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Why You See 'Free Public WiFi' In So Many Places

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the deja-vu-all-over-again dept.

Bug 260

An anonymous reader writes "Almost anywhere you go these days (particularly at airports), if you check for available WiFi settings, you have a pretty good chance of seeing an ad hoc network for 'Free Public WiFi.' Of course, since it's ad hoc (computer to computer) it's not actually access to the internet. So why is this in so many places? Turns out it's due to a bug in Windows XP. Apparently, the way XP works is that if it can't find a 'favorite' WiFi hotspot, it automatically sets up the computer to broadcast itself as an ad hoc network point, using the name of the last connection the computer attempted. So... people see 'Free Public WiFi' and they try to log on. Then their own computer starts broadcasting the same thing, because it can't find a network it knows. And, like a virus, the 'Free Public WiFi' that doesn't work lives on and on and on."

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260 comments

So... (4, Funny)

Jorl17 (1716772) | more than 3 years ago | (#33861622)

Windows really *is* a virus!

Ah!

Re:So... (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 3 years ago | (#33861648)

You forgot the "obligatory" title ;-)

Re:So... (2, Interesting)

PsyciatricHelp (951182) | more than 3 years ago | (#33862280)

Why is Ad-Hoc not disabled by Default? I had an adhoc ghost stick around for a year from when I set it up on my Iphone. turns out that my co workers laptop was still broadcasting the ad-hoc ssid. even with ad-hoc function disabled on my laptop you still saw the rebroadcast.

The next step. (2, Insightful)

suso (153703) | more than 3 years ago | (#33861956)

Now that this information is public, we're going to start seeing networks called "Free Public Wifi - eatatjoes.com". Good job. Should have just kept quiet about it.

Re:The next step. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33862194)

OH NOES HOW WILL WE EVER SURIVIE??!!!11one

zzzz

retarted post is retareded.

Good night.

Re:The next step. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33862560)

retarted post is retareded.

Wait, were you attempting to refer to pastries or weight?

almost as bad as linksys (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33861630)

but at least linksys gets you a internet connection 99% of the time. BTW this story is a dupe from last year.

I see this alot (1)

jonxor (1841382) | more than 3 years ago | (#33861632)

Is that why I also see dozens of "hpsetup" Ad-hoc SSID's from nearby laptops?

Re:I see this alot (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33861694)

Oh wow! Is it a big alot? Or a furry one? Is it friendly? I hear alots can be dangerous.

http://hyperboleandahalf.blogspot.com/2010/04/alot-is-better-than-you-at-everything.html

Re:I see this alot (5, Informative)

TrisexualPuppy (976893) | more than 3 years ago | (#33861784)

The "hpsetup" ESSID is from HP bloatware. It is used to connect the computer to wireless peripherals, namely HP wifi-enable printers.

I researched this myself, and it ended up that there were a bunch of better ways to implement it, but HP flat out didn't care.

Mod parent up (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33861832)

I was wondering this myself. Thanks trisexual poppy

Re:I see this alot (2, Insightful)

maxume (22995) | more than 3 years ago | (#33861984)

What better way is there to implement a wireless connection when the user doesn't have any wireless networking equipment other than their computer?

Heh! (3, Funny)

cytoman (792326) | more than 3 years ago | (#33861634)

That's the SSID for my home wi-fi :-D.

Re:Heh! (1)

clone53421 (1310749) | more than 3 years ago | (#33861822)

Really? I named mine “virus”...

Re:Heh! (2, Funny)

apoc.famine (621563) | more than 3 years ago | (#33862392)

FBI Monitoring Station

Keeps the riff-raff out...

Re:Heh! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33862188)

mine is: myneighborlikesincestrialsex

Possible attack vector (5, Insightful)

TamCaP (900777) | more than 3 years ago | (#33861636)

I guess I am not the only one that is thinking that "Free Internet" SSID is a perfect vector for a MIM attack. Has anyone heard of any cases where it has already been exploited?

Re:Possible attack vector (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33861688)

You're thinking of attacking people randomly connecting to Public Wi-Fi Networks and you're worried about details like the name?

That's like using a scope when you're shooting ducks in a barrel.

Re:Possible attack vector (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33861778)

That's like using a scope when you're shooting ducks in a barrel.

Well, no, it's more like using bait.

