Well, Infocom is over and I am back home. While I was there, I often used my iPod Touch to do quick things on the net when pulling out the laptop would have taken too much time. The only issue is the wireless AP there required a web based login where one would have to enter in the email address they used to register for the conference. This can be annoying at best on the iPod when all I really wanted to do was look up something really quick and this stage takes 50-80% of the time.
Well, I noticed that the page doesn’t actually authenticate the email addresses, but instead just accepts anything that is entered in. I started entering in the letter, “a” and it took it. It will not accept a blank entry though :( So, what’s the point of having this at all? It wasn’t until the last days of the conference that I finally figured this out. The conference hotel changes for internet access, $12 a night, if I heard correctly. So, this login screen is to prevent the hotel’s guests from leaching free wifi off the conference, and thus off the hotel itself.
That raises an interesting trend that I have started to notice. Why is it that the expensive hotels (this one was was $300 a night) require you to pay for internet access, but the cheaper ones include it free with the room? I was at a hotel which was a fraction of the cost, and it’s free internet access was 20 times the speed of what I got at the conference! So, if you want a nice place to stay with internet access, this is one more reason to not pay too much for the hotel room, because you may end up paying more just to check your email. Otherwise, the good old fashioned post office starts to look like a pretty good deal. It isn’t as fast, but it sure is a hell of a lot cheaper.
Noah Coad - May 13, 2008
I completely agree! Having traveled a good bit, this was a quick find, now I only stay at ‘mid-level’ less expensive places w/ free internet. Much better.
Antonio - Sep 8, 2009
Why do expensive hotels charge for Internet and cheap ones don’t? Simple: expensive hotels mostly have companies paying for them, so they can just pass the cost of Internet off to an expense account and write it off taxes.