Author Topic: The MMM forums now require a toxic device in order to register to use them!  (Read 9926 times)

SmashYourSmartPhone

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Re: The MMM forums now require a toxic device in order to register to use them!
« Reply #200 on: September 14, 2023, 01:02:01 PM »
... rather than that of a system that is turning an optional convenient consumer object into a necessary ongoing household expense.

In many households with several devices, second only to the mortgage, and one that actively collects data to manipulate the users of them against their internal desires.  What is advertising if not a way to influence people to do things they wouldn't normally do, or to spend money in ways they weren't planning to?  I've seen the average cell phone bill in the US is nearly $150/mo, which is utterly horrifying, yet, I know many with expensive devices and plans when they're extremely tight on cash.

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You know, the blog that says use your muscles to pedal your bike? And convenience isn't the right question?

Does it still say that, or have those been edited away in favor of "But when you can afford a Tesla with pocket cash, screw that and buy the fancy car"?

Just think this is extra funny;
 - Rest of the world; nobody younger than 40 has ever seen a check
- America; is it ok to require a smartphone to deposit checks??

Elegantly combining the oldest and the newest technology into a convoluted, insecure, too many layers and middle-men system that benefits nobody; U-S-A!

Versus routing all payments through the data collection of smartphone apps, where your bank app requires a large set of permissions for vague reasons (seriously, try to find what they do with your location data).

Cash continues to work, but at greater and greater inconvenience over time, as the value of money decreases and the maximum bill denomination stays the same or decreases.  A $100 only buys what, a few decades ago, a $20 could buy - yet, the maximum US denomination is still the $100.

Unlike with credit cards or digital payments thereís little protection for a vendor who accepts a fraudulent cheque.

Meanwhile, we all pay the fees to the profitable credit card companies in exchange for their "protections," which often fall back on the vendor anyway.

Intermediating a vast majority of financial transactions at some fixed cost plus 3% or so is certainly profitable.  They even return a bit of that to the high spending customers via "rewards" to make them loyal and use their cards for even more, instead of simply negotiating a small cash discount on major purchases.  I miss separate cash/card gas prices, but I believe the CC merchant agreements now prohibit advertising that sort of thing.

Sounds good to me. I'll gladly pay $600 to avoid having to carry cash and write checks! And the lack of protection, and flexibility, easier tracking.. Let's not even start on the issues of foreign travel.. And since I get 2-5% cash back using the cards, the cost is actually less.

"Sure, they're handcuffs, but look how golden they are!  Very shiny, and even have a little bit of fuzz to make them more comfortable!"

You shovel all your purchasing data over to "whoever" in exchange for convenience.  So modern.  So easy!

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And it's not like cash transactions are free for the businesses either. How much (in %) would they have to spend on storing, securing, counting, transporting and depositing cash?

Ask your local pot shop owner.  They are locked out of most credit card and banking networks, so are quite up to speed on the costs/risks/benefits.

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And also; there isn't a duopoly; there's at least four; visa, mastercard, discover and amex. So how do they still control prices?

Funny thing, that.  You'd think they'd compete on fees, but, nope.  They all have nearly identical merchant fees.  Oligopoly is still a problem.

Further, they all seem to come up with the same idea of "removing payment services from certain companies" at the same time.  Much like consumer tech and social media companies all, "independently," decide to deplatform someone or some application on the same day, in the same hour.

seattlecyclone

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Re: The MMM forums now require a toxic device in order to register to use them!
« Reply #201 on: September 14, 2023, 02:04:53 PM »
Hundreds of dollars a year in credit card rewards?  How much do you spend on groceries?

I buy groceries for five, and I have a credit card that gives 6% back at supermarkets. Do the math and you get to "hundreds of dollars per year" in rewards if you spend over $277/month on groceries. We hit that number easily.

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But, as has been discussed, credit cards generally raise the price of everything by 3%.

Yep, and this happens whether I personally use a card or not. If a merchant offers a cash discount in excess of the kickback I'd get from the credit card company I will happily take them up on that. Few do though. At most places my choices are to pay with a card and get a cut of that 3%, or pay that whole 3% out of my own pocket in cash. I wouldn't object at all if Congress wanted to regulate credit card fees low enough that these reward programs were uneconomical to offer. Individually opting out does nothing to change this system. All it does is costs you more money. You seem to view this extra cost as worthwhile. I'd rather take my kickbacks and redirect them toward causes I believe in more strongly than I believe in hiding my cheese-buying habits.

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The short answer is "I don't know what cheese buying habits predict, but it's clearly of value to marketers, so they must be extracting that much value or more out of it."  Having read some of the advertising industry behaviors from even a few decades ago (Target's lessons learned on not making it obvious when they know you're pregnant), I don't know what can be extracted, or who buys it.  That system is entirely opaque to me.  Yet the data derived from it about other attributes useful to marketers and influencers seems to be important to a lot of companies who, presumably, know more about the systems than I do.

Once again, you've described every trade ever. The other party wouldn't be offering the trade if they didn't think they got more in return than they were offering. That is not in and of itself a sufficient reason to reject the trade. The question is do you also think you're getting back more than what you're giving? For me the choice is simple. I value information about my cheese-buying habits at not much more than $0. They're offering me much more than $0 in exchange for that information, so I gladly accept their trade.

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I recognize that I am selling certain data about myself in exchange for convenience (as in maps) or for actual money (in the case of supermarket/credit card rewards), and I decline to provide data when the benefits don't seem worthwhile.

In what circumstances do you refuse to provide data?  It seems you're fine with a steady stream of location, behavioral, and purchasing data going into the maws of the aggregators, so... what have you left out?  How do you reason about this, with what you know of the data aggregation systems?  What data is too high value to release?