Your average hipster walks sits down in an urban coffee shop and opens his laptop: the first thing he does is look for a signal from which he can leech access. Free? Public? Sounds like it's free, a virtue of which your average hipster whole-heartedly approves. Public sounds good too: it's like natural or organic or community (as an adjective) or recycled or [x]-friendly or tolerant or sustainable or any other epithet that reinforces his hipsterish sense of righteousness. Naturally, the hipster connects and begins surfing and checking e-mail. MITM gets to read his e-mail and his web reading habits (organic hipster porn).

Un-encrypted ?!? (1)

DrYak (748999) | more than 3 years ago | (#33862086)

Naturally, the hipster connects and begins surfing and checking e-mail. MITM gets to read his e-mail and his web reading habits (organic hipster porn).

If they are dumb enough to setup their account whithout encryption, they deserve whatever happens to them.

SSL protected connection is a damn strict minimum when you're on a public network.
End-2-end encryption is a must if you have any confidential information.

Non-encrypted data on a public wifi network, is like shouting with a megaphone in the middle of a busy town center.

Re:Un-encrypted ?!? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33862338)

For web browsing, SSL certs can be MITM'd. See the bugzilla report a few posts over. Basically, browsing Hipster requests an SSL session with a Website; MITM receives the request from Hipster, replying with his own faked certs; at the same time, MITM sends a request forward to Website that matches what Hipster sent MITM. Website thinks it's sending SSL data, Hipster thinks he's getting SSL data, and MITM is happily proxying everything along after recording it. Hipster should be clued into the problem by his browser screaming warnings about SSL certs being expired or invalid, but Hipster's been trained, by a long series of web admins too lazy to do certs right, just to click "Go Away" every time he sees one of those alerts, so pretty much the only defense against MITM'ed certs is out the window thanks to sloth and apathy.

I don't believe that works for TLS. (2, Interesting)

anUnhandledException (1900222) | more than 3 years ago | (#33862680)

While most people use the term "SSL" to refer to "secure internet" most https connections today use TLS.

TLS uses pseudo random element in the handshake which prevents the MITM scenario you described.

Sadly Google Chrome doesn't support TLS (no friggin idea why) so server will negotitate down to the less secure SSL v2 or SSL v1 standard.

IE 8 or later, Firefox 2.0 or later. and Safari (no idea what version) all support TLS but obviously google thinks security is over-rated.

Re:Un-encrypted ?!? (1)

netsharc (195805) | more than 3 years ago | (#33862546)

Non-encrypted data on a public wifi network, is like shouting with a megaphone in the middle of a busy town center.

And yet probably 95% of users do it anyway (percentage pulled out of ass).. for a road vehicle related analogy, it's probably like "you should wear a helmet when riding a bicycle" warning....

Re:Possible attack vector (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33862224)

Well, no, it's more like using bait.

Except the bait doesn't matter. You could call it "linksys" "Open WiFi" or "SFD2342" and you'd still get hits.

Re:Possible attack vector (2, Informative)

pspahn (1175617) | more than 3 years ago | (#33862464)

While that is certainly true, if you're trying to mimic a known network, you should probably name it appropriately.

After all, if you go to the trouble of setting up a fake walled garden page, you should name the network similar.

It's actually a very easy attack to run at places like hotels where travelers might be unwary and quite willing to fork over CC info for internet access.

Re:Possible attack vector (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33861714)

https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=460374

Re:Possible attack vector (1)

oldspewey (1303305) | more than 3 years ago | (#33861724)

If I use an unknown wifi connection, first thing I do is log in to a VPN tunnel so the rest of my session is securely encrypted.

Re:Possible attack vector (2, Interesting)

mcrbids (148650) | more than 3 years ago | (#33861804)

I've got my laptop set up so that anything important (EG: Email, file transfer) is set up with strong encryption. Websites, not so much, though I do have a squid proxy server so if it matters, it's a single command and three clicks to secure my web browsing. [calomel.org]

Poisoned DNS. . . (1)

JSBiff (87824) | more than 3 years ago | (#33862260)

The GP is correct - the only real way to 'secure' a public internet connection like a WiFi hotspot is with a VPN that also secures your DNS traffic so that all name lookups are served from a 'trusted' DNS Server. (This doesn't apply so much to SSH/SFTP, where you have, presumably, already cached the fingerprint of the server's Public Key, so if you get back the wrong key, you know someone's trying to attack you, and the client will warn you).

