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The Well-Connected Park Bench

timothy posted about 13 years ago | from the welcome-to-the-non-fray dept.

The Internet 139

|proc|meminfo writes: "MSN is bringing internet access to park benches in Bury St. Edmunds, England. The bench (for now) will be in Abbey Gardens, and those with laptops will be able to hook up to recieve free MSN internet access through the bench. MSN says it should be ready for operation in August/September."

Interesting to see Microsoft's approach here -- a park bench on the internet is a good idea. The concept of connecting community centers with computers predates the Net and is going on all around, though; you may find these two academic overviews (here's one, and another) intriguing, especially the mentions of the Berkeley-area Community Memory project. And looking beyond parkbenches, various community networking groups like consume.net are working to decentralize Net access, at least for those living where coverage is available.

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National Front (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#78207)

Bury St. Edmunds is actually quite well known as a gathering place for National Front and other similar "youth organisations".

(For those of you in the US and elsewhere: the NF is an extreme right wing group that generally seeks to rid Britain of anyone who isn't Anglo-Saxon, by fair means or foul. You would probably just call them Nazis.)

I find this more than a little frightening in light of some of the posts that have already appeared on this article. I suppose with the park benches we'll be seeing even more racist wankers on Slashdot.

Re:Microsoft? (1)

cah1 (5152) | about 13 years ago | (#78209)

So MS UK will right it off under UK tax law.

We pay taxes here, too.

No Reason (1)

waldoj (8229) | about 13 years ago | (#78210)

That would be pretty stupid. It's just an ethernet jack and a wire leading (presumably) underground to some distant POP. It can't be terribly expensive to replace.

-Waldo

A Haiku (1)

waldoj (8229) | about 13 years ago | (#78211)

peaceful park overseas
Internet connection there
missing the point

Re:Connected how? (1)

Bob McCown (8411) | about 13 years ago | (#78212)

But then that would be a statue, not a bench...

Re:Ugh.. (1)

ergo98 (9391) | about 13 years ago | (#78214)

No it isn't forced on you. Obviously they really don't give a sheeit if people see it, which is why they put it there. Even if they did though they could easily have null-sinked .inc types, but again they really couldn't care less.

Microsoft? (1)

Musc (10581) | about 13 years ago | (#78215)

Interesting to see microsoft providing something free,
that doesn't require the purchase of windows. Surely this is laden with horrible horrible advertising, and only works with windows.
How else and why else would ms do such a thing?

Pr0n in the park! (1)

Garion911 (10618) | about 13 years ago | (#78216)

Aqualung!!

Wrong. (1)

Requiem (12551) | about 13 years ago | (#78217)

This internet access will allow hobos everywhere to manufacture their own software products. Perhaps a particularly cunning hobo will produce a package named HoboSoft, which will include a free soup kitchen with each license. This will undoubtedly draw in countless hobos, thereby revolutionizing the homeless hobo software industry.

Another triumph for Objectivism! Ayn Rand would be proud.

Re:Ugh.. (1)

CAIMLAS (41445) | about 13 years ago | (#78218)

Thanks for making a point of MS's common development pattern. This is, indeed, yet another example of poorly implimented, poorly thought-out projects, dating all the way back to the days of DOS. (Or should I say CP/M?)

-------
Caimlas

Re:Security Risk? (1)

cyberdonny (46462) | about 13 years ago | (#78220)

> That's sounds like a great idea, but what if I decide to connect my iBook up to it, and proceed to hax0r the gibson? Surely, they would have to set up some kind of surveilance so that the park bench doesn't become "uber hax0r HQ".

> Then, they have the ethical question of cameras in public to deal with,...

You can bet that one of these cameras is pointing right at that bench. If you haxor from that bench, you're photo will be up on the evening news...

Seyton Hall (1)

mr100percent (57156) | about 13 years ago | (#78221)

Seyton Hall in New Jersey does have this already, although I believe it's just a dialup line for each park bench. Didn't try it yet.

For colleges, I'd look more for wireless ethernet, but for public parks, Ethernet jacks would suit me just fine.

TOS (1)

mr100percent (57156) | about 13 years ago | (#78222)

Clearly MS would have a TOS for this service, but where would it be? Assuming it's not bolted down on a plate next to the jack, would it be binding if you could just get online and not have to visit MSNbench.com or whatever?

