Subway Fares via Phone
SUBWAYblogger (how’s that for obnoxious typography?) points at the MTA’s turnstile upgrade allowing riders to pay for their fares with cell phones, saying that you have to “just look for the little green star symbol”. A little bit of digging reveals a few nuggets that the SUBWAYblogger failed to mention: you have to have a CitiBank account and a Cingular cellphone. Not to get all lecture-y, but this is what the debate over Network Neutrality is about. Imagine if a landline company tried to pull this shit:
Supplies are running out! Visit us on the web, or, if you have a Qwest-provided telephone line, call our 1-800 number to place your order now!
That ain’t hyperbole, either, folks. That’s a closed network run by people who love to make money off of you. If Cingular can control the “pay with your cellphone” market on the subway for long enough, they will get converts from other providers. Those of us who love our current plans and current phones, however, get screwed.