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McDonalds to go Wireless? 401

crayongod writes "The AP, by way of AOL *yipe*, is reporting a pilot program by McDonalds to provide inhouse WiFi with the purchase of a combo meal. This sure will make roadtrips a lot easier." An hour of access per combo meal. Additional hours can be purchased for $3... or another zillion calorie combo meal. Mmmm. Healthy.
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McDonalds to go Wireless?

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  • McSlashdot (Score:4, Funny)

    by TheViciousOverWind ( 649139 ) <> on Tuesday March 11, 2003 @09:14AM (#5483603) Homepage
    Do you want fries with that?
  • by accident ( 575230 ) on Tuesday March 11, 2003 @09:15AM (#5483605)
    a port scan with that?
  • FP? (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 11, 2003 @09:15AM (#5483606)
    WiFi and calories: talk about "the Cowboy Neal option!"
  • Dang it. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by numbski ( 515011 ) <> on Tuesday March 11, 2003 @09:16AM (#5483608) Homepage Journal
    There goes another customer. :P

    We're rolling out wifi all over the place, and McDonald's was going to be one of our targets.

    Starbucks around here already said 'no' because they have an exclusive agreement with MSN to do it.

    A year later not a single Starbucks around here has wifi. :(
    • Re:Dang it. (Score:2, Insightful)

      by tprox ( 621523 )
      I know what you mean...It seems like rolling out the technology is less of a "Let's do it for our customers" thing and more of a "Let's partner with the bigshots and put up a big advertisment" thing.

      All hype, no substance. When it does roll out, everyone will have forgotten about it, and it becomes nothing before it even has a chance. My opinion only, but it seems that in order for something to be popular, it has to hit a niche market, and grow from there (one example is Instant Messaging). I know a few places in Boston that tried to do sidewalk WiFi. I'm not sure how well it's working, but he's still in business :)
    • Re:Dang it. (Score:5, Interesting)

      by EvilTwinSkippy ( 112490 ) <[yoda] [at] []> on Tuesday March 11, 2003 @09:46AM (#5483770) Homepage Journal
      Pick on the local mom-and-pop establishments. I have had pretty good responses from local coffee shops. I'm also going to start working on bars too.

      It doesn't hurt that my linux-based equipment is a LOT cheaper than commercial billing software.

  • Sweet! (Score:5, Funny)

    by rice_web ( 604109 ) on Tuesday March 11, 2003 @09:16AM (#5483609)
    Now I can get fat twice over.
  • by Silwenae ( 514138 ) on Tuesday March 11, 2003 @09:17AM (#5483621) Homepage
    I think a wireless experience at a McDonalds is very different from a Starbucks or a Borders. At McDonalds, my goal is to eat and get out, where at a Starbucks or Borders they encourage you to stay and socialize much more than McD's does.

    I can see where it would be nice to have WiFi for your PDA to check email, but lugging my notebook in and getting my greasy fingers from my french fries on my laptop keyboard doesn't seem right.

    I understand McDonald's business is hurting, but getting the tech crowd in isn't going to solve their revenue shortfalls.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      If you are in the AARP set, you are likely to linger at McDonalds. At most of the McDonalds in my area (Wash DC/No VA), I've noticed older people "lingering", especially in the mornings.
    • by ianscot ( 591483 ) on Tuesday March 11, 2003 @09:41AM (#5483748)
      I think a wireless experience at a McDonalds is very different from a Starbucks or a Borders.

      Right -- Starbucks and Borders are all about a business model that went out of its way NOT to push people in and out of the door as fast as possible. Borders, and the Barnes and Noble "superstores," were very much reactions to B Dalton's buy-your-Stephen-King-and-get-out-of-the-cashier's -way approach.

      B Daltons is still around, though, just serving a different audience. Makes you wonder how well Mickey-D's knows its own business model -- or how seriously they're looking to change it.

      (This'd maybe make sense in McDonalds' franchises at highway stops, for traveling types?)

