn to 
to replace the commodity wifi router for running openwrt etc? Or the nuc 
But mainstream people are unlikely to do so.

2) Unrelated to wifi/routing, but it's getting increasingly difficult to 
run your own internet services. Running an SMTP server successfully now 
requires many hours a month of staying up on spamfighting tech, dealing 
with spammer attacks/phishing/poisoning/etc. Same with a web CMS.

I think the freedombox and openwireless (cerowrt inspired) folks were 
insightful in realizing these problems were coming. But I don't know if 
we're any closer to solving them.

Who is your audience for this talk and what do you hope to achieve with 
your talk?

Matt Taggart
matt at lackof.org

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