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The politics of Wi-Fi names (opensignalmaps.com)
113 points by JamesCRR on May 31, 2012 | hide | past | web | favorite | 63 comments

We found 1140 results for "Obama" and an additional 6 that contained "Romney"" - for some reason people are far more likely to reference Obama over Romney when naming their router.

Seriously? Maybe because one has been president for four years and the other is just a blip right now with the potential of either becoming president or just another has-been?

Yeah that's a very good point. We'll change that sentence now :).

Edit: Updated page and added attribution.

For what it is worth, I think you may also be getting some overlap with collage sports. "Bama" in that context refers to the University of Alabama with "GoBama" and "NoBama" possibly being from fans and rivals respectively.

Not to say that either doesn't deserve pitchfork wielding mobs...

I'm not sure there are many Bama fans in NYC!

They are one of the most popular NCAA football programs in the nation and have won 2 of the last 3 titles. I'd wager there are more than a few alum in NYC.

I only mention it because 1) there were a lot of "GoBama" in Alabama and 2) I'm in Nebraska and the SSID of my wifi is BigRed. (Cause if I put BoilerUp I be the one worried about mobs)

Hadn't thought of that... this is what comes of being English and not a sports fan I guess :)

Thanks for the input - we switched them over!

And now it just doesn't make sense at all:

We found 1140 results for "Obama" and an additional 6 that contained "Romney"" - likely because Obama's been president for four years.

From my hometown (Oslo) you found «Obama killed me» to be in favor of him. I'm not sure it is (or not), but still, kind of funny.

Screenshot: http://i.imgur.com/lGXZA.png

Hehe whoops, just changed that one, not sure what I did there. Another one I've probably got wrong is Obamanation, which I thought was good at the time, like a contraction of "Obama for the Nation" now I'm thinking it's a pun on Abomination. Not sure though!

"Obamanation" is a pretty common wingnutism.

What is a 'wingnutism'? Let's skip the puerilities on HN if possible.

"What is a 'wingnutism'?"

A euphamism coined by and popular with the far right US commentariat.

"Let's skip the puerilities on HN if possible."

So you're saying we should stop being so childish and get back to the serious discussion about the neutral term "Obamanation"?

Don't get me wrong, I get what you're saying and half didn't want to publish with that word exactly but I searched and the alternative was some long clinical description. While it's important to avoid epithets it's also important to be concise and using one word to do the job of over 10 should also be striven for.

the word you're looking for is "neologism", not "euphemism" - a euphemism is the replacement of a word or phrase with a synonym considered less offensive, while retaining the meaning. (e.g. "poo" rather than "shit"). see wikipedia for a good discussion: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Euphemism

Yep, we updated that one too! Thanks to @lordlarm for also pointing this out.

Another one I noticed is "Obama's Network", which is in DC not too far from the White House (but definitely not at it). It's classified as pro-Obama, and if it were anywhere else it probably would be, but given the location I'd say it's just a joke designed to surprise passersby.


Spoilers: I live in a very dense apartment building and my wifi network is FBI_Surveillance_Van. I totally thought of it first.

Why even broadcast a signal? You just opening your router to get hacked... I learned that lesson twice.

Conventional wisdom is that turning off SSID broadcasts does absolutely nothing to deter people using hacking tools.

Of course it wouldn't deter a someone with skill but it deters a bunch of people from googling how to use Reaver.

I also filter mac addresses as plan b.

Now I'm curious to find "FBI naming policy chapter V: computer networks"

On that vein, this may help: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_ships_of_the_Culture_se...

(Iain Banks started with Nervous Energy and went downhill from there.)

I like Alastair Reynold's Revelation Space ship names, such as Nostalgia for Infinity or Gnostic Ascension.

There's one of those in my Jersey City neighborhood.

I think "obamanation" and all its variants can be interpreted either way. It is used with a negative connotation in many cases, e.g. obamanation.com or the book "The Obama Nation: Leftist Politics and the Cult of Personality."

I was just thinking of that earlier, I think you're right it's probably negative. Will change.

Haha man, today was "one of those days" here in Argentina, and now this.

Can you believe Cristina (you know, the president) literally went and told a senator from her party in the middle of a speech "hey go easy with the nose candy"

Yeah so they guy went a little apeshit during an interview before that, but can you imagine a president telling that to a senator, from her own party, during a speech live on national TV?

That's Cristina, just to show the politicians in your country aren't as bad as you think.

gobama != G Obama

gobama = Go Alabama

Almost all of the entrees in Alabama were GoBama :)


I've been meaning to write a script to update a wifi access point every time I tweet but I've never gotten around to figuring out how to do it.

In college, my roommates and I spent at least 2 days trying to figure out the name for our router. We settled on "The girls upstairs suck" because some girls lived above us and we were college guys trying to be funny. Later on, it turned out they weren't paying for Internet and they were using ours. (We gave them the password so they could have Internet while theirs was getting "fixed")

I always try to name it something that passive aggressively yells at my neighbors. "Clean up after your dogs" "Don't be loud at 4AM". Right now it's called "Frasier Crane" because I just moved to Seattle and thought and used to like watching Frasier.

