Probably not an original thought, but I’m just thinking about how Apple originally wanted nothing to do with cell carriers and for the iPhone to use WiFi instead, and how 15 years later we have Apple’s “Find My” network

It would be neat if e.g. iMessage (starting with text-only messages) worked peer-to-peer via this decentralized mesh network, only using carrier/ISP networks as a fallback

And it’d be even better, of course, if such a mesh network was as broadly-deployed and yet operated by a community of individuals/volunteers, on hardware of their choosing (e.g. cheap single-board computers instead of Apple iDevices)

It reminds me of the zero-trust mesh networks that are described in science fiction like Cory Doctorow’s “Walkaway”

@blkpws@lemmy.ml
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Catalonia has a project to share internet for people who have bad access for a wired internet setup or for people who can’t pay internet monthly. https://guifi.net/en/what_is_guifinet

But this way you just need an antenna with OpenWrt or anything that allows the right technology to create a tunnel to send your traffic to one of their exit nodes, unless they offer you free internet using public gateways (normally Barcelona university gives free internet gateway for people on this network). The cost on Barcelona for one tunnel are 15 euros to contribute, but people with low wage don’t need to pay as our University is giving them free gateway.

Maybe it’s not the same, but it’s operated by individuals and volunteers, and they have also some companies using their infrastructures and knowledge. It’s a community of local people, and the website helps you find and talk with them.

a similar project exists in Germany, by the name of Freifunk!

Apple is not here to help people, they are looking for profit. They will probably be able to do it, but unless you say something about a paid subscription for the mesh, I doubt they will be interested.

as I understand it “Find My” isn’t a mesh network at all. It’s just that the smaller devices report to devices that are connected to the internet. Never more than one hop.

@jokeyrhyme@lemmy.ml
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Not a mesh yet, hence the hypothetical :)

Arthur Besse
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i don’t think apple’s “Find My” network is a mesh per se as all of sensing devices (iPhones) connect over the internet to Apple. they don’t repeat others’ messages between eachother, they just emit their own beacons and while relaying everything they hear to apple (along with the finding device’s location, encrypted to the beacon pubkey).

If you want to play with it checkout https://github.com/seemoo-lab/openhaystack which apparently lets anyone send beacons into the system without Apple hardware. I don’t think you can communicate arbitrary data over it, though, as the airtag-like device just broadcasts public keys. The encrypted location that is sent to apple is actually from the finding device. Also, you need a Mac to retrieve data from the system; presumably they rate limit fetches based on some dystopic trusted computing that macs all have now.

@jokeyrhyme@lemmy.ml
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Not a mesh yet, hence the hypothetical :)

a very interesting thought

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