If I'm getting literally nothing in return for a piece of data (such as accepting optional cookies on some random website I have no intention of logging into), I'll decline. For certain companies I have a worse impression of I'm a lot stricter about what permissions I'll enable than with other companies I trust more. Facebook absolutely doesn't get to see my address book or track my location, for example. Location data is of course particularly sensitive. I generally trust Google to keep this data in-house unless a court compels disclosure, so the question comes down to how likely it is I think my movements might become relevant to a criminal investigation. For me I feel the benefits I get from Google's real-time services do slightly outweigh this risk, but it's a pretty close call and I can totally understand how others might make the opposite call.

Scandium

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Re: The MMM forums now require a toxic device in order to register to use them!
« Reply #202 on: September 14, 2023, 02:12:20 PM »

Ask your local pot shop owner.  They are locked out of most credit card and banking networks, so are quite up to speed on the costs/risks/benefits.


I don't really hang around my local pot shop much so can't ask them. But according to this (and a couple others I found), the cost of accepting cash is 4.7 - 15% for the business. So how exactly is 3% CC fee "predatory"? Sounds like Visa is offering quite a deal actually!

https://www.plainscapital.com/blog/the-cost-of-accepting-cash/


Scandium

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Re: The MMM forums now require a toxic device in order to register to use them!
« Reply #203 on: September 14, 2023, 02:25:58 PM »
Also found this facinating study from Tufts University on the cost of cash, on consumers and businesses. It finds that the increased cost of using cash falls hardest on poorer people!
https://sites.tufts.edu/digitalplanet/files/2020/06/Cost-of-Cash-US.pdf

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Cash Economy Exacerbates Social Inequities: Consumers with access
to formal financial services pay relatively little to access cash.  How-ever,
the costs are disproportionately borne by specific segments of
the US population; for example, unbanked individuals are four times
as likely to pay fees to access their money, they pay $4 higher fees per
month for cash access on average than those with formal financial
services access, and have a five times higher risk of paying fees with
payroll/EBT cards. These differences are sobering in light of the fact
that 8.2% of US households are unbanked and 20.1% of US house-holds
are underbanked and only two-thirds of households have both
checking and savings accounts.32 The persistence of a cash economy
creates social inequity and has the effect of a regressive tax. Policies
and measures that help reduce the percentage of the population that
is financially excluded will help reduce these inequitable costs in ad-dition
to introducing additional benefits.

Elsewhere the study seems to indicate that the direct cost to businesses of accepting cash (handling, storing) is around 3%.

Very interesting what you find out when you actually research something, rather than just spew out feelings based on knee-jerk opposition to things..
« Last Edit: September 14, 2023, 02:51:39 PM by Scandium »

TreeLeaf

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Re: The MMM forums now require a toxic device in order to register to use them!
« Reply #204 on: September 14, 2023, 02:28:43 PM »
Hypothetically - even if we all agreed that this forum should not require a smartphone to register for - is there anything any of us can do about this?

Does Pete even read these forums?

Do any of the forum admins even have access to the hosting server credentials and whatnot to change the registration requirements?

This seems like an exercise in pointlessness.

SmashYourSmartPhone

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Re: The MMM forums now require a toxic device in order to register to use them!
« Reply #205 on: September 14, 2023, 02:34:12 PM »
For me I feel the benefits I get from Google's real-time services do slightly outweigh this risk, but it's a pretty close call and I can totally understand how others might make the opposite call.

Are you familiar with https://www.google.com/maps/timeline ?

nereo

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Re: The MMM forums now require a toxic device in order to register to use them!
« Reply #206 on: September 14, 2023, 02:42:55 PM »
Hypothetically - even if we all agreed that this forum should not require a smartphone to register for - is there anything any of us can do about this?

Does Pete even read these forums?

Do any of the forum admins even have access to the hosting server credentials and whatnot to change the registration requirements?

This seems like an exercise in pointlessness.

Think you've hit on the practicality aspect of this entire thread. This forum has no upfront cost to users and is overseen by some hardworking and (I believe) unpaid moderators. As forums go this one has minimal monetization - just some static ads which aren't even visible if you run a standard ad blocker. The openness of the community has also been a huge magnet for trolls and bots, and I know balancing access with user-functionality has been a never-ending game of whack-a-mole but it's kept discussion useful and relevant.  So I don't fault them for taking the path of least resistance for new users. It's a big undertaking to move from one host to another (we've been there before).

So it's hard for me to fault them for taking the path of least resistance

seattlecyclone

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Re: The MMM forums now require a toxic device in order to register to use them!
« Reply #207 on: September 14, 2023, 03:01:57 PM »
For me I feel the benefits I get from Google's real-time services do slightly outweigh this risk, but it's a pretty close call and I can totally understand how others might make the opposite call.

Are you familiar with https://www.google.com/maps/timeline ?

Yep! I visit that on occasion to get a recap of a walk or ride I did, see how long it was, what new places I visited. I even look at things years after the fact to help me with things like "last time I went to San Francisco I know I went to Golden Gate Park but I forget which parts of the park I visited, and want to see something a bit different this time."

That page also provides a convenient link to edit your preferences for how long you want Google to retain your location data (if at all), and to delete prior history. Google takes compliance with Europe's GDPR pretty seriously (because European regulators won't let them do otherwise), and a big part of this law is the assurance that when you ask Google to delete data about you they actually will delete it.

Kris

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Re: The MMM forums now require a toxic device in order to register to use them!
« Reply #208 on: September 14, 2023, 03:06:24 PM »
Hypothetically - even if we all agreed that this forum should not require a smartphone to register for - is there anything any of us can do about this?

Does Pete even read these forums?

Do any of the forum admins even have access to the hosting server credentials and whatnot to change the registration requirements?

This seems like an exercise in pointlessness.

