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DPChallenge Forums >> General Discussion >> Car died ... love wireless! :-)
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12/16/2008 09:10:33 AM · #1
On my way to work and the car dies. I coast into the parking lot of a hotel, arrange for roadside assistance, and now I'm sitting here killing time for 30-45 minutes or so waiting for the tow truck. Ironic thing is I can see the Honda dealer from where I'm sitting. :-/

Anyway, I'm wondering if there's any open wireless access floating around, and voila...the hotel wireless is open access. :-)

Hmmm...if my laptop holds up long enough I may have to get the camera out.
12/16/2008 09:26:50 AM · #2
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Out the car window...rainy. Tow truck is here.
12/16/2008 09:31:22 AM · #3
Ha! Great stuff - Milton Keynes in the UK has 100% coverage free wireless provided by the local council - it's the future!
12/16/2008 10:12:45 AM · #4
Use caution when doing that, I was waiting for my wife to finish up with a seminar at a hotel at the Wisconsin Dells, So I did what you just did got out my laptop and tapped into the hotels wifi. About 30 minutes later I had a police car parked behind me. At first he was going to give me a ticket for using the wireless connection but after talking to the hotel manager and finding out that my wife was attending an event at the hotel they said it was ok that I used it. However had my wife not been part of the conference I would have been cited.

The hotel clerk could see me on one of the security cameras and called the police. The cop told me he writes about 5 tickets a week to people who borrow wifi from various locations.
12/16/2008 10:43:10 AM · #5
Originally posted by Bugzeye:

Use caution when doing that, I was waiting for my wife to finish up with a seminar at a hotel at the Wisconsin Dells, So I did what you just did got out my laptop and tapped into the hotels wifi. About 30 minutes later I had a police car parked behind me. At first he was going to give me a ticket for using the wireless connection but after talking to the hotel manager and finding out that my wife was attending an event at the hotel they said it was ok that I used it. However had my wife not been part of the conference I would have been cited.

The hotel clerk could see me on one of the security cameras and called the police. The cop told me he writes about 5 tickets a week to people who borrow wifi from various locations.

Yikes! Guess it's a good thing the tow truck got there when it did then. I know the clerk could see me because I went inside after making arrangements to get towed, and told them what the status was (I was partially blocking part of their driveway - not much, but still...). I noticed that she had a direct line of sight with my car.

I have one more photo to post...an artsy abstract. :-)
12/16/2008 11:07:49 AM · #6
Originally posted by Bugzeye:

Use caution when doing that, I was waiting for my wife to finish up with a seminar at a hotel at the Wisconsin Dells, So I did what you just did got out my laptop and tapped into the hotels wifi. About 30 minutes later I had a police car parked behind me. At first he was going to give me a ticket for using the wireless connection but after talking to the hotel manager and finding out that my wife was attending an event at the hotel they said it was ok that I used it. However had my wife not been part of the conference I would have been cited.

The hotel clerk could see me on one of the security cameras and called the police. The cop told me he writes about 5 tickets a week to people who borrow wifi from various locations.


I didn't realize borrowing wifi was an offense in the eye of the law here. Germany, to my knowledge, was the only country where this is the case.
12/16/2008 11:18:04 AM · #7
in my opinion, if you are going to broadcast wireless access and not secure it, you have no right to complain about people using it. Its very simple to set up a passkey that only paying customers get and you can change it as often as you like
12/16/2008 11:21:27 AM · #8
Originally posted by smardaz:

in my opinion, if you are going to broadcast wireless access and not secure it, you have no right to complain about people using it. Its very simple to set up a passkey that only paying customers get and you can change it as often as you like


I agree with you 100%!!

