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Microsoft, Starbucks To Offer Wireless Service 133

rfsayre writes: "Ever embed video in a Word 2000 file while drinking a venti half-caf low fat frappucino? You will." Think about this: if Microsoft and Starbucks provide their "customers with high-speed Internet access for their wireless laptops, smart phones and other hand-held device," how long would it be until no one is more than 30 feet from an access point? (And does this include Starbucks-serving Barnes and Noble Cafes?)
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Microsoft, Starbucks To Offer Wireless Service

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    slashdot says that you will, so you might as well get over it. If you don't go voluntarily, agents of VALinux will come to your house and take you at gunpoint to the nearest Starbucks (check under your welcome mat, there's probably one there) and force you to do these things.
  • Do you really go into a coffee shop to use your laptop? I understand it on an airport, but hey when I go into a coffee shop I want to talk to real people.
  • It'd be interesting considering I work there. "Yeah, your book's over there somewhere. Go look, I'm trying to figure out why our stock's plummeting." Man, I'd hate to work in the computer books department--I'd spent most of my time working tech support, and computer stuff happens to be on the same floor as the café.
  • The big question is: how will this be done? Is it going to be a standard 802.11b wireless access point in Starbucks with an uplink to the net or the standard with a little Microsoft incompatiblity sauce applied. Personally I'm interested. It would be nice to be able to grab my e-mail while I'm getting a morning cup of joe. Ecks
  • Starting with MacOS 9 (and it's in MacOS X too) Apple deployed encryption and more to the point the Password Keychain, an encrypted repository of username/passwords/various info that ypu can unlock and let apps on your Mac access to automatically login you in sites/services. (The Keychain actually existed in a previous incarnation in Apple's PowerTalk in the early 90s.)
    I think it would be nice if there was such scheme but platform-independant... so I could synchronize my Mac keychain with my palm pilot, and the Linux box at the cyber cafe could use the keychain from my palm, etc.
    And to solve the forgetting to logout problem, maybe a custom timeout could be set depending on the place/service used?
  • Use CryptoPad!

    By george, where as that program been all my life? My humble thanks. (I found it here [], BTW).

  • Small. . . portable. . .

    Ahem... Yes, I suppose. Sort of the way that a VAX looks small and portable when you park it next to ENIAC.

  • >You got all of that from the fact Starbucks is >providing a nifty service to its customers? It does so by taking out it's competition. Over here in S.F. there are at least a couple starbucks on every block. Is this really necessary? They took out all the Mom and Pop coffee shops.
  • 9600bps vs. whatever pipe Czarbucks is using. Which will hopefully be much bigger.

    Don't get me wrong, I use my cellphone's 14.4Kbps connection all the time to check specific text data, but it isn't really well tuned for a "full Web browsing experience" (Help me, I'm starting to think in MarketSpeak!)
  • What people *do* have is laptops/notebooks. Now, if Starbucks offered a 100 MHz local net with RJ45 connectors along the counter...
    Yes! Someone gets it!

    That's exactly what is needed. Y'wanna cater to the masses, you implement the common denominator. 10/100 switched Ethernet, TCP/IP, and DHCP. Plug it in and go. That's how hotels do it, and that's how offices with "guest desks" for visiting execs do it.

    This is part of the concept that Sun called 'WebTone' -- a set of commonly-available Internet standards that are as readily accessible as your typical POTS dial tone. (Microsoft countered with a 'WinTone' concept which quickly got laughed off by the industry.)

    I'll gladly plug my laptop into an Ethernet jack at the coffee shop. I'll gladly pay a few bucks extra to hang out on the 'net while I drink my coffee. But I won't hook up to some bizarre wireless network, especially one controlled by the Devil of Redmond.

  • Starbucks lattes are ass-nasty. Thank goodness there is no Starbucks in my town. I don't want one even near me.

    They're coming to get you.

    Soon, they'll be in the next town.

    Then, they'll be in the shopping mall near your friend's house.

    And before you know it, you'll be next door and downwind of one.

    Get used to the burning plastic and hair smell, a Starbucks is coming to your area!

    LIBERTYBOARD.ORG - News for Libertarians. Stuff that's about freedom.

    Cool site! Loved the link to the politics test.

    • NDP/Socialist: We don't like Starbucks, so we'll tax the people until they can't afford to buy coffee anymore. And we'll get all their not-even-worth-minimum-wage counter-schleps unionized, because it's not fair that the guy who took all the risk to buy the store and open it should be paid more than his staff of arts school flunkies.
    • Liberal/Democrat: We don't like Starbucks, so we'll subsidize their competition.
    • Conservative/Republican: We don't like Starbucks, so we'll get the religious right to picket their stores.
    • Libertarian: We don't like Starbucks, so one of our entrepreneurs will just open a better coffee shop beside them which will force them to either change or go under.