Think you've hit on the practicality aspect of this entire thread. This forum has no upfront cost to users and is overseen by some hardworking and (I believe) unpaid moderators. As forums go this one has minimal monetization - just some static ads which aren't even visible if you run a standard ad blocker. The openness of the community has also been a huge magnet for trolls and bots, and I know balancing access with user-functionality has been a never-ending game of whack-a-mole but it's kept discussion useful and relevant.  So I don't fault them for taking the path of least resistance for new users. It's a big undertaking to move from one host to another (we've been there before).

So it's hard for me to fault them for taking the path of least resistance

Exactly. This is basically what I said a few pages ago.

Whether or not smartphones are 100% toxic with no benefits to society that are not outweighed by the drawbacks, I donít fault Pete for deciding to go this routes since there is no other cost-effective way to deal with the troll and bot account situation. So I find the actual original topic of this post to essentially be a non-issue.

GuitarStv

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Re: The MMM forums now require a toxic device in order to register to use them!
« Reply #209 on: September 14, 2023, 03:19:49 PM »
For me I feel the benefits I get from Google's real-time services do slightly outweigh this risk, but it's a pretty close call and I can totally understand how others might make the opposite call.

Are you familiar with https://www.google.com/maps/timeline ?

Yep! I visit that on occasion to get a recap of a walk or ride I did, see how long it was, what new places I visited. I even look at things years after the fact to help me with things like "last time I went to San Francisco I know I went to Golden Gate Park but I forget which parts of the park I visited, and want to see something a bit different this time."

That page also provides a convenient link to edit your preferences for how long you want Google to retain your location data (if at all), and to delete prior history. Google takes compliance with Europe's GDPR pretty seriously (because European regulators won't let them do otherwise), and a big part of this law is the assurance that when you ask Google to delete data about you they actually will delete it.

I don't get it.  It's just an empty map?

RWD

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Re: The MMM forums now require a toxic device in order to register to use them!
« Reply #210 on: September 14, 2023, 03:29:32 PM »
For me I feel the benefits I get from Google's real-time services do slightly outweigh this risk, but it's a pretty close call and I can totally understand how others might make the opposite call.

Are you familiar with https://www.google.com/maps/timeline ?

Yep! I visit that on occasion to get a recap of a walk or ride I did, see how long it was, what new places I visited. I even look at things years after the fact to help me with things like "last time I went to San Francisco I know I went to Golden Gate Park but I forget which parts of the park I visited, and want to see something a bit different this time."

That page also provides a convenient link to edit your preferences for how long you want Google to retain your location data (if at all), and to delete prior history. Google takes compliance with Europe's GDPR pretty seriously (because European regulators won't let them do otherwise), and a big part of this law is the assurance that when you ask Google to delete data about you they actually will delete it.

I don't get it.  It's just an empty map?

Same here...

ChpBstrd

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Re: The MMM forums now require a toxic device in order to register to use them!
« Reply #211 on: September 14, 2023, 03:48:54 PM »
For me I feel the benefits I get from Google's real-time services do slightly outweigh this risk, but it's a pretty close call and I can totally understand how others might make the opposite call.

Are you familiar with https://www.google.com/maps/timeline ?

Yep! I visit that on occasion to get a recap of a walk or ride I did, see how long it was, what new places I visited. I even look at things years after the fact to help me with things like "last time I went to San Francisco I know I went to Golden Gate Park but I forget which parts of the park I visited, and want to see something a bit different this time."

That page also provides a convenient link to edit your preferences for how long you want Google to retain your location data (if at all), and to delete prior history. Google takes compliance with Europe's GDPR pretty seriously (because European regulators won't let them do otherwise), and a big part of this law is the assurance that when you ask Google to delete data about you they actually will delete it.

I don't get it.  It's just an empty map?

Same here...
It's because location history is turned off on your cell phone, so your tracks across the world since 2009 are not made visible to you.

SmashYourSmartPhone

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Re: The MMM forums now require a toxic device in order to register to use them!
« Reply #212 on: September 14, 2023, 03:49:19 PM »
I don't get it.  It's just an empty map?

Good, that means Google doesn't have your location info.

If Google does, for instance, if you have a logged in Android device with location services on, it is literally a track of everywhere you've been, over time, by day, with "Can tell which side of the street you walked down" accuracy.

neo von retorch

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Re: The MMM forums now require a toxic device in order to register to use them!
« Reply #213 on: September 15, 2023, 06:38:02 AM »
Vaguely off topic but kind of funny to see the 1993 discussion around McDonald's accepting credit cards...

https://www.instagram.com/p/Cw7kPo4upjj/

Telecaster

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Re: The MMM forums now require a toxic device in order to register to use them!
« Reply #214 on: September 15, 2023, 12:31:58 PM »
But, as has been discussed, credit cards generally raise the price of everything by 3%.  It is a question of if you wish to support a vile, predatory system that you happen to benefit from.  Clearly, you find the convenience worth it.  I find the "not sharing my data, and not rewarding the credit card companies anymore than I have to" to be worth it (I haven't found a good solution for online purchases that doesn't involve CCs, but I do tend to use ACH transfers for certain online vendors I use often enough to justify it), but all my local purchase are cash, and have been so for some while.  I'm fortunate to live in an area that isn't rushing to go cash-free, but I view cash as a "use it or lose it" sort of thing - if nobody is using cash at stores, then they have no reason to continue supporting cash payments.

I see others have already responded, but the part in bold cannot possibly be true.   And it is easy to do a thought experiment to see why it isn't true.   As a retailer, you could increase your topline sales by 3% by simply only accepting cash.  Yet, as we see in @neo von retorch' s delightful video, cash transactions were once common but are fast disappearing.  Why?

