Thursday, December 12, 2002

Bluetooth Spam

Anyway, I wanted to take this moment and alert us all to the evil of Bluetooth spam. In case you aren't a technopimp like me, Bluetooth is a standard for short-range wireless communication between devices as a replacement for cables. So you'd walk into your home and your bluetooth PDA would sync up with your bluetooth-equipped computer, and when you are on the road your bluetooth laptop can use your bluetooth phone as a modem while one is still in your pocket. No line of sight necessary, just radiowaves. Low bandwidth, it is not very fast, but good enough that your bluetooth headphones can be used as a headset for the bluetooth cellphone which you threw in the back of the car while you are driving.

I have a bluetooth set. And found something disturbing: with the click of some keys, I can scan the 20 or so feet radius of my bluetooth range, and find all devices that go "Pick me! Pick me! Please pick me! I am here!" and send them stuff. I tried this at work, where we were all testing these cellphones. I just started picking random entries of that list and sending them pictures of my cat. And people would come up and go "Did you just send something to my phone?" and I'd say "How did you know?" and they'd go "Because you set your phone to say 'FJ!!'s 3650' and that is you."

Recently I was in a meeting and my phone beeped. Incoming bluetooth message; accept/reject? From whom? Someone who had set their name to 'Unknown'. I accepted, it was a picture of a cute tux cat, so I knew it came from Matt. That, and he had a guilty look on his face.

I am waiting for shops to set up a bluetooth computer that just promiscuously sends images of coupons. You walk past em and your phone beeps, accept/reject? So you check, go in now and show this image for 4 bucks off a pizza. Haha, fun the first time. A year later you can't walk past a shop in the mall while using your bluetooth headest -- which means bluetooth is set to on -- without your phone constantly being spammed by coupons and teenagers sending you scat pix.

Then again, I want to go to Helsinki or London or Copenhagen or Goteborg where I know there are already versions of these phones out, and spam people with cute smileys or funny cartoons. Just a little anonymous gift for the day.