Jump to content


Photo

We have become Big Brother


  • Please log in to reply
376 replies to this topic

#51 lost_soul

lost_soul

    Advanced Member

  • Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 1456 posts

Posted 03 November 2010 - 02:38 PM

Speaking of big brother... Here's another consumer device that has kill-switch functionality! http://www.pcpro.co....e-7-kill-switch

Don't worry though, it will only be used to maintain security and stop viruses. Kill-switches and forced updates are always for YOUR protection. They will never be misused or anything like that.

--- War does not decide who is right, war decides who is left.


#52 Mortem Desino

Mortem Desino

    Uber member

  • Development Role
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 2443 posts

Posted 04 November 2010 - 12:13 AM

Oh jeeze, I hate forced updates. A few months ago, my cell phone was complaining that it needed a firmware update. I talked to a techy at my cell provider asking if it was REALLY neccessary. He replied yes and after my incessent prodding, eventually begrudgingly explained why it was neccessary.

So I updated the firmware like I was told. Then my monthly cell bill came with a $52 internet use surcharge. What the hell, man? Ransoming my phone service for $52? Arses.
yay seuss crease touss dome in ouss nose tair

#53 Fidcal

Fidcal

    Master Mapper

  • Development Role
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 16639 posts

Posted 04 November 2010 - 01:31 AM

Opera seems to be doing forced updates now. I have the config set to NOT do forced updates but advise if there is an update. But the last two times it just went ahead and when I checked it had altered the config setting. I check it now and again and it's definitely set to only advise. I await the next forced update. I'm likely to update anyway but I like to choose when and not have it do it when I'm in a hurry to do something. :(

The problem with anti-malware software is that it often gets it wrong in my experience. I have had my own programs rejected and many others which I know are safe but are just doing something unorthodox (by the way they measure things anyway.) What they should do imo is advise they have detected unusual activity, give info, then offer advanced options such as 'flag this particular activity (in this program only) as safe' then leave it up to the user.

#54 rich_is_bored

rich_is_bored

    Advanced Member

  • Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 861 posts

Posted 04 November 2010 - 02:12 AM

@Mortem: They're using the Internet as a medium to distribute updates while simultaneously charging users for accessing the Internet? That's rich. I would refuse to pay it.

#55 lost_soul

lost_soul

    Advanced Member

  • Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 1456 posts

Posted 04 November 2010 - 02:36 AM

ouch... How big could that cell phone firmware have been? This is the age where printer and graphics drivers can be over 100 megs. :)

--- War does not decide who is right, war decides who is left.


#56 OrbWeaver

OrbWeaver

    Mod hero

  • Active Developer
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 7409 posts

Posted 04 November 2010 - 04:48 AM

This is the age where printer and graphics drivers can be over 100 megs. :)


The drivers themselves are pretty small (a printer driver on Linux is just a single .ppd file), it's all the extra Sooper Amazing .NET Management Desktop crap they put in with it which inflates the size to 100M+.

#57 Fidcal

Fidcal

    Master Mapper

  • Development Role
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 16639 posts

Posted 06 November 2010 - 12:05 AM

http://www.physorg.c...ne-privacy.html

So Google has a wipe history button on its home page? Hard to find. If opt-in instead of opt-out were the law then we'd see these things much more prominently at the point of use.

#58 lost_soul

lost_soul

    Advanced Member

  • Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 1456 posts

Posted 29 November 2010 - 01:41 PM

From the "we know what's good for you department"...

http://tech.fortune....d-magazine-app/

This isn't as simple as just banning an app. The user can't install it, even from a third-party source without Apple's permission. This would be like my MegaGamerExtreme PC refusing to let me look at PCs from another vendor, or not letting me install benchmark utilities from the competitor. The device is my property and I should be able to read about anything I like with it, even if it is content that supports your direct competitor.

--- War does not decide who is right, war decides who is left.


#59 Fidcal

Fidcal

    Master Mapper

  • Development Role
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 16639 posts

Posted 30 November 2010 - 02:55 AM

Is this on the Ipad? Can that document still be read on it from some source other than Apple's store?

#60 lost_soul

lost_soul

    Advanced Member

  • Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 1456 posts

Posted 30 November 2010 - 11:11 AM

Well I'm sure you can access it via the web connection as a web page or text document. It just makes me laugh when they play this off as simply "refusing to sell the app", when there's no other place you can actually install the thing from. If my local grocery store only stocks Pepsi, but I want Cocacola, I can go somewhere else to get it. I'm not forced to shop at only one store, and said store cannot impose any rules that affect me outside of the store.

