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You Expect Me to Pay for That?

My new laptop has a wireless card built in so if I can find a “hotspot,” I can “surf.” All the cool kids are doing it, I hear. We went to a nearby Starbucks to try it out.

Denied! I was bitterly disappointed to learn that I would have to pay to use the T-Mobile hotspot, six bucks minimum. I was under the delusion that hotspots were there to entice people to the store, so they could feel better about going out of their way to pay $3 for a cup of coffee, but apparently not. Wireless connectivity is just another profit center. Come to think of it, that seems fair.

After checking out the nearby Barnes & Noble, which has the same deal, but with a different provider, I was really confused. To surf in either location, I would need to have accounts with both providers. That doesn't seem practical. Since you're so restricted, I wonder if anybody uses these hotspots.

So my wireless days are over. I should mention, however, that I can connect to the wireless network of one of my neighbors any time I want. I'll bet he makes a mean cup of coffee, too.

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