    • by bluGill ( 862 ) on Tuesday March 11, 2003 @09:49AM (#5483780)

      Just like any other resteraunt, McDonalds has busy times and slow times. If you linger in a slow time they don't care anyway, and if you linger to/through a busy time your going to need more food anyway.

      Your incorrect that people don't linger. Most people don't true, but a few do. McDonalds is used as a meeting place by some groups. I once walked into someone presenting a buisness plan at 10:30 at night in a McDonalds. The restaruant was perfect, open that late, free, and provided coffee. (It was none of my business so I didn't linger but it seemed to be a potential startup that didn't yet have investers)

      Access is provided one hour at a time, so it seems like they are trying to provide for the [business] crowd that comes in for lunch and needs to get some work done. This is the perfect way to target salesmen, they tend to spend most of their time behind customer firewalls that won't let them check email at the office. Run to McDonalds for lunch/supper (when you are not buying the customer lunch...) and catch up on the office news.

    • If you have kids and have ever taken them to a McD's with a playplace, you could see how nice this really would be. My kids can easily spend an hour playing in McDonalds. I'd love to be able to bring my laptop along and surf while they play.
  • Right. (Score:5, Funny)

    by vjmurphy ( 190266 ) on Tuesday March 11, 2003 @09:17AM (#5483622) Homepage
    Do the geeks who would be excited by this really need another reason to eat junk food and sit on their butts while Web surfing?
    • Re:Right. (Score:5, Interesting)

      by IIRCAFAIKIANAL ( 572786 ) on Tuesday March 11, 2003 @09:36AM (#5483718) Journal
      Heh, I'm eating fat free yogurt and a granola bar (outta milk, no raisin bran for me) while I'm web surfing. And sometimes I use my stationary bike while I surf.

      Who says a geek can't be healthy? :P

      In any case, WiFi in a fast food restaurant? Doesn't make sense. Airport - sure. Coffee Shop - cool. McDonalds - uh, why would I be stupid enough to pull my laptop out there and watch some kid spill ice-cream or coke on it? And since when did a fast food restaurant want you to hang around?

      It's a publicity gimmick, and a stupid one at that.
      • And since when did a fast food restaurant want you to hang around?

        Actually, when I was a kid, there was a Burger King downtown that had table service. Yes, table service - as in you order, they bring it to you. (And this wasn't that long ago - ~1985/86). It wasn't a bad idea. The food comes quickly, but you can sit and hang around if you want - they had real chairs and tables too - none of this molded plastic crap. I wonder if they tried this anywhere. That Burger King was frequented by bankers and other suit types, so I bet WiFi there would have worked. Then along came the chic diets of the '90s in which eating anything fried is worse than spending a weekend in hell, and they closed in '93 or '94 (along with the nearby McDonalds and Wendys), and an Au Bon Pain moved in.

        But I'm getting off-topic

  • Fat? (Score:2, Funny)

    by allanj ( 151784 )
    Will their WiFi uplink connection be as fat as their "food"?
  • FAST food (Score:4, Interesting)

    by samoverton ( 253101 ) on Tuesday March 11, 2003 @09:17AM (#5483624)
    It was my understanding that MacDonalds like to get their customers out as quick as possible, so they don't take up the seating for too long. I have heard stories here in England of people being asked to leave during busy hours because they were taking too long finishing their drink or something similarly ridiculous.

    I'm not sure how offering an hour of Wi-Fi access would help this, unless they expect us to stand outside and use it.

