Currently viewing entries from August, 2007

Is Wireless Piggybacking from a Neighbor Illegal?

First, a quick definition of Piggybacking. I like to define it as the act of using a notebook computer or other electronic device to connect to an open an unencrypted wireless access point, often with the Intention of connecting to the Internet.

Internet Service can be expensive. It tends to range from the $25 to $75, depending on your Internet Service Provider, your service plan, and area.

But why pay when you can get it for free from a neighbor? We all know by now that there is at least one neighbor around us that doesn’t secure their wireless network. But is using their network instead of buying your own legal?

Technically speaking, you are stealing from your neighbor by doing this. You are using their router’s resources (the one that has to send and receive packets to maintain communication with your computer), and you are stealing bandwidth.

(Bandwidth is tricky, because while there is typically no limit to how much data a person or store can download, there is a limit to the speed. By downloading your email, you are making every other user’s bandwidth slightly slower.)

But you are not just hurting your neighbor with this sort of activity. You are hurting local Internet Service Providers. They depend on having customers, and by doubling-up with your neighbor, you are stealing from them. (And what happens when a company loses money? It rises prices, of course!)

Is it ethical? Not really. It negatively impacts both your neighbor and local ISPs.

Is it legal? Just like stealing cable, wireless piggybacking from a neighbor is illegal.

Thoughts While Shopping at Home Depot

One:
You would expect the restrooms at Home Depot and similar stores to be really extravagant. It would be a really great area of the store for demonstrations on bathroom product. How many customers per week come into the store looking for products or ideas related to building or remodeling their bathroom?

Two:
Corner cabinets are really a niche product.

Presidential Speeches on YouTube

With all of the new YouTube and MySpace campaigning for the 2008 Presidential Election, I would have expected that existing important presidential speeches would be listed on YouTube.

And by important, I mean all of them. YouTube certainly has the resources to have all video of the President that exists. However, I could not find one full-length video of him speaking. Not one!

Sure, there are hundreds of videos splicing together the “hilarious” mis-speakings that Bush so frequently incurs. And multiple copies of comedians impersonating Bush. But not one actual video of either of his Inauguration Speeches, or any other speech.

But surely these speeches are public domain? More public domain than the thousands of music videos that are being illegal uploaded and viewed on YouTube.

Yes, they are. And they are available from the White House. Link? www.whitehouse.gov.

It should have been more obvious: the White House web site has loads of information about the President, Administrative Press Releases, various issues, and biographies on major elected leaders.

There are RSS feeds and Podcast feeds to the daily press briefings and other comings-and-goings of the Bush Administration. I subscribed to them all, and am watching yesterday’s press release now. Unfortunantly it is in Windows video fromat, which is buggy in Linux, but at least it is there and viewable. There are also audio-only MP3 files for those who
don’t want the video (and yes, it can go on your iPod).

Astma

My family has just returned from our pediatrician’s office. Today we went to have my daughter’s cough checked on, for the third time. The first visit she was dismissed with a cold. Second time, given antibiotics for an ear infection. Today, a real diagnoses: Asthma.

I was diagnosed with several allergies and asthma only weeks before my second birthday. Kayleigh is almost the exact same age, she will be two in September.

When I was young, an upset about various pieces of my life, I used asthma as an excuse. It kept me from having to work in gym class, but I also let myself believe that it hindered me from other things. I blamed my poor social skills on asthma, and actually preferred to think of myself as a nerd and an outcast. I let it be a part of how I defined myself.

One of my largest fears in being a father has been that my daughter will have asthma and allergies similar to what I have had. While the severity is obviously unknown at this point, I realize this is a fear that has began to, and will likely continue to, manifest. I am scared, but, I know that I cannot let my fear for my daughter impact the way I help her.

I know what went wrong with my asthma. I used it, and let it define me. The healthier thing to do, both mentally and physically, is to exercise and take care to suppress the asthmatic symptoms. An asthmatic person will typically have flare-ups through-out their life. However, when the state of a person’s respiratory system is healthy, the flare-ups will be much less severe and much more rare.

So I know what I have to do: Teach my daughter how to keep her body health, particularly her respiratory system and lungs. Health is not my strong-suit, so to do this effectively I will have to learn, myself, how to stay healthy.

Fortunately I have a have a few years before Kayleigh is of age to need an exercise regiment. Children, generally, get plenty of exercise voluntarily, running in circles, dancing, and riding bicycles.

My long term goal is to teach my daughter how to keep herself healthy. To do this, I must learn how to make myself healthy. This will be one of the greatest challenges in my life, and it is one that I must accept and put forth a full effort to accomplish.

Because I love my daughter.