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Starbucks Has Free Wi-Fi

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Starting today, Starbucks locations in US and Canada will be providing free Wi-Fi to its customers. After a tertiary glance at the company's Terms of Service and clicking accept, customers are off to enjoy open broadband access the way God intended. No login names, no passwords, no Starbucks accounts. Just make sure you buy something, ya cheap bastard!

Calling the chain "the biggest Wi-Fi network in the country," CEO Howard Schultz intends that Starbucks becomes "the third place between home and work." If he establishes a level between SFW and NSFW, he just might succeed.

But by finally matching the free Wi-Fi access McDonald's offers at locations worldwide, Starbucks is solidifying the notion that Wi-Fi should, in fact, be a complimentary perk to retail establishments -- be it coffee house, fast food restaurant, hotel, etc. If 3G smartphones can already get around a Wi-Fi usage fee, there's little logic in charging for any incentive to keep the remaining customers in their seats.
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