Video: The most clueless radio show caller ever?

posted at 1:20 pm on February 28, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

Okay, let’s be honest. All of us, at one time or another, have poached on a wi-fi network in order to get Internet access while on the road. Even Leo LaPorte, the host of The Tech Guy radio show, admitted he’s done it, too, on occasion. However, he’s never been clueless enough to whine about losing access to the wi-fi router after poaching for over a year and a half from home, or asking for technical assistance to get access back into it again (via Melissa Clouthier):

Leo’s right; technically, this is theft, although no one’s going to arrest anyone for it. You’re taking resources (especially bandwidth) from people who have to pay for it. It’s not theft when using the public networks that businesses set up for their customers, such as Panera and other coffee shops, although it’s arguably unethical if one uses their networks without at least buying something from them. When using a private but unencrypted network for more than 18 months, that’s a completely different matter, ethically if not legally.

What are the morals to this story? If you have a wireless network in your house, encrypt it immediately, and make sure you check once in a while to ensure that only your devices are on the network. If you have to travel extensively (or just are out of the house on a regular basis), then get a wireless access device through the cell phone companies. I use Verizon’s MiFi 2200, and it works great; I can even network a few PCs off of it if I need to do so. For the home, get a bundled package from the phone or cable company for your own Internet connection. Remember that any unencrypted access point not only allows you access to the Internet, it allows the network access to your PC and the stream of communication you’re creating between your PC and the Internet. It’s like having sex with strangers and not using a condom; you’ll only get lucky for so long before getting a disease.

And if you poach someone else’s Internet access for 18 months, don’t whine when it disappears or call into tech shows to try to get it back — unless you really enjoy being an example to others and exposing yourself as a clueless cheapskate. As for her final defense, that the price of broadband Internet access drove her to poaching, it’s a great example of the entitlement mentality in current vogue — and her “someone should make it cheaper” demand is the impulse that drives statism.

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Actually my take on this is that it’s smart to secure your network. If you don’t for whatever reason, you are taking a risk. If someone has leeched off my previous “free wifi” for non-devious purposes, then I forgive them for that. It happens. It’s not like I can keep my RF signals in my abode.

The fact that this woman was trying to reconnect to the previously unsecured network because she didn’t want to pay for it is just plane stupid and wrong.

Rightwingguy on February 28, 2010 at 5:07 PM

Get off my lawn bandwidth!

It’s stealing. Deal with it.

Meremortal on February 28, 2010 at 5:07 PM

Jewels on February 28, 2010 at 5:05 PM

Reminds me what they told me in elementary/middle school when I said so-and-so did it too.

“Well if so-and-so jumped off a bridge, would you do it too?”

Rightwingguy on February 28, 2010 at 5:08 PM

Meremortal on February 28, 2010 at 5:07 PM

Grumpy old man of the 21st century.

Rightwingguy on February 28, 2010 at 5:08 PM

She sounded like an Obama voter.

mizflame98 on February 28, 2010 at 5:12 PM

You want analogies? In Colorado it is against the law to leave your unattended car idling, even on your own property. The person stealing an illegally unattended idling car is still guilty of auto theft.

Also, in Colorado if you trespass on private property that is unmarked by signage or fencing, you are guilty of trespassing. It is your responsibility to determine whether you are entering private property, the landowner has no obligation to inform you of anything.

And if you leave your home’s door unlocked and get burgled, the perp is guilty whether your door was locked or not.

Obviously we are all entitled to bandwidth so the govt should just build a nationwide free wifi system. Problem solved!

Meremortal on February 28, 2010 at 5:16 PM

mizflame98 on February 28, 2010 at 5:12 PM

Could she be the same person who sad something like “I don’t have t worry about paying my mortgage, my insurance, my car payment, because Obama is now President!”?

Rightwingguy on February 28, 2010 at 5:16 PM

What if some wardriver or neighbors uses your access point to visit kiddie porn sites? Or what if they use it to download bit torrents that cause your cable or DSL company to drop you? What if they use your access point to commit fraud, scams, etc.

The cops will come to you and you’ll have a hell of a time trying to prove what you did not do on your own connection.

The Race Card on February 28, 2010 at 2:56 PM

Then close your router. It’s not hard to do. You can also make a pretty good case for the fact that you didn’t access a kiddie porn site from the logs, history, and cookies on your computer. Even if you just reloaded your drive by coincidence before the investigators come they can do a forensic analysis, that would still probably prove you didn’t access the site.

DFCtomm on February 28, 2010 at 5:17 PM

Grumpy old man of the 21st century.

Rightwingguy on February 28, 2010 at 5:08 PM

Guilty as charged. You should hear me after an hour on the phone with Verizon trying to get my Browser icon back on my Crackberry Storm.

Meremortal on February 28, 2010 at 5:18 PM

Meremortal on February 28, 2010 at 5:16 PM

Illegal is illegal. I don’t poaching on someone’s bandwidth is illegal, just unethical. You still should proactively protect yourself. Because if someone does something illegal on your bandwidth, it’s your IP address the authorities will come looking for.

