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10 Places to Find WiFi (So You Don't Eat up Your Data Plan)

        Tech | WiFi & Mobile

8
Buses
San Francisco mayor Gavin Newsom inspects the Connected Bus, which features WiFi, live route information and wait times via touchscreen monitors, and a 'Green Gauge' that gives information about the environmental impact of the bus. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
San Francisco mayor Gavin Newsom inspects the Connected Bus, which features WiFi, live route information and wait times via touchscreen monitors, and a 'Green Gauge' that gives information about the environmental impact of the bus. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Remember "Speed"? Keanu Reeves before he was Neo, and Sandra Bullock before anybody knew who Sandra Bullock was. "'Die Hard' on a bus" was the pitch line that sold the high-concept thriller. Remember "Die Hard"? Never mind. The bus is the relevant part. A psychopath (Dennis Hopper, typecast) wires a bus to explode if it dips under a certain speed. He's grumpy about his pension or something. The motive doesn't matter (clearly it didn't matter to the director).

The question is, have recent developments made "Speed" outdated? What recent developments? WiFi baby, WiFi. That's right, free WiFi on city buses. It's happening. Actually, it's happened. As of December 2014, the Golden Gate Transit fleet of 180 buses has free WiFi throughout its service area from San Francisco to Santa Rosa to Western Contra Costa County.

Of course, "Speed" took place in L.A., but they're working on it too. So is NYC, where the Metropolitan Transportation Authority was set to begin rolling out more than 2,000 new buses featuring free WiFi in mid-2016 [source: Whitten]. They're even going to have USB charging ports!

It's a thing. Kansas City (Missouri), Minneapolis, Atlanta, Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver are among the cities getting on board the WiFi express.

So, "Speed"? Is the movie WiFi compatible? Probably yes. If you're going to use a plot that ludicrous, surely a production team with such a towering disinterest in plausibility could concoct a digital pirate with the hacking skills to remotely shut down a mobile WiFi hotspot and ruin everybody's day.