What about the cost of downgrading all those machines they buy to an operating system that isn't officially supported anymore? Running a browser that isn't supported anymore? And the increased risk of using old software with known vulnerabilities?
I do admit those are more hidden costs... just like the cost of those 15 departments not maintaining their apps.
It's a bit like the current financial crisis: you keep adding leverage and keep telling yourself it won't break just yet....
When it does eventually break, there is so much "legacy" that nobody can really determine who's fault is all was... and that suits everybody just fine.
I am no laywer and I am assuming the cap is part of your contract with them, I cannot see how they can keep their definition of bandwidth usage a secret. They are now basically claiming that you are restricted in your usage upto the cap but they refuse to tell you what the cap actually *means*. Without clear understanding of how usage is measured, the number of the cap is meaningless.
So you are subject to provions in a contract that you are not allowed to know. It would surprise me very much if they could hold that up in court...
First, they look at it differently: each second hand sale is a sale they earn no money from. They consider that a lost sale. This is debatable.
Second, you make the assumption that you payed for unlimited service for an unlimited time. In practice, however you have a limited amount of time you can play games and a limited amount of time you are willing to spend on this particular game. This is calculated into the price of the game. Each second hand gamer increases this particular amount of time per original sale of the game and thus increases service costs.
In the end, a second hand sale is not only a sale that does not bring in money, it actually costs them money.
The fact that I live within 10km from the nearest nuclear plant probably doesn't hurt either...
For one, a packet is a discrete amount of information, while power is a complex analog phenomenon. You can put a packet on a link and hope it gets there, you can't just put a kilowatt on a power line...
A more conceptual difference is how demand is distributed. A network client talks to a few distributed servers on the Internet. A power client just demands power and does not care where it comes from or if the server cannot deliver it. When a server gets overloaded, the clients just have to wait. If a power plant gets overloaded and the power cannot be gotten elsewhere, the service of the whole network goes down (voltage drops) unless some of the load is cut. If a certain network link is overloaded, packets get dropped. If a power line is overloaded, (hopefully) circuit breakers pop and ALL power transfer is interrupted.
Some practical problems you will run into with power switching:
- power conversion - the power grid is not uniform. There are several types of high-voltage lines and power needs to be converted to route power between them. Those conversions introduce losses and have capacity limits.
- transport losses - each length of power cable introduces loss.
- power plant characteristics - each power source has its own characteristics. For example, the output of a nuclear power plant is more or less constant and cannot adjusted to changing demand.
- changing demand - power demand changes drastically over the course of a day, both in level and geographically. During office hours, power is needed in office buildings, during the evening in households,
- load characteristics - inductive load vs capacitive load. In ideal situations, you would combine them to get a resistive load as much as possible as this leads to optimum power efficiency.
- politics - which, I have read on the Internet, is one of the major sources of blackouts in the US.
As an aside to the last point, I wonder why blackouts happen so regularly in the US while the are exceedingly rare in Europe. I am in Belgium and I get a "blackout" once every decade or something. I do sometimes experience glitches where you see the lights dim and computers with lousy power supplies reboot... once every few years or so. It suggests to me, whatever the problem is, it isn't technical...
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