<rant mode="on">If you own a coffeeshop and you advertise your “FREE WIRELESS” access (with a neon sign, even!), then you need to offer your customers plugs.
Lots of plugs.
Customers shouldn’t have skirt the wall of the store, searching for a place to plug in (which, like an oasis in the desert, is typically already being used by everyone else who needs power).
Every table should have a one-to-one mapping of seat-to-outlet.
The only local place I’ve seen who actually does wireless correctly is Palo Alto’s Happy Donuts, which not only has outlets all over the place, but has extension cords and power strips for you to borrow. Unlike most every other place I’ve seen, they want you to stay there for a few hours and use their wireless, and I for one am happy to pay a quarter or so more per cup of coffee for the pleasure.
This is in direct contrast to most places who do wireless, and just don’t care. They don’t optimize for offering that service at all, which makes it mostly pointless.
The worst offender is Mountain View’s Dana Street Coffee, which has a bunch of signs specifically telling you not to plug in. And I delight in letting everyone I know not to go there, even if they aren’t planning on using the wireless.
If they’re that rude and incompetant towards their wireless customers, how good can the service/quality of the coffee be?