Welcome to the 6th floor.
Today’s contributors are: Ann, Sara, Tabitha, Billy and Scott.
Recap: Tabitha and Billy are Unplugged, spending a week without computers.
“I think I’m going through withdrawal.” Tabitha says, eyeing Sara checking her email on her phone at dinner with Billy, Scott and Ann.
“Not surprised. I checked your Farmville earlier, all your watermelons are rotting away.” Sara teases.
“I miss the cellphone, but I’m doing well. I’ve read a couple of books I wanted to, and haven’t missed doing all those silly things you do on computers that take up time. Following random links people send you that rarely end up being funny, reading webcomics that aren’t funny but are in your feed reader so you feel obligated to clear it out..” Billy notes.
“You _can_ clear out your feed reader of junk you know. I do an audit every couple of months to try to keep the clutter down.” Sara explains.
“I just accumulate everything and have hundreds of unread posts. I add a lot of New York blogs that I want to read and possibility exchange links with, and many of them just suck.” Ann says.
“Delete them! You’d be better off working on the blog site, or the blog itself, than trying to get more links anyway.” Sara says.
“What? Actually write regularly? What kind of writer does that?” Ann replies, sarcastically.
“Why do I always order this? It always sounds good on the menu, and then I taste it and regret it.” Sara complains, pushing her meatloaf around the plate.
“It’s because they say they cook it with beer. Gets you every time. It’s one of the buzzwords that they use to try to sell food.” Scott explains.
“What really gets me is my memory. We eat here at least once a week, you’d think I’d remember that the meatloaf sucks.” Sara says.
Cindy: “You’re going to hurt the meatloaf’s feelings, insulting it like that.” Cindy says, clearing away some empty plates.
“Another please Cindy.” Scott says, holding up his empty beer glass.
Cindy: “Certainly. You’re going to hurt the meatloaf’s feelings, insulting it like that.” Cindy repeats.
Scott sighs and clarifies. “Another beer for me.”
Cindy: “Coming right up. Are you done with that one?” Cindy asks.
Scott looks down at his empty glass. “No, I think I’ll try to lick the last drops out of this one.”
Cindy: “Okay.” Cindy says, walking away.
“I think she’s getting worse.” Scott notes.
“Try working with her.” Ann says, shuddering.
Welcome to the 6th floor.
Today’s contributors are: Ann, Sara, Tabitha, Frank, Billy and Scott.
Subject: Sara’s Soliloquy
Everyone’s sitting around eating dinner, spaghetti and meatballs, when Sara starts talking.
“Mhmm Mrrhagrm?” Scott mumbles, spaghetti dangling from his mouth.
“It really changes as you get older. When you’re young, you go on and everything is exciting and new but you don’t really get a full sense of just how big it is. You almost expect to run into people you know everywhere. The percentages go up if you are on local sites, but it’s still very unlikely. Yet you still think you’re going to run into classmates or friends in random places on the web.”
Sara pauses for a bite of meatball.
“Then you get a little older. You’ve dabbled in the place a lot. You’ve found blogs, and irc channels, and chat rooms and youtube and digg and all those ‘popular’ sites. You’ve learned that while you aren’t likely to run into random people you know in real life on the web, the people you do run into can become friends easily. You become a little egotistical in that you think you know everything.”
Sara takes a sip of her wine.
“You start to assume that if you haven’t heard about something, it probably didn’t happen. Or that it just isn’t important. You’ve added silly Internet catch phrases like ‘all your base are belong to us’ and ‘fail’ to your vocabulary, yet disdain others like Anime style smilies or l8r; dismissing the latter as AOL speak.”
Sara takes another sip of wine.
Tabitha glances at the empty wine bottle in the kitchen. “How much wine have you had already Sara?”
“I’m not done! Shh.”
