Author Topic: Unethical ways to save money  (Read 44146 times)

cbr shadow

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Unethical ways to save money
« on: January 22, 2013, 07:41:05 AM »
I had an interesting conversation with a group of friends yesterday that I thought would be a good thing to post and discuss here.
The conversation was about unethical ways that you could save money if you dont have a strong conscience to hold you back from doing these things.  We dont have to get into the reasons they're wrong, because most of us agree that we wouldn't do these things, but I still recognize that if I was willing to do these things there's definitely money to be saved.
Here are some examples we came up with:
1) Pirating - This was a big one.  My friend pirates all types of media such as movies, ebooks, music, magazine subscriptions, software, even phone apps!  This allowed him to cut out cable and stop spending money on amazon and itunes.  Also he claims he now reads a lot more since his books are free.
2) Free drinks - A friend of mine will ask the person in the drive through (after paying for food) if he can have a free softdrink.  I've been with him several times for this and he has never been turned down.
3) Buy clothes, wear them, return - that's self explanitory.
4) Abusing Costco's return policy - If you dont think this happens, go to costco the day after the super bowl and see how many TV's and grills are being returned.. it's crazy
5) Working the system for unemployment or welfare (when i say working the system I mean trying to get fired in a way that allows you to collect, not legitimately collecting when laid-off)

These are all ideas that will actually save money, but are of course unethical.  Any other examples you can think of?  I thought someone on the forum even mentioned a book that had a simliar topic as this..?

tooqk4u22

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Re: Unethical ways to save money
« Reply #1 on: January 22, 2013, 07:51:03 AM »
2) Free drinks - A friend of mine will ask the person in the drive through (after paying for food) if he can have a free softdrink.  I've been with him several times for this and he has never been turned down.


This is not unethical - if you and they give its ok, if he went in and said he ordered and paid for it but didn't get it, then that would be unethical.

4) Abusing Costco's return policy - If you dont think this happens, go to costco the day after the super bowl and see how many TV's and grills are being returned.. it's crazy

I am mixed on this one - on one hand I agree but on the other if it is their policy then not so sure - but would defenitely fall into the cheap ass d-bag category. 

5) Working the system for unemployment or welfare (when i say working the system I mean trying to get fired in a way that allows you to collect, not legitimately collecting when laid-off)

I would add disability to this, which is probably a far greater issue and easier to pull off "OHHHH my BACK"


Any other examples you can think of?

One of the biggest financially is those people that stop paying their mortgage and taxes yet continue to live in the house for many many months - this should be illegal. 

cbr shadow

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Re: Unethical ways to save money
« Reply #2 on: January 22, 2013, 07:58:34 AM »
Good points above.  Although I disagree with the drive-thru not being unethical.  He's using social pressure to get the employee to steal for him.  It's uncomfortable for everyone (except him!) and rather than tell him no, the employee gives in to the pressure and just gives him the drink.  It's not illegal but I do think it's unethical.  Of course you have the right to disagree.

Also I agree with you on disability.

Jack

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Re: Unethical ways to save money
« Reply #3 on: January 22, 2013, 08:11:14 AM »
I'm not going to disagree with the pirating copyright infringement one, but I'm not going to agree, either. That's a huge issue all by itself, with factors like fair use (including time/format shifting), international trade agreements and restrictions, copyright term extensions, cartels, the practical impossibility of enforcement, and the fact that copyright is a social contract (not a property right) to consider. It deserves its own thread.

spider1204

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Re: Unethical ways to save money
« Reply #4 on: January 22, 2013, 08:18:40 AM »
I would have to disagree with the Costco's return policy, since if you notice how often it's being abused, then I'm sure Costco notices and they choose not to do anything about it.  I'm guessing the amount of people that go into buying a TV planning to return it, and then getting attached enough to just want to keep the TV anyway is high enough that it remains profitable for Costco to let it continue.

cbr shadow

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Re: Unethical ways to save money
« Reply #5 on: January 22, 2013, 08:19:14 AM »
Jack, you and I are on the same page w/ that one. 
I'd like to keep this thread away from anyone arguing about if these things are/aren't ethical and steer it towards more "ideas".   
For instance, do people pirate anything else besides what I've mentioned above?  Movies, books, music, software, phone apps...