    • it could be the truth..they might say, take your laptop back to your car, and use it there. Of course this fills up the parking lot, which isn't a problem in a suburban McDonalds, but in downtown NYC or Chicago there isn't any parking..who knows what they're going to do.
    • Re:FAST food (Score:4, Interesting)

      by TheRaven64 ( 641858 ) on Tuesday March 11, 2003 @10:10AM (#5483891) Journal
      Have you ever looked at the chairs in McDonalds? A lot of research went into the design of those chairs. They are intended to become uncomfortable after 10 minutes, to discourage people from staying too long. Sure you can get an hour of 'net access for $3, but after 20 minutes you aren't going to be able to stay in the chair unless you're so fat your nerves don't actually reach your skin...
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 11, 2003 @09:19AM (#5483630)
    Your kids can now get fat and surf porn at the same time. A lawyers dream come true
  • MAC? (Score:5, Funny)

    by janap ( 451953 ) on Tuesday March 11, 2003 @09:19AM (#5483632)
    Renders new meaning to the term MAC-address.
  • Sure, geeks will go on roadtrips a lot more often but what will happen to the geeks fat/calorie intake? If you get on hour of access for a combomeal you have to eat at least two (maybe alot more) meals. Slashdotting/eating/mailing do take time with sticky fingers on an IPAQ/.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 11, 2003 @09:20AM (#5483635)
    Be sure to ask the cashiers, managers and the person cleaning the restrooms if they truly "love to see you smile."

  • Hmmm... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by E-Rock-23 ( 470500 ) <lostprophyt AT gmail DOT com> on Tuesday March 11, 2003 @09:20AM (#5483637) Homepage Journal
    A few things:

    1) Anyone worried about greasy keypads? We all know how Micky Dees burgers are often dripping with grease. If some inept user were to eat with his laptop open, or even any user trying to type after a meal...

    2) Some McDonald's don't want patrons staying for more than a half hour (case in point, McDonald's in the North Side of Pittsburgh). Would that policy be changed if you get an hour of access with an Extra Value Meal?

    3) Would they have to change their slogan to "Over 1 Billion Geeks Served?"

    And finally, 4) If a ton of geeks started patronizing the place at once, would that created a sort of inverted Slashdot effect?

    I like the idea, personally. More power to them ^-^
    • 3) Would they have to change their slogan to "Over 1 Billion Geeks Served?"

      No, no, it would be either Gigabytes and Gibabytes served, or Over 1 Gigageek Served.

    • Re:Hmmm... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by EvilTwinSkippy ( 112490 ) <[yoda] [at] []> on Tuesday March 11, 2003 @09:49AM (#5483785) Homepage Journal
      2) Some McDonald's don't want patrons staying for more than a half hour ...

      I'm actually working with a local coffee shop in Philly to set up Wifi access. We are using custom software that will cut people after 2 hours, and turns the access off when the place it busy at night. She just didn't want to turn the place into a giant office.

    • 2) Some McDonald's don't want patrons staying for more than a half hour (case in point, McDonald's in the North Side of Pittsburgh). Would that policy be changed if you get an hour of access with an Extra Value Meal?

      The policy in most metropolitan McD's is this: Overstay your half hour => Be fed to the Grimace []
    • Since other comments responded to 2,3 and 4. I guess I have to take 1.

      1) Anyone worried about greasy keypads? We all know how Micky Dees burgers are often dripping with grease. If some inept user were to eat with his laptop open, or even any user trying to type after a meal...

      That is what the convenient and sanitary McBathrooms are for. Maybe they'll give out wet-knaps as well.
    • 1. I already have a greasy keyboard from eating pizza, steak, burgers, and fries. I also have spilled coke and other random beverages on my keyboard (to respond to another poster).

      2. You're right, McD's doesn't have a public pay phone for this exact reason -- no loitering. Does that mean that they don't want to attract more and more people in the sector of business for lunches? If I had WiFi at McD's I might be more inclined to actually eat there (until Boston Market or Wendy's got WiFi).

      3. No.

      4. It would be an interesting place for a /. Meetup...
  • Why? (Score:5, Funny)

    by Fastball ( 91927 ) on Tuesday March 11, 2003 @09:21AM (#5483638) Journal
    Who goes to McDonald's with the intention of hanging out? Personally, I don't want to be seen or recognized when I'm plucking down a few dollars for some cardiac arrest food.
  • *Ronald voice* You have new mail!
  • by CTD ( 615278 ) on Tuesday March 11, 2003 @09:25AM (#5483659) Homepage
    I've got kids.

