Monday, November 17, 2003

Farmers Use WEP

While driving out into the wide open country that is 'Ohio' this morning I had Audrey (the laptop) at my side looking for Access Points. One of the few complaints I have about her is that her speaker kind of sucks. It's very small and music sounds really lousy on it. However, when I listen to music, I always plug in headphones. So who cares. On this drive, I wanted to play tunes, so I plugged my little FM stereo sending unit to the headphone jack. So I could play tunes from iTunes, and still hear the bells go off when KisMac stumbled onto an access point. And did it ever stumble!

Oddly enough, I was still hitting access points FAR out into the country. At times I was looking around a dead wasteland of weeds and left wondering "where in the hell could the access point be?". When there is nothing but farm, I must be picking up farms. It didn't surprise me really. Exploring southern Ohio I have also picked up many farms. I imagine the 'modern farmer' probably keeps things well synched with one another. Perhaps even use some tools for measuring crops, soil, etc. Or hell, maybe they want to ride around on their John Deere tractors listing to mp3's off a mapped drive back in the barn. Who am I to judge?

Below is a sample. Notice that all the access points have a MAC address that starts the same. The first three pieces of the MAC address (BSSID) indicate the 'vendor' of who manufactured the Access Point device.

Must be the same farm. Or connected farms? Who knows. Blew my mind. Notice that most of the points are WEP'd, some are not. All were found in the same stretch of road (a few miles) which is indicated by the time they were discovered in the far right column, and the fact that I was plowing down a 55mph highway at about 80mph trying to get to work on time. I know, I need a laptop battery. Forgive that it's suddenly 1969 again. *singing* In the summer of 69' - Whooaaahh!

Now here I am in Tiffin Ohio. Its lunchtime for me (2:15PM). No Internet. This sucks. I have about 2 hours before my next class. I was hoping for some wireless signals out here that I could leech on. No such luck. Closest wireless signal I could sniff out is about five miles closer to the residential areas of "Tiffin Ohio". I am now in the upper floor of a very old building. I asked a student when I arrived "any wireless connectivity out here?". His response, "wireless what?" was a good indication that they were behind a bit on this technology stuff.

I should have known. I'm coming out here to teach people how to use Microsoft Word. I guess it's a break from the kind of classes that I had been teaching. But I doing these courses requires a LOT of patience. My students are generally lacking in basic point and click skills. Anyhow ... off to eat my lunch and pray that 8:00PM comes fast so I can buzz back to Columbus.

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