Automatic wireless connections

Published: 2008-06-26
Last Updated: 2008-06-27 02:10:45 UTC
by Daniel Wesemann (Version: 2)
2 comment(s)

Normally, I'm annoyed when I can't get a wireless connection to the Internet. But recently, while riding the commuter train and working on my laptop, I was surprised by a "connected to..." pop up that was immediately followed by a disconnect. Huh? Time for some checking. Turns out the problem was relatively benign. First of all, I had not turned off wireless like I normally do when it is not in use (I really like the mechanical "radio off" switch at the front of my Thinkpad). Secondly, I had recently stayed at an unnamed motel chain whose WLAN access points were using "Super8" as SSID. Even though I'm usually paying attention to this sort of thing, the SSID ended up staying behind as a "preferred network" with automatic connection in my Windows wireless profiles. I doubt that there is a motel of this chain next to the MTA Harlem line, but at least a matching SSID was present, and my PC eagerly latched on to it.

I don't mind automatic connection to a wireless network that uses a WPA key, there I know at least with some certainty what I am connecting to. But automatic connection to an "open" wireless network only because it happens to be called "Super8" or "Linksys" or whatever .... I really think those days should be over, the sooner the better.  Goes without saying that the list of "preferred networks" on my laptop is now empty again, or at least devoid of any non-WPA networks.

Update: Fellow ISC handler Raul Siles pointed out that there is a MS patch available that apparently is not being pushed via Auto-Update. If you are still on XPSP2, scroll down to where it reads "Changes for nonbroadcast networks" for plenty good reasons why you might want to have this patch. SP3 already includes this.


Keywords: wireless
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How Well Would Your Business Survive?

Published: 2008-06-26
Last Updated: 2008-06-26 02:15:42 UTC
by Deborah Hale (Version: 1)
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Well a month has passed since my State - the wonderful State of Iowa, began to receive some of the worst hammering from Mother Nature that we have ever seen.  It started out with Tornado's taking out whole town's at the end of May to the floods taking out towns and a large section of Cedar Rapids in June


It just so happens that I was in Cedar Rapids the first week of June.  I spoke at a State Conference - Safeguard Iowa Partnership and then on to Des Moines where I spoke again.  Little did I know that just days later I would wake to hear that a large section (reported 1200 square blocks) of downtown Cedar Rapids was under water and that the Des Moines area was facing many problems due to high water and over flowing rivers and creeks.  The week before while I was in Cedar Rapids, I went to visit one of my vendors who was located in the downtown area.  They were in a building that had a bank branch on the main floor and their offices occupied the 2nd floor of the building. 


I finally was able to get in touch with them last week.  I asked them how they had faired the flood and they said they hadn't faired well.  They were advised to move out of their facility so they began moving things to higher ground, employee’s homes, etc.  He said that their building ended up under water.  He said that the first floor was completely under water and that they had about 1.5 feet of water in the office area on the second floor.  Now I want you all to close your eyes, and picture a building in your city that is 4 or 5 stories tall.  Imagine that building (with high ceilings) completely under water to the 2nd floor.  We have a building here in the city that I live in that is almost identical to the bank building in Cedar Rapids. I can not imagine the devastation that my fellow Iowan’s are feeling on the other side of the state.  The section of downtown that they were located in had many small businesses, really charming little pubs and restaurants.  They are all gone, under water, building uninhabitable and homes gone. My heart goes out to them.


Iowa is a small state by most people’s standards.  We have a total of 99 counties.  Of those 99 counties 84 have been declared a disaster area by the Governors’ Proclamation and 76 of those counties have received Presidential Proclamations.  We, in my part of the state, have been very fortunate.  Other than the tornado that destroyed our Boy Scout Camp and took the lives of 4 of our finest (Boy Scouts) we have dodged the bullet, but we have felt the pain that the rest of the state has felt.


We don’t have a final accounting of the financial costs to the state and it may be a long time before we know for sure.  However, the news tonight indicated that the loss expected just to the corn and soy crops is estimated to be 3 billion dollars.  Add to this the loss of resources, possessions, businesses and homes and you would think that the great people of Iowa would be ready to just pack it in.   But we aren’t, we are all pitching in, doing whatever needs to be done to make the recovery possible.  And our emergency personnel, Army and Air Guard units and responders, though very tired, have hung in like troopers.  They have made all the difference.


So why am I including this in the diary at the Internet Storm Center?  Really for 2 reasons, one to update those who have asked, those who are concerned.  The second reason is to remind everyone, it is not “IF it happens - it is WHEN it happens".  Your business may never face the magnitude of destruction that we are dealing with, but without a plan, any destruction can mean the end of your business.  Plan for the future - how will your business go on, how will you continue to operate, where will they operate, and what resources will be needed.


If you would like to see photo’s or find out more information about what we are doing and how our recovery is going, check out our websites at and You will find information about our recovery efforts.


To my fellow Iowans I say “I am proud of all of you, proud of your resiliency and your determination”.  We will rebuild, and we will recover and be stronger and closer for having been here.










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