Tuesday, April 4

I Got The Hook Up.

(The following post is about Wi-Fi piggybacking, and NOT the 1998 Master P film 'I Got The Hook Up.' For those looking for information concerning the film, I recommend looking here. Thank you.)

'Stealing Wireless Internet & You.'
By: The CDP.

Cable boy? Cable boy?
(What have you done to my little cable boy?)

Several weeks ago, me and my mom went halfsies on a sweet new laptop. For me, this represented a new avenue with which I could explore my writing and YouTube viewing; expanding the limits by which I would normally brainstorm to infinite proportions. For my mom, this was a chance for her to show support for my hobbies, and for me, it was finally realizing my fantasy of typing whilst on the can. Everybody wins, especially the Missus, who uses it more than me and doesn't have to pay a dime.

Once I got the idea in my head that I wanted-- nay, needed a notebook, there was nothing that could stop me from throwing more cash than I really could afford into the wind. The prospect of being connected to the web everywhere, along with virtually unlimited games of hands-free solitare was too much for me to turn down. Furthermore, it would allow me to work on other projects outside of the CDP. You know, stuff I can get paid for and stuff.

Which reminds me, if I sold merch, would you buy it? Come on, Paste, couldn't you see yourself straight rocking a black CDP ringer shirt, reading Volume 1 of the CDP archives and slapping CDP stickers onto the back of your van? Anyone? Aaron? Ben?

Fine, I didn't want to waste my time on it anyway. Besides, I've got lots of other things lined up. Yep.

This page tends to take me away from longer projects, like action-adventure screenplays and car commercials, because of its instant gratification and submission to the rest of the world. When you can write 1000 words on Chuck Norris and talk to people about it for the rest of the day, it's a lot more fun than doing 10 pages a day on an awful script that nobody will critique and discard for months. Buying this laptop was a chance for me to do what I did before the CDP existed, and slip back into my reclusive tendencies and Salinger-esque quirks until I emerged with something I was proud of.

For as private and lonely as I want to be, I sure spend a lot of time telling people about it.

With all the glitz and glamour of being an Internet Phenomenon, I had forgotten how nice it was to write for myself. You know how it is, drinking eight screwdrivers in a row while dreaming up characters and plotlines, only to end up playing 50 games of Minesweeper and passing out on the Rumpus Room couch. I miss that, and the notebook was a way I could reclaim the flavor without sacrifing the full-bodied charm I've come to expect in a beer.

Picking out the notebook was by far the most annoying aspect. We first went to American and talked to a 14-year-old, on commission, wearing wingtips, who was honest-to-God named 'Rad.' He basically told us that what we were looking at was trash, and unless we spent well over $1,400 on the model that was made from Unicorn ivory and Goblin fur, I'd most certainly slash my wrists with a broken Coke bottle after using it for a week.

What a ween.

I also thought it was humorous that whenever I wandered any more than 3 feet from the Missus, she would be swarmed by male salesmen who natually assumed that she had no idea what she was looking for. These misogynistic turds lined up all the way back to the appliance section to willingly blow smoke up her ass about computers she knew far more about than them. I thought the chauvinistic stereotype died with car salesman 30 years ago, but they honestly thought that she would gladly write a hefty check to any tall guy that smelled nice and explained to her what a processor did. Good luck, kids.

Best Buy was better, because the computer I wanted was on sale and about ten times better than my current PC. I picked up a flash drive and optical mouse for the road, and before you know it, I was inhaling the new laptop smell permeating from the top of the spotted Gateway box.

This post was supposed to be about stealing wireless internet. Let's talk about that.

For those who don't know, newer laptops are capable of linking up to wireless networks. Depending on how far away from a wireless router you are, you can get free internet. This is the selling point for a lot of hotels and Internet cafes nowadays; the prospect of free wireless internet on their dime. Bearded jackasses that reek of coffee and pot can now spend all day in these places, going about their 419 scams and shameful online dating in the comforts of a public place, giving them the illusion that they are actually making an effort to communicate with the outside world (read: MySpace).

Here's the cool part. Even cooler than that last sentence.

If you live anywhere near a place with a wireless router, you can essentially piggyback off of their connection and get free internet from your home. Living in an apartment, we have no less than three people in the vicinity that have open networks for us to link off of. It's like stealing cable, without the wires and Lifetime Movie Channel.

Woah. Free internet. Insanely fast, too.

Some people are against this. They say that you shouldn't jump on other peoples' connections. I say that if they wanted me off of their network, they should password-protect the damn thing. I'm not going anywhere until they drag me away kicking and screaming. It's not theft if it's just floating around for the taking. I believe in ethics, and you can't steal something that's free or not able to be seen.

Upstairs, we pay something like $30 a month for internet through our corrupt and evil cable company. Downstairs, we get it for free, and it's ten times as fast. What would you do?

Look, it's not like we're cancelling the paid internet we've been getting for years. It's just that sometimes I'm too lazy to walk all the way upstairs to check basketball scores and Google my various charitible organizations. We make sure not to pass sensitive information along the wireless connection, and it's super convienient to have it in the living room. All I need now are bionic eyes that focus quicker between the computer screen and the TV.

I'm not trying to justify this or anything, I just wanted to tell you how cool it was. I just fantisize that I'm piggybacking off of our loud neighbors, and they more than deserve to have their bandwidth jacked for all they've put us through.

