My Smartphone And Me

I went for a walk with my new smartphone today. It was our very first one. Yesterday, I picked it up at the post office, charged and played with it indoors. The display is much larger. The adaptive brightness even works in full sun. The GPS is super fast and accurate. I’m still becoming familiar with the newer Android but it does work for me after I figure things out.

Along the way I met a magnificent oak that was probably around when the first Europeans settled here. I managed to chop off the top in the picture above but the camera was very easy to use even in full sunlight. Now, I just need to work up to walking four times as far twice as fast and I might live a bit longer to enjoy such beautiful sights.

PS I have some afterthoughts. During my walk the phone dingled a few times. There was a notice that an “open” WiFi signal was detected. Every few hundred yards another came up. About 10% of my neighbourhood doesn’t care or can’t do anything about securing their WiFi. That’s interesting. It means when I’m tooling around in my EV and need a tow, I can send a service request to the CAA via the web. Amazing. CAA has free enrolment these days. The benefits of smartphone ownership appeal to me. 😉

About Robert Pogson

I am a retired teacher in Canada. I taught in the subject areas where I have worked for almost forty years: maths, physics, chemistry and computers. I love hunting, fishing, picking berries and mushrooms, too.
This entry was posted in horticulture, hunting, technology, weather and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

22 Responses to My Smartphone And Me

  1. Grece wrote, “Why would your EV need a tow?”

    Flat tire, battery drained, collision damage to EV… the usual things that cause anyone to need a tow.

  2. oiaohm says:

    Now, since the cite you quoted mentions, …without colour of right, this would apply in Roberts instance. As he did not have any right to possess, use or explore other peoples networks. Just as entering a home or business without the owner’s permission is considered trespassing (even if the doors are unlocked), likewise accessing wireless Internet connections (even open access ones) can be considered an illegal activity.
    Grece you point of view it would be illegal to use wifi at all lot of times. Because finding all the SSID values at times requires probing particularly when you are on edge of range to get the AP to increase it SSID transmit power.

    Wifi bandwidth is unlicensed. So there are no property right to using it.

    At least we agree now; replace “parked his car” with “walked” and you end up being a thief, which was my original point.
    Wifi becomes a legal mess in countries with colour of right in their laws. Exactly what right you have for your access point to put signals outside you property to someone else device. This is the problem the law is both directions. Just because something is a access point does not make it different to a client device.

    This is where its technically nasty. The owner of the access point has let his device trespass in the device connecting. Under Australian law a person with open access point cannot do anything. Why because they have committed the same offence as the person who has used their access point.

    As he did not have any right to possess, use or explore other peoples networks.
    You failed to consider the access point side. The access point did not have any legal right to send data to Robert device that was out side the property unless it approved.

    So either both parties broke 326 or neither did with it not being encrypted. Now if the Access point was encrypted this is a clear flag this is private property do not trespass. If the ssid makes it clear its private again there was a sign.

    Most countries data laws will not save your ass if you have not taken decent actions to protect yourself.

    In Australia no ISP is allowed to provide a wifi access point without a password already set so clearly making it as private. I guess Canada does not have those rules as no one has bother enforcing 326 against ISP for aiding and abetting crime like what happened with Australian data protection laws.

  3. Grece says:

    It means when I’m tooling around in my EV and need a tow, I can send a service request to the CAA via the web.

    1. Why would your EV need a tow?
    2. Why use the web, effectively jacking someones service, when you can just make a telephone call?

  4. Kurkosdr says:

    Iknow it’s like insurance but I’ve only called 911 two or three times in my whole life.

    But those two or three times, you really needed to make that call.

    “Gee, I don’t need to have locking seatbelts, they only locked two or three times in my whole life”

  5. Kurkosdr says:

    I think there are “pay as you go” SIM cards. I will look into that.

    Well, of course there are, that’s what I meant by saying “prepaid”. Here in the UK you can buy prepaid SIMs for a pound or so. Load a SIM with a couple of pounds/bucks of prepaid and put in the SIM slot even if you “never intend” to use it.

    Be careful that prepaids require that you either place a chargeable call once every three months or top up once every three months depending on carrier.

    IMO you should have some basic data package, so you won’t have to steal wifi and be able to send a receive data when outside, spending 10-15 bucks every month to have data everywhere is not such a drain experience IMO, unless you live paycheck to paycheck…

    You may even get to experience the joy of posting a non-editable comment with an embarrassing autocorrect whoopsie!

  6. kurkosdr wrote, ” there is no reason to have your primary smartphone SIM-less”.

