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comment by goobster
goobster  ·  456 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: March 22, 2017

Ya know... I wonder if the police/black helicopter guys have a Stingray installed in your area?

I've anecdotally noticed a "pattern" that in certain areas with ample wifi and cell signal, calls not being connected, SMS messages vaporizing into thin air, etc... and I wonder if the Stingrays are not so good at passing on valid data as they are at collecting it...

Because, these problems seem to occur in areas police find "interesting"... like Rainier Ave, and a wide stripe on either side of Aurora Ave in the north end (where meth heads are making product in quiet little residential subdivisions), etc.

I wonder if they can trace the signal path your data is traveling?

Either way, it's gotta be goddamn frustrating.

Here's a way to figure out where Stingrays are operating:

The ACLU is also tracking their use:

kleinbl00  ·  456 days ago  ·  link  ·  

It's a lovely, if dystopian vision. unfortunately this is all on Google.

1) Things started going pear-shaped after the March 7 update.

2) Rebooting the phone does not improve performance.

3) uninstalling Google Fi, resetting the SIM card and reinstalling Google Fi does not improve performance.

4) I can be running and streaming Google Music over T-Mobile but I can't send or receive calls if the phone thinks it's talking to xfinitywifi.

5) Attempting to force it onto Sprint causes it to brick to the point where it won't even accept dialer codes until it's been soft reset.

6) A stingray that stays in one place is called a tap. Stingrays move around and, therefore, would cause intermittent problems. I, on the other hand, have 100% repro.

7) The issue is also displayed at my wife's work four miles south in the heart of Mountlake Terrace, three full miles from 99.

dublinben  ·  456 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Have you attempted to tell your Android to forget the xfinitywifi network, and never connect to it?

kleinbl00  ·  456 days ago  ·  link  ·  

The phones work if they are not connected to Wifi.

If they are connected to Wifi, all bets are off.

Telling the phones to never connect to xfinitywifi is not a long-term solution as the major benefit of Fi is wifi calling and 80-90% of the wifi hotspots you find, particularly at my wife's clients' houses, are xfinitywifi.

Further, it all worked in February.

goobster  ·  456 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Hey, my T-Mobile iPhone works great on both wireless and cellular networks!

Ducks and runs away...

kleinbl00  ·  456 days ago  ·  link  ·  

How's it work out in Monroe? Say, if you're driving to Jay's house?

'cuz both me and the wifey had T-Mobile iPhones and the TMO signal goes to nothing. Sprint? Sprint works out there but it doesn't work in lots of other places. Meanwhile we've literally got a 50' ATT tower in the parking lot but people on Verizon bitch that there's no service. So duck and run away all you want, but understand that we had to bail on that exact configuration because the minute you cross the slough you are radio silent and that's no good when you deliver babies for a living.

kleinbl00  ·  455 days ago  ·  link  ·  
This comment has been deleted.
goobster  ·  455 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Well... that's Monroe, man. Might as well be the Moon!

(Honestly, I turn off my phone when I go to Jay's, because the battery will die as it panics and continually, fruitlessly, hopelessly scans for signal... and receives none.)

But then, I'm a writer. I don't run a birth center. So powering off my phone is a perfectly reasonable thing to do. For days at a time.

kleinbl00  ·  455 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Right. If you did deliver babies for a living, you'd discover that home birth mothers have a startling proclivity for living on the moon. More than that for my wife to accompany me out there she has to call everyone who might possibly go into labor over the next however-many hours and give them an alternate contact person (another midwife) to call with questions or concerns. And then as soon as we're back in cell coverage my wife has to check all her voicemails (usually under a dozen) and check in with that alternate midwife.

cgod  ·  455 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Go to settings and see if you have an option called something like "Sprint Wifi Optimizer". Turn it off if you do, it automatically tries to connect to Sprint partners like Xfinity.

Just a suggestion.

If you have an Xfinity account you can delete your device in your account setting but this might cause more problems than it fixes if she needs to do it every time she uses Xfinity wifi.

Might be Google's fault but it might be other shit messing with Google.

kleinbl00  ·  455 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Google phones don't have any of that shit.

cgod  ·  456 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I've had coustomers who's devices frequently leap into Xfinity wifi instead of the shop wifi. I guess it's a thing. Maybe Xfinity forces it somehow? They'd like all your data.

