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."
Where are our petabyte drives? Brian Hayes takes us through the reasons storage is “stuck” in the low terabytes. The tl;dr is that we got such exceptional capacity growth in the late 90s and early 00s we don’t need much more right now, so the focus since then has been on SSDs, networking, interfaces, etc, […]
Amélie Lamont, a former staffer at website-hosting startup Squarespace, writes that she often found herself disregarded and disrespected by her colleagues. One comment in particular, though, set her reeling — and came to exemplify her experiences there.
In this episode of the Flash Forward podcast we travel to a future where humans have decided to eradicate the most dangerous animal on the planet: mosquitos. How would we do it? Is it even possible? And what are the consequences? Flash Forward: RSS | iTunes | Twitter | Facebook | Web | Patreon We […]
Some truths are universal. For one, your phone will always run out of power when you most need it. For another, the charging cords that come packaged with your Apple device will fray, split, and rip faster than Usain Bolt in a game of tag.Instead, pick up a charging cord that anyone would have a tough […]
Some people say magic tricks are nerdy and best left to your 12-year-old asthmatic cousin. But others see value in perfecting the slight of hand and showmanship associated with a perfectly executed routine. We’re firmly in the latter camp. And now, we’re giving you the ability to put a few parlor tricks up your sleeve with the Penguin […]
Bluetooth speakers may be convenient to use, but many of them just aren’t that powerful. Sure, it may be fine if you’re seated in front of the speaker. But move across the room, and you may strain to hear what’s coming from those tiny drivers.There’s a reason why the G-BOOM Wireless Bluetooth Boombox (now $79.99 in the Boing […]