Rightwingguy on February 28, 2010 at 5:19 PM

Meremortal on February 28, 2010 at 5:18 PM

LOL. I was joking. I agree with you on your points. Sometimes it pays to be stingy with your stuff.

Rightwingguy on February 28, 2010 at 5:19 PM

DFCtomm on February 28, 2010 at 5:17 PM

I’m pretty sure that kind of thing can ruin your life. I think when we get to the point when you are defending yourself parsing cookies your life is already living hell..

saus on February 28, 2010 at 5:20 PM

DFCtomm on February 28, 2010 at 5:17 PM

I don’t think your ISP is going to do a forensic analysis of your drive to see if you did or did not download bit torrents. Also, if cops do it, it would prove you didn’t do anything illegal, but good luck getting your hard drive back.

Rightwingguy on February 28, 2010 at 5:21 PM

LOL. I was joking.

Rightwingguy on February 28, 2010 at 5:19 PM

Yeah, I knew. :) I did just get a router at my second home (condo) and the installer said nothing about encrypting, so I’ve got to learn how to do that. I do believe it should be done.

Meremortal on February 28, 2010 at 5:24 PM

I don’t think your ISP is going to do a forensic analysis of your drive to see if you did or did not download bit torrents. Also, if cops do it, it would prove you didn’t do anything illegal, but good luck getting your hard drive back.

Rightwingguy on February 28, 2010 at 5:21 PM

I think by the time it has reached that point, as Saus said, that $50 buck hard drive is the least of your worries. Why not simply close your router. Encryption has improved from the early WEP days. I just want to say that it is good to see Leo again. I use to be a regular viewer of his show on the now defunct techtv.

DFCtomm on February 28, 2010 at 5:31 PM

I did just get a router at my second home (condo) and the installer said nothing about encrypting, so I’ve got to learn how to do that. I do believe it should be done.

Meremortal on February 28, 2010 at 5:24 PM

Check the make of your router, go to their web site and you will be able to find instructions there. Actually, the instructions that came with the router will show you how to do it. It’s easy – takes a few minutes. Log into the router, hit the “Wireless” tag, hit the “Security” tab, pick an encryption type (like WPA2), type in a name for the network,come up with a password. Save your settings. Boot up the laptop, tell it to look for the network, choose the one you just namde and type in the password. You’re done.

darwin-t on February 28, 2010 at 5:31 PM

Meremortal on February 28, 2010 at 5:24 PM

If you have an Apple airport,then it is quite easy to do. Otherwise, I’d look at the instruction book. (I’m pretty much a noob about this, myself).

WPA2 encryption is great. Come up with the most random, infernal password you can and write it down and keep it safe. Turn down the broadcast power so it doesn’t leak so much into your neighbor’s homes. Hide the network, if possible, so that people have to search it by name to find it. Rename your router from “Belkin” or “linksys”. Also, if you can, turn on Mac address filtering. Each piece of technical equipment comes with a Mac address that is specific to that piece of hardware, set at the factory. That allows you to make a list of what devices can access your network.

Like I said before, there are other ways you can make your wireless router impossible for Joe Schmoe to access it. I’m still learning myself.

Also, like it’s been stated, there are public wifi spots at airports and the like. You want to be careful using those since people have set up bogus networks next to legitimate ones so they can gain access to you data. Exercise caution.

Rightwingguy on February 28, 2010 at 5:34 PM

DFCtomm on February 28, 2010 at 5:31 PM

The problem is that since we are all good, honest people, we trust others to do what is right and eave us alone. The problem is that that is not the case.

You are absolutely right. If you get a wireless network, educate yourself. Don’t assume (like i once did) that people won’t try and use it for their own ends, which could land you in trouble. Be proactive.

Also, my hard drive cost me much more than $50, so I wanna keep it in my computer!

Rightwingguy on February 28, 2010 at 5:37 PM

Oh, and everyone. DON’T USE WEP ENCRYPTION! It’s better than nothing, but it can be cracked like a walnut/brazil nut/etc..

Rightwingguy on February 28, 2010 at 5:38 PM

If it ever becomes a problem I will encrypt, to date that has not been necessary.

Enkidu on February 28, 2010 at 1:50 PM

If it ever becomes a problem, you will not know about it until it is too late and the damage is done.

Give me 5 minutes on your gifted WiFi and I can have all the personal info about you I need to clean out your bank accounts, max out your credit cards, frame you for kiddie porn, and infect your PC with every virus known to man.

stvnscott on February 28, 2010 at 5:39 PM

While were on the subject. Here are some nice free apps for you guys in case you aren’t familiar.

Zone alarm: free software firewall

Spybot search and destroy: free malware application

AVG: decent free anti-virus software

You should also purchase a router that has a firewall as well, if the access point from your ISP doesn’t include one.

