Internet cafes

Discussion in 'NZ Computing' started by Geoff M, Nov 21, 2005.

  1. Geoff M

    Geoff M Guest

    I have been a tourist for the last few days, heading from Christchurch to
    Orcland. This has limited my internet time a bit...
    Anyway, called into an Internet cafe in Nelson a couple of days ago, in the
    middle of town, to catch up on the email and so on. Old computers, with 14"
    screens, running Windows 98 and IE. A "you have been infected with spyware,
    click here" startup made me suspicious, so I went to Housecall and ran a
    scan. I don't think they had any AV running on the computers Lots of
    spyware cookies - and 85 viruses! Mainly Java worms.
    A couple of rants:
    They charged plenty for using the computers - old pentium 1 PCs, with tiny,
    fuzzy screens is a rip off. They fall over if you have more than a few
    windows open. Some decent RAM would be a start, and a 17" screen
    Why can't they run at least basic security? a good low cost AV program
    would have stopped most of the viruses from the drive-by download that got
    them onto the machine. Running Firefox would have helped as well. I truly
    hate IE.
    Without starting the usual NZ.comp religious wars, this would surely be the
    ideal situation for Linux? The only programs running was a browser, and
    various IM apps (MSN, yahoo, etc). All it would need would be a front end -
    click the button to go sort of thing. The operating system behind it
    wouldn't worry the average punter.
    Geoff M, Nov 21, 2005
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  2. Geoff M

    Fran Guest

    Which iCafe?

    Opera has a kiosk mode.

    Fran, Nov 21, 2005
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  3. There was some publicity a few months ago when Netsafe (at least I think
    it was them) tried out a number of Internet Cafes and found that, in
    most cases, the security was well below standard.

    Personally, I haven't been near an Internet cafe since I got a WiFi
    enabled notebook. Even though I don't travel much, it was still a
    worthwhile investment.

    Regards, Alastair.
    Wellington, New Zealand

    Any opinions expressed in this posting are my own, and do not
    necessarily reflect the views of any other individual or organisation.
, Nov 21, 2005
  4. Geoff M

    Fran Guest

    "The Internet Safety Group (ISG) and IBM New Zealand yesterday convened an
    important roundtable discussion on safety and security in Internet cafes.

    Participants included representatives of community organisations, banks,
    Government agencies, security professionals, law enforcement, educators,
    Local Government officials, and libraries. The meeting was held as a video
    conference between Auckland and Wellington."

    So there was no representation from the Internet Cafe people?

    "John Martin, Security Practice Leader for IBM NZ, presented the results of
    a small random survey he did of the eight Auckland and two Wellington
    Internet cafes to the group."

    There should be more than 8 in Auckland and 2 in Wellington surely?

    Fran, Nov 21, 2005
  5. Geoff M

    PC Guest

    Sounds like there is not much competition in Nelson!

    Slickest operation I've seen was in Edinburgh Scotland 3 years ago.
    200 odd LCD screens, keyboard, mouse & webcam stations in one room.
    The room was 'sparse' ie 10 chest high dividing walls with shelves at
    seating height for the keyboard & mouse. The webcam was mounted on the top
    of the dividing wall. Ten screens were mounted on these walls per side (= 20
    stations per wall & there were more than 10 walls)
    The walls were only a few inches thick so obviously there were no PC's in
    the room so it must have been all run from a back room somewhere.
    Each workstation automatically rebooted and reimaged itself at the end of
    each users session clearing out caches and temp files.

    I would have loved to have seen the 'back room' & had the architechture
    explained to me.
    There was obviously some heavyweight talent behind it because they had two
    or three other sites with just as many workstations.
    All for £1 per hour off peak.

