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Hacking Internet connectivity

Yesyterday as I sat in the audience at a session at the IA Summit, I was unable to connect to the wifi system in order to send an email to a friend about meeting him for dinner. I tried every way I could to connect, but to no avail. I started thrashing through the options for getting him a message. IM? No connectivity. Skype? Nope. Phone call? My cell phone doesn’t work in Canada. Text message? Did I mention my cell phone doesn’t work? So, I slipped out of the session, thinking maybe I’d ask one of the staff if I could borrow a cell phone for a quick local call.

And then, on the way to the staff desk, it hit me. The perfect solution. Simple. Cheap. Fiendishly clever.

Did you know that in many public places there are coin-operated devices that enable you to enter an arbitrarily assigned GUID, creating a VPN optimized for voice signals? One Canadian quarter later, I reached my friend.

D’oh.[Tags: ]

3 Responses to “Hacking Internet connectivity”

  1. I thought payphones were a type of plant life. Are you telling me they are a telecommunication device of some sorts :-)

  2. Sometimes it is the simple things in life that elude us! I still see people at those payphones by the side of road (you know, the ones that are just the right size to call from your car).

  3. So what do we do when payphones are shortly no more? Check out an article in the latest Boston ‘Spare Change’ paper about decisions being made to remove payphones because they increase prostitution, and other crimes.

    No, I don’t understand it either.

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