Are today’s cafe meant as the new workplace for America’s disconnected workers? Many establishments, especially the big chains like Starbucks, offer free, unlimited Wi-Fi service for their patrons– presumably to allow} people linger and contribute to} the ambiance. “We intend to provide you with a great digital experience to go along with your great cup of coffee,” the coffee chain’s website says.
But Starbucks and small, independent coffeehouses alike now have growing concerns about the multitude of customers who encamp for hours at their tables. These “laptop hobos” are working, surfing the Web, using the shop’s outlets as an unlimited power supply for their wireless devices and occasionally getting downright territorial with other customers over space.
Some shops say they’ve had enough. Continue reading . . .