kolorado

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Re: Unethical ways to save money
« Reply #6 on: January 22, 2013, 08:22:06 AM »
I once posted on a message board about a deal I'd just gotten and was called unethical by many people. I didn't see it that way but here are the circumstances:product on sale at store for $10 with a $10 mail-in rebate making the item free. However, at check-out the price rang up at $18. Store policy(which I did not know until the manager offered it)was to give the product to me free. I then proceeded to mail in and collect the rebate. I didn't feel it was unethical because the rebate was offered by the manufacturer and the free product was granted because of store pricing error. The store had already "paid" for my item twice before I sent the rebate in, once to the manufacturer and once to me as a courtesy because of their mistake. I then collected from the manufacturer because they had nothing whatsoever to do with the transaction and had already collected money for the item from the store. I think my ethics instincts are pretty great and this didn't seem wrong to me. No-one could explain why it seemed wrong to them, just that it did. ???
I've seen MMM and others advocate tapping into a neighbor's WI-FI for free computer access. I think that's unethical. It's stealing on the part of the sharer and breech of contract for the paying customer. At least, every internet service we've paid for specifically tells you not to share service in the service terms, maybe others don't have that particular clause in their terms?
Something else I think is pretty low-down is signing up for multiple free gifts for your children during the holidays. There are so many programs and groups that hand out gifts to "disadvantaged children who otherwise would not receive presents at Christmas"(hey!, my non-Christmas celebrating low-income family has always qualified and yet I don't feel disadvantaged! oy)and there is no accountability or tracking between agencies to weed out the greedy. So year after year these people collect hoards of expensive and unnecessary loot from strangers. I know someone who received so much, her kids still had wrapped boxes to open in late January. :/

unitsinc

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Re: Unethical ways to save money
« Reply #7 on: January 22, 2013, 08:22:31 AM »
I'm not going to disagree with the pirating copyright infringement one, but I'm not going to agree, either. That's a huge issue all by itself, with factors like fair use (including time/format shifting), international trade agreements and restrictions, copyright term extensions, cartels, the practical impossibility of enforcement, and the fact that copyright is a social contract (not a property right) to consider. It deserves its own thread.


I grew up with pirating. Napster got big when I was about 14 or 15. I rarely pirate music anymore because Pandora exists. I have a friend that sometimes pirates movies, but there is a theatre near me that costs 2.50 for a new movie, so I'm willing to spend that for a movie.

My guilt comes from books. I've got a Kindle. So I can pirate e-books. My logic is that I'd pretty much never pay for a book anyway. Between libraries and used book stores(which the author's and publishing companies see no money from) I don't feel like my breaking copyright law in this case hurts anyone very much. It's obviously still illegal and a moral grey area, but I'm ok with. People speed every day and that hurts people more in my opinion.

tooqk4u22

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Re: Unethical ways to save money
« Reply #8 on: January 22, 2013, 08:25:52 AM »
Jack, you and I are on the same page w/ that one. 
I'd like to keep this thread away from anyone arguing about if these things are/aren't ethical and steer it towards more "ideas".   
For instance, do people pirate anything else besides what I've mentioned above?  Movies, books, music, software, phone apps...

Well isn't that sort of an impossibility as in order to view it as an unethical way to save money one has to determine whether or not it is unethical - and with that individuals may have differing views. 

kolorado

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Re: Unethical ways to save money
« Reply #9 on: January 22, 2013, 08:37:48 AM »
As a writer myself, it's a bummer to see people ok with pirating books. There is a person or persons behind every thing out there that labored on the item you want. I feel this is a "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you" thing. If you wouldn't work for free, why would you insist someone else work for free?

spider1204

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Re: Unethical ways to save money
« Reply #10 on: January 22, 2013, 08:40:49 AM »
Well for methods that people might consider to be unethical:

    1.  Sneaking into the Dining Hall while in college, everyone did it, but obviously stealing.
    2.  Breaking up shopping into multiple transactions in order to meet minimum debit card transactions, racks up merchant fees.
    3.  Getting all your printing needs and random office supplies from work.
    4.  Getting stuff done for your personal life at work.  As an hourly?  As salary?  While still getting your requirements done?  While not?
    5.  Using a less efficient utility for the job because it happens to be included in the rent.
    6.  Buying a less efficient product that is cheaper only because it's subsidized.
    7.  Jailbreaking your phone.

