Friday, August 05, 2005


Just down the street from the office are all kinds of free WiFi access points. I found this one just four minutes from work. Drinkmor is a coffee shop with a few gourmet sandwiches. "Gourmet sandwiches" I guess because the meat is on a croissant and the sandwich is served on a glass plate. The coffee is good, and there's even free refills.

I do worry about free WiFi places. Here is where bits are sent through the air. Anyone with a wireless computer can also monitor what you're sending, including the password to your email if it's not encrypted. There are a couple of guys here in baggy jeans and baseball hats also browsing the Internet. I just never know how technical any of these guys are. Usually they are better then most if they are hanging out in a free Internet access coffee shop. By the way, Drinkmor also supplies computers as well, so that if you don't bring yours you can use the ones here. The place is clean and the music volume is . . . mercifully low.

Since my computer usually tries to connect to my mail service as soon as I open it, that's a problem. I'll need to figure out how to login securely so that my password is not passed in the clear. Or at least not use the client and just browse to the secure yahoo page.

I don't carry around any music on my computer anymore. If you share your iTunes music, anyone in the place can also play music from your machine. Most folks don't care, I really wouldn't either. Fact is, none of these kids would even like the music on my machine. I worry that most of the places with the free Internet access don't have the best security controls in place. This may be one of them.

Fact is, I ain't doing much on the Internet that would be of interest to snoops, or snorters. Snorting tools (think of a pig rutting through a garden) is software used to sniff for electronic messages traveling through the wires, on in this case, through the air!

Really though, who cares about my email account? Even if someone got the password and sent an email, they could embarrass me at worst. Changing the password fixes that.

So if you get any messages that don't sound like me, you know what happened.

I feel like a pig, sometimes looking for truffles, maybe just kind of snorting around in the mud. -John Glover