Magazine February 10, 2020, Issue

Avast, Ye Porch Pirates!

(Jim Urquhart/Reuters)

I was sitting in a cafe in Mountain View, Calif., home of Google, using the coffee shop’s Wi-Fi because the hotel’s Internet connection was spotty. My computer had not been able to connect to Google, which was literally down the street. You’d think Google emanated such power, you could pick it up on your fillings and make a search request by tapping out Morse code with your tongue on a molar.

My phone sprang to life and issued an eerie sound of moaning ghosts, wind, and clanking chains. Sigh. That would be my doorbell. I had set the Ring video doorbell

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