ISPs: from bad to worse

Okay, I promise that this will be the last post bashing ISPs for a while. This one is special though and displays shocking behaviour on several levels. Not being happy just spying on what you look at in order to sell your data or crippling the service they provide to you if you have the gall to actually use it, some ISPs have started altering pages you request in between the page being requested being sent to you and it displaying in your browser.

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ISPs and revenue streams

“Unlimited” broadband packages were highlighted on The Gadget Show on Channel 5 last night. Mike Fairman, Head of Broadband for O2 attempts a pathetic analogy to some guy in front of you in the queue taking all the food in an all you can eat buffet. If that happened to me I would expect the restaurant to give me more food. Besides, the general concept is not an exercise in gluttony. Instead of all you can eat it should be all you care to eat.

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On Net Neutrality

It’s hard work being an Internet service provider these days. What with all those iTunes downloads, user-generated video sites like YouTube, IPTV and video-on-demand services like the BBC iPlayer eating up bandwidth. That’s just the legal stuff. Those nasty P2P file sharing services are still very popular1. What on earth are they to do?

Introducing bandwidth caps for their users would prove unpopular with customers. Spending money to upgrade their hardware is unpopular with them. Throttling the amount of bandwidth available to certain services (BitTorrent traffic for example) seems to be the accepted course of action at the moment.

I mentioned recently that Barack Obama is pro Net Neutrality and I’m aware that not everybody knows what this is exactly.

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Keeping things in order

At the end of last week The Dome on George Street here in Edinburgh put up their traditional festive decorations – fully ten weeks before the 25th of December. The shops are full of Christmas cards and scary masks. Access to fireworks has been restricted in recent years so they are less prevalent than before but I’ve still seen them for sale in more places than I’ve seen places stocking Poppies.

In calendar order:

  1. Hallowe’en
  2. Bonfire night
  3. Remembrance Sunday
  4. Christmas

In order of apparent importance to retailers:

  1. Christmas
  2. Hallowe’en
  3. Bonfire night

Election ’08

He who slings mud generally loses ground.
– Adlai stevenson

Well that’s it. Nobody landed a knockout blow to dramatically alter the polls in the final pre-election debate last night. Race over I reckon. The USA has a new leader. Welcome to the White House President David Palmer. Sorry, I obviously meant Barack Obama. I can’t be the only one to have noticed the similarities with the character played by Dennis Haysbert in 24 – there was even an assassination plot!

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