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(Denver Post)   Putting an end to "Laptop Hobos"   (denverpost.com) divider line 115
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9174 clicks; posted to Geek » on 07 Jul 2013 at 3:25 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-07-06 11:35:33 PM
People who hang out in coffee houses all day long taking up seats, making minimal purchases and sucking up juice from their outlets to power their laptops/netbooks/wot-have-yous in order to play youtube vids at loud volumes are being insufferably rude asshats who need to be unplugged and sent home.
 
2013-07-06 11:42:36 PM
Fair enough.  But if you eliminate wifi, I am going to take my business elsewhere.
 
2013-07-07 12:20:16 AM
TechCrunch has been a big help to me, pointing out I can take "the Roost" to the coffee house, which helps me maintain proper posture, I needed to bring a mouse and a keyboard of course.

http://techcrunch.com/2013/07/05/roost-laptop-stand/

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/86285180/the-roost-saving-your-n ec k-and-back-from-your-lapt

i.imgur.com

I also like to take a 22" USB monitor, so much easier to work and be productive with two monitors.

2 screens, 1920x1080, while sipping my house coffee and listening to the music playing at the local coffee house. It's very nice.

i.imgur.com

But I'm not inconsiderate, I usually carry along a Belkin power cable, which I let other people share.

i.imgur.com

Anyway, working at the coffee house is a real pleasure, only takes 20 - 30 minutes to setup and tear down and then I can do all sorts of things, work the help desk, make airline reservations, sell penny stocks, push real estate.

i.imgur.com
 
2013-07-07 12:23:18 AM
If you don't have a mobile data plan, you can't afford my coffee.  If you stay until your battery needs charging, you've stayed too long.

WiFi is a PITA for cafe's and bistros.  Security issues, tech support, customers who ask, "Is the network down? Go check the router."  Time for it to go.
 
2013-07-07 12:28:45 AM
Good to see laptop hobos are being dealt with. Now we just need to do something about those hoverbums.
 
2013-07-07 12:43:20 AM

bronyaur1: Fair enough.  But if you eliminate wifi, I am going to take my business elsewhere.


it is the never ending balance between pluses and minuses in everything.
What they should really do is run their outlets in reverse and drain your batteries faster.

BWHWHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
(yes, I know that chargers dont work that way ... what part of oh never mind)
 
2013-07-07 01:00:05 AM
If your business model is based on letting customers stay as long as they like, you're getting exactly what you modeled.

/study it out
 
2013-07-07 01:12:21 AM
I don't want to use your slow insecure wifi anyway.  I look at the offer and think, "Oh hell no!"
 
2013-07-07 01:17:42 AM

gameshowhost: If your business model is based on letting customers stay as long as they like, you're getting exactly what you modeled.

/study it out


They did, and they're changing it.
 
2013-07-07 03:33:41 AM
I never understood spending all day at a coffee shop with a laptop or ipad surfing the internet instead of doing it at home.  Well, to some extent I can understand it if it's the weekend, you're in college and your roommate is attempting to bang every college skank in your dorm room the weekend before finals and you really need a place to study (or your roommate is a college skank attempting to bang as many people in a 48 hour span the weekend before finals).   But I've never got those adults who chill all day at the coffee shop.
 
2013-07-07 03:37:38 AM

Great Janitor: I never understood spending all day at a coffee shop with a laptop or ipad surfing the internet instead of doing it at home.  Well, to some extent I can understand it if it's the weekend, you're in college and your roommate is attempting to bang every college skank in your dorm room the weekend before finals and you really need a place to study (or your roommate is a college skank attempting to bang as many people in a 48 hour span the weekend before finals).   But I've never got those adults who chill all day at the coffee shop.


They're all typing out their screenplays or novels or whatever, desperately hoping that somebody notices them so they can talk about how "avant-garde" their concept is.

They're a bunch of Brian Griffins.
 
2013-07-07 03:44:06 AM

Great Janitor: I never understood spending all day at a coffee shop with a laptop or ipad surfing the internet instead of doing it at home.  Well, to some extent I can understand it if it's the weekend, you're in college and your roommate is attempting to bang every college skank in your dorm room the weekend before finals and you really need a place to study (or your roommate is a college skank attempting to bang as many people in a 48 hour span the weekend before finals).   But I've never got those adults who chill all day at the coffee shop.


I imagine they are just people who either can't afford or don't have an Internet connection at their home. I know a bunch of people who are like this. The libraries are full of them too.
 
2013-07-07 03:45:41 AM

GreenAdder: Great Janitor: I never understood spending all day at a coffee shop with a laptop or ipad surfing the internet instead of doing it at home.  Well, to some extent I can understand it if it's the weekend, you're in college and your roommate is attempting to bang every college skank in your dorm room the weekend before finals and you really need a place to study (or your roommate is a college skank attempting to bang as many people in a 48 hour span the weekend before finals).   But I've never got those adults who chill all day at the coffee shop.

