Monday, August 15, 2005


What exactly is bandwidth? The reason I ask is that I'm here working in Barcelona and the apartment I'm staying in, aside from being very nice, apparently has free Internet access. I turned on my laptop in order to plan my workshops and there was this little blinking icon telling me that there was a wireless network in range, which I of course connected to. So here I am posting this on someone else's internet connection.

I have a firewall (whatever that is) which means I reckon I'm pretty safe from whatever unscrupulous things people can get up to on people who don't have such a thing (the little warnings that Windows gave me led me to worry that this entire network in some residential quarter of Barcelona had been set up merely to entice suckers like me into connecting to it at which point the online bandits controlling it would swoop in and steal my powerpoints on project management or organisational behaviour).

So, as far as I can tell, this is basically a victimless crime. The only thing I am stealing is this mysterious "bandwidth". Will this band now be narrow? Will some irate punter come knocking on every door in the area until he finds the thief responsible for his internet surfing experience opertaing at only 95% of full speed? Frankly no. So, there's no reason to be concerned about this, I'm assuming. (Also the network is called "3Com" which as far as I know is that company that makes post-it notes). [Rest assured I am not downloading the full Directors Cut of "Once Upon a Time in America" or something, merely checking my email and the message board I frequent.]

Meanwhile, some websites for your viewing pleasure:

First, you may remember last year my post about Numa Numa Yay the famous Romanian song which was sweeping the continent (and it appears the world). Well, that particular post is the one on this blog that gets the most hits, and I was inspired to google up why. At which time I found the following lego version of the video. Lego-zone. It's bloody brill. (Apparently the reason I got so many hits was this video of some kid in the US singing along to Numa Numa Yay -real title Dragostea din Tei- which has become what they call an Internet sensation. That video is actually here, but I reckon the lego thing is better)

On another tack entirely, if this website is to be believed, Chistopher Walken is standing for President in 2008. Better than Arnie, I suppose, though the quote at the top "If you want to learn how to build a house, build a house. Don't ask anybody, just build a house", sounds suspiciously like some half-arsed philosophy you could imagine Dubya living by. "If you want to learn how to piss of the entire world, piss off the entire world. Don't ask anybody, just piss off the entire world".
[Later edit: I have discovered that this is not actually for real and is a hoax by a bunch of hilarious pranksters called General Mayhem. Sorry for misleading anyone]


Varangy said...

The Christopher Walken site, if it is not evident, is satire.

Anonymous said...

apparently not too many people are taking the trouble to post comments on here, is it cos you're a miserable arshole? you'd better shut it down then, the sooner the better, i mean both blog and your fat arse.

Andy H said...

Would that be how I should measure success then Mircea? Well, thanks for letting me know. Thanks for writing though, it's always nice to hear intelligent well reasoned criticism and feedback. Come back more often and feel free to keep adding your insightful and well written comments.

nojer said...

How do you shut down your fat arse?

I'd imagine you'd explode, eventually.

Someone told me that using someones bandwidth is like using water from someone else's outside tap. Frankly, I'm rather unsure of this analogy.

Michael Furey said...

About the wireless thing. If someone has left their network open then, tough. The encryption on wireless networks these days is still pretty poor anyway and there are lots of tools to help you break most of the easiest defences (I'm resisting giving you any pointers, in case you get addicted and do something stupid with someone else's property - intellectual or otherwise).

Though technically it is stealing, if it isn't meant to be an open wireless hotspot. Check the wikipedia entry on this for suggested search engines to locate your nearest free one wireless hotspot finders.

Quite a few countries have specific laws that cover this and you can find yourself in trouble, but it is unlikely.

It is unlikely mainly because if they are dumb enough to be broadcasting their wireless service to the world, they are unlikely to have any intrusion detection systems protocols on their network either.

Just use it, don't abuse it and then it'll be there for others to use.

You might want to post a more specific note on one of the wireless directories so that others know that it is there, too

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sean Conley said...

So it's a romanian song! We've been wondering ever since we first saw the video. I do like the lego version but it has nothing on the lip-sync.