I gots' the hook up, yo. What do you have to say about it? Sound off in the comments section and condemn me to hell for eternity. Fact or Crap? answers will arrive tomorrow, take a guess if you haven't already.

'CDP's gunna be a cable boy, cable boy, cable boy...'

So you're paying $30 a month but stealing it? You know, for $30 or so, you could pick up a wireless router and steal wireless internet from yourself for free, and you could make it all secure and whatnot. Or you could turn it on and off randomly to mess with neighbors who would try to steal it.

I would buy a CDP t-shirt, but only if it were all black and had no logos of any kind.
Stealing wireless internet is the perfect crime.

Like punching someone in the dark.
I should get a router. Done and done. No more suckling on Charter Communication's evil and corrupt teat.

I'll be working on the all-black CDP t-shirts this week. It will consist of me going to the Gap and picking out some various sizes.

$25 each.
The router would enable you to keep suckling on the teat, you wouldn't need a router or Charter if you were stealing teat suckles from your neighbor. Or does the free wireless not reach upstairs?

You should just post a .jpg of plain black, then I can print it out on an iron-on sheet and iron it to a plain black shirt.
I was considering cancelling the $30 internet and just paying nothing (stealing outright), due to my newfound neighbor suckling, but I don't trust the connection enough to put all my eggs in one basket. I feel bad, too.

Paste, your last sentence sounded like a Steven Wright joke.

(Triumphantly) I'll DO it!
Ever since I got my Powerbook, I scoff at people who can't go around and access wireless wherever they go. It's fantastic, especially since airports and other places are setting up networks.

And I'd go with Paste's idea of getting your own, and then password protecting it. That way when friends come over, you can give them the password, but like Paste, you will make it so long that guests will eventually tire of typing that many characters and give up.
I like making people work for it. If you can't remember a 26-character string of code, then you don't deserve to surf with the internets.
Yeah, YEAH! I should be in control here! No more running around the apartment looking for a good pirated connection! I'm going to be self-sufficient, and just steal for the fun of it, knowing full well that I don't even have to!

My wireless password will be the first 26 decimal places of PI, converted into text by an alphabetical code sequence based on a song my mom used to sing when I went to bed and the starting linup of the 1964 Green Bay Packers.
As a programmer, I'd like to see the algorithm you come up with to do that conversion.
Oh, you want to see my work, 'eh? Well....fine! I've uh... I've got it right here!

(shuffles papers)

3.14x(Your Mom)-Ray Nitchke/108=Old Spice.

Happy? You made me look like an idiot.
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Who are you kidding? Everyone will know your password.


sorry about the deletion above. I fergut ow tu spel
Wow, internet must be expensive over where you are. Here in RI i've got my internet (through the phone co., Verizon) for $15 a month. This includes my DSL line AND Wireless (i think the cable co. has a deal for slightly more).

Of course, having two legit ways to connect to the internet doesn't keep me from also "stealing" wireless from other people in my area. Considering how much these networks seem to have issues, it takes a village to make sure that at any given time, i can log on and check the weather...rather than opening a window or stepping outside.

I agree with you completely, If you don't care enough to password protect your wireless nework, it's open for business.

Also, about last weeks Lost, I've heard several people surmise that some of what we didn't hear over the intercom before the lockdown involved instructions to go to the computer room. While still a little perplexing, it makes a bit more sense if the hatch people are supposed to be locked-down in the Computer area of the hatch.

Oh, and my vote is that #3 is false. Mainly because of the whole age vs. internet development of the time. I can't remember how old you are, but i would guess this would have been around '94. It's certainly possible, but I vote no.
Getting internet through Charter Communications is a total and complete racket. I just got my cable/internet bill today; check this crap out:

Digital Channel Package - $55
Internet Connection - $36
Modem Rental - $5
DVR - $15
Taxes - $11
TOTAL - $122

Yes, I know I'm getting raped. Yes, I know I'm an idiot.

Charter's the only game in town, though, and we can't get a dish. Also, I can't live without the DVR.

We're returning the modem, which will save us $5 a month, and we can look for a simple internet provider to save us another $10-$15, but it's still over $100. It sucks, but apart from not watching TV, there's nothing I can do about it.

I need to make sure I'm covering all my options. I'm going to confer with the Missus about this tomorrow; she'll tell me what to do.

Godot, good theory about the lockdown. There's a lot that we didn't hear over the intercom; perhaps it all was explained.

On a similar note, I was at work last week doing some filing in the 'hatch,' which is a secure, lockdown-style room sort of like the Hatch Armory. I've gotten into the habit of putting little Dharma logos on things in there to make me feel like I'm working for a less corrupt organization than my own.

Anyways, I was in there, thinking about 'Lockdown,' when the announcement for the fire alarm came over the intercom. We have a speaker for the intercom in the 'hatch,' which is incredibly loud and static-y and caught me completely by surprise.


I honestly thought I was about to be locked in or something, so I ran over to the door and flung it open. It was spooky, as I'm sure you can all imagine.

Oh, boy.
The sun's shining.. you do realize that there is an outside?

Who am I kidding, I'm sitting in a room with the shades drawn, lights off, and on the computer. The closest I have to natural lighting in my room is a neon "Miller High Life" sign.
You, sir, are living the high life.

I know there's an outside. I see it when I drive to work, and again when I drop off the rent. It has its schedule, I have mine.

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