They're all typing out their screenplays or novels or whatever, desperately hoping that somebody notices them so they can talk about how "avant-garde" their concept is.

They're a bunch of Brian Griffins.


Or bit torrent
 
2013-07-07 03:48:11 AM

Mitch Taylor's Bro: gameshowhost: If your business model is based on letting customers stay as long as they like, you're getting exactly what you modeled.

/study it out

They did, and they're changing it.


Their only choice is to ban laptops entirely (as it looked like the Wooden Spoon did based on the article).  Battery life is getting to the point you can last the entire day on one charge (even longer on a MacBook Air) and between built-in wireless or using MiFi's/phone - you no longer need the supplied WiFi. But the thing is - most independent coffee shops offer shiat service and shiattier coffee.  They will go out of business if they ban laptops.  And the faster the better in my opinion.
 
2013-07-07 03:52:03 AM

Dr.Zom: Great Janitor: I never understood spending all day at a coffee shop with a laptop or ipad surfing the internet instead of doing it at home.  Well, to some extent I can understand it if it's the weekend, you're in college and your roommate is attempting to bang every college skank in your dorm room the weekend before finals and you really need a place to study (or your roommate is a college skank attempting to bang as many people in a 48 hour span the weekend before finals).   But I've never got those adults who chill all day at the coffee shop.

I imagine they are just people who either can't afford or don't have an Internet connection at their home. I know a bunch of people who are like this. The libraries are full of them too.


I have a friend who visits the library for computer access.  Now, he just moved to Colorado, is living in a hotel, probably without internet access and has no job and no laptop or tablet.  Actually, knowing him, that's probably what's keeping him in the library and not camping in the McDonald's parking lot.
 
2013-07-07 03:52:07 AM
Laptop Hobos surfacing as a band name in 3...2...
 
2013-07-07 04:08:16 AM

bronyaur1: Fair enough.  But if you eliminate wifi, I am going to take my business elsewhere.


You mean your 1 cup of coffee for the 3 hours you sit there writing your screenplay?  HOW WILL THEY SURVIVE?!
 
2013-07-07 04:15:12 AM

Fade2black: bronyaur1: Fair enough.  But if you eliminate wifi, I am going to take my business elsewhere.

You mean your 1 cup of coffee for the 3 hours you sit there writing your screenplay?  HOW WILL THEY SURVIVE?!


Strangely enough, you could just charge by the hour. Tada - problem solved.
Or charge for the free wifi, $20/hr minus whatever you spend on coffee/food.

3 hours of wifi for $60 minus that $10 on coffee = $50 for taking up space.
or something like that

/this is why I dont own a coffee shop
 
2013-07-07 04:22:18 AM
As a work from home guy, I have to say that cafe wifi keeps me sane.
If i didn't have one day a week out of my kid/wife circus, I would flip my lid.


and by the way, I love my wife and the kid,
but only two people to talk is

so thank you starbucks, sorry little guys if i am hard on your pocket book, but i never see you with too many full seats.

btw startbucks creator howard shultz said that the coffee shop is a
'third place' away from home and work where you are supposed to be free to feel at home and stay as long as long as you please and that seems to be working out for him pretty well.

just trin to balance things out.
 
2013-07-07 04:35:52 AM
I am in full support.  Why cant all these customers just give me half an hours wage for some farking heated water and then GO AWAY?!?!!?!  I dont understand why they  insist on lounging around in my lounge area.  It doesnt make sense to me, get a life LOSERS.
 
2013-07-07 04:36:30 AM
I kinda like all the laptop hobos screaming "No WiFi, I'll take my business elsewhere!"  That's exactly what the owners of these shops want.  higher turnover makes the profits, not one guy ordering a $.99 small coffee then camping out on his laptop for 6 hours.


My local coffeeshop solved the problem very elegantly.  Each dining room outlet got wired to a switch, and for $5, you got an hour of juice.
 
2013-07-07 04:39:07 AM
FTFA: The "laptop hobo" phenomenon - patrons buying one coffee and spending ensuing hours browsing the Web - is a growing issue with food and beverage operations.

To be fair, these days "one coffee" costs a farking fortune.
 
2013-07-07 05:16:26 AM
Fark 'em.  They take the best seats in the cafe, purchase one damn drink, and think that makes it all ok.  The wifi is an added service to CUSTOMERS.  Spending a buck every four hours makes you a liability.

The most I've ever spent using the wifi at the local starbucks was maybe an hour.  My internet service was down and I needed to take care of a few things like deal with my email.  This was before I had an email enabled cell phone.  Went in, got my mocha and a pastry, responded to some emails, did a little browsing, then went home.  Only hipster douchenuggets just HAVE to be seen with their mac book at a cafe all damn day.
 
