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New York Coffee Shops Clamp Down On Free WiFi

 9:34 am on Aug 14, 2009 (gmt 0)

Short video story...
New York Coffee Shops Clamp Down On Free WiFi [news.bbc.co.uk]
Many coffee shops are losing money because customers spend too long online, so they are covering sockets, banning laptops and charging for internet access.

I really don't think that sitting in a coffee shop using their WiFi all day is no way to run a business. Come on, it's a coffee shop!

[edited by: engine at 12:42 pm (utc) on Aug. 14, 2009]



 11:54 am on Aug 14, 2009 (gmt 0)

"I spend 2 to 4 hours at a table so I try to buy ONE OR TWO DRINKS!"

Free desk, free utilities, free computer hookup, free restrooms in MANHATTAN.

What is that woman thinking? What are these shops thinking?


 12:17 pm on Aug 14, 2009 (gmt 0)

It is more common than you think...a free desk for freelancers. Perez Hilton doesn't have an office...he just updates his site from coffee shops!


 1:03 pm on Aug 14, 2009 (gmt 0)

Who is Perez Hilton?


 1:18 pm on Aug 14, 2009 (gmt 0)

A guy who blogs about celebrities...and has turned himself into a celebrity...I feel ashamed to know this... ;)


 1:34 pm on Aug 14, 2009 (gmt 0)

Does anyone in NYC do this from Italian restaurants... twice?


 1:45 pm on Aug 14, 2009 (gmt 0)

How many times have we seen the whines for FREE this ot that, access to website content, news etc"

" Whine, whine, whine, I want it for FREE"

So why is anyone surprised that some FREE WiFi users abuse the deal?


 2:30 pm on Aug 14, 2009 (gmt 0)

I should complain, it wasn't free, I had to buy a coffee!

It wouldn't be beyond the wit of man to devise a system that gave you a code for a fixed time on-line with your receipt.


 4:26 pm on Aug 14, 2009 (gmt 0)

There is. Hotspot gateways. Normally chargable for an hour. Just make it free, but keep the hour expirey.

A decent one will cost 300-500. Make itself back in a month.


 5:31 pm on Aug 14, 2009 (gmt 0)

Often I will get a call while I am on the road and the nature of the call will require me to log into a server and do something.

I have no problem pulling into a parking lot in front of a coffee shop, getting out my laptop and doing what I need then drive away once completed, without even going inside. I have yet to feel guilt over this practice, I am never there longer than 45 minutes and I am not taking up a seat that a paying customer may want.

There are routers that have a built in ticketing system in place. They will redirect user's browsers to a login page that lives on the router. Entering a user name and password will allow the person access for X amount of time.

You can get one with a printer for tickets around $600-$700. Not that hard to crack down on. Although I see the dilemma about competing with chains. But hasn't that always been a challenge of the small guy vs the big guy?


 11:34 pm on Aug 14, 2009 (gmt 0)

Damn. I live in Seattle right now, where this is a perfectly acceptable practice depending on the coffee shop. (I try to tip well though.) I'm planning on moving to NYC soon and would like to continue to work in coffee shops for hours at a time. Maybe not eight hours, but 3-4. Perhaps a neighborhood in Brooklyn will have coffee shops that are cool.


 10:09 pm on Aug 16, 2009 (gmt 0)

Why do people want to sit in a coffee shop for more than several hours on the laptop anyway? Would it not be best to sit in your own house for several hours?


 10:37 pm on Aug 16, 2009 (gmt 0)

The only time that I would want such a service would be to check emails when away from home. I reckon that I could deal with anything urgent within 30 minutes.


 10:51 pm on Aug 16, 2009 (gmt 0)

@rj87uk ...boplicity wrote
Perhaps a neighborhood in Brooklyn will have coffee shops that are cool.

to some people you sell the steak ..to others you sell the sizzle ..to others you convince them that drinking vastly over priced crap coffee in a precisely manufactured / designed surround is "cool"

you sell little bits of "armour" and "rayment" to allow people to construct the self image they would like to have ..that cool people drink coffee in coffee shops ..and be "discovered" or "get dates" or whatever

dont knock the selling of it ..( "coolness" )..:)

just beware of maya ..

selling maya is however an old profession ..( amongst the oldest of the professions ).just ask any shaman , priest or ad executive ..

practically ..using any wi fi spot ..public or otherwise ..is really dumb ..unless you are researching for your presentation at blackhat :)

setting one up can be lucrative ..just until the person who bought danish and latte's uploads the kpron ..then you are liable ..as the owner of the "spot" ..

running or using free or even paid for wi fi is fraught with perils and posers ..


 12:05 am on Aug 17, 2009 (gmt 0)

If you have internet on your cell phone you can always use it to get on internet. I connect mine to my laptop all the time.

I saw Perez Hilton on Cribs the other day. He has a 2 bedroom apartment. One room is his closet.


 11:22 am on Aug 17, 2009 (gmt 0)

So to sum up: Spending several hours in a coffee shop is cool. I hope I don't end up as cool as they lot then...


 1:39 am on Aug 18, 2009 (gmt 0)

It must be cool. Didn't the Beat Generation hang out in coffee shops and recite poetry? :)


 2:39 am on Aug 18, 2009 (gmt 0)

Didn't the Beat Generation hang out in coffee shops

You rang?

Maynard G Krebs may have hung out in 50's espresso shops but I'm quite sure he never did any work <<<?!?>>> in one.

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