I've done all of these and suffer from varying degrees of guilt for them.
« Last Edit: January 22, 2013, 08:50:37 AM by spider1204 »

swiper

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Re: Unethical ways to save money
« Reply #11 on: January 22, 2013, 08:42:55 AM »

4) Abusing Costco's return policy - If you dont think this happens, go to costco the day after the super bowl and see how many TV's and grills are being returned.. it's crazy


Wonder if a good deal could be struck with costco for one of these gently used and returned items ;)

Khao

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Re: Unethical ways to save money
« Reply #12 on: January 22, 2013, 08:50:28 AM »
As a Canadian I want to say that pirating is nearly necessary here to get the content you want. I buy a shit ton of music online but there are always artists that are unavailable to Canada in retail AND online so I have to download their album from torrents. And sadly the music industry is the least shitty media industry here which leads us to...

Tv shows and movies. ARHhghrrgghghg our content is so bad and there are no good alternatives other than pirating. The movie industry really needs to get its shit together because allowing digital copies that can be rented/bought would make them billions of dollars instead of investing everything in anti-fraud stuff and spending so much cash on lawsuits all around the globe.

And in Canada we have it good compared to a ton of countries around the world who want to access media from the states.

kolorado

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Re: Unethical ways to save money
« Reply #13 on: January 22, 2013, 08:50:39 AM »
    2.  Breaking up shopping into multiple transactions in order to meet minimum debit card transactions, racks up merchant fees.
   

Just curious why anyone would do this?

spider1204

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Re: Unethical ways to save money
« Reply #14 on: January 22, 2013, 08:55:19 AM »
@kolorado, I get 3% interest rate on my checking account if I make 12 debit card transactions per month, and sometimes don't make enough by the end of the month naturally.

@Khao, I agree, now that Spotify is around I barely pirate music at all anymore, and if someone ever lets you stream FLAC files I'll stop completely.

arebelspy

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Re: Unethical ways to save money
« Reply #15 on: January 22, 2013, 09:06:36 AM »
I've seen MMM and others advocate tapping into a neighbor's WI-FI for free computer access. I think that's unethical. It's stealing on the part of the sharer and breech of contract for the paying customer. At least, every internet service we've paid for specifically tells you not to share service in the service terms, maybe others don't have that particular clause in their terms?

He doesn't advocate "tapping in" but rather sharing with full knowledge, on purpose. 

If I have a WiFi router, and my neighbor comes over with his laptop, is he not allowed to use my internet while at my house?  If the signal reaches his house, is he not allowed to use it there?  Where do you draw the line?

As with many of the above examples, it's a fine line, and obviously different people interpret it differently.

I tether my phone to my computer and use ~30gb/month of data.  I have unlimited data.  I'm not supposed to tether based on TOS, but if I'm paying for unlimited data, I'm going to use it how I see fit.  If the company disagrees, and thinks I am breaking their terms of service, they can terminate our contract (which they have done in the past with one of my lines).  If they don't care about a terms of service violation and don't enforce it, then I assume they're okay with it. (And it's an automated system, not like they just "haven't noticed.")

Others will say they would only use the "unlimited data" how the company specifies. Okay, if that's your interpretation of unlimited data, have at it.

Many of the things in this thread I would find unethical.  Many other things I wouldn't.  We all try to reach our own balance.
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DebtDerp

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Re: Unethical ways to save money
« Reply #16 on: January 22, 2013, 09:17:13 AM »
I am also one that uses my phone as my ISP and tether my devices to it. It is just as fast or often faster than my old comcast service (I have Verizon 4GLTE) and with being on a family share I only pay $40 a month for it. What is interesting about this 'hack' is that the FCC has told Verizon that they cannot stop their customers from tethering their devices but it still is against the Verizon TOS. I'm perfectly ok with it but others have told me it is unethical.

I_am_DLR

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Re: Unethical ways to save money
« Reply #17 on: January 22, 2013, 09:32:47 AM »
Well for methods that people might consider to be unethical:
    7.  Jailbreaking your phone.

I've done all of these and suffer from varying degrees of guilt for them.

