Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Steve Jobs WiFi failure explained

During the launch of the iPhone 4, the next generation smartphone from Apple, Steve Jobs, the company's benevolent overlord had some troubles with the event's WiFi network. He did manage to salvage some of the blow the technical troubles made to his presentation, with a joke.

Tech blog Boing Boing published this explaination from Rob Beschizza, a contributor to the blog:
Apple apparently did offer a public Wi-Fi network at the WWDC launch, according to media and attendees I've polled. And those who tried it said that network did work initially. But with so much media in the audience, and the history of conference/event Wi-Fi networks having glitches at peak times--with many people liveblogging and uploading photos from the event--those who had MiFis chose to use those instead.
Wi-Fi can cope with a lot of so-called interference, but the protocol wasn't designed to handle hundreds of overlapping networks in a small space. (Interference is really the limits of a radio to distinguish signals out of noise, not a physical property of radio waves.)
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