Wonderful (1)

Chasuk (62477) | about 13 years ago | (#78223)

I am a Yank who lived in Bury St. Edmunds off and on for 15 years... and walked through the Abbey Gardens every day on the way to work. I would literally (no slight exageration) give my left testicle (or my right, it doesn't matter) to live there again.

Bury St. Edmunds is one of the most enchanted places on earth. You can't imagine how gobsmacked I am to read this article. It is sort of like me discovering Internet access is available at the Pearly Gates (okay, I'm actually an atheist who doesn't believe in the Pearly Gates, but you get my point).

It's almost enough to make a man believe in miracles!

Re:What color is the bench? (1)

Binary Tree (73189) | about 13 years ago | (#78225)

That's no longer true, not with THIS! [pla-netx.com]

Boring, bland blue screen of death begone. Welcome teal, magenta, mahogany screens of death.

M$ is behind the curve (1)

invdaic (88360) | about 13 years ago | (#78228)

When I was in England this past June, British telecom had replaced about 5% of their phone booths with free internet stations. It was anice little touchscreen with a very hardcore metal keyboard and trackball.

Finally! (1)

kindbud (90044) | about 13 years ago | (#78229)

I'm glad someone is making a serious effort to bring Internet access to the homeless. Now they don't have to trudge all the way to the shelter to get online, they can just wake up and logon like the rest of us.

Re:Need an Interface (1)

Electrum (94638) | about 13 years ago | (#78230)

Perhaps they will use wireless, although I would guess that many more people have ethernet cards than have 802.11 cards. The article did say that "MSN is still testing the best technologies to achieve this" and didn't specifically mention ethernet.

Ugh.. (1)

PaxTech (103481) | about 13 years ago | (#78231)

Why are their include files in a web accessible directory in the first place? Is that something forced on you by ASP?

I always keep my PHP include files above or parallel to my html directory, and name them with a .php extension so the webserver would parse them and not display the code if one got in the wrong place.
--
PaxTech

add wireless ethernet to this wishlist... (1)

sahala (105682) | about 13 years ago | (#78232)

yeah...I'd prefer a shiny weatherproof access point, with or without MS advertising.

oh yeah...and weatherproof power outlets too.

HOLY CRAP! (1)

gmerideth (107286) | about 13 years ago | (#78233)

I lived in Bury St. Edmunds for five years when my father was stationed at the two air force bases. The abbey gardens are quite large. I would like to know which bench it's on. I carved my name into each one of them :)

Passport / Product Targeting (1)

Satai (111172) | about 13 years ago | (#78234)

Clearly this means that, ultimately, Microsoft's Database Software (which, the commercials tell me, is able to adjust itself if I buy Seymore Butts' latest pic right after picking up Bananas in Pajamas for my non-existent kids) will be able to target customers based on both sitre selection and ass-size.

"We've got a 210-pound male browsing Slashdot [slashdot.org] , NewsForge [newsforge.com] and some site in Christmas Island featuring what appears to be an H.R. Giger drawing."

"Narrowing selections... Ok, hit him with the buttered milk duds, Frank Zappa CDs, and all those surplus DeCSS shirts."

"Game, set, and match, bitch."

I've got a cookie I'd like to leave on that server... or bench as the case may be...

Re:Hello, Corporate Big Brother! (1)

PiMuRho (120852) | about 13 years ago | (#78240)

Who would bother making phone calls when they have free internet access? Well, me for one. And all those other thousands of people that 'phone other people.

Re:The internet park is on it's way! (1)

mr_gerbik (122036) | about 13 years ago | (#78241)

"Just imagine--sitting in the grass, in the sun, hacking away at some code that you've pulled from your sourceforge CVS archive through the ethernet port in the tree behind you." It would be much cooler if hidden in the branches were 802.11b omnidirectional antennae. That way you are free to stroll around and be unteathered.. the way you should be inside a park.

What about Linux boxes? (1)

Timid_Monkey (125284) | about 13 years ago | (#78242)

So let's say I'm a resident of England and I decide to take my laptop running the latest version of RedHat Linux to the park with me. I've heard that I can access the internet at the local park. But wait, it is through MSN... does that mean I get screwed?

Re:Hope the bench doesnt do this: (1)

krogoth (134320) | about 13 years ago | (#78245)

Or just write a program that tests every possible name... as a bonus you get to crash the server by sending non-alphanumeric characters and overload their connection.
---

Re:Great idea (1)

suss (158993) | about 13 years ago | (#78246)

I can't wait to see pigeons shitting on Microsoft's new bench. Hell, I might travel to Merry Olde England to take a dump on one, myself.

