June 19th, 2008

Neko (lofulah)


Unix Express: Split into three operating companies.

Linux Cooperative:
All passengers bring a piece of the aeroplane and a box of tools with them to the airport. They gather on the tarmac, arguing constantly about what kind of plane they want to build and how to put it together. Eventually, the passengers split into groups and build several different aircraft, but give them all the same name. Some passengers actually reach their destinations. All passengers believe they got there.
Apple Airlines:
The terminal is neat and clean, the attendants are attractive, the pilots very capable, the planes are beautiful, and you always reach the correct destination... unfortunately they have a fairly small fleet, most planes have no baggage compartment or overhead storage, and the seats aren't adjustable. Frequent Apple fliers are known to attack anyone who suggests that these are important features.

Legacy Express:
The terminal is neat and clean, albeit in an "industrial" style. You have to choose your plane ahead of time, because different planes only fly to different cities, and if your luggage doesn't match your plane you need to hire a baggage consultant to adjust it to fit. But the planes are fast, efficient, and always arrive on time or even ahead of schedule.

Windows Airlines:
The terminal is very neat and clean, with security barriers every few meters. The attendants are attractive, even if it's kind of creepy how much they want to "help" (especially in the restrooms). The pilots are allegedly very capable, though nobody ever sees them and there's an armed guard by the cockpit door. The fleet of jets it operates are immense. Your jet takes off without a hitch, pushing above the clouds, and at 20,000 feet a message pops up on the seat back in front of you asking "Should this plane explode now?".

Some idiot always answers "Yes"

Neko (lofulah)

On the note of free wifi...

Three things are certain in life:

1. Death
2. Taxes
3. Increasingly complicated analogy wars in discussions of wi-fi freeriding



"I liken using somebody's unsecured wireless network to listening to a neighbor's music that they play loud enough for me to hear. I didn't ask my neighbor to send wifi signals into my home."

"Suppose you bought a used car lot, but not to sell the cars, just to have a nice inventory onhand for your friends and family who live nearby. You want to make it easy and convenient, so you get all the cars rekeyed so the same key will operate them all. You want to announce this service and distribute the keys, but it's too much trouble to look up each person's mailing address. So you get 1000 copies of the key made and bulk-mail them to everyone in the zip code, addressed to "Occupant", with an invitation that says "Feel free to borrow one of my cars!"

Naturally, you assume that only the friends and family you intended will use the cars. Imagine your surprise when you see strangers borrowing the cars!

Is this bad? Well, it's not doing anyone any harm... as long as you have enough cars left over for your friends and family too... as long as the strangers don't run over pedestrians with your cars and get the cops on your ass... as long as the local car rental company doesn't find out and come break your kees for stealing their business... Hmm, all in all, maybe it'd be safer to give the keys out only to selected individuals!"

"That was even worse. More accurate analogy: you have a loudspeaker shouting "HI! COME IN!" to all passersby. I ring your doorbell, and a key to the house and a nametag pops out of the mail slot.

Don't want me in your house? Don't advertise free admission then give me a key and a nametag."

"I twisted the doorknob (initiated association with the accesspoint), and the doorknob gave me permission to enter by retracting the latch (allowing me to associate and giving me a DHCP lease). The owner of the door could have configured the door differently, by engaging the lock mechanism (using WEP or WPA), so since he didn't I'm free to enter and watch his HBO (use his broadband internet access). I'm not "stealing" from him, because it's not like he has less HBO (internet) now that I've viewed some of his HBO (internet)."