Re: Wlan @ bestbuy is cleartext?

From: Blue Boar (
Date: 05/02/02

Date: Wed, 01 May 2002 18:07:17 -0700
From: Blue Boar <>
To: Michael Cunningham <>

Michael Cunningham wrote:
> Well I finished my drive around town.. within feet
> of several Walmarts, Home Depots and Kmart's front door and found
> nothing. Nada, no 802.11b networks at all. Perhaps this is only
> a regional thing? Or just brand new stores? These stores
> have been around for years. Perhaps the original poster
> could elaborate a bit on where they are located? Is it a
> new store? etc.

Reply from 2nd anonymous poster:


It's odd that you didn't find anything. On 12/22/2000, Wal-Mart and
Symbol Technologies Inc. inked a deal to put 802.11b POS and inventory
equipment into wal-mart stores "to shorten time at the cash register."

Either it's regional, they are only using 802.11b at newer stores, or
your equipment may have been setup improperly.

And later:

Nope, it isn't regional according to that press release.

"Tailor-Made Technology

Among the products that Symbol will supply are its handheld barcode
scanners, featuring the CyberPen, which combines the functionality of a
contact memory barcode scanner with an A.T. Cross writing instrument. In
addition, Symbol will provide its Spectrum24 High Rate Wireless LAN (local
area network), which will be optimized to fit Wal-Mart's specific

The devices will be designed to operate on the existing Wal-Mart wireless
infrastructure, which includes barcode scanning and wireless printing
capabilities. The Symbol products will be used in all of Wal-Mart's stores
and clubs, with plans for expansion of certain functions, including voice
and e-mail applications, under discussion."

As a general comment to the people asking if this has been confirmed... It
has to my satisfaction, though I haven't whipped out the 802.11b card at
any local stores myself. I have reports, both on-list and private, that
others have seen similar results, at many different stores. I have some
indication that some of the retailers have confirmed the situation, and are
looking at fixes. I'll post links to news stories as I get them. If
you're a reporter reading the list, please send me links to any stories
you've written about this thread.