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service

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

Restaurant Review – Fast Eddie’s Jukebox Cafe

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I had the opportunity to check out Fast Eddie’s Jukebox Cafe last night with Allie. It’s located on Broad Street in Centerville (somewhat across from Bogey’s Sports Park). It’s basically an old house converted into a restaurant. It’s had a bunch of other names in the past few years, such as The Bungalow Grill, Diner 250, and most recently, Grandpa Eddie’s BBQ. The last time I went it was The Bungalow Grill. I’m not sure if the place has changed hands or not, but I couldn’t believe how much better it was. The first thing I noticed was the friendly staff. We were greeted and seated by the very friendly owner, and our waitress was one of the nicest I’ve encountered in a long, long time. The next thing was the decor. The place has been totally redone and looks like an old-time diner. It’s a small place, but still open and inviting.

One unique thing about Fast Eddie’s is what they serve before the meal. While most places will bring out rolls or some other kind of bread, they serve you a basket of buttered popcorn! Very unusual, but what a cool idea. It was a little too salty, but props for the uniqueness. Allie and I both started with a cup of chicken noodle soup. There’s nothing better on one of the coldest days of Winter. I ordered meatloaf for my entree. This had to be the best meatloaf I think I’ve had in years. It was encrusted in what I think was brown sugar, giving it just a hint of sweetness. The macaroni and cheese was delectable, and the green beans were seasoned to perfection. Allie got a chop steak covered in gravy much in the style of Salisbury steak and enjoyed her meal as well.

The bill was pretty reasonable for all the food we ordered, coming out to about $15 a person for soup, entrees, sides, and drinks. The portions are pretty generous, too. I love places like Fast Eddie’s because all I ever go to is chain restaurants with cookie-cutter menus, less than friendly staff, and mediocre service. All three were extraordinary here. If you’re looking for something different and unique in the Short Pump area and would appreciate some home-style cooking and friendly service, definitely check out Fast Eddie’s Jukebox Cafe.

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Textapalooza

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I just went to view my cell phone bill online at AT&T. Turns out I used 1,360 text messages last month, incoming and outgoing. Holy cow! I really didn’t realize just how much I text. Fortunately, I saw this coming to some extent and upped my monthly allotment from 250 to unlimited. It’s a good thing, because at $0.15 per message, I’d be looking at an extra $200 this month just for texting.