I was sitting in a meeting at the Floyd High School one day recently with my laptop conspicuously up and running. (I’m not that much of a geek as I am painfully awful anymore at longhand and use OneNote on the ThinkPad to keep legible notes, and set alarms and put things on the calendar.)
But here’s the point: Out of curiosity I told my wireless connection to find wireless access from that high school conference room. In addition to the encrypted high school routers I expected, there appeared a Holiday Inn wireless. That’s weird. The nearest was a good 25 miles away. But then I often pull up this kind of inexplicable and impossibly far-off routers in Café del Sol and such places around Floyd. What gives?
I never understood this, but here’s the scoop: It has to do with the benignly but uselessly “viral” spread of individual computers that have connected to specific “access points” that then appear to others as “ad hoc networks” that look like access points but aren’t.
Read the TechBlog piece for all the details, and next time you pull up the Baltimore Sherton Wi-Fi from your local Blacksburg bagel shop, you’ll know why.