Message edited by author 2008-12-16 11:21:34.
12/16/2008 11:27:46 AM · #9
Live... from Barry's car... it's the Saturday night Tuesday morning rainyday shoooooooow...
12/16/2008 11:38:23 AM · #10
Originally posted by smardaz:

in my opinion, if you are going to broadcast wireless access and not secure it, you have no right to complain about people using it. Its very simple to set up a passkey that only paying customers get and you can change it as often as you like


Exactly my thoughts. I would've fought that citation in court.
12/16/2008 11:56:08 AM · #11
//arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20080103-the-ethics-of-stealing-a-wifi-connection.html

//arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20060323-6447.html

//arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20050707-5068.html

//arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20070522-michigan-man-arrested-for-using-cafes-free-wifi-from-his-car.html

Evidently, not only is it illegal, it's a felony.

Message edited by author 2008-12-16 11:57:21.
12/16/2008 11:56:21 AM · #12
Originally posted by FocusPoint:

Live... from Barry's car... it's the Saturday night Tuesday morning rainyday shoooooooow...

LOL :-)

Regarding the wireless access point...there was a disclaimer page that hijacked my browser when I first opened it using their wifi. Some sort of firewall I think as I couldn't access any URL's until I "Accepted" the agreement. Basic stuff mostly - honestly I didn't read all of it. It did appear to be directed toward their paying guests (agreement to not access certain stuff, nor hold them responsible, etc...).

Oh, and the other photo I took while waiting in the car. Kind of fun IMHO - be interested in your thoughts (mine are in the photographer's comments - had a bit of a Posthumous/Gordon moment). :-)

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12/16/2008 12:04:30 PM · #13
[quote=Spazmo99
Evidently, not only is it illegal, it's a felony. [/quote]

i still think its ridiculous, if you have a bathroom you want only paying customers to use then you have a key connected to some big ol gangly piece of metal like at gas stations. otherwise everyone uses the bathroom. when the cafes,coffee shops and hotels post "free wifi!" on the reader boards, then to me thats an open invitation, especially if they dont add "*paying customers only"
12/16/2008 12:09:06 PM · #14
Originally posted by smardaz:

Originally posted by Spazmo99:


Evidently, not only is it illegal, it's a felony.


i still think its ridiculous, if you have a bathroom you want only paying customers to use then you have a key connected to some big ol gangly piece of metal like at gas stations. otherwise everyone uses the bathroom. when the cafes,coffee shops and hotels post "free wifi!" on the reader boards, then to me thats an open invitation, especially if they dont add "*paying customers only"


I can't say that I disagree with you, but people are getting busted for it. Most places that I have accessed free wifi have "login" pages where to proceed, you need to agree to some legalese, similar to a EULA, that specifies that the wifi is for customers only.

In the case I posted that was in Michigan, the guy was accessing his email from his car in the parking lot.

Message edited by author 2008-12-16 12:13:14.
12/16/2008 12:12:41 PM · #15
Originally posted by smardaz:

[quote=Spazmo99
Evidently, not only is it illegal, it's a felony.


i still think its ridiculous, if you have a bathroom you want only paying customers to use then you have a key connected to some big ol gangly piece of metal like at gas stations. otherwise everyone uses the bathroom. when the cafes,coffee shops and hotels post "free wifi!" on the reader boards, then to me thats an open invitation, especially if they dont add "*paying customers only" [/quote]

I know what you mean, and i agree (and i use "free" wireless quite often), but once a friend told me the following, and i just could disagree either. He said, using "free" wireless is like somebody entering into your house and using your sofa, just because the door was open. I mean, he needed to rest, the door was open, the sofa was there...so why not?

This being said, i still use "free" wireless and I still believe that people that do not want to share, they should block the access.
12/16/2008 12:43:30 PM · #16
Ignition Coil - $275 parts & labor. :-\ That would almost cover the Sony 50/1.4 I've been considering. :-[
12/16/2008 12:44:31 PM · #17
Originally posted by anotherday:

using "free" wireless is like somebody entering into your house and using your sofa, just because the door was open. I mean, he needed to rest, the door was open, the sofa was there...so why not?

