Have you seen this wireless network? I see it *everywhere*, and it’s so suspicious because it’s always ad-hoc (meaning broadcasting from a computer rather than a regular access point). I imagined for a long time it was part of a virus; it waits for someone to connect, redirects to a page that exploits some hole in Internet Explorer, scrapes your hard disk and sends your social security number to Russia, sets itself up as “Free Public WiFi”, repeat.
After seeing it for the thousandth time at the train station Philadelphia yesterday I decided to look it up. Turns out it’s not a virus (at least not in the usual sense) but rather an interesting fuckup on Microsoft’s part, with viral consequences.
Basically, if Windows can’t connect to a preferred network that happens to be ad-hoc it creates the network itself with the same name. At some point, somebody was connected to a real ad-hoc network called “Free Public WiFi”. They went to another location where it didn’t exist, their laptop helpfully recreated the network, more people connected to it (and probably disconnected when it didn’t work), those people carried it with them somewhere else, and the cycle has been repeating ever since.
“An infinite number of mathematicians walk into a bar. The first one orders a beer. The second orders half a beer. The third, a quarter of a beer. The bartender says “You’re all idiots”, and pours two beers.”—this guy
PBS has an online poll posted asking if Sarah Palin is qualified. Apparently Republicans knew about this in advance and are flooding the voting with YES votes. It will be reported on PBS, picked up by mainstream media and can influence undecided voters in swing states.
What’s more surprising is the scam is so apparent that even a United States Senator is getting involved. Senator Herb Kohl of Wisconsin, chairman of the Senate’s antiturts committee, has sent a letter to the four big cell carriers, asking to explain the rising costs.
Hopefully this will bring about some real change. I hate that I have an unlimited data plan but I still have to watch how many text messages I send and receive a month.
Pretty ridiculous, no? And a text message is just 140 bytes, if that.
fabuloussalmon:I have a mental disease which causes my first statement in a conversation to be true, and all statements made after that to be lies. So after this message, all others I send you are lies, no matter how much I protest.
me:can you repeat your first statement?
fabuloussalmon:well, you will have to admit as well as I that that is damn clever for a Salmon bot
me:whatever, bots are dumb. you already failed the turing test.
CSR, on speakerphone:And where would you like this order shipped?
Secretary:123 Main St.*, Los Alamos, New Mexico.
CSR :We don't ship out of the country.
Secretary:That's fine, but this address is in the country.
CSR :No, you said to ship it to New Mexico.
Secretary:Yes, New Mexico is a state in the US.
CSR :Sorry, but we can't ship out of the US.
Secretary:Do you have a supervisor I can talk to, please?
CSR supervisor:This is Tim. Can I help you?
Secretary:I hope so, Tim. Your employee doesn't seem to understand that New Mexico is a state in the United States, and so refuses to ship me your product.
Supervisor:Well, that's true. We can't ship out of the country. I'm sorry ma'am.
Secretary, raising her voice a little:Have you never even heard of the state of New Mexico? It's one of the big, square ones? It's right between Texas and Arizona? It's one of the 50 United States?
Supervisor:I'm sorry, it's just our policy not to ship out of the US.
Secretary:Tim, let me get this straight. Your company is going to lose a $14,000 order because the people in your customer service department are too moronic to know or comprehend that the state of New Mexico is a part of the United States?
Supervisor:Yes, ma'am. That's our policy.
Secretary, completely exasperated:Well, I guess there's nothing more to be said, is there?