Old news reels drive broadband usage globally?

I was prompted by a note chez Dave Winer that the Pathe news articles are online. I wanted to look at anything they had on Neil Armstrong … the website intro works fine … but then I get this (and this is a straight cut and paste, with the line breaks deleted):

“Error Diagnostic Information.An error occurred while attempting to establish a connection to the server. The most likely cause of this problem is that the server is not currently running. Verify that the server is running and restart it if necessary. Unix error number 111 occurred: Connection refused”

…. Verify the server is running and restart? How on earth would I hope to do that?

This ought to be a 1901 Census type site – one that drives a lot of traffic from all over the world as it’s the only source of a huge range of broadcasts that many would find interesting – whether for old time’s sake, academic interest or just plain fun.

Eventually the site works, but it gets confusing. It pops up with an “invoice”, but the amounts are all zero, and then you have to type in a bunch of personal data, but it’s not really clear why or what will be done with the information. That’s a shame, but it’s worth persevering – like I said, where else are you going to find this?

I just checked the Wired article that Dave W refers to … it says 250,000 users tried it out in the first 3 days. Definitely in the killer app territory! But it also says only 50,000 films were downloaded by those 250,000. I wonder if the other 200,000 were put off by the registration process? I can’t believe that they didn’t find anything they didn’t like. There’s so much there!

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