The Strangeness of Being Half-connected to the Internet

I’ve been in places where we (I am two people, Myself and Susan. Just so you know) have had no internet connection while away from home and been in places where we have full internet connection (at times, anyway) while away from home.

I don’t recall ever being in a place where we had half a connection.

Until now.

I’m at Baylor Plano where they offer free WIFI (yay) but they limit what you can do over it (boo).  The latter is to be expected to some extent because they have various rules they have to follow and they don’t want to become liable if a guest or patient starts viewing porn over their connection.  But they limit it in odd ways.

For example, I can browse as much as I like, use Netflix, Facebook, and create blog posts.  I can check home and work email and log into various sites using https.

I can’t check email with my regular client.  SMTP and POP3 are blocked.  Their TOS page says it’s for security reasons.  Really?  What can I do through POP and SMTP connections that I can’t do with a modern browser interface, other than check my email more conveniently and automatically?  I’ve been reduced to having my phone disconnected from wifi and using the spotty xG connection for automatic email syncing.

Maybe they’re spoofing the https certificates so they can monitor ‘secure’ traffic?  Seems unlikely.

I also discovered that ftp is blocked.  No uploading or downloading files from my own servers.  No, that might cause a HIPPA violation.  Or something.

I’ll find out later today if vpn works.  I’m betting that it won’t. [turns out that VPN sometimes works but it takes several tries to make a connection and there are still odd failures at times].

Any takers?

Here’s a picture of a handsome puppy to make it all better.

Here’s the full thread of hospital updates:

Views From the Hospital
More Views From the Hospital
You Know You’re a Geek When…
The Strangeness of Being Half-connected to the Internet
Latest Hospital Update
Drug Users Pay For This?

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Michael Harrison

Husband, Programmer, Irish dancer, tinkerer, astronomer, layabout (as much as possible)

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