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Google Businesses Networking The Internet Wireless Networking Technology

Would You Open Your Home To a Hacker – For Free? 118

Posted by timothy
from the are-you-including-stock-options? dept.
coondoggie writes "What do you get when you mix access to Google's ultra-fast fiber network and old fashioned grass roots business ideas? Well, in this case you'd get someone living on your couch for free for three months. This week a group calling itself the 'Kansas City Hacker Homes' launched a program that calls on the good folks of Kansas City to open up their homes to entrepreneurs and developers who would live and work there for a period of three months, rent and utility free. They have to buy their own food."
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Would You Open Your Home To a Hacker – For Free?

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  • by xclr8r (658786)
    However, if I had some type of mother in law house/suite not being used then maybe.
    • The pile of mountain dew cans they would leave behind is probably gonna be worth a couple hundred bucks. Nevermind it is on your living room floor.

      Since they will, at least, buy their own food, its like getting free money back!

      • by dj245 (732906)

        The pile of mountain dew cans they would leave behind is probably gonna be worth a couple hundred bucks. Nevermind it is on your living room floor.

        Since they will, at least, buy their own food, its like getting free money back!

        That would be funny if every state had a bottle deposit program. Most don't. Kansas does not. Even if we were talking about Kansas CIty, Missouri, they don't have a program either. Best you can hope for is scrap value (maybe $1) or recycling them for free.

  • for bootstrapping kansas city's high tech industry

    • Re:cool idea (Score:5, Insightful)

      by perpenso (1613749) on Saturday August 25, 2012 @11:12AM (#41122423)

      for bootstrapping kansas city's high tech industry

      How? Just how many startups require ultra-fast fiber at their development site? Wherever the startup hosts their public server(s) may already have such a connection.

      • by fa2k (881632)

        Just how many startups require ultra-fast fiber at their development site? Wherever the startup hosts their public server(s) may already have such a connection.

        It's more about not having to worry about connectivity. When I do development work, I hate it when my SSH sessions time out after 40 or so minutes because I have a crappy NAT router at home. A lot of hackers will be attracted to having a connection they can trust. 1 Gbit vs. 100 Mbit will probably not make a huge difference, but being able to download VM images in seconds is one advantage.

        • by perpenso (1613749)
          And there won't be a crappy NAT router between you and the fiber?
          • by fa2k (881632)

            Sure, it would be a little crazy to not use NAT. Best case would be if Google provided a separate fibre to ethernet interface and router, then the "hacker" could have his own network and get a public IP address. Better for everyone involved. More likely is that Google provides a fibre interface / router combo and everyone has to use that. My thought was that any router both 1) approved by Google and 2) spec'd for 1 Gbit should be good enough to handle anything..

  • by rolfwind (528248) on Saturday August 25, 2012 @10:34AM (#41122221)

    What you'll be responsible for:
    Room & board
    Utilities ... ... ...
    Buy their own food

    Someone tell them what the "board" in room & board means, I don't think they know.

    • by ColdWetDog (752185) on Saturday August 25, 2012 @10:39AM (#41122255) Homepage

      This is America, chukco. We know what "Room and Board" is - that's what happens when they lock you up at Gitmo.

      Really, please try and keep up.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      It means you'll be required to listen to the hacker droning on about his amazing Instagram clone and his love of Star Wars.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Why do you always have to knock my Leiagram project?!

    • In Kansas, the hosts are autotrophs and damned well expect others to be too. If guests want to engage in unnecessary self-munificence, they can pay for it on their own.
    • by mysidia (191772)

      Someone tell them what the "board" in room & board means, I don't think they know.

      So they're saying there is room and board, as long as the guest pays for the food..

      That could mean the boarder has to buy all the food, and someone in the household prepares it for those that live there and the boarder

      • That's really not what room and board means, though. The reality of it is the guy just didn't understand the meaning completely and thought it meant "a place to live" rather than "a place to live and meals" or revised his idea to exclude food and forgot to take the "board" out.

  • So, care to tell me who pays the lawyers fees when said "entrepreneur" injures themselves on your private property and decides to sue?

    This is one example. You think anyone is gonna step right on up to the plate on all the other bullshit we have to thank our litigious society for?

    Sure, I'll allow them in my home...as soon as they "innovate" a way around my liability.

    Yes, yet again, litigation stifles innovation...even before it can start.

    • by SunTzuWarmaster (930093) on Saturday August 25, 2012 @11:12AM (#41122419) Homepage

      This post removes moderation effort in this thread.