How can someone think jailbreaking your phone is unethical? Just because they make it a pain in the ass? Note: I'm not attacking you here. I've had people tell me this, and have never been able to come up with a reason for it. Maybe someone can enlighten me.

You pay your mobile phone provider for access to their network. It shouldn't matter what you use to access the network with. It would be like Comcast stipulating that you're not allowed to have administrator priviliges your own PC if you use them for an ISP.

spider1204

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Re: Unethical ways to save money
« Reply #18 on: January 22, 2013, 09:37:21 AM »
Ya that's one of the one's where I felt zero guilt, but some people believe that if you sign a contract then it's unethical not to obey it.

Deano

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Re: Unethical ways to save money
« Reply #19 on: January 22, 2013, 09:37:35 AM »
How about shopping at places that you know treat their workers unfairly? Or buying items that were made with sweat shop labour? If you wouldn't work for some place that would do that to you, would you take advantage when it is done to someone else? Is that unethical, strictly speaking, or is that morality?

One of my beefs about this community (really my only beef) is that many of us enjoy a mustachian lifestyle on the backs of others and then pat our own backs for doing the right thing (by being anti-consumerist). I sense a contradiction. 

You might find that controversial. Have at it.

tkaraszewski

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Re: Unethical ways to save money
« Reply #20 on: January 22, 2013, 09:52:19 AM »
Around here, the trash company charges you to pick up trash, but curbside recycling is free. Of course, they don't inspect your recycling before they dump it in the truck, so if you wanted to you could just pay for the smallest available trash can and put the rest of your trash in the recycling bin.

What about parking outside the gate of parks? California State Parks charge for parking, not for admission, so there's always a crowd of people parked just outside the gate along the road, saving $10 by not parking inside the park, even though they just walk in and use the park's facilities anyway.

Or the always popular telling your kids to lie and say they're under 10/12/whatever-age-gets-a-discount to get into places. My parents used to do this to me when I was 12 and 13, they'd tell me to say I was 11 to get reduced admission to places. I *HATED* it, not just because they were telling me to lie, but because I was self-conscious about being small for my age and they were drawing attention to this to save a few bucks.

I seem to see a whole slew of Starbucks exploits that people do to save a few cents, like ordering a small drink with "no room" in a medium-sized cup, and then filling it up with cream and sugar, instead of ordering a medium drink with room for more money. The employees never seem to care enough to fight it.

I don't think that violating contracts is necessarily unethical, since so many are predatory. This is especially true to me for contracts that are wholly one-sided that you never actually sign, like software license agreements or anything like, "by using [product] you agree to [ridiculous terms]".


CanuckStache

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Re: Unethical ways to save money
« Reply #21 on: January 22, 2013, 10:01:05 AM »
I definitely tether when on the road. I had to jailbreak my iPhone to do it, as well as install a specific tethering app that 'hides' the fact you're tethering..since with my unlimited data plan it specifically says "NO TETHERING". That being said, even when tethering, I barely use data. I'm usually just checking email. I was just in Vegas for a conference and the hotel wanted $12.99 every 24 hours for wifi. The room only cost $50!! It's insane. Plus the wifi quality was WORSE than 3G on my phone. Of course I'm going to tether at that point.


Jack

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Re: Unethical ways to save money
« Reply #22 on: January 22, 2013, 10:26:01 AM »
Well for methods that people might consider to be unethical:
    7.  Jailbreaking your phone.

I've done all of these and suffer from varying degrees of guilt for them.

How can someone think jailbreaking your phone is unethical? Just because they make it a pain in the ass? Note: I'm not attacking you here. I've had people tell me this, and have never been able to come up with a reason for it. Maybe someone can enlighten me.

You pay your mobile phone provider for access to their network. It shouldn't matter what you use to access the network with. It would be like Comcast stipulating that you're not allowed to have administrator priviliges your own PC if you use them for an ISP.

What's really unethical is that the vendor is locking your device in the first place. It's as ridiculous as Ford threatening to throw you in jail for daring to service your own car.

You should feel guilty for feeling guilty about "jailbreaking" your device, because you've allowed the influence of shysters and con-artists to corrupt your own moral compass.

I don't think that violating contracts is necessarily unethical, since so many are predatory. This is especially true to me for contracts that are wholly one-sided that you never actually sign, like software license agreements or anything like, "by using [product] you agree to [ridiculous terms]".

