Popularity kills: nosepilot hit (almost) into oblivion
March 9, 2001 12:16 PM   Subscribe

Popularity kills: nosepilot hit (almost) into oblivion Not all Flash sucks: many of us who have dreamed of putting our fists through the screen at yet another stupid corporate Flash intro loved Al Sacui's dreamy little piece. But now Sacui is looking for some way to cover or modify his ISP's $16,000 bill (which he just found out about yesterday -- no warning beforehand that traffic was a problem). He's hoping to sort out the financial problems and has people in contact with his ISP re the debt, but what he really needs is someone to mirror or co-host the 4.8 Mb of files that make up the site. Can you help out?
posted by maudlin (33 comments total)
Wow. That's a lot of change. The ISP claims they called him when it began to get out of hand, but he's saying otherwise. Maybe the Bezos honor system can hook him up.
posted by Hankins at 12:30 PM on March 9, 2001

I'm glad he's planning to file for bankruptcy; that's just what he should do, or at least threaten to do. "You can work with me, and get something reasonable, or you can attempt to destroy me, and get nothing."
posted by aaron at 12:46 PM on March 9, 2001

Nosepilot is one of those things that makes you just sit there and drool. (In admiration and awe, that is!)

Honor system, all the way, Hankins.
posted by hijinx at 12:50 PM on March 9, 2001

Unfortunately, he ain't never gunna get $16k on the honor system. I'm with Aaron.
posted by Doug at 12:58 PM on March 9, 2001

Yeah, it's nice flash but I doubt he'll get enough support for $16k, also, is the host allowed to do that? Not say anything for a while and then just spring the charges up on him? Threaten with bankruptcy and pay down whatever's reasonable and get someone big to host him. Reasonable?
posted by tiaka at 1:03 PM on March 9, 2001

You can't say enough about unlimited bandwidth hosting plans.
posted by fusinski at 1:06 PM on March 9, 2001

Make sure you read the part where Josh from praystation does the math and figures out that, at 7 cents/megabyte of traffic, it would have saturated half of a T1 line 24/7 for the entire month to end up costing $16,000.. so it sounds more like a billing error on their part than anything else.
posted by zempf at 1:07 PM on March 9, 2001

From nosepilot's host, gisol.com (hosting.gisol.com)...

- 90 Days Free
- Free Account Setup
- Account Control Panel (Demo)
- 100 MB Server Space
- No Hidden Charges!

Oh... Classic. No Hidden Charges. Riiight. I like it how they make no mention to the amount of bandwidth you get per month.
posted by fusinski at 1:15 PM on March 9, 2001

I changed my mind. This guy doesn't need bankruptcy, he needs a lawyer. It appears gisol.com is completely violating its contract, if not making up rules out of thin air after the fact. And this is the clincher, for me:

Al has stated that you attempted to contact him at 2:00 am, which is not an acceptable contact time...

That's an understatement. Calling at 2 in the morning about a debt is a direct violation of federal law. This action in and of itself is enough for Sacui to sue their pants off for punitive damages.
posted by aaron at 1:36 PM on March 9, 2001


I found where it mentions the transfer limit: http://policies.gisol.com/. (Really small print, end of #9.)

HOWEVER, check out Google's cached version of the page. It makes NO mention of the policy. Looks like that addendum to #9 was added recently, or at least, since Google's cachebot has been there.

Is there any way to find out when the pages were updated and compare the dates?
posted by gramcracker at 1:38 PM on March 9, 2001

Wow... that is really lame. Who honestly ever reads the fine print, like there's ever anything important there? It seems to me that transfer limits are too important of an issue to not list as part of the plan where the rest of the plan details are spelled out.

If the company wants to get lame, we can get lame too. I made it through the entire registration process, aside from entering my credit card info, and nowhere did I click anything that said I agree to said "policies" that aren't even listed as part of the plan I just signed up for. Not to say they might be there at the very end, but if I'm not mistaken, aren't these types of agreements usually at the beginning of a sign-up process? I doubt it's there at all.

I agree... this dude needs a lawyer. I have a feeling this would get laughed out of court. There's no way this guy should be paying a nickel.
posted by fusinski at 2:03 PM on March 9, 2001

gramcracker, this may help: the cache of their front page. sometime near jan 26, 2001?
posted by pnevares at 2:10 PM on March 9, 2001

Nice call, fusinski and pnevares.

Any lawyer-types that know if this contract/policy stuff is valid at all? Or, shouldn't they have to contact all their subscribers if they change their fine print policies?
posted by gramcracker at 2:28 PM on March 9, 2001

The same thing is happening to one of the best sources for Harry Potter movie pictures, book cover galleries, and other graphics related to the Harry Potter phenomena.
posted by bkdelong at 2:44 PM on March 9, 2001

posted by fergy21 at 3:05 PM on March 9, 2001

If you click the link at the top of the Google cached policies page, you get taken to http://www.best-internet-services.com/Our_Policies/our_policies.shtml which doesn't have the addition to #9 like http://policies.gisol.com/ does. What gives?
posted by dithered at 3:18 PM on March 9, 2001

>>If you click the link at the top of the Google cached policies page, you get taken to http://www.best-internet-services.com/Our_Policies/our_policies.shtml which doesn't have the addition to #9 like http://policies.gisol.com/ does. What gives?<<

I'm not an expert by any manner of means, but it smells to me like some emergency ass-covering....

