Tuesday, June 14, 2005


coffee and wifi

An interesting article in today's New York Times, Some Cafe Owners Pull the Plug on Lingering Wi-Fi Users . It seems that web surfing and coffee drinking are not natual combinations. Many people surf without any need to drink coffee continually.

Cafes are a rare example of a "third space" that people can go to work or socialize. I strongly believe we need to develop alternative third spaces, not just rely on cafes. I love my coffee in the morning, but I find it vile in the afternoon. I literally find the aroma of coffee noxious after smelling it too long, over an hour. And I hate the shrill sound of coffee grinders, and the banging of metal as baristas wack out the coffee grinds from the machine. Coffee-centric cafes are really not very pleasant places to spend long periods, which may be why Italians just down their coffee while standing, instead of nursing a boat-sized frothy sugar-ladened drink for an hour. French cafes aren't really about coffee, they are about sitting outside on the pavement, watching the world go by while enjoying drink or food. I can't see wifi in either a French or Italian cafe.

Someone needs to develop a lounge for doing work while mobile, that is more flexible and comfortable than the cubicles of the so-called "Internet cafe", and not so centered on dispensing drinks.

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