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London - Forget irate notes through the letter box or a terse word over the garden fence. Angry neighbours have a new high-tech way to bicker - with pointed wireless network names.
Wireless internet networks usually have names such as ‘The Jones Family’ or ‘Number 6 Park Close’, but some users are renaming theirs to show the neighbours precisely what they think of them.
When the offending neighbour searches for available local networks, they may find themselves confronted with choices such as “Stop Stealing My Newspaper” or “Your Music Is Terrible” or “Shut The Barking Dog Up No 7”.
Many use names to vent frustration about the next-door neighbour ‘stealing’ access to their network rather than paying for their own. The database company OpenSignalMaps has noted networks called “Go Away and Stop Stealing My Broadband” and “Thou shalt not steal”.
James Robinson, of OpenSignalMaps, thinks the popularity of barbed network names stems from their relative anonymity. “My neighbours would have to do something really bad for me to go over and knock on their door,” he says. “A discreet internet retaliation is much less threatening.”
And, in some cases, it saves blushes. Up and down the country anonymous - and perhaps slightly envious - neighbours are posting “We can hear you having sex” in the hope that their WiFi signal is stronger than their paper-thin walls. - Daily Mail