As far as I'm concerned, EULAs (software license agreements) presented after the sale has been completed are invalid and unenforceable. If I buy something, certain actions of mine may be restricted by copyright itself, but beyond that the copyright holder has no right to tell me what I can and cannot do with my own property!

I didn't want to get into this, and I still think it belongs in another thread. But suffice it to say, there are a lot of things associated with copyright infringement that I would consider to be unethical under fair circumstances, but which I support in retaliation for the abuses being inflicted on the market by cartels of copyright holders.

Khao

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Re: Unethical ways to save money
« Reply #23 on: January 22, 2013, 10:33:24 AM »
I think the problem most people have with jailbreaking is that a lot of people jailbreak their phones to go around the app store and download their apps without paying for them. I know that this is possible both on Android and iPhones and I know a lot of my friends who do this to get around 99 apps which I find ridiculous.

If you're jailbreaking your phone to install custom things on it or access stuff that's otherwise locked down to you as a user, fine but if your only purpose is to not pay 99 for apps then you're being kind of an asshole.

Jack

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Re: Unethical ways to save money
« Reply #24 on: January 22, 2013, 10:41:25 AM »
I think the problem most people have with jailbreaking is that a lot of people jailbreak their phones to go around the app store and download their apps without paying for them. I know that this is possible both on Android and iPhones and I know a lot of my friends who do this to get around 99 apps which I find ridiculous.

If you're jailbreaking your phone to install custom things on it or access stuff that's otherwise locked down to you as a user, fine but if your only purpose is to not pay 99 for apps then you're being kind of an asshole.

Jailbreaking and copyright infringement are completely separate issues. I think the industry's persistent attempt to frame the debate about jailbreaking by conflating it or associating it with copyright infringement is, in and of itself, unethical.

(And I find it unfortunate that you and so many others seem to have fallen for their tactics.)

chucklesmcgee

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Re: Unethical ways to save money
« Reply #25 on: January 22, 2013, 10:48:45 AM »
I'm not going to disagree with the pirating copyright infringement one, but I'm not going to agree, either. That's a huge issue all by itself, with factors like fair use (including time/format shifting), international trade agreements and restrictions, copyright term extensions, cartels, the practical impossibility of enforcement, and the fact that copyright is a social contract (not a property right) to consider. It deserves its own thread.

What is illegal is not always unethical and what is unethical is not always illegal.

iamlindoro

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Re: Unethical ways to save money
« Reply #26 on: January 22, 2013, 10:49:55 AM »
I personally don't find anything unethical about jailbreaking itself-- It's my device and within reason, I get to do what I want with it.

That said, as an self-employed, independent app developer, a small but substantial amount of my income monthly comes from my app sales.  Even a casual search of my product + the .ipa extension yields numerous places to download it for free.  What frustrates me is when people see piracy of my work (or anyone else's) as perfectly acceptable.  When people say "it's not theft, it's copyright infringement," I get frustrated because it sure *feels* like stealing when my check is smaller as a direct result of piracy.  Thankfully I have a full time job to take care of my regular expenses, but I put countless hundreds of hours into app development and deserve the returns from my work.  Thankfully there are still a reasonable number of people willing to pay for the app, but I wonder sometimes what my losses are from piracy-- I have no real way of knowing.

I'm sure there are probably different considerations between a software monopoly and a single independent developer, but that's my perspective as the latter.

Khao

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Re: Unethical ways to save money
« Reply #27 on: January 22, 2013, 10:51:51 AM »
Jailbreaking and copyright infringement are completely separate issues. I think the industry's persistent attempt to frame the debate about jailbreaking by conflating it or associating it with copyright infringement is, in and of itself, unethical.

(And I find it unfortunate that you and so many others seem to have fallen for their tactics.)

Wait, what? I said nothing about copyright infringement. Am I missing something? I don't think jailbreaking has anything to do with copyright infringement

Orvell

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Re: Unethical ways to save money
« Reply #28 on: January 22, 2013, 10:52:56 AM »
I personally don't find anything unethical about jailbreaking itself-- It's my device and within reason, I get to do what I want with it.

