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Paul Boddie paul at boddie.org.uk
Mon Jan 22 22:39:55 UTC 2018


On Monday 22. January 2018 19.31.44 bruno at tracciabi.li wrote:
> On 2018-01-22 10:10, Stephane Ascoet wrote:
> > [...] Here to be sure to fully use public transports, we need to be
> > ultra-connected with a pocket-computer(occasionally doing badly phone
> > function).
> 
> I suppose "here" means Paris or France. I bet it's possible and not too
> complicated to use public transports without a pok├ęcom
> (pocket-computer). You buy a ticket and you hop on. Or maybe you can
> also buy directly onboard. Like we've been doing for more than one century.

Here in Oslo, you can buy tickets on buses, trams and boats, but you pay more 
to do so. It is possible to buy tickets in advance on underground station 
platforms and at certain shops, but the emphasis has moved towards selling 
paperless tickets, meaning that you either have to get the special travel 
smartcard or use a smartphone.

Interestingly/annoyingly, you cannot add money to the smartcard online, 
whereas you can pay for travel in the smartphone "app". And I imagine that 
they will never get round to supporting general online payment because the 
real aim is to make everyone use their phone.

I think I already mentioned in a previous discussion that the process of 
checking tickets is prone to failure, because it relies on people's phones 
having good connectivity and performance. And that is with an underground 
train network with good mobile coverage relative to some other cities.

It could be worse. When I was at FSCONS in Gothenburg back in 2012, things 
were already awkward enough that you couldn't buy tickets on the bus at all, 
meaning that people travelling from the non-central venue back to town who 
didn't have a smartcard or some kind of mobile device backed with a full 
Swedish subscription had no way of actually paying for travel, short of 
walking into town first and then buying a ticket and, well, that makes no 
sense at all.

(So, one of the locals just suggested not paying and not worrying about any 
ticket inspection because it was claimed that the inspectors had no legal 
authority or at least no effective power to demand money from foreigners. What 
kind of business deliberately makes it difficult for itself to accept money 
from its customers?)

[...]

> Anyway, I'm not going to waste more of my time and other people's
> bandwith arguing while you cannot defend your point with a logical
> argument. /b

There's no need to be rude.

Although one can always say that things are not as bad as people claim, there 
are already places where non-smartphone solutions have been eliminated. 
Carsten Agger noted in a thread last September ("Is lack of software freedom a 
valid reason for refusal?") that some parking vendors mandate smartphone "app" 
usage.

We now risk encountering precisely the kind of "walled garden" Internet that 
the likes of Apple wanted to cultivate in the early 1990s before the genuine 
Internet became broadly popular. For a number of good reasons, that is very 
much something to be worried about.

Paul



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