Friday, June 03, 2005

HarperCollins Creates Bookstore Hotspots

Harpers Collins will build hotspots at bookstores in innovative approach: Sure, Barnes & Noble and Borders Books have had hotspots for some time now, with Borders claiming the older network. (Barnes & Noble signed its Cometa deal weeks before it shut down; now SBC operates B&N hotspots.)

But HarperCollins's plan will bring Wi-Fi with a HarperCollins splash page to what sounds at least like a wider variety of booksellers and at no cost. It's an interesting move because many bookstores aren't set up to handle people with laptops, and there's always been some concern that access to perfect information in the form of book price comparisons at (or even my own service, would erode on-the-spot impulse buying.

The company said in a press release that they will launch a four-month pilot program, to be announced at this weekend Book Expo America. The publisher is providing free Wi-Fi access at the show. (this article comes to you from WiFiNetNews )

As a side note, if you are interested in learning more about wifi, JiWire now has forums available which can be quite helpful. In addition, if you are concerned about wifi security issues (and you should be), here is an excellent article discussing what you should do now.

Coffeeshop turns off Wi-Fi on Weekends
This is an interesting take on today's culture . Apparently this coffeshop in Seattle decided to turn off free wi-fi on the weekends, because too many "freeloaders" were coming in and setting up shop for the entire day and never buying anything. Conversation also disappeared from the cafe because everyone was just pounding away on their laptops. Apparently this was met with the usual outpouring of hate mail, but many have supported the owner's stand on this issue. Personally, I agree with the owner. If you're going to take up their space, at least support the place by purchasing some of their products. At the same time, I have to agree that it does turn a lively place into a "library-like" setting. In the long run, as free wi-fi takes over cities, perhaps people will find other places to get their wifi "fix" and not turn to a coffeeshop, which is currently often the only place in a city where it is available.

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