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Comments on news posted 2012-11-14 10:21:53: AT&T broadband users continue to claim there's something not quite right about the way AT&T calculates data usage for their capped DSL and U-Verse users. ..


IowaCowboy
Iowa native
Premium
join:2010-10-16
Springfield, MA
Reviews:
·Verizon Broadban..
·Comcast

1 recommendation

Weights and measures

If money is involved, then they may be running afoul of various state "weights and measures" laws.

Here in Massachusetts (although we are Verizon turf), the weights and measures laws are somewhat strict such as a store can get a $100 fine if the price on the shelf and the price on the scanner does not match. They also inspect gas pumps to make sure that you are getting a true gallon and they inspect scales that are used for trade.

Maybe some class action lawyer could find a way to convince a judge to apply the various weights and measures laws since they do charge for overages.

When you pay for a gallon of gas, it should be a true gallon of gas. And in Mass, the price on the pump and the price on the signs have to match or you are entitled to the lower price.
talz13

join:2006-03-15
Avon, OH

1 recommendation

Re: Weights and measures

said by IowaCowboy:

When you pay for a gallon of gas, it should be a true gallon of gas.

It is always a gallon of gas, but due to temperature fluctuations, it may not be the same mass due to higher densities in cold temperatures, and lower densities in warmer temperatures.
travelguy

join:1999-09-03
Santa Fe, NM

1 recommendation

Re: Weights and measures

said by talz13:

It is always a gallon of gas, but due to temperature fluctuations, it may not be the same mass due to higher densities in cold temperatures, and lower densities in warmer temperatures.

Which is why Costco pumps have a label on them now stating that they sell gas by volume not energy content. Some ambulance chaser thought they could win a lawsuit because the pumps weren't temperature compensating.

chamberc
Premium
join:2008-08-05
Irving, TX

Re: Weights and measures

said by travelguy:

said by talz13:

It is always a gallon of gas, but due to temperature fluctuations, it may not be the same mass due to higher densities in cold temperatures, and lower densities in warmer temperatures.

Which is why Costco pumps have a label on them now stating that they sell gas by volume not energy content. Some ambulance chaser thought they could win a lawsuit because the pumps weren't temperature compensating.

Take E85. A gallon has 1/3 less energy content, so therefore it takes 1/3 more E85 to go the same distance as gas.

I always laugh when I see people filling up with E85 thinking they're paying less, and yes, I ran two tanks of the crap to confirm. My gas mileage dropped from 12 mpg to 8.

88615298
Premium
join:2004-07-28
West Tenness
said by talz13:

said by IowaCowboy:

When you pay for a gallon of gas, it should be a true gallon of gas.

It is always a gallon of gas, but due to temperature fluctuations, it may not be the same mass due to higher densities in cold temperatures, and lower densities in warmer temperatures.

Small fluctuations are expected. If someone's data is off 20% that's an issue. Even 5% is an issue.
en103

join:2011-05-02
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable

Re: Weights and measures

I agree. While I'm typically not for 'regulation', I would have to state that if companies that are using meters for profit, those meters should be certified for use by an independent company.

Eg. Household electric meters, gas meters, water meters, grocery store scales, gas station pumps, etc.

If AT&T is going to bill by the byte, then their billing must conform to a standard, and their devices must be certified for accuracy.

I should not be paying for external broadcast packets that do not make it to the LAN side of the modem, or corporate sniffers.
MaynardKrebs
Heave Steve, for the good of the country
Premium
join:2009-06-17
kudos:4
said by talz13:

said by IowaCowboy:

When you pay for a gallon of gas, it should be a true gallon of gas.

It is always a gallon of gas, but due to temperature fluctuations, it may not be the same mass due to higher densities in cold temperatures, and lower densities in warmer temperatures.

In Canada, the gas is sold volumetric corrected to a temperature of 15C, which is the typical temperature of the gasoline in the underground tanks at the depth they are buried. Since the path of the gasoline in the above-ground portion of the pump is short there is no appreciable need to correct for the ambient atmospheric temperature.

