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"Made for Ads" public terminals

FofR [PersonRank 2]

Monday, December 4, 2006
16 years ago3,507 views

In a number of public places including a cinema multiplex in Cambridge and Leicester shopping centre (UK) I have come across terminals touting, "Free Public Internet Access" or "Free Internet Zone", these are owned by operator Red Moon Interactive.

These terminals, which provide a search box and nothing more give a list of ads as results which seem to be provided by what once was Overture and is now Yahoo! Search Marketing and are usually entirely irrelevant.

My experience with the access points, a rough 20 minute test exploring different avenues of search, as I waited for a film screening, concluded that this is a commercial venture (albeit a clever one) that I could and would not classify as a service. Finding what I wanted proved impossible and knowing that each click would generate a tiny profit for Red Moon with little to no return for the advertiser, as a web advertiser myself, was infuriating. If you add to the mix the non-savvy users that will ignorantly click on all links in frustrated hopes of finding something of importance you get a highly profitable business that further devalues online advertising.

The inadequacies of the Red Moon terminal to provide a service to its users will be directly proportional to its profits – the longer it takes to find information, the more ads are clicked, the more money is made.

My full article can be found here, it's a bit long to post in entirety:
http://fofr.trivialbeing.net/2006/12/redmoon-public-made-for-ads-terminals.php

Has anyone else had experience with these? Perhaps outside of the UK?

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

16 years ago #

I once was trying to get to work one of the (free-to-use) AOL terminals AOL is putting in German cafes and such. It sucked so bad I gave up after 5 minutes. It's basically a giant AOL ad with a broken, restrictive browser on top, and good luck doing advanced things like checking your email or opening two windows. The coffee at that place was good though.

JohnMu [PersonRank 10]

16 years ago #

How do you know they didn't install a keylogger as well? I hate anonymous terminals ....

PS If you use terminals like that to log in somewhere, you might want to read this: http://ha.ckers.org/blog/20061125/stopping-password-theft-by-key-loggers/

Brandon Lockaby [PersonRank 1]

16 years ago #

Wow. I imagine that their YPN account will be terminated very quickly, though.

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