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The spoils of war-driving and some great Scots

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aj+ column

Whatever happened to war-driving? You remember those geeks with propeller beanies, laptops on their knees and Pringles cans poked out of the car window, hoping to link into the wireless computer networks of great City corporations and, presumably, groove with the vibes of über-Capitalism? All the papers got excited because the aforesaid nerds developed an instant sign language, chalked on the pavement outside City buildings which housed penetrable networks. War-chalking, it was called. Too many big companies were war-chalkable and not all geeks are altruists, so the prospects of hacking and cyber crime reared their ugly heads. This column confidently predicted that a lot of hot-shot IT managers would be spending more time with their families.

Not so, according to that excellent newsfeed The Register, which recently reported (www. theregister. co. uk/ content/55/29337. html) that things haven't changed that much.The gloomy figures are due to a threefold increase in the number of wireless networks and continuing slackness over security.The fact that this year's survey was carried out for a computer security firm had nothing to do with the results.No, I'm not being ironic.Having spent several months persuading just two laptops to communicate wirelessly, the idea of adding proper security looks very like the straw that breaks the camel's back.

No, don't all come round with Pringles cans in unmarked vans - I'm still trying to think of a reason for simultaneously using two laptops.

A brief note here of admiration for Scots architect and webmaster Adrian Welch and his second site www. glasgow architecture. co. uk, which is up and running, though not yet as developed as his terrific www. edinburgharchitecture.

co. uk.With a name like mine I can make grumpy noises about Scots tightness.

These two sites are the best adverts for Scots architects in existence.Yet they are seriously in need of funding.Why not the RIAS, whose site is as dull as ditchwater?

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