I'm preparing for two very cool Reporters' Roundtable shows that I'll be recording this week. First up, we're doing a show on one of my favorite technology topics, mesh networks. Then, it's attack of the drones.
Mesh networking is when wireless devices pool together to share bandwidth and connections. Mesh networks can also be made more resistant to jamming and censorship than traditional point-to-point wireless. The tech is hard to implement, but the the military has been using mesh technologies to great effect for years, and commercial and consumer implementations of mesh networking pop up from time to time.
I'll be interviewing two leaders in mesh for this show: first, Devabhaktuni ("Sri") Srikrishan, who was the founding CTO of Tropos Networks (recently acquired by utility technology company ABB), which makes mesh networking for cities and infrastructure. Srikishan is now working on building small, portable mesh radios he believes can give oppressed citizens access to the Internet even when their government tries to shut them down.
Also on this show: Micha Benoliel, the CEO of Open Garden, a company bringing cooperative network sharing to your smartphones, tablets, and computers. Benoliel's product, if successful, could upend almost everything we know about how wireless bandwidth is metered and sold to consumers.
That's my Thursday. Then, on Friday, I'm recording a Roundtable on aerial drones. Small and increasingly autonomous flying vehicles will soon be popping up everywhere, not just in war zones. We've got consumer-grade, at Brookstone stores, and a growing industry supporting drone hobbyists. Drones are literally heading everywhere: Recently I talked to an entrepreneur who wants to use autonomous drones to deliver emergency medicines to people in otherwise inaccessible villages in the developing world.
And then, of course, there are those military applications. When will autonomous drones get the authority to make life-or-death weapons-firing decisions on their own? Or are they already?
I have two great guests for this show. In the studio I'll have Wired Editor-in-Chief Chris Anderson. He's also the guy behind the DIY Drones hobbyist community, and its manufacturing arm, 3D Robotics. Also joining us is Daniel Suarez, the author of "Kill Decision," a really fun yarn primarily based on the rise of autonomous drones. Suarez is author of two other geek thrillers, "Daemon" and "Freedom." He'll be in the studio with me and Anderson. It's going to be a great show.
The mesh networking show should appear here on the Reporters' Roundtable blog and on iTunes on Friday, and the drone episode on Monday or Tuesday. Watch for them.
If you have any questions or topics you'd like to see addressed on either of these shows, please drop me a line (firstname.lastname@example.org), or leave a note in the comments.