    I don’t want to have a periodic expense for something rarely used. Iknow it’s like insurance but I’ve only called 911 two or three times in my whole life. It’s very expensive insurance. I think there are “pay as you go” SIM cards. I will look into that. More likely I will use the phone while hunting than driving.

  7. Deaf Spy says:

    As I said, just philosophically, with no practical value…

    What is much more important is that now, Robert, you have the chance to prove that everyone can plug his smartphone to a keyboard, mouse and TV and enjoy a great desktop experience.

    I am eager to hear your report. Because, I’ve done it with Lumia 950 and a wired dock, and, I can tell you, this is one amazing achievement. It does work, actually. But, of course, it is properly designed for the purpose.

  8. Grece says:

    If a fellow parked his car near these neighbours and used their bandwidth instead of having his own ISP, that would amount to “theft of communications”,…..Here, people do notice if a strange car is parked on the road nearby for no particular purpose…

    At least we agree now; replace “parked his car” with “walked” and you end up being a thief, which was my original point. Not sure why you disagreed in the beginning. Hopefully, your neighbors do not report you as a suspicious person wandering down the road “for no particular purpose”.

  9. kurkosdr says:

    Am I stealing from them if they answer my requests to connect?

    It’s not theft, it is more like doing a picnic on someone else’s lawn which has not been fenced.

    Or like driving your snowmobile through someone else’s unfenced property (tee hee).

    Sure, you are not leaving any tracks in the snow like those snowmobilers did, but you do reduce the performance of their internet connection and you do leave logs behind, so it’s not like your presence is completely ethereal. Plus if by one in a billion chance you have a security problem or running code loaded by an exploit (you are not running the latest Android patches, so consider there is a one in a billion chance it might happen) you might expose the wifi router to the exploit, or your device might be enrolled in criminal activities with someone else’s router IP visible to law enforcement. So, again, your presence on someone else’s wifi router is not ethereal at all. Much like the presence of those snowmobilers on your property.

    It’s unlocked and has no SIM
    Huh? The whole point of a smartphone is being able to send your data from (almost) anywhere. It is one of the reasons I bought my tablet with a SIM slot, because I want it to be able to send from anywhere too (train, bus, car etc). Tablets without a SIM slot are couch-and-cafeteria devices IMO.

    There are lots and lots of prepaid SIMs. Here in the UK, I use Lebara and have 3GB and hundreds of minutes to other EU countries for £15. And I can go down to £10 if I want no EU calls. I am sure there is a cheap prepaid service in Canada, so there is no reason to have your primary smartphone SIM-less. You can do better, Pog.

  10. Deaf Spy wrote, “is this a theft?”

    Yes, because the rightful owner no longer has the cookie. In the case of WiFi, the rightful “owner” still has his WiFi, and the rightful owner can’t legally sell it… It’s not property in the ordinary sense so it can’t be stolen. In Canada there is a special crime allocated to such things, “theft of communications”. I guess that amounts to “bandwidth” or capacity to communicate. If a fellow parked his car near these neighbours and used their bandwidth instead of having his own ISP, that would amount to “theft of communications”, but just a brief connection for an emergency likely would not be noticed, not impact the rightful person’s usage, and would be less intrusive than knocking on the door and asking to use the telephone. Here, people do notice if a strange car is parked on the road nearby for no particular purpose…

    According to Wikipedia, “a common but untested argument is that the 802.11 and DHCP protocols operate on behalf of the owner, implicitly requesting permission to access the network, which the wireless router then authorizes. (This would not apply if the user has other reason to know that their use is unauthorized, such as a written or unwritten notice.)” and finds only one instance of prosecution under Canadian law.

    I am not a lawyer and don’t give legal advice but I think use of WiFi in an emergency is not something for which a person is likely to be prosecuted and a defence of necessity might also apply. If any, it would be a weak case. Look at all the hassles folks go through to prosecute for wired copyright violations. Those prosecutions are few and far between and many are unsuccessful. Compared to freezing to death, I think it’s a risk worth taking.

  11. Deaf Spy says:

    Philosophically… If one is walking by an open window of a house with a dish of cookies on the windowsill, and one takes a cookie or two, is this a theft?

  12. Grece wrote, “accessing wireless Internet connections (even open access ones) can be considered an illegal activity.”

    Well, it can be but it also cannot be. After all, we are showered by RF signals all the time. WiFi is no different. My phone was announcing this shower, nothing more. Some people consider this illegal radiation, unwelcome and dangerous… Shall we consider it assault?

