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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on August 18, 2008 10:21 AM. The previous post in this blog was East Portland pool: $1 million plus just for architects. The next post in this blog is Let's hang on. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.



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E-mail, Feeds, 'n' Stuff

Monday, August 18, 2008


We were visiting some friends whose Linksys wireless router was causing frustration, and I got it into my head to play with it and try to fix the problem. The situation was this: The internet into the house via cable modem was working fine, and everyone's laptops were getting a strong, unsecured signal from the router, but when you went to browse the internet or pick up e-mail, no data would come through.

From past experience on the phone with some nice young guy in India, I knew that you could "talk'" to the modem with your computer and change various settings, and after Googling numerous sites with various suggestions about the issue, I decided to give that a try. You send the browser to, and you should be able to log in and access the router settings. When I first attempted this, however, the user name that I tried didn't work. On my router, the proper user name is [none], and the password is admin. (I had written all of this down in my Palm Pilot during a previous tech support episode, with my own setup.) Some more Googling revealed that on some Linksys models, both the user name and the password are admin. When I gave that a try, voila! I was in.

I figured out a way to reset, via the laptop, all the various router settings to the way they were in the factory -- and I held in the reset button on the back of the router, which I think did the same thing. Still nothing.

After a few hours of playing around, getting nowhere with the various solutions that the internet suggested, I thought I'd try changing the Wireless Network Name that the router was giving off. Straight out of the box, the network is named "linksys," and it occurred to me that my laptop already had connected to one or more wireless networks with that name. Maybe the laptop was trying to use settings that it had established while connected to the other networks with the same name, and that was screwing things up. If it was, it wasn't just my laptop doing that -- several folks had tried and failed at getting to the internet out of this particular router. Anyway, just for kicks, I changed the name to "linksys2." The laptop saw it, I connected to it, and I reconnected the router to the cable modem.

And at that point, dear readers, that little rush of tech-geeky endorphins was felt throughout the house. Part of a lovely day.

Comments (17)

I hope you at least changed the admin password while you were at it. Although not changing it has it's benefits. At my old house, we disconnected the internet a day before moving out. My neighbors had a "secured" wireless, but had not changed the default password. My internet needs were satisfied for the remaining hours before we moved on.

I did remove my system from the "approved" list when I was done. :)

Now. Go change the password. Because if you don't have encryption turned on, anyone who drives by can grab a hold of that little linksys and have their way with it.

[I]f you don't have encryption turned on, anyone who drives by can grab a hold of that little linksys and have their way with it.

And that's a problem because . . .

Congrats! You've learned to be a techie ... just takes experience and a willingness to try things to find a solution. That's the big secret: if it starts off broken, you can't break it.

Ummm - kind of scary on many levels. I'm reading about an unsecured wireless network that uses easily guessed passwords and wireless network ID names.

Kind of begging for trouble. Especially if you have readers who might be inclined and savvy enough to exploit the listed vulnerabilities.

See the full list of steps to take. For EVERYONE running a wireless network.

And that's a problem because . . .

Well for one, if they can get into your router, they can get into your computer. Two, they could download music and the RIAA cops sue YOU (its your IP#, and you cant prove it wasnt actually you doing it), or worse, they could download some kiddie porn, and you go to jail for the same reason cant prove it wasnt you.

Also, I think ISPs like Comcast can terminate your service for allowing it, based on the "Terms of Service" you agreed to when you subscribed.

Ah, yes, the usual litany of horribles: financial ruin, public disgrace, jail. Any examples?

if they can get into your router, they can get into your computer

I'm not very well informed in this area, and I think this can be a useful discussion for internet users generally. But I don't think the above statement can necessarily be true. Many of us have firewalls that are intended to prevent unauthorized access to the computer, and some of these programs even prevent unauthorized outbound activity. That seems to me to limit the problems of an open wireless connection to (a) unauthorized use of the ISP's internet service, and (b) eavesdropping on traffic on the open network. One can solve (b) with a VPN setup; I don't much care about (a), despite Jon's warning. Others?

Something else to think about is that there are also reports Comcast & other ISPs will soon start charging extra if you go over a set bandwidth limit (based on what a "normal" household should be using). If the rest of your neighborhood is sharing your connection, you could start getting charges for the extra bandwidth being used.

I guess I look at my internet connection like electricity or cable TV. If my neighbor was stealing those, I would be upset too.

They can't have their way with your router unless they're close enough to be seen parking in front of your house. Even then, they may only be trying to read your blog for free.
Please consider motive and opportunity.

BUT the internet is NOT "electricity or cable TV," no matter in what specious bubble 'you guess you look at it like.

The internet IS telephone.

