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Fairer data pricing

You know it makes sense.
  [vote for,

The majority of service providers for mobile data services charge users on the amount of data they transfer, either by the Gigabyte, Megabyte or kilobyte.

In the end, you pay for what you use on a byte by byte basis.

However, there is an inherent element of unfairness in this system, for if a user is charged "per byte", all bytes are charged at the same rate; yet not all bytes are the same; many contain significantly more “0”s than “1”s.

So, whether a user transfers 0x00, 0x7F, 0x10 or 0xAA, they pay the same charge.

We suggest that users should be charged on the actual number of “1”s transferred, and not for the “0”s. Thus, if the maximum charge per byte is x, 0x0F will attract a charge of x/2, 0x30 will be x/4, and so on.

This is a much more rational system than the one now in general use.

8th of 7, Feb 17 2012


       I know it makes sense, also funny. I bet programmers can make data consisting of more 0's to accomodate this.
zeno, Feb 17 2012

       Ah well, simply make numeric fields longer, pad text fields with nulls instead of spaces, use unicode, etc.: that'll get your 0:1 ratio right up there.
FlyingToaster, Feb 17 2012

       Isn't the "1" associated with current or magnetism being turned on? Certainly it costs more to make a 1 than a 0.
phundug, Feb 18 2012

       But a 0 uses up pi times as much silicon to draw as a 1. And 1 fits down wires better, 'cause it's skinnier.
spidermother, Feb 18 2012

       For ease of pricing, data packets should be re-packaged so that all the 1-bits are grouped together at the beginning. The current scattering of 1-bits throughout the message is just untidy.
pertinax, Feb 18 2012

       Taking this seriously for a second, in a given electrical or magnetic medium, is there a difference in energy expenditure between zeroes and ones such that energy could be saved by storing in a particular binary format, or would that be cancelled out by processing? Is there a thermodynamic-like relationship?
nineteenthly, Feb 18 2012

       [nineteenthly], yes, the past few decades have seen an increase of evidence for something that can be called "The Law of Conservation of Information", and which may actually be **more** fundamental than the Energy Conservation Law. There is indeed a minimum energy always associated with flipping a bit.
Vernon, Feb 18 2012

       //is there a difference in energy expenditure// I seem to remember, back in the days of RLL hard drives, that not only did too many sequential bits in the same direction lead to the possibility of the read-head losing track of the count, there was also concern that too many high-bit magnetized domains stuffed together would magnetize the surrounding media.
lurch, Feb 18 2012

       If you hooked up a NOT gate, you could get unlimited data for free.
MaxwellBuchanan, Feb 18 2012

       The premise is fundamentally flawed. "0"s don't cost any less to transmit than "1"s. In fact, it's the other way around. Since "0" represents the ground state, where there's no potential diference between the sender and receiver, it's actually impossible to transmit a "0" directly. Instead, normal practice is to transmit a "1", followed by an inversion bit that signifies that the preceding bit should be flipped by the recipient. So a "0" actually ends up costing twice as much as a "1" to send.
ytk, Feb 19 2012

       I have an unlimited data plan, so I paying the same however many 0s or 1s I consume, which seem fair enough to me.
DrCurry, Feb 19 2012


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