Monday, December 22, 2008

Welcome to the neighborhood

I am staying in a corporate rental. The houses set aside for this purpose are interspersed with normal rentals as well as houses people have purchased (though I would never count myself among those. These houses were just tossed up, not built). All of these homes are placed extremely close together--if they were any closer, we'd be talking zero property lines.

One of the issues I had to work with way too much persistence was the lack of promised cable service to our unit. I don't care about the TV, but I had paid extra to get cable internet and I was going to have that. However, until the cable was installed, I had no internet. I noticed that there was an unsecured Wi-fi in the immediate area and so I latched onto that. Unlawful, I know, but I had to use it as there also was none of the promised phone service. It still was not optimal as you just can't in safety go to your bank's website, for example.

I have a MacBook laptop and can see the names of the networks in the area, whether I can link to them or not. Most have regular names like the owner's name, the name of the provider with a couple of numerals afterward, etc. But a couple are extremely hostile. For example, one is named "Getyourowndamnconnection" and another is named "B*tchpayforyourinternet". If you don't wish to share, then get your own darn password!

Glad I'm not hanging around here.

Oh by the way, the cable and associated internet that I paid for are up and running just fine now!


Ruth Hull Chatlien said...

Wow, that is hostile. You're right; why don't they just password protect?

Glad you have a connection now.

Mary Beth said...

Merry Christmas!!

cp said...

Dear Episcogranny:

Don't sweat it -- if you are using your OWN computer and you see an https: up in the URL box, and recognize the site (ie it's and not "" or more ominously "", you are absolutely secure after you enter your username and password.

That said, banking from a computer you don't own (say in a library of coffee shop) is significantly more dangerous, as keystroke monitoring software installed on a computer can capture stuff BEFORE the browser encrypts it.

The only crime you are committing is sucking up a little of someone else's bandwidth, and honestly, that's much less serious a crime than, say, using LimeWire to download free movies. (Believing that classifies me as an old fart, at 48.)

As for identity, the safest thing is never give ANYONE information that they ask for. If YOU initiate the transaction, (say, visit to make a secure donation, hint hint) you can void 90 percent of mail, phone and web scams. These are the same scams that have been going on since the Romans.... it just can happen really fast now.

Enjoy your trip! And enjoy a blessed Christmas season all the way to January 6!