War Driving and War Chalking

War driving is the hobby of popping in a car and cruising around with a Wi-Fi–equipped laptop looking for open Wi-Fi nodes.

War chalking is the act of using specific chalk markings, usually on a sidewalk, to identify Wi-Fi hotspots.

Both activities show the extent to which Wi-Fi has come out of nothing as a disruptive technology, until fairly recently because of grassroots support and without the backing of major corporations. Although important companies such as Intel and others now back Wi-Fi, the “counter-culture” roots of old-time Wi-Fi and 802.11 practitioners remain an important aspect of the social history of Wi-Fi.

War driving as an activity ranges from the fun, but harmless (that is, if you find this kind ...

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