    PC, Nov 21, 2005
  6. Geoff M

    EMB Guest

    That's as far as he got before the IBM latte budget ran out.
    EMB, Nov 21, 2005
  7. Geoff M

    Dave Taylor Guest

    Very valid points. People need to walk with their wallets.
    Hasn't KDE had a Kiosk mode for ages, and LTSP is solid now.
    Windows side, they could use all kinds of lock down tools. This story just
    shows ineptitude or apathy.
    No excuses but price gouging. Take a knoppix / other distro live cd and
    just use that next time. I bet they let CDs boot on the desktops...

    Seen this:
    Dave Taylor, Nov 21, 2005
  8. Geoff M

    -=rjh=- Guest

    Even money says their PC are so old they don't boot from CD.

    It is also quite likely their licensing isn't up to scratch either.

    NZ is a *long* way behind other countries when it comes to internet
    cafes and other public internet access.
    -=rjh=-, Nov 21, 2005
  9. Like the 1 pound for 1 hour virgin megastores in the UK. Get nice
    flatscreen monitor, broadband, and cheap as beans. I even noticed an
    overseas trend to offer internet access for free.

    NZ is a technology backwater. And, it always will be unless we have some
    bright spark who can start the next 'nokia'.

    Although , to be positive, we are better than the Cook islands, or vanuatu.
, Nov 21, 2005
  10. Geoff M

    Geoff M Guest

    Not sure of the name - I think it was Aurora. It is by a backpackers, in
    the centre of town
    Geoff M, Nov 21, 2005
  11. FWIW, Microsoft recently released the Shared Computer Toolkit for multi-user
    scenarios. Here's the marketing blurb (gotta have the marketing blurb):

    "Introducing powerful new software tools for shared computers in schools,
    libraries, Internet cafes, and other public places. The Shared Computer
    Toolkit helps make it easy to set up, safeguard, and manage reliable shared
    computers running Windows XP"

    and everything you need, including the download link, is at

    Brett Roberts
    Microsoft NZ
    Brett Roberts, Nov 22, 2005
  12. And, most importantly, it is free!!! How is a software company supposed to
    profit these days??
, Nov 22, 2005
  13. No need to reinvent the wheel for a solved problem

    The Windows Disk Protection tool:
    · Helps protect operating system files
    · Clears changes when the computer restarts
    · Automates critical and antivirus updates
    · Lets you choose to save changes to disk

    The User Restrictions tool lets you:
    · Restrict access to Windows system utilities
    · Prohibit access to important data
    · Prevent users from running unauthorized software
    · Simplify the Start menu
    Nathan Mercer, Nov 22, 2005
  14. Geoff M

    AD. Guest

    It's a little unclear which one you are referring to when you talk
    about reinventing wheels.... :)
    AD., Nov 22, 2005
  15. Geoff M

    Craig Shore Guest

    We went for a drive to Nelson yesterday and spent a good part of the afternoon
    wandering around the middle of town. I noticed an internet cafe there that
    looked like it had brand new PC's being installed.
    Craig Shore, Nov 23, 2005
  16. Geoff M

    Fran Guest

    Hey, they may read nz.comp :)

    Fran, Nov 23, 2005
  17. Geoff M

    pixel Guest

    What's the danger to you ?
    Possibly an email virus; and you shouldn't be using a memory stick/card,
    so just use it and move on ...

    As for the screensize, and RAM, well, it ain't Xmas yet.

    They have internet in Arthur's Pass now !
    A good frontend I saw recently was in Westport Sports Store.

    pixel, Nov 26, 2005
  18. Geoff M

    -=rjh=- Guest

    -=rjh=-, Nov 26, 2005
  19. Was he sexy? ;o)

    Undeniably Sluttish
    Mr Undeniably Sluttish, Nov 27, 2005
  20. Geoff M

    Craig Shore Guest

    You shouldn't be doing anything in a cafe that is that sensative. If
    it ain't your machine then deem it as being insecure.

    About the only email i'd do in a cafe would be using a free account,
    such as hotmail, gmail, yahoo etc.
    Craig Shore, Nov 27, 2005
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