Not to mention, don't companies have to give 30 days notice to all customers of any change in terms and conditions?

Just a thought or two...
posted by pixeldiva at 3:39 PM on March 9, 2001

Okay, so here's a question: Assuming the host's claim is valid, isn't having that link up there a bad idea? You're just sending more traffic his way and raising the bill.


If we can get a definitive answer that it's not legit, I say we send every possible person there and "Slashdot" the bastards. *evil grin*

Now, where's that lawyer?
posted by Su at 3:44 PM on March 9, 2001

Somebody really ought to contact Al Sacui and let him know about this thread. There is some information here that could prove very useful to him, especially the bit about cached version of his ISP's TOS page not showing the same fine print as the recent versions.
posted by Potsy at 5:05 PM on March 9, 2001

I've just saved Google's cached version to my hard drive, and I urge other people to do the same. Even if Al does get himself a lawyer, it may be after the cachebot's gone through again, and he (and his lawyer) may be able to make use of the evidence. True, it's digital and therefore editable, but if enough people have the same cached version it may hold some sway.

Maybe. Hopefully.
posted by cCranium at 5:22 PM on March 9, 2001

I did the same, cCranium. I'm going to email Al about the info we've got. I just hope his email accounts are still active. With our all this background work, we've done, score one for the MeFiers!
posted by gramcracker at 6:01 PM on March 9, 2001

I e-mailed him earlier today about the info in this thread, but the e-mail address uses the nosepilot.com MX record, which might be down. I haven't had any response yet, but not bounced e-mail either.
posted by waxpancake at 6:25 PM on March 9, 2001

You know, the guy at Nosepilot might just appreciate it if you *didn't* link to his site from Metafiler, ya know.

Just a thought. =P
posted by ookamaka at 6:37 PM on March 9, 2001

My friend did an adopt an image campaign and saved 60%.
posted by holloway at 8:07 PM on March 9, 2001

maudlin would have been better to link to nosepilot.com/disaster.html directly -- it took me a couple of tries to find the "secret message", sheesh. Anyway, the webhost seems to have migrated to tera-byte.com instead of gisol.com.

fergy21, in a thread with a dozen links, posting a random unreferenced statement like BAD LINK is really useless.

Anyway, this kind of host behavior is soooooo 1997. It's probably more common today to simply shut down a website that's over limit instead of racking them up a horrendous bill. A 2am e-mail and a stealth policy change are just plain underhanded. Still, that kind of unpresented contract change is difficult to enforce. Somebody find Mike Wasylik wandering around Austin, OK?
posted by dhartung at 8:25 PM on March 9, 2001

Hmm.. actually, it wasn't a secret message when the link was posted. When I clicked through earlier, I saw the thing that's now disaster.html.. must've changed between the time it was posted & the time you clicked through. Seeing the flash back up there makes me wonder if he got his issues resolved..?
posted by zempf at 12:13 AM on March 10, 2001

This smells like a scam (albeit an elaborate one). Does this Al guy even exist? Is this a legitimate ISP or an elaborate hoax?
posted by internook at 9:33 AM on March 10, 2001

maudlin would have been better to link to nosepilot.com/disaster.html directly -- it took me a
couple of tries to find the "secret message", sheesh.

At the time that I made the link, the Flash was not at the main page: all that was there was the material now found at nosepilot.com/disaster.html. I knew -- but chose not to highlight in my original post -- that you could get to the Flash movie through a link on the bottom of the page for the exact reasons people have mentioned here: why make it too easy to add to Al's traffic?

But it was probably risky to post it here anyway. However, if that domain is now hosted at a different ISP, I feel better about it.
posted by maudlin at 10:09 AM on March 10, 2001

internook, it's no scam. Nosepilot's flash art has been circulating for some time, and Al is, as far as I know, a real person. It isn't wholly surprising that distributing a 5Mb flash file would eventually run afoul of an ISP's traffic cops.

maudlin, nothing personal, that makes sense now.

I don't see any updates since yesterday, though. I hope he gets representation.
posted by dhartung at 10:20 AM on March 10, 2001

The Nosepilot domain is now handled by redirection.net, which is redirecting users to http://www.thewebfairy.com/nosepilot/, but cloaking the URL in a borderless frame. So that's that.
posted by waxpancake at 6:50 PM on March 10, 2001

this is tragically hilarious.
i just did the math.
i owed this company 35 grand last month.
the same in january.
half of that in december and about
7 grand the first month i signed up with them.
have absolutely no grounds to stand on...legally.

posted by alsacui at 6:23 PM on March 11, 2001

posted by Su at 7:22 PM on March 11, 2001

no grounds legally.
but there are many details about the company i have not
elaborated on in hope of being on their good side.
i want to tell the world about what gisol.com really is.
i may need to find a site to host me that is not afraid of free speech.

ive owed gisol money every month that they hosted me.
out of "courtesy" they did not warn me about my immenselly excessive traffic.
for 4 months.

im going all out.
there are many details which gisol will not like people to know.
posted by alsacui at 9:14 PM on March 13, 2001

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