Speedy Node Seeking

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The idea of warchalking spread like wildfire through the media and is, in turn, becoming reality. Warchalking takes its lead from a Depression era practice in which hobos marked friendly homes offering free food or housing. Now, folks chalk sidewalks with established symbols to indicate the presence of open wireless networks in an effort to transform who, how, and where we can access the net. Last August game designers Yuri Gitman and Carlos J. Gomez de Llarena with help from NYCwireless and Eyebeam turned the act of node seeking into a playful scavenger hunt. Teams raced to find the most number of wireless networks in a set amount of time. Digital cameras replaced chalk: at each node they were instructed to take a photograph and upload it to game headquarters as proof of connectivity. Log on to see the resulting images or start your own game and see for yourself how ubiquitous wireless networking has become. --Brooke Singer