In the meantime I'll try flashing older releases to determine at which point this functionality breaks
Ok this seems a little odd. I flashed iot-devkit-prof-dev-image-edison-20160606 once more, wifi etc still quite broken and non-existant (according to ifconfig -a). flashed iot-devkit-prof-dev-image-edison-20160315 and everything worked. flashed iot-devkit-prof-dev-image-edison-20160606 *yet again* and everything works now. Is there perhaps some component in iot-devkit-prof-dev-image-edison-20160315 that iot-devkit-prof-dev-image-edison-20160606 is lacking and assumes to be already present?
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That is a very odd behavior, I have not seen that behavior with my Edison. Perhaps it was related to the flashing method you were using, in case this happens again I'd suggest you to try the flashall method (https://communities.intel.com/docs/DOC-25154).
Nevertheless, I'm glad to hear that your Edison is now behaving normally.