    If I hadn't already given up on Canada (you know, like your wonderful but tired old car, there's a time when it's just too broken to even bother trying to fix), I had been considering running as the Libertarian candidate for the Beaches-East York riding in the recent Canadian federal election.

  • Starbucks are abhorrent.
    People using laptops in a public place are abhorrent.
    People using their laptops in Starbucks are doubleplus abhorrent...

    But it's worse. Much, much, worse. According to this article [] at The Register, people want to computerise pubs...
    Personally, the sight of a computer in a pub makes me want to spill my beer over it. Or preferably the trendy piss-water drink of the pretentious twat showing off his new laptop.

    The horror, the horror....

    Hacker: A criminal who breaks into computer systems
  • I went to Starbucks the other day to order what I needed to cure a hangover. A large cup of strong black coffee. The cashier wouldn't serve me until she had verified that it was a "venti" coffee that I needed.

    So let's say that I would go to Starbucks, order a "venti" coffee and check my mail? Sounds like a VIP-sales-guy syndrom to me. Hell, I don't carry my laptop with me other than to work and home. Why would I take it to Starbucks just so I can check what's new on Slashdot? Personally I don't live to get a first post.

    Then, this wireless stuff is making me wonder. A colleague of mine just had a microwave station "rigged" on top of his computer at work. I can't imagine that it is very fun to sit by that thing and get, whatever is left of, your brain fried. Not dangerous? Perhaps not just one device, but think about all the cell phones, wireless ethernet, radio, TV and other technologies stream through your body each day... I am all for RJ45 as far as it can go. Airlines should pick up on this too. Put an RJ45 jack in the back of the seat in front.

    We don't really need to be "connected" that much anyway. Think about your average day. How much is actually work being done because you have that Internet in your face? Most of it is probably reading e-mail with 50MB attachments and Slashdot.

    When Starbucks pushes it into it's employees to understand non-jargon about coffee cup sizes, I will raise an eyebrow. As far as this wireless stuff goes, I could give a shit.

    Have a good one!

  • Ok, get a grip here! 802.11b is actually a pretty secure standard. The over the air portion is encrypted. The access point acts more like a switch than it does like a hub (not exactly like either, has a bit of bridging and router thrown in as well). There really isn't any way to set your 802.11 card into promiscious mode since everyone else's traffic is encrypted and couldn't be read by you anyway. Overall I'd say that this system is quite a bit more secure and easy to use than an ethernet LAN.

    Yes, I do work for a company that makes access points. No, I haven't done much work on that product line myself.

  • . . . now we have PROOF that Starbucks is part of a Global Evil Empire. The only thing they missed, is that Gates isn't Bald, doesn't wear Grey Nehru jackets, and doesn't, to my knowledge, have a minature clone. . .yet.
  • by SurfsUp ( 11523 ) on Thursday January 04, 2001 @05:07AM (#532006)
    Nobody has these wireless devices, this is pure promotion for Microsoft. If it did work you'd have to bend over and let msn work you over. As usual, Microsoft's partner will get the dirty end of the stick and pay all the bills.

    Whave people *do* have is laptops/notebooks. Now, if Starbucks offered a 100 MHz local net with RJ45 connectors along the counter...

  • All the keyboards will have to be encased in those heavy plastic wraps so they don't have to replace a keyboard everytime someone jumps up and yells "gotcha ya bastard!" and spills their coffee.

    Either that or they'll have signs "No eating or drinking at computers" Which would defeat the purpose.

    Confusious say "Man who walks through airport turnstile sideways going to bangkok"

  • I would never buy a B&N book again. I'd browse to find what I wanted, then go get a mocha and order everything on Fatbrain...

    Question: If you order coffee from while in a starbucks, do you get a terrible Net feedback loop?

    Vulgrin the MAD
  • It doesn't matter. This type of thing is geared toward the pretentious idiots who still flash their cell-phones and beepers in public to look cool. Let the dweebs have their fuzzy little drinks and net access in Starbucks with that crappy coffee-house rock droning in the background. It'll keep them from congregating in places where more reasonable technophiles congregate.
  • by SecretAsianMan ( 45389 ) on Thursday January 04, 2001 @05:12AM (#532010) Homepage
    So I'll have to travel to a Starbucks location to use wireless Internet? Doesn't that kinda miss the point? What advantages, except for easier table-to-table movement, would this provide over just putting ethernet plugs everywhere? I don't think I'll buy into the whole wireless thing until there's more blinkenlights and less vapor.