This being said, i still use "free" wireless and I still believe that people that do not want to share, they should block the access.


i ALMOST agree, the only problem with that example is you don't have a sign out front that says "sit on my couch for free". not to mention there is a huge difference between a business and your house
12/16/2008 12:46:17 PM · #18
Originally posted by anotherday:

people that do not want to share, they should block the access.


Mine is blocked. Not because I'm selfish or anything but mainly because my one neighbor is an asshole and I don't want him accessing it. Whether he has the capability or not, I don't know. If it wasn't for him I wouldn't mind if the neighbors used it.
12/16/2008 01:15:57 PM · #19
I have my blocked too, not so much that I don't want to share, I am just a bandwidth hog.

Originally posted by NstiG8tr:

Originally posted by anotherday:

people that do not want to share, they should block the access.


Mine is blocked. Not because I'm selfish or anything but mainly because my one neighbor is an asshole and I don't want him accessing it. Whether he has the capability or not, I don't know. If it wasn't for him I wouldn't mind if the neighbors used it.


on another point: I can see the hotels point of view. They wouldn't want you to jump into their pool just because it is there. And if you are a paying guest at the hotel you wouldnt want some stranger off the street hopping into the pool with your kids. Or not be able to get a nice fast download from your hotel room or by the pool because there are 20 people out in the parking lot watching Youtube videos in their cars.

Message edited by author 2008-12-16 14:01:35.
12/16/2008 01:27:46 PM · #20
Originally posted by NstiG8tr:

Originally posted by anotherday:

people that do not want to share, they should block the access.


Mine is blocked. Not because I'm selfish or anything but mainly because my one neighbor is an asshole and I don't want him accessing it. Whether he has the capability or not, I don't know. If it wasn't for him I wouldn't mind if the neighbors used it.


Would you mind if your surfing speed was reduced to a crawl because your neighbors were streaming porn?

Mine's blocked because, well, it's mine.

When I visited my parents, I brought my laptop and when I turned it on, it locked onto a wifi signal that was open. I just assumed that it was my dad's. It wasn't. I noticed that there was a computer I could access on this network and I again assumed that it was my Dad's so I opened it to look for a file. After looking around a bit, it was obvious that this wasn't my dad's computer. Had I been malicious, I could have taken everything. Instead, I created a text file, containing a warning about leaving computers on a network unsecured, explaining my accidental access and a few things I could have done. Then I made 200 copies of the file, dumped them on the computer's desktop and signed off. Then I asked my dad the password for his network and trespassed no more. I did notice that the unsecured network was no longer unsecured the next day.

Message edited by author 2008-12-16 16:21:18.
12/16/2008 04:19:48 PM · #21
Originally posted by anotherday:

He said, using "free" wireless is like somebody entering into your house and using your sofa, just because the door was open. I mean, he needed to rest, the door was open, the sofa was there...so why not?


Sounds like the IMMIGRATION problem, there.
12/16/2008 04:29:17 PM · #22
Originally posted by Spazmo99:

Originally posted by NstiG8tr:

Originally posted by anotherday:

people that do not want to share, they should block the access.


Mine is blocked. Not because I'm selfish or anything but mainly because my one neighbor is an asshole and I don't want him accessing it. Whether he has the capability or not, I don't know. If it wasn't for him I wouldn't mind if the neighbors used it.


Would you mind if your surfing speed was reduced to a crawl because your neighbors were streaming porn?

Mine's blocked because, well, it's mine.

When I visited my parents, I brought my laptop and when I turned it on, it locked onto a wifi signal that was open. I just assumed that it was my dad's. It wasn't. I noticed that there was a computer I could access on this network and I again assumed that it was my Dad's so I opened it to look for a file. After looking around a bit, it was obvious that this wasn't my dad's computer. Had I been malicious, I could have taken everything. Instead, I created a text file, containing a warning about leaving computers on a network unsecured, explaining my accidental access and a few things I could have done. Then I made 200 copies of the file, dumped them on the computer's desktop and signed off. Then I asked my dad the password for his network and trespassed no more. I did notice that the unsecured network was no longer unsecured the next day.