It all depends on how paranoid you are - generally, SSL Certs are *supposed* to protect you from someone impersonating an https request. However, I remember reading somewhere (might've been a story Slashdot covered), about someone successfully getting an SSL Cert signed by a registrar somewhere in the world, that they shouldn't have had, which allowed them to impersonate some site. I don't remember the exact details, but it had something to do with wildcard certs, IIRC.

In practice, I suspect most people setting up a 'phishing hole' WiFi hotspot, probably don't even worry about trying to attack the SSL connections, because that requires too much foreknowledge of what sites your targets would be visiting - just grab whatever plaintext you can - ought to be something interesting in it, sooner or later. Well, there's also the issue that someone could setup a phishing site and direct you to it with their poisoned DNS, and they just don't use any SSL at all, so the browser never gives a certificate complaint, and if the user isn't paying attention and verifying that encryption is in use, they'd maybe not realize they were connecting to the wrong server.

Re:Possible attack vector (1)

metrometro (1092237) | more than 3 years ago | (#33861892)

I always assumed those SSIDs were people phishing. I guess I'm reassured to learn that the world is not that uniformly malicious.

Re:Possible attack vector (1)

TimothyDavis (1124707) | more than 3 years ago | (#33862426)

I guess I am not the only one that is thinking that "Free Internet" SSID is a perfect vector for a MIM attack. Has anyone heard of any cases where it has already been exploited?

Ever been to Defcon?

Dupe (2, Informative)

wiredog (43288) | more than 3 years ago | (#33861646)

Re:Dupe (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33861930)

Not a dupe, clearly you didn't RTFA.

Re:Dupe (3, Informative)

deeweef (1298253) | more than 3 years ago | (#33862244)

Mod parent up and GP down. The "duped" is about a scam, while this is about a big in XP. Bigg diff.

Re:Dupe (1)

Midnight Thunder (17205) | more than 3 years ago | (#33862346)

Add to that the referenced article was posted in 2007. Anything older than a year is probably out of the collective consciousness and the new article while being a dupe would probably news all over again :)

Re:Dupe (2, Interesting)

WarlockD (623872) | more than 3 years ago | (#33862012)

Slashdot is starting to become a news aggregator. I knew about this bug since 2003 and evey few years someone digs it out, either blaming it on a bad configuration or a virus attack. Hell its not even a bug if you have your WiFi properly set up to never connect to ad-hoc networks.

To be honest, this is the first time I have read the true reason and not try the whole "the internet is dangerous and full of viruses" reason. Its hard to even classify it as a bug as it would make it convenient to auto connect to a local ad-hoc network. Still consider it a bug if you have to turn off ad-hoc to disable though:P

Re:Dupe (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33862312)

+1 Gold

Damnit.. (2, Funny)

Quantus347 (1220456) | more than 3 years ago | (#33861662)

You found me out... I was using it to make a chain of roaming broadcast nodes to beam PETA propaganda directly to your fillings. I guess now I'll have to use twitter.

"They Still Use Windows XP?!" (2, Funny)

Suiggy (1544213) | more than 3 years ago | (#33861670)

Queue the picture featuring a pair of laughing girls.

Re:"They Still Use Windows XP?!" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33861758)

I use Windows ME. It's for the new millennium, man!

Re:"They Still Use Windows XP?!" (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33861770)

Queue the picture featuring a pair of laughing girls.

Sure, why should today be any different than any other day in my life...

*sighs*

Re:"They Still Use Windows XP?!" (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33861798)

Hell, I'd still be using W2K except I have one or two apps that won't run under it. I actually downgraded from 7 last year after determining that 7 did absolutely nothing I needed that XP didn't, and had plenty of quirks that drove me crazy.

Re:"They Still Use Windows XP?!" (3, Funny)

clone53421 (1310749) | more than 3 years ago | (#33861836)

7 did absolutely nothing I needed that XP didn't, and had plenty of quirks that drove me crazy.

Nothing?! They made the digital camera interface usable, and someone finally added a “crop” function to Paint...

Re:"They Still Use Windows XP?!" (1)

Obfuscant (592200) | more than 3 years ago | (#33862154)

Nothing?! They made the digital camera interface usable, and someone finally added a "crop" function to Paint...

