The Googlenet

At the hotel I’m staying at in Alexandria for Wikimania, there is wifi from a closed network that requires login and that has no user-accessible way to gain increased access.

However, they have defined a set of "exceptions" to their closed network policy. The exceptions are described on the page users are redirected to upon connecting. Essentially, the exceptions boil down to any website that ends in google.com.

You can use Google search (but not click on the links), use GMail, Google Talk, Google Reader (but not see any images on the blogs you are reading), Google Calendar, Google Maps, Google Checkout, Google Docs, and so on.

A few people at the conference seem only barely inconvenienced by the arrangement and most seem to be able to get work done! I can’t help feel like I’m experiencing some dystopian version of the Internet from 10 years in the future.

6 thoughts on “The Googlenet”

  1. Ending in “google.com”, or ending in “.google.com”?  Will it let you reach “notgoogle.com”?  If so, clearly someone needs to set up an SSH tunnel on a domain ending in “google.com”. :)

    For that matter, can you access the Google cache?

  2. Yes, it’s frightening to see how much Google has already taken over. I was recently interested if there are any critical comments about the googlepages.com service… Well the net seems quite limited if one doesn’t want to use the “possibly-opinionated” :) Google search…

    Anyway, maybe for your situation http://translate.google.com/translate_t is a usable gateway page for the web. Some IP-over-google.com service might be nice as well, though.

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