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SSIDs: The new political lawn signs?

SSIDs: The new political lawn signs?

Service set identifiers, or SSIDs, are essentially the network names that people give to their wireless networks. It turns out many Americans–and people across the world–are turning to SSIDs as a unique way to express their political sentiments. Much in the same way a yard sign pronounces to the world your political proclivities, so too can the naming of your SSID.

Researchers at Open Signal Maps used their database of 75 million geolocated routers to map Obama sentiment on a global scale. While this data is by no means representative, and clearly not everyone names their wireless networks according to their politics, it did reveal some interesting findings:

According to this eccentric measure of sentiment Obama is much more popular outside of the US than within. Why is this? It may be that Obama is genuinely more popular in the rest of the world but maybe it is because outside of the US people are less likely to express negative sentiments towards politicians in this manner….

The hardest part of this analysis was assigning sentiment values. It was immediately clear that even state of the art natural language software would be unable to parse “ObamaDaClown”, “ObamaPrezNaaaaw” or “Obamarama” let alone determine whether these reflect negative or positive sentiments. So we put the routers into Excel and went through them by hand. Even then there were some riddles, does “Obama_is_a_socialist” reflect negative sentiment? To many Europeans it would not, but in a US context (and this was a US router, indeed one of several with similar messages) we judged it a criticism.

To give it a test, I zoomed in on my part of the country. It seems like they got it pretty right, “Obama08,” “ObamaMama,” and “ILoVeObAma!!” were designated as pro.

“OBAMA SUCKS,” “Obama Bin Biden,” and “Obama_is_a_huge_clown,” and my personal favorite, “OMG-ObamaMustGO-Wake UP People!” as anti…

And “ObamaLlama,” “Obamaniqua,” and “AIR_FORCE_ONE_OBAMA_EDITION” as not sure.

If nothing else, this is inspiring me to get more creative with my own SSID “yard sign.” Look up your own neighborhood on the map here.

Any good ones out there among you?


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I took a look at their map and didn’t find any Obama SSID’s in my neighborhood.

Texas is not exactly “Obama country”.

Just north of Wellborn Texas:


Sorry this is off topic, but this was just announced:
Shellie Zimmerman, wife of Trayvon Martin killer, arrested on perjury charge

    persecutor in reply to Kitty. | June 12, 2012 at 5:06 pm

    Now I fear that they’ll use this charge to get him to cop a plea to involuntary manslaughter or a criminally negligent homicide in exchange for a misdemeanor plea and a no jail promise for her.
    Wouldn’t be the first time that a prosecutor used a wife to get to hubby.

      Ragspierre in reply to persecutor. | June 12, 2012 at 5:34 pm

      persecutor, did you ever have a client you didn’t strictly advise NEVER to lie to a court?

      I’ve never failed to teach my clients how to testify, and that is one of the things they hear several times from me.

        persecutor in reply to Ragspierre. | June 12, 2012 at 5:47 pm

        We’ve all had clients that lie even after you explain why that’s a no-no. My frustration is that this case needs to be decided on the merits, not expediency. Now this out of control prosecutor is going to look like a hero if he cops.

        Did the idiot bring this on himself? Absolutely!

        Ragspierre in reply to Ragspierre. | June 12, 2012 at 5:54 pm

        I guess I compartmentalize more readily.

        Zimmerman had a LOT of good stuff working in his defense, not least of which seems to be O’Mara and the way the evidence was trending.

        He and his wife seem to have dumped a lot of that good movement into the crapper. Now his bride is in the grease, too, and nobody did that but them.

          persecutor in reply to Ragspierre. | June 12, 2012 at 6:01 pm

          He had a very strong case, IMHO. That’s why I’m so frustrated. Sorry for it coming out like that,Rags.

          Ragspierre in reply to Ragspierre. | June 12, 2012 at 6:11 pm

          I got ya’. He still has a good case, IMNHO. I dunno if there is a criminal equivalent to a motion in limine (a motion to suppress?), but I would try to exclude any mention of this bond stuff in the trial in chief of the state’s charge. I see it as irrelevant to the charges, and would die on that hill before the court.

          persecutor in reply to Ragspierre. | June 12, 2012 at 7:08 pm

          You could get a motion in limine here in NY as part of a Sandoval motion/Bermudez compromise. Then the only way it comes in is if Marra opens the door.