You mean, mark the bench? As in bench-marked?

Re:Hello, Corporate Big Brother! (1)

DaRkJaGuaR (161464) | about 13 years ago | (#78247)

SO thats why less than half of your even bothered to vote. I used to live in the UK, the govt is not that open, in fact its pretty damn crook in places. Still better than the US by a few hundred miles tho.

Why do this cabled? (1)

magarity (164372) | about 13 years ago | (#78248)

The article only says users 'will be able to connect their laptops' and that implies it is cabled. Is this not completely nuts? I give it 6 hours before the socket is jammed with chewing gum.

Meanwhile, there are such things as metal park benches. Use one as an antenna and let anyone in the whole park connect with 802.11b. No fighting over the jack before it gets gummed, no chewing gum to clean out...

The other day... (1)

cr@ckwhore (165454) | about 13 years ago | (#78249)

The other day on the 'net, I read that there was a world outside. So today, I ventured out of my house for the first time after a 3 year hacking binge. The only thing outside was the 'net. Go figure.

I've got it (1)

cr@ckwhore (165454) | about 13 years ago | (#78250)

MS PopTarts... park bench today, food tomorrow.

Re:theft? (1)

Ho-Lee-Cow! (173978) | about 13 years ago | (#78251)

Maybe the article didn't make this clear, but the bench is not filled with money.

Well, neither was the fiberglass rhinoceros in front of Scott Molds in Kent, Ohio, but that never, ever, stopped people from stealing it for senior pranks. Kept right on happening even after the huge log chain was attached. I think the company finally gave up and got rid of the thing after it had wound up on the lawns, rooftops, and in a swimming pool of assorted local schools over the course of 20 or so years.

I miss those days. I miss the rhino, too.

When will they learn (1)

scott1853 (194884) | about 13 years ago | (#78253)

Like they don't already have enough problems with implementing contemporary network architectures. I can just imagine the $50,000/hr team that would be flown in to diagnose and fix a park bench with a routing problem. Of course their analysis would state that the problem lied in pigeon droppings in the ethernet jack and not the OS.

I'm brilliant,

Re:Hello, Corporate Big Brother! (1)

ColdGrits (204506) | about 13 years ago | (#78254)

"doctor", I suggest YOU do some research before you type!

You do realise that the RIP goes a hell of a lot further than you claim.

It is a HELL of a lot more than just "requesting IP addresses from ISPs".
It most certainly DOEs mean they can monitor any and all internet traffic.

You do realise that the RIP Act gives the police the power to demand you hand over your encryption/decryption keys, and if you don't you go to jail, even if you NO LONGER HAVE the keys (you try proving you do NOt have them then, go on).
Oh, and you do realise that whilst this is happening, under the RIP Act you are not allowed to tell ANYONE that your keys have been grabbed, nor that you are being asked for the keys - mention it to anyone and you are liable to instant imprisonment.

Learn something about a subject before typing next time, "doctor".

Oh, and I speak as a UK citizen who has studied the bill for quite some time - I know what I am talking about here.

--

no! thats just a snake! really! (1)

glass_window (207262) | about 13 years ago | (#78255)

Just ignore the wire going from the bench to my apartment, its nothing, really!

Pop up ads... (1)

pjdepasq (214609) | about 13 years ago | (#78256)

Wow, think of what can now be done with pop-up ads on a park bench with users sitting on it. Opens up a whole new area for Internet advertising.

Just what I've always wanted... (1)

ackthpt (218170) | about 13 years ago | (#78257)

To sit in a park and sit with my bloody head stuck in a laptop surfing the web, all the while cuties walk past with their breasts bobbing in the sun, children playing, dogs playing fetch and ducks eating bread crumbs, etc. Ok, maybe it's a geek thing and I'm falling out of touch, but It'll be a damn sad day that I go out into the park to use a computer when I have a kickass one at home. Parks do have other uses, ya know, like flashing people in! >8^)

--
All your .sig are belong to us!

Jethro Tull (1)

Clubber Lang (219001) | about 13 years ago | (#78258)

So, theoretically pr0n would be accessable right? Could this give new meaning to the lyrics of Aqualung?

Great idea (1)

tmark (230091) | about 13 years ago | (#78260)

I can't wait to see pigeons shitting on Microsoft's new bench. Hell, I might travel to Merry Olde England to take a dump on one, myself.

