Monday, December 19, 2005

Getting feedback on security as an issue.

Is anybody risking company data on the wifi networks such as BT phone boxes?

Is it working so far?

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Bristol has an advent calendar with a selection of web treasures.

Get ready for Saturday when you can open the Bristol Wireless contribution.
Comment on Ruairi's post about free wifi in a cafe.

As far as I know the Southgate Hotel still offers free wifi. The coffee is not cheap though very good value obviously.

Many places that offer food also offer free newspapers. I don't see why web access won't go the same way eventually.

Not that starting up an internet cafe would not be a very sensible idea. More speed, better kit, excellent advice. There is still a place for all this.

I can't work out how to enable comments, but I have found out how to add extra bloggers. So please let me know if you would like to join the study of wi-fi Exeter.
Not only a new contributor but also a map

I am still finding out how this works. I just started it with one spot.

Already someone has added the Cavern dialup. So it must be possible to add all the other wifi spots.

Would the people who understand this stuff please demonstrate?

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

A new blogger for wifiExeter!

It's been a little while since the last post was made to wifiExeter, and I'm going to be helping Will out with the blog and making it a great resource for Wi-Fi access in Exeter.

So, what's the deal?

I've always been interested in wireless communications, from walkie-talkies, CB's to radio broadcast and of course 802.11x. Only recently I've acquired a PSP (PlayStation Portable), which upon further investigation appears to be a great tool for quickly finding access points.

Are open access points for everyones use?

One sticking point however is the questionable case for using an open unencrypted access point.

Often, unencrypted access points are made publically accessible - it is ascertaining the intention of the configuration which is risky. It could be configured as such out of genorosity, or incompetance with network security.

By all means, I work in computer retail and I understand that a lot of people cut corners with wireless networking security. Personally, I'd only use an unencrypted open access point in any situation to read news because of security issues - any traffic could potentially be sniffed and/or manipulated by another person on the network.

An evil minded access point owner could use the ignorance of a network user to collect personal information and login details. It is with some effort possible also to inject replacement content into network connections - ethically this could be advertising, unethically it could be a trojan or spyware.

Nonetheless, it is fascinating to observe the distribution of such a new technology - and Exeter indeed has many access points, with a variety of security.

Talking Security
  • WEP or WPA-PSK Encrypted Networks
    Legally, hacking or attempting to access a WPA or WEP secured network without permission is hacking and almost certainly has legal and moral implications.

    The tools are out there, WEP is trivial to hack - but WPA seems to be the more secure solution.

  • Open Access Point: Fee Taking
    BTOpenzone, MyCloud and itbox pub entertainment machines all offer a way of accessing the internet for a paid fee generally involving a short term subscription or top-up method.

    Quite often the user enables wireless networking, connects to the access point and all attempts to access the internet forward to a default page until payment is taken.

    They are the sure-fire way of legally accessing the internet (however one issue is possible - someone could easily clone an access point and use it to harvest credit card details).

  • Open Access Point: Direct Connection To Internet (Non Encrypted)
    The most interesting wireless networks of all are open directly to the public and gateway directly to the internet. By even connecting to them you could potentially be stepping into a legal grey area if doing so without permission.

    Theoretically, assuming such laws did not apply you could possibly ascertain whether the access point is set up hastily or with giving intent. It would make sense to apply this test to your own networks.

    The main indicators (with an unencrypted network) are:
    1. Upon connection, are other computers available on the network visible in "My Network Places" or equivalent?

    2. Is the computer / device that provided the IP Address browsable via the web browser, and also - does this device appear to use a default username and password?

    If either of those two are applicable, the network is a free for all - whether it be intentional or not - but if it isn't your network, you're probably breaking the law.
Is anyone giving away a free lunch intentionally?

The most interesting point is - does anyone intentionally run a publically accessible wireless gateway intentionally? By all means it would be a great idea for a café to offer free internet access to customers via wireless networking - it'd be a great way to appear modern and entice customers in, but of course you could always have them hanging around too long with their cold cappucino, or even worse having people not even on the premises taking advantage of the gratis access.

