Short links for April 1st, 2008

Some interesting things I bookmarked on del.icio.us on April 1st, 2008:

Vintage Mics
  • Pocket Piano Arduino Shield – A board for making the Arduino into a portable stand alone music synthesizer. It plugs directly into the Arduino board and provides 25 multiplexed keys (2 full octaves), 4 pots, status LED, reset switch, digital to analog converter IC, and a RCA audio jack.
  • FET Preamp Cable – A phantom powered discrete FET (Field Effect Transistor) preamp built into the plug of a guitar cable. It provides almost all the advantages of an on-board preamp with none of the disadvantages.
  • Reprap – n. any open-source rapid prototyping machine that can manufacture a significant fraction of its own parts; v.t. (in lower case: to reprap) to make something in a RepRap machine. Arduino was chosen for the next stage of RepRap development.
  • Hackers Publish German Minister’s Fingerprint – To demonstrate why using fingerprints to secure passports is a bad idea, the German hacker group Chaos Computer Club has published what it says is the fingerprint of Wolfgang Schauble, Germany's interior minister.
comment

Short links for October 10th, 2007

Some interesting things I bookmarked on del.icio.us on October 10th, 2007:

  • Mona Lisa from recycled train tickets – Employees at the Takashimaya department store in Osaka have created four reproductions of world-famous paintings using 320,000 old train tickets obtained from the nearby Nankai Namba station.
Mona Lisa made with old train tickets
  • Graffiti Archaeology – a project devoted to the study of graffiti-covered walls as they change over time. The core of the project is a timelapse collage, made of photos of graffiti taken at the same location by many different photographers over a span of several years.
  • Dragonfly or Insect Spy? – Robobugs on the loose!
  • Smashing Magazine Best of September 2007 – Some of the most interesting web-development-related web-sites, references, tutorials, services, tools, techniques and articles.
comment

Short links for October 2nd, 2007

Some interesting things I bookmarked on del.icio.us on October 2nd, 2007:

  • 40+ Media Players That Aren’t iTunes – Mashable lists over 40 players for those who don’t want to use iTunes.
  • McLaggan Smith Mugs – Lovely mugs, sweet mugs, cool mugs, and… more mugs.
  • The Atari 2600 celebrates 30 years of low-rez fun – Retro Thing takes a trip down memory lane.
  • Using CCTV for low-budget filmmaking – Mediashed involved a group of kids who usually hang around in the streets to engage in Video sniffin’ activities and turn CCTV into a free broadcasting system for their own use.
  • Microsoft bows to pressure on XP – Customer demand has forced Microsoft to extend the shelf life of Windows XP by five months.
  • rsizr – With rsizr, in addition to normal image rescaling and cropping, you can also resize images using a new image resizing algorithm called seam carving (a method of image retargeting) that tries to keep intact areas in your image that are richer in detail.
  • Ronald’s Crisis – On September 15, 2007 Ronald McDonald, who had fallen in love with the food of New York and become frustrated with the corporate agenda of McDonald’s, stepped into action closing every McDonald’s store in Manhattan.
  • M.T.A. Makes Deal for Cellphones in Stations – All 277 underground stations in the subway system are to be wired for cellphone use.
  • New AT&T terms of service – From now on, AT&T can terminate your connection for conduct that “tends to damage the name or reputation of AT&T, or its parents, affiliates and subsidiaries”.
comment

Is stealing wireless wrong?

Related: , , , , , , Posted in random posts on Aug 24, 2007 - comment 4 comments

BBC News Magazine reports about the case where a man has been arrested after being spotted allegedly sitting in a street with a laptop using someone else’s unsecured wireless connection.

BBC News Magazine Wifi hack article

The discussion in this article is pretty interesting. A lot of people seem to think it’s OK to borrow some of this wireless internet since it wasn’t secured.

Ken from Evesham writes:

If you leave your wireless connection unsecured then it is your own fault. Just as you wouldn’t leave your front door unlocked, neither should you leave your wireless connection open.

To a certain extend I agree with Ken. It’s generally a bad idea to leave your front door unlocked, likewise you should secure your wireless internet *IF* you don’t want anybody walking in/using your internet connection. Now most people probably don’t want their house to be invaded by perfect strangers, but is it the same with their wireless connection? Do people really care? Do they even know their connection is left open for others to use?