Because credit/debit transactions are cheaper for the retailer.   There are non-trivial costs with accepting cash.   Cash needs to be stored, counted, and transported to and from the bank.   Cash is easy to steal, both by employees and others, and cash is easy to misplace or miscount.  I've seen a sea change in farmer's markets in recent years.  It used to be the smaller vendors overwhelmingly only accepted cash.   Now a surprising number of smaller vendors only accept credit/debit.   I see that a lot with food trucks and pop-up vendors as well.   Presumably they are losing some cash only sales, but the reduced costs make up for it.   Interestingly, there has been some discussion lately about requiring certain retailers to accept cash.   The problem is that so many businesses have gone cashless that the unbanked population can't fully participate in the retail system.   I mention that simply because it illustrates how many business don't like cash.   

If you don't want to use credit cards, more power to you. But you might not be doing your local merchants the favor you think you are.   

RWD

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Re: The MMM forums now require a toxic device in order to register to use them!
« Reply #215 on: September 15, 2023, 12:51:03 PM »
Yet, as we see in @neo von retorch' s delightful video, cash transactions were once common but are fast disappearing.
I am reminded of a Garfield episode from over 30 years ago where Jon is questioned by police for trying to pay with cash because no one recognizes it as money anymore. Cash transactions have been on the way out for a long time.
https://garfield.fandom.com/wiki/Cash_and_Carry

RetiredAt63

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Re: The MMM forums now require a toxic device in order to register to use them!
« Reply #216 on: September 15, 2023, 06:35:58 PM »
Yet, as we see in @neo von retorch' s delightful video, cash transactions were once common but are fast disappearing.
I am reminded of a Garfield episode from over 30 years ago where Jon is questioned by police for trying to pay with cash because no one recognizes it as money anymore. Cash transactions have been on the way out for a long time.
https://garfield.fandom.com/wiki/Cash_and_Carry

For me at least the change has been in the size of the transaction.  I've used credit cards for years for big things.  It is only with Covid that I have started to use them for small things - like a tea at Tim's. Really?  I'm charging something that is about $2?  But here we are.  Better than all the germs on bills and coins.

Scandium

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Re: The MMM forums now require a toxic device in order to register to use them!
« Reply #217 on: September 17, 2023, 08:10:42 AM »
I don't get it.  It's just an empty map?

Good, that means Google doesn't have your location info.

If Google does, for instance, if you have a logged in Android device with location services on, it is literally a track of everywhere you've been, over time, by day, with "Can tell which side of the street you walked down" accuracy.
Well, as you say, you can turn it off. So sounds like there's no problem then!

ChpBstrd

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Re: The MMM forums now require a toxic device in order to register to use them!
« Reply #218 on: September 17, 2023, 08:16:33 PM »
I don't get it.  It's just an empty map?

Good, that means Google doesn't have your location info.

If Google does, for instance, if you have a logged in Android device with location services on, it is literally a track of everywhere you've been, over time, by day, with "Can tell which side of the street you walked down" accuracy.
Well, as you say, you can turn it off. So sounds like there's no problem then!
And Iím sure Google isnít keeping any records. No, they wouldnít do that. They are friends!

Scandium

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Re: The MMM forums now require a toxic device in order to register to use them!
« Reply #219 on: September 17, 2023, 08:49:24 PM »
I don't get it.  It's just an empty map?

Good, that means Google doesn't have your location info.

If Google does, for instance, if you have a logged in Android device with location services on, it is literally a track of everywhere you've been, over time, by day, with "Can tell which side of the street you walked down" accuracy.
Well, as you say, you can turn it off. So sounds like there's no problem then!
And Iím sure Google isnít keeping any records. No, they wouldnít do that. They are friends!
Google has already been sued for billions by the EU. They have tens of thousands of (potentially disloyal) employees. There are thousands of people hacking and analysing every aspect of android. You really think they would get away with that? You think it would be worth the risk to them? The NSA is the most secretive organization in the world, and they couldn't keep it from getting out!

GuitarStv

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Re: The MMM forums now require a toxic device in order to register to use them!
« Reply #220 on: September 18, 2023, 07:19:45 AM »
I don't get it.  It's just an empty map?

Good, that means Google doesn't have your location info.

If Google does, for instance, if you have a logged in Android device with location services on, it is literally a track of everywhere you've been, over time, by day, with "Can tell which side of the street you walked down" accuracy.
Well, as you say, you can turn it off. So sounds like there's no problem then!
And Iím sure Google isnít keeping any records. No, they wouldnít do that. They are friends!
Google has already been sued for billions by the EU. They have tens of thousands of (potentially disloyal) employees. There are thousands of people hacking and analysing every aspect of android. You really think they would get away with that? You think it would be worth the risk to them? The NSA is the most secretive organization in the world, and they couldn't keep it from getting out!

Dude!  Read through exactly what you're arguing.  You've outlined a lot of reasons not to trust anyone with your data.

I don't care if Google the company (currently being sued for breaking the law to gain competitive advantage) grabs my data for nefarious purposes, if a disloyal google employee grabs my data for nefarious purposes, or if a bad actor grabs my data for nefarious purposes.  There's an underlying thing that I don't want to happen in all cases, and the safest action to take is clearly to not put my data out there in the first place.

Google maps is probably empty for me because I don't use any devices that record my location.

Must_ache

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Re: The MMM forums now require a toxic device in order to register to use them!
« Reply #221 on: September 18, 2023, 07:33:00 AM »
I buy groceries for five, and I have a credit card that gives 6% back at supermarkets. Do the math and you get to "hundreds of dollars per year" in rewards if you spend over $277/month on groceries. We hit that number easily.

The only card I see that offers that only gives 6% on the first $6,000 of purchases, so a $360 benefit.  It also has a $95 annual fee, lowering the benefit to $265 and the effective grocery savings to 4.4%.  Furthermore you have to know when to stop using it or you will only get 1% on additional purchases, which is inferior to cards that offer 2%.

Scandium

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Re: The MMM forums now require a toxic device in order to register to use them!
« Reply #222 on: September 18, 2023, 08:05:33 AM »
Dude!  Read through exactly what you're arguing.  You've outlined a lot of reasons not to trust anyone with your data.

