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Windows 7: Coffee shops look to oust 'laptop hobos'


09 Jul 2013   #1

Windows 8.1 Pro
 
 
Coffee shops look to oust 'laptop hobos'

Do you hang at your local book/coffee shop for hours just to use it's free Wi-Fi service?

Quote:
Starbucks and small, independent coffeehouses alike now have growing concerns about the large number of customers who camp out for hours at their tables. These "laptop hobos" are working, surfing the Web, using the shop's outlets as an unlimited power supply for their wireless devices and occasionally getting downright territorial with other customers over space.
Source: Coffee shops look to oust 'laptop hobos'- MSN Money

For the record I hang out at my local Barnes & Noble with my lappy doing all sorts of stuff, especially schoolwork cause being at the house at times can get distracting when trying to get work done. In fact, I'm headed out to B&N now to work on a review

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09 Jul 2013   #2

Windows 7 32 bit
 
 

It's going to become more of an issue because they are making more homeless people all the time. I don't have a laptop yet. But I'm anxious to get something that will utilitze this Free WiFi stuff.

It's too bad there aren't real Internet Cafes in the US like in Tokyo. I don't know if it's really as simple as shown in Japanese movies and TV shows, but a good way to get off the street cheap for a night is supposedly to rent a cube in an intenet cafe from Midnight to 8:00 AM.
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09 Jul 2013   #3

Windows 8.1 Pro
 
 

That's a good point Miles.

Anyway outside the point you make, the issue is that no matter what is it, people will find a way to abuse it.
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09 Jul 2013   #4

Windows 7 32 bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by sygnus21 View Post
That's a good point Miles.

Anyway outside the point you make, the issue is that no matter what is it, people will find a way to abuse it.
What happens in most cases, unforunately... is that those who use the resource as it's meant to be used, are polite.. civil.. don't hog it etc.. end up being denied access with the finger pointed to the ruffians as justification. It's the old guilt by association bit. "Black guys messed up the gas station restroom, so I'll never let any black use the restroom in my gas station" etc... Just substitute any group identifier for "black" and you get the drift.
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09 Jul 2013   #5

Windows 8.1 Pro
 
 

Though that scenario is true in some instances, I can't see it being applicable here.

That out of the way, I can see where these places are coming from. As regular user of Barnes & Noble's free Wi-Fi service I see pretty much the same people at the place every time I go there - they're there when I get there, and they're still there when I leave - I usually stay about 2 hours. I know person who is there for hours on end and does play their movies for all to hear. It does kind of get annoying.

And then you have those that just come to use the service but won't buy anything, not even a cup of coffee or tea. At least when I go there I purchase at least 5-8 bucks in the coffee/tea shop. I also don't disturb others around me.

Anyway these places are a place of business and provide their free service as a way to create a social atmosphere where they can also make a few sales. If people just come in to abuse and use the free service all day, it defeats the purpose of what they were trying to accomplish.

Ironically the Barnes & Noble's in my area used to charge for their service, but later made it free to all. If abuses like the ones I and the article describes continues, I can see these places reverting to a limited paid/membership service, of just dumping it altogether.

None of these businesses claimed to be a cyber café so for them I can see the annoyance they face. The other issue is people taking up spots where paying customers could be.

My two cents.
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10 Jul 2013   #6

W7 Pro 64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by MilesAhead View Post
It's too bad there aren't real Internet Cafes in the US like in Tokyo. I don't know if it's really as simple as shown in Japanese movies and TV shows, but a good way to get off the street cheap for a night is supposedly to rent a cube in an intenet cafe from Midnight to 8:00 AM.
All over the world Internet-Cafes lose their business case. Many people now have mobile internet and home internet.

In the US you have libraries all over with plenty of free internet PCs. Since most potential Internet Cafe users likley don't have much money (for smartphone etc.), why would they pass the free library and pay?
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10 Jul 2013   #7

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 7601 Multiprocessor Free Service Pack 1
 
 

I had a neighbor who noticed for weeks about a guy who parked in front of her bldg., day after day, to the point where she called the cops. They couldn't do much about someone parking legally on the street, but they promised to keep a look out while on patrol. After a couple days, they spotted him and questioned him. The cops told her that he was tapping the wi-fi of someone who hadn't secured their signal, and there was little they could do other than to warn him that he was spooking the residents.

So, she called me a couple of days later and asked me to come by to help her set up her new router. When the time came to set up the wi-fi section, I asked her what kind of passkey she wanted, she (inevitably) said she'd never had to set that up with her old router. Oddly enough, after setting this all up, and getting her laptop configured to connect to her new router, the guy stopped showing up, and several of her neighbors began to ask if they could use her wi-fi because they'd recently lost their connections.

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10 Jul 2013   #8

Windows 7 32 bit
 
 

Same type of thing happened to me in Borders. I used to go and sit in an easy chair and read some of those $80 computer books(or at least glance through them) that were too expensive for me to buy. The place started crawling with people flopping on all the easy chairs just goofing.

But I wonder why other places in the world seem to have things like public toilets that aren't shut down by abusers? Is it only in America with the six gun wild west mentality that we can't have a public facility that survives? It must be that this generation didn't go to school where the desks were bolted to the floor and the nuns made you hit yourself on the knuckes with a ruler, like I did. Hmmm, maybe that's what's wrong with me! I refused to hit myself on the knuckles!! I took a whaling from my old man instead. Seemed less like self-abuse.

But anyway, how did we survive in the United States without machine gun toting security guards in airports in the 50s and 60s? Does cheap air fares allowing access to air travel by the unwashed inevitiably produce terrorism? Should we go back to paying $600 to get to LA from Boston? I dunno'
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10 Jul 2013   #9

Win 7 Ultimate (64-bit), Win 8.1.1 (64-bit)
 
 

I tried free wifi in coffee shops and other places and found it to be worth just about what I was paying for it. The ones I have encountered have ads that you are forced on you and the connection is very slow (especially if there are people watching videos and such).

I have an RV and many RV parks/campgrounds offer free wifi but I have found the free wifi at RV parks to be almost completely useless to the point that I often don't even bother to ask for the ssid & password. I am actually paying for the "free" wifi since the cost is figured into what I'm paying per night to stay at the park. I wish they would offer the wifi as a separate charge so that I could decline it and possibly pay less to stay at the park.

I am fortunate to have a 4G capable smartphone (unlimited data plan) with the ability to create a wifi hotspot that gives me a decent internet connection almost everywhere I go so I personally wouldn't mind if free wifi completely disappeared.
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10 Jul 2013   #10

Windows 7 32 bit
 
 

Quote:
In the US you have libraries all over with plenty of free internet PCs. Since most potential Internet Cafe users likley don't have much money (for smartphone etc.), why would they pass the free library and pay?
Because they don't let you sleep in the library. A security guard comes over and raps on the desk to wake you up.
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