Networking

Wireless theft -- what's the harm?

Hand up if you have logged in to use some poor schmuck's unprotected wireless connection to overcome a bandwidth drought?
Hand up if you have logged in to use some poor schmuck's unprotected wireless connection to overcome a bandwidth drought?

While it may feel like no one is hurt by "borrowing" some bandwidth, a survey this week found out just who was being hurt. It's not the people having their bandwidth sucked next door by the local geek -- oh no, it's the ISPs. Excuse me, I have a sudden need to go fetch my violin.

Plenty of new stuff found its way out the door this week. .NET 3.5 and Visual Studio 2008 found their way out into the wild -- although the official announcement and release of .NET and Orcas will not happen until next year, MSDN subscribers can download them now.

The next version of Firefox appeared in a first beta this week. Despite the touting of new features and a better user experience -- Firefox 3 dove straight into my memory and remained there, happily leaking memory until the kill process arrived to return things to normal. This makes Firefox 2 seem rather conservative on memory usage by comparison. Naturally this is a beta and these things can and will happen, until this is fixed though, I recommend PPC Mac users stay well clear of it.

A variation of the GNU Public Licence for Web services appeared in this week in the form of the Affero General Public Licence. The main difference between Affero and the GPLv3, is that if the software is distributed as a service, then the source code must be made available -- something that the GPL has never specified and has been seen as a loophole. It will be interesting to track how Affero catches on.

And finally this week, we bid adieu to Nick Gibson, who is trading the hat of journalism for the seat of programming. It's been a pleasure having Nick contribute his knowledge, wit and love of Liverpool to Builder AU, but he really should lay off that Liverpool thing (especially after this week's game).

All the best Nick.

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