    SecretAsianMan (54.5% Slashdot pure)
  • Is there a pronunciation guide for all this bizarre coffee jargon?
  • It's a lot of marketing stuff, but there's more information on the press release []...
  • "Ever embed video in a Word 2000 file while drinking a venti half-caf low fat frappucino? You will."

    I don't run Windows.
    I don't use Word.
    I don't drink coffee.
    I especially don't drink "frappucino".
    And even if I did, it wouldn't be at Starbucks.

    So no, I won't be doing this.
    MailOne []
  • Here's my idea.

    Anyone living close enough, could tap the signal without actually being inside of a starbucks, then reroute it to the rest of the neighborhood via some cat5 cable thrown over the fence. Hell id do it.

  • by Vanders ( 110092 ) on Thursday January 04, 2001 @04:37AM (#532015) Homepage
    Starbucks & Microsoft team up together, and produce a bastard evil offspring intent on taking over the entire world with bad coffee & bad software.

    What next, AOL Time Warner merge with Microsoft Starbucks, and do battle against Pepsi Exon Coca Cola, while us little people cower in fear and dodge peices of sky scraper that are falling from the skys as the evil corporations Mega-Money-Rights-Stomping-Robots do battle in the cities (Especially Tokyo; robots always do battle in the streets of Tokyo).

    I feel a film coming on. Warner Fox Disney Corp. would love it....
  • I usually have to find something to say to flame microsoft, but now they're partnering with a caffeine distributor! DAMMIT! I guess i have to give some shouts to ol' Bill Gates for actually partnering with a company that produces something that i really need!
  • "...and 2% milk. So a low-fat frappucino is redundant - they are ONLY lowfat."

    Not with 2% milk they're not. "Lowfat" would be at most 1% milk and more likely skim.
    MailOne []
  • Same great evils, same great taste.

  • And does this include Starbucks-serving Barnes and Noble Cafes?

    I very seriously doubt it... unless this blows up, and b&n jumps on the bandwagon. The starbucks in b&n stores are not real starbucks (along with most of the kiosks in airports, hotels, etc), they are just sold coffee by starbucks, none of the starbucks corp. stuff applies to them.

  • The last few years have seen the rise and rise of OSS, but with moves like this is Microsoft looking to quash the rebellion ? By owning not only the software but the network will they achieve the subjugation of free software.

    Maybe ultimately this is why Microsoft will dominate, even if broken up. They own the computer (X-Box), the software... and now the network.
  • They will hijack some nuclear war heads, and hold the world hostage for $1,000,000.

  • If they are using 802.11b, as some posters have indicated, the benefits of it being wireless are pretty obvious: You don't have to run ethernet plugs everywhere, you don't have to worry about how many ethernet plugs to run, you can move from table to table, or even sit at the tables right outside (provided, of course, that these tables exist), etc...
  • Microsoft and Starbucks joining up? Neither of which are very good, but have a good marketing campaign. What a perfect match!
  • ... so some stupid "protected garden" offered by MSN. The Salon article says:

    "Customers will be able to download the latest information on local arts and entertainment and shop online"

    Is that all they can do? What about ssh to your home Linux box and recompile the kernel.

    The article also says: "The service will be provided over MobileStar Network Corp.'s wireless broadband network and connect people using Microsoft's MSN services."

    ... so what does MSN do here? Just provide a connection from MobileStar to a backbone so something more (ie less).

  • We just got a Starbucks in our lil' downtown a few months ago. At night, it's the turf of the hip-n-trendy 90210 college students from south Florida. During the day, however, it is overrun w/ attorneys on their way to & fro the courthouse, judges doing the same, DEA faggots, etc...

    Once these folks start slinking into Starbucks w/ their laptops & nursing steamy lattes while their insecure o/s does a NetBIOS broadcast over the 802.11 net--ooh, it's almost too much to bear.

    Some nutcase could intercept all kinds of cool shit & really change the outcome of court cases, etc... Imagine if the DEA starts doing raids on the wrong houses (oops, they've already done that). The possibilites are endless.