DFCtomm on February 28, 2010 at 5:40 PM

Poaching wifi access is a 3rd degree felony in Florida. It is a big deal

The 2009 Florida Statutes

Title XLVI
CRIMES

Chapter 815
COMPUTER-RELATED CRIMES

View Entire Chapter

815.06 Offenses against computer users.–

(1) Whoever willfully, knowingly, and without authorization:

(a) Accesses or causes to be accessed any computer, computer system, or computer network;

(b) Disrupts or denies or causes the denial of computer system services to an authorized user of such computer system services, which, in whole or part, is owned by, under contract to, or operated for, on behalf of, or in conjunction with another;

(c) Destroys, takes, injures, or damages equipment or supplies used or intended to be used in a computer, computer system, or computer network;

(d) Destroys, injures, or damages any computer, computer system, or computer network; or

(e) Introduces any computer contaminant into any computer, computer system, or computer network,

commits an offense against computer users.

(2)(a) Except as provided in paragraphs (b) and (c), whoever violates subsection (1) commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.

(b) Whoever violates subsection (1) and:

1. Damages a computer, computer equipment, computer supplies, a computer system, or a computer network, and the monetary damage or loss incurred as a result of the violation is $5,000 or greater;

2. Commits the offense for the purpose of devising or executing any scheme or artifice to defraud or obtain property; or

3. Interrupts or impairs a governmental operation or public communication, transportation, or supply of water, gas, or other public service,

commits a felony of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.

(c) Whoever violates subsection (1) and the violation endangers human life commits a felony of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.

(3) Whoever willfully, knowingly, and without authorization modifies equipment or supplies used or intended to be used in a computer, computer system, or computer network commits a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.

(4)(a) In addition to any other civil remedy available, the owner or lessee of the computer, computer system, computer network, computer program, computer equipment, computer supplies, or computer data may bring a civil action against any person convicted under this section for compensatory damages.

(b) In any action brought under this subsection, the court may award reasonable attorney’s fees to the prevailing party.

(5) Any computer, computer system, computer network, computer software, or computer data owned by a defendant which is used during the commission of any violation of this section or any computer owned by the defendant which is used as a repository for the storage of software or data obtained in violation of this section is subject to forfeiture as provided under ss. 932.701-932.704.

(6) This section does not apply to any person who accesses his or her employer’s computer system, computer network, computer program, or computer data when acting within the scope of his or her lawful employment.

(7) For purposes of bringing a civil or criminal action under this section, a person who causes, by any means, the access to a computer, computer system, or computer network in one jurisdiction from another jurisdiction is deemed to have personally accessed the computer, computer system, or computer network in both jurisdictions.

History.–s. 1, ch. 78-92; s. 11, ch. 2001-54.

meci on February 28, 2010 at 5:41 PM

darwin-t on February 28, 2010 at 5:31 PM

Rightwingguy on February 28, 2010 at 5:38 PM

Thank you both! I will do it.

Meremortal on February 28, 2010 at 5:45 PM

Here is also a nice little conspiracy tidbit I read years ago, when the anti-virus companies declined the CIA’s request that they engineer their products to ignore the CIA’s, then new, software keylogger. While they were disappointed they decided to approach the problem from a different angle. They formed a venture capital company that specialized in computer security start-ups. I wonder how that’s all worked out since I haven’t heard anything about it since.

DFCtomm on February 28, 2010 at 5:48 PM

Also, my hard drive cost me much more than $50, so I wanna keep it in my computer!

Rightwingguy on February 28, 2010 at 5:37 PM

You need to start shopping at Newegg then, unless you’re one of those guys into a raid 0 with raptor drives.

DFCtomm on February 28, 2010 at 5:51 PM

DFCtomm on February 28, 2010 at 5:51 PM

Actually, you are the third person to recommend that to me. I’ll check it out. Thanks!

I bought my computer from Apple so I didn’t really have much of a choice as far as cost.

Rightwingguy on February 28, 2010 at 5:54 PM

If you use wpa and a serious password it can take forever and that is if the pw is in my list.

TheSitRep on February 28, 2010 at 4:38 PM

What use do you have for brute-strength passcrackers?

Just curious.

The Race Card on February 28, 2010 at 5:58 PM

Rightwingguy on February 28, 2010 at 5:54 PM

Just a friendly suggestion, if you need to buy an apple product check your local Best Buy first. Apple Care warranties are blech, but Best Buy’s are worth their weight in gold. My macbook hard drive crashed and Best Buy gave me a new one, they didn’t have the exact one in stock so they bumped me up to a better model. Very easy.

Ingenue on February 28, 2010 at 5:59 PM

brute-force

The Race Card on February 28, 2010 at 5:59 PM

Ingenue on February 28, 2010 at 5:59 PM

Really? I’ve had great experiences with Apple Care. They wouldn’t replace an IPod that was acting up because it had a small dent on it (thereby voiding the warranty), but that was it.

I’ll look into BestBuy next time, thanks.

