Internet Over Radio (IOR)

Wired and wireless telecommunications networks and devices

Internet Over Radio (IOR)

Post by Goatboy on Sun May 09, 2010 2:05 am
([msg=38461]see Internet Over Radio (IOR)[/msg])

Here's a nice little thought experiment:

We all know that wireless is wireless. At it's core, it just means waves traveling through the air. No wires, just antenna sending and receiving data. Now think about this: A wireless access point (WAP) sends information in the form of waves. Similarly, radio towers send information in the form of waves. While they may occupy different wavelengths and serve different purposes, they both function essentially the same.

How could this be hacked into a sort of long-range free WAP? Bear with me.

Right now, the generic MP3 player I have on has an excellent FM receiver. I can listen to my favorite radio stations one minute, then load up my legally-acquired music from CDs that I purchased at a major retail store the next. Now what if I designed a "browser" of sorts to run on this MP3 player that could interpret these FM signals? That'd be cool, but ultimately quite useless, as all the info would be garbage.

Now imagine someone setting up a pirate radio station and broadcasting specially-crafted traffic that could be interpreted as meaningful information by our little MP3-compatible FM browser. Voila! We have a crude browser. It only receives (no interactivity) information, but think of the possibilities!

Now you might be thinking, how will it distinguish between the beginning and end of a transmission if it can't request it? Well, the transmitter and browser would both have a pre-defined set of headers and footers that, when the browser is actively looking for them, signal the bounds of a transmission. In this way, you can set your browser to "scan mode" and it will look for this header, start saving all the info to disk, then stop at the footer. You now have a complete "web page" or whatever else the transmitter is sending.

I know the idea is a little foggy. I literally just had this idea six minutes ago, and wrote this in five. I wanted to get the idea out there for you guys to mull over. I think it's a bit of a pipe dream myself, but dreams are what spawn innovation.

Comments, questions, concerns?
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Re: Internet Over Radio (IOR)

Post by sanddbox on Sun May 09, 2010 2:24 am
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That sounds like a really interesting idea.

However, if what you're talking about is to use it for web browsing, how could you request a webpage? That's the problem with radio; it's a connectionless protocol - you just send out waves and hope they get heard. There's no way to communicate back.

I guess you did mention that it would have no interactivity.

The thing is; what would this enable? We would be able to have long distance internet...but no way to request a webpage. It would be pretty interesting to see radio-based file transfer, though...
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Re: Internet Over Radio (IOR)

Post by Goatboy on Sun May 09, 2010 2:36 am
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The point isn't to emulate the Internet. I guess I should have elaborated on that. The point is really to broadcast one message, file, HTML page, or whatever else the sender wants. Might not be so clear, so here's a scenario:

1.) Someone with radio equipment sets up a pirate station
2.) Same person has a website and announces "At 10:17 PM on <date> I will be broadcasting on 92.7 for exactly 4 minutes."
3.) Users wanting to receive set their "browser" to scan mode on the selected channel a few minutes before broadcast time
4.) When the broadcast gets sent out, users receive the info from header to footer
5.) Message is rebroadcast a few times during the 4 minutes to ensure people can pick up late

This way, the sender doesn't need to occupy the FM channel for long, yet can still get the message out. The rebroadcasting ensures that if people miss part of the file for whatever reason, or if they are not there from the beginning, they can still get it.

ADD: So yea, the topic title is a little misleading. It's not really "Internet" per se, but I needed a name.
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Re: Internet Over Radio (IOR)

Post by sanddbox on Sun May 09, 2010 2:39 am
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Goatboy wrote:The point isn't to emulate the Internet. I guess I should have elaborated on that. The point is really to broadcast one message, file, HTML page, or whatever else the sender wants. Might not be so clear, so here's a scenario:

1.) Someone with radio equipment sets up a pirate station
2.) Same person has a website and announces "At 10:17 PM on <date> I will be broadcasting on 92.7 for exactly 4 minutes."
3.) Users wanting to receive set their "browser" to scan mode on the selected channel a few minutes before broadcast time
4.) When the broadcast gets sent out, users receive the info from header to footer
5.) Message is rebroadcast a few times during the 4 minutes to ensure people can pick up late

This way, the sender doesn't need to occupy the FM channel for long, yet can still get the message out. The rebroadcasting ensures that if people miss part of the file for whatever reason, or if they are not there from the beginning, they can still get it.


Ah. How would this be better than simply using the internet?
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Re: Internet Over Radio (IOR)

Post by Goatboy on Sun May 09, 2010 2:43 am
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sanddbox wrote:Ah. How would this be better than simply using the internet?


Never said it was better. It's just different. It's not even practical. It's not covert, efficient, easy to employ, or useful. It's just a different way of using the technology we already have.
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Re: Internet Over Radio (IOR)

Post by sanddbox on Sun May 09, 2010 2:47 am
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Still...the idea is interesting.

I wonder if there could be a practical use for it.

Ideas, anyone?
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Re: Internet Over Radio (IOR)

Post by insomaniacal on Sun May 09, 2010 6:13 am
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Personally, I can't find any way in which this would be useful, but it's a really darn cool concept.
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Re: Internet Over Radio (IOR)

Post by Bren2010 on Sun May 09, 2010 11:23 am
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That is a really cool idea. It almost makes me think of Rhapsody or Napster. What I mean is, they could play music on 92.7 like a normal radio station, while broadcasting the song for download on 93.7.
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Re: Internet Over Radio (IOR)

Post by Goatboy on Sun May 09, 2010 4:44 pm
([msg=38486]see Re: Internet Over Radio (IOR)[/msg])

Bren2010 wrote:That is a really cool idea. It almost makes me think of Rhapsody or Napster. What I mean is, they could play music on 92.7 like a normal radio station, while broadcasting the song for download on 93.7.

But if you're going to download the song anyways, why not just record it normally? =P

But yea, not very practical at all. However it's still a good idea to think about other ways technology can be used. For example, for the longest time people used power outlets to, well, power their devices. But now, with the advent of the X10 protocol, it is possible to send signals over power lines in your home, which can be interpreted by special hardware. This is how home automation is able to turn lights on and off from your computer.
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Re: Internet Over Radio (IOR)

Post by Bren2010 on Sun May 09, 2010 8:35 pm
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Goatboy wrote:
Bren2010 wrote:That is a really cool idea. It almost makes me think of Rhapsody or Napster. What I mean is, they could play music on 92.7 like a normal radio station, while broadcasting the song for download on 93.7.

But if you're going to download the song anyways, why not just record it normally? =P


Two words: file headers. If you've ever downloaded an mp3, in the headers it has the artist, album name, composers, etc.
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