    I'd rather be a unix freak than a freaky eunuch

  • hey, starbcuks expert, whats a...
    quad/quattro breve latte

    Another Starbucks product that is about as overmarketed and annoyingly named as a 1984 Cadillac Cimarron (read: 1984 Cavalier with heated leather seats), served in an annoying sleeved paper cup in a restaurant that stinks like plastic and hair burning, and comes with a wooden stir-stick that gives you a splinter when you lick it to save the last drop of precious caffeine.

    Ugh. I hate Starbucks. Not that the coffee is bad, but from ordering with their really annoying names for everything (tall, venti, grande, etc.) to the stink of beans roasting in the store (and I can't figure out what they could possibly be doing to make coffee beans smell bad) to the really stupid hippy tree-hugger cups and stir-sticks, I avoid the place like the plague that it is.

  • And you can't smoke in any of these places either.

    No, they wouldn't want the familiar and relatively pleasant smell of tobacco to obscure their precious and Pavlovian this-place-smells-like-burning-hair marketing tool and trademark odor.

    I'd still love to know how they make coffee beans roasting smell so incredibly bad.

  • Pandora's Box, says I. Who's going to sue who on this one... ;)

  • But at least you can get your email...

    I can just see this...

    Attempt to log into a POP server from Starbucks access:

    "We're sorry, you can only access POP mail from the MSN.COM and HOTMAIL.COM domains. Have a nice day."

  • The only thing they missed, is that Gates isn't Bald, doesn't wear Grey Nehru jackets, and doesn't, to my knowledge, have a minature clone. . .yet.

    I guess the trapdoor/disposal system malfunction in the first movie was just an "undocumented feature" in the Windows NT drivers?

  • Many Starbucks already have 802.11 equipment connecting their super-cash-registers. All they need to implement this is a net connection. The question is, how does Microsoft get anything out of it? Will all of your web hits be intercepted and routed to MSN? Or do you have to install some ugly piece of Windows-only software in order to use the connection?
  • Not in Norman, OK. We have a Barnes & Noble Cafe, and that's it.

    SecretAsianMan (54.5% Slashdot pure)
  • "whole" milk is 4%
    At Starbucks, "lowfat" is 2% - I know, I worked there, dumbass.
  • but he is just a persian cat and a monocle away from being a james bond villian.
  • --(Reuters, AP.)

    "Microsoft today announced that it would be installing computers with internet access and a full licensed copy of Office 2000 on every tree in the forests and wilderness areas surrounding the greater Seattle area.

    Microsoft spokesman Steve Ballmer said in an interview that "he knows that people want this, they just don't know it yet. If you can't check your email while on vacation in the woods, what good are you in this world anyways? I check my email when I am on the crapper, everyone else should too."

    In an unrelated story, Microsoft claims that 'forest creatures are now responsible for the stolen Windows source code', and that they are in the process of acquiring a thermonuclear warhead to use on the cute and fuzzies of Washington state."

  • Microbucks or Starsoft? :)

  • ...what kind of person seriously goes to a coffee shop with a view to getting their laptop out and doing a bit of surfing? (actually, come to think of it, the same sort of person who would drink "frappucino"(?), and want to embed video in a Word doc.)

    I personally prefer the relative comfort of my desk @ work or my home (in both of these places I can also drink coffee, and it doesn't cost $4 a cup).

    The only coffee shop I want to spend time in is the kind they have in Amsterdam ;-) []

  • suprisingly not.. I'll give it my best shot. Latte, I say "lar" as in "large" followed by "tay" as in "taylor" but americians might just say "la" as in "latin" followed by "tay".
  • Here's a link [] to the whole story from the NY times - no regsitering required...
  • But just wait until you read the EULA you have to agree to (by breaking the seal on the lid) before drinking your coffee...

    Damnit! I don't want to liscence my coffee...
  • Ok, thanks for the good points in response to my question. I don't think I'll be getting a wireless NIC for my laptop until news like this becomes more commonplace (or I have enough money to put a base station in in my house :)), but I can now definitely see how much more convenient it is for the Starbucks people and the customers.

    SecretAsianMan (54.5% Slashdot pure)
  • Starbucks lattes are ass-nasty. Thank goodness there is no Starbucks in my town. I don't want one even near me.

  • Will I have to use Microsoft Windows on my laptop in order to use this?

    Are you serious? Of course you will. Or they will try for that anyway....

    ...and connect people using Microsoft's MSN services.

    Microsoft isn't doing this out of the goodness of their heart. They aren't doing it to promote cross-platform functionality. Look at their past. Most of their products have some sort of hook in them to try and get you to buy other products if you want full functionality. This will be just another method to reward you for running WindowsME on your laptop or having the right mobile phone [].