Rightwingguy on February 28, 2010 at 6:01 PM

Enkidu on February 28, 2010 at 1:50 PM

Dude, I would encrypt now when there isn’t a problem going on. It’s like this: You can have a handgun permit and carry (legally, naturally) or not. You may not need that handgun 1999 out of 2000 times. You carry it however, for that 1 time that someone will try something.

Rightwingguy on February 28, 2010 at 6:04 PM

I’ll look into BestBuy next time, thanks.

Rightwingguy on February 28, 2010 at 6:01 PM

Just bought two new iPhones. Checked out the BestBuy plan and compared it to Apple’s. Apple covered more and was half the cost. Unusual I know but that’s how it was. It was the first service plan I bought in my entire life. The only reason I bought this one is as I increase into my doddering stage I become more butterfingered and can forsee dropping the darned thing in a toilet somewhere or leaving it on the counter in a diner somewhere.

Oldnuke on February 28, 2010 at 6:10 PM

Oldnuke on February 28, 2010 at 6:10 PM

That and the tech support that Apple provides is outstanding. This may sounds xenophobic/chauvinistic, but I do appreciate it when I’m calling about a product, I’m talking to Americans about it.

Rightwingguy on February 28, 2010 at 6:14 PM

Yes, my basketball analogy was almost as bad as Ed’s snowblowers being stolen. I fixed that in my response to Romeo. When someone BROADCASTS access outside of their property, the onus is on them to secure it, not on those outside of their property to know not to try to access it. I mean, that would be like you broadcasting video of your family and then demanding that no one else look at it. The Wi-fi broadcaster is actively putting a signal into the public domain and the onus is on the transmitter to secure that signal, not on everyone else – especaily as most wireless connections will automatically search for any wireless available, and everyone knows that.

neurosculptor on February 28, 2010 at 1:56 PM
-

I agree. One additional point: The documentation re. security that comes with every 802.11b+ router I’ve ever seen is clearly highlighted. Newer routers make encrypting your network virtually the default configuration.

diogenes on February 28, 2010 at 6:18 PM

Rightwingguy on February 28, 2010 at 6:01 PM

They’re not as good as Best Buy warranties. Depending on what you do with your computer you are in much better hands with Best Buy. It takes a lot to void the warranty.

Ingenue on February 28, 2010 at 6:20 PM

diogenes on February 28, 2010 at 6:18 PM

What IEEE version are we on now? Is it 802.11g?

BTW, how’s Aloysius?

Rightwingguy on February 28, 2010 at 6:21 PM

Ingenue on February 28, 2010 at 6:20 PM

Roger. Will keep that in mind the next time I’m making a tech purchase.

Rightwingguy on February 28, 2010 at 6:24 PM

Sounds like another vote for the public option!

Jocundus on February 28, 2010 at 6:32 PM

What use do you have for brute-strength passcrackers?

Just curious.

The Race Card on February 28, 2010 at 5:58 PM

Always bringing race into it.

/sarcasm

viking01 on February 28, 2010 at 6:33 PM

I have a (potentially) dumb question. I am totally not tech savvy. Here’s my situation-I live in a pretty upscale place, everyone has wifi. About 10 of my neighbor’s signals will overpower mine, at any given time. Of course my computer doesn’t know it’s not my choice to use their signal instead of my own. I have service thru Comcast. What do I need to do to fix this? A better antenna, router, what? TIA.

di butler on February 28, 2010 at 6:43 PM

If so what’s the scoop on this. I know it varies from state to state but it should be fairly consistent.

Oldnuke on February 28, 2010 at 4:39 PM

Oh, I don’t know. As far as a library goes, anyone can enter and use it or sit outside and use it during business hours. So, why would anyone object when the building is closed? I just thought it was weird that the guy got arrested in the news item I read. Maybe, he beat the rap?

Blake on February 28, 2010 at 6:45 PM

di butler on February 28, 2010 at 6:43 PM

Not sure I understand what you mean by overpower. The available connections should come up on a list and you pick the one you want. Obviously you should pick your own router. I have all my mobile devices set to automatically log onto my router without even asking me. If my router is out of range a dialog box comes up and shows me what’s available.

Oldnuke on February 28, 2010 at 6:57 PM

di butler on February 28, 2010 at 6:43 PM

Well, if you have a good wireless router, that should not be a problem. Basically, you can specify a preferred wireless network (your own) and that shouldn’t be a problem.

Technology as at a point where having multiple wireless networks nearby won’t hurt your own signal.

Rightwingguy on February 28, 2010 at 7:04 PM

di butler on February 28, 2010 at 6:43 PM

Also, you don’t need to have a wireless router with a huge transmitting power, unless you need internet access from your router in Timbuktu.

Rightwingguy on February 28, 2010 at 7:09 PM

I enjoyed Leo LaPorte and the gang on “The Screensavers” TechTV was a great channel until it got bought out and became gamer central.

