I spent the better part of Monday morning trying to establish an internet connection. None of my usual tricks solved the malfunction. I issued a torrent of profanity, punched hard drives until my knuckles bled, and cried tears of frustration. A patient friend finally suggested that I call my internet provider. Sure enough, a recorded message confessed to technical problems in my neighborhood. Much of my ire could have been avoided if the company had made an automated explanatory phone call to their customers when their system went down: "Hello. This is a message from a Time-Warner robot. We realize that your internet connection is down and we are diligently attempting to repair it. We apologize; expect to see a pro-rated discount on your next bill."