  • by Fjord ( 99230 ) on Thursday January 04, 2001 @11:08AM (#532044) Homepage Journal

    802.11b specifies WEP, but it does not have to be used. I would imagine that they will enable WEP however. Plus, the SS should help keeping things private.

    From the Buffalo AirStation [] FAQ:

    What about security, can my neighbor steal my information?

    There are two levels of security in WLAN. First, the RF communication is protected by the special transmission method called Spread Spectrum, SS. The SS method is not the "tune in" method used in normal radio transmission, it is almost impossible to tune. Secondly, 802.11 wireless communications have a function called WEP (Wired Equivalent Privacy), a form of encryption which provides privacy comparable to that of a traditional wired network. If the wireless network has information that should be secure then WEP should be used, ensuring the data is protected at traditional wired network levels. Also it should be noted that traditional Virtual Private Networking (VPN) techniques are not supported in the current firmware. The firmware upgrade will be available in the 2nd quarter of 2001.

  • Hunh? This is an implementation of 802.11b, it's not exactly proprietary...

  • "Ever embed a Trojan embedded in a video in a Word 2000 file while drinking a venti half-caf low fat frappucino? You will."

    Ack! Just remember! Just don't accept any attachment files sent you by someone in a Starbucks!

  • No registration required - here [].
  • hehehe.. I say "la" as "lar" (or perhaps "lah") don't you?
  • Interesting point:

    Anonymous client misbehavior via CyberCafe, or (name your favorite public access flavor).

    How is the chain of accountability maintained in these arrangements where the public can temporarily connect to the net using their own systems? At home, I have a permanent relationship to my ISP, so my misbehavior is easily punished by terminating my service! I just can't imagine how this Starbucks service provider can control "foreign" clients - they just stroll in from the street and connect!

    Maybe this could prove to be a useful form of civil protest in the future - especially if this break in accountability is never addressed.

  • that you will have to have a MSN account to use this. Don't expect the marketing droids to ever give up.

    Then there's the security aspect. "Microsoft has installed monitoring software, with man-in-the-middle cacheing for SSL, for your Web surfing and e-mail convienence."

    Skroom. By Seattle standards, at least, Starbuck's is bottom shelf coffee anyway.

  • I agree that this is pure marketing muck from Microsoft, but it's at least a step in the right direction. Wireless is the future. Once affordable, full-featured Palm/cell phone combos become widely available, this sort thing will start taking off. Businesses who would have never even thought about providing wireless access before will start putting it in all their stores, simply because it provides a marketing opportunity. Heck, Wal-Mart would probably love to provide wireless access in all their stores, provided they could throw in a few ads.

    Still, it would be incredibly cool to see an RJ-45 sticking out of a coffee house table.
  • It's caffè lattè (although nobody really cares which way round you write the accents) and pronounced - well imagine saying 'merry' but without the 'rry'. (or rather, imagine a British person saying 'merry'... urghh.)

  • Microsoft AND starbucks, oh my! Hanging out at starbux using the net is where geek ends and yuppiedom takes over. Via Geek- creative, alternative, inginuity and fun! Evil Greedy trendy ass yuppies suck (methinks). Is /. losing it's geek roots?

  • As usual, Microsoft's partner will get the dirty end of the stick and pay all the bills.

    Actually, the customer pays the bills. They are using MobileStar which already has access points in Airports. If this is the people I'm thinking of then expect to pay more for the access than for the java. I think they charge $5/10 minutes (but it could be $10/5 minutes).

    What people *do* have is laptops/notebooks. Now, if Starbucks offered a 100 MHz local net with RJ45 connectors along the counter...

    I agree, if Starbuck is doing it to attract business, then I think they would be better off with plain vanilla ethernet jacks charging $5 an hour.

    By the way, per the MobileStar website [], it does use 802.11 standard. It's a weird website since even though they are targetted partly at mobile phone users, you need the latest Flash player just to get a list of locations served.

  • Alot of these posts seem to imply that your going to be using Linux on you laptop while your on M$'s wireless network? What in the world makes you think that they're going to use some standard tech to do this? I'm sure they're going to invent some new proprietary system that is allready built into 2000 (but not availible on Win9x/ME/NT/Linux etc)... Just another way of M$ forcing people to upgrade. This is just another haven for the drones of MCSE's that M$ is pumping out like German U-Boats. Easy certifications putting stupid people in high end networks that they can only possibly use with a stupid little icons to function.
  • Admittedly not so many people have 802.11 today - but this will surely help kick-start it. The convenience of not having to plug into anything is significant - users can just get on the net with no intervention, and therefore no (or fewer) techsupport complaints to the guys making mochas behind the bar.

