Did you know Virgin, Delta and AirTran has free Wi-Fi on their planes this holiday season? If you didn’t, the flight attendants will tell you when you board—which is bad for those who actually need to use the Wi-Fi.
You see, I’m on a plane right now to NYC. Normally I’d pay the $US9 (then expense it later) for Wi-Fi on a five-hour flight so I can pass the time with something I should be doing anyway—working. But today? Today it took five minutes for my IM to connect. Today, I have to use plain HTML Gmail. Plain. HTML. On a computer, not a phone. Did you even know that existed anymore? It’s like going back to the town you grew up in and seeing that that crappy mall no one goes to is still just as crappy as when you left it.
I appreciate the thought, Google, for giving Wi-Fi to the masses. The people who think that it’s a good idea to stream Netflix on a pipe that’s shared by 150-odd people. The folks who, because they’re now on Wi-Fi, are updating all their iPhone apps that they didn’t do over 3G. But think of free Wi-Fi vs. paid Wi-Fi like a public restroom vs. an executive bathroom. If Chevron charged a dollar for toilet-use, things wouldn’t be so shitty.