      You can issue a very simple document saying that the person waives their right to sue in the event of injury. Cave owners do it all of the time when cavers wish to enter their property. For example:
      http://www.caves.org/grotto/jamesrivergrotto/JRGCaveTripReleaseForm.PDF [caves.org]

      Rental property does it:
      http://monkeyshines4kids.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/06/Monkey-Shines-4-Kids-LLC-General-Liability-Release.pdf [monkeyshines4kids.com]

      and you can get a free one from nolo here:
      https://www.rocketlawyer.com/secure/interview/new.aspx?id=154&utm_source=103&try=1&v=3&gclid=CPuF3peHg7ICFQmpnQodiCwAcw#q1 [rocketlawyer.com]

      Shut up and start helping people.

      Note: I have put my money where my mouth is. I live with two foreign PhD students who pay drastically reduced rent. They are also the nicest people people that I have lived with.

      • by timholman (71886)

        Shut up and start helping people.

        Note: I have put my money where my mouth is. I live with two foreign PhD students who pay drastically reduced rent. They are also the nicest people people that I have lived with.

        "Helping people" and "behaving sensibly to protect yourself and your property" are not mutually exclusive goals. I believe in helping people to, but that doesn't mean I invite total strangers to live in my home, or pick up hitchhikers at 2 a.m. in the morning.

        Those two Ph.D. students you live with w

        • The goals of "helping" and "protecting" can both be fulfilled at once.
          You are correct that the students have been thoroughly vetted (foreign Government, US Government, State college, and personally).
          To be fair, I did not use a freely downloadable template, and instead opted for a lawyer-produced one from a lawyer connection (still free).

          In the "open your home to a hacker that lives on your couch" model, I would think that the homeowner would not follow it altruistically. If I were in the position, it would

        • Wait, you talked to a lawyer, and the lawyer told you the only good legal advice is the kind you pay for? Sounds unbiased to me!
          • by gnapster (1401889)
            Free advice from lawyers is worthless, but meta-advice is something on which you can bet the farm.
      • by jittles (1613415)

        This post removes moderation effort in this thread.

        You can issue a very simple document saying that the person waives their right to sue in the event of injury. Cave owners do it all of the time when cavers wish to enter their property.

        I'd be willing to bet that your contract there isn't even enforceable in a lot of areas. People can sue you for damages that occur to them while they are breaking into your property, stealing your stuff, or otherwise causing mischief and mayhem to the person they are suing. And they'll win, too, if it can be shown that you should have resolved the problem that they are suing you over. You can sign those contracts all day long, but still sue the caving company under the right circumstances. Same with the

      • by geekmux (1040042)

        This post removes moderation effort in this thread.

        You can issue a very simple document saying that the person waives their right to sue in the event of injury. Cave owners do it all of the time when cavers wish to enter their property. For example: http://www.caves.org/grotto/jamesrivergrotto/JRGCaveTripReleaseForm.PDF [caves.org]

        Rental property does it: http://monkeyshines4kids.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/06/Monkey-Shines-4-Kids-LLC-General-Liability-Release.pdf [monkeyshines4kids.com]

        and you can get a free one from nolo here: https://www.rocketlawyer.com/secure/interview/new.aspx?id=154&utm_source=103&try=1&v=3&gclid=CPuF3peHg7ICFQmpnQodiCwAcw#q1 [rocketlawyer.com]

        Shut up and start helping people.

        Note: I have put my money where my mouth is. I live with two foreign PhD students who pay drastically reduced rent. They are also the nicest people people that I have lived with.

        Thanks for the papers and links. Too bad no one shows up in front of a judge with just papers in their hand, especially with a multi-million personal injury dollar lawsuit at stake.

        But in the off chance that you do, then prepare for an immediate recess to be called, while the judge and the opposing legal team visit the restroom, to proceed to laugh and wipe their ass with your "defense".

        My point about legal costs still stands. Yet again, who wins in that scenario. Sure as hell ain't me, regardless of out

    • Not to mention what happens when Mr Hacker uses your ultra-fast fiber to download everything on PirateBay to his hard drive and the lawyers track it to your door...
  • by timholman (71886) on Saturday August 25, 2012 @10:40AM (#41122261)

    While I can admire the idealism behind this concept, from a practical viewpoint it leaves much to be desired.

    For example, will Kansas City Hacker Homes bond and insure the hackers, so as to indemnify the homeowners against theft or lawsuits from their "guests"? Very doubtful, which means the burden falls on the homeowner (and his/her insurance policy).