2013-07-07 05:19:05 AM
www.wearysloth.com

Laptop hobos?
 
2013-07-07 06:03:57 AM

Great Janitor: I have a friend who visits the library for computer access.  Now, he just moved to Colorado, is living in a hotel, probably without internet access and has no job and no laptop or tablet.  Actually, knowing him, that's probably what's keeping him in the library and not camping in the McDonald's parking lot.


I thought you lost contact with Monkey. Was I wrong?
 
2013-07-07 06:14:32 AM

brainscab: As a work from home guy, I have to say that cafe wifi keeps me sane.
If i didn't have one day a week out of my kid/wife circus, I would flip my lid.


THIS

I like getting the general hubbub of being around other people that I don't get at home.

The problem is people not being generous. I go to my local cafe and they know me. They know I buy breakfast, 3 drinks, a slice of cake mid-morning. They pretty much help me set up my laptop with power and wifi.
 
2013-07-07 06:18:43 AM
How about a system that gives you an access code with each purchase so 1 coffee gets you half an hour of internet time ?

//would solve the entire problem wouldn't it ?
 
2013-07-07 06:32:12 AM
I do something similar in restaurants. Though the only reason i do this is i have to study for certifications (job is requiring i have my MSCA/E by the end of the year). I'll go to a restaurant, order a meal (often a big one since i'm going to be there a good bit). If i notice the place getting slammed and no tables open i'll leave since that is hurting their business. Otherwise i sit back with headphones away from everyone and try to be as polite as i can and tip when/what i can.
 
2013-07-07 06:35:10 AM

Great Janitor: I never understood spending all day at a coffee shop with a laptop or ipad surfing the internet instead of doing it at home.  Well, to some extent I can understand it if it's the weekend, you're in college and your roommate is attempting to bang every college skank in your dorm room the weekend before finals and you really need a place to study (or your roommate is a college skank attempting to bang as many people in a 48 hour span the weekend before finals).   But I've never got those adults who chill all day at the coffee shop.


Free AC?
 
2013-07-07 06:35:26 AM

malle-herbert: How about a system that gives you an access code with each purchase so 1 coffee gets you half an hour of internet time ?

//would solve the entire problem wouldn't it ?


but what if you have to do PowerPoint
for your big presentation
 
2013-07-07 06:57:29 AM
How dare people take advantage of free stuff.  Who does that?
 
2013-07-07 07:04:02 AM
Being hostile to your clientele always works.
 
2013-07-07 07:13:28 AM
I'm in the navy. In my younger, pre-married days I knew where most of the bars in my homeport were that had free wifi. When I hit foreign ports I did the same thing, found the bars with free wifi and parked myself there for most of the day. The difference with this and these suffering coffee shops with free wifi was that I would stay at the bars and buy many, many beers. I actually proposed to my wife online while I was closed up at an upscale steakhouse in San Juan, taking advantage of the wifi-beer (and steak) combo. (Taking extreme advantage of it; I don't think I'd have had the nerve to do it if I hadn't been well-plastered.)

I'd say the solution would be for the coffee shops to become licensed -- hell, there was one coffee shop I used to go to that -was- licensed so I'd alternate between beer and gargantuan coffee -- but I have a feeling the problem clientele are just cheap (and hipster) so even the mix of beer and free wifi wouldn't be enough to get them to open their wallets.
 
2013-07-07 07:14:27 AM

Phil Moskowitz: Being hostile to your clientele always works.


Leeching off of your vendors is usually just as successful.
 
2013-07-07 07:15:18 AM

Ed Grubermann: Great Janitor: I have a friend who visits the library for computer access.  Now, he just moved to Colorado, is living in a hotel, probably without internet access and has no job and no laptop or tablet.  Actually, knowing him, that's probably what's keeping him in the library and not camping in the McDonald's parking lot.

I thought you lost contact with Monkey. Was I wrong?


I lost contact with Monkey almost 10 years ago.  My best friend from high school recently moved with his mother to Colorado.  They had no jobs lined up, no home lined up and only went to Colorado because they didn't have the money to go to Washington State.  I'm assuming the legalization of weed was a factor for deciding to move to either Colorado or Washington State.

Now, my friend has issues, but porn addiction isn't one of them.  Being a lazy mother farker who doesn't want to do a damn thing but play video games and watch movies and television is his problem.  He has no professional drive, he has zero interest in sex (he's a 34 year old virgin who lives with his mother), never dated but has no gay porn on his computer, but has read every book published by Stephanie Meyer.  Honestly, if it wasn't for internet access and fast food, he'd probably move into a cave and become a hermit.
 
2013-07-07 07:21:53 AM
"We want turnover, too, but we're not going to be jerks about it," he said. "People can spend as long as they want here."