You *might* gain some energy content advantage is you filled up in the winter just after the underground tanks were replenished, if the tanker had traveled 200 miles in -20F weather and chilled the gasoline.

cdru
Go Colts
Premium,MVM
join:2003-05-14
Fort Wayne, IN
kudos:7

Re: Weights and measures

said by MaynardKrebs:

You *might* gain some energy content advantage is you filled up in the winter just after the underground tanks were replenished, if the tanker had traveled 200 miles in -20F weather and chilled the gasoline.

To quantify that amount...

Gasoline expands about 1.2ml per liter per 1 degree C increase in temperature. The variation between -20F and the baseline 15C is approximately 44C. That gives you the equivalent additional energy as an extra 52.8mL at the baseline temp, or a 5.28% advantage. Putting that in terms of units Americans would understand, that's like getting an extra 7/8ths of a cup of gas per gallon.

It usually averages out though for non-ATC pumps. Because for tanks that you might get at -20F, you may also get gas at 80 or 90 degrees and you lose the advantage.
MaynardKrebs
Heave Steve, for the good of the country
Premium
join:2009-06-17
kudos:4

Re: Weights and measures

said by cdru:

.......That gives you the equivalent additional energy as an extra 52.8mL at the baseline temp, or a 5.28% advantage. Putting that in terms of units Americans would understand, that's like getting an extra 7/8ths of a cup of gas per gallon.

52ml is roughly 20% of a standard 8oz./250ml 'cup', or approximately 2 ounces or 1/4 cup.

Anyone have any idea what the typical temperature of gasoline is when it's held in above ground tanks at the refiners terminal, and how much hat temperature varies though the year in different climatic zones?
InvalidError

join:2008-02-03
kudos:5
said by IowaCowboy:

They also inspect gas pumps to make sure that you are getting a true gallon and they inspect scales that are used for trade.

The difference is that weights, volumes, lengths, etc. are physical measurements that can vary with temperature, humidity, physical wear, etc. so these need a common reference preferably tied to some fundamental physical measurements.

Bits on the other hand are a discrete invariant quantity so there is no possible dispute about the measurements of a bit.

What is more dispute-worthy here is the accounting behind the billing: what gets counted, why, where, when and how.

A lot of the billing errors may either be due to AT&T's systems having the wrong port associated with a given account and billing the wrong person. Another possibility is your IP address getting spammed by portscans and other activities which AT&T cannot really tell apart from regular traffic in which case the only way to avoid it is to turn off the modem when not in use. AT&T also cannot really tell packets dropped at your end and even if they could, I doubt there is any reason for AT&T to offer refunds for data mishandled at your end just like the gas station doesn't refund you if you spill gas.

Usage billing is all in the accounting. The likelihood of "measurement" errors from reading byte counters is practically zero.

cowboyro
Premium
join:2000-10-11
Shelton, CT
Reviews:
·AT&T U-Verse

Re: Weights and measures

said by InvalidError:

The difference is that weights, volumes, lengths, etc. are physical measurements that can vary with temperature, humidity, physical wear,

No they don't. A kilogram is a kilogram, whether on the Earth at the North Pole or on the bright side of the moon. Same for a meter, same for a liter.
said by InvalidError:

Another possibility is your IP address getting spammed by portscans and other activities which AT&T cannot really tell apart from regular traffic in which case the only way to avoid it is to turn off the modem when not in use.

With Uverse, modem off means no TV. Not even being able to watch already recorded shows...

88615298
Premium
join:2004-07-28
West Tenness

Re: Weights and measures

said by cowboyro:

No they don't. A kilogram is a kilogram, whether on the Earth at the North Pole or on the bright side of the moon. Same for a meter, same for a liter.

Actually the moon's gravity is 1/6 that of Earth so a kilogram on Earth would be 1/6 kilogram on the moon.

Also technically gravity is slightly stronger at the north pole so a kilogram at the equator would be slightly more than a kilogram at the north pole.
Petermjjh

join:2005-04-03
Bloomfield Hills, MI

Re: 50Mb vs 105Mb technical/install differences?