It's only been 1 out if 100 people it seems to happen to. Have you tried a different brand of phone yet?

kleinbl00  ·  455 days ago  ·  link  ·  

It's a known problem.

    You go into a bar. Standing in the doorway, you say, loudly, "Hey, Mike!" 22 people named "Mike" turn around and stare at you for more information. You, lacking Mike Murphy's last name, say, "Hey, Mike!", again to 22 angry Mikes who all try to answer you at the same time in a mass confusion as they are all Mike. Everyone is lost as you can't talk to 22 people simultaneously. That's what Comcast has done to crash wifi across America. Every Comcast wifi hotspot has the SAME EXACT SSID, "xfinitywifi".

    So, your stupid Windows/IOS/Android/Apple computer calls to connect to "xfinitywifi". At my local Waffle House, 15 of them all answer my call SIMULTANEOUSLY and, usually, nothing even connects. If one does connect, in the off chance one is a little stronger than the rest, the first time you send data to it, they all start calling and calling trying to reconnect. We sit with a professional networking program and joke about how stupid this is from this giant communications company that should, but doesn't, know better. Unless you can get close enough to ONE xfinitywifi that obliterates the signals from all the other xfinitywifi stations on the channel (1 or 6, sometimes 11), it WON'T WORK! As usual, when trying to describe this to tech support who know how to configure cable boxes but have no idea how 802.11(x) wifi operates, trying to get the Comcast beast to CHANGE the SSIDs to something UNIQUE, such as "xfinitywifi + the last 4 hex characters of that modem's MAC address" is like trying to push a 2500 pound elephant up a hill. Every hotspot having the same SSID must be ok or the Comcast beast wouldn't have done it. So, expect wireless wifi in every Comcast city in America to become a nightmare of stations all with the same SSID crashing and crashing and trashing wifi for everyone, not just Comcast's inop customers unless FCC does its job.

Starbuck's can pull it off because although they're everywhere, there generally aren't more than three per block. On the other hand, the birth center backs up against a 22-unit apartment building and unless you buy your own modem, every single Comcast customer is bleeding out "xfinitywifi" giving your phone around 11 SSIDs with the same name.

I can watch the "xfinitywifi" signal jump 20dB as my phone chooses between three or four of them.

Project Fi only works with Google or Nexus-branded phones because only Google or Nexus-branded phones will run dual-band on a single SIM. Your choices are 5X, 6, 6P, Pixel or Pixel XL.

Also, if your router is running damn near any kind of security, it'll take an extra second or two over barely-secure xfinitywifi. My laptop does it often, even though I'm less than five feet away from a rock-solid Netgear Nighthawk. It's the security.

veen  ·  455 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Then how does eduroam solve this problem? I have solid wifi on all campuses in the world and throughout all campus buildings with no issues like this, through one single 'eduroam' SSID.

kleinbl00  ·  455 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Ever set up an Airport Express? Simple as fuck, right?

How bout setting up an Airport Express to extend an existing network? utter shitshow, right? I'm not even sure they let you do it anymore. Take it from me - it takes about five hours of experimentation the first time, then pretty much every time you change something, expect to spend another couple hours.

Wanna see how Eduroam does it? It's on the Wikipedia page:

    The eduroam service uses IEEE 802.1X as the authentication method and a hierarchal system of RADIUS servers.[15] The hierarchy consists of RADIUS servers at the participating institutions, national RADIUS servers run by the National Roaming Operators and regional top-level RADIUS servers for individual world regions. When a user A from institution B in country C with two-letter country-code top-level domain xy visits institution P in country Q, A's mobile device presents his credentials to the RADIUS server of institution P. That RADIUS server discovers that it is not responsible for the Institution_B.xy realm and proxies the access request to the national RADIUS server of country Q. If C and Q are different countries, it is in turn proxied to the regional top-level RADIUS server, and then to the national RADIUS server of country C, which has a complete list of the participating eduroam institutions in that country. That national server forwards the credentials to the home institution B, where they are verified. The 'acknowledge' travels back over the proxy-hierarchy to the visited institution P and the user is granted access.

