Sunday, March 08, 2015

Can you get by on free WiFi? Not a good idea


Ryan Knutson writes about his experiences doing without normal cellular service (he put the phone on airplane mode) and piggybacking on free WiFi wherever he could find it, in New York City and on a trip to Dallas, notes in the Wall Street Journal here.   ("It's free."....)  

I don’t see how he gets by at home without paying for something.  Is it legal to piggyback onto someone else’s?  It shouldn’t be possible or easy if password protected.  I don’t think that private routers are really for public consumption, and that seems dangerous.
   
I did test my own, and I found that the router signal drops before I get to the end of the driveway, and the phone switches to Verizon LTE (which I pay for).  It’s a good thing for anyone to test on his own setup this while walking in the neighborhood, maybe to breakfast.   So no one could get it even from the street very easily.  Oh, the NSA could, somehow.  
   
In rare cases, people have been arrested for "poaching" on WiFi in businesses by sitting outside and not purchasing anything as customers.  

Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Social media companies "free ride" on telecoms with messaging services


The Wall Street Journal reported Monday that Mark Zuckberberg, who looks particularly physical and handsome in the story picture, is trying to mend relations will all the major telecom companies, who believe Facebook gets a free ride on their services.  Facebook and Google are end-rounding the telecom companies to send messages and make calls in an “it’s free” mode. 
  
Twitter and Facebook both offer direct message apps to contact other people “privately”, and in current situations, it may be more convenient to receive messages this way than through conventional texts or emails.  Often, a Facebook or Twitter ID is easier to get, especially for a celebrity.  Some younger celebrities seem to be approachable this way, and it seems to be better etiquette than other contact means.
  
I prefer getting tweets with an invitation to call, or getting direct cell calls with messages (my cell number is public, landline is not).  It seems easier this way to filter out the spam.  Maybe that’s what Facebook, Google+, Linked-In and Twitter count on.