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More on Bluetooth Versus 802.11

There's a good article on Bluetooth-versus-802.11 at 802.11b Networking News.

On the more practical side, Bluetooth is ad hoc from the ground up. Two people meet, don't know each [other], and can exchange data with minimal fuss. (Critics of the current generation say that's not so, but I've been doing essentially that with various Bluetooth devices in my office for WEEKS.) It'll get easier than it is today when it's in the Mac and Windows OS like Wi-Fi...

The folks who are anti-BT like the fact that Wi-Fi does so much, but there are degrees of trust that are extremely difficult to embed in small, low-power, simple devices when you're working with Wi-Fi...

The most idealistic folks I hear from say, sure, but you can just change Wi-Fi: make a low-power alternative, change the spec, add another kind of protocol that runs over Wi-Fi, etc.

Yeah, yeah, and it's taken almost two years to fix the broken WEP (wireless equivalent privacy) encryption layer in Wi-Fi, and we're still looking at maybe March 2003 for ratification and probably six months before the firmware updates for OLDER devices roll out.

So anyone who says, just change the spec, hasn't read the committee meetings from the IEEE, which I have. They need to go and read these public documents from several meetings and understand the number of players and the degree of collegial and non-collegial accommodation that happens to make even the tiniest of change.

So in essence, Glenn is saying that of my two scenarios, the "802.11's software layer gets better" scenario is highly unlikely to happen in any sort of reasonable timeframe. I see what he's saying. He could well be right.

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