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Communications Stats Wireless Networking Politics

SSID As the New Community Bulletin Board and Yard Sign 165

Hugh Pickens writes "Megan Garber writes that wireless routers have become the lawn signs of the digital age, particularly in large apartment buildings, where almost every unit has a unique Wi-Fi network that will be detected in turn by all the other unique Wi-Fi networks. SSIDs can be a cheeky, geeky way to broadcast messages to your immediate neighbors. Most of us keep it simple with '275_Elm_Street,' 'Apt23,' or 'my_network,' but some get more creative with names like: 'Apt112IHaveYourMail,' 'PrettyFlyForAWiFi,' or 'WeCanHearYouHavingSex' — a great way to freak out your annoying neighbors without hiding in their bushes or peeping in their windows late at night. Now the team at OpenSignalMaps, which maintains a database of geolocated Wi-Fi access points, analyzed the data they've collected about wireless routers to see whether Wi-Fi names are 'being used to fly political colors' and have found, globally, 1,140 results for 'Obama' and an additional six for 'Romney' — an indication not necessarily of Romney's popularity relative to the president's, but of the attention that four years as president can confer. 'There's something uniquely contemporary and incredibly old-school about that kind of broadcasting: It's messaging meant only for your immediate neighbors,' writes Garber. 'The politicized network names are like lawn signs for people who don't have lawns.'"
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SSID As the New Community Bulletin Board and Yard Sign

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  • Obama (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 02, 2012 @09:45AM (#40193713)

    Is that the same Obama that is overseeing the PIPA/SOPA/CIPA/ACTA and $2 billion Utah Spying mega project? How quaint that people would use the very medium he and other politicians (bipartisan cabal) are trying to thwart to show their support...

  • by adosch ( 1397357 ) on Saturday June 02, 2012 @10:09AM (#40193845)

    There's always going to be American/United States bias in the world outside CONUS, so why even include them as part of your study? The world doesn't re-elect our president, United States citizens do. In places where I live where electoral votes count the majority, it gets comfortable to feel as though you vote doesn't count anyway.

    Hate to be pessimistic, but this is pretty meaningless. Out of the millions of SSIDs in the US alone, TFA writer could only confer with 400 of them for a sample and make some half ass meaningful attempt at analysis? That's hardly anything worth blogging about. This is no more useful than it would be me using my neighbor's regular smoke breaks outside as a counter for how many people like fresh air during the sunlight hours of the day. Stupid.

  • Re:Bootynude... (Score:0, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 02, 2012 @10:28AM (#40193941)

    This kind of spam couldn't be easier to filter, come on, Slashdot, I know you're not as relevant anymore, but this is just sad.

  • by Osgeld ( 1900440 ) on Saturday June 02, 2012 @10:36AM (#40193989)

    How many times do you look at your wifi SSID list? Its been at least over a year for me cause whenever I need to connect I tell the machine to go direct to mine, which is not broadcast, and automatically connect.

    I think the average person is about the same, they want their shit connected, and wont ever look at it again until something messes up. So "SSID As the New Community Bulletin Board and Yard Sign" is an interesting thought, and may be happening in some few areas, but its a big leap since chances are no one will ever read them.

  • Re:IP addresses (Score:5, Insightful)

    by rs79 ( 71822 ) <hostmaster@open-rsc.org> on Saturday June 02, 2012 @10:56AM (#40194117) Homepage

    "If the bulk of them are IPv4, they are going to consume a lot of the residual IPv4 addresses out there."

    dear noob;
    we get it you didn't get any ip addresses before 95. please stop whining. invent something better
    (and i've seen better and it doesn't look like v6)

    If you were to freeze the configuration of the V4 core network right now, everything would work just fine. All our stuff talks to our other stuff. We're not running out of addresses that are already deployed and running the core network, it's only the edges of the network where more addresses are needed. So use whatever you want there and as long as it rides over the stable V4 core, you're fine. Pretty much fucked though if your new protocol doesn't do that well.

    Let us know how your parallel network builds out, maybe we'll use it as an I/O device one day when you're done building it.

    The thing to keep in eye on this IPV6 day is not what V6 links work, but what parts of the V4 core they break. Like last year when Hurricane Electric broke the V4 link to ISC. Talk about irony-in-a-can. Talk about broken. Talk about didn't notice. Talk about H.E. got unplugged.

    Please please please don't break the net again this year. Kashpureff went to jail for disruptions an order of magnitude less than this.

  • Re:Attitude (Score:2, Insightful)

    by moj0e ( 812361 ) on Saturday June 02, 2012 @01:53PM (#40195161) Journal

    One advantage of changing your default SSID a vanilla install is that it makes it harder to crack.
    The SSID is used as salt in the encryption mechanism.

    Here is an article that describes it in more detail:
    http://netsecurity.about.com/od/secureyourwifinetwork/a/WPA2-Crack.htm [about.com]

    Plus... having a goofy SSID is fun :) Mine is "Dialup".

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