Esme Vos wrote a little blurb on her blog about the shitty experience she had with SwissCom's expensive, crappy WiFi service, and SwissCom's sales director wrote back
(Internet Archive mirror
) to tell her she was biased and basically a Bad Person for being publicly dissatisfied with what is, undoubtably, the worst
pay-for-WiFi service in Europe (though the WiFi provided by the incumbent Spanish telco gives it a run for its money).
I mean, SwissCom's service is so crap that I actually worked it into my next novel, "Someone Comes to Town, Someone Leaves Town," as a fictionalized account of my own experience with last September at a WIPO meeting in Geneva. I'm headed back to Geneva on June 6 for more WIPO stuff, and I'm already dreading using the rotten, stupid, horrendously expensive SwissCom setup. Check the link below for the whole scene.
"I can tell this is not going to work out, but I need to go
through the motions. I go to the counter and ask for a seven-day
card. He opens his cash-drawer and paws through a pile of cards,
then smiles and shakes his head and says, sorry, all sold out. My
girlfriend is probably through her second cup of coffee and
reading brochures for nature walks in the Alps at this point, so
I say, fine, give me a one-day card. He takes a moment to snicker
at my French, then says, so sorry, sold out those, too. Two
hours? Nope. Half an hour? Oh, those we got.
"Think about this for a second. I am sitting there with my laptop
in hand, at six in the morning, on a Swiss street, connected to
SwissCom's network, a credit-card in my other hand, wishing to
give them some money in exchange for the use of their network,
and instead, I have to go chasing up and down every hotel in
Geneva for a card, which is not to be found. So I go to the
origin of these cards, the SwissCom store, and they're sold out,
too. This is not a t-shirt or a loaf of bread: there's no
inherent scarcity in two-hour or seven-day cards. The cards are
just a convenient place to print some numbers, and all you need
to do to make more numbers is pull them out of thin air. They're
just numbers. We have as many of them as we could possibly need.
There's no sane, rational universe in which all the 'two hour'
numbers sell out, leaving nothing behind but '30 minute' numbers.
You’d be forgiven for thinking the videocassette format long-dead, but it turns out that Betamax is still around. Sony is finally going to withdraw tapes from sale, bringing a 40-year story to an end. The last recorders were sold in 2002. ベータビデオカセットおよびマイクロMVカセットテープ出荷終了のお知らせ [Sony; via The Verge]
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