Nope a kilogram is a kilogram no matter what.

However acceleration due to gravity is different on the moon than on Earth. You are thinking of weight which is measured in Kg m/s2, or a Newton (N).
darkcrucible

join:2007-06-07

1 recommendation

Re: Weights and measures

This is not correct. A kilogram is a measurement of mass. That is, how much stuff there is in something. A kilogram of carbon will still be a kilogram on the moon, the north pole or anywhere else. What you're thinking of is weight which is not the same as mass.

For example, there are 6.03x10^23 atoms of carbon in 12 grams of carbon. Just because you take that carbon to the moon doesn't suddenly mean there are 1.005x10^23 atoms of carbon (2 gram of C).

cowboyro
Premium
join:2000-10-11
Shelton, CT
Reviews:
·AT&T U-Verse
said by 88615298:

said by cowboyro:

No they don't. A kilogram is a kilogram, whether on the Earth at the North Pole or on the bright side of the moon. Same for a meter, same for a liter.

Actually the moon's gravity is 1/6 that of Earth so a kilogram on Earth would be 1/6 kilogram on the moon.

Also technically gravity is slightly stronger at the north pole so a kilogram at the equator would be slightly more than a kilogram at the north pole.

The mass is a property of an object. It does not change.(*)
Weight on the other side is the force exerted by gravitation. We conveniently refer to mass as weight as on Earth the difference is negligible for most practical purposes. We are actually measuring the weight force and translating into "the mass that produces the weight on Earth".
-----
(*)exception for objects that absorb or release energy in nuclear fusion or fission reactions.
prairiesky

join:2008-12-08
canada
kudos:2
said by 88615298:

said by cowboyro:

No they don't. A kilogram is a kilogram, whether on the Earth at the North Pole or on the bright side of the moon. Same for a meter, same for a liter.

Actually the moon's gravity is 1/6 that of Earth so a kilogram on Earth would be 1/6 kilogram on the moon.

Also technically gravity is slightly stronger at the north pole so a kilogram at the equator would be slightly more than a kilogram at the north pole.

??
You're confusing lbs with KG, kg's don't change as a result of gravity.

Data is completely different. Data is simply a count. Like, I have 3 apples. All of our measuring devices are subject to physical variations such as temperatures, pressures etc. The units are also defined by substances, for instance, 1 KG is 1 L of water. 1 L doesn't change based on external forces, but the amount of water contained within that space sure does hence the definition of 1 KG being 1 L / water needs contraints on the variables that affect it.

Data is simply a count. I transfered 3 apples, either you did or you didn't, there are no external forces that change that count. it's either right or it's wrong

koolman2
Premium
join:2002-10-01
Anchorage, AK

Re: Weights and measures

Pounds and grams both measure the same thing: mass. 5 kg = 11.023 lbs on Earth as well as the moon.
prairiesky

join:2008-12-08
canada
kudos:2

Re: Weights and measures

there is a mass pound, but the general term lb/pound refers to a weight, which is a force not a mass. Because the mass pound and the force pound (weight) are so closely labeled, Grams are much preferred for use of mass.

cowboyro
Premium
join:2000-10-11
Shelton, CT
Reviews:
·AT&T U-Verse

Re: Weights and measures

said by prairiesky:

there is a mass pound, but the general term lb/pound refers to a weight, which is a force not a mass.

No they are not.
lbs are imperial units for mass, kilograms are [SI] units for mass.

arandomguy

@suddenlink.net
Nope. Grams and their variants are a measure of the amount of mass an object has. Pounds is a measure of the force of gravity over an object. An object will weigh less on the moon, but will still have the same mass. Does no one take science class these days?

DataRiker
Premium
join:2002-05-19
00000

1 edit
said by 88615298:

Actually the moon's gravity is 1/6 that of Earth so a kilogram on Earth would be 1/6 kilogram on the moon.

Also technically gravity is slightly stronger at the north pole so a kilogram at the equator would be slightly more than a kilogram at the north pole.

