Friday, February 19, 2010

AntiFeatures are taking your digital freedom away

Did you just say that you got a huge bill for overshooting your download limit on your 'unlimited' to use internet connection? You too are a victim of antifeatures then. Antifeatures, as in 'anti - features' are a very irritating and unfortunate prospect that many people are facing, some even without knowing about them. Antifeatures are some special limitations set by the vendor/company on your use of digital equipment. For eg, many people in India, who have unlimited internet connection get an extra charges section on their bill for overshooting their download limits. Now what the heck does "overshoot the download limits" mean in an unlimited connection?
Some of you may not know but some ISPs in India set a monthly limit of around 60 to 80GB limit on download on their unlimited connection. After crossing that limit, either they are supposed to pay extra charges on per MB basis or your internet connection may get reduced to more than half the original speed.

Bandwidth throttling on peer to peer or torrent networks are a more global phenomenon. There are hundreds of ISPs who throttle their network to make it slow to download from torrents and other peer to peer networks. These companies do this to prevent people from using the internet excessively and to be able to make more profits out of their connections. This more or less amounts to cheating but the companies can always defend saying that it was put up on their terms and conditions (in some dirty corner where one would hardly notice).

The ones stated above are just 2 small (yes, actually!) examples that are prevalent in the market. Check out this link containing a list compiled by Benjamin Mako Hill from the entries sent by readers from around the world. You will be really shocked to read about all these things. All I can say is that it is really unfortunate. This should be an eye opener to those who blindly support some of the well known companies. No need to name anyone here, just check the link given below.
Antifeatures - WikiDotMako

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