Darwinian Bicycle Security

I ended up riding my bicycle to the 2600 meeting last night. I have to park it pretty much in plain sight in a high-traffic area, so I usually lock it up pretty well there. You can't see it, but it's locked to a natural gas pipe that vanishes into the brickwork.

The blue Trek 800 mountain bike parked next to my own bike wasn't locked in any way. It was simply leaning against the wall. This is a classic case of low-hanging fruit. A thief of opportunity looking for some quick and easy loot could have easily jacked the mountain bike (Approx. retail value brand new: $350) even though my bike would have been worth more (Approx. retail value brand new: $1000) - Chances are, a professional bike thief would have been able to get my bike in under a minute, and would have no qualms doing so.

Many things work this way. Even 64-bit WEP will probably protect your dinky home wireless just fine if five of your neighbors have wide-open wireless. Only the curious or the dedicated might actually try to crack your WEP key. People looking only for free WiFi won't waste time breaking yours if they can find what they want somewhere nearby.

On the topic of the 2600 meeting, we had a great turn-out last night with a few old-schoolers I first met at 2600 in the mid-90's. I haven't seen them face to face in quite a while. Rixon showed off his Kenwood TH-D7-powered APRS Rig, we discussed the finer points of financial and environmental apocalypse, business plans to capitalize on said apocalypse, gawked at Frogman's new Acer Aspire One and caught up on old times. Talk about a great way to kick off 2009!

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