Internet wants to be free at Barnes & Noble
You can no longer pay for Wi-Fi access at Barnes & Noble bookstores.
Now, it's free.
On Monday, the bookseller with 777 stores across the country quietly switched to a no-cost, unlimited Wi-Fi service for customers. Previously, the chain charged about $4 for two hours of access.
All it takes to get online is to enter one of the stores and pop open your laptop. Of course, the company hopes you'll buy a book or magazine while you're there, but it's not required.
The B&N Internet service comes from AT&T, which also works with another nationwide chain -- Starbucks.
The coffee shop giant offers free Wi-Fi, but with strings attached. To get it, you must have a Starbucks card that can be used to make purchases at the shops. And that card has to have been used within 30 days.
Meet those requirements and you get Wi-Fi at Starbucks, for a maximum of two hours. After that, it costs.
-- David Colker