--- War does not decide who is right, war decides who is left.


#61 Fidcal

Fidcal

    Master Mapper

  • Development Role
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 16639 posts

Posted 30 November 2010 - 02:09 PM

Yes, commerce is always trying to control us. Just watched Michael Moore's movie, Capitalism: A Love Story a couple of days ago. A lot of it about the Banking system and investments. They are utterly ruthless and now we are all paying the price in cuts while they wallow in their billions. Something has to give.

I think capitalism is the best system we have at the moment but it's in balance like the law of the jungle, dog eat dog. The only system I can think of that might improve things I cannot see how it can be implemented in a practical way but my thinking is this:

I personally think society is gradually improving. People are thinking more and more and challenging the old ways. This is good. But for some time to come(hundreds of years?) our human nature will continue to be generally greedy, selfish, and somewhat evil. So communism doesn't work because who is idealistic enough to slave away on his farm when the state takes the profit? And of course, the people in authority always cream off the best for themselves ultimately.

So my idea is that if people are driven by money why not reward them for 'quality' rather than sales? Suppose there could be some authority set up to evaluate and judge the quality of each company's products and services? And this of course is the stumbling block to my idea; I've no idea how this could be implemented fairly. But just suppose:

Companies would get tax benefits according to how well they performed not how many items they sold. This does not mean only high quality expensive goods; by 'quality' I also include value. So the media are still free within reason to print what they like but the quality newspaper can now compete because they get huge tax benefits. The gutter press can still focus on trivia and scandals but pay heavy taxes. The TV company that is full of aggressive promos pays the price in taxes every year; they realize they will make more profit if they provide a better service. Companies that take advantage in any way they can at the expense of the customer also pay the price while the enterprise that strives to give a good product with good service at a fair price gets huge tax relief.

So commerce is still drive by human nature: greed, but with a different objective: quality and service.

I can dream anyway. :)

#62 Sotha

Sotha

    Vertical Contest Winner

  • Active Developer
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 5600 posts

Posted 30 November 2010 - 03:42 PM

I can dream anyway. :)


Nice text. We should start a new offtopic thread: "The ideal society" to gather peoples visions. Might not only be fun, but interesting too. When I become the emperor, I might then maybe consider implementing these visions. ;)

On this big brother thing I sometimes entertain myself by wondering the following thing:

  • Who decides what is fashionable?
  • I asked one time a trendy girl wearing leggins and a tunica why suddenly all 'trendy' girls dress up like that. She told me that that is the stuff which is available in shops at this time.
  • This means that someone decides that something is now trendy and then mainstream clothing shops have only series of clothes available that match this current trend.
  • Then people's clothing decisions have been forced into certain trend, because of the availability of the clothes.
  • And then the fashion trend is observed: people dress in certain similar types of clothes.
It is mysterious to see large amount of people suddenly to start dressing up similarily. Someone has a weird control over these people. Shouldn't we all choose our individual clothing style and not be influenced by mass trends? Why should everyone dress up similarily? :wacko:
Clipper
-The mapper's best friend.

#63 jdude

jdude

    Uber member

  • Development Role
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 4001 posts

Posted 30 November 2010 - 04:16 PM

In Western countries like Canada and the US it's mostly just following the trends of European countries where is the hub for design.

What I think is interesting is how with the introduction of cell phones and portable media has literally translated into constant monitoring of one another. Sorry if this has already been posted, too tired to read all of the thread right now ;)

#64 Fidcal

Fidcal

    Master Mapper

  • Development Role
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 16639 posts

Posted 30 November 2010 - 05:36 PM

@Sotha: absolutely right on the fashion thing. We are manipulated to make more sales. After all, it takes N years to wear out clothes but you can sell more if fashions keep changing.

We are also manipulated with other commodities and consumables. Take the humble washing up liquid. A few years ago, cheap old washing up liquid was about 35p with economy being 12p or 13p. The economy is the same but with double the water (I know because at one time I helped make it at a wholesale chemist.)

The new buzz phrase is 'added value' which means how to squeeze even more money out of the consumer. So new bottle types and add choice of fragrance; apple - yummy! Price: 75p upto 120p. BTW note that all the brands 'upgraded' mainly because most of them are controlled by the same corporation.

