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Barnes & Noble

AT&T To Bring Free Wi-Fi To Starbucks And Beyond!

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This is awesome news in so many ways. AT&T plans to start implementing wi-fi networks at more than 7,000 company-run Starbucks locations nationwide (that’s pretty much all of them except in certain locations, such as Barnes & Noble, for example). The best part? It’s going to be free! If you have a Starbucks card, you will be allowed two hours of free, unrestricted access per day to the network. For anything beyond that, there’s a very nominal fee. If you’re an AT&T Broadband customer, you’ll have unlimited free access. The networks will be installed in the Spring in many markets, and all locations should have networks by the end of the year.

This is somewhat of a different topic, but it has been reported that AT&T has snapped up part of the 700 MHz wireless spectrum put on the auction block by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and plans to offer nationwide long-range wi-fi that will most likely be free for iPhone users (personal note: this would be incredible) and only ten to twenty dollars per month for iPod Touch users and computer users who do not have any kind of AT&T service plan. This makes complete sense and leads me and many other people to believe that we will never see the 3G-equipped iPhone that has long been rumored to come out this year. The chips used in 3G phones use too much power to be useful in a device such as the iPhone. Plus, this way there will be no update to the iPhone necessary and last year’s purchases, myself included, won’t be left out in the cold with an incompatible device. The profits for both AT&T and Apple would be enormous if iPod Touch owners embraced the service, and really, why wouldn’t they? The device becomes twice as useful in more places with constant connectivity to a wi-fi network, as opposed to just at home.

I’m really excited about the prospect of these plans being implemented!

Here are the links to articles on both planned AT&T services:

AT&T’s Starbucks Wi-Fi Networks

AT&T’s Nationwide Wi-Fi Network

Short Pump House Demolition

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Everyone remember the house across from Barnes & Noble on Broad Street? It was the last one on that stretch of road in Short Pump. Well, the owner, Raymond Haithcock, decided it was time to move on, and is leasing the land for a new development. I don’t know what it is, but I love seeing heavy machinery tear things down. I was able to capture the entire house demolition start to finish, on September 13. I just now figured out how to export the file to fit on YouTube. I had two cameras, one in hand used to walk around the perimeter of the house as it was being demolished and capture it from different angles, and one fixed in the median of Broad Street on a tripod to get a time-lapse shot of the entire thing (shown at the end). The video is set to Peter Gabriel’s “Sledgehammer,” quite appropriately. I love this stuff. I hope you have as much fun watching it as I did making it!

Shopping = DEATH!

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So our family friend from Charlottesville, Sue, stayed with us last night and the night before after coming down for our Christmas party. As you could imagine, there’s not a whole lot of places to shop in Charlottesville. It’s not the boondocks, but there’s a lot more places in Short Pump. So naturally, Sue wanted to do some Christmas shopping while she was down here. Her and my mom were going to go, but I decided to go along too because I really hadn’t bought much of anything for the people I planned on buying for this year.

As a side note, it’s important to realize that guys don’t shop. We hunt, we gather, we buy. If we must enter the doors of a retail building, we are there on a mission and know exactly what we want. We’re not there to leisurely browse through aisle after aisle looking for “cute shoes” or a “trendy top.” Don’t get in our way because we’re making a beeline for the thing we want to purchase and then we’re getting out and going forth with our lives.

Anyway, I could almost feel my soul being sucked right out of my body after hours of this thing they call shopping. I think it’s some kind of natural reaction you hear about from caveman days where your body just shuts itself down as a preventative measure when you are exposed to such preposterous things as “buy one get one free” sales and “blue light specials.”

Where did we go? Well, here’s the complete rundown: Ben Franklin, Grapevine II for lunch, Men’s Wearhouse, CompUSA, Kohl’s, Dollar Tree, Barnes & Noble, Hallmark, H&M, American Eagle, New York & Company, Urban Outfitters, Firebird’s for dinner, Circuit City, and Starbucks.

Yes, I made the best of it and got a good amount of stuff for friends and family, and yes, it was good to see Sue and spend the day with her and my mom, but I was worn out by the end of the day. I do feel good that I actually put some time and thought into my gifts this year and didn’t opt for the typical present of gift cards that I often get.