It`s just that you are going to make efforts to get them to want to leave. We get it.

Jerk
 
2013-07-07 07:28:57 AM
Lingering in a restraint is a cry for help.
 
2013-07-07 07:29:48 AM

Dracolich: Lingering in a restraint is a cry for help.


Well that's a happy type-o...
 
2013-07-07 07:31:10 AM

Great Janitor: Ed Grubermann: Great Janitor: I have a friend who visits the library for computer access.  Now, he just moved to Colorado, is living in a hotel, probably without internet access and has no job and no laptop or tablet.  Actually, knowing him, that's probably what's keeping him in the library and not camping in the McDonald's parking lot.

I thought you lost contact with Monkey. Was I wrong?

I lost contact with Monkey almost 10 years ago.


I was just farking with you.
 
2013-07-07 07:41:21 AM

sendtodave: How dare people take advantage of free stuff.  Who does that?


It's not that they take advantage of it, it's that they abuse it. My wife works at a public library and the BS they put up with from "laptop hobos" (especially in tourist season) is amazing. Hell, the office building next to mine is a public building and there are people camping on the two visible power outlets in the atrium all freaking day. I'll see the same people there at noon that I saw when I walked through the building on my way to work that morning. Some people just can't do anything in moderation and they screw it up for the rest of us.
 
2013-07-07 08:06:23 AM
No power? No WiFi?

No problem for hipsters.

img.gawkerassets.com
 
2013-07-07 08:09:43 AM

Mitch Taylor's Bro: gameshowhost: If your business model is based on letting customers stay as long as they like, you're getting exactly what you modeled.

/study it out

They did, and they're changing it.


Ohhh..here's a cool business model...let's start a coffee shop, with way overpriced coffee, with this new cool thing called wi-fi. We won't charge for this wi-fi. It'll be cool and hip to be here. Other people will start up similar coffee shops, but we'll be the first.

Fast forward 15 years...damn these people won't leave! I guess providing free internet wasn't such a great idea after all
 
2013-07-07 08:21:46 AM

Ed Grubermann: sendtodave: How dare people take advantage of free stuff.  Who does that?

It's not that they take advantage of it, it's that they abuse it. My wife works at a public library and the BS they put up with from "laptop hobos" (especially in tourist season) is amazing. Hell, the office building next to mine is a public building and there are people camping on the two visible power outlets in the atrium all freaking day. I'll see the same people there at noon that I saw when I walked through the building on my way to work that morning. Some people just can't do anything in moderation and they screw it up for the rest of us.


Around us, the people that camp on the library computers all day  are hobos.  They gotta update their facebook status with what bridge they slept under the night before.
 
2013-07-07 08:40:19 AM
So a glance at the Geek Tab tells me that we should be sending laptop hobos to Everest.
 
2013-07-07 08:44:07 AM

malle-herbert: How about a system that gives you an access code with each purchase so 1 coffee gets you half an hour of internet time ?

//would solve the entire problem wouldn't it ?


What you need is a formula that generates unique numbers that hash together a time and a password. Nothing stored, just generated. So, you can put the same code on a till as a router, but neither need to be connected.

So, when someone uses the code, it decrypts it against the password, which returns the start time.
 
2013-07-07 08:58:06 AM

BarkingUnicorn: WiFi is a PITA for cafe's and bistros.


Cafe's what?
 
2013-07-07 09:00:51 AM

Doc Daneeka: No power? No WiFi?

No problem for hipsters.

[img.gawkerassets.com image 640x360]


It was the best of times it was the blurst of times....
 
2013-07-07 09:09:12 AM
Aren't hipsters all about retrograding technology?  They are turning in their laptops and smartphones for typewriters and increasingly outdated cameras.  Pretty soon they won't be a drag on your wi-fi or electricity at all.
 
2013-07-07 09:23:38 AM
Gail Carriger, the excellent science fiction author, just put out The Etiquette of Cafe Squatting which has some good tips:

2. Purchase rights of presence
One cup of coffee is OK for an hour, you get another hour with a paid refill, anything after that and you should buy food or support the cafe in some substantial way, especially if you are using their power/wifi. Can't afford this? Go to a library.

6. Regulars are part of the future, so be good furniture
Try to be positive and upbeat, keep your area clean and free of piles of computer cases and accessories, shower properly, dress appropriately.

I guess, in general, I'm suggesting you practice empathy with the cafe staff, owners, and customers around you. If you follow all these tips diligently and still get the stink eye from staff, respect their unspoken request and move on. There are cafes out there that cater to regulars. Look for places boasting free wi-fi and comfy chairs, boards games, and stocked bookshelves in out-of-the-way locations. They want your business, give it to them.
 
2013-07-07 09:39:43 AM
I have only set foot in one coffee shop and that was to use the restroom without buying anything.  /csb
 
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