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Starbucks pioneered the notion of being a “third place” retailer, an alternative to home and office where customers could hang out with friends, relax, and spend four bucks on a cup of coffee.

Now, apparently, being a third place isn’t enough...

Reuters reports that Starbucks wants also be be a “fourth place.” Online.

According to the story, “The coffee chain plans to launch its Starbucks Digital Network this autumn. The free service, which is a partnership between Starbucks and Yahoo, will be available to users of complimentary Wi-Fi at company-run Starbucks cafes in the United States and Canada and will give customers a place to share information and find news, music and films. Content providers include the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, USA Today, restaurant reviewer Zagat and SnagFilms, which has an advertising-supported library of more than 1,600 documentary films available for online viewing.”
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