Jeff2161 on February 28, 2010 at 7:11 PM

I had an unencrypted router when I lived on 40 acres. I figured, I would notice a guy in the cornfield with a laptop.

Jeff2161 on February 28, 2010 at 7:12 PM

Jeff2161 on February 28, 2010 at 7:12 PM

Well, I think that’s a case where encryption isn’t really needed. I’d do it anyway, just to be safe. It’s really easy to set up.

Rightwingguy on February 28, 2010 at 7:15 PM

di butler on February 28, 2010 at 6:43 PM

Sorry, third and last point. If interference with your signal is an issue, I’d recommend looking at a FHSS-capable (frequency-hopping spread spectrum) router. It hops from frequency to frequency and is resistant to narrowband interference that you might encounter. If it is a newer router, then this should be standard.

Does anyone with any tech experience agree with this? Let me know if I’m giving bad info!

Rightwingguy on February 28, 2010 at 7:30 PM

Well, I think that’s a case where encryption isn’t really needed. I’d do it anyway, just to be safe. It’s really easy to set up.

Rightwingguy on February 28, 2010 at 7:15 PM

I did end up encrypting it after my gf moved out. Her stupid laptop would not accept encryption at wpa2 standard. It was old and she was hoping I’d upgrade it… LOL

Jeff2161 on February 28, 2010 at 7:32 PM

Does anyone with any tech experience agree with this? Let me know if I’m giving bad info!

Rightwingguy on February 28, 2010 at 7:30 PM

Good idea but, there are alternatives too.

Home wireless networks based on the 802.11b or 802.11g standards transmit their signal in a narrow radio frequency range of 2.4 GHz. Various other electronic devices in a home, such as cordless phones, garage door openers, baby monitors, and microwave ovens, may use this same frequency range. Any such device can interfere with a Wi-Fi home network, slowing down its performance and potentially breaking network connections.

Likewise, the wireless networks of neighbors generally all use the same form of radio signaling. Especially in residences that share walls with each other, interference between different home networks is not uncommon.

The 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi signal range is divided into a number of smaller bands or “channels,” similar to television channels. In most countries, Wi-Fi equipment provides a set of available channels to choose from. In the United States, for example, any of the Wi-Fi channels 1 – 11 can be chosen when setting up a wireless LAN (WLAN). Setting this WiFi channel number appropriately provides one way to avoid sources of wireless interference.

Many wireless products in the U.S. ship with a default Wi-Fi channel of 6. If encountering interference from other devices within the home, consider changing the channel up or down to avoid it. Note that all Wi-Fi devices on the network must use the same channel.

Unlike television channels, some Wi-Fi channel numbers overlap with each other. Channel 1 uses the lowest frequency band and each subsequent channel increases the frequency slightly. Therefore, the further apart two channel numbers are, the less the degree of overlap and likelihood of interference. If encountering interference with a neighbor’s WLAN, change to a distant channel. Both channels 1 and 11 do not overlap with the default channel 6; use one of these three channels for best results.

Jeff2161 on February 28, 2010 at 7:37 PM

Poor Jennifer. Her wi-fi got cut off just as she was checking the Organizing for America website for her talking points.

Now she’s disenfranchised. Those internet providers should provide FREE wireless. Evil profit-mongers!

/s

Grace_is_sufficient on February 28, 2010 at 7:38 PM

Not sure about the 802.11n standard tho…

Jeff2161 on February 28, 2010 at 7:38 PM

We will see if Growfins finds a new hotspot… /s

Jeff2161 on February 28, 2010 at 7:39 PM

di butler on February 28, 2010 at 6:43 PM

My guess is that you and your neighbors are all using the same channel.

In your wireless settings on your router there should be a setting/drop down box where you can change the channel so that no longer happens.

F15Mech on February 28, 2010 at 7:39 PM

Jeff2161 on February 28, 2010 at 7:37 PM

Thanks, I also forgot to mention DSSS. I know my airport allows for “interference robustness” if there is interference on the 2.4 GHz band. But I have no idea what that entails.

One thing I’d like to add o what you said: the 2.4 GHz range is used for wireless communications but other than that set aside, there are no rules governing what frequency goes with a certain device. This is why back in the day and airplane going over your house could cause your garage door to open/close. It’s gotten a lot better, but yes there is sill interference.

Great post, btw. Thanks for the gouge.

Rightwingguy on February 28, 2010 at 7:42 PM

We need to pass wifi legislation so no one will have to use their dead sister’s linksys card. Here in America, who would believe that is still happening.

/s

long_cat on February 28, 2010 at 7:43 PM

don’t whine when it disappears or call into tech shows to try to get it back

What would be worse, calling into a tech show, or calling the ISP for support? :)

And I would like to say that I am so very proud that this caller is from the city where I live…

malclave on February 28, 2010 at 7:44 PM

malclave on February 28, 2010 at 7:44 PM

LOL. Well there are stupid people everywhere,

Rightwingguy on February 28, 2010 at 7:45 PM

Hell, I knew a guy stealing cable that called to complain when it went out…. Idiot.

