Category Archives: Ethics

Google Watches (and Sells) the Watchers

So now Google is looking to sell other people’s real-world ad spend they paid to grab your attention.  You gotta love the chutzpah.  Privacy will be a thing of the past in the not too distant future.

Pay per gaze advertising need not be limited to on-line advertisements, but rather can be extended to conventional advertisement media including billboards, magazines, newspapers, and other forms of conventional print media. Thus, the gaze tracking system described herein offers a mechanism to track and bill offline advertisements in the manner similar to popular online advertisement schemes.

via Google patents ‘pay-per-gaze’ eye-tracking that could measure emotional response to real-world ads | The Verge.

The Problem with 401k Plans

There is no rationale that justifies the kinds of rates we’re seeing on the asset management side.  Fees should be for specific advise to workers and their families.  This is why I was happy to work with a fee-only wealth advisor in years past.  It’s just a more defensible and ethical way to do business.

The Problem with 401k Plans | The Baseline Scenario.

Dirty Money

David Coldewey writes in his article Dirty Money:

Well, not all the cards. As I wrote once, the reason Apple does the things it does is to please us, the consumers. We demand a new iPhone every year that must be better and cheaper. We insist that a thousand dollars is too much for a state of the art computer. We want bigger TVs and external hard drives and slim cameras. And we, almost without exception, fail to care when our demand for more iPads drives Apple to double its orders, driving Foxconn to push more overtime, driving poorly-maintained ventilation systems to their maximum, driving a spark to ignite an aluminum-dust explosion. It’s not our problem, it’s Apple’s or it’s Foxconn’s or it’s China’s. Very reassuring. Continue reading

In Ways that Seem Inconsistent

Apple may be using patent troll to do its legal dirty work:

It’s not clear just how complicit Apple is in Digitude’s business, but EFF staff attorney Julie Samuels told TechCrunch that if Apple was deliberately aiding Digitude’s patent trolling, “it would be horrifying.” And even if Apple were somehow coerced into settling with Digitude, Samuels doubts that “Apple didn’t have any other options.”

As we noted recently, Apple has a tendency to use its intellectual property in ways that seem inconsistent. For instance, an Opera developer claims that Apple has a pattern of using patents to slow down the W3C’s open standards process, while promoting open standards when it gives Apple leverage against its competitors. This situation with Digitude seems similar; Apple opposes the tactics of patent trolls when they come after iOS developers, but seems to support them if it aids its ongoing legal battle for dominance of the smartphone market.

(Via arstechnica.com)

Disturbing to say the least!

The Fed’s $7 Trillion Secret Loan Program

The Fed’s $7 Trillion Secret Loan Program:

 

Eliot Spitzer on the aforelinked scandal revealed by Bloomberg:

Imagine you walked into a bank, applied for a personal line of credit, and filled out all the paperwork claiming to have no debts and an income of $200,000 per year. The bank, based on these representations, extended you the line of credit. Then, three years later, after fighting disclosure all the way, you were forced by a court to tell the truth: At the time you made the statements to the bank, you actually were unemployed, you had a $1 million mortgage on your house on which you had failed to make payments for six months, and you hadn’t paid even the minimum on your credit-card bills for three months. Do you think the bank would just say: Never mind, don’t worry about it? Of course not. Whether or not you had paid back the personal line of credit, three FBI agents would be at your door within hours.

Yet this is exactly what the major American banks have done to the public.

Or, as Jon Stewart asked, “How the f*** is it that Martha Stewart went to jail?

 

(Via Daring Fireball)

Gruber finds the perfect quote.