You can build a mesh network with Ubiquiti or Ruckus or whatever. You pay more. a Unifi is like $90 a node, compared to the $25 you pay for consumer shit. But it allows you to have everything working in concert - adjust the power, hand signals off from WAP to WAP and most importantly, put credentialing and access at one centralized location.

On the other hand, when you open up your Comcast router it has a 2nd network built in, on the same frequencies, at the same power, as your own personal SSID. The only thing Comcast has control over is whether or not your credentials let you on.

It matters a lot less when things are well-spaced but when they aren't, look out.

raisin  ·  455 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Yeah, I'm curious about this as well, currently on eduroam wi-fi with no problems.

dublinben  ·  456 days ago  ·  link  ·  

It sounds like a better, albeit more expensive, solution for you would be good old Google Voice and multiple cell phones. You can have a single GV phone number ring through to your phones, and if you're on both AT&T and Verizon, you'll have service anywhere there's running water and electricity.

kleinbl00  ·  456 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Once more, with feeling:

    1) Things started going pear-shaped after the March 7 update.

After yet another hour of troubleshooting, the latest version my phone now sees is Feb 27 and it appears to be working as advertised. The Play store still shows March 7 as the latest build but they've locked my phone off from grabbing it and lo and behold, we're back to where we were when things worked.

I honestly don't understand how this became a discussion about how I don't know how to phone. It's frustrating verging on insulting.

For the record? I have a 16-instance SIP gateway on 90-minute battery backup with a (not-yet-configured) failover from Comcast to Frontier that records voicemails and sends them as .wav files over email to hit my wife's phone on T-Mobile, Sprint, US Cellular or Wifi all because in Washington paging networks use the same frequencies and towers as cell networks which means they provide no redunancy which means I effectively needed to roll my own 5 nines reliability paging network out of off-the shelf componentry and fuckin'A, up until Google rolled an update (an update I've now spent five hours, six emails and fifteen bug reports unfucking) it all worked gangbusters without having to pay for two f'n plans. AT&T? GSM. Verizon? CDMA. TMO? GSM (and they share most of AT&T's towers). Sprint? CDMA (and they share many of Verizon's towers).

So sorry if this comes off as snippy but I legit assembled a goddamn 7-phone PBX in my apartment in LA to confirm all this shit worked and the problem isn't that the solution doesn't work, it's that google fucked up.

dublinben  ·  456 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I never meant to imply that you didn't know what you were doing. I think it's ridiculous that Google can't get their shit to work. I think there's a reason why consumers are so hesitant to adopt real Google products (Nexus devices, Fiber, Fi, etc.) and your ordeal is a perfect example.

kleinbl00  ·  456 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Thanks. Google is trying to say "we fixed your problem all done!" and it's getting on my last nerve, especially as my "tech lead" is taking off until Monday.

snoodog  ·  456 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I always wounder where the data goes. My work phone for example sometimes will make a call and you can actually hear someone else sharing your phone line. Theoretically the shared line stuff shouldn't happen on a digital phone signal so I wounder where the data goes.

kleinbl00  ·  456 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Analog phone lines can easily induce signal on each other in areas where the lines are poorly insulated. If there's any analog switching equipment anywhere between handsets, one conversation can easily jump lines.

Ever seen one of these?

You plug the tracer into the wall, turn on the tone, and then wave the probe over this giant wall of shit

until the thing in your hand starts going "tweedleleedleeedleedleedle" and then you know which two of eighty gajillion wires go to that wall. But you never actually interrupt the circuit anywhere - that tweedling you hear is a magnetic field being generated over twisted pair.

steve  ·  455 days ago  ·  link  ·  

hey man... that fox and hound is a fun little tool... It can be your best friend.

kleinbl00  ·  454 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Fox'n'hound is a great name. I've always called it a "tweedler." Made sense because we called this a "thumper."

steve  ·  454 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I had the fortune of learning most of what I know from an old ATT/Bell Labs dude. He called it the fox and hound.

I think tweedler is genius.

That thumper is the stuff nightmares are made of.

kleinbl00  ·  454 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I told people at least a dozen times that it was to draw the sandworms out.

snoodog  ·  455 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Yeah I'd expect that on analog but on a digital blackberry I don't understand how that happens.

lm  ·  456 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Hey, I got one of those in a set of drawers I bought a while back...never quite knew what it was for. Now I'll have to see if I can repurpose it for something fun!