    It sometimes snows in Chicago, or gets darn cold. Especially in the winter.

    At which point I am quite happy that there is a McDonalds down the street with a playland. I can take the kids there and cut them loose for an hour or so to burn off their energy. It's a great thing.

    McD has been very family orientated for quite some time now, giving us a place to let our brats romp about, while we eat a McCoronary and pass the time. Having the ability to hook up to the net while my kids are going down the static electricity slide is a great thing. I'll be able to do something that entertains me, if I can ignore the screaming of the kids.
    • I'll be able to do something that entertains me, if I can ignore the screaming of the kids.

      I recommend earplugs. Or a shotgun.

      (No, just fire it into the air, scare em a little. What did you think I meant, you psychos?)
      • or to quote Denis Leary:
        "I'm trying to bring them up the right way. I'm not spanking them. I find that I don't have to spank them; I find that waving the gun around pretty much gets the same job done."
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Yes. By all means get that web surfing in.

      You'd hate to be distracted from doing other things ... like watching your kids.

      • Dude, that would imply responsibility as a parent.

        Here in the United States I trust the government to think for me.

        Actually, my wife comes along, and has no interest in surfing the internet, so I'm covered quite well. I usually bring something to read and she tells me when one of the youngest ones is stuck at the top of the playland. At which point I climb in and "rescue" my children.

        I know it made you feel all super and cynical to find a way to say I'm a crappy parent. Sorry, I'm not. Enjoy your day anyway.

    • Having the ability to hook up to the net while my kids are going down the static electricity slide is a great thing.

      You actually bring up a good point. I can just picture myself about to send the One Perfect Email, when my kids run over fresh off the slide. "Whatcha doin' dad?" *ZAP* "Er, nothing now."
  • An hour of access per combo meal. Additional hours can be purchased for $3

    Which is no more than 2 BigMac's [].
  • Coverage (Score:2, Interesting)

    by itsnotme ( 20905 )
    One thing this will be good for is coverage. There are a lot of mcdonalds out there, all of us dont want to admit it, but there's one too many mcdonalds out there. And if all are hooked up into wifi then thats just going to bring more internet to the masses, and bring internet to the masses who want to be able to read the news with their meal.

    So this is not necessarily a bad thing, but I wish they'd bring it to some other fast food places with some better meals.
  • by adzoox ( 615327 ) on Tuesday March 11, 2003 @09:27AM (#5483669) Journal
    I can see the lawsuits now:

    Spilled hot coffee - melted my keyboard; shorted my laptop

    Greasy fingers from French Fries caused marks on screen & keys devaluing laptop

    Internet access points were under heat lamps causing data not to be secure

  • by gmuslera ( 3436 ) on Tuesday March 11, 2003 @09:27AM (#5483670) Homepage Journal
    This could be harmful for McDonalds. What if a customer says something like "Its full of worms" talking about Klez?
  • by BinBoy ( 164798 ) on Tuesday March 11, 2003 @09:27AM (#5483671) Homepage
    Technically there is now no reason to ever leave McDonalds.
    • Technically there is now no reason to ever leave McDonalds.

      Well, unless you count the lack of a shower..

      No, wait, this is slashdot

      unless you count having someplace private to bring a girl..

      No, wait, this is slashdot

      Oh never mind
  • by Rosonowski ( 250492 ) <> on Tuesday March 11, 2003 @09:29AM (#5483676)
    Sir, would you like an IP with that order?
    Should I super-size your bandwidth?

    Honestly, I'm wondering what the training implications of this will be.
  • Are we going to see a new symbol for war-chalking in that PDF that goes around? Will Mikie D's integrate it into their current symbols? You just know the restaurants will be covered in less than a week's time, if this idea sees the light of day...