I don't care if Google the company (currently being sued for breaking the law to gain competitive advantage) grabs my data for nefarious purposes, if a disloyal google employee grabs my data for nefarious purposes, or if a bad actor grabs my data for nefarious purposes.  There's an underlying thing that I don't want to happen in all cases, and the safest action to take is clearly to not put my data out there in the first place.

Google maps is probably empty for me because I don't use any devices that record my location.

If you want to not do that, that's fine. I'm just tired of OPs assertion that anyone who does trust google with their location data is dumb/ignorant/misled or other variations of stupid.. They have several times said that nobody should have a smartphone, and nobody should give data to corporations in a transaction, in exchange for a (previously paid) service. That's what I take issue with.

I argued against the "i have nothing to hide" regarding the NSA spying. Because it was secret, illegal, and not voluntary, and we got nothing for it (no, it didn't make us safer..). But in this case I know about it, I know what google does with it, and I get something in exchange. So yes, I have nothing to hide. So I'm not worried about them knowing that I go to the grocery store and home depot. If they use that to serve me ads that I don't see because of ad-block, and I get navigation and extremely useful traffic info in exchange I'm cool with that.

Oh, and the best bike trail directions! I've tried several non-google maps, and at least in my area the map of the extensive walk/bike trails is far superior on google! HereWeGo will tell me to bike on a highway instead.. 

GuitarStv

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Re: The MMM forums now require a toxic device in order to register to use them!
« Reply #223 on: September 18, 2023, 09:02:52 AM »
But in this case I know about it, I know what google does with it, and I get something in exchange. So yes, I have nothing to hide. So I'm not worried about them knowing that I go to the grocery store and home depot. If they use that to serve me ads that I don't see because of ad-block, and I get navigation and extremely useful traffic info in exchange I'm cool with that.

This was the whole thing I found weird about your last post.

It was demonstrating that you don't really know what Google's doing with your data.  As you mentioned, they're currently being sued for breaking the law to improve their business . . . it's not a big stretch to assume that they would lie to you.  As you said, they have tens of thousands of potentially disloyal employees who could gain access to your data and there are thousands of people trying to hack and steal data from Google.

The exchange that you've mentioned relies upon the trust of an organization proven to break public trust, employees who are all potentially disloyal, and the company always staying one step ahead of bad actors.  Sounds like shaky ground to build that trust upon.

Scandium

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Re: The MMM forums now require a toxic device in order to register to use them!
« Reply #224 on: September 18, 2023, 09:14:34 AM »
But in this case I know about it, I know what google does with it, and I get something in exchange. So yes, I have nothing to hide. So I'm not worried about them knowing that I go to the grocery store and home depot. If they use that to serve me ads that I don't see because of ad-block, and I get navigation and extremely useful traffic info in exchange I'm cool with that.

This was the whole thing I found weird about your last post.

It was demonstrating that you don't really know what Google's doing with your data.  As you mentioned, they're currently being sued for breaking the law to improve their business . . . it's not a big stretch to assume that they would lie to you.  As you said, they have tens of thousands of potentially disloyal employees who could gain access to your data and there are thousands of people trying to hack and steal data from Google.

The exchange that you've mentioned relies upon the trust of an organization proven to break public trust, employees who are all potentially disloyal, and the company always staying one step ahead of bad actors.  Sounds like shaky ground to build that trust upon.

No, my point is those are safeguards/disincentives. It's costing google billions just because they abused market power. How much do you think it would cost if it came out they lied and harvested and abused data? Someone implied that google would "lie" and even if you turned location tracking off, they would still do it, and secretly use this data. My point was that something like that would stay secret for about 24 hours before some employee blew the whistle to the US or EU governments, or some android hacker would find it.

And secondly; I don't 100% trust them. But even so the value to me of this data is pretty low, so I don't care. If it was something super secret that I never want to get out (not sure what that would be, medical data I guess..?) I would not freely give it to google.

There are tiers of data vs value. My driving around data is pretty low. You and OP seems to only have one tier; nothing is shared with anyone. That's fine, but like I said don't think it's fair to project onto the rest of us that we're "stupid" for not doing the same. And assume none of us have given this any thought whatsoever and are just "sheep" mindlessly following along. I've give my data/sharing lots of thought, and have systems of using different apps for different things, tracking/ad blockers, refusing to use various services etc. to get max value vs minimal/acceptable risk.
(e.g. I do use whatsapp to stay in touch with soccer team I play with, but I don't share my address book with the app).

SmashYourSmartPhone

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Re: The MMM forums now require a toxic device in order to register to use them!
« Reply #225 on: September 18, 2023, 01:57:05 PM »
Most market booths out here accept both cash and card.  I don't believe I've ever found a card only one.

I'm charging something that is about $2?  But here we are.  Better than all the germs on bills and coins.

And the retailer gets about $1.70 of that... the credit card companies thank you for your contribution!

If you want to not do that, that's fine. I'm just tired of OPs assertion that anyone who does trust google with their location data is dumb/ignorant/misled or other variations of stupid.. They have several times said that nobody should have a smartphone, and nobody should give data to corporations in a transaction, in exchange for a (previously paid) service. That's what I take issue with.

Aw.  Which big tech data aggregation based company do you work for that relies on these sources of data for your income?

If people go into it fully eyes open, which I believe to be impossible based on the length and interconnected/intertied nature of various data disclosure policies, so be it.  I think it's dumb, but they're welcome to do that.

Most people, to include perhaps 99% of smartphone users, have no idea what is being collected.  They are blind to the abuses.  Waving a flip phone around opens many interesting conversations, especially when one is known to be very technical.  Also, the rugged variety is just pleasant to hold and chuck at people.  Nobody casually tosses their smartphone to someone.

