FON revisited

Those FON guys now unveiled their complete billing system. And, as if to prove my point from the last post, they included this in their FAQ:

We then reinvest the money from Aliens to subsidize FON Social Routers throughout the world, especially in those areas most affected by the digital divide. This allows us FONeros to roam the earth with greater freedom and for there to be little bit more equality in the world.

Yeah. More equality by subsidising wireless routers to people who can afford broadband Internet connections. Get real.

I really wonder if this is really astroturf, or just silly. Well, at least it’s better than chocking potential customers in online ads, like most ISPs do…

On the pro side, you can now get a subsidized route for just 5 Euros/Dollars. And if you manage to connect to one of the hotspots, it’s dirt cheap: 3 Money units per day.

Fon turf

When surfing the net for some new WiFi ideas, I stumbled on FON. The idea is not brand new, but still cool: You share your broadband Internet connection through WiFi and exchange are free to use the other user’s connections.

The revenue model is that customers who don’t share a connection pay for the service.I kind of like the idea, and they seem to have incredible growth rates going up to over 30.000 users in just a few months. Of course, that may have something with the fact that they’re giving out substantially discounted routers if you sign up for their service. They’ll even throw in one for free, if you’re in a busy area.

Still, their web page smacks of what our American friends call “astroturf“. The whole presentation and wording is clearly aimed at giving the impression of a community-based project. I guess this is to capitalise on the popularity of existing community projects, like Wikipedia.

Continue reading “Fon turf”

Free Photos

Just discovered PhotoCase, a kind of photo community thing. It appears that these are selected, high-quality photographs, suitable for print use. You get 3 downloads per day for free, or pay for more, making this an alternative for small publications when you can’t afford the royalties of a professional agency.
Community-wise this appears to be a refreshing departure from the Flickr-style “everyone uploads everything noone wants to see”.

Great Uglyness

The “Seilerei” is (from what I’ve heard) a quite good restaurant in Karlsruhe. I’ve not been there, but as far as I’ve seen from passing by, they even have a nice interior. Now I’ve found they also have one of the worst web sites imaginable, complete with ugly photos.
Even worse, they obviously paid someone for the hideous thing. How can one actually go and pay a web agency who’s not even able to come up with a decent web site themselves? (Oh, and take a look at the comments on that page. I’ve not figured out if they’re all ironic, or if the people really think the site is beautiful…)

Press Review

Die Zeit has an online article on homeopathy. (I guess this is a pet peeve of mine, since my mom has completely gone nuts over homeopathy and alternative “medicine”.) Anyway, here’s finally someone who acknowledges that doing nothing is a viable option for many illnesses.
If it serious, you need serious medication. If not, it will pass. Still, it seems that for most people, it’s the act of seeing the doctor that does the healing, not the medication. That may be a point for homeopathy after all.

The Moon

I don’t have television at home. But at my father’s place I still enjoy the possibility to select freely from 32 channels of trash. One night, over the easter holidays, I tuned in to a “moon hoax” documentary. At first I thought it was a subtitled re-run of an old documentary, where conspiracy theorists showed pseudo-evidence that the moon landings were faked.

But here was the real thing: Henry Kissinger and Donald Rumsfeld spoke freely about how Stanley Kubrick faked the moon pictures. They had photo evidence, and interviews with high-ranking CIA employees. Witnesses tell us about the CIA’s campaign to eliminate all surviving actors. To that end the 6th fleet, 150.000 soldiers in total, was dispatched to Vietnam. The deaths were arranged as accidents; the wife of an actor was found dismembered in a pool in Patagonia: Suicide.
Sounds convincing? No? In fact, it isn’t. The whole thing was a satire.

Continue reading “The Moon”

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