That said, as an self-employed, independent app developer, a small but substantial amount of my income monthly comes from my app sales.  Even a casual search of my product + the .ipa extension yields numerous places to download it for free.  What frustrates me is when people see piracy of my work (or anyone else's) as perfectly acceptable.  When people say "it's not theft, it's copyright infringement," I get frustrated because it sure *feels* like stealing when my check is smaller as a direct result of piracy.  Thankfully I have a full time job to take care of my regular expenses, but I put countless hundreds of hours into app development and deserve the returns from my work.  Thankfully there are still a reasonable number of people willing to pay for the app, but I wonder sometimes what my losses are from piracy-- I have no real way of knowing.

I'm sure there are probably different considerations between a software monopoly and a single independent developer, but that's my perspective as the latter.
+1
I think it's easy to forget that copyright infringement has direct impacts on individuals.
« Last Edit: January 22, 2013, 10:54:45 AM by Orvell »

spider1204

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Re: Unethical ways to save money
« Reply #29 on: January 22, 2013, 10:58:31 AM »
Quote
(And I find it unfortunate that you and so many others seem to have fallen for their tactics.)

I actually don't think there's anyone here that believes jailbreaking to be unethical, I only mentioned it as a possibility.  When I mention varying degrees of guilt, the amount related to jailbreaking is zero.

Jack

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Re: Unethical ways to save money
« Reply #30 on: January 22, 2013, 11:03:42 AM »
Wait, what? I said nothing about copyright infringement. Am I missing something? I don't think jailbreaking has anything to do with copyright infringement

You said that you think jailbreaking makes you "kind of an asshole" (which I interpreted as being unethical) if done for the purpose of copyright infringement.

I say that the copyright infringement itself is the [potentially] unethical part, and the jailbreaking is irrelevant. I think that the distinction is important, that's all.

Paul der Krake

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Re: Unethical ways to save money
« Reply #31 on: January 22, 2013, 11:07:26 AM »
Some street musicians are far from homeless, yet dress poorly to get more sympathy. Hard to draw the line...

Khao

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Re: Unethical ways to save money
« Reply #32 on: January 22, 2013, 11:08:33 AM »
I meant to say that not paying developers is the asshole part, not the jailbreaking part. It's perfectly legit that is you own the hardware you should own the software too. I jailbreaked my Kindle but I still buy ebooks from Amazon and other sources because I wanted to install apps and play around with my kindle's OS.

sheepstache

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Re: Unethical ways to save money
« Reply #33 on: January 22, 2013, 11:26:22 AM »
I love all the small things people are coming up with.  Since they're small savings, we don't tend to look too deeply into the ethics, but we should.

This is a larger issue that probably deserves its own thread, but there's the whole thing about social programs.  My MIL wants to sign over her house and assets to us so that her end of life expenses will be covered by medicaid.  Aside from the headache of trying to correctly jump through all the loopholes you'd need to to make this work, it strikes me as an immoral choice especially considering she's very anti-social-safety-net-programs when it comes to other people.

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Re: Unethical ways to save money
« Reply #34 on: January 22, 2013, 11:54:33 AM »
Thankfully there are still a reasonable number of people willing to pay for the app, but I wonder sometimes what my losses are from piracy-- I have no real way of knowing.

If it's any consolation most of them would probably not have paid for it anyway.  There may be some percentage that would have it was the only option, but most would probably do without it, or looked for a free alternative.

One option you make look into is offering your apps for free (let them know if there is a follow-up cost though), then having a service with them that requires registration of some kind.  Having a tiered service works well.  Something basic for free and then a premium service that you charge for.  This doesn't need to be an ongoing cost to the customer either, it can be a one-time cost.  But an entry in an online database (like Parse) that you control may be able to do a lot to curtail the pirating.  While most people may go through the trouble to get an app that can be downloaded for free, they won't go through the trouble of setting up a backend infrastructure to make an already free app useful.

nofool

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Re: Unethical ways to save money
« Reply #35 on: January 22, 2013, 11:57:40 AM »
My guilt comes from books. I've got a Kindle. So I can pirate e-books. My logic is that I'd pretty much never pay for a book anyway. Between libraries and used book stores(which the author's and publishing companies see no money from) I don't feel like my breaking copyright law in this case hurts anyone very much. It's obviously still illegal and a moral grey area, but I'm ok with. People speed every day and that hurts people more in my opinion.

