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Thinking Different

AT&T Wi-Fi Part II

The session window for AT&T Wi-Fi

The session window for AT&T Wi-Fi

For those of you who frequent Starbucks, you surely know about the free 2 hours of Wi-Fi access you get as a Rewards member. I was always dubious about the 2-hour limit; the access was provided by an AT&T account you sign up for and thus it didn’t appear as though Starbucks had any sort of control over the network. The account you sign up for doesn’t come with any sort of identifier as being associated with Starbucks Rewards either.

Today I spent a good chunk of time there working on various projects and had the opportunity to test what would happen to my Wi-Fi access after two hours. Apparently nothing. Awesome :smile:.

AT&T Wi-Fi

Starbucks and AT&TA while back I wrote about Starbucks’ Rewards program. Any registered member of the program receives “up to two hours of free AT&T Wi-Fi service, everyday.” I was previously under the impression that this meant you needed to purchase something to get wi-fi access, however it appears (upon closer inspection of the terms and in real-world trials) that no purchase is necessary.

This makes things more convenient for road warriors. I would suspect that this trick works at any AT&T Hotspot. Of course anyone with an iPhone or other qualifying AT&T plan automatically gets hot-spot access and you can even enable automatic login with iPhone OS 3.0:

Anyways, if anyone has confirmed that with Starbucks Rewards, you can use AT&T Wi-Fi at any AT&T hotspot, be sure to share in the comments.

Check out more about Starbucks Rewards at http://starbucks.com/cardrewards.

Kor One

In lieu of the recent debate over the health ramifications of BPA in consumer products, I had the perfect excuse to purchase the Kor One Hydration Vessel. I’m not quite sure where I first saw the Kor, but I instantly loved the unique design, BPA free materials and the fact that Kor donates 1% of their sales to a different water-related cause depending on which Kor you buy. I wanted a new bottle considering the age and condition of my Nalgene.

My initial hesitation to purchase this bottle lied in the one aspect people criticize first: the price. At $30 dollars, the Kor is basically just a pretentiously named, grossly overpriced water bottle. I’ve definitely taken some flack from friends over this. The cost of the Kor makes the (previously expensive but now relatively less so) Nalgene and Sigg bottles which serve the same function a fraction of the price, look like a steal. However, the same can be said about nearly everything we purchase; a cheap Timex watch tells time just as well as an expensive Rolex. The difference lies in the statement the Rolex makes for the wearer. The fact is, we pay a premium for things that provide value to us beyond that item’s intrinsic function (thanks largely to some tricky marketing).

For me, I found the Kor to be superior to other similar water bottles on an intrinsic functional level, as well as a more abstract philosophical level. The design of the Kor is much more appealing than any other water bottle I have seen. I get comments everyday on my Kor. It is also transparent so you can the contents (something the Sigg and Kleen Kanteen doesn’t allow) and has a hinged lid for one handed operation (sorry Nalgene). Kor donates to worthy causes, albeit given the price, Kor should probably donate much more than 1%. Kor also greatly reduces plastic bottle consumption; even though I always recycle my plastic bottles, reducing demand for them couldn’t hurt. I also find that I’m drinking much more water daily which, as an athlete, I definitely wasn’t drinking enough of before.

Ultimately, I am very satisfied with the Kor and it’s undeniably unique design. Even if you still think the Kor is ridiculous, I hope you consider doing something about the bottled water you consume. Packaging and transporting bottled water creates a huge carbon footprint people don’t normally think about. The amount of these recyclable (petroleum-based) bottles that end up in landfills is also staggering. Filtering your own water and carrying it in your own bottle is just one of the many small steps we can take to living more responsibly.

P.S. I got the green one from Koyono. Read more about Kor at http://blog.korwater.com/.

Usain Bolt – World’s Fastest Man

Not two months ago, superstar sprinter Usain Bolt flipped his car into a ditch. The accident resulted in Bolt getting surgery on some wounds he obtained exiting the wrecked car. Despite this setback, Bolt came back this past week (to the dismay of his coach) in a publicity 150m race held on a specially constructed track in the streets of Manchester.

Bolt shattered the world best with a time of 14.35, but even more impressive was how fast he covered the last 100m. After the first 50m, Bolt ran the next 100m in 8.72. That’s unbelievably staggering especially considering the level of fitness Bolt’s in after missing some training. This 100m split is 0.97 seconds off Bolt’s 9.69 world record set at the Beijing Olympic Games. In my experience, a block start shouldn’t add a full second to a flying time, especially for a sprinter of Bolt’s caliber.

We have yet to see the best of Bolt. A rather conservative estimate on my part puts the WR at 9.4X, but only time will tell. I doubt that he’d go for this, but I would really like to see Bolt own records at every distance from 100-400m (he’s already halfway there). It’s a good time for Puma’s marketing department, that’s for sure.

Check out the race for yourself at Universal Sports

Microsoft is at it again

Following in the footsteps of their latest Laptop Hunter ads, Microsoft has created a new ad targeting the iPod. More specifically, the cost of filling an iPod with music. According to Microsoft, it’ll cost $30,000 to fill an iPod from using iTunes. Continue reading ‘Microsoft is at it again’

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