Apparently, the only time free wi-fi in public places really makes headlines is when the iPhone is involved. Never mind that T-Mobile handed out free HotSpot passes to Sony PSP and original mylo owners last year, thousands of free access points are available for the Nintendo DS, and the new mylo 2 comes with free wi-fi at McDonald’s, AT&T is offering free wi-fi for iPhone users.
Reports are coming in from across the nation that Starbucks, Barnes & Noble, and other AT&T hotspot visitors, with iPhone in tow, are being prompted to use their mobile numbers to gain access to a custom portal that leads to (you guessed it) free wi-fi. And as a MacRumors forum member discovered, you don’t even need an iPhone to get it. The back-door entrance, which involves faking the phone’s user agent on a laptop browser, will likely be sealed as soon as AT&T catches wind of it, but it’s wide open right now.
Don’t worry. The media has already been alerted.
Update 5.3: AT&T disables free iPhone wi-fi