You don't even know the first grade definition of mass....

BonezX
Basement Dweller
Premium
join:2004-04-13
Canada
kudos:1

2 edits
said by 88615298:

said by cowboyro:

No they don't. A kilogram is a kilogram, whether on the Earth at the North Pole or on the bright side of the moon. Same for a meter, same for a liter.

Actually the moon's gravity is 1/6 that of Earth so a kilogram on Earth would be 1/6 kilogram on the moon.

i love when people apply Imperial theory to SI units, it just makes my day.

an LB is a force(F=M*A), not a mass, weight is a measurement of force, a slug is a mass not a force
a Newton is a force, not a mass, a kg is a mass not a force.

gravity is calculated at 9.8m/s^2, or 32.15ft/s^2

Imperial units are arbitrary, where SI units are standardized.

good example, a meter is how long it takes for light to travel in 1/299 792 458 of a second.

cowboyro
Premium
join:2000-10-11
Shelton, CT
Reviews:
·AT&T U-Verse

Re: Weights and measures

said by BonezX:

i love when people apply Imperial theory to SI units, it just makes my day.
an LB is a force

Actually a lb is a unit for MASS not for force.
1lb is defined as 0.45359237 kilograms.
said by BonezX:

Imperial units are arbitrary, where SI units are standardized.

They are not arbitrary at all. Not any more than SI units. There is a strong, well-defined relationship between imperial and SI units.

DataRiker
Premium
join:2002-05-19
00000

2 edits

Re: Weights and measures

The term pound can refer to a mass or a force. The unqualified term "pound" is ambiguous.

If one wishes to be unambiguous you can refer to either a pound-mass or pound-force.

Or just use the SI units since they are designed to be unambiguous.

cowboyro
Premium
join:2000-10-11
Shelton, CT
Reviews:
·AT&T U-Verse

Re: Weights and measures

said by DataRiker:

Since the term pound is unqualified it can refer to a mass or a force.

The term pound denotes a mass (when we are talking about "weights"). The pound-force term denotes the gravitational force exerted by a 1lb mass on Earth.

DataRiker
Premium
join:2002-05-19
00000

4 edits

Re: Weights and measures

Weight is a force, so if your going to use some subjective context for reference (which is unwise) lb force would be more fitting.

Since neither of you used "pound-force" [lbf] or "pound-mass" [lbm], any argument that one definition is more correct than the other is extremely silly.

The unqualified "pound" should never ever be used in anything but the most informal oral conversations.


BonezX
Basement Dweller
Premium
join:2004-04-13
Canada
kudos:1
said by cowboyro:

said by DataRiker:

Since the term pound is unqualified it can refer to a mass or a force.

The term pound denotes a mass (when we are talking about "weights"). The pound-force term denotes the gravitational force exerted by a 1lb mass on Earth.

LB is a measurement of force(weight is called the normal force of an object fyi), the imperial measurement of mass is the slug.

cowboyro
Premium
join:2000-10-11
Shelton, CT
Reviews:
·AT&T U-Verse

Re: Weights and measures

said by BonezX:

said by cowboyro:

said by DataRiker:

Since the term pound is unqualified it can refer to a mass or a force.

The term pound denotes a mass (when we are talking about "weights"). The pound-force term denotes the gravitational force exerted by a 1lb mass on Earth.

LB is a measurement of force(weight is called the normal force of an object fyi), the imperial measurement of mass is the slug.

According to NIST it's officially defined as a unit of mass. What some people use it as has no bearing over the official definition.

BonezX
Basement Dweller
Premium
join:2004-04-13
Canada
kudos:1

Re: Weights and measures

said by cowboyro:

According to NIST it's officially defined as a unit of mass. What some people use it as has no bearing over the official definition.

»en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slug_%28mass%29
»en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Normal_force

might want to also look outside the united states of stuck in the past, if you did calculations in the scientific community, or about ~90% of the countries in the world in lb you would be laughed at.

cowboyro
Premium
join:2000-10-11
Shelton, CT
Reviews:
·AT&T U-Verse

Re: Weights and measures

said by BonezX:

said by cowboyro:

According to NIST it's officially defined as a unit of mass. What some people use it as has no bearing over the official definition.

