€716,414,273 Mobile Phone Bill: That's a Whole Lot of Talking

Manager of French distillery doesn't remember making that many phone calls

1 min read
€716,414,273 Mobile Phone Bill: That's a Whole Lot of Talking

The AFP news agency reported yesterday that a manager of French distillery Maison Vedrenne in Nuits-Saint-Georges received a 716,414,273 euro ($1.2 billion) phone bill from Orange, France Télécom's mobile phone subsidiary. Needless to say, the manager was a bit stunned:

"It's so enormous when you see it written down, you can't believe it, so several of us had a look."

An Orange spokesperson said it was all just a bill printing error which was blamed on "a computer glitch."

"The figure inside the computer is correct," said the spokesperson.

Still, while impressive, it still doesn't match the $23,148,855,308,184,500.00 bill - plus $15 in overdraft fees - one customer received from VISA in 2009.

The Orange spokesperson says the company is going to look into how the problem happened.

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Why the Internet Needs the InterPlanetary File System

Peer-to-peer file sharing would make the Internet far more efficient

12 min read
An illustration of a series
Carl De Torres

When the COVID-19 pandemic erupted in early 2020, the world made an unprecedented shift to remote work. As a precaution, some Internet providers scaled back service levels temporarily, although that probably wasn’t necessary for countries in Asia, Europe, and North America, which were generally able to cope with the surge in demand caused by people teleworking (and binge-watching Netflix). That’s because most of their networks were overprovisioned, with more capacity than they usually need. But in countries without the same level of investment in network infrastructure, the picture was less rosy: Internet service providers (ISPs) in South Africa and Venezuela, for instance, reported significant strain.

But is overprovisioning the only way to ensure resilience? We don’t think so. To understand the alternative approach we’re championing, though, you first need to recall how the Internet works.

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