At the Stanford Spectrum Policy Conference

I'm here at the very interesting Spectrum Policy Conference.  The discussions are very very interesting.  Unfortunately, for the first 90 minutes, I couldn't really listen to the speakers (thank goodness they're archiving the feeds) because I was setting up an emergency Sputnik Network using the beta Sputnik-powered Access Point I brought.  I admit, I sort of figured that there would be some problems with Stanford's Cisco-based WiFi network, based on MAC address filtering.  Basically, to get a MAC address-based network to work well, you've got to have everyone at the conference pre-register their MAC address with the IT department.  Of course, this doesn't scale.  Some people will miss the preregistration email, some won't bring the WiFi card they registered, some will make errors in their reporting, perhaps even the IT staff will finger-slip a few of the addresses on the list (after all it is a gobbeldygook of 17 pseudorandom characters) or some people will register at the door, and thus won't be able to get access to the network.

Anyway, because of this, I pulled out my handy-dandy Sputnik-powered AP, grabbed a hub from one of the organizers, and within minutes had a custom captive portal set up for the conference.  A bunch of people are using the network or have written about it: Dan Gillmor, Cory Doctorow, David Isenberg, Dave Winer, and others. 

Now that the network is working and handling the load, I can get back to sitting back and grokking the conference. More to come.