On this episode of Spark: Online Introverts, Designing for Solitude, and The Drama of Usage Based Billing. Click below to listen to the whole show, or download the MP3 (runs 54:00).
You can also listen to individual stories below.
Usage Based Billing is a hot topic these days. The CRTC has decided to allow Bell and other big telecom companies to change the way Canadians are billed for internet access to a metering, or usage-based billing (UBB) system, where service providers can charge per byte in addition to their basic access charges. We spoke to Steve Anderson, the founder and National Coordinator of OpenMedia.ca, a group that's put together a petition against UBB called "Stop The Meter". We also spoke with Mirko Bibic from Bell Canada to hear their position. Mirko is the Senior Vice-president of Regulatory and Government Affairs at Bell. (Runs 16:10)
So we've explored both sides of the UBB coin - on one side consumers accusing big telecoms of using UBB as a cash-grab, and on the other, big telecoms saying there's a strain on the networks and charging for bandwidth is necessary to run their business. It's a battle we've seen before, something more akin to an economic stage play, at least according to our guest Markus Giesler, an Associate Professor of Marketing at the Schulich School of Business at York University. (Runs 7:10)
Ever known someone who was shy and awkward in real life, but a veritable life of the party online? It's called the "Online Disinhibition Effect" - where the anonymity of being online allows people to lose their inhibitions. It's also why so many introverts we know are so darn extroverted online. Spark contributor Sandra Ferrari had a recent awakening about being a "Netrovert" and brings us her story. (Runs 8:28)
On Spark, we've talked a lot about the importance of solitude in the midst of a connected world. You know, the idea of putting our devices away for a bit to "get away from it all". But what if you did the opposite? What if there were tech tools that actually helped us achieve solitude? Nora speaks with Ben Fullerton, a director of user experience at Method Design in San Francisco, where they are thinking about these very questions from a design point of view. (Runs 9:33)
Recently the people at ifixit.com put up a provocative blog post and video titled "Apple's Diabolical Plan to Screw Your iPhone". It was all about a tiny little screw that is found on the iPhone4...a screw that they say is scarce. Nora speaks to Kyle Wiens, the co-founder and CEO of iFixit and the guy that wrote the original post to find out why this little screw has gotten DIY techies in a tizzy. We contacted Apple for their verification, but they "declined to comment". (Runs 7:43)