Friday, January 28, 2011

Egypt is getting really interesting right now

from what's coming out. Remember I mentioned if we could set up some kind of system to go around a government block on internet access, or at least keep cell phones going? Might be a time to try, assuming the current administration would actually want to.


Sigivald said...

Very difficult, unfortunately.

General internet access, especially, can't really be "opened" from outside, since the Egyptian State controls the fiber links and the underlying distribution utilities.

Cellular service, likewise, has a relatively short range and you need transcievers, and a way to link the whole thing to the outside world somehow.

(Could maybe use blimps or the like, except Egypt has an air force and would just shoot them down.)

In the long run, a ubiquitous satellite phone system would do it, but there's little demand the rest of the time, and the hardware is frightfully expensive - and would be even if mass produced, compared to cell phones.

Keith said...

I get my internet over the mobile phone network, reception is crap in the evenings (5k a second is pushing it, so time to change provider me thinks! There are new versions coming out with genuine megabyte performance and 10km range).

Before the mobile companies started doing internet, the only option in a hilly and very rural area like this would've been satellite.

The satellite was over €1k for a dish and box, more if the satellite was used for upload and download. There were options available for sharing the cost by getting the neighbours to link into a wifi network.

So satellite is available, and somewhere like here in Ireland, the .gov likely wouldn't have the clout to get the satellite owners to block accounts.

I guess that where you are, there might be coverage from say a Mexican owned satellite?

it would need to be wholly Mexican, or else everyone could be cut if there was something "interesting" happening in the US.

I might be being pessimistic, but I can't see anyone having a satellite in geostationary orbit over the Americas ignoring the massive US market, and I can't see the US .gov not having some sort of "switch it off when we tell you to" clause written into the licence to do business with US citizens.

You'd also need some sort of back-up power supply to run the thing if the mains power went down. say a little generator that runs on diesel or central heating kerosene (I can see folks messing about with starting on gas and turning over onto kerosene like an old tractor with a vapourizer on the exhaust).

Places in Africa with no mains electric, all the little shops have a generator running, and they charge the local's mobile phones for a few cents a time.

I guess it could be an interesting libertarian experiment to have "pirate" mobile phone sims and masts communicating with a satellite. The Feds would hate it, and probably argue that it was serving "crimminals"...

Keith said...

I'm remembering marxist Angola, which is marginally more corrupt than Ireland and perhaps almost catching up with your Fed

Anyway, Unitel, the MONOPOLY mobile phone provider was owned by the president's daughter.

everywhere else, it's the bureaucracy that collects the rent from the peasants.

Keith said...

Guys over at Belmont club and other places are saying that the pResident just got that 3am call that Hitlery talked about in her ads for the primaries.

Seems neither knew what to do or how to handle it.

I'm not saying W would have been able to handle it either, but I don't think he'd have been quite so clueless.

You guys need to get him out of the Oval office fast, and someone who knows what to do into there.

This is starting to look like a whole lot of big dominoes toppling.