This is great news! On top of the announcement fron Fon the other day that they're teaming up with BT to offer all their Total Broadband customers the chance to get a Fon wifi router (and share some of their wifi), McDonald's has just announced that they're going to offer free Wifi in partnership with TheCloud.
Now, normally you have to pay for TheCloud access, so that's very nice indeed. It also means that I can sit in the much posher upmarket sandwich shop with my laptop next to McDonald's in the centre of Brum and use their free wifi ;) It does make me wonder to an extent as to how vulnerable BT users are with regards to lawbreaking (because it's already acknowledged that running an insecure hotspot allows others to perpetrate IP theft and other cybercrime, punishable by UK law, and there's not much they can do to stop it), but I suppose BT is willing to take this into account - or just doesn't care - if it happens once BT users start opening up their networks.
I'm a little more worried for newbie home users, because they're the ones who may well become compromised security-wise. Back in January I had to make our wireless access point open for a couple of days (because one of our housemates was having problems connecting, something I eventually sorted out) but in the meantime someone who lives in the vicinity of us managed to get onto my laptop's root drive, save an RTF file to the root dir and inside write me a rather worrying message! I'm still figuring out how they managed to do that, because my Windows shares are pretty secure and I use strong passwords combined with an in/egress firewall... They must've done something along the lines of sniffing the wifi signal to retrieve some NTLM or MD5 hashes of my password, and then bruteforced their way onto my machine. A little bit worrying, but that was in January and my network setup is a lot stronger than it was back then. If I can have a machine compromised, it doesn't bode well for newbie users who just turn on and go with Windows Firewall. I may have even been compromised via my own La Fonera... Still investigating.
Back to business, however, and thinking about Fon, I must get round to posting my review of my La Fonera sometime! It's already been taken apart, photographed, examined, compared and praised/criticised, I've already done my own testing so I have my own real life results to post up! Might as well, I have them all on my laptop.
My name's Christopher, and this site's my venue for discussion and highlighting of topics more relevant to my technical (and technological) interests.
It appears that you're interested in newfangled thingumajigs and technological bits 'n bobs (all with a healthy dose of cynicism thrown into the mix - for the best, of course).
I'm glad to know I'm not the only one!
Hopefully this blog and its content contained herein adds some value to somebody else's day... Maybe even yours. Thanks for stopping by. :)
Into The Twittersphere...
Going into the unknown? Bookmark these for the win
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What else does Christopher do?
As well as this site, the most recent creation to crawl from my subconscious, I also spend my time writing on my personal blog (not always safe for work, it is very much my thoughts as they come out so beware!)
When I'm doing work proper, I'm a cross-media designer, systems analyst, solutions provider and general on-call geek for my company, based in the Birmingham area. As an aside, I also provide custom web hosting solutions for people who want a solution that's a little more personal (and cost-effective).
Since moving to the fair city of Birmingham, I've increasingly found it a rich, detailed place to live, and eventually I decided to start blogging about it. Thus was born About Brum, and slowly but surely I'm chipping away at the latest development for it - podcasts highlighting one aspect of the city or the region in depth. Lots more work to do on those, but they should be great when they're finished.