Alternatively, you could have an open minded individual who is simply generous with thier resources. I'd certainly consider opening up an access point for free use as long as I could firewall away the evils of the internet effectively. The main point of note is - if you see an open access point that does gateway onto the internet, it's almost always an incompetant installers fault, and unless it's incredibly obvious (advertised in your face) that it's a free for all, tread extremely carefully.

Back to Exeter's Wireless Users

The prevalance of networks was quite astounding upon first inspection. I had sat on the A bus from Alphington into the City Centre, and found a large amount of access points dotted all along the route with various quality and encryption. As the bus was moving and I was uncertain of the legality of using the networks beyond querying their presence, I had opted for just browsing for network names.

My findings were:
  • There were a handful of Wanadoo customers with excellently configured (WPA-PSK) routers.

  • myCloud pay-as-you-go connections had very strong signals indeed.

  • Many access points were set up with just WEP encryption, which of course is illegal to attempt to connect to, but easily hackable.

  • Some access points were open, often with very default looking names like NETGEAR.

  • Some networks refused to send a name and these also had a variety of encryption methods.
  • The City Centre is a hotpot of hotspots.
On my first trip up it was pretty exhilirating seeing all the networks - but shocking to see the mess of network security. It's great to see technology reach maturity quickly, but the responsibility is a major issue. All this from a PSP with an apparant wireless reach of 50m omnidirectional!

Hope you've enjoyed my first post!


Thursday, November 17, 2005

This is not wifi really but I have found the New Inn in Wray. Five screens with fairly fast access. I tried the Bridge Tearooms where the screen seems not to be used much. But they sent me here.

There is a poster about wifi somewhere in Wray. Further investigation required. Maybe a benchmarking trip next summer.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Today is the start of the Open Mute visit.

There seems a good chance something will follow on from this by way of an open source base in or near Exeter. The Phoenix seems to be aware of what is possible.

More later

I already have a website for the worksjhop phase

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

There is an event coming up at the Phoenix around open source software.

MUTE seems to be an arts magazine with a software interest.

Maybe this will connect with the Psand adventures at the Tate Modern and maybe with


OPENMUTE TOUR ANNOUNCEUSERLAND : FREE LIBRE OPEN SOURCE SOFTWARE WORKING FOR YOU!OpenMute is an online collaborative software tool initiative, and thelatest in a cadre of projects by Mute Magazine. OpenMute provides 'freeas in beer' web space, tools and services to the non-profit and creativesectors.The OpenMute tour is a varied set of two-day workshops with an aim tofamiliarise audiences, practitioners and interested parties with thecurrent concepts and practices of Free Open Source Software (or FOSS) aswell as practical hands-on help building a website or creating acommunity project using the OpenMute toolset.The workshops are geared towards teaching 'you' how to use the OpenMuteFLOSS software for your cultural or community needs, and these workshopsare geared towards a novice to intermediate user of these systemsPrice : £20 / £10 concessionsDate : 4th and 5th NovemberDuration : Two DaysTimes : Workshops run 10-5pm, artist's talk first day of workshop 6pmVenue : Exeter Phoenix, Bradninch Place, Gandy Street Exeter, Devon EX4 3LSBooking : 01392 667080 fax: 01392 667599

Thursday, October 13, 2005

This may get a better link with Technorati

Technorati Profile

Time to find out more about syndication etc.

More later, time to stop for food.

Monday, June 20, 2005

I have been invited to a forum for Citizen Reporters organised by OhmyNews in Seoul.

This blog may be updated over the next few days but more likely will be a short report at Guardian talk

My hope is that the Guardian reports this event and makes some connections.

Bandwidth is widely available in Seoul, rather like Exeter will be one day soon.

Sunday, May 15, 2005

The internet marqee has filled up with kids. I suppose that is only to be expected at an education event.