I tested them some from each group. How? There is only one way to test them. Use them and note how many days each one lasts doing your normal washing up. In my case this was about 30 days. FOR ALL OF THEM! Yes, each of them has approximately the same capacity to wash up. The extra dilute with all that extra water still has the same actual concentrate in it. So it was good value at 12p. It washed up the same dishes that the most expensive new bottle did at about 120p - over TEN times the price! Now I admit the the bottles and fragrances are nicer - but not 10 times nicer. I wouldn't mind paying a few pence more but no - that's not enough for them.

Of course the ultra economy dilute version is now phased out in my area. I can just about get the standard old poly bottle which I think now is about 40-odd p but for how long I don't know.

These people have no interest whatsoever in providing anything. At their board meetings they do not discuss how to provide a better service or better value or how can we help the customer more? No, they discuss how can we squeeze a little more profit out them?

We are being watched, like specimens in a lab, poked and prodded and manipulated for every last drop of blood. These are the new thought police.

Oh yeah, now we have the garbage police. Unbelievable but absolutely true. Actually going through your personal garbage and fining people who are putting the wrong types in the wrong container.

Next will be the forum police. Scanning on-line forums to see who is complaining. If I disappear one week and they find me upside down in a wheelie bin then you know who to fine.

#65 jdude

jdude

    Uber member

  • Development Role
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 4001 posts

Posted 30 November 2010 - 08:50 PM

What you describe is not the construct of marketers necessarily imo. You cannot have one societal group force others into acceptance into wanting more expensive items. Simply put, people want to pay more for a product that does the same as a cheaper product. People feel like their product is superior, just because they paid more and it literally causes the customer to think 'this is better because it cost more.' Some people shop for food at discount stores, others shop at higher end grocery stores, this is because this is our lives, our status, it helps us define us. How much of this is the work of marketing and how much is just human nature? I have no idea, but I think its both.

Fashion runs out of the same "umph" after you see it over and over that it had when it first came around. For example, I've seen women wear new fashion and the first time I saw it I thought "WOW That looks great! All women should wear something that sexy." Then after a while you get used to it and you don't notice it anymore as more women start to wear the same thing. Then someone comes out with something new and I think the same thing :P Repeat this process for almost every new trend.

It's not that we are being deceived or manipulated, companies are capitalizing on our stupid quirks and we let them because we like it. If people wish to define themselves by their material world they need someone to sell them that material.

Value added refers to any benefits that aren't related to the product directly you get which are included in the price. Think status, Rolex Watches, Lambos, diamonds etc. Realistically a diamond is just a dumb rock, we pay for it not because of what it is but what we perceive it as which has a value to it.

Another example, I owned a Honda Civic and the people at Honda were jerks to me, now I hate Hondas, I feel like I spent too much on the car even though logically I know I didn't. I've had a GM and a Nissan and their service is great, even if GM aren't the best cars I really appreciate the service they give with their product. I therefore assign more value to GM cars due to their service, but when I buy a car I'm not buying the service directly but the theory is inside my head I take the price then say what I think it should be then add the value of the service I expect which should match the regular price causing me to snatch it up. So GM should realistically price the cars with quality of service included even if you never use their services.

#66 Sotha

Sotha

    Vertical Contest Winner

  • Active Developer
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 5600 posts

Posted 01 December 2010 - 02:12 AM

These people have no interest whatsoever in providing anything. At their board meetings they do not discuss how to provide a better service or better value or how can we help the customer more? No, they discuss how can we squeeze a little more profit out them?


I wish I could simply say that you're just paranoid, but unfortunately I think this is true.

The companies job is not to provide a reliable service and good products, but rather maximum profits to the owners and stock holders. I agree that sometimes reliable service and good products are required for the maximum profits, but sometimes they are not.

Profit oriented aim results in the companies operating at peak 'efficiency', in other words skeleton crew. The overworked employers do not have the time to provide good and reliable service. You can see this in some restaurants, for example: typically there are only one waiter per 1000000000 customers and then you have to wait forever for everything. Or your ISP/web-store/cell phone manufacturers customer 'care.'

It is worrying me that many basic society functions get transformed into companies. Like the mail service. If it gets privatized, that would mean that it becomes a profit producing system rather than a service which has an important function in the society. It is not about delivering mail reliably, it is about making profit.

Same applies to services which you cannot refuse from. Like car inspection services. They were privatized in my country, because politicians thought the competition would reduce prizes. Actually it ended up increasing the prices drastically, because in the end only a few big car inspection firms ate all the small ones. After that they can dictate any price they want because you cannot refuse from that service and there is no real competition in the field. Therefore there will be no options for the customers.