    I have a Starbucks near my home that, if it had this service, would certainly have my patronage more often. Now if their coffee were just a bit better...

  • loh-tay - but be carefull it's an expresso drink made with a lot of milk (mmmm expresso ...).

    But you have to be carefull - Starbucks is slowly inventing their own language - you don't order a 'large' latte - you order a 'vente' when youask the people serving there what this means they look dumbly at you - of course it's Italian for 20 - 20 what you might ask? 20ounces - I guess they assume all Italians order their expresso in ounces - rumor has it SB is openning in Italy sonn - I wonder if they'll be forced to rename their drinks (or dish up 20 litres or ml neither of which would be what people expect)

  • "Ever embed video in a Word 2000 file while drinking a venti half-caf low fat frappucino? You will."

    Oh no, I won't...

    I think not; therefore I ain't®

  • ...but not exactly this. i was actually on the team that was doing the budget for the plan. they basically wanted broadband and free internet terminals with webcams. theyre plan was to have it set-up for web confrencing with other starbucks customers (mostly those long lost friends and family), and have a few cameras in each location that broadcast all of the stores to the internet.

    obviously as you can imagine, this was going to cost a boatload of cash (5 terminals, each with webcam, 1 server to be a gateway /firewall /controller for the internet webcams, at every location). It was pure madness. The support bill was more than they had wanted to spend on the entire project.

    With this plan however, a lot less hardware is needed. probably a much wiser way to go over all.


    Drink more tea []
  • Uh, oh, sounds like someone is a big green with envy. tee hee

    I'm proud of my frothing mustache!
  • If only they would offer this at caribou. I much prefer their coffee.

    Kris []
  • by rnturn ( 11092 ) on Thursday January 04, 2001 @05:55AM (#532062)

    I've been trying for some time to get DSL into the home and have been getting the run-around: ``Yes, you're close enough'' ``No. You're too far away''. Seems to depend on the phase of the moon. Either that or my neighborhood just happens to sit on a hitherto undiscovered and unusually active tectonic plate.

    Now Starbuck comes along and offers wireless internet access. I'm pretty darned sure that there's a Starbucks closer than my local phone company's CO. (Heck, in Chicago, you can stand on most street corners in the Loop and see at least three Starbucks shops.) Could Starbucks be the high speed provider I've been looking for?


  • Actually, I heard that:

    Starbucks will provide high speed access, Microsoft will provide the software,
    Dell will provide the computer,
    The Gap will provide the clothes,
    Bayers will provide the drugs (trust us, you'll need em),
    McDonalds will provide the food,
    Etrade will provide the stock trading services you will need to afford all this,
    and if you ever go anywhere else to drink-coffee-while-you-browse-and-look-stylish-and -defeat-your-headache-while-eating-your-power-lunc h-and-taking-advantage-of-the-latest-rate-cut-on-t he-market, they've made a strategic partnership with the FBI to have you shot. At half price, of course.
    If something has never been said/seen/heard before, best stop to think about why that is.
  • ``Damnit! I don't want to liscence my coffee...''

    Nah. It'll just be a comprehensive disclaimer that reminds you that coffee is hot and that Starbucks isn't responsible if you are stupid enough to take the lid off while driving in traffic.

    Also, Starbucks won't be held responsible if you spill coffee all over your keyboard while you trying to press Ctrl-Alt-Del.


  • At the moment I can just point my Psion or laptop at my mobile phone anywhere that has a modern GSM network (Which means pretty much everywhere but America) and connect to the Internet to pick up mail/news etc.

  • If you don't like it then don't buy it. It's just that simple...I wouldn't use nothing like that any ways. =)

    P.S: Don't let the name fool you... I'm a Linux user.
  • from the times article:

    The arrangement will enable customers, for a fee, to connect to the Internet from a laptop computer or other device equipped to handle wireless data. In addition, Microsoft will create content and services through MSN, its online service, catering to Starbucks customers.

  • At Singapore Airport they're building this kind of thing up too. They've had little access points all over the place for Palms a long time (which is neat if you have software installed that can make use of it - like a ssh client (mmmhm)).

    Now they're setting up a place with several round desks with flat screens, mouse and keyboard, infra red ports for Palms, notebooks, etc., wires to plug your notebook into the screen/mouse/keyboard and all hooked up to high speed internet access. I believe you can use those terminals without your own PC too, but I may be wrong there.

