Feeds

Nescafe navigation – inside world's biggest cybercafe

Starbucks - bid for the next concession, please

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Security for virtualized datacentres

Report Easyjet's Easy Everything cyber-Nescafe near London's Victoria is now fully open, with 380 terminals. This probably makes it the biggest in the world, although the next of four more that are planned for London is likely to have 500 screens. Future expansion sites will include Amsterdam, which is an important EasyJet route. HP has provided the hardware and integration, with Samsung SyncMaster flat screens (said to be worth £850 each), HP keyboards and mouse, with the processors tucked away out of sight. The browser is Netscape, with no IE option. The server is a single HP Vectra, and there are two 4Mbit lines. Since the place opened, it has had queues during the day, although the increased capacity in the basement should now ease the situation. So what are the punters doing there? We had a look during the early hours of Saturday and found a mixture of mailers, games players and browsers. Most seemed to have had some experience, although night manager Tina Stiff has a help staff of eight, available free during the current promotional period. Rob, a teacher of computing who is working there between jobs, said that there had been very few problems with the kit. He noted that the greatest problem had been with mailers trying to sign on to Hotmail: five minute waits sometimes occurred. The record so far for continuous use is 15 hours, but this is likely to be challenged. The elements of the business plan were explained by marketing director Tony Anderson. Easy Everything is a separate company. The assumption is that there will be 60 per cent occupancy 24 hours/day, with each user spending an hour there, and paying a pound an hour. HP is doing joint marketing and probably agreed to a low-margin deal to get some kudos in this marketplace. The biggest expense is the rent for the site, but a large part of this is covered by the Nescafe concession. The business model relies on economies of scale, and requires there to be 2,000 terminals in London. Any advertising revenue from the large screen ads will be gravy and not essential to success. Anderson said that Stelios Haji-Ioannou, the founder of Easyjet, had ordained that there be no reliance on esoteric revenue, and that it was a prerequisite that the venture should be designed to be profitable. Anderson noted that the greatest surprise from a survey of users had been that about half of them said they had a PC with Internet capability at home. This is not surprising in the case of travellers, but so far as office commuters are concerned, it may be that the days of the yuppie phone are numbered. It is also noteworthy that the Victoria venture replaced a bookshop. It's a pity that road warriors cannot go there to plug in their laptops, instead of being ripped off by hotels or business centres. Will the next step be cybercafes at motorway service areas? We think so. The good news is that the coffee concession will be negotiated on a site-by-site basis. We wonder how long it will be before Starbucks starts waving its chequebook. ®

Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
Driving with an Apple Watch could land you with a £100 FINE
Bad news for tech-addicted fanbois behind the wheel
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Sony says year's losses will be FOUR TIMES DEEPER than thought
Losses of more than $2 BILLION loom over troubled Japanese corp
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Why Oracle CEO Larry Ellison had to go ... Except he hasn't
Silicon Valley's veteran seadog in piratical Putin impression
Big Content Australia just blew a big hole in its credibility
AHEDA's research on average content prices did not expose methodology, so appears less than rigourous
Bono: Apple will sort out monetising music where the labels failed
Remastered so hard it would be difficult or impossible to master it again
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.