          In NY the judges (and prosecutors, me included) tend to err on the side of caution and usually agree to parameters using Bermudez.

          But, the question is will the judge subconciously hold this against the defendant in evidentiary rulings? Not so sure, and it doesn’t seem like it would be enough for a recusal motion.

          Ragspierre in reply to Ragspierre. | June 12, 2012 at 7:26 pm

          I don’t think there is a motion in limine procedure in Texas criminal law, as such. But I reckon there has to be something.

          I agree as to the rest. The well here has been pissed in, and Lester will have to use a sharp knife to segregate the issues.

          Here is his order. Note, he does not agree with a lot of commenters here WRT the charges.

    I don’t think that will go anywhere. When she gets an attorney, that attorney is going to tear Angela Corey a new excrement hole for abuse of process. He should PUBLICLY do so in the press (and if the Florida Bar gives him/her grief he/she should make a loud cry of why they’ve been giving Ms. Corey a pass for all her public statement shenanigans regarding the case).

    There’s been a lot of discussion of this in legal circles, but the long-and-short of it is that the money WAS NOT THE ZIMMERMAN’S money and they KNEW it. They realized that money was given for the DEFENSE costs, not for general use, and thus a “constructive trust” was created. Thus, the perjury charge will evaporate, and Ms. Corey will have even MORE egg on her face than she does now, especially when Ms Zimmerman brings a “Malicious Prosecution” suit against Ms. Corey personally.

      Ragspierre in reply to Chuck Skinner. | June 12, 2012 at 5:42 pm

      Chuck, the judge’s order on bond revocation is out. You might want to read it.

      Ragspierre in reply to Chuck Skinner. | June 12, 2012 at 5:50 pm

      I’m defending a malicious prosecution case right now.

      Texas law tracks Florida law pretty closely, as pertains to the element of the tort.

      “In order to prove a cause of action for malicious prosecution a plaintiff must prove six elements: ‘1) the commencement of a judicial proceeding; 2) its legal causation by the present defendant against the plaintiff; 3) its bona fide termination in favor of the plaintiff; 4) the absence of probable cause for the prosecution; 5) malice; [and] 6) damages’.”

      Texas…and I reckon Florida law…provides several species of immunity. A law suit on the facts as we know them would be poured out instantly.

      persecutor in reply to Chuck Skinner. | June 12, 2012 at 5:52 pm

      Chuck, as a prosecutor, you use ever piece of leverage you can over a defendant. Putting the wife in the uncomfortable position of facing some jail time gives that defendant a moment to think about how much he hates or loves her.

      I suspect that Zimmerman will fold.

        Ragspierre in reply to persecutor. | June 12, 2012 at 6:01 pm

        I hope he listens to the good counsel of his attorney. I hope he won’t fold. O’Mara has a good, strong case to present, and I hope he gets the chance.

        BannedbytheGuardian in reply to persecutor. | June 12, 2012 at 6:47 pm

        Upthread -“Did the idiot bring this on himsel ? Absolutly”

        So you are lining up in the Queue throwing sh*t on this man behind the bars. Did they stop you going to the zoo & throwing sticks at the ape ?

        Also -hehe You “suspect that Zimmerman will fold”. What sort of lawyer uses that word in conversation ? You got a corkboard with his mugshot on it on your home office cubbyhole?

        Milhouse in reply to persecutor. | June 13, 2012 at 3:13 am

        In other words you are as corrupt as Corey and many other prosecutors. How do you sleep at night? Do you put policemen on the stand to perjure themselves too?

        In my view anything that would tend to induce — let alone compel — an innocent defendant to plead guilty is corrupt and ought to be illegal.

Nothing in my area but I see a couple positives in Ann Arbor (big surprise there), a positive in Traverse City (another surprise, ha) a big negative in downtown Detroit and, my favorite, a WTF in Holland: “Obama smells like tuna”. That one is actually visible in the photo above.