    In any case, it's all quite neat if you have some time there (I just returned from 45 hours of flying/sitting in airports).

  • What do you mean "travel"? Don't they have Starbucks on every corner in your town too?
  • Think about it.





  • by panda ( 10044 ) on Thursday January 04, 2001 @04:41AM (#532073) Homepage Journal
    Come on, do we need this? Let's just solder motherboards and cellphones into our brains and get it over with already...

    "Yeah, I'll have a half-caf, no-fat, double latte, mocha swirl with the Firewire upgrade." Sheesh!
  • by Mr Neutron ( 93455 ) on Thursday January 04, 2001 @04:42AM (#532076)
    What about United Airlines? Don't they serve Starbucks?

    "We have reached our cruising altitude of 29,000 may now frag."


  • Seen what Kinkos and the like charge for web usage? I think if I nedded this Id go for a Metricom modem ($100 for the modem, $100 or so a month for unlimited wiresl 128K-top-speed internet acess.). Its sure to be cheaper in the long run.
  • Hey, should I considering finding an apartment above a Starbucks then when I move back to the US?

    I'm just picturing the joys of wireless coming up through my floor and the extra bandwidth available after they close for the night.

  • I've always heard it pronounced as "la" (Do-re-mi-fa-so-la-ti-do)-"tay".
  • by ackthpt ( 218170 ) on Thursday January 04, 2001 @07:10AM (#532090) Homepage Journal
    I can't recall everything I had in the post of this rejected article (Microsoft and Starbucks to do Broadband) I made yesterday, but here's one from MobileStars's pressroom [], which offers more (company view, of course) info than the Salon snip.

    My question was, and still is, will access be limited to MSN only? (Thursdays CBS Marketwatch article []) Note: Customers will be able to access Microsoft's MSN...

    Personally, I think Austin Powers 2 was more factual than we were lead to believe. Obviously this is Dr. Evil and Mr. Bill getting ready for world domination. What next, wireless broadband in the mall, at McDonald's, on the jet? The possibilities are endless. I suggest dubbing this 'eKudzu'.

    +++ Out Of Cheese Error +++

  • MICROSOFT/STARBUCKS Double Espresso Lungo Version CX5

    Maximum Number of Professors: *Refer to printed "EULA"*

    END-USER LICENSE AGREEMENT FOR MICROSOFT/STARBUCKS COFFEE __________________________________________________ _____________________

    IMPORTANT-READ CAREFULLY: This End-User License Agreement ("EULA") is a legal agreement between you (either an individual or a single entity) and the manufacturer ("Coffee Manufacturer" or "Manufacturer") of the Coffee or Caffeine system component ("WETWARE") with which you acquired the Microsoft liquid product(s) identified above ("LIQUID PRODUCT" or "JOE"). If the LIQUID PRODUCT is not accompanied by a new caffeine system (coffee pot)or caffeine system component,(coffee mug) you may not use or drink the LIQUID PRODUCT. The LIQUID PRODUCT includes caffeine wetware, the associated media it is served in, any printed materials used to soak up spills, and any "online" or electronic documentation of how such "JOE" is made. By drinking, brewing or otherwise using the WETWARE PRODUCT, you agree to be bound by the terms of this EULA. If you do not agree to the terms of this EULA, Manufacturer and Starbucks/Microsoft Corporation ("Microbucks") are unwilling to license the WETWARE PRODUCT to you. In such event, you may not use or brew the WETWARE PRODUCT, and you should promptly contact Manufacturer for instructions on return of the product(s) for a refund, unless it is cold.


  • When I was taking a Delta flight from Atlanta to Denver in 1999 we had an iteresting problem. The plane was "in line" to take off, doesn't matter what number. When it was finally our turn we creaped up the the run way then turned off onto some side area. The captain came on speakers saying something to the effect of, sorry but our computer just crashed and we cannot take off without it up, it will take another 5 minutes or so to reboot it. Let me tell you, that really inspired confidence in me.

    Hey, if the deal with Microsoft and Starbucks starts to modify United Airlines it could bring a whole new meaning to the Blue Screen of Death. I can see the head lines, "The crash of the United Airlines 737 was aparently due to a Microsoft Blue Screen causing x deaths."
  • Will I have to use Microsoft Windows on my laptop in order to use this?
  • Not very long indeed.
    No, to the other question, as well.
  • by radja ( 58949 ) on Thursday January 04, 2001 @04:45AM (#532101) Homepage
    won't find me at starbucks. my local coffee-shop just ordered their new computers. What makes this better than starbucks? well.. it's a dutch coffee-shop..the main product is NOT coffee.