Hooray!:(
Clipper
-The mapper's best friend.

#67 lost_soul

lost_soul

    Advanced Member

  • Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 1456 posts

Posted 01 December 2010 - 02:56 AM

@Fidcal: You are onto something here. It shouldn't just be about taking the customer for every dime that he is worth and then abandoning him with a broken product that he cannot fix. (hello TDS)

Here's an example of good business. Last weekend, we went to Fry's (a big retailer similar to Best Buy). My step-dad had an ancient PC from 2004 or so that just wouldn't power up anymore. The light would blink a couple of times, but that was it. I didn't have any spare power supplies laying around or anything, so we took it in. The guy behind the work bench asked what the symptoms were, popped the side panel off, and quickly attached another power supply that belonged to the store. Sure enough, the machine fired up immediately. He didn't charge us anything.

My step-dad didn't want to spend a lot of money on a new system because this computer is at a house where he doesn't stay often (he owns THREE of them!). So, he just picked up a power supply from Fry's along with an extra 512 megs of DDR1 ram for $25. I told him "you know you could get that RAM cheaper online, right?". He told me "Yes, but these guys were helpful and they deserve the profit.". At this point, I completely agreed. They didn't want $30 to simply touch the machine or try to upsell us on an overpriced PSU for an ancient PC.

Moral of the story: Treat customers with respect. If you do this, they will be happy. They will be more likely to support you directly and not run to the cheapest online reseller they can find. Even if your prices aren't the absolute cheapest, good customer service can make all the difference (and the sale).

Edited by lost_soul, 01 December 2010 - 03:02 AM.

--- War does not decide who is right, war decides who is left.


#68 Fidcal

Fidcal

    Master Mapper

  • Development Role
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 16639 posts

Posted 01 December 2010 - 10:41 AM

@lost_soul: Yes that's a good general rule. It doesn't always work but generally does. Anyway, I think it is worth doing for it's own sake even if your customers don't come back.

The companies job is not to provide a reliable service and good products, but rather maximum profits to the owners and stock holders. I agree that sometimes reliable service and good products are required for the maximum profits, but sometimes they are not.

Yes, I'm interpreting your meaning as the directors etc are employed to maximise profits for investors rather than 'the ultimate purpose of companies in the universe is to make money.' Because imo in the great scheme of things, the real purpose of course is not that. If we look back from thousands of years hence at various civilizations we can say that the purpose of a car factory is to produce cars; the purpose of a bookshop is to provide books; the purpose of a transport company is to transport people and/or freight (with profit as a necessary side-effect to pay workers and investors.) That is what society, governments, and the people want from commerce. But as you say, 99% are not set up for that purpose but to make money with the products and services as an irritating side effect they have to put up with. In fact I would go further and say that with the current set up in the free world, it is inevitable especially with large companies, human nature and globalization being what it is. The only exceptions are the individual trader or craftsman perhaps who loves his work and cares about people and is content with less profit.

I mentioned globalization because strangely, we are all forced to keep up with our neighbour countries. So if the UK tried to go it alone and developed some system of quality and value over profits then we would fall behind other countries and eventually the economy would collapse. I'm no expert but I think it is because of the relative disproportion in trading with other countries. It seemed a strange thing to me when the Soviet Union fell apart because of the collapse of its economy because they had far more wealth than during the 18th century, or the 19th century, or during the war, or even during the 50's and 60's! Yet there was no economic collapse (AFAIK.)

We're trapped in a process at the moment I'm afraid. We're stuck in a moment and we can't get out of it. We need new ideas; new people of vision to lift us up. Always in history there have been great men and women to advance things - so be ready.

#69 Sotha

Sotha

    Vertical Contest Winner

  • Active Developer
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 5600 posts

Posted 01 December 2010 - 12:26 PM

Always in history there have been great men and women to advance things - so be ready.


Aye! Let's just hope that the great man/woman is going to be a scientist.

The reason for this is that history shows that if a non-scientist great person advances things, it will always result in the deaths on very many people as a side effect. Alexander the great, Napoleon, [nazi card played], Stalin etc, etc, etc.

For some reason, only scientific giant leaps seem to occur peacefully. :wacko:
Clipper
-The mapper's best friend.

#70 jdude

jdude

    Uber member

  • Development Role
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 4001 posts

Posted 01 December 2010 - 01:57 PM

Aye! Let's just hope that the great man/woman is going to be a scientist.