    What happens to the homeowner if the hacker decides to skirt the law (e.g. breaking into someone's network, taking drugs, or downloading copyrighted material) while living in the house? What if he runs up hundreds of dollars on your cable bill watching pay-per-view movies? How do you get your money back? Can you even evict him on the spot, or will local laws give him "squatter's rights" for a limited time, as they often do for non-paying renters?

    You wouldn't really know anything about this person in your house, besides what he told you. Will Kansas City Hacker Homes provide you with a background check of the hacker's criminal and civil record? Again, highly unlikely.

    So basically you're rolling the dice with some total stranger, taking all the risk, and with no promise of getting anything in return. Not a smart move for any homeowner.

    • So basically you're rolling the dice with some total stranger, taking all the risk, and with no promise of getting anything in return. Not a smart move for any homeowner.

      So, basically it's just like renting a room to anyone else, except they're knowledgeable about technology...

      Hell, I've even figured out how to solve the food issue: Feed them the previous hacker.

      • by nedlohs (1335013) on Saturday August 25, 2012 @10:57AM (#41122347)

        And they don't pay rent, which makes it a little different from "just like renting a room to anyone else".

      • I get to meet the renter before they sign and get them to sign all sorts of other stuff and I have various legal protections (and responsibilities) as a land lord.

        As a real land lord I also get *paid* to take on the risk of having someone live in my property as well as first & last month's rent to cover cleaning and normal damages.

        The only thing you got right was the food situation options.

      • by perpenso (1613749)

        So, basically it's just like renting a room to anyone else, except they're knowledgeable about technology...

        Some of the legal concerns addressed by the GP will be covered in the lease the renter will sign, thereby offering the landlord some protection. Plus part of the rent goes to buying insurance, further protecting the landlord.

        • by hawk (1151)

          >Plus part of the rent goes to buying insurance, further protecting the landlord.

          With any insurance company I've ever met, part of zero doesn't buy much coverage . . .

          hawk

          • by perpenso (1613749)

            >Plus part of the rent goes to buying insurance, further protecting the landlord.

            With any insurance company I've ever met, part of zero doesn't buy much coverage . . .

            hawk

            Re-read the thread. "Rent" is referring to traditional renters who sign a lease and make payments, its not referring to the visiting hackers.

      • by Desler (1608317)

        So, basically it's just like renting a room to anyone else, except they're knowledgeable about technology...

        And they aren't paying rent.

  • Fine Print (Score:5, Funny)

    by bobstreo (1320787) on Saturday August 25, 2012 @10:50AM (#41122315)

    Should also have a Bathing Clause.

  • HAHAHAHA.....no (Score:4, Insightful)

    by brillow (917507) on Saturday August 25, 2012 @10:52AM (#41122325)

    Why would anyone do this? Why would I invite a stranger to live in my house for free?

    Also, what kind of startup are you doing where you need incredibly high download speeds? Seriously. There is nothing you could do which would be using such large files that this is an issue and be processable on a laptop.

    • My thoughts exactly. What a hacker needs to succeed should be in his/her brain; a network connection is needed but bandwidth is not the bottleneck.

      Unless by hackers someone means "Kim Dotcom wannabes".

    • Re:HAHAHAHA.....no (Score:4, Interesting)

      by timholman (71886) on Saturday August 25, 2012 @11:12AM (#41122421)

      Also, what kind of startup are you doing where you need incredibly high download speeds? Seriously. There is nothing you could do which would be using such large files that this is an issue and be processable on a laptop.

      Excellent point. Ultra-high bandwidth would certainly be useful for startups specializing in (for example) virtual / augmented reality applications, virtual environments, or remote sensing / control. But a guy sitting on your couch in his dirty underwear is not going to be doing stuff like that on his laptop.

      On the other hand, there are many not-so-nice things he could do with that extra bandwidth, e.g. download/host lots of torrented movies/music/pr0n, manage attacks and exploits against remote systems, etc. And guess whose door the authorities will come knocking on if he chooses to do so?

    • by Anonymous Coward

      If I can do the following I wouldn't have a problem with it.

      Background checks
      Credit check
      3 month room lease agreement
      Deny people based on the project. I'd want them working on something I personally thing is cool. We don't need anymore instagram clones or another pinterest.

      I'd get the following benefits.

      Meet some interesting people.
      Get to invest in something that might be worth while
      Help a fellow entrepreneur achieve their dream a little bit easier than I had it
      Get to mentor a kid about the business side of

    • by swillden (191260)

      Also, what kind of startup are you doing where you need incredibly high download speeds?

