Internet Cafes With Linux

Linux is a great operating system for networking. So how is it possible to  not see Linux in Internet cafes and lan houses ??? There are no cyber cafe / lan house managers  in Linux?

There are lan house / cyber cafe managers in Linux, and the (almost) massive presence of window$ is due more to ignorance of the general public, and the disordered (piracy) spread of window$ than anything else.

I will not address only one  system for managing cyber cafe / lan house here,  but four, which may serve to set up a cyber cafe / lan house with Linux.

LanBR

LanBr is a manager software  that helps to control and manage of Lan Houses and Cyber Cafes powered by Linux, in order to ease the operations of daily life in an internet cafe/ lan house environment.

The system is constantly evolving and has many features to achieve a good management of Lan Houses or Cyber Cafes in Linux.

Currently LanBr is distributed in three distinct versions:

  • LanBr Free: Totally Free Version manager to control and limited up to 16 stations simultaneously, one dedicated for immediate use of Linux on your lan house at no cost. The basic support is provided in a toll free session of the Creativa Club’s Portal. The features of  Free LanBr are enough for  basic control and management of a small internet cafe.
  • LanBr Light: This version is available through a subscription plan (starting at R$ 19.90 monthly), being able to control up to 48 machines depending on the plan chosen. The LanBr Light offers excellent value for money and there are many other advantages through the Creativa Club’s Portal, as enhanced support, tutorials, tips and advice.
  • LanBr EX : If you need a manager with extra features, more robust, capable of providing an excellent management and control of the establishment, there is also an expert supported version, custom tailored for the needs of the customer. It’s also a paid version.

Regardless of version, the manager LanBr, the client and server modules are constantly updated, ensuring better security and fix for problems in accordance with the feedback from users.

Created with Free Pascal and running under dosemu, LanBr is available in rpm (Mandriva, CentOS, Fedora) and deb (Debian and Ubuntu).

Site: http://www.portalcriativa.com.br/lanbr.php

To download the packages for each distribution, follow the installation instructions on the link http://www.portalcriativa.com.br/lanbr_manualserver.php

Open LanHouse

It is a project of Wilson Pinto Junior with help of volunteers and has as main objective to provide a complete and easy LAN Manager for Cyber Cafes and Lan Houses. The Program is all written in Python using Gtk and GNOME Human Guidelines “to an intuitive interface and ease to use”.

Features

  • Price particular of machines or users
  • Close applications after finish session
  • Support the plugins
  • Support the tickets
  • Support the pre-paid mode
  • Shutdown/Reboot remotely
  • User management with credit control
  • Machine management with time and price control
  • Autodetect new machines into server
  • History control
  • Limited and non limited modes
  • Allow logins from machine clients
  • Suport Cash flow
  • Suport Open debts

With packages for Debian (Ubuntu), and Arch Linux, dependencies are:

Core: (both client and server):

Client:

Server:

Site: http://trac.openlanhouse.org/

Cafe Con Leche

CCL (libccls + libcclc) is a library that intends to make the development of internet cafe programs easier, doing some of the work for you. libccls is used to make the server part, and libcclc is used to make the client. It is currently a work in progress, the APIs are subject to changes.

Features

  • It handles the communication betwen client and server, so you don’t have to care about sockets, and things like that.
  • Suport for secure connections using OpenSSL.
  • Flexible tarifs system.
  • Support for selling products, etc
  • Support for members (they can have different tarifs)
  • It controls the time of the client sessions, and calculates the price.
  • Support for countdown sessions, session pausing, swaping sessions from one workstation to another, etc.
  • Logging capabilities, and log searching.

Dependencies

  • SQLite (3.0.x series since libccl 0.5.0, 2.8.x before that)
  • glib (2.x series, tested with 2.4.x)
  • FOX Toolkit
  • CCLFox (Client program of the system)

It is developed on Linux, but it is supposed to work everywhere SQLite and Glib, and OpenSSL works. It was tested on Microsoft Windows (98 and XP) and on Linux.

Site: http://ccl.sourceforge.net/

Download: https://sourceforge.net/projects/mkahawa/

Cyborg

CybOrg, the Cybercafe Organizer, is a point of sales and administration system for internet cafes distributed under the GPL. It has a web-based interface and is written in Perl using Template Toolkit and a RDBMS. CybOrg uses a Win32/Linux client to lock workstations.
The system is intended to be used in a (possibly Linux) server and Windows or Linux clients. To lock workstations it currently uses the Zeiberbude client.

