14/02/2003 @13:31:30 ^15:01:34

I got 6 valentines cards! Oh man! Six!! I think I know who two of them are from, but I've no clue about the others.

Also this site turns a year old today. I'd do a review but I can't be bothered. Go and read the archive. But out of us lot, mine was the first! You copied me, admit it.

Yesterday I bought another 4-way trailing socket so I could put my alarm clock back on the other side of the room. It cost two pounds, which I thought was pretty cheap. I got it from Argos, whose website fobs you off if you don't use IE, and indeed is listed on in this article on The Register about companies who don't like "alternative" browsers. The kid behind the collection desk, he was funny. He was probably about 14 and he said his lines, obviously straight out of the training manual, in a delightful monotone. He's fucking earning more than me though...

Looking at The Register just now, I saw this article. Some ISP bigwig is congratulating NTL on their infamous 1 gigabyte per day cap for "taking a stand". It's aggressive language but I can see his point about those who use tons and tons of bandwidth paying for it. The analogy between electricity and network bandwidth makes some kind of sense.

Mind you, this is probably because I rarely shift more than twenty or thirty megabytes in any given day, though, I'm sure I'd feel differently if I were into downloading tons of music and video and whatever, or hosting a bunch of friends' websites for free. The problem is that everyone's used to paying for metered electricity or telephone use, but these days, having entirely unmetered internet use. It's very difficult to change to a scheme that would potentially charge people for something that, previously, they got for free.

I'm not saying I think it's a good idea to return to a system where you pay for every second you spend connected. Charging for time online doesn't work, just because of the way people use computers; every second you spend connected is not spent sending or receiving data. But I think it's worth considering a scheme where you pay a flat rate, then some amount for whatever bandwidth you shift over some limit, like, say, a gigabyte. The flat rate could well then be priced more cheaply.

It'd never work though, because whatever happens, people are the same everywhere, trying to get as much as possible for as little as possible. The ISPs try to charge you as much as they can get away with and still have you subscribe to their service. The heavy downloaders want their extra gigabytes for free, especially since then they quite probably don't have to pay their TV licenses either. Our sites gets booted off the server because they're costing someone else money now. There is no easy solution.

But 6 cards baby!