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A philosopher's ethical description of the abuse of MB vs mb and why it is unethical:

Discussion in 'General Nonsense' started by vawrvawerawe, Mar 17, 2013.

  1. vawrvawerawe

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    Ok, because it is such a prominent issue, and because it is swept aside by so many people who either can't or don't want to take the brain energy to break down the ethical issues surrounding MB vs Mb, and because many people don't actually realize it is an ethical issue, I will now break this down and describe to you exactly what MB vs Mb is and Why this is an ethical issue.

    [​IMG]

    MB vs Mb EXPLAINED

    megabits (mb)
    pronunciation: \ˈbit\ (note the short i) link -
    abbreviation: mb aka mbps = megabits per second

    megabytes (MB)
    pronunciation: \ˈbīt\ (note the long i) link
    abbreviation: MB aka mbps = megabytes per second

    gigabits (gb)
    abbreviation: gb aka gbps = gigabits per second

    gigabytes (GB)
    abbreviation: GB aka GBps = gigabytes per second


    1 mb = 0.1 MB (1/10th of a MB)
    10 mb = 1 MB

    1 Gb = 128 MB
    1 Gb = 1,000 Mb

    1 GB = 1,000 MB
    1 GB = 8,000 Mb

    12mbps = 1.5 MBps
    30mbps = 3.75 MBps

    [​IMG]

    THE FACTS, AND THE LIES

    Megabits (not megabytes) are what companies like hard drive manufacturers and cable companies use to measure data rates.

    This way the number looks a lot larger than it is, because they know that people's real understanding of a MB is 1000 in a GB, because no consumers use the term gigabit to describe storage, only gigabyte. There are 8,000 megabits in a gigabyte.

    So for example when you get Comcast internet, even Comcast actually SAYS "megaBYTE" in the commercials but it is a LIE. What you're really paying for is megaBITS per second. If they were prosecuted for this they would merely say it was "a mistake of terminology" and point to their website which says Mbps not MBps. It's a shady business practice and accurately reflects the scummy nature of Comcast.

    This confuses a lot of consumers who don't realize they're being tricked by the companies using deceptive terminology which although is legitimate, the connotation they use it in plays on the common cultural connotations of storage, hence legally tricking people into thinking they are getting more then they really are. It is smart marketing, but shady morality.

    The reason this is a problem, is because, reasonably so, data storage is described in gigaBYTES (GB), which is 1000 megaBYTES (MB) but *8000* megaBITS (Mb).

    So when a consumer thinks they are paying for, say, 30 megaBYTES (MB) per second, meaning they could download 1 gigabyte in about 30 seconds, it's FALSE, because they are not getting megaBYTES (MB) but rather megaBITS (Mb).

    This means at 30 megabits per second they are really getting 3.75 megaBYTES (MB) per second. In other words, due to shady ISP advertising, they make people THINK they can download 1GB in 30 seconds, but in reality they can download 1GB in 4 MINUTES - 8 times slower.

    [​IMG]

    THE ETHICS, EXPLAINED THOUGH A METHAPHOR

    Most techies think, "well it's not wrong for them to state the facts if it's the consumer who needed to understand it". I strongly disagree. In essence, it is false advertising, but more so, this is a moral issue. So let me give you this easier-to-understand scenario:

    Think of it this way. Say we had slang to call a one dollar bill a bit, and a 10 dollar bill a byte. In this case there are 10 dollars, or bits, in one 10-dollar bill, or byte. Let's call it Db for dollarbit and DB for dollarbyte.

    Now say you were trading something to a company, and getting dollars in return. Let's call it, dbpi (dollarbits per item) and DBpi (dollarbytes per item). Now, consider that people don't usually buy things for 1 dollar, because of course the market isn't that cheap. So most things cost $10 or more, and most things people buy cost over $100 (this is part of this hypothetical scenario). A hundred is ten $10 bills, and thus we call it HB, or HBpi. This stands for hundredbyte (per item), and there are ten DB in an HB (hundredbyte).

    So because of this, people don't really ever say "hundredbit", because that would be 100 dbpi, and it just isn't practical to think about in such large numbers. So in the current society people use the terms "hundredbytes" and "dollarbytes". Usually people when talking about money, they say, "How many dollarbytes do you have?" or, "How many hundredbytes do you have?" They really never use the term "bits", because the denomination is too small and 1db (dollarbyte) is just not important enough to use the phrase. Ever. Plus it would get confusing because "dollarbit" and "dollarbyte" sound so similar but are so very different.

    OK so now that we set the stage, now let's move forward. So now you have a company who makes a commercial saying "you can get 30 dollarbytes per item". You think, hey great, let me trade the things worth 30 dollarbytes (DB).

    So you go and bring in 10 items worth 30 dollarbytes (DB), expecting to get 300 DB back, that's 30DB x 10 = 300DB. You don't even consider that the company meant dollarBIT because you haven't even thought about currency as small as a dollarbit in as long as you can remember, because it's such a small currency, no one uses the term to describe things.