The many of us who pay a flat, fixed monthly payment for telephone 'dial tone' connection -- as landlines always were and still are, fixed monthly rate -- DO NOT CARE how many neighbors use our phone to make or receive local calls. A variety of people making calls on one phone line, does not change the way, and not change how much, the line 'operates.' ('Long distance' being a different fee structure for land lines, cell phones, and internet. And not germane in the UNalike analogy.)

We TELEPHONE PROPRIETY people only care that the telephone co maintains 'dial tone' line continuity, and is NOT monitoring or charging for our information CONTENT on the line. Else, stock traders who make millions of dollars on insider tips information, should pay excessively for their 'data traffic/bandwidth,' compared with grandkids calling grandparents to sing Happy Birthday. ... which is also worth "millions" -- rich 'traffic'/high 'bandwidth' -- and the phone company does not care, because they don't have to, just doing (for one 'full price') their job maintaining line continuity (24/7).

It isn't "unsecured" vs "secured", it should be "open" vs "closed". Naturally, coming from the group I do, I prefer "open". "Closed" wireless networks just aren't good manners. Ask security guru Bruce Schneier how he secures his wifi networks.

BUT the internet is NOT "electricity or cable TV," no matter in what specious bubble 'you guess you look at it like.

The internet IS telephone.

Ok, I meant that as a service I pay for.
But since you brought it up, fine. Telephone too. And the traditional phone company charges per minute for long-distance calls. IF someone hacked into your phone line and started making phone calls YOU had to pay extra for, wouldnt you be upset? Using a service I pay for without my permission is the same as stealing from me.

I actually think that internet access should be free for everyone, but the current companies controlling the access, ie: Comcast, etc...they own the lines.
They will never let that happen.
It would require a Chavez-like takeover of the lot of them to make it a government-run service.

Hey Prof Jack -- a great LO-TECH way to hide the password is to Scotch tape it to the bottom of the router or modem. Just in case you lose your Palm.

"IF someone hacked into your phone line and started making phone calls YOU had to pay extra for, wouldnt you be upset?"

Yes, I would be upset. So I would aim to change the terms of access, (to fixed fee for 24/7 connection or 'dial tone,' and then specifics of use-activity minutes not itemized), either by switching to get access from a different 'provider,' (to put the first one out of business), or by switching the access terms of my existing 'provider,' (to put it out of its old and into its new way of doing business). Yeah, grandiose statement. 'Impossible,' yet it is truth, and truth has a quality of being always the way that wins out.

"It would require a Chavez-like takeover of the lot of them to make it a government-run ['public' access terms] service."

Yup, more or less exactly. In dissertation, for 'Chavez-like' the term is 'socialist.' You can say socialist and use socialist, it's not going to bite you and it is not a bad (obscene) word. The US Post Office is a socialist institution. The public school system is a socialist institution ... until rightwing wackos started 'wedging' issues in it, trying to 'break off' private 'charters' for (their) private profit ... and, in that, what started 'them' (rightists) was NOT profit-making as an ideology, (only as the mechanism), and/but rather, instead, the ubermoralistic religio-rightists bloc who galvanized spontaneously out of nowhere (on the political landscape), post-Roe v. Wade about 1975; started in cable TV's advent which contained 'preacher' channels (for the 1st time in TV-programming the MassMind) with evangelizers promising that viewers could 'donate' in the collection plate to political wherewithal for overturning Roe v. Wade. Thus the 'single issue' anti-abortion bloc came into being, and instead of standing on its own as a 'third party,' it invaded the body of the GOP and turned Republicans into 'pod people', zombies -- look like Republicans, smell like Republicans, talk like Republicans, but with a 'secret' inner-tyrant righteous 'Christ Almighty' God's-law-takeover-man's-law agenda.

Their main strategy was to take over public education schools, stop teaching evolution, start teaching Bible, then those kids would grow up, get elected Congress, and overturn Roe v. Wade. (FYI: Review public school upheaval, 1975-2008. Oregon's CIM/CAM was a facet, a local example, of this school 'reformation.')

The 'morally righteous' anti-abortion bloc, polls consistently about 12% of census (population), or 1-out-of-8, (or one person in each required set of great-grandparents, which, like 1/2, 1/4, 1/8, 1/16, etc. occurrences of uniformly-constant fixated 'types' in human population, is the hallmark of a genetic-expressed feature; besides 'self-righteous brain,' a second example of genetic-feature 'type' of people is 'homosexual brain,' again about 1-of-8, 12-of-100 (so: inherited from g-grandparent) ... or, say 10%, if 2-out-of-12 act/behave in denial. Actually, 'self-righteous brain' polls consistently about 15-of-100 in American culture, so 3-out-of-15 are acting in 'anti-denial,' that is, pretend being righteous, pretend not being crass or perv.)

