The gentleman in the striped, gray suit had a cellphone to one ear and was talking into a laptop computer with the other. This was all quite normal except for one thing--he was sitting in a vaporetto, one of the waterbuses that provide much of the public transportation for the Italian city of Venice.

It gets harder and harder to get away from work because of such things as the free Internet connection in our Rome hotel, or the many Wi-Fi hotspots in the gate areas of the Venice and Milan airports.

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