So there is this big race up at Summit Point that I'm going to help the safety crew with, but man I hate being away from home and not getting in even a simple game over the weekend. But wait! My wife recently bought a laptop (as I've mentioned) that I used to play a short game when we were on vacation. But that was through a wired network. Could I? Should I? I just had to try. It worked! Hacko and Iggy (and I'm sure others whom I just can't remember right this moment, sorry) may remember seeing me Sunday night online, and I had some great fun. The best part was I was playing from my car. Almost nobody encrypts their wireless routers in rural WV, nobody. I drove into a neighborhood until I saw decent signal, parked on the edge of the road, set up the laptop on my knee and stickshift, put the portable, wireless mouse on a support on the passenger seat, and I was in! I had no idea that picking up a wireless signal from at least 80ft would support a game of WW. It seemed to work though. All I have to do now if that since my wifes' micro sized Fujitsu has no keypad, I have to reassign a bunch of my chats. Or finally learn the V codes! So my question for all of you is this - I admit I still feel a bit guilty. Just a little bit. I mean, if they wanted to protect their connection they would turn WEP on at least right? All but two signals I saw had even bothered to change the name of the unit from "linksys" or whatever. And on my honor I will never ever do illegal or nasty things on someone else's connection. Would you have done it? and BTW, sorry for leaving the game without saying goodbye - the batteries ran out! :) Boy was that fun!!!
i don't see a problem with it. they design and sell palmpilots that are geared with WiFI so that it'll pick up an internet signal, (same with laptops) its not illegal. if people are worried about others using their connection, there are steps that can be taken....if memory serves me, theres even something within XP that'll block WiFi capeable devices searching for a connection. a friend of mine used to do it all the time, he would pull out his pilot, and check his e-mail while on the road...he eventually switched to using his laptop after awhile.
but, this would ultimately come down to a decision between you and your conscience.
Wild West Mod
25th June 2003
well I wouldn't make a habit of it, but if ya are jonesing for a game...
and along similar subjects to the title of this thread, I just paid a bill via phone with out having to talk to a human or punch buttons, the voice recognition software is getting that good now that it will even work via phone connections. (grr remember the early days).
Also my brother's wife has a new mini cooper (same as that robot thread in saloon) and it's onboard navigation, voice recognition software, and smooth femail voice telling you where to turn was rather nifty.
funny how they make the voices for them things feminine! why do ya s'pose that is, could it be cuz, when a woman speaks, the man listens (for fear of bodily harm) or is it because, if in the car, a male voice says "turn right at the next intersection", the driver thinks yeah right, i know where i'm goin, i don't need directions! and turns left. :confused: but yeah, your right, i have XPplus, an add on for XP, it comes with voice recognition. so if i have a long e-mail or text doc to compose, i can just read it into the mic and watch it print on the screen! (just like seven (?) in TOS (waaay back in 1967-68)
Wild West Mod
25th June 2003
actually we were thinking of getting someone to write up an upgrade that would nag at ya if you put on the wrong turn signal, forgot to use turnsignal, or made a wrong turn. as it is, it keeps replotting new routes to get you back to where you told it to go. (we did a trip out and back for pizza but told it we were going to a different town. poor betty (that's what they named it), so patiently trying to guide a pair of baffoons that were taking wrong turns all the time.
hahaha.. you'll be in trouble if ya get the silent treatment!!
Slap leather, varmint!!!
7th October 2003
Technically, what you did is what is often referred to in the law enforcement community as "theft of services", or using a non-tangible service without permission. Would most people do it? Probably. However, in the mind of the law, just because a person leaves their lawn mower sitting in their front yard does not excuse someone from taking it. Had the local cops driven up and found you engrossed in playing the WildWest, and questioned you about your activities, they may have charged you with theft, depending on if the "owner" of the wireless network felt like pressing charges. What if you ran an extension cord over to your neighbor's outside outlet and powered your swimming pool pump with their electricity? Is that more "illegal" than surfing the Net on someone else's bandwidth? Should this person have enabled WEP? Absolutely!! Because they did not, does this make them "fair game"? Ehhh...Maybe not. Are they likely to even know that their LAN is not secure? Probably not. I expect that this particular activity will end up under heavier scrutiny, due to "war driving" and "net stumbling" which involve searching for unsecured wireless networks, just like you did. I think this is a largely unprosecuted activity due to the inability to determine whether or not is is taking place, and if it is detected, it is difficult to locate the culprit. Ig
IgnacioTechnically, what you did is what is often referred to in the law enforcement community as "theft of services", or using a non-tangible service without permission.
Hmmm, are you sure about that? If it is at all cosidered stealing, I would not do it again. But I haven't been thinking of it that way. As far as I knew my activity was legal, though I am wondering how neighborly it might be. Remember this is a broadcast, into a public road.
just because a person leaves their lawn mower sitting in their front yard does not excuse someone from taking it.
Absolutely that would be stealing, and trespass.
What if you ran an extension cord over to your neighbor's outside outlet and powered your swimming pool pump with their electricity?