ChpBstrd

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Re: The MMM forums now require a toxic device in order to register to use them!
« Reply #226 on: September 18, 2023, 02:27:09 PM »
The Gilgo Beach serial killer was just caught using cell phone records that had been kept for 16 years and which triangulated the location of the suspect. But I'm sure your terms of service are bulletproof.

Tyson

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Re: The MMM forums now require a toxic device in order to register to use them!
« Reply #227 on: September 18, 2023, 02:40:18 PM »
The Gilgo Beach serial killer was just caught using cell phone records that had been kept for 16 years and which triangulated the location of the suspect. But I'm sure your terms of service are bulletproof.

This was done way before smart phones by the police.
« Last Edit: September 18, 2023, 04:11:32 PM by Tyson »

Scandium

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Re: The MMM forums now require a toxic device in order to register to use them!
« Reply #228 on: September 18, 2023, 02:47:47 PM »
Most market booths out here accept both cash and card.  I don't believe I've ever found a card only one.

I'm charging something that is about $2?  But here we are.  Better than all the germs on bills and coins.

And the retailer gets about $1.70 of that... the credit card companies thank you for your contribution!

If you want to not do that, that's fine. I'm just tired of OPs assertion that anyone who does trust google with their location data is dumb/ignorant/misled or other variations of stupid.. They have several times said that nobody should have a smartphone, and nobody should give data to corporations in a transaction, in exchange for a (previously paid) service. That's what I take issue with.

Aw.  Which big tech data aggregation based company do you work for that relies on these sources of data for your income?

If people go into it fully eyes open, which I believe to be impossible based on the length and interconnected/intertied nature of various data disclosure policies, so be it.  I think it's dumb, but they're welcome to do that.

Most people, to include perhaps 99% of smartphone users, have no idea what is being collected.  They are blind to the abuses.  Waving a flip phone around opens many interesting conversations, especially when one is known to be very technical.  Also, the rugged variety is just pleasant to hold and chuck at people.  Nobody casually tosses their smartphone to someone.

Why I said I won't bother engaging with OP, it's pointless. 
Accusing people of being paid schills. Stating how YOU are the only one who's seen the "right way" (tm), and everyone else is ignorant and not able to decide for themselves if they don't agree 100% with your extreme position. Grasping for increasingly ludicrous "arguments" (it's tossable! "I meet so many flip phone enthusiast!" lol).
You are clearly not interested in discussing anything, or hearing any dissenting arguments, only hammering you point. And stating how much smarter and better your are than us inferiors who don't agree with you. Cool story, enjoy

Scandium

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Re: The MMM forums now require a toxic device in order to register to use them!
« Reply #229 on: September 18, 2023, 03:44:18 PM »
The Gilgo Beach serial killer was just caught using cell phone records that had been kept for 16 years and which triangulated the location of the suspect. But I'm sure your terms of service are bulletproof.
Well they do that with cell tower info. So even flip phone afficionado over here isn't safe from that when they are out serial killing..
Funny enough that's an easy way to get a great aliby; just leave your phone at home when it's time to go murder!

Telecaster

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Re: The MMM forums now require a toxic device in order to register to use them!
« Reply #230 on: September 18, 2023, 04:15:51 PM »
Well they do that with cell tower info. So even flip phone afficionado over here isn't safe from that when they are out serial killing..
Funny enough that's an easy way to get a great aliby; just leave your phone at home when it's time to go murder!

The Gilgo Beach killer was using burners too.   That's next level data protection. 

 
Most market booths out here accept both cash and card.  I don't believe I've ever found a card only one.

Either you live in a jurisdiction where merchants are required to accept cash, or you soon will encounter one.   Saw an article in the WaPo today discussing how cash usage is plummeting.    Locally, big sports and concert venues don't accept cash anymore.  Too expensive. 

RetiredAt63

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Re: The MMM forums now require a toxic device in order to register to use them!
« Reply #231 on: September 18, 2023, 04:21:58 PM »
Well they do that with cell tower info. So even flip phone afficionado over here isn't safe from that when they are out serial killing..
Funny enough that's an easy way to get a great aliby; just leave your phone at home when it's time to go murder!

The Gilgo Beach killer was using burners too.   That's next level data protection. 

 
Most market booths out here accept both cash and card.  I don't believe I've ever found a card only one.

Either you live in a jurisdiction where merchants are required to accept cash, or you soon will encounter one.   Saw an article in the WaPo today discussing how cash usage is plummeting.    Locally, big sports and concert venues don't accept cash anymore.  Too expensive.

It depends. My favourite chip stand prefers cash.  They have a sign posted asking people to pay with cash.

I do prefer plastic.  In the days of Covid and RSV, plastic has fewer germs.  If I were a cashier handling cash I would want to wear gloves.

Telecaster

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Re: The MMM forums now require a toxic device in order to register to use them!
« Reply #232 on: September 18, 2023, 04:45:04 PM »
For sure.  There are still plenty of cash-only places.  I was just commenting that places like food trucks and farmers markets that used to be dominated by cash-only, now most places take cash and card, and a surprising number are card only. 

TreeLeaf

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Re: The MMM forums now require a toxic device in order to register to use them!
« Reply #233 on: September 18, 2023, 05:49:23 PM »
I find myself having to carry cash for the places that only accept cash like farmers markets, flea markets, garage sales, etc and cards for the places that only accept cards like, increasingly, sone local restaurants for some reason.

It's pretty annoying. I wish we could all agree on one method of payment.

seattlecyclone

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Re: The MMM forums now require a toxic device in order to register to use them!
« Reply #234 on: September 18, 2023, 05:50:25 PM »
Most market booths out here accept both cash and card.  I don't believe I've ever found a card only one.

Either you live in a jurisdiction where merchants are required to accept cash, or you soon will encounter one.   Saw an article in the WaPo today discussing how cash usage is plummeting.    Locally, big sports and concert venues don't accept cash anymore.  Too expensive. 

