My sister-in-law and niece/goddaughter are visiting St. Louis, and I drove down Friday to see them tonight. It’s been a great trip. I took one of my good friend, Hansenelli, to the shooting range I frequent in StL. It’s apparently under new management, since the guy I’m used to seeing there wasn’t around, and everyone working there was a city cop. They were friendly though, and when asked whether it was ok if I used pre-ban magazines answered, “I don’t care what you use, but rifle targets have to be all the way at the end.” Come on man, of course. My friend and I also managed to kidnap his dad and bring him out there. He had a great time, and is an excellent shot with a handgun. It was his first time shooting since he left the military, and his first shot was dead center. Hansenelli is very good with the rifle, his groupings were impressively tight. Mine weren’t so good, but when I work with it, I try to hit a spot and then try to hit it again as fast as I can re-acquire it. Still not bad though, don’t get me wrong. Just nowhere as good as H. His dad managed to draw a smiley face within a five-inch diameter grouping. We were impressed. I was close at one point, and all I needed (with my usual rapid re-acquire practice strategy) was to add the nose. Couldn’t get it and gave the smiley face a goofy freckle off on his cheekbone. I don’t mind being the worst shot as long as we all had a good time. There was a dude at the range with a professional quality .22 target pistol, counterweights and all sorts of crazy stuff. His eye protection had some magnifying glasses sticking out from it, making him look like some sort of sci-fi villian. He talked a lot of crap to the people he was practicing with, which led me to believe that he’s long ago stopped having fun shooting and now looks at it as a way of making himself feel better than his peers. Sad, really. I’m sure he was very good, and had a great time shooting at one point.
So I’m logged into my neighbors’ wireless network to post this. My mom has the dial-up access, which is clearly substandard. I refuse to transfer data that slowly. I apologize to my neighbor for stealing his internet connection, but I haven’t done anything irresponsible besides that. I’ve been tempted to test whether his admin password is the default, just for purposes of talking to him about it. That would constitute a serious violation of access, however.
Wireless networks have a couple of serious security faults. The most obvious is what I’m dealing with, where my mom’s neighbor set his up without any care for its security. Some asswipe could drive by and log in, screw things up for him. All he’d have to do is reset the factory settings. This procedure requires an ancient tool called a “pencil.” And then he’d have to see whether said asswipe had inflicted any harm while admin of his firewall. Many bars in my town have their networks configured in this half-assed way. They don’t listen. It’s easy to protect. My house’s network is fairly secure, enough so that would-be asswipes would pass me by and look for weaker or sicklier prey.
Another nasty trick is to log into a wireless network and then set up your own wireless network piggybacking on theirs, so people log into your own local wireless service and transmit data through it. I’ve heard of this becoming a problem, although I figure it’s a simple firmware issue on the server to fix it. Any client of the DHCP that’s broadcasting a wireless network gets their IP dropped. Viola. Or Walla, for those readers from Freedom Lick.