So I have fallen back on wifi and the laptop I brought with me.Seemed not to be working at first but this was just XPservice pack being extra fussy. Once I found where to tell it Psand #8 is ok, allwas well.
Here in Charmouth for HESFES - Home Education Seaside Festival

Psand and Bristol Wireless are offering an internet marquee. Now working ok. There are about 20 Toshiba Satellites from Bristol. Actually cabled but there is wifi as well.

The web access is through satellite. Definitely working at the moment.

Someone from Exeter should definitely visit Bristol for a bit of benchmarking. For one thing there is jazz being broadcast from the Chelsea pub. Most Fridays apparently. I have seen this on the Radio Vague site but I always seem to have missed it.

Surely the Globe could try something similar. There is an IT Box in the corner so there must be some bandwidth. Further investigations when I'm back in Exeter.

Friday, April 15, 2005

The website version is updated a bit but not the page on the tests in September

Not a lot has changed. There may be wifi at the Phoenix one day soon. The IT boxes are not being used in the pubs.

the Peter Chalk Centre did have wifi during the Alt C conference but apparently the university has decided against this longterm. Halls of residence are budgeted for students to pay so much a month for bandwidth.

So the Southgate seems to be the best bet for wifi at the moment. Still only reaching a small part of the possible user base though.
BT seem to be in retreat with Openzone, at least in 'wi-fi Exeter'.

The phone boxes in South Street and Paris Street are now decorated as 'Coolrooms'

This links to where there are endless promotions for Universal product.

The trailers do load quickly so that broadband is shown to work. The sound is dreadful though, better speakers are required.

Not sure how this will work. There is a theory that the internet works best with access to a wide variety of content. Will people interrupt their shopping to just listen to advertising?

The PC World site near Tesco has still not got BT Openworld installed. This is a few months now so I don't think it will happen.

Meanwhile the Southgate Hotel has still got a Freespot offer. Their coffee is not the cheapest available but the model of free wi-fi seems to be working.

Friday, March 11, 2005

Mobile Content Forum will meet at CeBIT on 15th March 1300 - 1700

Almost all the content is in Japanese but they want to meet othere sources. Content may be available in formats for UK and Europe later.

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Just a quick note. Access is 4 euros for 15 minutes. Still, it works fast.

Yesterday snow, cold, sleet. Today very sunny, still quite cold.

Lots of wifi equipment on show. One BT satellite van parked up sending something off. Not sure what. So all the stuff previously discussed is working somewhere.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

I'm on my way to CeBIT at the moment. Could be interesting, there seems to be a lot of forward thinking.

Connected with Exeter animation, there is a stand representing
digitale kultur will have a booth at cebit... join us hall 27, booth 01(right at ati). we will have some more information on our webpage soon...

Sunday, February 20, 2005

SVG Zone - Developer Track - Reflections

This is an explanation of an SVG site that includes animation.

To describe the navigation menu as 'slightly mysterious' is to understate things as I found it.

Still, Flash designers will be happy with this I suppose.

Well worth a look, some screens look interesting when you find them.

Can't see it working oin a phone though. Mobile SVG

This article has a link to the W3 standards and other explanation of how SVG can work on a mobile.

During the Careers Day of Animated Exeter there was discussion on how animation could work on mobile phones. Flash seems to be one option but SVG is another. The people from Channel 4 were keen that the same animation could be shown on TV or phone.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Untitled Document

It turns out that at least two of the animations shown at the Phoenix yesterday are on the web.

This link is to one soundtrack from a London Tale. It should work ok on low bandwidth.

gets to a file that can be downloaded so only patience is required.

Saturday, February 12, 2005

Animex, a digital fringe for Animated Exeter, now has a lot of downloads from

This could work with wi-fi but actually cable to screen is more likely.

Probably there will be something at Panasonic Harlequin Centre on Tuesday.

And at the Games Day at the Phoenix tomorrow.