My digital camera has a USB interface and appears like a USB disk, which works under just about any OS. The one that doesn't uses a CF card that can be mounted on just about any OS, including XP.

What is this "Paint" thing you refer to? Is it like The GIMP or ImageMagick, just less useful?

Windows 7 is bloatware that doesn't run a lot of the software I already own. I either have to buy updates to everything I run now (if it is still available) or stay with XP. Hmmm...

New PCs come with Windows 7 (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#33862416)

What is this "Paint" thing you refer to? Is it like The GIMP or ImageMagick, just less useful?

ED's article [encycloped...matica.com] claims that the program has become somewhat more useful in Windows 7.

Windows 7 is bloatware that doesn't run a lot of the software I already own. I either have to buy updates to everything I run now (if it is still available) or stay with XP. Hmmm...

If you buy a new PC with a new warranty, and it isn't from Apple, System76, or some other specialty vendor, it will come with Windows 7. To use non-game apps that require Windows XP and don't work with Program Compatibility Wizard [microsoft.com] , you can Anytime Upgrade to Windows 7 Professional and then install XP Mode [microsoft.com] .

Re:"They Still Use Windows XP?!" (4, Insightful)

wjousts (1529427) | more than 3 years ago | (#33861972)

I actually downgraded from 7 last year after determining that 7 did absolutely nothing I needed that XP didn't,

Except, not having this bug....for one.

Re:"They Still Use Windows XP?!" (1)

Arctech (538041) | more than 3 years ago | (#33862300)

Hell, I'd still be using W2K except I have one or two apps that won't run under it. I actually downgraded from 7 last year after determining that 7 did absolutely nothing I needed that XP didn't, and had plenty of quirks that drove me crazy.

UAC is to Vista/Windows 7 what sudo is to Unix. It was a function that was a glaring omission from NT up through XP, and if you think any operating system is better without a function to temporarily elevate a limited user to admin you're nuts.
If you think XP's default behavior of setting up everyone to run as a full administrator account to run day-to-day tasks 24/7 you're even more nuts.

Re:"They Still Use Windows XP?!" (1)

zach_the_lizard (1317619) | more than 3 years ago | (#33862690)

By default, UAC has no teeth and is just annoying. You just click 'allow' and go. Sudo, on the other hand, at the very least will require a password, if you're in the sudoers file. I think that's part of the complaint: if you're going to implement a security feature, make it secure by default.

"He can't spell cue!" (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33861852)

Cue the picture featuring a pair of laughing girls.

Re:"He can't spell cue!" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33862472)

Maybe he just has *a lot* of pictures of "laughing" girls?

Re:"They Still Use Windows XP?!" (1)

Picardo85 (1408929) | more than 3 years ago | (#33861854)

Queue the picture featuring a pair of laughing girls.

Well as a matter of fact, 51.7% source [w3schools.com] of the computers are still using windows Xp so it, in my oppinion, isn't that strange that this problem has appeared. I myself would be one such example of potential victim since my laptop is incompatible with W7 due to compatibility issues with the gfx drivers. I can imagine that there are many out there who are in the same situation. Not only this but during the time Vista was distributed there were also a lot of computers who were sold with Windows Xp because people didn't want the flawed Vista system.

Re:"They Still Use Windows XP?!" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33861880)

Why would people switch from something that

(a) works for them
(b) is already paid for?

I'm a GNU/Linux user myself, but most people won't wipe their partitions just for geek cred. (Yes, security and all that, but what does the average user know of such things?)

Aggre-vation (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33861682)

What is Slashdot's penchant lately for parroting Techdirt stories? The Techdirt story isn't even a story; it is just a no-value-add rewrite of the NPR story. Is Slashdot the aggregator aggregator now or just an arm of the Mike Masnick publicity office?

2 years old... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33861702)

> from the deja-vu-all-over-again dept.

You can say that again.

This was fixed in XP service pack 3 over 2 years ago. Slow news day?

Yep, noticed this long ago. (3, Interesting)

sea4ever (1628181) | more than 3 years ago | (#33861722)

At my old school which I left earlier this year, I remember setting up my laptop as an ad-hoc access point to test some music streaming with VLC.
I have no idea why, but someone must have tried to connect to it. Now, almost a year after leaving that school, people still tell me that the 'ghost' of my laptop broadcasting can still be seen.
There are 2 ad-hoc networks out there that are 'ghosts' now, the first is my nickname (yeah, bad choice for a perpetuating network, I know) and the second is named after the university network, which is accessible on clear days.