I went to a Mariners game this summer. They've moved to smartphone-only ticketing, and no cash is accepted at the concession stands. They do have a few prepaid debit card vending machines on site so if you don't believe in credit cards you can go through an extra step to still buy stuff, but the vendors aren't equipped to deal with cash directly.

Sanitary Stache

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Re: The MMM forums now require a toxic device in order to register to use them!
« Reply #235 on: September 19, 2023, 07:52:27 AM »
This drift toward cash/card/smartphone payment options reminded me why I am late on my water and sewer bill.  Which is because my Town charges a 3% fee to use Pay.gov to pay the bill online.  If each check costs $0.33, then the check is obviously the way to go.  I am late because every time I resolve to just pay the bill and go online to do it, I get stopped by that 3% fee and I think, "Am I really going to pay $7.66 because I can't get my shit together enough to drop a check in the mail or go downtown and hand them a check?"

It turns out that I am going to pay that fucking fee because I can't get my shit together. At least not this quarter.

nereo

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Re: The MMM forums now require a toxic device in order to register to use them!
« Reply #236 on: September 19, 2023, 08:04:55 AM »
This drift toward cash/card/smartphone payment options reminded me why I am late on my water and sewer bill.  Which is because my Town charges a 3% fee to use Pay.gov to pay the bill online.  If each check costs $0.33, then the check is obviously the way to go.  I am late because every time I resolve to just pay the bill and go online to do it, I get stopped by that 3% fee and I think, "Am I really going to pay $7.66 because I can't get my shit together enough to drop a check in the mail or go downtown and hand them a check?"

It turns out that I am going to pay that fucking fee because I can't get my shit together. At least not this quarter.
Does your bank not do direct payments to utilities (basically a bank-issued check)?  All three of my banks do this, and for no charge (saving me the cost of a stamp + envelope, and a walk to the post-office)


Must_ache

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Re: The MMM forums now require a toxic device in order to register to use them!
« Reply #237 on: September 19, 2023, 08:34:29 AM »
My water bill and state farm insurance are paid thru my credit card.
As for vehicle registration and property taxes, if you use a credit card yes you will rack up fees.  But if you enter your checking account information the cost is negligible, less than the price of a stamp.

Scandium

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Re: The MMM forums now require a toxic device in order to register to use them!
« Reply #238 on: September 19, 2023, 08:54:05 AM »
This drift toward cash/card/smartphone payment options reminded me why I am late on my water and sewer bill.  Which is because my Town charges a 3% fee to use Pay.gov to pay the bill online.  If each check costs $0.33, then the check is obviously the way to go.  I am late because every time I resolve to just pay the bill and go online to do it, I get stopped by that 3% fee and I think, "Am I really going to pay $7.66 because I can't get my shit together enough to drop a check in the mail or go downtown and hand them a check?"

It turns out that I am going to pay that fucking fee because I can't get my shit together. At least not this quarter.

That's such BS. A 3% fee for an electronic, automatic payment that require no work from the government. Versus free to send a piece of paper that require an office employee (cost; hiring, training, salary, pension for +40 years..) to open an envelope, sort the check and deposit it. Gee, I wonder which actually costs the government more!
Luckily my county allows free autodraft from my bank for water bill! Just had to send a voided check once. But yes look into a "billpay" feature in your online bank. It will even send a paper check from the bank for you, costing you nothing (I use Schwab).

I have not required a check to pay for anything in many years. Same with cash-only places; I have not encountered any in a long time. But I don't go to many flee markets. But any farm stand etc takes card, square or similar. Any craigslist/fb payments are venmo.
« Last Edit: September 19, 2023, 08:57:54 AM by Scandium »

SmashYourSmartPhone

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Re: The MMM forums now require a toxic device in order to register to use them!
« Reply #239 on: September 19, 2023, 10:15:21 AM »
Why I said I won't bother engaging with OP, it's pointless. 

Followed by... just that! ;)

But, yes, I do believe the world would be better with radically fewer smartphones, and I do hope that "staring at your phone in public" goes the way of smoking cigarettes in public places.

Funny enough that's an easy way to get a great aliby; just leave your phone at home when it's time to go murder!

I don't believe that works well if you're not in the habit of leaving your phone behind constantly.  Some criminal case a while back involved the point that they had left their phone at home, and never did this, so they were clearly up to no good.  You'd be better leaving your phone in a taxi or Uber or bus or something.  Or just building the habits into your life that involve regularly leaving your phone off, at home, etc.

Put cell phone boxes at gatherings, see how many are willing to toss their phone into a box for the duration!  Most will.   Some won't.

It's pretty annoying. I wish we could all agree on one method of payment.

We had.  And then people went to credit cards.  Also, the government clearly doesn't like cash, as the value of the largest printed bills have gone down rather dramatically with inflation.  A $100 now is only a $20 in the late 1940s, and we still don't have anything larger than $100s.  Even ATMs are now spitting out $100s...

Sanitary Stache

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Re: The MMM forums now require a toxic device in order to register to use them!
« Reply #240 on: September 19, 2023, 10:32:36 AM »
This drift toward cash/card/smartphone payment options reminded me why I am late on my water and sewer bill.  Which is because my Town charges a 3% fee to use Pay.gov to pay the bill online.  If each check costs $0.33, then the check is obviously the way to go.  I am late because every time I resolve to just pay the bill and go online to do it, I get stopped by that 3% fee and I think, "Am I really going to pay $7.66 because I can't get my shit together enough to drop a check in the mail or go downtown and hand them a check?"

