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BDFL
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Topic # 127487 12-Aug-2013 16:00 5 people support this post Send private message

Just received:

Modem Project Update

Vendors are still in the process of locking down capability, with the expectation that in September we’ll be in the position to confirm the final vendor, the expected costs and the project’s build timings.

In the interim we can confirm that the total number of vendors working on the project has reduced to six. With one vendor dropping out early because they couldn’t fulfil the project’s requirements.


Hardware update:

1. Broadcom and other chipset makers, are about to present their upcoming range of chipsets to vendors. The expectation is that these new chipsets will include integrated eSata and USB 3.0 ports (so faster processors and bus speeds). Currently the scope of work for the project requires vendors to add USB 3.0 and eSata to existing boards via modules, adding cost and complexity. But pending Broadcom’s pending chipset release, a integrated solution with these components already included could result in considerably lower cost in the final unit.

2. Chassis design is proving to be problematic, with vendors still being challenged by the balancing act of incorporating the 8 Gigabit LAN ports into chassis design without compromising too much aesthetic appeal.


Software Update:

1. The project is working towards the approach of the modem having two firmwares:
o One firmware that is “locked” – i.e. your typical Telco firmware that is user friendly, safe etc. This will have regular firmware updates, enhancements and improvements.
o The second firmware will be open-source and ideal for those who want to tweak. This open-source firmware will have limited to no Telecom Helpdesk based support; instead a community will be created (or joined) where member sourced problems, solutions, code and advice will be available, with the onus on the community to drive improvement.

2. We’re envisaging that some elements will not be supported in the locked version but will be available in the unlocked. For example the forum request for a global DNS and Separate DNS by IP address. This functionality will not be implemented in the locked firmware, but possible through the open source model.

3. Vendors are still working on the scope of a Smartphone app that simplifies gateway control. We’ve found that the forum request for easy Guest WiFi access (covering the allocation of data caps, time limits, access to LAN versus WAN, access to restricted sites etc) has been done elsewhere globally, so vendors are now trying to map this functionality into an app. Similarly the request to set data allowance to flatmates / house mates – has also been done elsewhere globally. And while vendors have mapped out how to group devices to a user with an allocated data bucket over a date period. The challenge is to figure out how to store data in a non-volatile memory so that a reboot does not purge the data consumption history. Vendors are also yet to confirm a simple method for users to find out how much WAN data they have consumed and how much remains.

4. We’ve still got a couple of vendors investigating the use of Google Android as a gateway O/S. Though this may be more practical in the next 12 to 18 months, should ARM release boards that can be used in gateways.





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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 875970 12-Aug-2013 16:15 Send private message

Nice : )
Regarding the housemate allowance/tracking feature, an easy way to view this is to detect which device is trying to view the data and display a nice jQuery graph or similar via the routers home page and show the combined household usage against the total internet cap as well.

Also, can they put four Ethernet ports on top of each other in two rows which may help with aesthetic appeal?

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  Reply # 875972 12-Aug-2013 16:19 Send private message

Interesting that theres a lot of weight being put on the suggestions for the 8 port switch, esata and USB3. I'd have gone with the idea of having a companion switch device that it can stack into or similar for this capability - the reason being is that wireless is increasingly what consumers are using these days, and many will not utilise these additional ports. The USB3 will be neat if it can be done affordably.

I like the sound of the firmware model.

I'm wary of android being used as a gateway OS, it is well known that there is a lot of poor, unupdated and unsupported and therefore unsecure android hardware out there. The gateway is a crucial point of security on the home network. And thats ignoring the many other factors.
I'd much prefer if they use something *nix-like entirely on the backend and then make use of smart devices for anything that needs to be interfaced with. Possibly even make it a standard documented API that it uses, to help future proof the device against our rapidly changing mobile/web environment.

Also i hope we'll be able to help assist with the development process to help with things such as the UI, and not so late that any feedback has minimal time to adjust.



BDFL
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  Reply # 875983 12-Aug-2013 16:24 4 people support this post Send private message

Remember as part of this we will have trial units to distribute later...




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  Reply # 875992 12-Aug-2013 16:50 Send private message

I am liking the emphasis being put on eSATA and USB3.0.

Firmware model sounds awesome too.

As for being powered by Android? Hmm.....

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Reply # 876053 12-Aug-2013 19:27 4 people support this post Send private message



Chassis design is proving to be problematic, with vendors still being challenged by the balancing act of incorporating the 8 Gigabit LAN ports into chassis design without compromising too much aesthetic appeal.



Honestly as long as it works well i don't mind what it looks like. Most people hide their modems away anyway its not like you put them on display for the whole world to see. It's like your washing machine it's not there to look good its there to do a job and that all most people want it to do.

But hey that's just my opinion.

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  Reply # 876072 12-Aug-2013 19:56 One person supports this post Send private message

Tk421nz:


Chassis design is proving to be problematic, with vendors still being challenged by the balancing act of incorporating the 8 Gigabit LAN ports into chassis design without compromising too much aesthetic appeal.



Honestly as long as it works well i don't mind what it looks like. Most people hide their modems away anyway its not like you put them on display for the whole world to see. It's like your washing machine it's not there to look good its there to do a job and that all most people want it to do.

But hey that's just my opinion.


I would think it would be more important to place them so that they are easy to use.

Style it like a rubix cube, have one side with 9 ethernet ports, 1 wan and 8 lan.
Or make it like a head, so that each ethernet cable looks like a strand of hair.
Or make a hidden compartment for the connectors, supply cable ties to tie all the cables into one big cable coming out the back. Then the whole lot of cables can look like one big Satans tumescence of a cable coming out the back.
Surround each port in a circle of leds that spin faster depending on the current speed of traffic through the port.

Ok, that's about the extent of my ridiculosity. I'm disappointed I couldn't come up with more.

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  Reply # 876131 12-Aug-2013 21:39 3 people support this post Send private message

So long as the springy tab of the RJ45 isnt within a mm or 2 of the wall when wall mounted, I dont really care too much how the cables come out.




Richard rich.ms

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  Reply # 880781 19-Aug-2013 00:20 Send private message

Android on a gateway? bad idea....

Make the hardware compatible with monowall and pfSense as well as the more common ones to improve the choices of opensource options.




Qualified in business, certified in fibre, stuck in copper, have to keep going  ^_^

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  Reply # 880924 19-Aug-2013 11:28 Send private message

Not sure now is the right time to ask is this modem looking at having al current types of wifi connections a,b,g,n,ac??? as can't really see the point of a new next gen modem not actually having the latest offering for wifi connectivity. Or possibly different models that incorporate it as AC range is still officially in testing / beta and quite expensive (well expensive in the modems I've seen available).

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