This may be my last blog post this month, because i just got a notice saying that I was running out of bandwidth, and unless my wife gets a fat bonus or something , we probably won’t be able to afford any more.
Our bandwidth usage seems to go up every month, and it seems that one reason for this is that an increasing number of web pages are displaying live video as soon as the page opens, instead of waiting for you to click on it to start the video.
David MacGregor warned about this earlier this month when he said:
I don’t know how many of you work the online media for news, but I access quite a few newspapers and sites world-wide, and I was amazed to find that suddenly 70 megs appeared as unexplained usage. This happens it seems to a number of folk, but without my computer guru I would never have discovered why. So just in case someone else has the same problem, watch out for those unwanted videos that appear in online national newspapers, especially London Telegraph and its blogs. Today three unwanted 20 mg videos had apparently auto downloaded while I went for a break but had left a site to download. Apparently lucky folks overseas get unlimited broadband. Wow! I wish.
The other day I noticed that an advertising video was playing while I was reading Yahoo e-mail. That make Yahoo e-mail a lot more expensive than snail mail. At least with snail mail you only pay to send the thing, you don’t have to pay for every second you spend reading it!
That also seems counterproductive — presumably the advertiser is paying Yahoo to play the video, even though, if I’m reading my mail, I’m paying no attention to it. So I am paying Telkom and the advertiser is paying Yahoo, but neither the advertiser nor I gain any benefit.
Perhaps what we need is for browsers like Firefox to include an option to block live videos in much the same way as they block popup ads. Or at least to give a warning of sites with live videos, so that you can navigate away from them as quickly as possible.
I automatically navigate away from sites that playing unsolicited music, though by the time one dos that much of the damage has been done and a fair bit has been downloaded, and my desktop computer doesn’t have speakers, so that can be going on for quite a long time before I realise it.
Anyway, just be aware that some of these “free” webmail sites, like Yahoo, may be costing you a great deal of money while you read your mail.
And if I don’t blog, or read or comment on other people’s blogs for the rest of the month, that’s why.
And if you have video or sound on your blog, PLEASE make sure you include an “opt-in” option for people to play them if they want to.