      I think it's more likely that the goal is incredibly high speeds up and down. Think about Google's beginning, hosted in a dorm at Stanford. They needed to be able to download the whole Internet, and to serve searches to everyone. They needed extremely fast Internet service, but they also had no idea how to make any money at it, so being able to get essentially free very high-speed (for the time) Internet was essential to being able to start their business.

    • Most people who own houses already have people living there for free. They are called children. If you don't know how to do anything except live in someone else's house for free, you are a child: grow up.

  • by Troyusrex (2446430) on Saturday August 25, 2012 @11:01AM (#41122365)
    Free would be a huge step up! Since I use Windows I am, in fact, inviting hackers into my system every day and paying for the privilege.
    • Free would be a huge step up! Since I use Windows XP I am, in fact, inviting hackers into my system every day and paying for the privilege.

      FTFY

      • XP/Windows in general is only insecure if you use it in an insecure manner.

        I am on XP, because Win7 uses double the ram just to display the desktop, and programs I compile on 7 don't work on previous versions of Windows.

        Do your worst, hackers.

        • because Win7 uses double the ram just to display the desktop

          That's called caching, to speed things up in case you need them. If you need the RAM and it's not available, whatever is cached will be freed and pipes.scr can have it.

          If you don't want Windows to use the RAM available and want it to sit idle, then you can open your computer, pull out a chip of RAM, and put that chip in a drawer until you need it.

      • Are you suggesting that versions of Windows subsequent to XP are secure? I ask because that assertion would be: False.
  • Isn't this what parents are for?

  • by GrandCow (229565) on Saturday August 25, 2012 @11:08AM (#41122403)

    This program is supposed to get entrepreneurs and developers access to high speed fiber, I understand that; but why do they have to live there? Not that I'd allow anyone onto my network either way, but if the end result is getting some of these awesome startups on the net with a good connection, I'd be a lot more willing to let them put a server in an out-of-the-way place in my house. I don't ask to set up a bed in my data co-location center, why do they need a bed in these houses? They can even have access to their hardware whenever they want, provided it's supervised and at an appropriate time. Also, my electricity isn't free. I'd sure like some small kind of cut from the profits (assuming they make a profit sometime).

    • maybe you'd want to make a startup based on the idea that the consumer does have fiber at home. all kind of new stuff becomes possible, the latency is lower because there's no modem, the upload bandwith is increased a lot, maybe 100x.

      the exact applications of this, we maybe don't know all the new scenarios. but it may involve a windows PC with 3D acceleration and sound, or a linux desktop with a 1080p webcam, etc. You can't really test or demonstrate your concept with the end user gear locked in a colo cent

  • by crazyprogrammer (412543) on Saturday August 25, 2012 @11:21AM (#41122463) Homepage

    I live in Kansas City although not in one of the first phase of fiber hoods. On a local forum we had a discussion about this site already and I brought up the terms of service for residential fiber service.

    ...Unless you have a written agreement with Google Fiber permitting you do so, you should not host any type of server using your Google Fiber connection...

    ... or use your Google Fiber account to provide commercial services to third parties (including, but not limited to, selling Internet access to third parties).

    and here [google.com]is the page containing those rules. So without a written agreement you can't run a server. The "providing commercial services" part most likely means no sharing your gigabit connection, not "you can't work from home". I don't think google wants their residential fiber service to be used to start the next facebook.com. They want those entrepreneurs to pay a more for the business service. Whenever google fiber was first announced and what we heard on the local news was something to the effect of it's going to be an experiment by google to see what people will do with a giga-bit connection. At first that sounded like (to me anyway) that they would let us run our own web servers from home, but now it looks more like they just want to offer a web browsing only service for residential customers(like Time Warner).
     
    My question to anyone who has an answer: How could someone use google fiber residential service to get their startup off the ground without breaking the terms of service?

    • Whenever google fiber was first announced and what we heard on the local news was something to the effect of it's going to be an experiment by google to see what people will do with a giga-bit connection. At first that sounded like (to me anyway) that they would let us run our own web servers from home, but now it looks more like they just want to offer a web browsing only service for residential customers (like Time Warner).

      What they want is to collect hard data on how much it costs to really run a network, so they can use the data to support their network neutrality efforts. This is one of the times that they aren't being evil.

    • by Anonymous Coward
      Will Google care if you violate IT? BTW Larry Page hates the no server clause. The lawyers added that in case someone abuse it big time (big data centers). Same story on the 7-year free 5 Mbps Internet. The lawyers say Google cannot commit forever even if that is the plan. Google doesn't plan to go after servers.
  • Allow them in my house? Maybe. Allow them to use my internet connection, which I subscribe to under my own name? Hell no.