Meanwhile, some links. These notes will be expanded later. Not much time at the moment.
A N ew Canvas at 3.

This short essay by Knowlton on his work is published in Ruth
Leavitt's Artist and Computer, Harmony Press, 1976.

Knowlton reflects on art and the role of the computer.

Permission: sought

digital art museum


permission history




bulletin board


Title Artificial Sentience
Artist / Source Written and Directed by Pete Gomes
Copyright Pete Gomes
File Name C:\DOCUME~1\VITALS~1\LOCALS~1\TEMP\artsen.ram
Send Media Link by E-mail
Length 1:47
File Size 0KB
Format RealVideo
Quality 20Kbps
Audio Channels 1
Rights Summary There are no rights or restrictions associated with
this clip

recent 98



Erkki Huhtamo (SF), B.A., M.F.A. Phil. Lic., University of Turku,
Finland. Associate Professor, UCLA. Researcher, Writer & Curator.
Specialities include media archaeology and the history of media art.
Writings translated in 11 languages. Books (in Finnish) include "The
Archaeology of Virtuality" (1995), "The Archaeology of the Moving
Image" (1996) and "Phantasmagoria" (2000). Curator of many
exhibitions, including Digital Mediations (Art Center, Pasadena 1995),
Unexpected Obstacles - Perry Hoberman (ZKM Karlsruhe, 1998) and Alien
Intelligence (KIASMA Museum of Contemporary Art, Helsinki 2000).
Creator of the installation "Ride of Your Life" (SurroGate2, ZKM,
Karlsruhe, 1998). Director and script writer of TV series for YLE (The
Finnish TV). Member of media festival organizing committees and
juries, including Interactive Media Festival (L.A., 1995) and
Portraits in Cyberspace (MIT Media Lab, 1996).

Reflections on Digital Arts, Codes and Coders



powerpoint slides




one image


about the net


Every fourth Friday of the month at 9 pm the Edith Russ Site For Media
Art broadcasts artists videos on Oldenburg's open access television O

Next broadcast on Friday, 25 February 2005, 9.05-11 pm

Video Visions archive

current web design


actually about fimmuseum in brussels

2.- Filmmuseum
Musée du cinéma

Rue Baron Horta 9 Baron Hortastraat
Bruxelles 1000 Brussel
Tel : 02 507 83 70


---------- enred/zehar/zehar2/45/Zehar45Bonet.pdf




Mythical Creature
Quicktime Movie(1.2M)
Download it!

image two

Butterfly Dance
Quicktime Movie(1.4M)
Download it!

image three

Lost Fish
Quicktime Movie(1.3M)
Download it!

These three works were done between 1970-1973. It was an interactive
system. The objects' movement axis of rotation were controlled using
buttons and switches. A light pen device was used to generate a path.





Lillian F. Schwartz




Thursday, January 06, 2005

Since Acrobat 7 is now out, wifi is not really so crucial. Adobe seemed to assume broadband as a future when designing Acrobat 5 and 6. Not sure of the dates here, but see 'Network Publishing' as an idea. Now with 7 the comment features in Reader can be activated offline. Also forms can be completed offline and the data sent as XML so the files are small. Maybe server software really needs little bandwidth but my previous impression was that Adobe assume people are online all the time, an aspect of broadband.

wifi and satellite have been a possible solution for rural broadband. However in the UK, BT have eventully decided to activate all exchanges anyway. Maybe wifi helped to encourage this.

By the way, PC World have moved from Exe Bridge to near Tesco and the M5. This is still part of Exeter but not city centre. As of earlier this week BT have still not installed their wifi access, I think it is called Openzone. Lots of home networking including wifi. So Exeter is moving backwards at the moment. PC World was the only site with wifi and technical support.

Plan A is still to work on Animex, a digital fringe for Animated Exeter. Based at Life Bytes, 24 Paris Street. Mostly stuff that has already been downloaded, stored to disc, copied to CD.

This will connect with mobile devices, wifi etc. later