back to article Intel inks deal to let Ultrabooks leech off Wi-Fi net

Intel has signed a deal with Devicescape to integrate the company's freeloading Wi-Fi network into Ultrabooks as part of Intel's Smart Connect Technology, which lets devices link up even when they're not switched on. Devicescape's technology lets devices automatically connect to the numerous free Wi-Fi points that we're told …


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  1. Tony Carter-Inman

    Most of the 'free' wi-fi in cafes & shops is intended for customers, so wouldn't this be theft?

    1. Azzy

      I don't see how. It's automating the process of clicking through the login screen - something that everyone using it does manually now, and can do whether or not they're a customer. It's not like it gets you through non-free hotspots, or the ones where you have to enter a code that changes every day.

      I think it's strange that they are talking about syncing while the device is in standby though. I'm not even sure what I'd want it to sync. I mean, what do I get out of my email if the device is in standby? If it's not in a hotspot when I take it out of standby, I can't do much with the email. And everyone has a smartphone with their email on it anyway nowadays.

    2. Tom 35

      Not theft but

      "automatically bypassing the café's logon screen and advertising."

      You normally have to check the "I agree" check box, so you don't even know what you are agreeing to as you walk down the street.

      I think I'll be looking at adding a captcha to the system I administer, and I expect others will as well.

  2. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

    and what else


    Devicescape's technology lets devices automatically connect to the numerous free Wi-Fi points that we're told are proliferating across modern cities, so a Devicescape-equipped Ultrabook would be able to attach to the Wi-Fi offered by the café you just walked past, synchronising mail and applications, and automatically bypassing the café's logon screen and advertising.

    End Quote

    And get hacked at the same time.

    Walk past a 'Sex' shop and get sync'd with porn.

    This is also ideal for sending you those 'targetted' ads. Only these ones will appear when you open the laptop once more and will have a theme 'Did you know you just went past <company xxxx> where you can buy <useless product yyyy>. Why don't you turn round and go back'

    Sorry Intel but I and only I decide what network I connect to.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: and what else

      Also good for sending out those 'targetted' ads. That vigaara doesn't sell itself you know...

  3. D@v3

    'free' wifi

    I'm getting increasingly annoyed by the amount of 'free' wifi hotspots that are either; not free, because they are only available to customers paying for another service (like the bskyb owned Cloud), or are stuck behind a web authentication portal, which are fine for laptops, but for smartphones where a lot of the data use comes through apps (mail apps, twitter apps etc..) they just don't seem to work (even if you go in, authenticate, then come out and try and use said app)

    If this kind of service gets round those two problems, then good on 'em.

  4. M Gale

    Poisoned AP + auto sync

    I can see the fun happening already.

    1. Vector
      Thumb Down

      Re: Poisoned AP + auto sync

      Yeah! Pwned while your ultrabook sleeps! Woohoo!

      BOFH's the world over be VERY afraid!

  5. Christian Berger

    But once you have DNS

    You can simply tunnel IP through DNS. OK it's not very fast, but it works.

    1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

      Re: But once you have DNS

      Please tell us exactly how many (a percentage would be fine) of the Laptop/ultrabook/tablet owning population would know how to do that?

      My guess is very few indeed.

      Along with BT, this would be the first things to disable if I ever get my hands on laptop with this functionality.

      My current MSI Laptop has the ability to setup its own Hotspot. Another uselsess gadget added to the device. Hardly a killer USP just like this idea. Killer Yes. USP nope

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's a security hole

    and if I profited from getting people into other people's networks against the latter's instructions in some other way, I might expect the law on my ass.

  7. Robredz

    Nice backdoor for the Spooks of MI6 and NSA/CIA to listen in or watch through the backdoor then, let alone other randomers after those valued passwords and bank details, people are daft enough to store on their device,

    1. Rick Giles

      Tin Foil Hat Alert

      That is exactly what I was thinking. One more tool for the Gov't to keep track of you. Just in case any of you missed it, personal privacy died about 5 years ago.

  8. Rick Giles

    If you run your own DNS server

    Just blacklist the address it wants to phone home on. Sorted.

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