»en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slug_%28mass%29
»en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Normal_force

might want to also look outside the united states of stuck in the past, if you did calculations in the scientific community, or about ~90% of the countries in the world in lb you would be laughed at.

The pound is the official unit for mass. Not force, mass.
The slug is a derived unit that makes the 1:1 translation between units of time, length and force so that F=m*a

DataRiker
Premium
join:2002-05-19
00000

4 edits

Re: Weights and measures

Force is defined using mass.

If you use pound in science, you will be immediately asked to clarify if you mean force or mass.

DataRiker
Premium
join:2002-05-19
00000

3 edits
said by cowboyro:

According to NIST it's officially defined as a unit of mass. What some people use it as has no bearing over the official definition.

This is a rather silly point since force is defined using mass.

When you understand your circular reasoning get back to me.

OldCableGuy

@planetcr.net
>good example, a meter is how long it takes for light to travel in 1/299 792 458 of a second.

Yeah, that doesn't sound arbitrary or anything.

DataRiker
Premium
join:2002-05-19
00000

Re: Weights and measures

it is arbitrary until you once again qualify "in a vacuum"

Science is very particular about details
InvalidError

join:2008-02-03
kudos:5
said by cowboyro:

No they don't. A kilogram is a kilogram, whether on the Earth at the North Pole or on the bright side of the moon. Same for a meter, same for a liter.

A kilogram may be a kilogram and a liter may be a liter but the calibration of measurement instruments can drift over time due to temperature, humidity, wear, aging, corrosion, contamination, etc.

This is why physical quantity measurement equipment needs to be periodically inspected and calibrated.

AVD
Respice, Adspice, Prospice
Premium
join:2003-02-06
Onion, NJ
kudos:1

I guess being a reader of [user=karl bode]...

....carries a lot of juice. Slashdot readers are given a big FU.

sirwoogie
Blah
Premium
join:2002-01-02
Carleton, MI

for classic ADSL, they count all the headers

For their standard DSL offering, they count the overhead in the bandwidth calculation. When you factor in ATM, PPPoE, and TCP/UDP overhead, that racks up to about 16-25% overhead depending on the size of the average packet sizes you get using the connection.

To add insult to injury, this also affects the speed you get as they don't account for the overhead in the "up to" speed. So, if you have a plan of 3Mbps/512Kbps, the MAXIMUM you could ever get is about 2.5Mbps/415Kbps. So, you can never reach your "up to" speed, but they also knock you on the meter because of the overhead.

They recently added a $3 increase on all of the classic plans, because you know it costs more to deliver those same bits they were doing before.

••••••••

n2jtx

join:2001-01-13
Glen Head, NY

Power Company

This might be a great idea for our wonderful electric company LIPA. Come up with a secret proprietary way for calculating electric usage. The meters could be set to run on battery power so they are always spinning, even in a blackout! Plus they could multiply usage by a secret number, "e" perhaps, to up the usage.

Sounds like AT&T is making a good case for the government to step in and regulate their meters under the same weights and measures rules that apply to scales, gasoline and gas and electric meters.
--
I support the right to keep and arm bears.

Twaddle

@sbcglobal.net

Re: Power Company

ATT has the best protection from the law that money can buy so there is no danger from Federal (or state)-maybe locally there's a chance to get them on weights and measures violations but I am not holding my breath.

