Monday, February 11, 2008

And All Is Right With The World

Remember back in the olden days, when AT&T got too big for its britches and some government bureaucrats came in to bust them up? And then we got a bunch of Baby Bells (God helped those who sold off bits and pieces of those companies and needed to calculate their gain or loss for tax purposes by inventing the internet...or was it Al Gore? I've forgotten now...anyway, along came special basis calculators to help with the record keeping nightmare of tracking investment basis)? And then, remember how these step-children were micromanaged by the Justice Department? And then, maybe 20 years later, remember how AT&T started gobbling them all back up again, like a game of Pac-Man (it was all the rage back in the olden days...I realize this reference may now be lost on people who were not even born yet) and added all kinds of other services to its mega conglomerate of a company?

And NOW? AT&T is set to partner with Starbucks to provide free WI-FI in its stores! It's about bloody time! When a customer uses their Starbucks card, the customer will get 2 hours free and then begin paying after that...this is good marketing and a great business decision in my opinion. Starbucks will also partner with Apple to provide iTunes. What could be better than that?

It looks as if AT&T will once again rule the free world.

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At 3:41 PM, February 11, 2008, Blogger Stephen said...

Well, finally! Every other coffee shop in town has free WiFi, nice to see them get the point. Caribou Coffee only gives you an hour, though. Two hours would be nice.

At 4:57 PM, February 11, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That is good. And I even like that they're tying it to a purchase, with a Starbucks card no less, so it's also a loyalty program. Good move, I say.

At 7:02 PM, February 11, 2008, Blogger Gwynne said...

Stephen, I've yet to find many coffee shops that do offer free wi-fi except for Panera (which has been spotty lately...what's up with that?!), but agreed, it's about time!

Jim, I agree...good move. Of course, now when I wish to stay more than 2 hours, I'll have to leave and come back for another purchase, but I think I can handle that. ;-)

At 11:01 AM, February 12, 2008, Blogger DarkoV said...

I have no problem with AT&T ruling the world. Maybe at that time I only have to buy one phone set in my lifetime and know that it will work FOREVER, as opposed to the annual phone set purchasing happening.

I hate talking on telephone anyway so if someone pipes up and tells me the rates are "way better" now, I will, correctly, assume that that someone is a jabberer who has a phone set surgically attached to their right ear and can't seem to get through life without inflecting someone, anyone, with their most recent (extremely boring) experience.

Come to think of it, maybe the phone set of my dreams will be made available by AT&T. Indestructible and impervious to throwing abuse and a ear piece that has an infestation of those bugs that crawl into your ear, take up residence, and then start eating your brain. The earpiece would be heat activated. The longer you're on the phone, the hotter the ear piece gets and the greater the chance that the bugs wake up and start moving about. I have a long list of folks I'd give these phones to as presents. The only problem is that there would not be too much matter to be eaten by the bugs and they come visit me about this lack of brain power.

But I digress. Big AT&T. Good.

At 11:46 AM, February 12, 2008, Blogger Gwynne said...

Darko, that's a bit harsh, don't ya think? I have no idea what rates are these days...I am anti-phone as well, but have no desire to put brain sucking bugs in people's ears. ;-)

So while I rarely use the phone, AT&T does offer a good international plan for my husband who calls the Old Country once a week. And I like that they are consistent and reliable and have good customer service. Also, they will put most of my various services on one bill...home phone, wireless phone, credit card, Dish Network, and internet (now if they'll just offer a hi-speed option in our rural area, I'll be eternally grateful).

At 7:11 AM, February 13, 2008, Blogger Foo said...

Sounds like Starbucks has got it goin' on. Too bad I don't have the sort of job that's conducive to sitting around with a laptop swilling $5 cups of coffee all day.

Okay... too bad I don't have an employer who views my job as being conducive to sitting around with a laptop swilling $5 cups of coffee all day.

At 8:13 AM, February 13, 2008, Blogger Sisiggy said...

The closest Starbucks to us is 40 minutes away and when you go there the employees always look terrified like, "I hope they don't order anything difficult!" We went in once after dinner, a half hour before they were scheduled to close and they greeted us at the door with, "We're closing soon and you can only sit there" (pointing to a tiny little table for two that was supposed to work for the six of us). I don't think anyone cares if they have WiFi or not...

At 7:33 PM, February 13, 2008, Blogger Gwynne said...

Foo, I don't either, but then, I don't even have access to a hi-speed internet connection at home (we're out in the boondocks and I'm too cheap to fork over the big-big bucks for special equipment), so I have to rely on free outlets around the city. Hence my excitement. And believe me, I don't do any work at all when in such an environment. That would be a big waste of coffee time! ;-)

Sisiggy, that sux! I'm always amazed at how complex people's coffee orders have become. But it gives me a chuckle, a la Steve Martin in L.A. Story, to listen to them.


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