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It’s all in a network name

By Laurie Bennett

January 30, 2012 at 7:09am

We have the simplest of Muckety maps today, although our topic is connections.

Alexandra Janelli, an environmental consultant in New York, is getting a lot of media attention for her collection of wireless network names.

It all started in 2009, when Janelli was at a bar on the Lower East Side. Her iPhone detected a network called “Alcoholics Shut In.”

Recognizing the names as a new, wonderfully anonymous mode of communication, she began walking the city, gathering the most interesting. A few of the neighborly and not-so-neighborly:

Stop Cooking Indian!!!
We can hear you having sex
fat man on 7fl is douche

Janelli has recorded them on a web site, wtfwifi.com, which enables users to enter their own wifi names.

You might question whether some of these names really exist. We suspect that a few 13-year-olds have simply found another place to enter variations of “bite me.”

But there are still some good ones. Among our faves:

I saw u steal my trashcan
No hammering at 5AM
Stop singing Karaoke at 1 am
will trade wifi for beer
The people upstairs are loud
Free to good home
Jack, stop using our internet
My neighbor smokes pot
Sharing our newest viruses since 2009

According to the New Yorker, Janelli has moved to Chicago, where people don’t live quite so close together and WiFi networks don’t overlap so much.

For better or worse, network names there are more likely to reflect TV shows and movies.

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