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connecting to unsecured wireless: is it hijacking?

By Ned Rhinelander (CNET) ·
I came in today to my job at CNet Network's Cambridge office, and had to wait in the lobby for a fire alarm to clear.

I pulled out my laptop and decided to see if there were any available networks...turns out there were 10, 3 or 4 of which were not secured. So, I proceded to IM with my colleage Steven upstairs. Before long Steven asked me "so you don't have any qualms about hijacking a wireless connection?"

When I setup a wireless access point, I consciously assume that if I set it to broadcast the SSID and disable security it's tantamount to offering a public service.

However, Steven's question threw me for a loop, because I think he has a point as one gave me permission to connect to the access point. Just because my computer connects automatically doesn't necessarily make it right.

Any thoughts out there on the legalities or general ettiquitte of this?

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by Montgomery Gator In reply to haha

My 2.6 litre Saturn is only slightly more powerful than your Elantra. Try replacing your gerbils with Squirrels, like I did :-)

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What we need

by TheChas In reply to Slower Traffic Keep Right

What we need to both stop road rage and eliminate the reason for left lane vigilantes is ZERO tolerance enforcement of the traffic laws.

When I first started driving, the sheriff in a neighboring county was known for strict enforcement of the speed limit.
Nobody from the area drove even 1 MPH over the speed limit in his county.

An interesting side effect of the high visibility of the road patrol officers was that this county also had one of the lowest crime rates in the area.

I would love to see every US city, county and state institute a zero tolerance traffic law enforcement protocol.

Otherwise, if you are not going to enforce your laws, repeal them.


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Zero tolerance

by maxwell edison In reply to What we need

With all due respect, Chas, you seem to have zero tolerance for people who don't live up to your notion of how people should live. You have voiced so much opinion about how you think government should be exerting control over individuals in so many areas of their lives, that I have to wonder about your real desires for America.

You have zero tolerance for people who drive even one mile over the speed limit, but show a boat-load of tolerance for terrorists.

How about supporting a world-wide ZERO TOLERANCE policy towards terrorism?

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Law breakers

by TheChas In reply to Zero tolerance


I look at a speeding motorist much as you do a government social program.

The speeding motorist is taking money out of my pocket!

First, because a speeding car uses more fuel per mile, speeding wastes precious resources and raises the price of fuel. And worsens the trade balance.

Second, when a speeding driver has a collision, the resulting damage is worse than it would have been at a slower speed. This raises my car insurance rates. True, it raises their rates more than mine. But, part of the rate is based on regional loses. Fewer, lower speed collisions in an area result in lower rates for everyone.
Also, in many states you pay into a catastrophic fund that pays the ongoing costs for disabled victims.
Then there is the cost for emergency services.

Third, a speeding motorist increases wear on the public road system. Not from going fast in itself but from panic stops and radical lane changes.

I have seen zero tolerance programs improve traffic safety.

Zero tolerance against terrorists has worked well for Israel hasn't it!
But, that should be a discussion for another thread.


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by mrafrohead In reply to Law breakers

Usually the speeding accidents come from the speeder having to do something out of the norm to get around the person who is holding up the traffic...

At least from all of the accidents that I have witnessed... There's usually a catalyst to the accidents.

And if I'm not mistaken, I read somewhere that the optimal speed to drive to maintain the best fuel efficiency is 65MPH...

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Out of touch?

by jtakiwi In reply to Law breakers

This statement is absurd "Third, a speeding motorist increases wear on the public road system. Not from going fast in itself but from panic stops and radical lane changes." Uhh, no. Stopping fast or changing lanes does not cause wear and tear on wellpaved roads. What causes it is freeze/thaw cycles (if applicable) and overloaded trucks. Sure, speed kills, but look at Germany. They drive faster, use less fuel (mostly due to higher milage requirements and cripling taxes on engines over a certain displacement), have lower accident rates (although when there is one on the autobahn, it is a doozey). They have what is known as "personal responsibility". That term will be foriegn those who embrace the ideals that Gov't should run most, if not all aspects of their lives. It worked so well for Russia. I'll take a little wasted fuel, and a broken traffic law in order to live in a free society. It is much better than the alternative.

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Breaking and road wear

by Cactus Pete In reply to Law breakers

Breaking does, in fact, affect the road.

Ever notice the bumpiness of a street just where the traffic light is? This is usually caused by trucks breaking for lights - their weight pushes the asphalt into ripples.

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another problem with your "theory"

by buschman_007 In reply to Law breakers

Fuel efficency is not based solely on speed. At reasonable speeds gearing and an engines power curve play a much bigger role in fuel efficiency than speed. At higher speeds(like over 100mph) wind resistance plays a much bigger role in mpg do to the eingine wasting a lot of power to just push through the wind. But at speeds under 70 mph it's all about the engine/gearing configuration.

Acceleration wastes far more gas than maintaining speed. So in essence, you driving at or below the speed limit, forcing drives to slow down and then quickly accelerate around you... is wasting more gas than if you politely moved over and let them by.


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Fault in your argument

by Cactus Pete In reply to Law breakers

The legal-limit-driver isn't forcing you to drive fast, break, or speed up again. The point is that if you're driving within the legally defined limits, you won't be doing all of that.

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by TheChas In reply to Law breakers

First, those who wish to respond or vent, please move to this thread:

I am not as discourteous as some of the comments have implied.

I only get into the left lane when I have a legitimate reason to.

Yes, in heavy traffic, I may feel the need to prepare to exit several miles back. Even then, I only change lanes when there is a gap in traffic. Typically, I am in the left lane for less than 3 minutes.

Yes, I may spend a little more time in the left lane than some of you like.
However, if the speeders would show a little more courtesy, the legal drivers would not need to change lanes so tepidly.

1. Give us space. Allow us to do as we learned in drivers training and wait until we see the vehicle we are passing in our mirror so we can safely move back to the right.
Also, PLEASE wait until we are all the way into the right lane before you close the gap between us.

2. When we have our left signal on near an exit, let us change lanes and exit safely. It is only after we are forced to miss our exit a few times that we start getting into the left lane early.

I am saddened by the number of people who take light of THEIR traffic laws.

After some thought, I think I understand why.
Speeding and other traffic violations are the only laws you can break with little or no repercussions.
It is the only opportunity you have to strike out against the system.

Why not channel your energies into something that creates a positive change?

Now for the Karma:

May all of you speed demons spend your next trip behind an Amish funeral procession.


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