We all have watched the Arc of Fame:
1. Buzz among the cognoscenti
2. Adoration by the masses
3. Thrashing by the media
4. Blase disregard by everyone
5. Retro condescension by the idle smirky
Judging by a pair of articles in the Boston Globe today, wifi has reached stage 3 without ever making it to stage 2.
At the top of the Technology section today, Hiawatha Bray writes a fear-mongering piece about the vulnerability of home networks, with an emphasis on the dangers of wifi. Vandals are out to trash you! Thieves can’t wait to get their hands on those photos of your kid’s birthday party! The second half of the article is useful (but not detailed enough) advice on how to lock down your network.
Immediately below Bray’s article is one by Peter J. Howe, subtitled “Some analysts wonder whether WiFi craze is a bubble waiting to burst.” I know from sad experience that writers don’t write their own headlines or subheads, but in this case it’s a good summary of the article. Although (says Howe) the stats all indicate a sector taking off, Lars Godell of Forrester Research is quoted as saying that “much of the money … is being wasted” because not enough people are going to be willing to pay for the service.
Howe’s article ends by suggesting that wifi growth may be fueled by “companies supporting free access to draw publicity and foot traffic.” He does not mention neighborhood networks. When I log onto my wifi network, I have three networks to choose from. One is my next door neighbor’s and the other emanates from the house across the street.
Too bad there wasn’t an accompanying article about how to build your own neighborhood network, including how lock down your computer as you open up your network.
Categories: Uncategorized dw