Small Coffee Houses Limit Free Wi-Fi Use

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Coffee house cultureIt?s official. The bad economy has, unfortunately, trickled down to a place Americans know and love so well: the neighborhood coffee house. It used to be that anybody could sit, drink, and work on a laptop for hours. A respite for many in good times and bad, coffee houses have traditionally been a place of leisure; a gathering place for members of the community; a place where, unlike a library, there are no restrictions. Now, small coffee house owners are putting the breaks on one of those luxuries: free laptop use.

The larger chains like Barnes & Noble will mostly remain unaffected, though several Starbucks as of late have been blocking their electric outlets. But if the local spots are your locales of choice for Web surfing, get ready to cough up some cash for a laptop connection. Also, a change in etiquette might be considered. When your coffee cup is empty, perhaps buy another as a favor to the owner for the free connection.

Read more at The Wall Street Journal.