Twaddle

@sbcglobal.net

U-Verse charges

AT&T has the "balls" to advertise a 2 year contract with no increases yet every month the TOTAL bill for my services keeps going up due to added "Just because we can" charges. They sent me the letter saying that CAPS are in place but have yet to say how I am supposed to know if I am approaching the CAP over it or how far over the CAP etc. Somehow this seems to be an extortion scheme of sorts. Thankfully I've fulfilled my contract terms so have no early termination fines to pay should I finally say enough is enough. America where Corporate dollars buy the best protection from the law.

nothing00

join:2001-06-10
Centereach, NY

Re: U-Verse charges

It's the New Business, "We'll charge you what we want, when we want." model.
kshusker

join:2009-10-12

1 recommendation

If ISPs are gonna do meters....

they need to be:

...documented exactly how they work
...audited by a third party
...and available to the consumer in real time

That's how my electric meter operates. That's how my water meter operates. ISPs who try opaque, inaccurate, undocumented "metering" need to be taken to task.

••••••••••••••
JT01

join:2009-02-03
Charlotte, MI

DSL Metering

I am an ATT DSL customer in Michigan. After seeing numerous posts about the inaccuracy of ATT's metering method, I decided to run my own experiment. I turned off my modem at 11:30 PM on October 19, 2012 and turned it back on at 12:30 AM on October 21, so the modem was completely off for the entire day of October 20. Despite the impossibility of usage during this period, ATT says I used 340 meg down and 30 meg up for October 20. Maybe the metering is in another time zone, but draw your own conclusions.

••••

Anonymous_
Anonymous
Premium
join:2004-06-21
127.0.0.1
kudos:2

1GB =1000mb

1GB =1000mb

•••••••••••••

cybercrim

@verizon.net

hey att

ads and spyware add up to the cap too and if you leave your modem on 24/7 and if you use vonage it goes to the cap

88615298
Premium
join:2004-07-28
West Tenness

Re: hey att

said by cybercrim :

ads and spyware add up to the cap too and if you leave your modem on 24/7 and if you use vonage it goes to the cap

ads don't add up to that much unless the cap is ridiculously low. spyware? That's on YOU to prevent that.

Vonage? You'd have to talk over 25 hours to use 1 GB.
8744675

join:2000-10-10
Decatur, GA

I'm sending this to the GA Secretary of State

I'm sending this letter to the GA Secretary of State. I urge you all to do the same. In Georgia, weights and measures is handled by the Dept. of Agriculture. Each state is different.
----------------
You may be aware that internet service providers and cell phone companies have started imposing data caps on their customers usage, with high overage charges when they exceed the cap.

I am concerned that there is absolutely no oversight of the accuracy of the meters they use to bill customers. There are numerous reports of inaccurate meters, and in fact, some ISP's have temporarily discontinued the caps due to inaccurate metering.

There many reports of meters reporting data usage while the customer's equipment was unplugged or there was a power outage. Other technical users have measured their own data usage at their router and the usage results are different, and usually lower than what the providers are claiming.

When we consume gasoline, we are insured that we are getting a gallon because the pumps are inspected by the State and sealed, and consumers can verify the accuracy on their own. When we buy food, scales are also inspected for accuracy and consumers have easy access to other scales to verify their purchase.

When we buy data, there is no such oversight, inspection or guarantee that these usage meters are correct, and no way for the average consumer to verify that they are being billed correctly. This provides an open opportunity for providers, who are notorious for nickel and dime'ing their customers with so called "regulatory" non-fees, to overcharge customers with inaccurate data usage meters. More information on this can be found at www.dslreports.com

The laws of Georgia must be brought up to date to embrace the digital age and insure that meters that are used to measure and bill for data usage are accurate and verifiable. I urge the State to act quickly, because the use of voice over internet, video and other data consumption is expanding at lightning speed, and even small overcharges amount to millions of dollars of illicit income for the providers.
old_wiz_60

join:2005-06-03
Bedford, MA

Nice way...

to raise prices; just say you used more and charge you, even if you only used half of the cap. If the info is proprietary, then there's no way to prove they are wrong.

koitsu
Premium,MVM
join:2002-07-16
Mountain View, CA
kudos:23

1 edit

1 recommendation

Hmm...

Possible root causes that I have seen within companies (corporations) and in the minds of some engineers:

Someone's calculations being wrong when polling data from network devices. Most network devices count the number of octets sent/received across an interface. 1 octet = 1 byte, and 1000 bytes = 1 kilobyte (keep reading).