Again, not only would I have tresspassed, but I would have caused the owner to pay more in electricity - undoubtedly stealing. Unless I am mistaken (and please tell me if I am) the only services that are always on (DSL, cable) are also never priced per byte or minute. Therefore, if I am right, my connection would not incur any increase in fees or costs. As far as I know the only effects from my actions would be to slow down the owners internet activity if the connection was being used at the same time. That's the part that I'm thinking would not be neighborly, but certainly not illegal. In Canada this activity is now illegal...at least according to Mr.Dvorak: "The Looming Threat to Wi-Fi" http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,1759,1565274,00.asp His solution in that article, and I thought it was a good one (and one which influenced my actions over the weekend) was to get a law passed that makes it the responsibility of the owner of the transmitter to protect the transmission. Therefore, if you are my neighbor, and you transmit a WiFi signal into my house, your signal is trespassing on my property and I can do with it what I want. Interesting. My wife just came up with a fantastic example: If I stand on my roof and sing, I can't charge my neighbors for tickets!
13th June 2003
This is a very interesting debate. Personally, I think everyone who isn't charged by bytes used should leave their WiFi open while protecting their individual machines with the correct user rights but that is beyond most folk. I also thing Ignacio is correct that it would be considered theft of services for several reasons. First, many broadband companies do charge you for your usage. Usually it is after you've used XYZ mbytes, you get charged for each megabyte there after unless you upgrade to a more expensive service. And you have no way of knowing if that person will reach their limit that month. Second, Lets suppose they are in a online video conference with their grandkids in New Guinee watching the youngest take the first steps, then all of the sudden they have horrible lag and delay as all the bandwidth is taken up by someone downloading a huge file via WiFi. Third, you cannot tell if people have left their WiFi open in order to share it or because they lack the know-how to lock it down. And it is a service they've been forced to pay for even if they don't pay by byte. Fourth, just because you can aim a directional mic at some ones bedroom and hear everything that goes one, does not mean that it is legal. But then again, if they wanted to have privacy, they could have sound proofed their walls and roof. Fifth, broad band companies base their pricing scheme upon their clientele's usage, not the usage of the general public. And the end, the more the service is used, the more it will cost the consumer when the rates increase. So, where do I stand? I think enough people deliberately share their WiFi that I would not have a problem using it to check my mail or any other important usage like lookup up a map to figure out where I am. I also think WiFi should be available for free in stores, restaurants, hotels, and businesses (similar to the idea that all should have an answering machine or service) and I would have no problem using it in those environments. I doubt I would use for gaming as it could take up enough bandwidth to possibly interfere with other internet usage. IMHO  Be careful with spell checkers, the spell checker changed all the 'Wifi' to 'wife'. I'm glad I noticed! It changes the whole meaning of this post![/edit]
Capt. Queeg[/color][color=black]This is a very interesting debate. (snip) I also thing Ignacio is correct that it would be considered theft of services[/color][color=black]
[/color][color=black]Hmmm…see my comment at the end…[/color] [color=black][/color][color=black]
[/color][color=black]First, many broadband companies do charge you for your usage. (snip) no knowing if that person will reach their limit that month[/color][color=black]
[/color] [color=black]Wow. Either I did not know that, or completely forgot it after I signed up for my ADSL. Dang. Very good point.:( [/color][color=black] [/color][color=black]
[/color][color=black]Second, Lets suppose they are in a online video conference with their grandkids in New Guinee [/color][color=black]
[color=black]I basically thought of this, but I wrongly justified my actions by thinking in terms of being in rural country. I should not have.:( [/color][color=black] [/color][color=black]
[/color][color=black]Third, you cannot tell if people have left their WiFi open in order to share it or because they lack the know-how [/color][color=black]
[/color] [color=black]Here I’m going to have to disagree with you. Assume for a moment that your first point does not apply to the following example:[/color]
[color=black]What if I paid to have a well dug on the edge of my property? Let’s say it’s an artesian well, for my begonias. Every day it sprays water into the air, doing a great job of watering my plants, but it also sprays into the public land next to mine. If someone came by to get a drink, staying off my property, there is no way I could charge them with theft. Sure I could say to the judge that it is my water, and I don’t know anything about wells I just had someone else install it for me so of course I don’t know about caps and valves and such, I just want the water for my begonias. I’m quite sure the judge would tell me to get out of his courtroom and either post signs, move the well away from the edge of my property, or build a barrier. He might even say that if I cared so much about every drop of my water I should have learned how to control it before I sprayed it all over the place. You know, I like my analogy so much I think it still applies if the water was pumped from the city and it was being paid for by the gallon. I still think the judge would think there was no basis since I had my well built so close to the edge of my property.[/color] [color=black][/color][color=black]This is the crux of the matter I think – can you steal a broadcast? More below…[/color][color=black] [/color][color=black]
[/color][color=black]Forth, just because you can aim a directional mic at some ones bedroom[/color][color=black]
[/color] [color=black]Again, I don’t think this holds. Using technology to direct my perception (hearing or sight) into your private home, even if you leave the windows open, is still an invasion of privacy. Now, if you do private things in a not so private place, like in your front yard, you can be charged, not those who gather on the street to gawk. The signal is being broadcast into the street, and I was not snooping into their computer or home in any way.[/color][color=black]
[/color][color=black]Fifth, companies base their pricing scheme upon their clientele's usage[/color][color=black]
[/color]Not sure I follow you. Do you mean that the next time rates change, instead of the same price for everyone on Verizon ADSL my bill will be higher than my neighbor’s if I use it more? Wow, I’ve never heard of that. I sure hope you aren’t right!
So, where do I stand? I think enough people deliberately share their WiFi that I would not have a problem using it to check my mail
I have to ask a question then – if it is theft of services to game, wouldn’t it still be theft to “only” check your email?
I basically feel that you cannot steal a broadcast – obviously you can eavesdrop, whether it be data or voice, and that would be an invasion of privacy. I was not doing that. This post is way long enough – more later…