Penny-Arcade and The Bench (1)

TroyFoley (238708) | about 13 years ago | (#78261)

I wonder how many www.thebench.org comic strips are going to be produced with this bench in mind.

Wireless (1)

kgutwin (243912) | about 13 years ago | (#78262)

They should go for 802.11b - perhaps service more customers, and vandalism is less of a problem.

Sounds like a good idea, though...

-Karl
-------------
[root@kgutwin /dos]# file msdos.sys

Re:theft? (1)

perlchimp (263475) | about 13 years ago | (#78264)

I think they should worry more about vandalism. It's not like it would be worth much to anyone, unless you're really short on cable, ports or a place to sit.

heh (1)

insta (267245) | about 13 years ago | (#78266)

I'm sure they'll give up after having to replace whatever ports they are planning on using after some punk kids put gum in them, over and over again. ;)

Maybe this is... (1)

TheBracket (307388) | about 13 years ago | (#78267)

Microsoft's latest attempt at finding a benchmark that favors them?

cafe (1)

hugecrow (311366) | about 13 years ago | (#78268)

business venture for bums, now they can open up their own internet cafes (well bench i guess)..

Re:Taxes and PR (1)

cREW oNE (445594) | about 13 years ago | (#78274)

Eh?

I'm not sure where you see MS is losing PR points. It sure wasn't anytime recent on this planet.

I'm not a MS fanboy, but their sales are just peachy. And how much I hate to admit it, their latest line of office products is just good. Just that. Mappoint 2002 is fine. Word XP is a blessing over older versions, as are the other office applications. (Except outlook, but that'll be fixed in SP1)

But yea, there will always be the hardcore elite of the slashdot brainwashed herd that will say "bad! evil! monopoly! bingo!" to every thing MS does or makes.

Good software is good software, doesn't matter who makes it or what lisence it is distributed under.

And yes, their products are way overpriced. Heh.

--

Hello, Corporate Big Brother! (1)

Kiss The Sp0rk (447455) | about 13 years ago | (#78276)

England? Why am I not surprised.

What everyone seems to be forgetting is that England has instituted the Regulation of Investigatory Powers (RIP [fipr.org] ). This piece of legislation gave the British government the wholesale right to monitor all electronic communications in Britain and the EU. They can't legally monitor your phonecalls without a warrant, but they can monitor all your internet activity.

With internet enabled park benches, Microsoft and the British government are gearing up to obsolete the telephone in Britain. After all, who would bother making phone calls when they have free internet access at every park bench?

It's a win-win situation. Microsoft expands their monolopy, while the British government tightens its iron grip on its subjects.

While there is a certain rah-rah for technology aspect to this story, we must not forget the issues of corporate power involved here. Personally, I'm ok with the UK government doing whatever it needs to reduce crime. I'm most vehemently opposed to Microsoft's involvement. Microsoft is getting cocky now that Bush is in office. I just hope it doesn't get to the point where Microsoft has totally coopted the power of the world's democratic governments and turned us all into its consumerist slaves.
KTS:Lover, Poet, Artiste, Aesthete, Utensil.

.NET (1)

JBowz15 (451573) | about 13 years ago | (#78277)

It appears that .NET has snared a park bench.

It's only a short time before .NET starts to catch dolphins. Maybe then Greenpeace or Earth First can take their shots at ending the M$ monopoly.

Re:What color is the bench? (1)

JBowz15 (451573) | about 13 years ago | (#78278)

Yes! Then we could experience the Blue Paint Job of Death.

Re:MSN? (1)

easter1916 (452058) | about 13 years ago | (#78279)

Tosh! A tree and a saw, you ingrate. And you'd be delighted to have it, because it makes you free.

Re:Great idea (1)

fodi (452415) | about 13 years ago | (#78280)

What? And risk increasing MS's public image. Make sure it's an open source dump!!

Why would this system fail? (1)

fodi (452415) | about 13 years ago | (#78281)

Things that could go wrong: 1. Gum in the connectors 2. Dogs requiring some relief 3. Gangs deciding to privatise the service 4. Kids(or lusers) trying to force their mobile rechargers into the connectors 5. Microsoft charging $150 for support, when it's not working It could be a great place to launch a DoS attack from though...

Les bancs publiques... (1)

s4ltyd0g (452701) | about 13 years ago | (#78282)

Park benches have always been an ideal spot for necking. I suppose all the "in kids" will be going alone now and cybering.