When it comes to network traffic, you're supposed to calculate things based on a fairly obvious calculation formula which a lot of people don't use. Instead, they try to do things like go off of the number of kilobytes (which means you've lost granularity). Note in the reference material how all the calculation methods involve multiplying by 8. As I said above: 8 bits to a byte.

This brings us next to the whole Kilobyte vs. kibibyte thing. God I hate this. It didn't used to be this nonsensical. As a computer programmer, a kilobyte, to me, has always been equal to 1024 bytes (2^10). That's how computers calculate data on a bit level: 1, 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, 64, 128, 256, 512, 1024. xkcd took a jab at this too.

And I say all this knowing quite well that the prefix "kilo-" has always meant 1000 -- it's just that the term when used in computer usage has always referred to numbers with a base of 2. Anyway, purists complained/bitched that "kilobyte" should actually refer to 1000 bytes, not 1024 bytes like it had up until that point. Hard disk manufacturers I'm certain had a role in this too, since they began claiming (on packaging, manuals, etc.) that 1000 bits = 1 byte (when in actuality on the hardware itself it doesn't work that way -- this was done purely from a marketing perspective to allow hard disks to look like they have more capacity than they really do (2.4% more, in fact). As such, the term "kibi-" was created to refer to 1024.

And let's not forget this annoyance too, which is common for folks unfamiliar with network devices or telecommunications (speaking in general terms here).

Anyway, the question then becomes: when converting into a unit like kilobytes, do you go with dividing by 1024, or do you go with dividing by 1000? When it comes to network devices, you're supposed to use 1000, and you're always supposed to measure things in bits. When I say "measure things in bits", I'm referring to the fact that all calculations should be doing things in bits, and save the large-unit-conversion for the very end.

The difference, when given large amounts of data, can be pretty substantial. Some real examples. Note that I'll either round down or up based on if the fraction is >=0.5 or not (duh).

193859387214 bits = 24232423402 bytes

Now let's apply the stupid kibi vs. kilo ordeal:

193859387214 bits = 189,315,808 kilobits (1000)
193859387214 bits = 193,859,387 kibibits (1024)

193859387214 bits = 24,232,423 kilobytes (1000)
193859387214 bits = 23,664,476 kibibytes (1024)

193859387214 bits = 193,859 megabits (1000)
193859387214 bits = 184,879 mibibits (1024)

193859387214 bits = 24,232 megabytes (1000)
193859387214 bits = 23,110 mibibytes (1024)

193859387214 bits = 194 gigabits (1000)
193859387214 bits = 181 gibibits (1024)

193859387214 bits = 24 gigabytes (1000)
193859387214 bits = 23 gibibytes (1024)

Technically the difference between the two (1000 vs. 1024) is 2.4%, and the reporter says he's seen differing amounts of up to 20-30%, so maybe I'm barking up the wrong tree.

Maybe someone is doing something stupid like trying to calculate a volumetric total from bits-per-second, which is incorrect -- the latter will result in an average, while the former will result in an aggregate total. If they're doing this, shame on them. I have seen people do this before, and I have also seen open-source projects screw this up too, so it's not limited to just big corporations.

And finally, god forbid if they're using something like RRDTool to store the acquired data, in which case this would actually work in the customer's favour, since RRDTool averages all the data (every row in its database) every time a new row/data point is inserted. (Yes, there are ways to turn this off (use LAST instead of AVERAGE) but even that has had some bugs in the past if I remember correctly).

This whole thing reminds me of the Verizon billing fiasco, where morons (even managers) couldn't understand the difference between 0.002 dollars and 0.002 cents.

There's also the possibility that the device AT&T is getting their statistics from is something that's post-encapsulation. I don't know if ATM is used or what, but that tends to add quite a bit around every single frame (think packet, just to keep it simple), so if they're not subtracting that from the usage, again, shame on them. Otherwise they need to increase their permitted monthly totals by the encapsulation percentage delta to make up for it.