Best Network “GetYourOwnInternetConnection”

TrooperJohnSmith | June 12, 2012 at 5:26 pm

My neighborhood is pretty evenly divided!

Shoot, mine is the name of the SR-71 replacement, but it will be either gone or put into EPA Drone service. I’ve got to check&bookmark this list!

Henry Hawkins | June 12, 2012 at 6:49 pm

Nearest one to me here in Possum Holler was sixty miles away, but grittily decisive: OBAMASUCKSBALLS.

VetHusbandFather | June 12, 2012 at 9:03 pm

Any good ones out there among you?

Obama Bin Laden is in his mom’s old hometown of Mercer Island.

SoCA Conservative Mom | June 12, 2012 at 11:05 pm

Obama.Sucks.Penguin.Penis-guest near the Bankers Hill Bar in San Diego.

nordic_prince | June 12, 2012 at 11:18 pm

Perhaps there’s hope for Chicago after all – “Obama_is_a_huge_clown” and “ObamaSucks” are both in the Northwest ‘burbs, just down the road from one another.

There aren’t any at all listed in Park Slope, and very few in all of Brooklyn.

[…] Read it. Service set identifiers, or SSIDs, are essentially the network names that people give to their wireless networks. It turns out many Americans–and people across the world–are turning to SSIDs as a unique way to express their political sentiments. Much in the same way a yard sign pronounces to the world your political proclivities, so too can the naming of your SSID. […]

“Obama is a Kenyan Communist,” from…Los Angeles!

Some routers allow multiple SSIDs, so you could have a “lawn sign” SSID and another one that you actually use. Or one for each of the 7 dwarves or each Supreme Court Justice. The possibilities are endless.

Does anyone know how (if you can), to change an existing SSID name. I have Time Warner. What makes me mad is for years, my wireless network was Bohemian. Then about a year ago, TW came out and updated the equipment and the tech named it himself and just used my name. Didn’t notice until several weeks later when I was having connection problems. Kinda creeps me out to have my name being beamed out there.

    DesertViking in reply to Bohemian. | June 13, 2012 at 5:19 pm

    It depends on your equipment… but in general, it’s just a matter of logging into the router and finding the page that has the SSID setting and changing it. You may have to make adjustments to any clients that connect to the router.

    I have a high end router that allows multiple SSID’s as separate sub-networks. I may just have to add a few new colorfully named sub-nets to it this weekend.

    unitron in reply to Bohemian. | June 13, 2012 at 10:46 pm

    First of all, you should have your router set to not broadcast your SSID.

    That said (assuming they didn’t bother to give you an owner’s manual or a driver cd with a pdf of the manual, look on the router for the brand and model number and perhaps the version number as well, and plug that into Google along with the words “owner’s manual”.

    If that doesn’t get you a link to a copy of the owner’s manual, try searching the router brand and model number plus the terms “default IP address” and “default password”.

    What you’re looking for is the number in the form which the router uses on your home network.

    That’s the inward facing address that your computers and TiVos and such see.

    It may well have an outward facing address which is assigned to it by your cable modem which you don’t need to worry about.

    You’re also looking for the default user name and password.

    Once you have that info, you open up a browser window and type that number into the address bar at the top.

    For example, the Linksys WRT54G has a default address of

    It has a blank default user name and the default password is “admin”

    Other brands or models might have something like

    User: admin

    Password: 1234

    You put the number into the address bar of the browser and hit Enter or click whatever you click to load web pages and it will probably bring up a dialog box where you enter the user name and password, and when you do that successfully it’ll bring up a web page that’s not out on the internet, but is stored in the router.

    You’ll find lots of stuff on that page to monkey with, most of which you shouldn’t monkey with.

    Having the manual will help you find the part where you can change the SSID and toggle broadcast of it on or off.

    That number in the form Each set of xxx can be from 0 to 255

    Leading zeros are suppressed, so would be

    In the example I gave of the Linksys, the address of the entire network is and is the address of everything on the network collectively, what’s called the broadcast address.

    Your computers and such will have addresses between and

    It’s possible to give specific addresses within that range to specific things on your home network (that’s called a fixed IP address), but that’s another lesson for another time.