The media’s ability to turn a cute idea into a raging hype feedback loop has crossed with the post Sept 11th paranoia factor yet again as an FBI field office in Pittsburgh warns businesses of the pernicious new pastime of “Warchalking.” See this Computerworld story. Warchalking is the latest non-trend to sweep the internet, and it involves scrawling information about close-by wireless networks on the streets in chalk. Despite the fact that nobody is actually doing it, just about every media outlet in the world has reported on it.Unlike hamsterdance or Mahir, it’s actually a pretty neat idea on the surface, but mostly because being able to access the internet from various random places is a pretty neat idea. The article mentions online databases of open wireless access points and other attempts to map the back doors to the wireless web. Certainly, companies that leave insecure back doors into their networks have a serous problem, and having those back doors pointed out on the sidewalks or on the internet is a bad thing for them, but trotting out the threat of terrorism is just a little silly. Frankly, I think “all your base are belong to us” poses a greater risk to national security.