Easy fix for that-get a library card. Most libraries have e-books available now! Sure, there's a waitlist for the more popular titles, but I get nearly all my Kindle books from the library. Once you download it, turn off the wifi and you get to enjoy the book for as long as it takes you to read it. It doesn't prevent the next person who wants to check it out on their Kindle, either.

ShavenLlama

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Re: Unethical ways to save money
« Reply #36 on: January 22, 2013, 12:08:22 PM »

Tv shows and movies. ARHhghrrgghghg our content is so bad and there are no good alternatives other than pirating.

We used to get Corner Gas on some channel in my area. That show was great! If all Canadian programming is like that, I'm jealous.

But more to the topic, I can't stand when people look for any slight mistake to demand discounts and freebies at hotels and restaurants. If you have a problem, by all means speak up! The server or manager will be 1) embarrassed about the issue and 2) do whatever it takes to solve the problem IMMEDIATELY. If you wait until your event or meal is over to mention a minor problem, what do you want me to do at that point? And worse, sometimes I get calls MONTHS after an event with a silly, "Well, we don't want to pay our bill because one of the tables was missing butter!" or something equally absurd and fixable.

unitsinc

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Re: Unethical ways to save money
« Reply #37 on: January 22, 2013, 12:16:00 PM »
My guilt comes from books. I've got a Kindle. So I can pirate e-books. My logic is that I'd pretty much never pay for a book anyway. Between libraries and used book stores(which the author's and publishing companies see no money from) I don't feel like my breaking copyright law in this case hurts anyone very much. It's obviously still illegal and a moral grey area, but I'm ok with it. People speed every day and that hurts people more in my opinion.

Easy fix for that-get a library card. Most libraries have e-books available now! Sure, there's a waitlist for the more popular titles, but I get nearly all my Kindle books from the library. Once you download it, turn off the wifi and you get to enjoy the book for as long as it takes you to read it. It doesn't prevent the next person who wants to check it out on their Kindle, either.

I had no idea you could get ebooks from a library!
How does that work?Can the library only lend X number of copies? Do I have to physically go into the library or do they usually do it through their website or something?
This is pretty cool. Thanks for the heads up.

SugarMountain

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Re: Unethical ways to save money
« Reply #38 on: January 22, 2013, 12:16:22 PM »
Sharing internet access with a neighbor via wifi.

nofool

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Re: Unethical ways to save money
« Reply #39 on: January 22, 2013, 12:45:21 PM »
My guilt comes from books. I've got a Kindle. So I can pirate e-books. My logic is that I'd pretty much never pay for a book anyway. Between libraries and used book stores(which the author's and publishing companies see no money from) I don't feel like my breaking copyright law in this case hurts anyone very much. It's obviously still illegal and a moral grey area, but I'm ok with it. People speed every day and that hurts people more in my opinion.

Easy fix for that-get a library card. Most libraries have e-books available now! Sure, there's a waitlist for the more popular titles, but I get nearly all my Kindle books from the library. Once you download it, turn off the wifi and you get to enjoy the book for as long as it takes you to read it. It doesn't prevent the next person who wants to check it out on their Kindle, either.

I had no idea you could get ebooks from a library!
How does that work?Can the library only lend X number of copies? Do I have to physically go into the library or do they usually do it through their website or something?
This is pretty cool. Thanks for the heads up.

Yes, my library usually has 1-3 copies (obviously, more for the more popular titles) available for Kindle downloads. They also have other e-book formats, for those who don't have a Kindle. I'm sure it'll vary by library location, but my library has an online catalog that I use to search for e-books. You just "check out" with your library card number and password, and it opens up a new window in Amazon. It automatically downloads to your Kindle. Enjoy! :)

wakkowarner

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Re: Unethical ways to save money
« Reply #40 on: January 22, 2013, 12:57:20 PM »
Using public roads without paying the tax on gas that pays for those roads (either electric vehicle or bike).

Russ

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Re: Unethical ways to save money
« Reply #41 on: January 22, 2013, 01:18:06 PM »
Using public roads without paying the tax on gas that pays for those roads (either electric vehicle or bike).

