Channeling Wi-Fi's Hungry Spirit

Crowding in the network neighborhood

If you distrust five of your senses and the sixth isn't returning your calls, it may be that your environment has become sodden with microwaves. Too airy and hectic to be detected using old-school sensory apparatus, the microwaves that transport your digital diet through the walls and hallways of your neighbor's house are the same energy puffs your neighbor uses to meet his own daily requirements, which is just a fancy way of saying that the hood's available bandwidth is inversely proportional to its appetite. This is why your wireless router is such a reliable source of madness.

While many have approached this problem from the two-pronged vantage point afforded by inSSIDer and Nmap, diplomacy shouldn't be entirely ruled out. If your neighbor is a reasonable man, he will immediately understand how delusional he is to believe that there are eleven Wi-Fi channels in the 2.4 GHz band; if your neighbor is a reasonable woman, she will immediately see that there is room for only three. On the other hand, if both stream terabytes at 300 Mbps and laugh when you demand they use the 5 GHz band instead, it may be time to go home and rethink your stubborn refusal to give up your Tomatoed 54GL.

History bites its own tail, and technology never does. Radio silence will come again, but how many senses will you have by then?


The Best Christmas Ever

Adios, Santa. Same time next year? Like a drink of shallow water, the tardy gift that trickles in long after holiday spirits have gone to Bermuda only twists the knife, adding injury to injury and insult to the colored lights that so floated my boat only last month, when Santa was still a five-letter word. Little more than caustic reminders of Christmas passedon the shoulder with airbags deployedthey must now be disassembled in grudging anticipation of next year's display, if that even jives with the cost of oldfangled incandescent joules in an LED world.

Was it something I said, Santa, that kept your delivery at bay? Port 2120 was open, but no holiday packets arrived by land, by sea, or by way of any of the other 65,535 possible routes you might have explored on your traditional nighttime voyage, had you been able to see through your beard.

So westward ho, Santa, and the same to your mules and your deer as their compasses spin wildly in the ruined magnetosphere of the Triangle. Far from the cat's meow, travelling with an expired passport only begs the question-and-answer session that must follow when careful x-ray scrutiny of the private sector fails to illuminate its hidden agenda.

Having now broached the subject of mules, I could hardly be excused for neglecting the original point of this diatribe, namely, breeding down. While I'm certain the concept has been entertained by many, putting it into practice requires a special sort of personby which I mean someone whose head routinely grazes ceilings while remaining shrouded in mist, even on the sunniest dayin concert with another, much shorter but similarly special person whose head remains well below sea level. This combination, when it procreates, is generally believed to result in a Category Three Child-Unit, which is to say, a human being whose height is neither above nor below that recommended by the American Standards Society. Happily, this methodology is likely to be equally successful during subsequent breeding cycles, thus increasing the viability of the tribe by reducing its dependence on knee-walking, or step ladders.

For our part, we wish the Double A well as they embark on their great mountain adventure, even as we struggle to pronounce our new titles with so much spittle in the way. Nevertheless, Faux Pas and Faux Mas certainly suggest the quiet, dignified authority we have come to associate with our quiet, dignified personalities, and we will persevere.


"The person who doesn't scatter the morning dew will not comb gray hairs."

    Hunter S. Thompson