The added NEW 12%-of-population single-issue voting bloc, (political activists out-of-nowhere, never existed before Roe v. Wade), elected Reagan, 1980, and were so-called 'Reagan Democrats' whereas, in fact, there was NOT a group of Democrats who 'converted' to GOP-think. The difference between Eisenhower's 1950 Republican Party, (or Nixon's 1960), and Reagan's 'big tent' 1980 Rep.Party, is simply the same-old same-old 'Daddy Warbucks financier fat-cats' with the religious 'righteous' bloc grafted on; (the placental 'after-birth' of the 1974 delivery of Roe v. Wade).

And that, girls and boys, ladies and germs, is what the 'Republican revolution' has been about all along, since Reagan. The damn bilous 'liver-spot' placenta of legalized-abortion backlash, a voting bloc, attached parasite between the shoulder blades of the traditional 'conservative' (1-out-of-4 prevalence) Republican voting bloc, giving the appearance of some sort of troglodyte or hunchbacked political party. It cemented the relationship when cable preacher-TV channels became (by 1985) billion-dollar-a-year 'donation' cash flows, which Robertson/Falwell shlush-funded into GOP campaigns &tc. (By 2000, EACH cable TV channel is $2-billion per year cash flow. Give or take a few hundred million, mostly 'give.' Emphasis on: CASH, as in, your monthly cable payment. Fungible liquidity; mother's milk of politicos. It ain't 20-year 'mortgage' money; nor 50-year 'pension' money.)

So, 'they' elected Reagan. 'They' whack at the public school system, stigmatizing it as 'socialistic.' The TV-preachers live rich in mansions -- and you're not 'saved' -- with gold-plated bathroom fixtures and appointments. And the 'real' Republicans do NOT have any policy positions or principles other than Smash and Undo FDR ... and all that 1930s 'socialism' stuff ... such as (1) Social Security. And (2) the SEC (archived 1930-2000 records obliterated in WTC Bldg 7, Nine-Eleven Op). And (3) the FCC (on topic here, the WiFi thingy). (4)Go to war and (5) stay there.

And (6) labor unions, wherever there's a chance to Smash and Grab. But the revolting Republicans have about run out of acolyte new blood. Mainly because kids these days don't care or don't righteous themselves about other people's private abortions.

So we see emerging statements like this: Ore. GOP candidate ruffles Republican feathers, By BRAD CAIN / Associated Press, 08/16/2008 -- (versus David Wu) Republican congressional candidate Joel Haugen ... supporting Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama ... endorsed Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Jeff Merkley ... (says) "The whole anti-abortion, anti-gay focus seems to be the litmus test for Republicanism these days. I don't think that's good for the party, and I don't think that's good for the country."

So "Chavez-like" socialism is NOT 'bad evil' to Republican Americans. Only 'godless commie pinko' Evolution knowledge is 'bad evil.' That's all it ever was, the 'godless' part, stuck in the craw of the 'self-righteous brain' dodos. Who we call 'clueless' dinosaurs.

For heaven's sake, anyone who starts 'believing in' that Evolution concept, next thing you know they'll be talking human-caused 'global climate crisis' and then 'peak oil' and 'environment rape' desecration, exploitation, and exhaustion. And it ain't got a bit o' God in it. The Repugnant Revolt all rides on anti-abortion preacher-TV, and preacher-TV all rides on Evolution Denial.

[For the British version of the God-prop, since 1588, see here; (I personally like the astrology ingredient).]

But there is nothing wrong with talking SOCIALISM. Some of America's best ideas, most Domestic Tranquility, and greatest General Welfare, are instituted in the socialist economics. The Post Office -- everyone gets US Mail service, tax-subsidized. 'Free' public schooling -- how'd that work for you, can you read this? All the public 'utility' stuff -- food farming, water, sewer, garbage removal, electricity, telephone, streets, railroads, shipping ports, airports, parks, recreations, arts, public buildings, functionary bureaucracy, radio broadcasting (in its original conception), and what-have-you, ALL tax-subsidized. How's that working for you?

It's the list of the things that Republicans aim to Smash and Undo. That's why social-good health care is such a vicious fight -- it's the rightist principle of Smash it, versus the leftist commonwealth sense of public health being a good thing. Only there's no 'God' in the issue, so Repub's are fighting without their hunchback Church Ladies auxiliary.