Jeff2161 on February 28, 2010 at 7:51 PM

On the bright side, if we get HA users protecting their own networks… The nitwit did us a favor.

Jeff2161 on February 28, 2010 at 7:53 PM

I had satellite internet and setting THAT router up was an experience I do not care to repeat.

Jeff2161 on February 28, 2010 at 7:55 PM

Years ago I rented an apartment and had cable installed. A few weeks later I went to put in a splitter to run a line to the Bedroom TV. I found there was already a splitter with a line running to the upstairs apartment! I simply disconnected that line and connected my bedroom line. Later that day I heard the upstairs people get home and turn on their TV to the sound of static: WHSHSHSHWHSHWHSH.
Maybe they had a deal with the previous downstairs tenant, but they never offered to split the bill with us. Jerks.

kooly on February 28, 2010 at 7:57 PM

Jeff2161 on February 28, 2010 at 7:55 PM

Satellite internet, huh? How’d that work out? I’ve read that it’s good if you are in a relatively remote area, but that the bandwidth is lower.

Rightwingguy on February 28, 2010 at 8:02 PM

I worked cable tv in the ’70′s; to get HBO, all you had to do was remove a filter on the telephone pole. I got $20 for every illegal hookup I found. Without fail, they said they didn’t know about it but, they didn’t get cable either after that.

Jeff2161 on February 28, 2010 at 8:03 PM

Jeff2161 on February 28, 2010 at 7:53 PM

Absolutely. I had to have all this explained to me before I secured my network.

Rightwingguy on February 28, 2010 at 8:03 PM

Jeff2161 on February 28, 2010 at 8:03 PM

LOL. “What? Well, gee, I thought HBO was free!”

Rightwingguy on February 28, 2010 at 8:04 PM

Satellite internet, huh? How’d that work out? I’ve read that it’s good if you are in a relatively remote area, but that the bandwidth is lower.

Rightwingguy on February 28, 2010 at 8:02 PM

I was living in Michigan and, any storm between there and Texas knocked it out along with, satellite tv. Faster than dialup but, not worth the cost. 6.95 a month for 56k dialup vs. $75 higher speed most of the time. Weather is a definite factor.

Jeff2161 on February 28, 2010 at 8:06 PM

LOL. “What? Well, gee, I thought HBO was free!”

Rightwingguy on February 28, 2010 at 8:04 PM

Close, they said they thought it came with the rent…

Jeff2161 on February 28, 2010 at 8:07 PM

Jeff2161 on February 28, 2010 at 8:07 PM

LOL. Well, that’s a new one.

Rightwingguy on February 28, 2010 at 8:09 PM

TechTV used to cover this stuff that is so important.
Screen Savers was great.
http://techguylabs.com/radio/pmwiki.php
http://www.lockergnome.com
And, my personal favorite…
http://windowssecrets.com/

Jeff2161 on February 28, 2010 at 8:12 PM

Windows secrets has an awesome archive and their pay model is pay whatever, at least a buck, for a year paid subscription. Well worth it just for the free newsletter too.

Jeff2161 on February 28, 2010 at 8:14 PM

Time for some ‘Easy Livin’

Jeff2161 on February 28, 2010 at 8:16 PM

Leo’s right; technically, this is theft, although no one’s going to arrest anyone for it.

That’s incorrect. The Tech press runs a story every couple of months it seems. Here’s an example:

WiFi freeloader arrested in Washington

We have covered this type of story before: a man finds an open wireless access point, parks in front of the home or business containing the WAP, surfs away on his laptop, and the police are called. The story has played itself out once again, this time in Vancouver, WA, where 20-year-old Alexander Eric Smith was arrested after a three-month stretch where he periodically parked in front of a coffee shop off-and-on with a laptop and used its WAP.

The kicker? He never bought so much as a small latte.

TheBigOldDog on February 28, 2010 at 8:19 PM

Theft is theft is theft. They do arrest people for it. Even if you’re in the parking lot checking email w/o being a paying customer.

As always, Google is your friend.

(well not really, Google is every bit as evil and any other tech monopoly).

TheBigOldDog on February 28, 2010 at 8:24 PM

Oh, by the way, here’s a cool little Win7 gadget for finding hotspots

TheBigOldDog on February 28, 2010 at 8:28 PM

I don’t think your ISP is going to do a forensic analysis of your drive to see if you did or did not download bit torrents. Also, if cops do it, it would prove you didn’t do anything illegal, but good luck getting your hard drive back.

Rightwingguy on February 28, 2010 at 5:21 PM

Ignorant idiot, here.
What’s a ‘bit torrent’?
I’ve seen that term on things like Limewire.

