A copper outside of the Athenaeum in Nantucket shoook down the Reverend AKMA -- the bloggin' theologian -- who was using the library's WiFi from out front of the building. The incident that unfolded is flabberghasting, with the cop inventing whole new laws and then insisting that AKMA was violating them:
"Sir, you can't use the Internet outside the library."
I said, "What?" (I'm pretty clever under pressure.)
The officer in question (whose conduct was entirely professional, firm, and calm behind those mirrored shades) solemnly assured me that in order to use the library's open wireless signal, I had to be seated within the library. The officer then wandered on back to the nearby police station.
I dutifully, if reluctantly, turned off the power to my Airport card and, since I had only been on the bench a few minutes, began working -- offline -- on what turns out to be this post. I had noticed two other weak but open signals in the area, and I figured that I could post this perplexing moment via one of the other open signals, then scuttle back to the studio. As I was writing, the officer returned and -- as the officer walked straight for me -- I held up my TiBook, pointing to the zero lines in the Airport icon, and showed the officer that my card was off.
"Why don't you just close that up, sir, or use your computer elsewhere?'
I closed the computer in order not to constitute a threat to established order, but engaged this peace officer in a discussion of the complexities of the topic. "I did notice several other open signals in the area -- am I allowed to connect to them?"
"Maybe if you had permission it would be all right, but it's a new law, sir; 'theft of signal.' It would be like if you stole someone's cable TV connection."
This gadget does exactly as promised: it looks like a thumbdrive (sort of) and fries the circuitry of any computer it’s plugged into. It’s made from camera flash parts, is charged with a standard AA battery, and delivers a 300V zap of DC destruction to the port for all your USB-murdering needs. Note that this […]
The Cobham catalog, exposed by The Intercept, features countless pages of surveillance gadgets sold to U.S. police to spy on American citizens: tiny black boxes with a big interest in you. In the creepily bland feature lists and nerdy product names is a whisper of a dark future; perhaps darker than anyone can imagine.
This image depicts the most commonly-found stylesheet colors on the web’s top sites—Paul Hebert did an amazing amount of analysis and this is just one of the intriguing visualizations he came up with. Most of these are obvious staples, especially HTML red and blue, though it’s interesting how far the blue “cluster” is from the […]
Loot Crate is a totally different kind of subscription service that mails subscribers monthly boxes filled with curated geek, pop culture, and gamer paraphernalia. Its cult following awaits a box every month filled with everything from bobble heads to T-shirts to special edition collectibles. But nothing gets Loot Crate fans as excited as the limited […]
The ARMOR-X Mini Flexible Phone Tripod is a smartphone tripod that is designed with flexible legs to rest on virtually any type of surface. Other tripods have proved useless unless I conveniently have a flat surface in front of me, which is why this particular tripod was appealing enough to try out. The ARMOR-X is compact and easy […]
You don’t need to get an advanced degree and take out massive loans to become a coder. This bundle of 10 courses was designed to teach anyone to code at home for less than it costs to go out for dinner. I was particularly impressed with this new 2017 bundle because it includes courses on […]