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Introducing the crazy new world of cybercafesFrom the CNET vault: Say you need to get on the Internet but you don't have the hardware required to get online. Welcome to the world of "cybercafes."
[SOUND] What happens when plugged in people congregate for a little indoor surfing? You get cyber cafes. Desmond Crisis, the newest member of the CNet Central team, takes us on a tour of these high-tech hangouts. [MUSIC] So let's say you need to get on the internet, but you don't have the hardware required to get online. What's the solution? Try a cyber cafe. Hi there, I'm Desmond Crisis. The new early adopter of emerging technologies. The coolest thing since the acoustic coupler, the hottest mix of Coffee, tea and TTPIP now brewing at your local pit stop. [NOISE] This is the icon by far. It's a cyber cafe. Now it looks just like any other restaurant until you get inside. They decorated it kind of like the inside of a computer, a very artsy computer. Now anyone can just decorate their restaurant but here's what makes this place truly unique. The public access computer hooked up to the internet. From here, you can browse some of your favorite pages with Netscape, log into IRC and chat with people all over the world, or log into see you see me, and use live video to communicate. [music] You can jump in and start surfing around. You may not know where you're going, you may not catch as many waves but you're going to be able to access it pretty quickly and get a taste for it. [MUSIC] Often times people come in here from New York and send emails to friends as a post card. I've got quite a few friends back in England who I have their email addresses. [MUSIC] I just sat down at the Cafe Net Terminal here at the Cap to Go Cafe in Los Angeles. One of the things that's interesting about this is they seem to have a real high speed connection. And to keep things quick, instead of running DOS or Windows applications, they built it under Unix and X Windows. From here you can chat, email, browse the Web, or telnet to the site of your choice for a fist full of quarters. [MUSIC] It's very interesting coming to a coffee house To actually be able to sit down and get your email without actually having to have a computer at home. [NOISE] Instead of going home or going to a bar, I can come in here, chat with my friends, play on the computer a little. [NOISE] It takes the fear out of People who are not familiar with computers. As the world becomes increasingly more crowded, complex and antagonistic it becomes necessary for people with diverse interests to gather, recognize a common humanity and communicate. One such place for doing this is the World Cafe here in Santa Monica, California. So this is like the mothership. There's a Romulan, that's Federation. And they're trying to kill each other for the [UNKNOWN]. What we did was we created, you know, kinda a tiki environment around computers. Six months ago I didn't know a mosquito bite from a megabyte. I wanted people to feel comfortable around computers, with computers. it's a wonderful view for social interaction. Next thing you know you've got two or three people around you and then you've created a half a dozen friends around the computer. On my television, you can like, see it, this is like Oh yeah, I had that experience and I think I'll write to you. [MUSIC] I haven't seen anybody come up to me and say, hey, what the heck is this. [MUSIC] [NOISE] Yes! [LAUGH] [APPLAUSE] With over 80 Internet eateries worldwide, the cybercafe may become the long distance phone booth of the future. And you don't even need multiple body piercings. Blue hair helps According to one Java Joint owner, the idea itself is as old as the apple barrel. Provide access in an atmosphere where people can exchange ideas. Cybercafes are not just for technocrats or digiratis, they're for everybody. So get in and get on. [MUSIC] [SOUND]