imageWant to be able to tuck a hidden Wi-Fi router away in your pocket or purse for covertly sharing secret files? Node has a how-to guide that will show you how to hollow out a small paper notebook and put the guts of a portable Wi-Fi router and USB micro-SD adapter inside, creating an innocuous-looking little notebook that can hold significantly more books (or music, or movies, or other media) than it appears.

The gizmo is intended for use with the or content distribution systems, which are similar software packages intended for creating private “offline Internet” local bulletin boards and file-distribution repositories—like an old-fashioned computer BBS in a box that you connect to via Wi-Fi instead of a modem.

PirateBox is meant for “anonymous file sharing, chatting, message boarding, and media streaming” while LibraryBox is a fork intended for more legitimate purposes:

LibraryBox is a digital distribution tool for education, libraries, healthcare, and emergency response. Anywhere there is a lack of open internet access, LibraryBox can bridge the gap of information delivery.

It’s easy to see how those systems could be useful—either for creating a way to share pirated content without it being noticed over the Internet, or for distributing more legitimate files (for example, a copy of Project Gutenberg) somewhere the Internet can’t reach. That being said, you don’t need to hide your router and content drive in a notebook to use them—a regular computer would work just fine.

The project puts me in mind of instructions we linked a few years back about turning a Moleskine notebook into an iPhone case, but seems a bit less useful. If you want to hide a portable Piratebox in your pocket or purse, it seems much simpler to just stick the original pocket router in your pocket or purse. That’s what it’s for, after all. But I suppose the same kind of impulse that moves one to name a software project “PirateBox” to begin with is responsible for wanting to hide such a box in an ordinary-looking household item. It’s Cory-Doctorow-novel stuff, which tends to work better in Cory Doctorow’s novels than in real life.

Still, if it gets more people interested in setting up this kind of system, why not?

(Found via LifeHacker.)


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