The reason for this is that history shows that if a non-scientist great person advances things, it will always result in the deaths on very many people as a side effect. Alexander the great, Napoleon, [nazi card played], Stalin etc, etc, etc.

For some reason, only scientific giant leaps seem to occur peacefully. :wacko:


Yea like that asshole Gandhi. What we need are science minded people like Einstein to developing some big bomb or Mikhail Kalashnikov developing the most popular most accessible assault rifle ever. That'l show those corporations who's boss.

#71 Sotha

Sotha

    Vertical Contest Winner

  • Active Developer
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 5600 posts

Posted 01 December 2010 - 03:26 PM

Yea like that asshole Gandhi. What we need are science minded people like Einstein to developing some big bomb or Mikhail Kalashnikov developing the most popular most accessible assault rifle ever. That'l show those corporations who's boss.


Heh.. Do note that the technology which is used for the bomb has other benefits. And it is not the scientists who order the pilots to drop ze bombs or fire ze missiles. It is The Great Leaders, politicians and soldiers. Not scientists.:)
Clipper
-The mapper's best friend.

#72 jdude

jdude

    Uber member

  • Development Role
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 4001 posts

Posted 01 December 2010 - 03:32 PM

Heh.. Do note that the technology which is used for the bomb has other benefits. And it is not the scientists who order the pilots to drop ze bombs or fire ze missiles. It is The Great Leaders, politicians and soldiers. Not scientists.:)


I see so if I give a gun to a child and he shoots someone I'm obviously not to blame because it's the child's fault. Extrapolate that to giving an A-bomb to the US to drop on Hiroshima. Obviously scientists had no idea the bomb would be used for blowing stuff up so they have no responsibility for it. I think Einstein himself would disagree with this. A gun to shoot people? Who'da thunk it, Mikhail Kalashnikov must have been making AKs for target practice.

#73 Sotha

Sotha

    Vertical Contest Winner

  • Active Developer
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 5600 posts

Posted 01 December 2010 - 03:46 PM

I see so if I give a gun to a child and he shoots someone I'm obviously not to blame because it's the child's fault. Extrapolate that to giving an A-bomb to the US to drop on Hiroshima. Obviously scientists had no idea the bomb would be used for blowing stuff up so they have no responsibility for it. I think Einstein himself would disagree with this. A gun to shoot people? Who'da thunk it, Mikhail Kalashnikov must have been making AKs for target practice.


Your analogue is a bit broken when you make a comparison gun->child; nuke->US.

Do note also the non-military application for the technology I already mentioned. Also note that the world was at war, and dropping the bomb essentially forced the japanese to surrender. Dropping the bomb expedited the end of the war. Maybe it saved some lives that way. Remember that the japs did have suicide tactics when they were losing.

I won't comment Kalashnikov, because I see him more as a soldier and weapon designer, rather than a scientist. Oh, and even if he still did design an effective weapon, the burden of guilt hangs on the people who decide how to use the weapons. Politicians, generals, not scientists. (Or weapon designers. :))
Clipper
-The mapper's best friend.

#74 Fidcal

Fidcal

    Master Mapper

  • Development Role
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 16639 posts

Posted 01 December 2010 - 04:00 PM

As I recall, Einstein was reluctant to help with the bomb but was eventually persuaded that things would be worse if say Hitler developed it first.

Anyways, though it's a useful tool, I don't think technology will be the solution but rather some change to society. Maybe a radical change in education, or crime management, or parenting, or all of the above or who knows what. Although most of us will continue to accept being manipulated there will always be the few who keep questioning and seeking.

#75 jdude

jdude

    Uber member

  • Development Role
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 4001 posts

Posted 01 December 2010 - 04:29 PM

Okay new analogy:

My friend finds out his wife is cheating and wants to pay me to make a plan to kill her, I agree because I'm not killing her and I make the plan using my scientific prowl. Am I not partially responsible for her death when he kills her using my plan?

Einstein also said he had other great ideas for things which he didn't develop because he felt that humanity would be irresponsibleness with them.

I think scientific developments wont rid people of their materialism, in-fact I think the opposite would be true. The more dependent we become on tools and materials for our lives the more materialistic we will be. So I fail to see how a scientist would rid society of our acceptance of the type of business corporations use to fulfill our material needs. Unless we're talking some sort of pill, in which case who would ever want to take a pill to rid them self of materialist attitudes? IMO removing humans from the equation in trying to find the solution is completely the wrong direction.




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users