It turns out that I am going to pay that fucking fee because I can't get my shit together. At least not this quarter.
Does your bank not do direct payments to utilities (basically a bank-issued check)?  All three of my banks do this, and for no charge (saving me the cost of a stamp + envelope, and a walk to the post-office)

They do!  Thanks for mentioning it. I have never used it. And it isn't functioning right now for me to figure it out. Hopefully, I remember later to try it out.  I ended up paying the 3% fee. And also sending my Town Clerk some very specific questions about why the Town chooses to require the 3% fee. I think I'll copy some people (Select board members) on that email.  I don't like to be a jerk, but sometimes the Town Clerk is a jerk (like when they responded to my initial inquiry with "because it has always been don't this way").  Don't give me that shit.



SmashYourSmartPhone

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Re: The MMM forums now require a toxic device in order to register to use them!
« Reply #241 on: September 19, 2023, 10:36:01 AM »
They charge the 3% fee because that is the cost to them of using the credit card processing services.  Otherwise your $100 bill would only net them $97.

Sanitary Stache

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Re: The MMM forums now require a toxic device in order to register to use them!
« Reply #242 on: September 19, 2023, 12:20:34 PM »
They charge the 3% fee because that is the cost to them of using the credit card processing services.  Otherwise your $100 bill would only net them $97.

True. But they absorb the cost of processing the check. Which might be a much higher cost to them. So by passing on the credit card fee cost to me, they are disincentivizing the electronic transaction which has a lower overall cost but higher cost to me. They should absorb the cost of the credit card processing just as they do the processing of the check. With the cheapest being ACH which they donít even accept.

I am also noting that checks and cash carry a higher monetary burden on the poor than on the rich, so this fee scheme is perpetuating inequity.

Tyson

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Re: The MMM forums now require a toxic device in order to register to use them!
« Reply #243 on: September 19, 2023, 12:22:22 PM »
They charge the 3% fee because that is the cost to them of using the credit card processing services.  Otherwise your $100 bill would only net them $97.

True. But they absorb the cost of processing the check. Which might be a much higher cost to them. So by passing on the credit card fee cost to me, they are disincentivizing the electronic transaction which has a lower overall cost but higher cost to me. They should absorb the cost of the credit card processing just as they do the processing of the check. With the cheapest being ACH which they donít even accept.

I am also noting that checks and cash carry a higher monetary burden on the poor than on the rich, so this fee scheme is perpetuating inequity.

If they are forced to eat the cost of the 3% fee, they'll just raise rates for everyone to cover it.

GuitarStv

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Re: The MMM forums now require a toxic device in order to register to use them!
« Reply #244 on: September 19, 2023, 12:46:23 PM »
Also found this facinating study from Tufts University on the cost of cash, on consumers and businesses. It finds that the increased cost of using cash falls hardest on poorer people!
https://sites.tufts.edu/digitalplanet/files/2020/06/Cost-of-Cash-US.pdf

Quote
Cash Economy Exacerbates Social Inequities: Consumers with access
to formal financial services pay relatively little to access cash.  How-ever,
the costs are disproportionately borne by specific segments of
the US population; for example, unbanked individuals are four times
as likely to pay fees to access their money, they pay $4 higher fees per
month for cash access on average than those with formal financial
services access, and have a five times higher risk of paying fees with
payroll/EBT cards. These differences are sobering in light of the fact
that 8.2% of US households are unbanked and 20.1% of US house-holds
are underbanked and only two-thirds of households have both
checking and savings accounts.32 The persistence of a cash economy
creates social inequity and has the effect of a regressive tax. Policies
and measures that help reduce the percentage of the population that
is financially excluded will help reduce these inequitable costs in ad-dition
to introducing additional benefits.

This isn't describing a problem with using cash to buy stuff.  It's describing a problem with unbanked individuals.  Right there in the quote it says "Consumers with access to formal financial services pay relatively little to access cash".  Four fifths of the unbanked didn't voluntarily leave the financial system, and the median income for an unbanked family of five is 10-14k (https://www.pewtrusts.org/en/research-and-analysis/reports/0001/01/01/unbanked-by-choice), of course they're going to be eating stupid fees all the time.  Our society is set up to penalize the poor with fees - certainly a serious problem but unrelated to cash vs credit card.

People who have a chequing account aren't unbanked, so nothing in that report applies to them.

Scandium

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Re: The MMM forums now require a toxic device in order to register to use them!
« Reply #245 on: September 19, 2023, 01:11:31 PM »
They charge the 3% fee because that is the cost to them of using the credit card processing services.  Otherwise your $100 bill would only net them $97.

True. But they absorb the cost of processing the check. Which might be a much higher cost to them. So by passing on the credit card fee cost to me, they are disincentivizing the electronic transaction which has a lower overall cost but higher cost to me. They should absorb the cost of the credit card processing just as they do the processing of the check. With the cheapest being ACH which they donít even accept.

I am also noting that checks and cash carry a higher monetary burden on the poor than on the rich, so this fee scheme is perpetuating inequity.

If they are forced to eat the cost of the 3% fee, they'll just raise rates for everyone to cover it.

Why? If they are already eating the cost of the 4.5%+ fee to process a check, why should this only apply for the (lower) credit card fee? And why no ACH transfer, which should be free-free? Hiring humans to handle pieces of paper with $ numbers on them is dumb! What modern country would do this in 2023??! (yes I know the US is not a developed country.. but still. Maybe we should try?)

Why is the same dumb argument that (supposedly) everything could be 3% cheaper if we all paid cash getting repeated, even though it's been shown to be wrong?

nereo

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Re: The MMM forums now require a toxic device in order to register to use them!
« Reply #246 on: September 19, 2023, 01:17:58 PM »
They charge the 3% fee because that is the cost to them of using the credit card processing services.  Otherwise your $100 bill would only net them $97.

Discussed here, and here in this thread.  Also see external analysis here, here, and here

Sanitary Stache

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Re: The MMM forums now require a toxic device in order to register to use them!
« Reply #247 on: September 19, 2023, 02:20:00 PM »
Awesome work @nereo !  Thanks for those links.

 

Wow, a phone plan for fifteen bucks!