The system runs on a web interface, and control terminals via a multi-platform client, which can be used on Windows and Linux platforms.

Currently supported languages are:

  • English (en) (interface and documentation)
  • Spanish (es) (interface and documentation)
  • Dutch (nl) (interface)
  • Portuguese (pt) (interface)
  • Brazilian portuguese (pt_BR) (interface and documentation)
  • German (de) (interface)
  • Greek (el) (interface)

Requirements
The requirements are: A SQL-compliant RDBMS (PostgreSQL is used by the development team and fully supported), a Perl-capable system (Linux is preferred) a HTTP CGI-capable server and some Perl modules (Template Toolkit and others…).

The client runs on any Win32 or Linux system.

Site: http://cyborg.sourceforge.net/index.html.en

The Tor Project – Screw up those spying on you.

The Tor Project is free software that helps you thwart attempts by third parties like you government who are interested in spying on your internet sojourn. It works by “bouncing your communications around a distributed network of relays run by volunteers all around the world: it prevents somebody watching your Internet connection from learning what sites you visit, and it prevents the sites you visit from learning your physical location.”
If you happen to live in a country where your government likes to snoop around what you do online, then Tor can come in really handy. It’s use is not limited to this but also is ideal for corporate workers, government employees who work on sensitive things, jounalists, whistle blowers and more. 
The project is run by a worldwide group of volunteers who run relays from all parts for the globe. There are a number of ways you can get involved in the project, the most important of which is to consider running a relay. Tor is available for download for all three platforms: Windows, Linux and Mac OSX. 
If you are concerned about some big eyes out there watching all the moves you do online, then Tor could be your solution. Give is a try and if you find it useful, you could make some donation to the guys behind the project.

The internet as it was seen in 1995 by Clifford Stoll.

The following piece was posted on the Newsweek site on February 25 1995. It’s about how Clifford Stoll saw the internet then and how he believed it would turn out. I think it’s a great guide to anyone that seeks to make any prediction. Watch before you leap.
After two decades online, I’m perplexed. It’s not that I haven’t had a gas of a good time on the Internet. I’ve met great people and even caught a hacker or two. But today, I’m uneasy about this most trendy and oversold community. Visionaries see a future of telecommuting workers, interactive libraries and multimedia classrooms. They speak of electronic town meetings and virtual communities. Commerce and business will shift from offices and malls to networks and modems. And the freedom of digital networks will make government more democratic [If only he had actually seen all these in a positive light].

Baloney. Do our computer pundits lack all common sense?[I don’t think so] The truth is no online database will replace your daily newspaper [ask Rupert Murdoch today], no CD-ROM can take the place of a competent teacher and no computer network will change the way government works.

Consider today’s online world. The Usenet, a worldwide bulletin board, allows anyone to post messages across the nation. Your word gets out, leapfrogging editors and publishers. Every voice can be heard cheaply and instantly. The result? Every voice is heard. The cacophany more closely resembles citizens band radio, complete with handles, harrasment, and anonymous threats. When most everyone shouts, few listen. How about electronic publishing? Try reading a book on disc. At best, it’s an unpleasant chore: the myopic glow of a clunky computer replaces the friendly pages of a book. And you can’t tote that laptop to the beach. Yet Nicholas Negroponte, director of the MIT Media Lab, predicts that we’ll soon buy books and newspapers straight over the Intenet. Uh, sure. [Ain’t this the norm today???]

What the Internet hucksters won’t tell you is that the Internet is one big ocean of unedited data, without any pretense of completeness. Lacking editors, reviewers or critics, the Internet has become a wasteland of unfiltered data. You don’t know what to ignore and what’s worth reading. Logged onto the World Wide Web, I hunt for the date of the Battle of Trafalgar. Hundreds of files show up, and it takes 15 minutes to unravel them–one’s a biography written by an eighth grader, the second is a computer game that doesn’t work and the third is an image of a London monument. None answers my question, and my search is periodically interrupted by messages like, “Too many connections, try again later.” [Sorry you were using a dial up modem with a 1kb/s speed].
Won’t the Internet be useful in governing? Internet addicts clamor for government reports. But when Andy Spano ran for county executive in Westchester County, N.Y., he put every press release and position paper onto a bulletin board. In that affluent county, with plenty of computer companies, how many voters logged in? Fewer than 30. Not a good omen.

