Follow Slashdot blog updates by subscribing to our blog RSS feed


Forgot your password?
DEAL: For $25 - Add A Second Phone Number To Your Smartphone for life! Use promo code SLASHDOT25. Also, Slashdot's Facebook page has a chat bot now. Message it for stories and more. Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 Internet speed test! ×

Comment Here is why this will never happen... (Score 1) 501

(unless someone stupid gets behind the wheel of the policy machine) ...this is like asking cable-modem users to pay for more bandwidth just because everyone in the neighborhood shares the same wire. Should we also charge higher bandwidth rates to people in high traffic areas? and during high traffic times? Let's just switch to nights and weekends megabytes. Let's also charge people extra if they access a server outside their local area. We can lump in a huge fee if their megabytes go to a server in another country, and we can force them to sign up for an international plan on top of that. Oh, but we can give them a free megabyte if that megabyte goes to another AT&T phone in their family data plan. That will make the customer satisfied.

Look people, stop complaining about your cell phone bandwidth. It will ALWAYS be slower than your WiFi connected to a dedicated land-link, and it will ALWAYS be slower wherever their are more users because that's the inherent nature of a full coverage infrastructure. No wireless service provider (including the WiFi at your local coffee shop) guarantees all your packets will arrive untouched and in order at server X in time Y. That's the nature of a packet switched network. That's what you're buying. You're buying access to the Internet, the same as anyone else. Sure some pipes are bigger than others, but there you're buying a MAXIMUM based on the technology involved in the first link, not an assured amount of data to your destination. And even the first link must necessarily be shared on a wireless platform-- there is no wire and only so much band in the spectrum. And what about total data? Well, should a rural 1000MB user pay a huge tiered price, even though the 1000 one meg users in the city are the ones actually influencing the slowdown? Fair billing under a tiered system is impossible, if fair is defined as those who cause more congestion pay more, as pegging an individual as causing a quantifiable amount of congestion (or "unfairness to others") is impossible, or at the least not inexpensively computable. Buying an Unlimited data plan means you have the FREEDOM to use however much you need. This comes as close to fair as possible, as everyone has equal opportunity, those who cause congestion are frequently punished with a slowdown by being within the congestion themselves, and prices for the unlimited plan are set based on usage by the entire AT&T customer base. As long as AT&T holds up their side of this, it stays a largely self regulating system. You are paying the cell company to do their job and put data towers where they are needed most (i.e. assuring congestion slowdowns are not overly punishing), and for your FREEDOM from the tedium of managing data. The burden for managing the bandwidth supply is best placed on the cell company-- the ones who understand it best --whereas adding a tiered system moves the burden to the consumer, where it wastes time and is managed poorly. If a person has to think about whether they really need this extra megabyte of data they are about to consume in an application, then inevitably revenue will go down as less apps are used and less contracts signed, and at the same time value to the consumer is lost because every megabyte carries an extra burden of wasted time. Lose-lose.

To go back to the first paragraph, cell companies would be more successful if they stop treating the consumer as an infinitely rational computation machine that can make sense of a 100-page bill. Yes, the lack of freedom in a tiered package would kill the magic of the iPhone, if by magic we mean convenience of a stress-free billing environment. Anyone who has taken their iPhone to another continent knows that watching every megabyte and regularly hassling with AT&T over international billing really takes the fun (and productivity) out of iPhone use. To AT&T's credit, the only customer service problems I have ever had with them were all related to International billing-- and I have been with them before the iPhone, before even Cingular. Nonetheless, it had a huge impact on my usability and satisfaction while I was out of the country. if I had to do that here, I would drop the iPhone.

In other words, likewise and conversely to the previous point, cell providers will have less angry support calls and phone contract rage-quits if they stop abusing customers' very same inability to comprehend said 100-page bill, often abuse involving false charges and misspoken sales information-- a problem compounded by their own staff's strain in managing the every changing and increasingly complex billing policies.

In short: Keep It Simple, Stupid.

Comment Re:Human Lifespan? (Score 1) 83

I remember reading somewhere sometime that the rejuvenated human body could subsist for 200K years+...Unfortunately, I have no links or empirical data to back that up, so take it for what it is, essentially heresay, but it is thought provoking....

Given that most of us can't remember what we were doing 200k seconds ago, is living 200k years any different than living 200?

Slashdot Top Deals

"It's the best thing since professional golfers on 'ludes." -- Rick Obidiah