I got an e-mail from a PR person yesterday that was interesting.
The e-mail touted Fon, a "Madrid-based 'social router' company." I took a quick look at Fon's Web site, and here's how (I think) it works: You buy a wi-fi router from Fon for about $30, and safely allow anybody nearby to use it for free. That way, the parts of the world with free wi-fi continue to grow. Nice!
The e-mail was specifically touting a different effort of Fon: Fonbucks. Fon is apparently giving free routers to people who live near Starbucks locations. Then, the router holders can charge Starbucks patrons $2 ($1 for Fon, and $1 for the router holder) to use their
series of tubes Internet—whereas Starbucks can charge a ridiculous $10 or so.
Please keep in mind I have not verified any of this, so caveat emptor. I just thought it was interesting enough to share in a noncommittal sort of way.