Lanceman on February 28, 2010 at 8:31 PM

http://www.dslreports.com/shownews/84005

Wi-Fi Freeloading Felony
First arrest and prosecution in Michigan
(old news – 09:07AM Tuesday May 22 2007)
tags: legal · wireless
Tipped by confusedone See Profile
Here’s a tale out of Michigan about a man who was arrested for using Wi-Fi outside a cafe from his car. Interestingly, the arresting officer, the arrested man and the cafe owner didn’t know the man was doing anything wrong until the officer in question decided to do some research and found a law he thought fit:

“He didn’t issue a ticket, but he did hit the books. ‘I had a feeling a law was being broken,’ the chief said, ‘but I didn’t know exactly what.’ He found a relatively new and rarely used law. ‘Unauthorized use of computer access,’ he said.”

Maximum penalty for the felony? Five years in prison and/or a $10,000 fine. The 1979 law the officer finally discovered was apparently updated in 2000 to help prevent skulldruggery via Wi-Fi.

Jeff2161 on February 28, 2010 at 8:35 PM

Practically speaking, yes, but ethically, no. If I leave my garage door open and someone takes my snowblower, I’ve “allowed” them to do that, but it’s still theft.

Ed Morrissey on February 28, 2010 at 1:30 PM

..oh now that’s just plain silly, Ed! I leave my garage door open a lot and have never — nevah! — had a snow blower poached!

(I live in Southern California.)

VoyskaPVO on February 28, 2010 at 8:35 PM

Ignorant idiot, here.
What’s a ‘bit torrent’?
I’ve seen that term on things like Limewire.

Lanceman on February 28, 2010 at 8:31 PM

Illegally downloading copyright video, audio etc… Usually movies or music.

Jeff2161 on February 28, 2010 at 8:36 PM

..oh now that’s just plain silly, Ed! I leave my garage door open a lot and have never — nevah! — had a snow blower poached!

(I live in Southern California.)

VoyskaPVO on February 28, 2010 at 8:35 PM

I’ve never had my submarine stolen here in Phoenix, either.

Jeff2161 on February 28, 2010 at 8:38 PM

I don’t think your ISP is going to do a forensic analysis of your drive to see if you did or did not download bit torrents. Also, if cops do it, it would prove you didn’t do anything illegal, but good luck getting your hard drive back.

Rightwingguy on February 28, 2010 at 5:21 PM

I think you’ve missed the whole Comcast controversy. Comcast was (is?) actively intercepting torrent traffic, and sending phony timeout packets to break the connections. Long story short, after they were outted the went to metered traffic. Now if you exceed 250gb in a month they shut you off.

TheBigOldDog on February 28, 2010 at 8:40 PM

Illegally downloading copyright video, audio etc… Usually movies or music.

Jeff2161 on February 28, 2010 at 8:36 PM

You know, I don’t understand this stuff. Everyone knows that things like Limewire do just that.
Since they found the BTK killer just by his computer address, why do things like Limewire continue to operate?
And along those lines, why can’t the authorities trace down ‘kiddie porn’ sites and arrest the perpetrators?

Lanceman on February 28, 2010 at 8:43 PM

And along those lines, why can’t the authorities trace down ‘kiddie porn’ sites and arrest the perpetrators?

Lanceman on February 28, 2010 at 8:43 PM

Mainly because the servers are in Russia or other overseas locations.

Jeff2161 on February 28, 2010 at 8:45 PM

They had a trial for one of the sites, Pirate Bay last year…

Jeff2161 on February 28, 2010 at 8:46 PM

Lanceman on February 28, 2010 at 8:31 PM

I’m pretty ignorant of bit torrents myself. The way I understand it is basically a P2P (peer to peer) network where instead of downloading something from one person, you download it from everyone on the network. Everybody sort of chips in and it increases the chances of you getting the file.

Like Limewire, it relies on a large network to get people the files they are looking for. More often than not, pirated mussic and movies.

TheBigOldDog on February 28, 2010 at 8:40 PM

Well, actually that’s my point. They aren’t going to look at your hard drive to see if it was you or Joe Schmoe next door poaching on your network downloading pirated movies. I pay for all my music and movies (Thanks iTunes), I don’t think I’m ever going to exceed 250 gigs, though. That’s a pretty large amount of data.

Rightwingguy on February 28, 2010 at 8:51 PM

Lanceman on February 28, 2010 at 8:43 PM

Well they also use P2P networks to share their stuff. Police have gotten a lot better at finding these %^!%#’s and prosecuting them.

Rightwingguy on February 28, 2010 at 8:53 PM

Mainly because the servers are in Russia or other overseas locations.

So, what you’re saying is that if it operated in the US, their ass would be grass.

They had a trial for one of the sites, Pirate Bay last year…

Jeff2161 on February 28, 2010 at 8:46 PM

Maybe I should remove the Limewire program?

Lanceman on February 28, 2010 at 8:56 PM

You know, I don’t understand this stuff. Everyone knows that things like Limewire do just that.
Since they found the BTK killer just by his computer address, why do things like Limewire continue to operate?
And along those lines, why can’t the authorities trace down ‘kiddie porn’ sites and arrest the perpetrators?