I love wi-fi names.

What is OpenSignalMaps' business model? Do they sell the cell coverage data to network providers who are looking to improve coverage? The company has been around since 2010, so they must be making some money.

I find the naming of access points interesting; I've chosen a unique name for my AP, and wonder how common that is among the HN crowd?

Most of the APs in my neighborhood are "myqwest.xxxx" and I've always thought that was a function of laziness/ apathy, but perhaps it is in the interest of not standing out? Probably not, but I wish more people took interest in their routers as they are becoming quite capable nowadays. Fon was/ is a cool idea, and I think some company should try to take it to the next level since Fon seems to have stopped innovating.

I left the default name (Apple Network c0bfcc) precisely so it wouldn't stand out.

That's really interesting. Until recently I'd never come across people using SSIDs to express their political opinions, but one of my neighbours has just started using "Vote Labour" as theirs (Labour is the current UK opposition party). I can just about understand people expressing their like or dislike of Obama, but exactly how many floating voters will be swayed by a WiFi access point?

How many will be swayed by a bumper sticker, or a tweet, etc., etc?

I think it's less about trying to sway people than it is about making a statement about yourself.

Does anyone where I can download their data? It says Open and uses user-supplied data so I assume it is available somewhere?

Hi aw3c2 - at the moment it's just the maps that are open (which isn't great we realize), but we have an API on our roadmap. Individual data collected by each user is exportable via the app too.

Does this fit into the theory that when it comes to politics Americans vote out of spite. That Americans to a large degree vote against someone rather than for someone as a result of the limited amount of choices(2).

I can't help but wonder why you'd name your wifi something negative. I mean, I can get into showing your support, but I wouldn't even think of someone I hated while naming my network.

I could imagine that in redneck country.

I always call mine something rude. It seems to effectively stop people trying to connect to it. Security by lack of obscurity.

Currently it's iloveanal

I always feel warm and fuzzy inside when my laptop tells me that I am connected to ( . Y . )

I vaguely recall a recent reference about a guy offering to help his girlfriend get reconnected when their WiFi died and saw the SID "I can hear you when you have sex"...

There's a WiFi in my neighborhood called "It's us you hear having sex".

Maybe I should name mine "I can hear you having sex" in response.

Mine was given a random name by my ISP, which consisted of the name of the ISP followed by a random string of three characters (it's a small ISP).

I was amused to get the piece of paper with my router telling me the SSID was "OriginBroadband_hax". I never did change it!

For giggles, I call mine "Free Internet."

There is an ISP in France called Free (http://free.fr).

Naturally, there are a bunch of Wifi access points called Free Wifi to confuse visiting Anglophones.

:). Stay tuned for our followup report on worldwide sentiment towards anal versus vaginal intercourse.

I've noticed lots of SSIDs designed to scare people away. "NSA", "Viruses", "SpyNet", etc.

Nice. I went with, "<TOWN NAME> FREE WIRELESS...NOT".

People near me who do this usually get deauth attacked until they change their SSID.

If you want to act like an inconsiderate 14 year old with your wifi, so will I!

Why exactly are you so offended by the name someone else picks for their network?

They are broadcasting it to all of their neighbors. In our apartment building, I see about 30 WiFi networks.

If somebody had a "fuck you" bumper sticker, would you smash their taillight? Even if you're a technically sophisticated asshole, you're still an asshole...

GP specifically said that they're doing this to be rude. I'm offended by it because that was the intent.

But how do you know the intent of the other people around you? Maybe they're just making a joke. I think iloveanal sounds kind of funny. Do you ask them before conducting your deauth attack?

I'm the GP. I live in London, UK. I know literally noone who wouldn't think it's funny round here.

People have a right to free speech, which neatly supports people having a right to be offended too but cannot do diddly to prevent saying it :)

As for being deauth attacked, I'll unwind the ethernet cable from the back of my router and wham it in my laptop and sip pure unpolluted internets.

Fine I'll reply to myself here.

I'm talking specifically about people who name their networks things like "Anal Creampie Snowball" or "Gaping Asshole".

I'm not saying what you're doing should be /illegal/ just that you're being a gigantic prick by doing it, and that you're inviting me to be a gigantic prick back to you.

Sounds like you might have a few personal issues. Visit iCouch.me to connect with a therapist.

Personal issues? Do you think that broadcasting stuff meant to be as offensive as possible is impolite?

Getting offended at such a intense level over something that has no appreciable consequence is definitely an issue. It isn't like wifi network names are spray painted on the side of your house.

I'm guessing the "obama is a trini" in ozone park brooklyn is actually positive... that's quite near a big trinidadian population.

How interesting. Of course it's a very quick and crude method, but still fun. Are these DBs available for further sifting?

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