Monthly Archives: February 2007

Piggybacking Wireless

I spent part of this morning talking to people about the issue of accessing the Internet using someone else’s wireless account without permission. I’m planning to write a story for this weekend on the question. My curiosity was piqued after Josh Brown said he did just that in his apartment. Actually, I got piqued when people responded negatively to it.

From Charlie Bermant in the Port Orchard Independent:

According to his own testimony, Brown rarely used heat or hot water. He used his cell phone for most communications, and “piggy-backed” wireless Internet service without permission from his neighbors.

Then “Mark” commented on the wireless issue here:

In fact, what I found most illuminating about the Brown case was the wi-fi admission. For someone looking to grind their ax, that would seem to have more teeth as far as a deliberate, unlawful act.

Jacob Metcalf came to Brown’s defense:

If the Wifi Node had no encryption, log-in password and was freely broadcasting it’s SSID than it is basically free for public use and does not affect the person operating it. There are many people who have no problem with sharing a Wifi connection. It is the moral equivalent of glancing at the headlines of an newspaper when you pass a vending machine.

So I’m writing a story on the question. Let me just tell you this, no matter what you think about the issue, a ton of people disagree with you and a ton of others are on your side. Consider this comment from Slate.

Every techie I know says that you shouldn’t use other people’s networks without permission. Every techie I know does it anyway.

I’ve been looking at this online and out talking with people, and it’s clear there’s no consensus. I have yet to find a single instance in this country where someone was prosecuted for piggybacking. I did find a case in Florida where a guy was arrested, but I don’t yet know how that case was finally resolved. Is it, as Jacob said, like reading a newspaper over someone’s shoulder, or is it like pirating someone’s Cable TV signal?

Brown’s Judgment Day

Kitsap County Commissioner Josh Brown took the stand Tuesday and a judge will render a verdict Wednesday.

While working on the NASCAR legislation story Tuesday, I called Chris Endresen for a response. Frankly, last week Brown was more talkative, but I thought today was probably not a good day to get his take on the track. Perhaps tomorrow.

Stay tuned to for the judge’s decision.

Making Over a Community

It wasn’t all that long ago that the Bremerton Housing Authority was on the verge of getting consolidated into the Kitsap County Consolidated Housing Authority. In a 5-4 vote, the city council kept the BHA alive. Much of the discussion centered on what many saw as slow progress in the redevelopment of Westpark.

While Wednesday’s discussion of a Sub Area Plan for Westpark may be coming late for some people, for others it has to feel as though their faith has (finally) been rewarded.

The 82-acre Westpark project will replace old public housing with new, mostly owner-occupied, homes. How old is Westpark’s existing housing stock?

“If Westpark were a human being, it would be drawing Social Security now.” — Kurt Wiest, BHA executive director

One More Name

On Friday I posted an entry about a proposed memorial to the fallen at Memorial Stadium at Bremerton High School.

Today we learned there will have to be room for at least one more name.

The Department of Defense today announced that a Port Orchard man was killed in combat on Jan. 30 at Ramadi, Iraq.

Sgt. Corey J. Aultz, 31 died of wounds suffered when an improvised explosive device detonated near his vehicle. Another soldier also died in the explosion.

Hello! We’re on Fire Here!

The Seattle Times’ Ron Judd takes a shot at Bremerton in his take on the Grey’s Anatomy ferry episode. He suggests this as one of four alternative disaster scenarios:

Night-shift worker from Puget Sound Naval Shipyard removes his boots on the ferry Walla Walla. First contact between his boot socks and oxygen since 1988 creates spontaneous combustion, violent explosion that sets downtown Bremerton ablaze. Nobody notices.

Bremerton and the County

The same post appears on the Kitsap Caucus blog:

At the end of Christopher Dunagan’s story Saturday about the possible repeal of the placeholder status for the speedway, ISC’s Grant Lynch was quoted saying:

“The most exciting thing that we have seen lately is the enthusiasm from the city of Bremerton,” he said. “Mayor (Cary) Bozeman is one of the most visionary political figures on the Olympic Peninsula if not the state.”

ISC has also had praise for County Commissioner Jan Angel, but Angel is now the odd commissioner out since Jack Hamilton beat Patty Lent in the Republican primary and lost to Josh Brown in the general election.

So ISC, facing what looked to them like a hostile county commission, took a look across the Sinclair Inlet at the new development near the water and decided to have a more substantive chat with Bozeman. The result is the city’s study of annexing the South Kitsap Industrial Area. But it’s dicey ground, which could potentially pit the two governments against each other. Bozeman says all parties will be involved in any annexation discussion, and Endresen has committed to maintaining a good relationship with the city, but clearly she’s not happy that ISC approached Bremerton and that Bremerton was willing to give the idea a serious airing.