Aug 02

Interstate Wi-Fi

To win a contest at DefCon 13, a team of geeks established an unamplified Wi-Fi connection over a distance of 125 miles, beating their previous record of 55 miles. Team PAD did it by connecting their 300mw Wi-Fi cards to satellite dishes: one computer (outside Las Vegas) used a 12-foot dish, and the other (on a mountaintop in Utah) used a 10-foot dish. (I first heard of this amazing feat on the This Week in Tech podcast.)
It is probably not a coincidence that all four members of Team PAD are ham radio operators.

Aug 02

No iPod, no service

If you have iTunes installed on your Windows machine, you are running the Windows iPod service. But if you don’t use an iPod, you don’t need this service. Here’s how to turn it off and save 4MB of memory:

  1. Click the Start button and select Run… from the Start menu.
  2. Type services.msc and press Enter. The Services management console is displayed.
  3. Right-click iPod Service and select Properties.
  4. Click Stop to halt the service.
  5. Change Startup type to Disabled. Click OK and close the console.

If you acquire an iPod, you will have to re-enable the service in order to use the iPod with iTunes. (Thanks to Neil Turner, who described this tweak in his blog.)