That would kill it stone dead for me [plus see below].
From the linked page:
It sounds to me a like there's too much window-dressing here for work users. But it should be attractive to the domestic user or newcomer.
Oh please. He is posting to Slashdot. The odds of him having talked to a girl are 1 in 1+5E. Her being a girlfriend, as opposed to a 1-900 number, increases the odds by a factor of 40.
Except most of the cost is the screen. This isn't "miniaturization is expensive" but actually "small is cheap": a 12" capacitive touchscreen is a big BIG money item.
The same applies to batteries.
Your ISP will stop you from using a network card that doesn't follow the Ethernet protocol. If your device gives 00:00:00:00:00:00:00 as its MAC address, your ISP can reject all your packets. Now, of course, you can fake any MAC address. But the point is that your device must supply *some* MAC address, even if it is fake.
I had a previous employer who gave me a pager so that I could be "on call" when I wasn't in the office; I left it at the office. Unless being on-call outside of work times is part of my employment agreement (ie: discussed and negotiated before I take the job), it's not something I feel obligated to be/do.
That being said, I have occasionally worked off-hours for employers I liked in response to specific situations, and I wouldn't recommend my approach if you're at all insecure in your job and/or employment prospects. For me, though, I agree with the parent post: I'd be happy to be available 24/7 for the right price, but that's significantly higher than my 40-50/week price...
Actually, Comcast is one they're pretty comparable to:
Comcast FY2008: revenue = 34,256 million, net income = 2,547 million
Google FY2008: revenue = 21,795 million, net income = 4,226 million
More interesting... Comcast's income has doubled over the last six years. Google has slowed down to the point where they're only doubling every two years or so. That's why Google has nearly five times the market cap of Comcast (another way to measure corporate size, since that's largely a measure of the expected future of the company).
The best things in life go on sale sooner or later.