Economics and the mid-life crisis have much in common: Both dwell on foregone opportunities

C'est la vie; c'est la guerre; c'est la pomme de terre . . . . . . . . . . . . . email: jpalmer at uwo dot ca

. . . . . . . . . . .Richard Posner should be awarded the next Nobel Prize in Economics . . . . . . . . . . . .

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Starbucks and Wireless Computing

Two of my friends have mentioned in not-very-recent postings that they enjoyed being able to blog from a Starbucks coffee shop that provided wireless internet access.

From Alan Adamson of Silly Little Country, writing from England,

My gosh, why would someone in a lovely old town like York in Yorkshire go to a Starbucks's?Air-conditioning on yet another tropical Yorkshire day, quick efficient service, coffee to taste, Ella Fitzgerald on the sound system, and a TMobile HotSpot.
The hotspot didn't work, though, and he was referred to a different Starbucks:

I complained, as it turned out, to Katie. She spent ten minutes calling tmobile to sort it out and rebooted the local box. Finally she found a nearby Starbuck's for me to go to, refunding my coffee in the process. Now I am connected, and sitting in a sumptuous chair, and listening to John Fogerty singing 'Centerfield'. Not a bad trade.
I know why I look for these places rather than the local places that serve bad coffee and have no amenities.
And from King Banaian of SCSU Scholars, blogging from the Western Economic Association meetings in San Francisco:

A young scholar and I agreed to meet after my session and lunch (thanks for the sandwich, Edi!) and, since we both have laptops in search of connectivity, went to look for a Starbucks.
A number of friends and I meet for coffee from time-to-time at a Starbucks in London, Ontario (usually Thursday mornings during the academic year). We are, quite frankly, relieved that the place where we meet has no intention of joining the trend in most Starbucks and putting in a wireless router for its patrons. If they did, the place would be congested with "chatters" and "surfers", and there would be little space for those of us who like to meet and talk while having coffee. The management at this outlet knows that putting in wireless internet would probably reduce their profits, and so they have no plans to do so -- at least not for now. Part of the problem is that every chair filled by a student, sitting, surfing, and chatting for hours on end at this particular outlet, is a chair not being filled by three or four regular paying customers

And yet I'm glad to know that most Starbucks have wi-fi. That knowledge comes in handy when I'm traveling.
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