Need an Interface (1)

alainsane (453877) | about 13 years ago | (#78283)

Why not install weatherproof PDA on the bench?
That way they could promote their product (CE?) and actually provide a tangible public service.

Security Risk? (1)

lowtus (455185) | about 13 years ago | (#78284)

That's sounds like a great idea, but what if I decide to connect my iBook up to it, and proceed to hax0r the gibson? Surely, they would have to set up some kind of surveilance so that the park bench doesn't become "uber hax0r HQ".

Then, they have the ethical question of cameras in public to deal with, which although less sensitive an issue in England, is still one of those slippery slopes that governments should tread lightly upon. (or not at all).

It's great PR, but I don't think it's going to work out.

Re:Hello, Corporate Big Brother! (1)

f_thegreenbear (463748) | about 13 years ago | (#78290)

>While there is a certain rah-rah for technology aspect to this story, we must not forget the issues of corporate power involved here. Personally, I'm ok with the UK government doing whatever it needs to reduce crime.

I somehow don't think tony will ever act to control crime in this country.

  • Fear puts authoritarian governments in control
  • Thugs fund political campaigns
  • Most of the crime in this country is poverty-related, and you need a poor underclass to keep the slaves^W workers insecure and working
  • Most of the rest of the crime is corporate, and you know how many prosecutions the Serious Fraud Office launches each year

The RIP act is a simple means of ensuring the state gains as much power over its citizens as it can, a traditional act of authoritarian regimes.

Still, I think I feel an auto-msn-jammer coming on. Plug into a public-access MSN terminal, and flood MSN servers with email-sniffer-keywords to keep the RIP machinery busy. Two birds with one small device... Kids! Try this outside, away from cameras!

All Your Bench Belong To Us (1)

f_thegreenbear (463748) | about 13 years ago | (#78291)

MSN access. Need I continue?

All right then

this horrifies me. The last people that should be given media-access-control over a public access internet point are Microsoft.

And I mean that last

Even after the politicians.

Bleargh.

Sounds a bit pointless... (1)

Nathdot (465087) | about 13 years ago | (#78293)

...offering free net access to your average web-geek while at the same time expecting them to brave direct exposure to natural light!

The HORROR!

Maybe they could put it under a nice big shady tree.

:)

One great market research tool... (1)

G Codemonkey (468191) | about 13 years ago | (#78294)

How much do you want to bet you'll have to provide some sort of identifying information before using that there conduit to the net? And the whole time, M$ will be recording where you're goin' and what you're doin'....

The internet park is on it's way! (2)

Tim (686) | about 13 years ago | (#78296)

This is just one step closer to my ultimate dream: the internet park!

Just imagine--sitting in the grass, in the sun, hacking away at some code that you've pulled from your sourceforge CVS archive through the ethernet port in the tree behind you.

Ahhh....a geek can dream, can't he?

Re:Microsoft? (2)

acb (2797) | about 13 years ago | (#78297)

Rumour has it that the British government is looking at getting a national Windows/Office site licence for all UK citizens, to be paid for by a computer license fee (similar to the BBC television license fee). The reasoning is that everybody with a computer needs Windows (which they do for connecting to the government's MS-only websites).

Re:All Your Bench Belong To Us (2)

acb (2797) | about 13 years ago | (#78298)

Microsoft and the British government are good buddies. The UK government's web sites all run on MS systems, and only work with MS browsers under Windows. The minister in charge of them also issued an edict to eliminate non-MS systems (such as Linux) from government computers, and warned public servants that mentioning the "L-word" could endanger their careers.

Britain is becoming, at least on paper, an all-MS shop.

Re:Wonderful (2)

unitron (5733) | about 13 years ago | (#78299)

But this is MS. Isn't that sort of like the serpent showing up in the Garden of Eden?

Re:theft? (2)

garcia (6573) | about 13 years ago | (#78300)

<bear_with_me_here>

where I lived, someone once stole the Bob's Big Boy from its perch in front of the restaurant. They dragged it down the street and left bits and pieces trailing all the way to its hiding place.

</bear_with_me_here>

Honestly, the only reason I could see stealing this would be to say "Hey, I have an Internet connected web-bench in my front yard."

I couldn't think of a reason why anyone would really want to do this? Don't you already have enough Microsoft owned "web benchs" in your home right now? I have sat in front of many of them all over the country. This one better be padded. At least then it would be comfortable :)

Re:Wireless (2)

Barbarian (9467) | about 13 years ago | (#78301)

yeah but with wireless, you don't have to be at the bench to use it, including that guy across the street in his office. Too many people I bet would get on and slow it down.

