Sunday, May 13, 2007

Call Security

A while back I had a networking guy out to the house, to try to see if we could get our wireless internet in the downstairs office to synch up with the computer upstairs without falling apart for days at a time once a week or so. He plugged away at the modem for about a half an hour, then proudly told me that he had been able to give me greatly increased security, installing a password on my wireless hookup that would prevent anyone from pirating my signal as they walked past the house, which was supposed to benefit me somehow or another, although I was never quite clear how.

Well, I asked him, does the upstairs computer work any better? Nah, he said. There wasn't really anything he could do about that.

I understand that computer guys do security because they can do security, and if they could get wireless signals to transmit and be received in the manner they were intended, they'd do that too, but they can't, so hey, let's install a new password here. What boggled my mind was that this guy expected me to be happy that he was keeping other people from stealing my wireless feed, as though I had been wasting a lot of time fending off derelicts who had been wandering from house to house, pausing only to make posts to Slashdot when the signal became strong enough.

Now, any of you who have been to my house (and really, you're all welcome to stop by) know that I live in an almost archetypal suburban setting, with almost no interruption by modern urban distractions, although we've got plenty of our own. Bums with laptops is quite literally the least of my problems.

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