[EAS]Utopias and War Drives

pjk pjk at design.eng.yale.edu
Fri Oct 25 01:53:30 EDT 2002

Subject:   Utopias and War Drives

The volume of information I get from the Internet is now usually
such that items and their opposites often arrive on the same day,
sort of Internet Manichaeism.  --PJK

(from INNOVATION, 23 October 2002)

Nicholas Negroponte predicts that today's giant telecom behemoths
will soon  find themselves replaced by micro-operators, millions of
which can be woven  into a global fabric of broadband connectivity.
Negroponte, founder of the  MIT Media Lab, notes that while the
telecom companies are pushing the  introduction of the voice-centric
3G technology, the computer industry has  been driving a parallel
and seemingly unrelated initiative, 802.11, created  to drive
wireless LANs. With costs for 802.11 devices dropping 
precipitously, home wireless networking is becoming viable for more
and  more people. And 802.11 systems, widely known as Wi-Fi,
commonly provide  transmission speeds ranging from 11 to 54 megabits
-- far greater than the  1 megabit promised by 3G. But most
importantly, Wi-Fi doesn't stop at the  walls of your home. Each
system can reach a range of more than 1,000 feet,  depending on the
intervening materials. With booster antennas, the range  can be
increased to 20 kilometers. What that means is that as use of 802.11
grows, people without their own systems can tap into the network
around  them. The "viral nature of unlicensed telecommunications,"
writes  Negroponte, is poised to become "a major force of human
development,  transforming everything from education to
entertainment, hospitals to  hiring halls. And won't that make an
astonishing splash." (Wired Oct 2002)

(from Edupage, October 23, 2002)

A group of hackers and security consultants will stage a worldwide
"war drive" this Saturday in seven countries, and some vendors of
security tools are using the event as an opportunity for new sales.
War driving involves driving around looking for unprotected wireless
networks, typically in urban areas. War drivers will post maps on
the Web showing where wireless access was found. Companies including
IBM and KPMG hope that the weekend's event will raise awareness of
the potential liabilities of insecure networks and will prompt
companies to invest in products and services to identify problems
and safeguard their networks. A similar war-driving event occurred
in August.
Wall Street Journal, 23 October 2002 (sub. req'd)

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