2392: Cyber Cafe

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Cyber Cafe
Since we haven't really settled on a name for those online hangout/work spaces that try to recreate the experience of cafes, and I love confusion, I'm going to start calling them 'cyber cafes' or 'internet cafes.'
Title text: Since we haven't really settled on a name for those online hangout/work spaces that try to recreate the experience of cafes, and I love confusion, I'm going to start calling them 'cyber cafes' or 'internet cafes.'


This comic is another in a series of comics related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

A cybercafe, or Internet cafe, is a cafe or other restaurant that provides Internet access. Prior to widespread ownership of personal computers and cell phones, such cafes would host computers that clients could use, and nowadays, many fast-food restaurants and cafes provide free Wi-Fi to their customers, so that people can use their computers while at the cafe. "Cyber" is a prefix meaning something relating to computers (as in Cyber Monday, the day the comic was posted), but this comic suggests that it sounds dated, previously discussed in 1573: Cyberintelligence. However, in 2020, he jokes that "cafe" actually sounds more dated. This is a result of lockdowns related to the COVID-19 pandemic preventing people from going to cafes, and like the preceding comic is a play on the sense that the lockdowns could shift economies and cultures to remove parts of the physical world permanently, depending on how long they last.

In the title text, Randall indulges his munchies of ambiguity by proposing that the term "cyber cafe" be re-used to refer to online hangout spaces that try to feel like cafes. This would change the meaning from "a cafe where computers are available for use by patrons" to "a setting or activity in cyberspace that feels like a cafe" (which would at least be inline with similar terms, like cyberbullying, cybersex, etc.).


Which word in the name "cyber cafe" sounds more dated?

2015 - Cyber
2016 - Cyber
2017 - Cyber
2018 - Cyber
2019 - Cyber
2020 - Cafe

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Is it worth noting that this was posted on Cyber Monday? 21:57, 30 November 2020 (UTC)

Yes! That's almost certainly relevant. Barmar (talk)

Unrelated to cybercafés, but why is the edit link the viewed-outside mauve instead of the viewed-wiki violet? bubblegum-talk|contribs 04:13, 1 December 2020 (UTC)

Which edit link(s)? The 'faux tab' ("Read | Edit | View History", etc) the "*TITLE HEADER* (Edit)" or A.N.Other? Is it something specific to your own browser stylesheet? Or set by your Wikilogin? For me (simple IP as I am) the only links of different colours (passing over your own .sig, Bubblegum) are the Main page/Latest comic/Community portal/xkcd.com links in the sidebar((*)), and those are in the universal "visited page" hue (because I have visited these) and all other non-image link text are in the colour of universally standard yet-to-visit link colour that is probably the same as NCSA Mosaic originally established/adopted (though I don't know if that's because it's set by the wikicode/styles or fallen back to default). ((* - plus, now, the "add a comment!" link and also the cybersex one, as a random in-explanation link I tested going to while writing this reply.)) 05:03, 1 December 2020 (UTC)
The "edit this page" link in the incomplete transcript template. bubblegum-talk|contribs 18:02, 1 December 2020 (UTC)
(Moved into the right spot in the conversation.) Well, it's class="external text", which sounds like it'd do what you say it does. (Mauve? Maybe, but I'd not call it that.) Must just come from the template it inserts from. 20:43, 1 December 2020 (UTC)
Yeah, not really "mauve", but what colour would that be? Aubergine?
And yes, Template:Incomplete (not incomplete transcript oops) uses an outside link with []. bubblegum-talk|contribs 03:27, 2 December 2020 (UTC)

"Cyber" is 'dated'? Well, I suppose it has been around as a popular term for a while, probably even before Gibson (and long-standing Internet Cafes 'round here now seem more to be rebranded as eSports hosts, because almost everyone who cares for one has an Internetted-device on their desk, kitchen table, maybe in their pocket, but a good well-maintained machine for the latest faddy FPSing or any satisfyingly tactile wheel/pedal controller seems to be what they can still offer up, almost arcadian...) but I don't think in the last thirty years I ever said "I'm in Cyber", even though I probably am by today's lingo (old fuddy-duddy as I am, I just say I work "in computing", if anybody has had to feign social interest in me to ask - and then reel off some of my actual sub-specialities if they foolishly indicate a desire to know more). Nor have I ever used such a café, in any capacity, but probably more from a "safe hex" standpoint (malware remediation and cracker-thwarting having been a big part of my career, for several years either side of the Millenium) than this year's issue with a certain non-software virus... 05:03, 1 December 2020 (UTC)

"this comic suggests that [cyber] sounds dated" Maybe that was so long ago that some people don't remember it. In the 90s, everything was cyber. The internet was "cyberspace". This weird, nerdy, futuristic thing. Then it became mainstream and the term mostly vanished. And since then "cyber" was very dated. It only stuck around in some words like "cyber cafe". 11:32, 1 December 2020 (UTC)

The UK Government still thinks 'cyber' is in use in 2020: https://www.standard.co.uk/news/uk/fatima-ballet-dancer-job-cyber-government-campaign-a4568641.html

You young kids etc etc. First use of "cybernetics" is from "Cybernetics: Or Control and Communication in the Animal and the Machine is a book written by Norbert Wiener and published in 1948." (Wikipedia). First use of "cyborg" is from 1960 , Manfred Clynes and Nathan S. Kline. Pretty much all compound "Cyber-$NOUN" words derive from "cybernetics." Cellocgw (talk) 12:31, 1 December 2020 (UTC) 11:47, 1 December 2020 (UTC)

Note to the transcriptors, for both this comic and 2351: Standard Model Changes: don't include the title text in the transcript. bubblegum-talk|contribs 03:19, 2 December 2020 (UTC)