  • A static or Dynamic IP with that? Remember... a smile is free!
  • by hrbrmstr ( 324215 ) on Tuesday March 11, 2003 @09:33AM (#5483700) Homepage Journal
    The Access Point Burger
    Two all-beef patties lettuce, tomato and special sauce with a pair of fries sticking out from the top at either end
    WANBurgler Special - A.K.A. The Unhappy Meal
    An edible, fiber optic light source on the burger (yes, they make edible fiber optic light sources []) shines when it detects kismet or netstumbler scans during your WiFi session
  • Sounds (Score:5, Funny)

    by Timesprout ( 579035 ) on Tuesday March 11, 2003 @09:34AM (#5483702)
    like an opportunity for a lot of sacked dot commers to say they work in IT again
  • Lets see I can sue McDonalds because I'm fat, now to compound my lack of self discipline, not only will I be gorging myself on your food, but you'll be next to holding me in my seat since I can now web browse on my fat ass while eating your happy meals, and if I'm not done online, well, serve up another happy meal! You made me eat them to stay online!!

    In seriousness though, how soon you think it will be until some kids are browsing or something like that in McDonalds, in sight of other patrons....what type of filtering will they enforce? That could be a legit. reason for a lawsuit

  • Rotten Ronnie's (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Hellraisr ( 305322 )
    I'm sure they'll give you a watered down version of the internet via a mandatory web portal complete with coupons and advertisements
  • by JeanBaptiste ( 537955 ) on Tuesday March 11, 2003 @09:35AM (#5483710)
    They want to silence the slashdot crowd. So, free internet access with a big mac, who does that target? people like us... make us get fat and die, no more MS bashing.

    Next they will announce 'free' broadband for a week with the purchase of a carton of smokes.
  • Nice... (Score:3, Funny)

    by djupedal ( 584558 ) on Tuesday March 11, 2003 @09:36AM (#5483716)
    Now if they'd offer hot showers and bunks, I'm all set.
  • Additional hours can be purchased for $3... or another zillion calorie combo meal. Mmmm. Healthy.
    Yeah really. They SHOULD be offering hour-access to a treadmill or exercise bike with the purchase of those combo meals. (Especially the meals that come with the half-liter of mayo on it.)
  • Mechanism? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by devnullkac ( 223246 ) on Tuesday March 11, 2003 @09:37AM (#5483724) Homepage
    The article was light on detail, and I don't know enough about wireless, so I guess I'll ask the /. community: How will a cashier "give" you an hour of access? Will there be a code printed on your receipt? Is there an easy way for a user to configure his/her PC to gain access to an otherwise closed wireless LAN for a limited time? Or do I have to open my laptop at the counter and read off my MAC address (the people in line behind me would love that)?
    • Re:Mechanism? (Score:5, Informative)

      by Obiwan Kenobi ( 32807 ) <evan&misterorange,com> on Tuesday March 11, 2003 @09:53AM (#5483807) Homepage
      Since the article was fairly light, I'll give you a scenario:

      You buy a meal from McDonalds. "Would you like Internet Access?" the 15 year old hottie asks you.

      "Um...sure," you say, your laptop getting heavy on your shoulder.

      She hands you a card (or perhaps its printed on the receipt). It has an IP Address, a subnet mask, and a gateway. Hopefully there would be instructions nearby, with settings for Macs, Win95 - WinXP.

      They could specify IP addresses that are good for only one hour, and to keep up with the load they could also use different subnets. The NAT used in the router would take care of IP leasing issues, and there should be no DHCP (or else you'd get free 'net access just by turning on your laptop and WiFi card).

      Sounds fairly simple to me, but the hype is probably louder than customers who actually want this.
      • Re:Mechanism? (Score:5, Informative)

        by syle ( 638903 ) <> on Tuesday March 11, 2003 @10:17AM (#5483941) Homepage
        I think a more likely approach is a custom forwarding setup, like cablemodems do today. When I attach any new computer into the hub for cable access, I get a valid DHCP address right off the bat, but it won't forward any non-web packets, and all websites lead me to a page asking for a login and password.