    However, when you bring in your 10 items worth 30 db (dollarbits) each, here is what they say:
    To which you reply,
    And they say,
    And you reply,
    To which they reply smugly,
    [​IMG]

    THE BIGGER ISSUE

    The problem here is obvious, and if you understand the terminology, then you won't get cheated. But the greater issue here is, MOST PEOPLE DON'T ASK QUESTIONS, AND THEY ONLY GET 3 DBpi, WHEN THEY THOUGHT THEY WERE RECEIVING 30 DBpi!! Because no one has the time to think about the specifics, so they don't realize they are getting cheated!!!

    You see, the companies would lose money if PEOPLE WERE AWARE THEY WERE GETTING SO MUCH LESS THEN THEY THOUGHT THEY WERE PAYING FOR, and this would drive down prices. Now, if the ONLY REASON prices are as they are is because people don't realize what they are getting, which is significantly less than they thought, then it is ethically THEFT that these companies are getting selling the service at the current rate!

    Now, it's true, it would not be against the law for the company to do this, because they have the legitimate excuse, "it's the real terminology". But the problem here is an ethical one, and ethics are the reason and premise for the existence of the Law in the first place!

    In one way, you could say, it's the law's fault for having such a loophole, but say there is a law loophole that lets a certain kind of murderer get away with it, does that make is okay to murder because it's not against the law in certain scenarios? NO!!! It's the same general concept. (However there ARE such loopholes in our society about murder, but I won't go into it here because this isn't a thread about ethical issues on murder.)
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2013
  2. MxPhenom 216

    MxPhenom 216 Corsair Fanboy

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    hmmm a source to this would be nice so its at least somewhat credible. Otherwise its a nice big wall of text. Not much to see here. Move along.
     
  3. erocker

    erocker Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Everything (except for the opinion part) seems sound. I would like to see an advertisement of a company claiming megabytes instead of megabits. Any ISP website I visit uses megabits, sells by megabits and displays megabits in their pricing structures.

    I see nothing unethical about what unit of measurement they use. It's up to the buyer to educate themselves on anything before they purchase something.
     
  4. a111087

    a111087

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    you can't think for yourself and would believe whatever your "credible" source will say?
     
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  5. newtekie1

    newtekie1 Semi-Retired Folder

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    Networking is always Mb/s, there is nothing un-ethical about ISPs listing speeds in Mb/s because that is the industry standard for networking. The entire industry has decided that all networking should be rated in Mb/s.

    And I don't know where you are getting that ISPs say MB/s, every commercial I see they say Mb/s.

    It would only be un-ethical if the networking standard wasn't Mb/s.


    Especially when they use the industry standard unit of measure...
     
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  6. vawrvawerawe

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    I am the philosopher. Source is myself. But you're right, it could use an image or two!
    Update: images added

    lols you were probably right to make fun of him for that; and you're right, it's interesting, because it doesn't matter how credible or fallible a source is, people will continue to believe whatever they want. It's just a hope that some benevolent philosophers can continue to arise and influence the human race to continue to fight against the forces trying to exploit the people, and for the people who make up society.
     
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  7. MxPhenom 216

    MxPhenom 216 Corsair Fanboy

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    Nope definitely didn't say that.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2013
  8. TRWOV

    TRWOV

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    I've seen commercial advertising MEGAS, not even MB or Mb.
     
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  9. 95Viper

    95Viper

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    Only history will verify you are philosopher... My opinion leans to the doubt side of the room.

    As far as the ads for Verizon fios and xfinity... I just watched 'em both and both used the terms "Mbps" .
    Watching Office as I type. Now, that is philosophical.

    This thread should be in the Network and security section, since it references data rates, instead of storage.
    Or, maybe GN as an alternative.
     
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  10. Rowsol

    Rowsol

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    Good read.
     
  11. vawrvawerawe

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    phi·los·o·pher

    noun
    1. a person who offers views or theories on profound questions in ethics, metaphysics, logic, and other related fields.​

    Hence, I am a philosopher. A person who thinks philosophically is a philosopher. There is no opinion about it, it's simply fact. If for example you have a philosophical thought (making you philosophical), and you share your philosophy, then you are a philosopher, at least at that point in time.
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2013
  12. newtekie1

    newtekie1 Semi-Retired Folder

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    I like how you're more interested in arguing that you are a philosopher than you are about the actual philosophy you're trying to be philosophical about.

    If the question in ethics was so profound you'd think you'd respond to the discussion about it instead of just arguing with the people saying you aren't a philosopher.

    Do you think when Socrates was going around discussing ethics he spent more time saying "I am too a philosopher" than actually discussing ethics?(Here's a hint: Real philosophers don't care that others think they are philosophers.)
     
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  13. LightningJR

    LightningJR

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    Haters gonna hate, ignore them.

    It was an interesting read but I agree and disagree.

    Ignorance is not the corporate's fault, people need to inform themselves, it's not a valid excuse. It does positively affect marketing because people like larger numbers, again this is partially ignorance..