I say all this as someone who partakes in the Tomato/TomatoUSB project, and should probably go look at the back-end scripts and Javascript used to calculate the aggregate total of network traffic per month... Let's face it: the problem could be there. I'm trying very hard not to apply Occam's razor to this...
--
Making life hard for others since 1977.
I speak for myself and not my employer/affiliates of my employer.

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en103

join:2011-05-02

DSL - ATM overhead

I almost suspect that customers are being charged for AT&T's ATM overhead of ~15% on both inbound and outbound.
Basically - AT&T is charging you for their encapsulation bits on 'their' end, not the actual bits that are on the LAN side.

••••
elray

join:2000-12-16
Santa Monica, CA
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable
·EarthLink

Who is being charged?

For all the populist ranting we read here nearly every week, has anyone actually been assessed an overage charge and had to pay it, or been disconnected?

Wired caps are an inexpensive tool to influence behavior, not create additional revenue. Telco knows well how inaccurate they are. It doesn't matter.

They will be unenforced in the interim, and will go away when "network neutrality" nonsense fades from view.

But if you all push hard enough, who knows, maybe we'll have a national modem standard that includes federally certified usage metering.

Be very careful what you wish for.

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NO to ESPN

@sbcglobal.net

What is the Actual Intent?

Sounds criminal to me as this will be potentially used to defraud people.

maartena
Elmo
Premium
join:2002-05-10
Orange, CA
kudos:2

Usage based billing should be closely monitored.

Any company that bills it's customers by a certain amount used or acquired, is subject to independent agencies and/or state officials checking up on them to make sure they have accurate metering.

Examples:

- Your water, gas, or electricity meter at your home.
- The scale at the local supermarket.
- The pump at the gas station.
- Your phone bill minutes/seconds used.

These things have all been measured for sometimes centuries. Weights in shops were checked way back to the middle ages when city officials would just show up to a shop and compare the shopkeeper's weights to the official weights of the city.

Phone companies used to use an inaudible pulse that would click 10 times a minute with billing intervals for every 6 seconds.

Accurate gas, electricity and water metering has been around for many, MANY decades.

Gas pumps have been pretty precise since the 1920's, back when they even had visible glass tops where they would first fill a big glass bowl to a certain level which had gallon marking on it.

Everything that is paid for per amount used or per amount purchased.... has been scrutinized over the ages to ensure customers aren't getting ripped off.

With so many reports of 20, 30, sometimes more percent difference between what AT&T wants to charge you versus what actually came in (and went out) of your home, they too should be closely monitored and their meters should be tested and proven accurate before they can charge customers.
--
"I reject your reality and substitute my own!"

KrK
Heavy Artillery For The Little Guy
Premium
join:2000-01-17
Tulsa, OK

Now that they include anti-class action language...

In the service contracts, they know they have nothing to fear.

They can overcharge at will and know that the only recourse someone would have would be a lawsuit of their own which they could stonewall till the end of time.

This goes hand in hand with the article about lost subscriptions listed above. Despite the "Rosy Competition, let the market settle it" official propaganda that Telco and Cable put out, they know that in reality there's little choice and they have little to fear from *most* customers just leaving for good.

It's much more profitable to overcharge the entire base and not worry about the few who will leave permanently (Cord cutters.)

At least, right now it is.

... And I'm sure if cord cutting ever becomes a legitimate threat they'll call up Congress and pass more abusive copyright laws to try and force people to stay.....
--
"Fascism should more properly be called corporatism because it is the merger of state and corporate power." -- Benito Mussolini
BiggA

join:2005-11-23
EARTH

They should have to be independently audited

In order to charge for things like that. I'd like to see it done on the wireless side as well, where it seems to me that their metering is erratic, as it usually doesn't match my local metering (although not always in the same direction).

Bill Neilson
Premium
join:2009-07-08
Arlington, VA

And as long as we have some crying about

the "big bad government" whenever anything about business comes up, companies like AT&T have nothing to worry about when it comes to screwing over consumers with 'secret' policies.

Oh no! AT&T had to pay a $2M fine for a scam that netted them 500M? The disaster!