I was reading an article yesterday of changes in coffee shops world wide. Due to the state of the economy and the need to cut expenses while increasing revenue, coffee shops are either eliminating free internet services or limiting the hours during which free access is available. It seems that multiple factors are coming together to conspire against free access in the coffee shops. With an increase of unemployed job seekers, coffee shops have discovered customers who buy one cup of coffee in the morning and sit surfing the internet all day, tying up chairs and tables all day. The article also listed instances where people just used the internet without even a purchase. So restrictions on internet use or its total elimination were the result. What fascinated me about the article was not the main message of economic realities and how people react to it, but a subtle second thread in the piece. It seems that shop owners noticed an increase of, wait for it, conversations! Where before the establishments were fairly quiet with a background of mouse and key clicks, now there was a constant din of people conversing. Perhaps our current economic uncertainties are yielding some benefits after-all.