“As time goes on and you’re still discovering new things, you start to realize just how vast the world, and the Internet, are. You learn just because a site doesn’t come up on digg or slashdot or your favorite portal site doesn’t mean that it’s not cool, or that it hasn’t been around and successful. You learn how easy it is for a new site or idea to come into being, take off, and suddenly be all the rave. You discover things that you never realized were there and scratch your head thinking ‘How did I not know about this?’ You become a web disciple, fully believing that if there is information to be had, you can find it on the web somewhere. You probably blog recreationally and contribute to Wikipedia by this point.”
Sara takes a sip of wine, and picks up her fork and spoon and begins eating again.
“Next week on ‘Life According to Sara’…”
Welcome to the 6th floor.
Today’s contributors are: Ann, Sara, Frank, Billy.
Subject: Free Wireless Zone
“Hey, did you know CBS has created a huge free wireless area from Times Square to Central Park South between 6th and 8th avenue? I love it!”
“No I didn’t. That’s pretty cool. It works everywhere?”
“Yup, laptops, phones, handhelds.. Can sit down anywhere and browse the World Wide Web.”
“Dude, no one calls it the World Wide Web anymore.”
“Oh whatever. I connected from a Starbucks just north of Times Square today. Screw you T-Mobile!”
“The rates for the T-Mobile hot zones aren’t even good if it’s your only Internet provider. It’s crazy. Occasionally I’ll utilize a free connection in the park, but not in the winter. I’ll have to check out this CBS zone.”
“I was only on it for a little while, but there are some ads and all, which is no big deal. Oh, and in some cases there are zillions of wireless signals floating around midtown that you sometimes have to restart or refresh the search a lot to find the good ones.”
“Maybe I’ll take my laptop out and do my job searches outside of the house. Make myself feel like I was productive if I’m not home.”
“I know the feeling, I don’t think I could ever work from home.”
“I dunno, sleeping until noon. Making my own hours. Taking breaks whenever the hell I want. I dig it.”
“Your job is a lot cooler than ours though.”
“Well, that’s true. Working distracted never cost either of you thousands of dollars either though.”
“Nope, not yet.”
“I wish I had thousands of dollars to risk!”
“Speaking of free wireless, do you know what I found out recently? Panera Bread’s free wireless now has peak time limits! I was at one in the afternoon, and it kicked me off and said I’d used my 30 minute quota for the peak lunch crowd!”
“Oh, that sucks. No workaround? Restarting or anything? I wonder if you could use a proxy to trick it into thinking it’s a different computer. Probably not.. Maybe it simply checks your computer name? Too simple..It probably checks your mac address. Oh well. Guess Panera Bread is off the midday wireless list.”
“I’m rarely up at that time anyway, but what if they do it during the dinner rush too? That’s lame! It said something about wanting you to get up to make table space for other customers.”
“I guess that makes sense. It’d be nice if you could do something like entering a receipt number to get an extra hour or something.”
“Yeah. I’d gladly buy another mocha or a cinnamon bun to sit there longer. Now I’m just going to go there less in general.”
“That’s what makes this CBS zone thing so great. Legitimately free wireless. I can deal with ads, there are ads everywhere. It’s gotten to the point where things look weird without ads.”
“Yeah. I agree. I have to test it out more to see if it’s really reliable. It’s only been up like a month or two, so they probably still have some bugs in coverage or something.”
“Probably need some time to get the kinks out.”
“Maybe now I’ll have less boring people hanging around in Starbucks nursing a latte for six hours on their laptops while I’m trying to get a table to hang with Scott on his breaks. They can all run away to Times Square. I’m sure they’ll find plenty of inspiration there.”
“Six hours? That’s kind of crazy. I usually at least order a second drink to nurse when I’m hanging out all day!”
“Scott tells me there are some that order plenty throughout the day when they hang out. I worry for their health though. Some of them easily ingest in excess of a gram of caffeine.”
“Damn. I don’t know whether to be impressed or worried.”
“I don’t know either, but now I want a mocha.”
“Let’s go visit Scott and get some coffee.”