A big shout goes out to the owners of the open wireless access point somewhere in my vicinity. You've allowed me net access where Vodafone failed.
Given the near-magical turnaround on my land line, I've got high hopes that we'll be able to get a proper connection to the interwebs up next week, potentially even for my birthday. That would be a fantastic outcome. In the meantime, I'll undoubtedly make use of the local access point for some light surfing and email. Given that it's someone else's connection, I'll endeavour to keep the traffic low.
One may wonder if this activity is legal, and my current take is that it is - barely. Security of wireless systems is taken seriously by every third party provider in the country now. Every other access point in the area which is in a default configuration is locked down. This leads me to believe that anyone who has an open wireless access point has done so deliberately with the intention of being a good Samaritan for folks like myself. I intend to do the same when my network connection arrives, although I'll undoubtedly try and put in place some traffic shaping so that MACs which are unknown get a small slice of the available pie. Given that access is therefore implicitly granted, I'm not in contravention of the aforementioned act.
One has to wonder how society will react in future as connection to the Internet becomes more (and eventually, totally) pervasive. Being without a connection, even for a day, disrupts my usual routines - I'm unable to look anything up online, place food orders, check email. All of these things that are now comfortably second nature (not rationed, not carefully doled out) become glaring issues. I'm sure the same could be said of phone access over the last few decades, although that's mitigated somewhat with mobile phone access. I've purchased a 3G dongle to ensure that we have some form of connection across the 5 computers in the house, but when that fails to find a network we're back at square one. At least we can fall back to dial up now that the phone line is in place.
My child will be part of the first generation born where the Internet isn't just there - it's everywhere. How cool will that be?