Wait a minute! (2)

ChrisBennett (18205) | about 13 years ago | (#78302)

"Visitors to the city's Abbey Gardens will be able to connect their laptops to the Internet for free through a connection on the bench, although MSN is still
testing [emphasis mine] the best technologies to achieve this."
Oh, is Microsoft just now testing DHCP and Ethernet?

Re:Hope the bench doesnt do this: (2)

cyberdonny (46462) | about 13 years ago | (#78303)

Just let's hope the bench doesn't collapse under you when you try to sit down on it...

News at 11: British hobo penetrating Pentgon compu (2)

cyberdonny (46462) | about 13 years ago | (#78304)

> CCTV or no CCTV, it will be destroyed.

Hey, the CCTV cameras pointing at the bench are not meant to stop vandalism. Or at least not that kind of vandalism. Their real purpose is to take pix of people who are naive enough to think they could haxor under the cover of the bench's "anonymity".

What park bench... (2)

ffatTony (63354) | about 13 years ago | (#78305)

are you going to vandalize/destroy today?

I hope it's inexpensive, because people tend to destroy things when no one is watching. I can just imagine these things not getting much use because the jack smells like vagrant urine.

The only practical use I see for these... (2)

tonywong (96839) | about 13 years ago | (#78309)

...is now all the weirdos and creeps on the internet can keep track of the kids they lure from chat rooms while they sit on park benches waiting for solitary joggers to go by...

...hmm...maybe I should have posted anonymously.

Re:Hate to nitpick (2)

Dr_Cheeks (110261) | about 13 years ago | (#78311)

Well, I think you could say it either way. Something (such as a park bench) on the internet simply means that it's connected to the internet.

For example; if you connected (via PC, PDA, phone, whatever) to the net and you were asked where the information your device was receiving was coming from, would you be more likely to say "My [device] is on the net." or "The net is on my [device]"?

Or am I taking your post a little too seriously : )

Re:Microsoft? (2)

Rei (128717) | about 13 years ago | (#78313)

Its probably a tax writeoff, too. They can classify it as a charitable contribution.

Though, of course, corporate tax writeoffs will be going away if Bush's administration has its way on the issue (which it probably won't). Why? Because the Bush administration is taking the stance that corporations shouldn't have to pay taxes at all. This amounts to, effectively, another upper class tax cut (is it time for another one already?) Normally these things take a few years (see table).

Upper-class taxes over time in the US:
1945: 91%
1946-1963: 88%
1964-1981: 70%
1981-1986: 50%
1988: 28%
1991: 31%

If such a cut does make it, I'd expect to see fewer "charitable" actions by big companies like microsoft. But, I'm sure there is more at stake than just a tax break. Like you said, they could be striving for advertising revenue. I'd also suspect they may be trying to make inroads into local governments - the whole "its free... for now" system - one of their favorite tactics.

-= rei =-

Re:Need an Interface (2)

ysyi (130414) | about 13 years ago | (#78319)

Why not install weatherproof PDA on the bench? That way they could promote their product (CE?) and actually provide a tangible public service.

Why not? Because some deviants would vandalize / destroy / steal it.

I seriously doubt placing PDAs in parks would promote much anything besides vandalism and/or theft, but that's just my opinion.

At least you didn't say something to the effect of "Can you imagine a Beowulf cluster of those?!" (No, I cannot -- I was born Beowulf-imagination-impaired.)

What color is the bench? (2)

MongooseCN (139203) | about 13 years ago | (#78320)

Blue would be appropriate.

Re:All Your Bench Belong To Us (2)

doctor_oktagon (157579) | about 13 years ago | (#78321)

The UK government's web sites all run on MS systems, and only work with MS browsers under Windows

Actually I think you will find the situation is being rectified.

One of my colleagues was a key implementor of the Secure Government project in the UK, and the whole lot is based on Linux.

Don't think that the UK civil service blindly follows government ministers, and if anyone of you have ever laughed at the TV show "Yes, Minister" you will understand what I mean.

For other examples of where the UK government is not a blind MS-led sheep, check below:
The full facts from the best source on the web [theregister.co.uk]
What IT people are doing about it [theregister.co.uk]
Embracing Open Standards [theregister.co.uk]

This area is subject to much FUD. Please don't encourage it.

