theodp writes "At the risk of pulling-a-Groupon, I have a dream that one day my children will not be judged by their e-readers, but by the content of their character. The NY Times' Virginia Heffernan complains that many indie New York City cafes now heavily restrict, or ban outright, the use of Kindles, Nooks and iPads. Evidently, she says, too many coffee shops have had their ambience wrecked when itinerant word processors with laptops turn the tables into office space. Full-dress computers are one thing, says Heffernan, but banning devices the size of books is going too far, and it's anathema to the character and history of cafes. By contrast, Starbucks offers free, one-click, unlimited wireless service to their patrons, making it in Heffernan's eyes 'a flawed franchise that is squarely in the public good.'"
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