More and more sites use HTTPS for the whole session nowadays, either by default or by opt-in. Even Facebook, where I keep a token account that I almost never log into.
I'm all for security and strong passwords and all that, but so far, no one has been able to give me a good enough reason for me to bother with "securing" my wireless network.
People can sniff your passwords! -- I don't send them in the clear; I use SSH and SSL for everything.
You'll get viruses! -- I don't trust my network; I treat it as part of the public Internet and use sensible firewall settings.
People will use your bandwidth! -- I don't care. My bandwidth isn't capped.
People will use your connection for child porn and you'll be sent to Gitmo! -- This is the only argument I've heard that has at least some semblance of relevance. It's still pretty weak, though. If it were true, cafes, hotels and similar establishments would find themselves in hot water all the time and I have never heard of such a case.
What else is there?
Well, if it's fully anonymous, it's not a social network, really, but it should be possible to set up a pseudonymous social network, where users go by handles instead of real names. Preferably in I2P or Freenet or Tor or some other darknet so IPs can't be logged. I've actually wondered for quite some time why this hasn't happened (well, I2P has that Twitter-like thing, whatever it's called, but it doesn't see much use).
Though it saddens me to say it, when it comes to hardware support, Windows just works.
Provided that you buy your laptop with Windows preinstalled, yes. If we're talking about installing either Windows or Linux on a "naked" laptop then, in my experience, it's simply a crap shoot. Modern Linux distros come with most drivers you're likely to need included, but they're sometimes crap (especially when it comes to graphics) and you may or may not be able to find better ones on the net.
Windows is almost guaranteed not to have the drivers you want included on the installation media -- but you can usually find them fairly easily (on the net or on the, usually crapware-laden, CD or DVD that came with the hardware). There are exceptions, like recently when for the life of me I just could not find Windows drivers for the crappy Intel audio card in a cheap laptop. In Ubuntu, audio just worked. But suspend didn't; probably a BIOS issue.
the group's female members who wanted extra privacy
And Facebook is so the right place for that.
In most cases, yes. But some time last year, I was on a Ryan Air flight on which advertisements throughout the plane announced the availability of in-flight cellular services (at significant markup, of course). Out of curiosity, I switched my phone on at cruising altitude and, if memory serves me, got a text message welcoming me to the service. Out of frugality, I refrained from making any calls.
Movies are hyped up for a long time before actual release in cinema, meaning a demand is created before the supply is actually available.
Well, I seem to vaguely recall instances where upcoming albums, at least, were wildly anticipated long before they were available. But maybe this doesn't happen anymore, maybe it was always pretty unusual, and maybe it mostly happened among fans hardcore enough to gladly pay for albums to "give back to the artists." So I guess you're still right.
Aren't songs leaked into the pool of piracy before they're officially released anyway? (I know movies are.) How will this make any difference then?
taking away choice from people is not good
But it sure can be wildly successful. See: iPhone, iPad.