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Wi-Pie in the sky? March 27, 2006

Posted by sjwillis in Geek Dinners, wireless.

The Economist’s Technology Quarterly has some good coverage of American cities that are pursuing municipal wi-fi. Since some farmers in Washington state already have wi-fi hotspots as large as Rhode Island, our state is well positioned to implement an elegant solution here. I haven’t heard anything on RI-WINS in several months. Any interest in trying to get an update on state-wide wi-fi at an upcoming geek dinner?


The Mobile Office Space February 22, 2006

Posted by Brian Jepson in wireless.

Over at Om Malik’s Blog, Jackson West writes about The New Office Space: “Forget Palo Alto garages — San Francisco coffee shops are where to get your startup off the ground.”, and lists some favorite wireless hangouts that also happen to be independent coffee shops. I’m a big fan of getting out of the office to work in cafes, and I can be found sometimes at Java Madness, Bagelz in Kingston, and the South Kingstown Brewed Awakenings, all of who offer free Wi-Fi. I haven’t found my perfect haunt in downcity Providence, although I do like the Starbucks in the Biltmore, especially since it has free Wi-Fi coming from some unknown place.

In the spirit of Jackson’s post, here are some more details on my mobile office spaces. This is completely biased toward south county, so please add your own in the comments (and when you’re done, head over to one of the hotspot finders and add them if they aren’t already there):

Brewed Awakenings

This resides in the controversial South County Commons (there was a lot of public opposition to this development), and will soon have a Japanese restaurant next door. They have decent coffee, sandwiches, and plenty of sweets. But it’s surrounded by the sprawling shopping center, and lacks the old town or oceanside aesthetic that you find in the other places. Still, I find it the best place for meetings, and it’s spacious and has excellent atmosphere.

Java Madness

Java Madness is usually my favorite. They are directly on Salt Pond Marina, and have an awesome deck and recently expanded their indoor seating. Their hours change with the season, so they close early during the colder months. It can get a little crowded at times, especially when there is live music.


Bagelz is some kind of chain, but the operators seem to have a lot of freedom to personalize their operation. Out of all the coffeehouses, I like Bagelz’ coffee the best (last time I checked, their Kenya AA was coming from Majik), but Java Madness wins by being right on the water.

True Brew Cafe

I’ve only been here a couple of times, but these folks reside in the Sawmill building on Robinson Street and are also right on the bike path. My only gripe is that because they are close to Main Street, a known T-Mobile dead zone, my cellular signal is weak to nonexistent.