Lanceman on February 28, 2010 at 8:43 PM

Limewaire is a program that allows people to share what is on their person computers both legal and illegal. It stores no information itself. So going after a particular peer-peer sharing application would be like going after Microsoft because people can write phony national guard letters in Microsoft Word.

Legitimate companies today use torrents as a fast, effective and free distribution channel. So torrents and the apps that take advantage of them aren’t going anywhere.

PirateBay is different. Although they don’t store the material itself, they store the information where the material can be found – the information that makes peer-to-peer apps effective.

TheBigOldDog on February 28, 2010 at 8:57 PM

Oldnuke on February 28, 2010 at 6:10 PM

The problem with apple care is that ANY kind of ding in it, voids warranty. It doesn’t matter if it doesn’t relate to the problem. If I brought in my iPhone with an issue and the case was damaged, voids warranty. If it looks like it took on any kind of water damage, whether or not it relates to the problem at hand, voids warranty.
There was an issue a while back with their computers where the actual body of the computer was breaking in half. It was a problem with the build of the computer, but when people brought it in to be fixed, the warranty was void, not through fault of the owner but because the product was defective.
Also, a guy sent in his computer with a $600 hard drive in it, Apple doesn’t deal with third party hard drives, they replaced his hard drive with a factory one and he didn’t get his old one back.
*shrug*

Ingenue on February 28, 2010 at 8:58 PM

Maybe I should remove the Limewire program?

Lanceman on February 28, 2010 at 8:56 PM

If you have teenagers, you know where you got it. Peer to Peer filesharing is not bad in and of itself, it’s just a tool. If you don’t need to share files with someone else, I would get rid of it personally, but that’s just me.

Jeff2161 on February 28, 2010 at 9:00 PM

Lanceman on February 28, 2010 at 8:43 PM

Well I did some research and they nailed him by telling him in a letter (BTK was corresponding with the police) that you can’t trace files on a floppy to a particular computer (when there is). He sent them a floppy disc, they got information on the computer and built a case form there.

Rightwingguy on February 28, 2010 at 9:00 PM

btw they’ve also been known to void warranties because the owners smoked. Ehhhh

Ingenue on February 28, 2010 at 9:01 PM

Well, actually that’s my point. They aren’t going to look at your hard drive to see if it was you or Joe Schmoe next door poaching on your network downloading pirated movies. I pay for all my music and movies (Thanks iTunes), I don’t think I’m ever going to exceed 250 gigs, though. That’s a pretty large amount of data.

Rightwingguy on February 28, 2010 at 8:51 PM

My point is, they are in some cases already watching what you’re doing and are peering into your drive to see what you are sharing. That’s how the RIAA gets the information they need to sue people like the mother of 3 they recently put through the ringer…

TheBigOldDog on February 28, 2010 at 9:02 PM

Lanceman on February 28, 2010 at 8:56 PM

I agree with Jeff2161. If you aren’t using it for obtaining illegal material (child porn/music/software/pirated movies) you should be o.k.

There are legitimate reasons to use Limewire, just be careful.

Rightwingguy on February 28, 2010 at 9:03 PM

When I saw the headline, I though it was about THIS caller.

darwin-t on February 28, 2010 at 9:04 PM

..oh now that’s just plain silly, Ed! I leave my garage door open a lot and have never — nevah! — had a snow blower poached!

(I live in Southern California.)

VoyskaPVO on February 28, 2010 at 8:35 PM

But snow blowers have a use south of here. When yoopers finally have had enough of snow and the 7 months of winter and decide to sell the homestead and move to a warmer climate, they use their snow blower.

They tie it on top of their car and start driving south. When someone finally points at it and says “What the he11 is that!” the yooper knows that’s the place to settle. That’s why there are snow blowers in garages so far south. No market for them once there.

Yoop on February 28, 2010 at 9:04 PM

Well I did some research and they nailed him by telling him in a letter (BTK was corresponding with the police) that you can’t trace files on a floppy to a particular computer (when there is). He sent them a floppy disc, they got information on the computer and built a case form there.

Rightwingguy on February 28, 2010 at 9:00 PM

Yeah, I watched that dealy on the CI channel on BTK. The dumbass asked them the question if they could trace him if he sent them a floppy. What an idiot. You’re wanted for multiple murders and the authorities are obligated to honor some ‘moral imperative’ to tell the suspect the truth. Riiiiiiight. Prob’ly would’ve been an Obozo voter.

Lanceman on February 28, 2010 at 9:07 PM

Yoop on February 28, 2010 at 9:04 PM

Ya’ sure, I’m a yooper too from Marquette, AKA the big city…

Jeff2161 on February 28, 2010 at 9:08 PM

darwin-t on February 28, 2010 at 9:04 PM

heh heh, thanks for that.

Ingenue on February 28, 2010 at 9:08 PM

Yoop on February 28, 2010 at 9:04 PM

LOL! That works.

Rightwingguy on February 28, 2010 at 9:08 PM

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