Wednesday

Wednesday 26/06/2002Here's a good one for your list of hip jargon terms: warchalking. As Matt Loney -- news mogul of ZDNet UK and proud new father (congrats!

Wednesday 26/06/2002

Here's a good one for your list of hip jargon terms: warchalking. As Matt Loney -- news mogul of ZDNet UK and proud new father (congrats!) -- reports, those who drive around our cities sniffing out open wireless networks are no longer content to keep the news to themselves. And how do they report this information to their comrades in air? Encrypted peer-to-peer high-speed satellite communication?

Nah. They draw a squiggle on the pavement. With chalk. A curvy X means an open network, an O means closed and a W in an O means WEP in use. Tramps do this to mark houses with generous occupants (and once you know those signs, you can see them around the place), and something of the sort's probably been going on since Stone Age times.

It would take a churl of the lowest kidney not to be thrilled by this evidence of some of the oldest form of public, anonymous communication being used in the service of some of the newest. Perhaps consultants could adapt and extend this idea, to mark out which companies are worth working for and which to avoid like the plague; accountants could similarly show what level of high-powered creativity a particular client requires -- from total probity to five-to-ten in the hole -- and journalists could let each other know how many large malts it takes to loosen the tongue of the chief technical officer.

Forget blogging -- scrawling is the new Web.

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