  • So you get a leech living in your house that should be able to get a job paying for an apartment, and get no personal benefit. No equity, no repayment, nothing. Who would be so daft as to sign this agreement?

    • Give the kid a break, he's just trying to move back with his parents now that he heard they're getting Google fiber.

  • Three hots and a cot. Who could ask for more? Really, what kind of crap is this? Give Google free stuff, and get very little in return. Fucking companies are blackmailing the country into reducing their taxes to nothing with their constant threats of relocating.

    • It is profoundly clear you have no idea what this article, discussion, or any prior comments are about. It is unlikely you actually read any part of this article/discussion.

      Your signature is about the only thing that applies to a hacker sleeping on someone's couch to borrow free internet provided *BY* Google to a resident. This has nothing to do with companies ripping people off, and in fact, it is about companies providing a valuable commodity to people for free.

      • It's bogus and it's exploitation. And the article said nothing I didn't already know. The comments in the link were more enlightening. Bit feel free to carry on with your crass assumptions.

  • I've been at one of the smaller hacker camps in Europe recently. There were literally stacks of notebooks lying around. Not a single one got stolen or damaged or whatever.

    Of course I cannot speak for US hackers, I have read articles praising DRM in 2600, so it might be different there.

    • I have read articles praising DRM in 2600

      What article was that? I have a feeling you misunderstood some legally circumscribed sarcasm.

      • I think it was Spring 2011 "Why I like E-Books".
        There's also the case of hackers working for the military in the US. This is seen as something highly immoral in Germany. You just don't do that by accident or if you are a sociopath.

        There's even the idea that if you have some, let's say IT security company, you're better off not having a customer than a governmental customer. Since when you are not having a customer you can at least search for customers, whereas if you have a governmental, perhaps even milita

  • If it's already open, they won't look into how to break in and lose interest!

  • If we are talking about high-school exchange students who happen to be able to put that fiber to good use, or "get back on your feet" housing programs run by established non-profits who screen their clients and one of them happens to be a geek, well, maybe.

    But in the case of college students and especially in the case of adults who could get a job and rent their own place or split the costs with a roommie, I'm going to charge market rates and make sure that's enough to cover my costs, including legal costs.

  • by mysidia (191772)

    I would be amenable to this, but require an ownership interest in any intellectual property developed, and an equity share in any business developed, commensurate with the importance to the development of the idea/business of having that place to use at such an early stage.

    (In other words, I would be taking a big risk, that I gave free space and utilities, and receive nothing of monetary value, but if the business were successful, the amount due to me would be orders of magnitude more $$$ than a few

  • People have a lot of space they scarcely/ever use. But why just hackers? When we start doing good, let's extend it to other professions. In no time, you will have two attorneys in the attic, a group of gangsters in the garage, a Romanian refugee in the refrigerator, an established loan-shark in the lounge, few pick-pockets in the patio, a visionary in the vestibule, and maybe even a killer in the kitchen.

    But what if those people start interacting with each other?

  • by MindPrison (864299) on Saturday August 25, 2012 @07:57PM (#41125809) Journal

    ...to: Would you open your house to a homeless person?

    I wouldn't even share a hotel room with a total stranger, let alone my entire house. I've given food and money to homeless persons, but there is where my "openness" ends. Letting someone you don't know into your life, 24-hours-a-day, is a HUGE risk, no matter how well educated they are, people are still people...and knowing people as I do, I know most people have at least ONE dark secret, and you may not want that secret to be a part of your life, I know I wouldn't.

    People do the weirdest stuff in their privacy, believe me - you don't really want to know, we're talking spitting on the floor, peeing fetiches, shooting boogers here and there, messing around with your stuff, stealing little by little, lying about not having broken stuff, and that's just the Safe-For-Work stuff.

    Watch the program "The worlds worst tenants" for some happy inspiration, also - watch caught on the job, and you'll see what people are. These are also the people we consider good, the only tolerable people to have in my home (for me) would be close friends, and family - and yes...they too have these weird habits, admit it...you have at least one too.

    Think about that before you open your door, sweet dreams ;)

  • Isn't that called their mother's basement?

    I totally understand free usable work spaces but lodging too? If you don't have your shit together to take care of yourself what would make me even come close to thinking you can manage your own project?

  • ...ass, gas, or grass. Though perhaps they don't say that any more.
  • In exchange for a fiber run I'll let someone live in my trailer. Down by the river.

  • This is just long-term couchsurfing. Nothing to see, move along now.
  • She's my girlfriend.

    Anyone else? No way. (Also see: a slightly unorthodox invoking of that Law of Headlines everyone keeps linking.)

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