    What I agree on is companies using the improper terminology. They are large businesses that specialize in their field, it's not ignorance with them it's just wrong and they should be fined for it. IMO. It doesn't surprise me though as it's the status quo for corporations to do this. It's all about the money.





    Don't feed the trolls.
     
  14. AphexDreamer

    AphexDreamer

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    The only cause for concern is people getting screwed over when they thinking they are paying for something they are not getting.

    This thread seems to urge people to stay educated regarding the matter but since you are posting on a tech forum, you are preaching to the choir.
     
  15. newtekie1

    newtekie1 Semi-Retired Folder

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    Except they aren't using the wrong terminology, they are using the terminology the industry has said is the standard that everyone should use.
     
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  16. remixedcat

    remixedcat

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    I love how you used comcast as an example. they do suck.
     
  17. 95Viper

    95Viper

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    As I stated, I watched both of the commercials tonight. And they used Mbps, so the point about, at least, Comcast (xFinity) is incorrect.
    Verizon used the same Mbps.

    Maybe, they are running different ads in your area.

    And, here is an explanation of drive capacity from Samsung; and, I believe, I have seen the same posted on the other manufacturer's sites, as well as a disclaimer on the retail boxes.

    Link to pdf at Samsung quoted: www.samsung.com/ITDlegalinfo/


    I, personally, do not think they are being unethical or misleading, as this has been the standard since the mid 80s.


    Edit: It was in storage... It was moved here ddd.
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2013
  18. de.das.dude

    de.das.dude Pro Indian Modder

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    finally a he's made a thread in the proper section XD
     
  19. W1zzard

    W1zzard Administrator Staff Member

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    that
     
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  20. Aquinus

    Aquinus Resident Wat-man

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    We're talking units of measurement. It's like the difference between 1000 meters and 1 kilometers. It is nothing other than how it is represented. So if you think that having multiple measures for rate of data transfer or capacity that applys to some things more than others is a great insult to people who work in the industry.

    You want philosophy, how about this: Who is more liable for interpreting that "misinformation"? They're not forcing you to buy their product and they're not prohibiting you from learning the differences between 10Mbps and 10MB/s and I'm sure if you ask them, they will tell you. Even still, I don't think it is the company's responsibility to make sure that you understand the lingo the moment you see the term. As a human being with the capability of learning, you need to take it upon yourself to figure it out. Discouraging learning only degrades... well anything. It's not like this is a hard topic, it's really simple.

    "Give a man to fish and he will eat for a day. Teach a man to fish and he will eat for a lifetime."

    Or maybe it means that there are 8 bits in one byte. :shadedshu:banghead:
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2013
  21. Arctucas

    Arctucas

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    I have seen television commercials from our local ISPs that say Meg, not Megabit, not Megabyte, just Meg when advertising speeds.

    That seems rather shady, because the uninformed consumer has no way of knowing from the ads what they may actually get.

    Caveat Emptor.
     
  22. Aquinus

    Aquinus Resident Wat-man

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    Then maybe these uninformed consumers should do some research before locking themselves into a year long agreement. It's the same argument why a plaintiff was able to sue Dunkin' Donuts because a they said that they didn't expect a hot coffee to be hot because the container didn't say it was hot.

    People need to stop being stupid and just do some research and figure it out. If you mess up because you didn't find out what you were purchasing or putting your signature on, I have no sympathy.

    This shouldn't be ethics and philosophy, it should be common sense. You don't buy a car without test driving it and finding out stuff about it. You don't buy a house without doing research on the house, the land, and having it inspected. Your internet, like a computer, is no different and remaining ignorant because you're not willing or don't care to learn is your own fault.

    If you don't know what it is or don't care, the most basic package is right for you and if it isn't then upgrade. This isn't rocket science even if you don't know how to understand the numbers.

    That's why Comcast is supposed to be giving me 12Mbit and I'm getting 25Mbit, right? :ohwell:
    ...or my in-laws who have the 25Mbit plan and get 35Mbit down.
     
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  23. Fourstaff

    Fourstaff Moderator Staff Member

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    I have no problem with MB and Mb, just assume everything is Mb unless otherwise stated. Also, 1MB is assumed to be 1000KB rather than 1024KB.
     
  24. digibucc

    digibucc

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  25. TRWOV

    TRWOV

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    Funny reading an ethics related post using pictures without attribution :laugh:

    Still, marketing always try to take advantage of people's ignorance by telling them half truths or keeping them in the dark if not outright lying... but then again how could they explain the MB/Mb thing in 30 seconds to the average Joe? Heck, many of those MB ads could be from marketing drones not actually knowing there's a difference.


    I concur with LightingJR, client ignorance isn't the ISP's fault. I've known people that complain because Youtube/Netflix/et al don't download any faster when they upgraded from a 5Mbit to a 10Mbit plan. They don't seem to understand the meaning of bandwidth in the first place and you can't fault them for that since Mb/s seems to be a speed measurement (because of the /s part). I always have to fallback on the toll road analogy.
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2013
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