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Hey kids, and welcome to


Today we’re going to be discussing my irrational love for all things wireless. When I was a friendless, bowl-cut, glasses-all-fogged-up 12-year-old with snot running down my face, I got my ham radio license (KA0JXA, to those of you in the Biz) and obsessed over dipoles built in my yard. The thought of transmitting actual blips and blaps over a piece of wire hanging off my roof filled me with satisfaction, and offered precious nanoseconds of respite from my dreary existence behind the 7-foot diesel-covered snowbanks of Eastern Iowa.

I carried this compulsion with walkie-talkies, then cordless phones, then the internet, and NOW, fair friends, I have reached the current pinnacle of wireless technology.

Do I have to say it? Of course, it’s 802.11g!


Our Brooklyn apartment is weird, and probably has brick walls (and human bodies) laced in it, so getting a good Airport signal from one end to the other has been a constantly-shifting game of contortionist art. Today, I installed the new Airport Extreme (which always reminds me of Homer’s cartoon dog Poochie that recycles…”to the EXTREME!”) and spent three hours trying to mount it on plasterboard without taking the entire wall down, then another two hours placing the antenna so Tessa could surf from her office.

Now, having been a rabid wardriver myself, I fully appreciate how important it is to give ne’er-do-wells in the immediate vicinity the chance to piggyback on our internet connection. For months, I left the encryption password off, just to provide a bit of public service and a karmic “thank you” to all those internet connections I’ve stolen before.

But then someone started downloading the entire Library of Congress Jazz Catalogue, or atmospheric recreations for the Biosphere, or porn – and our service slowed to a funereal crawl. So, reluctantly, I’ve had to close off our access to the world at large.

Someday, my childhood fantasy of a wireless world, some fantastical system where streams of information are beamed to entire cities at a time from a gargantuan blimp docked in the sky, will come to pass. It would be the redemptive conclusion of my sad dipole in a cold Iowa yard, then Love and Wireless would rule the Earth.

Until then, the fine folks on Berkeley Street will have to make do with the seven other Airport signals they can get from their bedrooms. I recommend “fyrlearese,” she seems cool.