    If I’m walking by a yard and overhear a conversation between two people sitting on their front steps am I illegally gaining information? I’m certainly not stealing anything. The same goes for WiFi. The same goes for servers on the web. Am I stealing from them if they answer my requests to connect? They haven’t explicitly given permission to do so. Why should I assume open WiFi is not a charitable act of a good neighbour?

  13. Grece says:

    Colour of Right…hmmm lets expound on that, shall we ohmie?

    This is an honest belief on the part of the accused that they had a right to possess the property, despite that there was no true basis for the belief in fact or law.

    http://criminalnotebook.ca/index.php/Colour_of_Right

    Now, since the cite you quoted mentions, …without colour of right, this would apply in Roberts instance. As he did not have any right to possess, use or explore other peoples networks. Just as entering a home or business without the owner’s permission is considered trespassing (even if the doors are unlocked), likewise accessing wireless Internet connections (even open access ones) can be considered an illegal activity.

  14. Ivan says:

    go take a english course

    http://i.imgur.com/GWMZgxm.gif

  15. kurkosdr wrote, “you tease us and won’t mention the make/model? Unfair”.

    I knew it would not inspire envy. It’s 32-bit, 4-core, 28nm, 1.3gHz, Android 6.x, BLU Advanced 5.5 HD. It has a nice bright 5.5″ screen. Blows away my old smartphone but it’s a bit slower than Beast browsing, probably due in part to WiFi being slower than copper here. Still, it’s a great walking companion. It’s unlocked and has no SIM so I don’t know whether or not it can call 911 like locked devices. Camera, GPS, FTP client, browser are all decent. The browser has some issues like not being able to tell Google to list an FTP directory until I had created a history by browsing to a particular file. It wanted a complete URI or treated “ftp://ipaddress/pub/” as a search string which did no good at all. I found how to enter “{” after I had changed my password to do with out that character… Managing bookmarks for the browser is different. I’m used to drag and drop whereas this thing has a “move” function… Archaic, but usable.

  16. Kurkosdr says:

    Also, Canonical’s Unity and Mir are dead. Which means I have to give it to you for your choice in Debian, which keeps you safe from Canonical’s random changing of things. Debian is the least bad Linux distro you can have.

  17. kurkosdr says:

    I went for a walk with my new smartphone today.

    So, you tease us and won’t mention the make/model? Unfair.

  18. JD says:

    Mr. Pogson, what are your thoughts on this email app (an Android exclusive)?
    https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.meldmail

  19. Deaf Spy says:

    Now, Robert, why don’t you do what, as you claim, “people do all the time”, and plug your smartphone to a TV, keyboard and a mouse, and do some work from it like that. Things like browsing, writing a page of text, stuff like that. Then share your personal experience.

  20. Grece wrote, “Advocating theft are we?”

    Nope. I offer free WiFi to all our guests. Sometimes I have the key hanging on the wall or on the TV-screen in the living room. I don’t explicitly give them permission. I assume folks who have zero encryption would not mind usage in an emergency. The bigger danger rather than prosecution would be malware trying to be the “man in the middle”, but just to send a distress call to CAA I figure the exposure would be minimal.

  21. oiaohm says:

    http://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/acts/C-46/section-326.html
    Grece go take a english course and learn what “without colour of right”
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colour_of_right

    Unencrypted wifi goes into a nice legal grey area in many countries Canada being one. Colour of right does not require explicit permission. Implied permission is also legal. Cracking encrypted wifi and using the internet even poor wep would be a breach of 326 without question. Unencrypted you would have the right under colour of right to claim you believed it was for public access wifi point. Then they have to prove you knew otherwise. There was a court case that had to be dropped in 2006 in Canada that showed that defence as valid. So you don’t want others using your wifi in Canada and have legal response encrypt you wifi.

    So no cracking wifi in Canada.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Legality_of_piggybacking

    Australia where I am using open wifi access point is a criminal offence if you don’t have permission. Modifying data on a device you don’t have permission to-do so is an offence.

    Also USA don’t do it. Its an offence in every USA state.

    So Grece what Robert was suggesting is legal in Canada at this stage. Of course that could change with a future court case or legal rule changes.

  22. Grece says:

    About 10% of my neighbourhood doesn’t care or can’t do anything about securing their WiFi. That’s interesting.

    Advocating theft are we?

    It’s illegal in Canada. It’s an offense in the Canadian Criminal Code (section 326) punishable by up to 2 years in jail and $5000 fine per occurrence.

    It’s a special section too in that you have the onus to prove yourself innocent (i.e. you have explicit permission to use the access point). The crown does not have to prove that you didn’t have permission.

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