Not so (0, Flamebait)

GWBasic (900357) | more than 3 years ago | (#33861764)

Of course, since it's ad hoc (computer to computer) it's not actually access to the internet.

Regarding ad-hoc WIFI networks, that's not true. One node on the network needs to act as a proxy.

This is the case if you share an internet connection on a Mac laptop, such as sharing a 3G dongle over WIFI, or sharing a wired internet connection over WIFI. The network will be ad-hoc and will have access to the internet. The same thing applies with the MiWi application on jailbroken iPhones. It creates an ad-hoc network for accessing the internet through the iPhone.

The point of ad-hoc networks is to save battery and CPU resources and be more responsive at the expense of some reliability. In a normal WIFI network, computer-to-computer connections always go through the router. In ad ad-hoc network, computer-to-computer connections go directly between the computers, creating a strange reliability situation when two computers on the network are far away from each other. Of course, if all you're doing is getting on the internet, it's kind of a wash.

Re:Not so (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33862110)

Wow, you are so wrong.

This is the case if you share an internet connection on a Mac laptop, such as sharing a 3G dongle over WIFI, or sharing a wired internet connection over WIFI

Or a Windows laptop, or a Mac/Windows desktop, or on a Linux box (laptop/desktop/handheld). Linux is AFAIK the best support for AP mode, but even there many chipsets don't work, and most of the ones that do are finicky and painful. Your statement is not wrong, per se, but needlessly specific.

The point of ad-hoc networks is to save battery and CPU resources and be more responsive at the expense of some reliability.

Epic bullshit! CPU utilization is the same, and ad-hoc takes more power, because powersaving (i.e. shutting off power to the receiver when there's no traffic for you) requires an AP whose beacon you can sync to and receive notifications of pending traffic transmitted every nth beacon (if there is traffic for you) In an adhoc, there's no designated party to store+forward, and no timing to listen, so the very concept is implausible.

Re:Not so (1)

sjames (1099) | more than 3 years ago | (#33862494)

One node MIGHT have access to the internet and MIGHT actually be willing to forward traffic, but it need not be the case. The point of an ad-hoc network is that no AP is needed.

Of course, though a managed network GENERALLY has access to the net through the AP, that is not 100% the case. It could have it's wan port unplugged, it could be firewalled off, or it could be someone's laptop that the user forgot to disable the AP functionality when they disconnected from the net.

Grrrrr.... (0, Troll)

ACKyushu (1626689) | more than 3 years ago | (#33861776)

This is just more evidence (As if you needed any...) that Apple products are overhyped, underpowered, overpriced pieces of... Wait.... Nevermind.

Sounds like a mesh network (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33861806)

Which would surely be touted in a similar article as a positive world changer if only a proper non-microsoft OS was involved.

I don't see it very often... (4, Informative)

damn_registrars (1103043) | more than 3 years ago | (#33861810)

The claim of

Almost anywhere you go these days (particularly at airports), if you check for available WiFi settings, you have a pretty good chance of seeing an ad hoc network for 'Free Public WiFi.'

Doesn't match my experience. I have done a fair bit of flying lately - and always needing at least one connection each time because my closest airport sucks - and haven't seen it at the airports I've been to. I have checked for WiFi at coffee shops and restaurants and haven't seen that SSID there either. Lately I have been connecting through some of the busiest airports in the country (O'Hare and Newark Liberty in particular) and haven't seen this.

In fact, I can't think of the last time I did see it. I often use my blackberry to access open WiFi spots, and I don't have a record of a network that I have connected to called 'Free Public WiFi'.

Re:I don't see it very often... (2, Insightful)

js3 (319268) | more than 3 years ago | (#33861846)

Yea I was like wtf. You really don't see a lot of these, maybe 1 or 2 at certain airports but it's hardly newsworthy.

Re:I don't see it very often... (5, Insightful)

clone53421 (1310749) | more than 3 years ago | (#33861858)

I can remember seeing it a few times... like 2 years ago. Sort of like this story...