        I've seen variations on this theme at the university I attended and apartments I've stayed at. (1) It's a lot easier once the infrastructure is in place, and (2) McDonald's does NOT want to deal with 1000 customers who have no clue about how to type in their IP address, and (3) It would stay compatible with the other types of WiFi networks you commonly see (ie, no manually switching your settings as you enter or leave McD's).

      • "Would you like Internet Access?" the 15 year old hottie asks you.

        Um, you need to spend less time at the PlayLand and more time with adults. Sick bastard.
  • those funky Sun HME (Happy Meal) network boards?

    Whew, good thing they made it to the kernel.

  • Microwaves (Score:2, Interesting)

    by buzzsport ( 558426 )
    Every McDonalds i've ever been to has at least a half dozen microwaves to heat/reheat food. I have a problem with one at my house -- how are they going to shield them?
  • ... they expect me to soil my notebook's keyboard by typing on it with greasy fingers?

    Then again there is the geek stereotype of dirty pale-faced guys munching on pizza. Me, greasy food and laptops do not go hand-in-hand.

    Who do they think they are... Starbucks? :p
  • by bill_mcgonigle ( 4333 ) on Tuesday March 11, 2003 @09:39AM (#5483740) Homepage Journal
    I just hope the girl who can't figure out why I gave her $12.05 for a $6.55 lunch order isn't going to be responsible for getting the MAC of my Airport Card into the access control system.
  • Homer: I'm looking for something loose and billowy, something comfortable for my first day of work.

    Salesman: Work, huh? Let me guess. Computer programmer, computer magazine columnist, something with computers?

    Homer: Well, I use a computer.

    Salesman: Yeah, what's the connection? Must be the non-stop sitting and snacking.
  • by stroudie ( 173480 ) on Tuesday March 11, 2003 @09:41AM (#5483747)
    I just wonder what the billing mechanism will be for this service.

    The article seems to suggest that the billing will be done on a per-burger basis i.e. you buy your burger, you get a little card with a pin# on it, and you then connect to the LAN.

    This seems to suggest an anonymous means of surfing (all for the cost of a burger) - an approach that would land McD's in difficulties within hours of launching the service.

    The other approach is a 'customer-registration' service, and I for one am not sure I need McD's to know where I (burger-swilling-geek that I am) live.
  • I'm going out on a limb here, but I'd like to know how McD's plans to enforce the 1-hour rule. Set the DHCP lease time for 1 hour? Since the average McDonald's employee may/may not be knowledgeable in renewing leases, I'd imagine an app would need to be written to automate the process.

    Or maybe I've got it all wrong. Could someone briefly elaborate?
  • Damn them for making me want to eat there! At least BK has the veggie-burger(slogan: You're almost guaranteed not to get e.coli), but the healthiest thing McD's has are those garden shakers. Oh well, back to BigMacs and fakeShakes.

  • Could give a whole new meaning to 20 Billion served.
  • When I was in high school, a local library had hard-copy teletypes for a state-wide university network. Frequently, users would type their passwords at the wrong time, and it would show up on the tape. Some of my friends (not me, of course) would root through the trash to get the passwords and login to chat on the state network. At the time, there was no dialup access within financial reach of a teenager --and certainly not for chat sessions.

    I can already see the same thing happening at McDonalds, as teens without broadband at home search through the trash bins and dumpsters to get the access codes for a few more hours of free, high speed Internet.
  • Wow. Most McDonalds I've been in, if you sit there for more than 20 minutes, they have their security guard usher you out for loitering.