Re:Hello, Corporate Big Brother! (2)

doctor_oktagon (157579) | about 13 years ago | (#78322)

This piece of legislation gave the British government the wholesale right to monitor all electronic communications in Britain and the EU.

Someone please tell me to not feed the trolls.

It does NOT mean they can "monitor" Internet connections in the UK, and the certainly can NOT monitor Internet connections outside their soverign ownership in the EU.

It DOES mean the Police can request information about IP addresses from ISPs so the b*stards peddling Kiddie Porn and terrorist material can be hunted and caught.

Why don't you do some research before you type? Us British are not so concerned about government control, because we have a relatively open government and a strong democracy. Arguably we have a much more open & private society than the USA, and thus your opinion pretty much sUx

Vandalism was:theft? (2)

doctor_oktagon (157579) | about 13 years ago | (#78323)

I think they should worry more about vandalism.

Well spoken. It's a fact of life in the UK that if something isn't welded down to the ground it will be stolen.

It's the way it has always been, and it is getting worse. People vandalise just for the sheer thuggery of it, and unless the connectors in this thing are as bullet-proof as a BT phone box, they won't last a week.

CCTV or no CCTV, it will be destroyed.

Compare and contrast: I'm in Tokyo working this week, and in the big popular Car showrooms, the cars all have their Gearnobs, Indicators, and Cig Lighters in place, because the people here have more basic respect for other people's property.

If only we could learn some of this in the UK :-(

Re:Security Risk? (2)

doctor_oktagon (157579) | about 13 years ago | (#78324)

That's sounds like a great idea, but what if I decide to connect my iBook up to it, and proceed to hax0r the gibson? Surely, they would have to set up some kind of surveilance so that the park bench doesn't become "uber hax0r HQ".

No, they will do what most ISPs now do. They will have a connection to the Internet bound through a tightly-configured Internet Proxy and/or Firewall product.

This will allow you access to a restricted range of web content, and probably ensure you cannot visit Sex sites and the like.

This is probably a good idea from a decency persepective, as I for one wouldn't like to see one of my Nephews catch a glimpse of some sweaty perv's browsing habits when out in the park for a stroll!

And CCTV is a way of life here, our governments long ago abandoned the ethical viewpoint and even gave grants to councils to install them, to try and curb the rampant violence and crime on UK streets. I am sure I have read we have the most CCTV'd country on the planet now.

This is one of the most dangerous places in the developed world if you do not maintain a streetwise attitude.

Re:The internet park is on it's way! (2)

achurch (201270) | about 13 years ago | (#78325)

Just imagine--sitting in the grass, in the sun, hacking away at some code that you've pulled from your sourceforge CVS archive through the ethernet port in the tree behind you.

What you don't realize is that that tree is actually of a variety carefully bred for years to produce Ethernet ports of just the right size. I've only glanced over the reports, but it was apparently quite an undertaking.

--
BACKNEXTFINISHCANCEL

What About the Hobos! (2)

SirDrinksAlot (226001) | about 13 years ago | (#78326)

We all know those hobos are a wiley bunch. They will start making web ads and beg for money at every site that hosts an x10 popup! Some things just should not be online; Toasters, lavalamps (well maybe, i wouldent mind watching my lavalamp remotely), Garbage pails and finaly hobos. They will demand opensource Dinner!

Re:Hope the bench doesnt do this: (2)

qslack (239825) | about 13 years ago | (#78327)

Hey! Wanna see some of MSNBC's ASP code? Just overload the site so it produces errors and prints out the .inc filename. :)

http://www.msnbc.com/m/inc/std.inc [msnbc.com]

----------

Re:Pr0n in the park! (2)

grepnyc (442959) | about 13 years ago | (#78328)

Sitting on a park bench, eying .jpg's with bad intent
snot running down his nose, greasy fingers keying adult check login coodes,
AQUALUNG!!

pressure/grep


--------------------------------

also, now... (3)

Wakko Warner (324) | about 13 years ago | (#78329)

...I will know which park bench to perform my holdups at.

- A.P.

--

Re:Need an Interface (3)

CAIMLAS (41445) | about 13 years ago | (#78330)

You're forgetting that they'd probably destroy a connection port, too. those sensitive little wires that help your rj45 jack get data to your computer need those to function properly. they're also surprisingly easily damaged. I can't wait to see their workaround for this.

