massysett writes: "I'm in the brand new public library in Rockville, Maryland. Of course there is Wi-Fi for patrons who bring their own laptops. There are also about two dozen Windows PCs throughout to provide catalog and Internet access. I was surprised to notice that all of these public access machines are connected wirelessly, using D-Link expansion cards. The Ethernet jacks on the backs of the machines aren't connected to anything. I'd understand networking the machines wirelessly in an old building, to save the cost of pulling Cat 5. However, this is a brand new building built just for this library, and there is obviously room for cables — the power cords for the computers are coming out of the floors. I would think the low bandwidth of wireless, coupled with the headache of troubleshooting interference and performance issues, would rule out a deploying wireless like this — it's relatively easy to wire a brand new building. I'd also think Cat 5 is more future-proof. Obviously library staff disagreed. How do you think the advantages of wireless would outweigh the disadvantages in a setting such as this?"
massysett writes: "Everybody has been frustrated by plastic retail packaging that's nearly impossible to open. New toys and electronic gadgets arrive encased in plastic bubbles. Manufacturers say the packages protect goods and make them look nice, but opening them can be difficult enough to cause injuries that land people in the emergency room. Manufacturers have an appropriate term for the frustration: wrap rage. One man even invented a cutter designed specifically for cracking open plastic clamshells."