What does Zapatero do when his internet connection is down?

From El Imparcial, 18/01/1912:

Rome, 17th (9.20 pm)

This morning a telephone subscriber asked the Central to put him through to the offices of the Palace’s chief huntsman. A considerable period of time passed without response, and the subscriber became impatient and vigorously protested the delay. The young lady responsible for the service replied that no one was answering in the office of the chief huntsman. The subscriber insisted on requesting a connection, saying that it was impossible that the office was deserted, and angrily expressive phrases were exchanged by the operator and the gentleman caller. Finally he hung up the apparatus, and shortly after the girl was called to the office of head of the telephone service, to undergo questioning about what had happened. There also was the obstinate gentleman who had failed to be connected and who had come in person to complain.

That gentleman was the king Victor Manuel.

One somehow suspects that Zapatero, in order to chat to his numerous friends in Washington, has not had to resort to what is known in these parts as a Russian connection. How does one get on Telefónica’s always-on list?


Roma 17 (9,20 noche)

Un abonado del teléfono pidió esta mañana á la Central que le pusiera en comunicación con las oficinas del montero mayor del Palacio. Como pasaba mucho tiempo sin que le respondiesen, el abonado se impacientó y protestó energicamente de la tardanza. La señorita encargada del servicio replicó que en la oficina del montero mayor no contestaba nadie. El abonado insistió en pedir comunicación, diciendo que era imposible que la oficina estuviera abandonada, y se cruzaron frases airadamente expresivas entre la telefonista y el señor que llamaba. Al cabo se retiró éste del aparato, y poco después era llamada la muchacha á la oficina del jefe del servicio telefónico, para sufrir un interrogatorio sobre lo sucedido. Allí estaba también el obstinado caballero que no había logrado la comunicación y que acudía en persona a reclamar por ello.

El caballero era el rey Victor Manuel.

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  1. Second time this week I’ve heard of the Russian conection service. Do they have a Galician agent? Does it involve hanging metal coat hangers over external wires?

  2. Whence the little picture opposite my name? Is it this new laptop? It seems to be capable of just about everything else, including hacking into the Pentagon.

  3. Russian connections: I am told you call a Russian who comes round bearing a CD from which you can run Linux directly without having to install anything on your hard disk. The CD contains a bunch of tools for dealing with wireless networks. One of them is Auditor which enables you to capture packets and, given enough data, use an automated cracking tool to get your neighbours’ passwords. Telefónica uses WEP encryption and is apparently still easy to get into. Finally you give the Russian 50€ and with any luck you’ve got free WiFi for ever, or until your neighbour goes on holiday and pulls the plug. This is of course completely illegal, but the nightmarish service offered by Spanish ISPs explains why some see it as Robin Hood-ish, particularly as you’re probably not hurting your neighbour – a connection as advertised is more than sufficient for two or three users as long as no one starts downloading films.

    Icons: Each new laptop contains a defective clone of Toulouse Lautrec which draws caricatures of the owner and spreads them over the web via Russian connections. This is completely illegal, but don’t move to France out of fear.

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