You seem to be a little misinformed on how road funding actually works. Here, read this

unitsinc

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Re: Unethical ways to save money
« Reply #42 on: January 22, 2013, 02:03:34 PM »
My guilt comes from books. I've got a Kindle. So I can pirate e-books. My logic is that I'd pretty much never pay for a book anyway. Between libraries and used book stores(which the author's and publishing companies see no money from) I don't feel like my breaking copyright law in this case hurts anyone very much. It's obviously still illegal and a moral grey area, but I'm ok with it. People speed every day and that hurts people more in my opinion.

Easy fix for that-get a library card. Most libraries have e-books available now! Sure, there's a waitlist for the more popular titles, but I get nearly all my Kindle books from the library. Once you download it, turn off the wifi and you get to enjoy the book for as long as it takes you to read it. It doesn't prevent the next person who wants to check it out on their Kindle, either.

I had no idea you could get ebooks from a library!
How does that work?Can the library only lend X number of copies? Do I have to physically go into the library or do they usually do it through their website or something?
This is pretty cool. Thanks for the heads up.

Yes, my library usually has 1-3 copies (obviously, more for the more popular titles) available for Kindle downloads. They also have other e-book formats, for those who don't have a Kindle. I'm sure it'll vary by library location, but my library has an online catalog that I use to search for e-books. You just "check out" with your library card number and password, and it opens up a new window in Amazon. It automatically downloads to your Kindle. Enjoy! :)

That is awesome! Thanks. I'm gonna get on that this weekend.

frugalcalan

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Re: Unethical ways to save money
« Reply #43 on: January 22, 2013, 02:10:01 PM »
Tax evasion. 

My roommate makes a significant portion of her income (she said around half?) from cash activities (legal cash activities, I must note!  I make it sound like she's a prostitute).  She doesn't report that money, and thus doesn't pay taxes on it.

I'm kind of afraid she's going to get audited someday.

chucklesmcgee

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Re: Unethical ways to save money
« Reply #44 on: January 22, 2013, 02:48:57 PM »
My guilt comes from books. I've got a Kindle. So I can pirate e-books. My logic is that I'd pretty much never pay for a book anyway. Between libraries and used book stores(which the author's and publishing companies see no money from) I don't feel like my breaking copyright law in this case hurts anyone very much. It's obviously still illegal and a moral grey area, but I'm ok with. People speed every day and that hurts people more in my opinion.

There's a free program called Calibre which allows you to download news sources for free, among other features. It downloads every web page of a source's freely available pages, say the NY times or the Economist and then packages it up in Ebook form. It looks absolutely identical to the Ebook form that they'll charge $10/month for! Falls nicely into the grey area ethically.

Skyn_Flynt

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Re: Unethical ways to save money
« Reply #45 on: January 22, 2013, 05:01:05 PM »
There are people who buy cars in NC (3% sales tax) and pay NC insurance rates (which are not cheap but reasonable) and NC plate fees (only $30 per plate) and NC property taxes (can be cheap in a rural county) but really live in the the northeast where automobile ownership costs are much higher.

I've read this has become so common, that some of other states have resorted to asking their residents to "snitch" on NC plated cars that are seen remaining in the neighborhood for too long.


dragoncar

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Re: Unethical ways to save money
« Reply #46 on: January 22, 2013, 05:55:19 PM »
Using public roads without paying the tax on gas that pays for those roads (either electric vehicle or bike).

You seem to be a little misinformed on how road funding actually works. Here, read this

But everyone knows cyclists are dirty hippies who don't pay Federal income tax!

grantmeaname

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Re: Unethical ways to save money
« Reply #47 on: January 22, 2013, 06:22:02 PM »
Then it's a good thing bikes are so much lighter than cars.

James

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Re: Unethical ways to save money
« Reply #48 on: January 22, 2013, 07:05:41 PM »
Using public roads without paying the tax on gas that pays for those roads (either electric vehicle or bike).


I just assumed this was tongue in cheek?

Skyn_Flynt

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Re: Unethical ways to save money
« Reply #49 on: January 22, 2013, 08:20:06 PM »
Roads will rot away in the sun, and weeds will grow up through the cracks in just a few years even with no traffic. During the recession, some states began pulling up rural asphalt roads and converting them back to gravel. So it is true that you need some vehicle traffic and gas tax revenue to justify a road.