While it was nice of you to warn them about their vulnerability, you probably should have just walked next door and told them in person rather than continuing your intrusion once you had realized it wasn't your Dad's. Maybe help them set up a secure network. You may have traumatized the poor people, heh.
12/16/2008 04:38:29 PM · #23
Originally posted by Bugzeye:

on another point: I can see the hotels point of view. They wouldn't want you to jump into their pool just because it is there.

I think that's an appropriate analogy IF there was no sign posted saying "Guests Only" (assuming the WiFi has no such warning or EULA either), but here is a key question: is it a FELONY to jump in the pool and punishable with a year in jail??? Ridiculous.
12/16/2008 04:39:39 PM · #24
Originally posted by aliqui:

Originally posted by Spazmo99:

Originally posted by NstiG8tr:

Originally posted by anotherday:

people that do not want to share, they should block the access.


Mine is blocked. Not because I'm selfish or anything but mainly because my one neighbor is an asshole and I don't want him accessing it. Whether he has the capability or not, I don't know. If it wasn't for him I wouldn't mind if the neighbors used it.


Would you mind if your surfing speed was reduced to a crawl because your neighbors were streaming porn?

Mine's blocked because, well, it's mine.

When I visited my parents, I brought my laptop and when I turned it on, it locked onto a wifi signal that was open. I just assumed that it was my dad's. It wasn't. I noticed that there was a computer I could access on this network and I again assumed that it was my Dad's so I opened it to look for a file. After looking around a bit, it was obvious that this wasn't my dad's computer. Had I been malicious, I could have taken everything. Instead, I created a text file, containing a warning about leaving computers on a network unsecured, explaining my accidental access and a few things I could have done. Then I made 200 copies of the file, dumped them on the computer's desktop and signed off. Then I asked my dad the password for his network and trespassed no more. I did notice that the unsecured network was no longer unsecured the next day.


While it was nice of you to warn them about their vulnerability, you probably should have just walked next door and told them in person rather than continuing your intrusion once you had realized it wasn't your Dad's. Maybe help them set up a secure network. You may have traumatized the poor people, heh.

Not only that, Spaz, I think you are guilty of both stealing WiFi AND hacking. I think you should turn yourself in.
12/16/2008 04:43:44 PM · #25
Originally posted by aliqui:

Originally posted by Spazmo99:

Originally posted by NstiG8tr:

Originally posted by anotherday:

people that do not want to share, they should block the access.


Mine is blocked. Not because I'm selfish or anything but mainly because my one neighbor is an asshole and I don't want him accessing it. Whether he has the capability or not, I don't know. If it wasn't for him I wouldn't mind if the neighbors used it.


Would you mind if your surfing speed was reduced to a crawl because your neighbors were streaming porn?

Mine's blocked because, well, it's mine.

When I visited my parents, I brought my laptop and when I turned it on, it locked onto a wifi signal that was open. I just assumed that it was my dad's. It wasn't. I noticed that there was a computer I could access on this network and I again assumed that it was my Dad's so I opened it to look for a file. After looking around a bit, it was obvious that this wasn't my dad's computer. Had I been malicious, I could have taken everything. Instead, I created a text file, containing a warning about leaving computers on a network unsecured, explaining my accidental access and a few things I could have done. Then I made 200 copies of the file, dumped them on the computer's desktop and signed off. Then I asked my dad the password for his network and trespassed no more. I did notice that the unsecured network was no longer unsecured the next day.


While it was nice of you to warn them about their vulnerability, you probably should have just walked next door and told them in person rather than continuing your intrusion once you had realized it wasn't your Dad's. Maybe help them set up a secure network. You may have traumatized the poor people, heh.


The fact is that I had no idea which neighbor it was, it could have been either side, front,back, kitty-corner or some other option, so whose door should I have knocked on?

The network was named "Home" and there was no identifying information in the computer name or any of the folders that were visible. I'm pretty sure that the people would have been much less happy had I gone rooting around in their files until I found something to identify them. I hope that my warning scared them enough to secure their network.
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