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[Photo: Liz Clayton]

Last week, the New York Times reported on coffee shops that have started to ban, or otherwise actively discourage, laptop use. "I appreciate the idea of when you go someplace and it feels like a home away from home," Cafe Grumpy owner Caroline Bell told the Times, "but I don't think it should be a home office away from home."

Other coffee shops, too, have been taking measures to keep laptop-wielders away: keeping outlets out the main seating area, turning off wireless during some hours, or doing away with seating altogether. Of course, perks like WiFi and ample seating are part of what draw customers to many coffee shops in the first place. But when they start to look more like campus libraries in exam time than cafés, it's understandable that the owners would want to push back.

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