802.11 frequencies; was Re: Imminent exclusion of non-GPL kernel modules?

davidn at rebel.net.au davidn at rebel.net.au
Tue May 13 00:08:14 CST 2003


Mark,

Mark Newton <newton at atdot.dotat.org> wrote:
> On Mon, May 12, 2003 at 08:58:34PM +0930, Alan Kennington wrote:
>> It seems inconsistent that users are assumed to behave responsibly
>> with a 2.4 GHz transceiver but not with a 2400 bits/sec modem.
>> (I happen to have one of these from the USA which I'm not allowed
>> to connect to the net because I just might use the wrong settings.)
>
> I've already covered the fact that the assumption you've described there
> is wholly incorrect, and that the real reason why you're not allowed
> to use that modem is because it might kill someone.  The ACA testing 
> regime is intended to demonstrate that the modem in question won't
> transmit a dangerous voltage down the telephone line.  Many foreign
> modems which are illegal to use in Australia have failed this testing.
> ...
> So I don't know why you're clinging to the idea that you're legally 
> prevented from using it because someone is afraid you'll use the wrong
> settings.  Your attitude seems a bit irrational to me.

You appear to be suggesting that a modem could be licenced even if
it failed to meet Australian requirements on minimum number of rings
before answer, or minimum signal time for DTMF.  That sounds unlikely.

I'm sure ACA licencing does maintain the high standard of safety that
we enjoy in Australia, but any claim that that's *all* it does would be
intellectually bankrupt. :-)


>> The govt doesn't need sledgehammers and machine guns to enforce
>> wireless LAN spectrum - but a 1-page form should not be too onerous.
>
> Don't be ridiculous.  A 1-page form *would* be prohibitively onerous 
> for the landscape gardener who wants to use his iBook's AirPort card
> to talk to the DSL connection in his house from the shed in the 
> back yard.

I sincerely doubt that.  I'm sure that the gardener would do the same as
most people do when faced with most legal agreements, such as MS EULA's,
video rental T&C, Telstra SFOA's and bank conditions; namely sign it
without reading.  After all, if you have to sign to use, and if everyone
signs it, then why wouldn't your gardener?  Which pretty much explains
why Alan's idea would achieve exactly nothing.

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