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amen to david sifry's homily on the dangers of playing somebody else's game with the language you use:

" Community broadband activists: We need to be careful about how the media portays us, lest we become painted with the same "hacker, cracker, pirate, lawbreaker" brush that the MPAA and RIAA love to paint users of file swapping services and internet radio. This starts with terminology and concrete example. Why do we call it wardriving, for example? Or Warchalking? Well, it sounds cool, and we techies like the sounds of the terms. It sounds cool and dangerous. But it plays into the monopolist's hands.

We can battle this. Get involved in, and promote a low-income or egalitarian use of WiFi, like a project to wire towns in the Dominican Republic or set up wireless access at your local library."

i'm not buying doc's assessment that it's too late to "repress" the words. this whole crazy wifi thing is still in it's infancy and almost nobody in the general public has an inkling on what wardriving or warchalking mean.

i do know that almost everybody i know outside the tech community thinks i'm doing something "wrong" just by wardriving - even though i have no intention of leaching off other people's bandwidth. the problem is compounded by the words we use and i doubt trying to convince people that it's just innocuous "[w]ireless [a]ccess [r]econnaissance" is going to make a bit of diffference.

maybe something like netmapping, airmapping or wapmapping? maybe not. but i'll bet that an alternative catchy phrase could sweep through the blogosphere just as quickly as warchalking.

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7/04/2002 03:14:00 PM 0 comments


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