Something for nothing - Page 5

Free food. Free pot. Free haircuts. Free music. Free paint. Free Wi-Fi. Free phone service. Free sex events. Free urban adventures ... our guide to the essence of cheap
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Decide if you want a cut or color, and exactly what type of styling you have in mind. With specific days devoted to specific lessons, they may not need another graduate specializing in bobs the week you need a cut. Here are two places that still cut hair, absolutely free.

Festoon Salon

Haircuts Mondays at 9 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.

Coloring second and fifth Mondays at 11 a.m., 1 p.m., and 3 p.m.

1401 Martin Luther King Jr. Way, Berk.

(888) 35-SALON or (510) 528-5855, www.festoonsalon.com

Visual Image

Hair modeling vacancies available one or two times a month, or once a quarter

5200 Mowry, Suite C, Fremont

(510) 792-5922, www.visualimagesalon.com

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FREE PHONES, MOVIES, AND WI-FI

Why are you still paying for Internet access?

By Annalee Newitz

Information may want to be free, but Internet service providers want to charge you too see it. That doesn't have to crimp your style; there's plenty of free Wi-Fi — and ways to get free movies and phone service.

Let's start with a little disclaimer: When you're talking about getting things like free Wi-Fi, or free phone service, even "free" comes with a price. You're going to have to invest in some equipment to get free stuff later. You might also need some training — but that's available free.

For free classes where you can learn more about how to build some of the technologies I'll be talking about below, check out the Noisebridge hacker space near 16th and Mission streets (www.noisebridge.net/wiki/Noisebridge).

Now, here's the dirt on how you can stop paying for phone service, cable, Internet, and online media.

FREE INTERNET SERVICE

Novice level: If you have a laptop with a Wi-Fi card, you should never have to pay for an Internet connection while you live in the San Francisco Bay Area. There are countless cafes that provide free Wi-Fi to their customers. Yelp offers a good, up-to-date list of free Wi-Fi cafes in San Francisco at www.yelp.com/list/free-wireless-cafes-in-sf-san-francisco.

In San Francisco, check for free Wi-Fi provided by commercial vendor Meraki using this map: sf.meraki.com/map. Every branch library in San Francisco, Berkeley, and Oakland offers free Wi-Fi.

Techie level: If you'd like to get free Internet service at home and not have to visit your local cafe all the time, you can build a cheap antenna so that you can see countless networks all around your house. Find out how to build such an antenna using this free online guide at www.en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Wifi/Building_an_antenna.

If you are going to be borrowing your neighbors' Wi-Fi service, please observe this cardinal rule: You are a guest, so use their service sparingly. Checking e-mail is fine, surfing the Web is fine, but downloading giant movie files is extremely uncool.

FREE MOBILE PHONE SERVICE

Novice level: Make all of your phone calls over the Internet using an IP phone. You can either invest in an IP phone and make phone calls using free Wi-Fi cafes and free city networks, or you can get the headset and microphone to plug into your laptop so that you can use Skype or another free Internet voice service.

Techie level: Turn your home phone into an IP phone.

Here are other ideas that some people have tried (and we, of course, don't recommend that anyone does anything against the law). One of the open secrets about cordless phones is that it is extremely easy to steal phone service using them.