I am the intern for the Writing Program’s technology guru. I get to sit in his office and participate in tales of woe, cries for help, curses, shrieks, and (sometimes) simple how-do-I-do-this queries from teachers and students alike.
Yesterday a staffer popped into the office to ask how to set her wireless hub at home so that it blocked unauthorized users.
Now, normally I sit quietly and listen to George’s wisdom. Rarely, if ever, do I volunteer advice or opinions unless they are solicited.
But yesterday I was shocked.
“You mean,” I interjected, “you don’t want me to park outside your house with my laptop and borrow your connection?” I half-joked.
“Yeah,” she says.
“Really? You don’t want to share?”
“No way,” she says. “They’re not paying for it; I am. They can get their own connection.”
I turn to George. “Now, if I *do* sit outside her house in my car catching her signal, does that slow her connection down?”
“Only if, say, 20 people parked in her driveway at the same time to use it.”
I turn back to the inquirer, who, at this point, is getting a bit defensive. “Nothing’s being *taken* from you. Why do you feel the need to lock it down?”
“Because it’s mine. I’m paying for it.”
Well. I let it drop, though I probably could have continued ribbing her for her paranoia and stingyness for several more minutes.
Is it because I’m a near-socialist that I would be happy to share my wireless with a neighbor? HAPPY. I mean it. I’m paying for it anyway, and it’s not like portions of food that disappear with increased mouths or electricity that costs more as your draw increases.
It reminded me of this article I saw on BoingBoing a few weeks back: Philly prepares to offer free WiFi citywide. I went back to the article and realized that this isn’t the start of the utopia it should be, and even that this move might be a BAD idea if it will prevent other urban areas from being able to institute similar programs.
At any rate. I will not be locking down my wireless hub anytime soon.