Sorry, you are held in a queue as a result of illegal filesharing …

Posted on August 1, 2008 

‘Sorry, you are held in a queue as a result of illegal filesharing …’

Dave Winer is not a man given to understatement. As the progenitor of one of the first blogs, Scripting News, and (at least) the co-creator of web feeds (aka RSS), Winer has made lots of money from being, as he puts it, “an outlier on the leading edge”.

The other day, his internet service provider Comcast cut him off unexpectedly. An outage? No. When he got on the phone to someone in customer support, he found that it was more to do with how much bandwidth he was using: “their issue isn’t with the security on my net, it has to do with how much bandwidth I use. Can’t work with them when their method of getting me on the phone is to shut off my service, without any warning. I told them to close the account. I’m no longer a Comcast customer. I’m sure they’ll send me another bill, adding insult to injury.”

But because Winer is, in techland, something of a personality, the customer service person tried to tell Winer that he liked him. “My response was you’re a company rep, you don’t get to like or not like me.” That’s the spirit: the anti-celebrity. We don’t get enough of that sort of attitude, of I don’t care if you know who I am, and in some ways I’d prefer you didn’t so I can see how you really operate.”

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