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> —– Forwarded message from jeremy hunsinger —–
>
> From: jeremy hunsinger
> Subject: Warchalking does not exist: a wager.
> To: cypherpunks
> Date: Mon, 30 Jun 2003 12:01:50 -0400
> X-Mailer: Apple Mail (2.552)
>
> Forwarded for a colleague:
>
>
> For background, Warchalking is the use of symbols (marked with chalk)
> to
> indicate the presence of a Wi-Fi hotspot. In pure form, the story of
> warchalking is that there is a subculture of Wi-Fi users that use chalk
> to
> communicate with each other about Wi-Fi locations. Hip/cool businesses
> then
> co-opted the subcultural warchalking to advertise their own hotspots.
> More
> at: http://www.warchalking.org/
>
> My contention is that the first (subcultural) story about warchalking
> above
> is entirely a media phenomenon — it is a beautiful idea, but it
> doesn’t
> make any sense as a directory service to find Wi-Fi. It is too easy to
> miss
> a warchalk mark, and the chalk wears away (or washes away in the rain)
> too
> quickly. Warchalking symbols were heavily promoted in the New York
> Times
> just *48 hours* after they were first made public on the Web. There
> was a
> subsequent wave of media stories about warchalking, giving everyone
> ideas.
> Every single occurrence of chalk I’ve found can be attributed to
> chalkers
> who want to self-promote their own mark. So I believe that people *do*
> rarely make warchalking marks for various reasons (to be cool, to
> advertise
> for their own network) but I *don’t* believe that people use
> warchalking
> marks in a meaningful way to find Wi-Fi.
>
> After the conversation with Steve, on December 18th I posted an call to
> many
> colleagues around the world asking for verifiable instances of
> warchalking
> that work the way that warchalking describes itself. Reports to date:
> zero. If warchalking worked as a directory location service, shouldn’t
> I be
> able to find it?
>
> I just had a close call — a friend told me that my office at Oxford
> had
> been warchalked. Since it is a WEP (non-open) node and I didn’t do it,
> this
> could be half of a “true” instance of warchalking! I ran out as soon
> as I
> heard but couldn’t find the mark. It must have washed away? (Here in
> England, it is raining.)
>
> So I am willing to propose a wager, or a bounty. I’ll bet one dollar
> that
> warchalking is not a meaningful way of locating Wi-Fi hotspots. To win
> the
> bounty, can anyone deliver someone that uses warchalking to locate
> Wi-Fi
> hotspots?
>
> Caveats: (1) Warchalking done by the provider of the hotspot does not
> count — it is supposedly a co-option of the “pure” subculture. I
> dispute
> the subculture, not the self-promotion. (2) I am not disputing that
> wardriving, warwalking, and online hotspot mapping (warchalking with
> bits in
> GIS databases, not with chalk) exist as advertised. (Though others
> have.)
> My beef here is only about the chalk part.
>
> I’ve made a web page for this bet that has the relevant emails I’ve
> sent and
> some links: http://www.niftyc.org/bet/
>
> As you may have guessed I’m writing a paper about this. Email me if
> you
> want a copy when I finish. Thank you for any help!
>
> Christian
>
>
>
> —
> http://www.niftyc.org/
>
> —– End forwarded message —–
>
>
>

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