  • by rde ( 17364 ) on Thursday January 04, 2001 @04:45AM (#532102)
    If you could be arsed registering. The story's here [].

    Speaking as someone who admins in a Cyber Cafe, I can say that the idea is cool, as long as you can overlook the mega-corporations aspect. Many customers come in with their Palm Pilots replete with passwords; if they could use their own machines it'd be great. I know I get sick of de-securing the password list on my pilot, looking it username and passwd, logging on and then going back five minutes after I left because I forgot to log off again.
  • by red_dragon ( 1761 ) on Thursday January 04, 2001 @04:47AM (#532105) Homepage
    This will open the door to a new Windows feature: the Green Screen of Caffeinated Death.

    Hhmmm... I think I should start stocking up on Yaucono...
  • Hmmm, first the universitys (Univ of MD College Park has a deal with Microsoft for free licences to software for professors, money for more labs to help CS students, and free software (read: Windows 2000 and Visual Studion) for registered CS majors). Now the coffee shops (probably running Win2k).

    Now don't get me wrong. I'm running Win2K in a VMware box and I haven't gotten it to crash yet, which means it took Microsoft about five or so years to get Windows close to what Linux is now. They also merged alot of Win98's ease in, which is much better than WinNT 4. Securing a box is probably easier in Win2k (but I haven't tried it yet). Ideal? No, but probably stable enough that 90% of the masses are confortable with it.

    Now if they have both wireless and IR connectivity, *THEN* they got 98% of the market covered (including the PalmOS devices).

    WolfSkunks for a better Linux Kernel

  • Lovely. Something to give Starbucks even more money. And I'll bet that this little deal won't help those of us who like coffee-flavored coffee any.
    You know.
    Coffee that tastes like coffee.

    And you can't smoke in any of these places either.

    But at least you can get your email...
  • Go back to troll-school. You slipped when you suggested that Starbucks makes a decent latte or cappucino.

    Starbucks is one of those places where you go not to buy a good cup of coffee, but to pay four dollars for poorly flavored water in order to appear cool, because you can afford four dollars for poorly flavored water.

    Either that or you aren't a troll and just have a seriously whacked set of taste buds.

  • it took Microsoft about five or so years to get Windows close to what Linux is now

    If my information is correct one could say it took MS 9-11 years to get to this level. Technically NT 4.0 was not supposed to have been a product when the NT timeline came up, it was a "we need this is in the market NOW so take what we have and try to stablize it." NT 3.51 was supposed to be the only steping stone, then the leap to what is now NT 5.0, err Windows 2000. But even so, the NT product started development sometime between 1989-91. Also, technically Windows 3.11 was supposed to end the DOS line, then 95, then 98, now Me.
  • What next, wireless broadband in the mall, at McDonald's, on the jet?

    Well, it's not broadband but... []


  • ... in Florida, I was not surprised to see that most of the plazas (plazae?) now have micro-StarBucks in them. (That's the small ones, not the forthcoming offspring.) My parents, whom I was travelling with, laughed at the prices. "People actually pay that much for coffee?!? hahahahah!" (I've gone from paying 0.485 cents per cup to about 0.68 cents per cup - and it's damn good! (except for when the roast is overdone, but you can usually tell if you were there the night before.)) And, though some wouldn't like it, I can smoke in my favorite coffee shop. So, I don't yet have a wireless connection for my laptop - though people seem to think I'm connected through my AC line - but I can almost always find an outlet, or something more interesting than the net; like people! oh, wait, nevermind that ... The only place that compares is Waffle House - and mostly b/c of the price (~$1.00 for infinite refills?) and hours (26^H4). Now, maybe there's an idea ... internet connections in the booths at Waffle House? (Out of spite, they could charge only customers using a certain non-free (non-) operating system.) Hmm, maybe I could talk the owner of the coffee shop into a similar setup? Perhaps as a preemptive move? (Just make everyone bring an ethernet card or rent them *hehe*) (WedontneednostinkinIRdevices!)

    To end this rant:
    MicroSoft + StarBucks
    = Little Quality + Astronomical Prices
    != Astronomical Quality + Little Prices

    (now maybe someone will make that into a haiku)
  • University Park [] has a LOT of information on PUBLIC wireless access initiatives in various communities. Other than Colleges, it appears that Seattle [] is leading the way ...

    Luckily for me ... I live in Seattle, and my Linksys card is on the way.

1 Angstrom: measure of computer anxiety = 1000 nail-bytes