In many cases, I think not. Many times I’ve experienced people’s total surprise when they find out their newly installed wireless router is open for use by anyone within broadcast range. They just don’t know how these things work. Computers have moved from the kingdom of geeks to your everyday family, but these new users generally don’t even know how to tell a legitimate email from a phishing scam email, let alone what WEP or WPA means.

However, I do believe it simply should NOT be possible to get punished for using someone else’s unsecured wireless network, simply because an unsecured network kind of implies it’s open to use. This is not the same as walking into a house, which is someone’s property.

Gerard from Naarden (Holland) writes:

I have not asked, nor do I particularly want to be irradiated by the wireless networks from my neighbours – I can pick up about a dozen. If it enters my house, I should be able to do with it what I want. Don’t like it? Get wired!

But alas, if you’re planning on cancelling your internet service and start using a free connection instead, there are already laws forbidding this. (at least in the UK).

The Communications Act 2003 says a “person who (a) dishonestly obtains an electronic communications service, and (b) does so with intent to avoid payment of a charge applicable to the provision of that service, is guilty of an offence”.

If I am travelling and I borrow a connection from an open network to spend 2 minutes on the internet, is that an offence because I could’ve bought a calling card to use with my mobile phone? When exactly does it become stealing?

Adrian from Manchester (UK) writes:

I don’t really see how it can be “stealing” if the person who paid still has all of what they paid for. In that respect, it’s not like your example of taking an apple from the overhanging branch of a tree.

Hmmm, this reminds me of copyright violation. When I download a movie or commercial computer game, I’m not stealing because I didn’t physically remove anything from anyone, right? Many people seem to justify downloading whatever they want with this type of reasoning.

Back to the wireless networks though… Microsoft Windows even attempts to connect to any unsecured networks it finds. Would it be a criminal offence if you’re unlucky enough to have some open networks in your vicinity?

Perhaps manufacturers need to make sure their wireless products come with security enabled by default, where users should explicitly configure the device to work in unsecured mode, and thereby waive the right to charge anyone with stealing their internet.

But hey, do you really want to leave your wireless network open for people to (ab)use. People commit crimes online you know…

comment

Short links for August 22nd, 2007

Some interesting things I bookmarked on del.icio.us on August 22nd, 2007:

  • USB Powered Mini Greenhouse – Features an adjustable growth light and an easy view window that offers maximum plant protection.
  • Amazon forest carved up in resettlement scam – Rather than moving communities onto land that has already been deforested Incra has been allocating tracts of land that are still part of the rainforest.
  • reddit media: intelligent fun online – Monitors reddit?s front page, collects picture & video links, and builds an archive of them over time.
  • Monster attack steals user data – US job website Monster.com has suffered an online attack with the personal data of hundreds of thousands of users stolen, says a security firm.
  • Robots Can Be Friendly, Groovin?: Max-Powered Keepon and Beatbots – The Keepon is a cute, yellow robot that dances to music you may have seen bopping on YouTube. It shows how subtle changes could make robotics friendlier in the near future.
  • Deezer – The first global website for music on demand with no restrictions: listening to all kinds of music is now free, unlimited, legal and accessible to all Internet users via a Web browser.
  • Google Earth Shows Real-Time Traffic – This has been achieved by adding a Traffic layer in Google Earth. Once you?ve enabled this feature, you?ll see a real-time picture of traffic and conditions.
  • SimpleTEXT: a cellphone enabled performance – SimpleTEXT is a collaborative audio/visual public performance that relies on audience participation through input from mobile devices such as phones, PDAs or laptops.
  • Lee Broom – The application of neon elements to the outlines of the six hand-carved Mahogany pieces “haloes the delicate lines of the traditional furniture whilst casting deep reflections in their richly lacquered surfaces.”
comment

More posts that match this tag

How to Turn Off Google Search History Recording

Google keeps many records, including your web searches. These records enable you to have personalized search results. The search history is also linked to your other Google services, like Gmail and Calendar. If you didn’t … read more

Related: , , , Posted in random posts on Feb 06, 2007 - comment 0 comments