Point and click:
Then there are those pushing computers into schools. We’re told that multimedia will make schoolwork easy and fun. Students will happily learn from animated characters while taught by expertly tailored software.Who needs teachers when you’ve got computer-aided education? Bah. These expensive toys are difficult to use in classrooms and require extensive teacher training [What can I say other than a big LOL?]. Sure, kids love videogames–but think of your own experience: can you recall even one educational filmstrip of decades past? I’ll bet you remember the two or three great teachers who made a difference in your life.

Then there’s cyberbusiness. We’re promised instant catalog shopping–just point and click for great deals. [Amazon today should be enough for you] We’ll order airline tickets over the network, make restaurant reservations and negotiate sales contracts. Stores will become obsolete. So how come my local mall does more business in an afternoon than the entire Internet handles in a month? Even if there were a trustworthy way to send money over the Internet–which there isn’t–the network is missing a most essential ingredient of capitalism: salespeople.

What’s missing from this electronic wonderland? Human contact. Discount the fawning techno-burble about virtual communities. Computers and networks isolate us from one another. A network chat line is a limp substitute for meeting friends over coffee. No interactive multimedia display comes close to the excitement of a live concert. And who’d prefer cybersex to the real thing? While the Internet beckons brightly, seductively flashing an icon of knowledge-as-power, this nonplace lures us to surrender our time on earth. A poor substitute it is, this virtual reality where frustration is legion and where–in the holy names of Education and Progress–important aspects of human interactions are relentlessly devalued.

Moderate Paranoia- A better way to keep yourself safe online.

There is always talk of the security of people on any service or platform. There equally has always been a good number of recommendations including the use of strong passwords, use of security suites among others. One thing though that I hardly hear mentioned is moderate paranoia.
That has been my simple way of avoiding any kind of security breach on my system or accounts, at least that I know of. It is not just a matter of giving people more security options like Facebook recently did, neither is it about using any powerful anti-nameit or even about running Linux.
You can give the most secure of secure systems to someone, and there would still be security problems once the person is naive and loses all sense of paranoia. I’m yet to know of any OS or security suite that can actually save a person who clicks on any link at all, installs almost anything that looks like a .exe file, signs up to every kind of garbage service on the net, gives out their social networking site passwords to any type of third party service and so on.
People must be taught to know that the virtual world is just like the brick and mortar one they are used to. You just cannot trust everyone 100%. Just as no one will let anyone at all into their homes, so too should they be wary of what programs they run on their boxes.
Just as people will not entrust the keys to their properties to anyone at all, so too should they not just doll out their passwords to anything at all that asks for them. People should learn to exercise some moderate paranoia whenever they are online.
In my opinion, that is a better way to keeping yourself safe online. Don’t go round thinking everyone and everything is a threat. But also don’t go round with the naivety of a 10 year old who is just visiting the virtual world for the first time.

Ad blocking extensions – A threat to the future of an open internet.

I am really amused when I see almost all Firefox extension recommendations beginning with AdBlock Plus, with the authors mostly forgetting that there’d be no Firefox without ads in the first place!
I have wondered out aloud in the past whether ad blocking extensions are any threat to Google. I am now convinced however, that not only are ad blocking extensions a threat to Google’s continuity but to an open internet as a whole.
To explain my views- which you probably disagree with anyway-lets use Firefox. It is one of the three pillar applications of the open source movement; the rest being Linux and VLC. Everybody knows the Mozilla Foundation which develops Firefox, gets a large chunk of its income from Google. The latter we all know makes money from advertising.
In short, should Google start losing money due to more and more people blocking ads, it simply would mean either the end of Firefox or it would become a commercial application where you’d have to pay to use it.
Apply this simple and basic logic to the zillion other things that makes us all want to be on the internet and what do you have? Please don’t get me wrong. I am not for ad spamming readers just because the ads are a necessary component of the internet.
I skip sites where I have to scroll three-quarters down the page to reach anything resembling content and never visit again. However, what I am for is a strategic balance between making ads add value to the experience of users and at the same time making some money from it.
If anything is to go by, Google has shown that you don’t necessarily need to have ads that scream in the face of readers in order to make money. I know people who migrated to Gmail simply because the Yahoo! ads were just driving them nuts.
To cap it, the recent brouhaha surrounding Rupert Murdoch and his charges against search engines readily come to mind. I seriously doubt if Rupert would have made so much noise had he succeeded at making money from his content through ads.
Ad blocking extensions would be ideal in a virtual world where we already pay for most of the core resources we use, but as the internet stands now, ad blocking extensions are a serious threat to its future openness and continuity.
Yea I know you’ve disagreed with me since the first paragraph, let me know where you think I got it wrong.

Boxee- 10-foot UI media center for Ubuntu Linux.