Conversely, nationalistic militarism in a 'standing army' was never supposed to be socialized, tax-subsidized perpetually. Then came the Pentagon, 1947. Even it was being downsized and foreign 'bases' closed, when the 1970s began, (retreat from Vietnam). Until the uber-godly bloc saw the potential for 'Christian soldiers' marching off on crusades to slay infidel Arabs or to 'convert' inscrutable Asians. Reagan-presto!, the StarWars lightsaber of God and a $10 trillion price tag ... such a bargain, although now the great-great-grandkids's generation is in hock, flat broke, and it isn't even born yet. Maybe 1-out-of-16 will survive -- if the good Lord's willing and the ocean don't rise.

What's this got to do with the joyous sense of fulfillment in "tech-geeky endorphins"? Just saying, the INTERNET is TELEPHONES on growth-hormone steroids. Evolution is still going on, continuously, especially in human brain evolution adapting fitter survival with communication immersion. Heck yes, the INTERNET is a UTILITY, like water, (Oregon beaches and riverbanks), open land, (Oregon Land Use statewide zoning), and air quality, (but not air conditioning). Is this or is this not the place and times of human Dignity Village at the end of the evolutionary trail?

It is. So we can seize our telephony -- carpe dial tone -- exactly Chavez-like, (who is very popular, btw, 80% in his constituency), just by electing representatives who we can order to 'socialize this.' Screw Wu. And the morals mob, too. Vote for Haugen. He's there for us on the 'internets' thingy issue.

On the subject of encryption: use WPA. Once enough packets are gathered, WEP encryption can be cracked in under a minute. Gathering those packets can take half an hour or a couple days depending on the amount of packets going between the wireless router and the computer connected to it wirelessly, but it's really trivial to do.

And if you *really* want to go hog-wild with policy and all, check and see if it works on your router. Good stuff.


As a lawyer/blogger, I get
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In Vino Veritas

Lange, Pinot Gris 2015
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Kirkland, Côtes de Provence Rosé 2016
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Cleto Charli, Lambrusco di Sorbara Secco, Vecchia Modena
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Edmunds St. John, Bone-Jolly Rosé 2016
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Chehalem, Inox Chardonnay 2015
The Four Graces, Pinot Gris 2015
Gascón, Colosal Red 2013
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L'Ecole No. 41, Merlot 2013
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Wraith, Cabernet, Eidolon Estate 2012
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Tomassi, Valpolicella, Rafaél, 2014
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Helix, Pomatia Red Blend 2013
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Phil Stanford - Rose City Vice
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Neil Young - Waging Heavy Peace
Mark Bego - Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul (2012 ed.)
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Deborah Eisenberg - Transactions in a Foreign Currency
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. - Slaughterhouse Five
Kathryn Lance - Pandora's Genes
Cheryl Strayed - Wild
Fyodor Dostoyevsky - The Brothers Karamazov
Jack London - The House of Pride, and Other Tales of Hawaii
Jack Walker - The Extraordinary Rendition of Vincent Dellamaria
Colum McCann - Let the Great World Spin
Niccolò Machiavelli - The Prince
Harper Lee - To Kill a Mockingbird
Emma McLaughlin & Nicola Kraus - The Nanny Diaries
Brian Selznick - The Invention of Hugo Cabret
Sharon Creech - Walk Two Moons
Keith Richards - Life
F. Sionil Jose - Dusk
Natalie Babbitt - Tuck Everlasting
Justin Halpern - S#*t My Dad Says
Mark Herrmann - The Curmudgeon's Guide to Practicing Law
Barry Glassner - The Gospel of Food
Phil Stanford - The Peyton-Allan Files
Jesse Katz - The Opposite Field
Evelyn Waugh - Brideshead Revisited
J.K. Rowling - Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
David Sedaris - Holidays on Ice
Donald Miller - A Million Miles in a Thousand Years
Mitch Albom - Have a Little Faith
C.S. Lewis - The Magician's Nephew
F. Scott Fitzgerald - The Great Gatsby
William Shakespeare - A Midsummer Night's Dream
Ivan Doig - Bucking the Sun
Penda Diakité - I Lost My Tooth in Africa
Grace Lin - The Year of the Rat
Oscar Hijuelos - Mr. Ives' Christmas
Madeline L'Engle - A Wrinkle in Time
Steven Hart - The Last Three Miles
David Sedaris - Me Talk Pretty One Day
Karen Armstrong - The Spiral Staircase
Charles Larson - The Portland Murders
Adrian Wojnarowski - The Miracle of St. Anthony
William H. Colby - Long Goodbye
Steven D. Stark - Meet the Beatles
Phil Stanford - Portland Confidential
Rick Moody - Garden State
Jonathan Schwartz - All in Good Time
David Sedaris - Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim
Anthony Holden - Big Deal
Robert J. Spitzer - The Spirit of Leadership
James McManus - Positively Fifth Street
Jeff Noon - Vurt

Road Work

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