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Wireless Madness
buzzed, B&W
Wow, so I haven't used wireless downtown for a while, and now that I have my new laptop, I'm sitting at Firetower, and I can see 6 access points from here - and only one of them is secured. Crazy how prolific WiFi has become . . .

While the wireless is one of the reasons I tend to frequent Firetower over some of the other coffee shops in town, there was an interesting story back in May about how some places are shutting down their WiFi on weekends. There was some interesting commentary about this.

It makes me wonder what the allure of using WiFi in a coffeeshop is? My assumption here is that most people who can afford laptops with wireless cards, tend to have internet connections at home. Yes, there may be a small percentage who don't, but that doesn't explain why so many people tend to use laptops in public? Do people like being on display? Do they feel that they're performing a balancing act (the asocial use of the Internet, surrounded by the social atmosphere a coffeeshop tends to promote)? I think for me it's the people watching aspect - I tend to multitask in general (and even while I touch-type this, I'm staring out the window), but I don't think that's true for most people. What's the allure?

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Out in LA there are no free hotspots it seems. When I out there for meetings I tried to find a place I could check my email, but everything required you to pay.

Places around here have shut down wifi on the weekends.. if they don't need free wifi to pack the house, why offer it so people can have a cup of coffee and take up a table for a couple hours? You won't make money that way.

Why I like coffee shops:

1) beverages I can't make
2) get out of the apt
3) more likely to do work rather than putz around on the internet (I would often go to read papers for class, not use the internet)
4) chance encounters with people I know

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