-------
Caimlas

Re:Hope the bench doesnt do this: (3)

Speare (84249) | about 13 years ago | (#78331)

Microsoft VBScript runtime error '800a01a8'

Maybe the processor wasn't "seated" properly. Causes all sorts of unpredictable errors.

Re:Microsoft? (3)

doctor_oktagon (157579) | about 13 years ago | (#78332)

Its probably a tax writeoff, too. They can classify it as a charitable contribution

If you had bothered reading the article you would see this is being installed in the UK.

This means costs are met by Microsoft UK, and not the US-based operation.

Open your eyes next time, or click on the link. Then comment.

Re:All Your Bench Belong To Us (3)

doctor_oktagon (157579) | about 13 years ago | (#78333)

The last people that should be given media-access-control over a public access internet point are Microsoft.

If you'd open your mind to the fact other countries & environments exist outside of the USA, you might learn that here in the UK we have something called

day-tah proh-te-ct-shon

This stops evil companies like Microsoft flogging your personal details, and is one of the main differentiators between the EU and the USA.

Re:M$ is behind the curve (3)

doctor_oktagon (157579) | about 13 years ago | (#78334)

When I was in England this past June, British telecom had replaced about 5% of their phone booths with free internet stations. It was anice little touchscreen with a very hardcore metal keyboard and trackball.

BT has now installed these all over Victoria in London, and if anyone is passing through Victoria station they should have a look.

It's an excellent design, and it also allows you to send free SMS messages to mobile phones.

I had a quick play, and everything is filtered through WebSense proxy software, but the list of blocked sites was not too restrictive.

I think these are an excellent example of how to encurage non-technical people onto the Internet, and let them play .

theft? (3)

Alien54 (180860) | about 13 years ago | (#78335)

Given the fact that we read about people even trying to steal full sized ATM machines [nashville.org] out of banks, grocery stores, etc. pulling them away with pickup trucks, etc. - what is to stop someone from just trying to drag the bench away?

Check out the Vinny the Vampire [eplugz.com] comic strip

Hope the bench doesnt do this: (3)

ConsumedByTV (243497) | about 13 years ago | (#78336)

When visting the page for the story:

Microsoft VBScript runtime error '800a01a8'

Object required: 'Std__olutSection'

/m/inc/std.inc, line 150



The irony eh?


The Lottery:

MSN? (3)

s20451 (410424) | about 13 years ago | (#78337)

How awful! This further promotes the evil monopoly of Microsoft. Someone should develop an Open Source park bench. And so on.

This will come in very useful... (4)

saihung (19097) | about 13 years ago | (#78338)

Glad to see that MS is trying to retain the loyalties of the great mass of newly-unemployed IT workers who no doubt will soon be living on these in addition to accessing the net from them. It'll be like having my DSL back!

Hate to nitpick (4)

Zach (79700) | about 13 years ago | (#78339)

Interesting to see Microsoft's approach here -- a park bench on the internet is a good idea.

Isn't it vice versa - the internet on a park bench? I believe so :)

This is getting out of hand. (4)

empesey (207806) | about 13 years ago | (#78340)

Do we really need to have this much connectivity? Soon we're going to have 12 step programs for internet junkies and people getting mugged for their bandwidth.

Hi, my name is smith@parkbench.com and I'm an internet junkie. I've been broadband free for 3 weeks.

Hello smith@parkbench.com.



--
Entropy ain't just a good idea. It's the law.

Connected how? (4)

Guppy06 (410832) | about 13 years ago | (#78341)

Sounds like a great application for IP over avian carriers to me!

Re:theft? (5)

nakaduct (43954) | about 13 years ago | (#78342)

[but people steal ATM machines!]
Maybe the article didn't make this clear, but the bench is not filled with money.

You can buy a wireless phone for, umm... nothing. Stealing one from the middle of a half-ton of concrete sounds like a lot of effort to me.

WRONG SEAT! (5)

neema (170845) | about 13 years ago | (#78343)

But how come no one makes the seat that everyone loves internet accessible? I'd be on the toilet and on the internet a whole lot more then on a bench.

Re:MSN? (5)

FatOldGoth (207461) | about 13 years ago | (#78344)

Someone should develop an Open Source park bench.

Yeah! Then we could compare the performance of the two through a series of benchmarks.

Sorry. Couldn't resist. I'll go quietly.


--

if the MSN logo is on the seat... (5)

npongratz (319266) | about 13 years ago | (#78345)

... Microsoft can finally (literally) kiss my ass.

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