Using XBMC as the application framework for its GUI and media player core platform, Boxee is a great multimedia software center. Boxee is an open source, cross platform software with a 10-foot user interface and social networking features designed for your TV.
Boxee supports a wide range of audio and video formats and can play from a CD/DVD, HDD, or stream over SMB/SAMBA/CIFS . It also includes features such as slide shows, audio visualizations, weather forecasting and playlists. Using the Python plugin system, Boxee comes bundled with addon features like support for Apple movie trailer support and subtitle downloading, Jamendo, Last.fm, NPR, Shoutcast, Blip.TV, CBS, Comedy Central, Youtube, MTV, Netflix, Revision3 among others. Through the processing power of modern PC hardware, Boxee is able to decode high-definition video up to 1080p. Boxee is also able to use Nvidia’s VDPAU on Ubuntu Linux installations to accelerate HD content with the help of a system’s GPU.
Users can  also follow the activity of other Boxee users who are added as friends, and can publicly rate and recommend content. Users can also control what media appear in the activity feed in order to maintain privacy. If a user recommends something that is freely available from an internet content service, then Boxee will let others users stream it directly. If a user recommends something that is not freely available then Boxee will try to show metadata, and movie trailers if it is a movie that the user recommend. Boxee can also export a user’s media activity feed to other social networking services such as FriendFeed, Twitter, and Tumblr.
Boxee also includes a built-in BitTorrent client, with a frontend for it integrated into the Boxee interface, and there are also torrent links to legal BitTorrent trackers download sites incorporated by default. Through Boxee’s Python plugin system it is also possible for the end-users to make themselves or add unofficial plugins made by third-party persons for other BitTorrent trackers. Boxee is available for download after a short signup process.

What happens when Google finally dominates the web?

I love Google for a range of reasons, chief amongst them being the splendid array of products they offer, most of them for free. It is hard to imagine the web without Google. Can you think of how you would be using the web without that company called Google? I can’t. However, recent developments from the Googleplex has got me thinking about what would happen if Google succeeds in dominating the Internet.

What actually served to excite my apprehension was when Google finally announced what I’d thought they would for a long time: the Google Chrome OS. The big G is a company that has succeeded in being indispensable in the lives of millions of internet users from all walks of life. I don’t remember the last time I used the internet without a Google product or service. And I think so do you.

With the announcement of its own OS, Google is finally gunning to solidify its reign on the internet as the god of that massive network. From the little we know of the yet to be released OS, it is clear that the first thing that users will be greeted with will be Google products and services. Given that most people just go with almost anything default, and assuming that Chrome the OS succeeds, then we are going to have more people hooking up to even more Google products.

There is nothing wrong with this assumption on its own. However, the problem arises when Google later becomes too powerful to be challenged by any other company on the web. That is, what happens to you and I when Google eventually becomes the Microsoft of the internet? Or better still, what happens to our privacy when Google finally reaches there? This is company that knows more about my preferences than I do my own self. This is a company that has more data on more people than possibly any other company out there. I just recently logged into the Google Dashboard service and was astounded about how much data they have on me. What happens when such a company becomes a monopoly?

So far Google has managed to live by their motto of “Do no evil,” but will that remain the same when it finally becomes the America of the web? I just read that Google is not that much happy with the current standard of HTTP and has announced its own SPDY or speedy protocol to make the transfer of data on the web lightening fast. All these, coupled with the recent hyper activity coming from Mountain View, are I believe in preparation for the imminent release of Chrome OS.

So again, and I know you have also asked yourself this question before, what happens when Google finally dominates the web? There are those that will say just say don’t use Google products. But that is easier said than achieved. Are we going to keep enjoying all that we’ve come be to used to from Google and still remain as ‘free people?’ Are we going to enjoy our privacy even when Google becomes the Zeus of the internet? Are we going to keep loving Google when it finally dominates the web? You help me answer those questions because I’m at a loss for answers.

New PC-Zi Mobile Internet Tool runs Ubuntu 9.04

Sharp has launched a new mobile internet tool that runs Ubuntu 9.04. A statement from the press release describes the it as “next-generation Mobile Tool [that] Provides Internet Access and Works as an Electronic Dictionary and e-Book” According to the press release, the device is capable of booting in under 3 seconds and spots a high-resolution, 5-inch touch-screen LCD which enables intuitive touch operation while the full keyboard provides for comfortable text input. Additionally, in business settings, users can create documents, spreadsheets, presentation materials, etc., and edit them stress free.You can read more about this new device running Ubuntu 9.04 here.