Skip to main content

New York's Wi-Fi hubs will shut down tablet web access after complaints of homeless users

New York's Wi-Fi hubs will shut down tablet web access after complaints of homeless users

/

'The kiosks were never intended for anyone’s extended, personal use'

Share this story

ahawkins_160217_0946_0002_A

Starting today, you won’t be able to browse the web on the tablets in New York’s LinkNYC hubs. In an announcement today, the LinkNYC team said that "unexpected challenges" had made it necessary to temporarily shut down the web function in the hubs' onboard tablets.

"Some users have been monopolizing the Link tablets and using them inappropriately, preventing others from being able to use them while frustrating the residents and businesses around them," the announcement reads. "The kiosks were never intended for anyone’s extended, personal use and we want to ensure that Links are accessible and a welcome addition to New York City neighborhoods."

The team is actively exploring other options for managing extended users, including time limits, although it's unclear when those measures will be ready to deploy. Until then, the tablets' web browsing capability will remain disabled.

"Some users have been monopolizing the Link tablets"

The news comes just hours after a new report from Motherboard detailed the growing trend of poor or homeless New Yorkers camping out in front of the tablets to browse the web. The New York Post has also reported on efforts to view pornography on the tablets, although many of the offending sites have since been blocked.

Some city leaders applauded the move. "We’ve heard a great deal of concern from all corners of the city about the misuse of these kiosks for lewd and nefarious purposes," said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., "and today’s announcement that web browsing services will be disabled on LinkNYC kiosks is a step in the right direction."

The primary purpose of the LinkNYC hubs is to provide a city-wide Wi-Fi network, which will remain unchanged. The hubs’ onboard tablets, which arrived in February, also allow users to access Google Maps and a variety of city services.

Update 2:13PM ET: Updated with statement from Borough President Diaz.

Today’s Storystream

Feed refreshed 17 minutes ago Midjourneys

A
The Verge
Andrew Webster17 minutes ago
“There’s an endless array of drama going on surrounding Twitch right now.”

That’s Ryan Morrison, CEO of Evolved Talent Agency, which represents some of the biggest streamers around. And he’s right — as you can read in this investigation from my colleague Ash Parrish, who looked into just what’s going on with Amazon’s livestreaming service.


R
The Verge
Richard Lawler24 minutes ago
Green light.

NASA’s spacecraft crashed, and everyone is very happy about it.

Otherwise, Mitchell Clark is kicking off the day with a deeper look at Dish Network’s definitely-real 5G wireless service , and Walmart’s metaverse vision in Roblox is not looking good at all.


Asian America learns how to hit back

The desperate, confused, righteous campaign to stop Asian hate

Esther WangSep 26
J
External Link
Jess WeatherbedTwo hours ago
Won’t anyone think of the billionaires?

Forbes reports that rising inflation and falling stock prices have collectively cost members of the Forbes 400 US rich list $500 billion in 2022 with tech tycoons suffering the biggest losses.

Jeff Bezos (worth $151 billion) lost $50 billion, Google’s Larry Page and Sergey Brin (worth a collective $182b) lost almost $60b, Mark Zuckerberg (worth $57.7b) lost $76.8b, and Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey (worth $4.5b) lost $10.4b. Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer (worth $83b) lost $13.5b while his ex-boss Bill Gates (worth $106b) lost $28b, albeit $20b of that via charity donations.


T
Thomas Ricker6:45 AM UTC
Check out this delightful DART Easter egg.

Just Google for “NASA DART.” You’re welcome.


R
Twitter
Richard Lawler12:00 AM UTC
A direct strike at 14,000 mph.

The Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) scored a hit on the asteroid Dimorphos, but as Mary Beth Griggs explains, the real science work is just beginning.

Now planetary scientists will wait to see how the impact changed the asteroid’s orbit, and to download pictures from DART’s LICIACube satellite which had a front-row seat to the crash.


M
The Verge
We’re about an hour away from a space crash.

At 7:14PM ET, a NASA spacecraft is going to smash into an asteroid! Coverage of the collision — called the Double Asteroid Redirection Test — is now live.


E
Twitter
Emma RothSep 26
There’s a surprise in the sky tonight.

Jupiter will be about 367 million miles away from Earth this evening. While that may seem like a long way, it’s the closest it’s been to our home planet since 1963.

During this time, Jupiter will be visible to the naked eye (but binoculars can help). You can check where and when you can get a glimpse of the gas giant from this website.


E
Twitter
Emma RothSep 26
Missing classic Mario?

One fan, who goes by the name Metroid Mike 64 on Twitter, just built a full-on 2D Mario game inside Super Mario Maker 2 complete with 40 levels and eight worlds.

Looking at the gameplay shared on Twitter is enough to make me want to break out my SNES, or at least buy Super Mario Maker 2 so I can play this epic retro revamp.


R
External Link
Russell BrandomSep 26
The US might still force TikTok into a data security deal with Oracle.

The New York Times says the White House is still working on TikTok’s Trump-era data security deal, which has been in a weird limbo for nearly two years now. The terms are basically the same: Oracle plays babysitter but the app doesn’t get banned. Maybe it will happen now, though?


R
Youtube
Richard LawlerSep 26
Don’t miss this dive into Guillermo del Toro’s stop-motion Pinocchio flick.

Andrew Webster and Charles Pulliam-Moore covered Netflix’s Tudum reveals (yes, it’s going to keep using that brand name) over the weekend as the streamer showed off things that haven’t been canceled yet.

Beyond The Way of the Househusband season two news and timing information about two The Witcher projects, you should make time for this incredible behind-the-scenes video showing the process of making Pinocchio.