WiFiNetNews rounds up the recent articles in the NYT and WSJ about the way that hotels charge for Internet access. The more expensive your hotel, the more your WiFi ends up costing, and the crappier the service is. Orange France provides WiFi for rates up to $50 a day, and automatically logs you out even before your time runs out "for security reasons," so if you're counting on waking up in the morning with all your mail downloaded for you to read when you hit the road, think again -- your computer has been logged out of the WiFi you paid for in the dead of night.
The way that hotels deliver Internet access is the single worst thing about the travel I do -- particularly in Europe, where there's a positive fetish for overcharging, using scratch-off cards that no one ever has stock of (at a hotel in Rennes: "Sorry, they're in the safe and the woman with the safe-key is on holidays), port-filtering, rate-limiting, and double-charging. If I stay in one more hotel where the WiFi in the lobby costs an addition $20 a day over the $30 a day that the WiFi in the room costs, I'm burning it down.
One hotelier in London at the Dorchester said that subsidizing Internet access would lead to a rise in all room rates.
Now we all know that's not true. The cost of providing Internet access is roughly a fixed expense, although some Internet providers who help hotels offer no-fee access charge based on usage plus fixed rates. The Dorchester charges #18.50 per day for high-speed access ($33), according to Sharkey's second column. Their likely depreciation and hard costs per month are almost certainly no more than $3,000 to $4,000--or 100-odd room nights' worth of Wi-Fi.
What Wyndham Hotels and Resorts along with other hotel chains found is that if you make Internet access free you go from "the needs of the minority" as the Dorchester technology director described it to the needs of the majority: Wyndham saw usage quadruple when they made Internet access free to members of their no-cost affinity club.
This gadget does exactly as promised: it looks like a thumbdrive (sort of) and fries the circuitry of any computer it’s plugged into. It’s made from camera flash parts, is charged with a standard AA battery, and delivers a 300V zap of DC destruction to the port for all your USB-murdering needs. Note that this […]
The Cobham catalog, exposed by The Intercept, features countless pages of surveillance gadgets sold to U.S. police to spy on American citizens: tiny black boxes with a big interest in you. In the creepily bland feature lists and nerdy product names is a whisper of a dark future; perhaps darker than anyone can imagine.
This image depicts the most commonly-found stylesheet colors on the web’s top sites—Paul Hebert did an amazing amount of analysis and this is just one of the intriguing visualizations he came up with. Most of these are obvious staples, especially HTML red and blue, though it’s interesting how far the blue “cluster” is from the […]
The Black Friday Mac Bundle 2.0 is one of the Boing Boing Store’s best-selling Mac bundles yet, and it’s about to come to an end. If you don’t get your copy now, here’s what you’ll be missing:This bundle comes packing 9 top-rated Mac apps in one package, at the hugely discounted price of just $23.99. […]
The Boing Boing Store’s Gift Guide is full of ideas for pretty much anyone in your life like hipster ice cub trays, Xbox controllers, Halo Boards, and even diamond necklaces. As always, all products in the Boing Boing Store come at great discounts, too. Shop by price bucket starting at under $20. Under $20:Bloxx Jumbo Ice Trays […]
Unlike traditional lighters, the SaberLight features an electronic plasma beam that’s both rechargeable and butane-free. This sleek lighter is even approved by TSA, so you’ll never be stuck buying lighters you’ll just have to throw away partially used. For some people, like me, this is a pretty big game-changer. The SaberLight’s beam is actually both hotter and cleaner […]