Saturday, June 24

Wi-Fi Scavenger Charged with Theft

A 20-year-old guy in Vancouver, Washington, has been accused of "theft of services" by a local coffee shop because he never gave the store any actual business.

Allegedly, he just sat in his truck in the parking lot for Broad Awakenings and utilized their free Wi-Fi without ever going into the store and purchasing a drink.

While the techie in me would like to make the case that he did nothing wrong by piggybacking on a service that is offered free, it is obvious (though the article says nothing about whether the coffee shop has explicitly posted anything to this effect) that the service is for customers of the store at which it is provided.

I'm looking forward to the city-wide free WiFi that Earthlink and Google have partnered to provide in cities across the country, but until that happens we still have to be aware that Internet services are still distributed via private enterprise.

Wireless Freeloader Charged Because He Never Bought Coffee - TechWeb

Tuesday, June 20

Legit Movie Downloads are Coming to iTunes

According to this article in the New York Times (see below), Apple and the movie studios are currently in talks to provide films digitally to consumers via the iTunes Music (and Video) Store.

I'm looking forward to this... legal digital delivery of movies is long overdue.

A Coming Attraction: Movies on iTunes - New York Times

Thursday, June 8

Web spreadsheets from Google

Google has launched a new spreadsheet application that runs in your Web browser. I think this is great, and it seems to be pretty feature-packed from the outset. A multi-sheet Excel workbook (with formulas tying together elements from multiple sheets) imported almost perfectly. The onlt problem is that negative numbers, which I chose in the original .xls to show up in red, instead have "[Red]" appended to the beginnings of the below-zero values.

In general I'm impressed, especially since the spreadsheets were so recently introduced. You may need to sign up for an invitation to participate, but those with Google accounts already should be able to get in pretty easily.

Google Spreadsheets

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License. Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available by emailing the author (use the link above).

The Geek Code desperately needs updating, but in any case here's mine (as of 2010-02-28):

Version: 3.12
GIT/MU d+(-) s:+>: a C++> ULXB++++$ L+++ M++ w--() !O !V P+ E---
W+++ N o++ K? PS PE++ Y+ PGP t !5 X- R- tv+@ b++ DI++++ D--- e*++
h--- r+++ y+++ G+

If you really care about knowing what that all means, you either know the code already, or you can get it decoded for you here.