Wireless time limits and limited security

At our extended breakfast at a local coffee shop I decided to try the complimentary wireless internet access, only to be shocked to find out that it’s limited to ten minutes a day! After that you need to break out the credit card. But charging R1 a minute is an archaic and doomed business model, unless your clientele all happen to use a modem at home, and why would they if they have wireless equipment? After a bit of fiddling, I managed to sidestep their silly little time limit and simply created a new account every ten minutes to get unlimited bandwidth. I was too lazy to find a way around the time limit itself, so that’s a challenge for another Friday.Why don’t they just have a limit of 100MB a day, or at least make it one megabyte for each rand on your bill? Surely their systems are capable of that? Then again, the calibre of their programmers doesn’t seem particularly high given the ease of subverting their software, so it’s probably asking too much.I guess this is just another case of the short-sightedness of most business folks. If they linked the bandwidth limit to the total bill value, then they’d attract a lot more business people who would spend more time and money at the restaurant, as there’d be no reason to rush back to the office. I’m sure there’s profit in that, but it’s not as easy to quantify as charging for everything you can, so it would be more difficult to justify to the dinosaurs sitting in the corner offices.Note: In the interests of preserving the sanctity of my bum from violation by scary lawyers I won’t be giving out any details… But if you have a big bag of cash and want me to test your systems…

2005.06.03