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Germany

Surfing the Web, Sipping a Beer

Two Munich beer gardens are the test run for what a city Internet organization hopes is the next big thing: wireless laptop Internet surfing in a soft breeze with a cold half liter nearby.

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All that's missing are the laptops

A Munich Internet umbrella organization wants to turn the city’s fabled beer gardens into high-tech centers where drinkers can check their email and surf the web in mid-quaff.

The Federation of Internet and Web Business has set up wireless high-speed LAN networks in two beer gardens in the Bavarian capital. All customers at the Chinesischer Turm and Seehaus beer gardens need to surf is a laptop and a wireless card.

"The target group is everyone who is more creative in beautiful weather and fresh air, or business travelers or tourists who want to check their emails quickly and easily," according to the group's press release.

The pilot project offers free access to e-garten.net, a web community the organization created specifically for the concept. From e-garten.net’s start page, users can surf the web as much as they want for two euro per hour.

So far, Intel and telego! have signed on as sponsors of the project, which was developed in just two months.

Wireless LAN networks connect a user’s computer to access terminals in the nearby area through electromagnetic waves. Data, such as the information on a web site, is transmitted through the air instead of regular phone lines from terminal to computer.

“We’re extremely curious about the results of this unusual usage of our access points,” said Intel Corporate Accounts & OTP Manager CER, Alexander Jost in a statement.

The federation is optimistic about the project’s chances of success. Above all, they said, beer garden surfing should show people what the future entails.

“It should demonstrate to the public the potential wireless LAN technology has,” the group said in its press release.

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