Unsecured wifi might be contributory negligence

Ian Batten igb at batten.eu.org
Sun Feb 19 20:21:31 GMT 2012

On 19 Feb 2012, at 20:02, Igor Mozolevsky wrote:

> On 19 February 2012 19:42, Ian Batten <igb at batten.eu.org> wrote:
>> On 19 Feb 2012, at 19:28, Igor Mozolevsky wrote:
>>> I was thinking more of people who live on income support/council
>>> estates and the "older" generation...
>> They weren't buying laptops prior to WPA2 being common place.
> What makes you say that?

Because the first mass-market integrated WiFi solution was the Intel 2100 MiniPCI card, which was released in late 2002.  That does WPA2 with Windows XP SP3.   There's a Broadcom card of a similar vintage, that also does WPA2 with up-to-date drivers.    Prior to the MiniPCI cards, you needed to use PCMCIA cards.   I don't believe that laptops were being purchased as consumer items in 2002, and especially not with PCMCIA cards to add wireless.  If there are such machines in circulation --- and we're both guessing --- then PCMCIA cards that will do WPA2 are dirt cheap and could be provided by the ISP as part of the programme.  

There might be, somewhere, a laptop still in use which has an on-board WiFi adapter which will not do WPA2, but which also does not have a PCMCIA slot, although such beasts would have been rare even when new: I've never seen one (G4 iBooks do WPA2; G3 ones might not, but how many of those are still in use?)   But I seriously doubt any of this stuff is in use by civilians.


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