I was in Toronto back in November. A phenomenon that I have never fully been able to understand, is the prolific nature of wireless networking in Toronto, coupled with the relative absence of security. Wherever I would go in the city, there would be, it seems, some kind soul that had left their home wireless network open, to enable me to access the wider Internet. I dont feel too guilty about this, after all it was Microsoft wireless networking that would stumble across the open port, but once I realised that this was happening, I found it both useful and intriguing. Looking more deeply, one thing I noticed was that many of the services were blocked to outbound SMTP access. This was a consistent finding. Even from the 22nd floor vantage point of my hotel room (the Days Inn on Carlton Street), there seemed to be no shortage of helpful souls in the apartment block opposite that were only too willing to spare a little bandwidth for my humble needs. At it seems that there is some kind of cooperative wireless understanding developing among the wireless illuminati of Toronto. If this is the case, then I am all for it.
Toronto was cold, gloomy, and rainy. My usual determination not to use public transport was beaten down by the force of the rain, so I waved for a taxi. To my heaven sent surprise, the taxi driver was local celebrity, Mr Geography. He opened with the question, “Answer me this, and I will give you your taxi ride for free – what is the country with the smallest land area in Africa?” I answered Lesotho but he said, “No, it is the Gambia.” He proceeded to tell me exactly how different the land mass of Lesotho was, compared to the land mass of the Gambia. He gave me another try, and then another, before introducing himself. It turns out hes been on TV, and he was even in a copy of the most recent edition of Macleans magazine, ostensibly the Time magazine of Canada. What a way to brighten up an otherwise dismal day.