History

Truck stop wi-fi

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Today's Washington Post runs two unrelated dispatches from the California deserts. The first reports from the Flying J Travel Plaza in Barstow:

Inside is a trucker's paradise: $10 for the half-pound carne asada steak with all the trimmings, cold drinks and lounge with a big screen television. But for a growing number of drivers, the most valuable luxury at the Flying J is the invisible Internet signal that can be found in the travel plaza's parking lot. With just an $80 wireless network card, a laptop and a password, truckers can spend hours surfing the Web, e-mailing friends and filing paperwork -- without ever having to leave their trucks.

And on page one, Rene Sanchez updates the Owens Valley water wars for Post readers. He includes the memorable John Huston line from Chinatown, always worth repeating even though the film was only allegorically about the Owens Valley water grab. The Post abbreviates it; I'll give the longer exchange between Huston's crusty Noah Cross and Jack Nicholson's Jake Gittes, which was actually about the San Fernando Valley.

Cross: You see Mr. Gittes, either you bring the water to L.A. or you bring L.A. to the water.

Gittes: How are you going to do that?

Cross: By incorporating the valley into the city. Simple as that.

That could never happen—could it?

Edited 4:45 p.m.


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