Ng: Conventional wisdom-A A +A
By Wilson Ng
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
I read with amusement two stories that I would like to share with you.
The first concerns some cafés in the United States that are cutting off Internet access to boost business. Offering free Wi-Fi is a come-on, but for some of them, they believe that it affects their business. For instance, Coupa Café in Silicon Valley cuts Wi-Fi on the weekend so that the café will have room for people who do not have notebooks. They say that they have big parties that want to come to eat on weekends but have no room because the place is full of people who order a cup of coffee and stay for hours just for the Internet access.
Some people, the owner says, even want a place where there is no Wi-Fi, so that there will be more people who will talk and make the place lively. Maybe some dates don’t want to be in coffee shops with Wi-Fi because their dates might be spending too much time on the computer.
Coffee giant Starbucks in the United States used to charge for Internet but it is now offering it for free. However, not having Wi-Fi may be a come-on. A writer says he likes to hang out and choose coffee shops that have no Internet access because he wants to use his notebook to write a book and having Internet connections distracts him.
The other story I want to talk about concerns Anthony Graber, a Maryland resident who was stopped by an officer for motorcycle speeding. He filmed the routine and posted it in YouTube. The video showed that the policeman was not in a police car when he apprehended him. It also showed the policeman as not in uniform and being discourteous. The officer even pulled out a gun to threaten him even if it was just a traffic violation. But that was not the sole problem.
Anthony is being charged with violation of wiretap laws, and if convicted, may go to prison for months. Apparently some states have laws that say a conversation between a police officer and a suspect is private and therefore both parties will have to give consent if it is to be recorded.
Apparently, this law was supposed to protect the suspect, and to get his or her consent before recording anything. In this case, it worked against the suspect. I guess the people who wrote the law did not anticipate that the person that would be recording it would be the suspect and not the police.
Well, there are now reality TV shows that show footage from police’s dashboard cams. Are these legal?
These two stories show that what we hold as conventional wisdom may not hold water after all. (www.ngkhai.net/bizdrivenlife)