    I do like the idea, though. I just wonder how much of your hour you actually will get to use.
  • This seems to me like the exact opposite of what McD's typically wants from their customers, which is to get in, get served, eat, and get out. Turnover of seats is one of their prime measurements - having someone sitting there taking up a booth for an hour to surf the net means that several other paying (revenue generating) customers can't find seats and are likely to go elsewhere. I even recall reading somewhere that the seats are purposefully designed to be uncomfortable, so patrons don't spend a lot of time sitting around. Several years ago, I was working with a company that was talking to a fast food company about a similar idea - Kiosks that would let folks beam news items to their palm pilots via infrared while they were standing in line. The chain didn't want to trial this because they felt it would cause people to hangaround instead of leading to turnover. I guess McD's has had a change of heart....
  • So will there be big MAC addresses?

  • Chubby (Score:4, Funny)

    by zerofoo ( 262795 ) on Tuesday March 11, 2003 @10:05AM (#5483863)
    Wow WIFI at Micky D's, i'm getting a chubby...

    Oh wait...i'm just getting chubby.

  • by ctimes2 ( 38940 ) on Tuesday March 11, 2003 @10:17AM (#5483943) Homepage
    Would that be a peta-bite? ...oh... oh... I'm so sorry, I couldn't stop myself...
  • by artemis67 ( 93453 ) on Tuesday March 11, 2003 @10:28AM (#5484036)
    What about the pr0n issue? Do they want a bunch of people sitting in their restaurants looking at pr0n? No doubt they will be doing some content filtering.

    OTOH, I can see McD's as the new hangout for Quakers. Instant catered LAN party, and the participants have to buy at least one burger an hour to keep playing.
  • Easy to abuse? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by broothal ( 186066 ) <> on Tuesday March 11, 2003 @10:35AM (#5484088) Homepage Journal
    We all know that spammers live in trailer parks and flips burgers at McDonalds to make money to buy new accounts when the old ones are nuked. Now, if you can get one our of IP for the price of a burger I expect all of McDonalds IP range to end up in SPEWS faster than you can say "do you want fries with that?" Any ideas how to avoid this?
  • by newsdee ( 629448 ) on Tuesday March 11, 2003 @10:58AM (#5484272) Homepage Journal
    If you put all the "McD is fat/incompetent/dangerous for laptops" comments aside, it's a really neat idea.

    Imagine this is distributed worldwide: Internet access for everybody! About time!

    You have to buy a bigmac (you don't have to eat it though), and you get one hour of surf. It's cheaper than most European cybercafes...

  • by Washizu ( 220337 ) <> on Tuesday March 11, 2003 @11:03AM (#5484339) Homepage
    I was in McDonalds the other day [] and the standard menus above the cashiers were replaced by hi def plasma screens with the menus printed on them. They also had ads running for their various food items. It looked fantastic, although I try not to eat there on principle.

    It would be great if someone hacked into their wi-fi network and change the menu items to include more exotic items:

    French Fries $2.49
    Chicken Nuggets $3.99
    Grimace Testicles $1.99

  • Why charge for it? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by CaptRespect ( 586610 ) on Tuesday March 11, 2003 @11:18AM (#5484458)
    I don't see thousands of people flocking to McDonald's to use their WI-FI network. Why not just set up the Wi-Fi let people use it as a perk for just being there. Don't force them to buy something first, that just complicates things. More often than not, if a peroson is in McDonald's (or around it) they will buy something.

    Later if internet trafic became a problem then they could impliment a pay or buy something first model.
  • by openbear ( 231388 ) on Tuesday March 11, 2003 @11:48AM (#5484684)
    WiFi in McDonalds is going to fail. There is a HUGE difference in the average customer that goes to McDonalds vs. the average customer that goes to Starbucks. Fast-food like McD's is targeted mainly towards the poor, and how many of these people have wireless devices that could utilize WiFi (digital divide anyone)??? Even ignoring that fact, when was the last time you were in a McD's and thought "cool place, I think I'll break out my laptop and work for a while"???

    As someone said earlier, it is just a poorly conceived publicity gimmick!

Recent investments will yield a slight profit.