- After getting billions in taxpayers’ money, the banks are screwing consumers. Yesterday, I got my version of that. Chase bank decided to unilaterally tacked on fees to a credit card account. These fees are simply because I am maintaining a balance but not actively using the account.
- The RIAA has been aggressively pursuing file sharers first through lawsuits and now by trying to shutdown people’s internet access. The RIAA makes it financially dangerous to have an internet connection.
- DVDs are rigged so that the DVD player refuses to obey the owner of the machine. For example, the owner of the DVD cannot skip or fast forward through the anti-fair-use warning at the beginning of the DVD.
- Installing many games, results in anti-“privacy” malware like SecureROM being installed on the game owner’s computer. The potential to damage of the computer’s operating system is very much of a reality.
- Google refuses to be responsive to any requests emailed in for support. Your gmail account can disappear for any reason what so ever and there is no recourse. [Update 22-Jan-2009 : Google’s Feedburner now makes this list as well]
- Facebook, LinkedIn, et. al. have provisions that give them unilateral rights to cut off access to data that you the user created – with no recourse and arbitrarily.
- Bernie Madoff, the most recent Ponzi scheme from Wall Street has wrecked the lives of millions. People’s life savings that they put in the Bernie Madoff basket are gone.
Therefore, I make these resolutions – realizing that I will not be able to perfectly follow them at least at first but never the less will strive to achieve:
- Any company where it is difficult to impossible to reach a human is untrustworthy. Nothing of value should be entrusted to such a company – (Google, Facebook).
- Any company that attempts to “lock” me by refusing me easy access to my information should be avoid. (Facebook)
- “Paperless” options from credit card companies will be refused. The assumption will be that the credit card companies have a vested interest in altering the statements. Having a paper copy, prevents possible tampering.
- Local companies will be preferred over large companies.
- Non-profit companies providing the same service will be preferred ( Credit Unions rather than banks )
- Any “convenience” that has high liability potential will be avoided.
- Any item that will not obey the owner should not be purchased. (i.e. extremely limited DVD purchases / no upgrade to Blu-Ray / Netflix instead)
- Any service / product that did not exist before electricity should be examined to see if it is really necessary. (i.e. iPods)
- No financial expenditure should be a significant purchase. The assumption will be that the product will be faulty, malware or otherwise potentially result in a significant financial loss. (sorry GM, Ford — no new car purchases)
- No eggs in one basket. No single provider should be able to significantly damage my business or life. For example, code written for Google AppEngine can only be used on Google AppEngine therefore Google can destroy any business using Google AppEngine.
- Extreme focus on eliminating debt.
I suspect that a large number of people will express disbelief that I would actually follow through on any of this. So let me say this:
- It has been 3 years since we last brought a CD
- The last time, I or my wife brought a new car was in 1992. The cars we currently own we purchase 3 and 8 years ago paying $4000 and $1500 respectively.
- We haven’t had cable for over 2 years and we don’t even bother with broadcast TV
- Our internet service with Earthlink has been down for a week and rather than continue to try to get some response from them we are debating about canceling phone and internet service all together and relying strictly on cell phones.