Re:I don't see it very often... (1)

Locutus (9039) | more than 3 years ago | (#33862006)

we see mostly Apple computers at the airport these days so that explains it. ;-)

LoB

Re:I don't see it very often... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33862356)

Not in international terminals where the flight might be longer than the battery life...

Re:I don't see it very often... (1)

Enry (630) | more than 3 years ago | (#33861944)

I saw it just over a week ago in PHL on my iPod touch. There's also one hiding somewhere near the State Street T station in Boston.

Re:I don't see it very often... (4, Informative)

kidcharles (908072) | more than 3 years ago | (#33861958)

I commute through New York Penn Station twice every day. I don't think I've ever NOT seen "Free Public Wifi" on the list of connections on my Nokia N900.

Re:I don't see it very often... (1)

BrianRoach (614397) | more than 3 years ago | (#33862118)

YMMV ...

I see it every time I go through Kansas City (MCI) and Denver which is twice a month right now.

Re:I don't see it very often... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33862394)

Likely because your device is set up to NOT see ad-hoc connections.

Your machine would have to be years out of date (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33861908)

to be affected. This was fixed in XP SP3. Love lines like "When a computer running an older version of XP ...." without further explanation. Haters gonna hate!

Ive seen it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33861914)

I recently Traveled to Italy from Portland and saw it at most airports

PDX -> Atlanta[saw it] -> Rome[saw it]

Venice[saw it] -> JFK[saw it] -> PDX

"Ad hoc" (0, Flamebait)

KC1P (907742) | more than 3 years ago | (#33861942)

As Inigo would say: You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

Nothing to see here. (1)

derrickh (157646) | more than 3 years ago | (#33861994)

This is a really bad case of FUD. And it's just as bad when someone other than MS does it.

Not in MY PUBLIC SPACE: ( +1, Interesting ) (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33862042)

Warning: Trespassers will be violated [youtube.com] .

Yours In Denver,
Kilgore Trout

Slashdot reading Hack A Day? (1, Offtopic)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 3 years ago | (#33862226)

It 'seems lately that lots of HAD articles are popping up automatically on slashdot. If you watch the RSS feeds out there of the tech sites you can watch the wave of stories copy from site to site.. It used to be that slashdot had them first or did not cover what was already copied all over the place...

Has slashdot ran out of good submissions and is not simply posting what pops up out of other sites RSS feeds?

Re:Slashdot reading Hack A Day? (5, Funny)

A. B3ttik (1344591) | more than 3 years ago | (#33862438)

Almost anywhere you go these days (particularly on slashdot), if you check for new stories, you have a pretty good chance of seeing a a duped story from another site. Of course, since it's a duped story (news site to news site) it's not actually news. So why is this in so many places? Turns out it's due to a bug in site moderators. Apparently, the way they work is that if they can't find a 'new' story, they automatically sets up their site to broadcast a duped story, using the title of the last story that was popular. So... people see this and they try to read it. Then their own favorite sites start broadcasting the same thing, because it can't find a good story on its own. And, like a virus, the 'Duped Story' that doesn't work lives on and on and on."

Re:Slashdot reading Hack A Day? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33862502)

If it is, i dont give a shit. it just makes it a good centralized location where i can view some of the stories, follow the ones i find interesting and look at comments

Seen at a University (1)

pgn674 (995941) | more than 3 years ago | (#33862232)

At a university I attended, I noticed that, year after year, I would keep seeing the same ad-hoc name, across many different dorms on the same, big campus. The university had wireless in most of its academic buildings and some parts of the dorms, but most people in dorm rooms couldn't get it (we were encouraged to use the provided wired connection instead). Someone must have made an ad-hoc who knows how long ago (it was called "{university name} wireless", which is nothing like what the actual university's SSID was called), and people must have just kept connecting to the spreading and persisting ad-hoc name, hoping they'd get wireless internet access.

Some times at hotels you see nameX and X can be 1- (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33862596)

Some times at hotels you see nameX and X can be 1-9 but ones seem to come and go from time to time so likely that goes on there as well even more so when you have like 3-6 AP at the same place and people change to the one with the best single from time to time.

Huh (1)

sharkey (16670) | more than 3 years ago | (#33862634)

Up until a month or so ago, there was always someone advertising as "Free Pubic WiFi". Always made us wonder...
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