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But the message said "try putting your laptop near hot steam"

Discussion in 'Tech Talk - Gadgets, Gizmos and Technology' started by phrelin, Jun 9, 2011.

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  1. Jun 12, 2011 #41 of 113
    MysteryMan

    MysteryMan Well-Known Member DBSTalk Club

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    Per Webster: Stupid 1. Slow to learn or understand; obtuse. 2. Tending to make poor decisions or careless mistakes. 3. Marked by a lack of intelligence or care; foolish or careless: a stupid mistake. 4. Dazed, stunned, or stupefied. 5. Pointless; worthlesss: a stupid or foolish person......the definition not only applies to Trevor Harwell's victims but some of the people on this thread as well. :rolleyes: Not being knowledgeable of a appliance one purchases and uses is a pretty lame excuse to use when something goes wrong. Why do you think they come with Operating Manuals and Product Information Guides? Hell, just look at some of the posts on this site where people are having problems with their receivers and are asking for help. In some cases they could have rectified the problem themselves had they read the Operators Manual that came with their receiver. It's one thing to be the victim of a crime when the situation is completely out of your control. It's another when one's stupidity is a major contributing factor!
     
  2. Jun 12, 2011 #42 of 113
    Carl Spock

    Carl Spock Superfly

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    They know how to use it well enough for their purpose.

    If they had no intention of making a webchat, or ever using the webcam, why should they have to learn about that part of the computer? For years, I didn't have or need a home network and was ignorant as to how to set it up. I still have no idea of how to use the webcam in my laptop. I've never found a need to turn it on. I can build my own computer but I can't turn on the webcam. Does that make me stupid? No, just ignorant.

    And MysteryMan, it was back in junior high shop class that the teacher taught me the difference between ignorant and stupid. He thought we all were ignorant. Only a few of us were stupid. :grin:

    Easy. They learned enough about their computer to start the browser and surf the web.

    Just like both MysteryMan and you can't understand how it would be possible to use a computer for just this limited purpose, I can't understand why you two are insisting that every owner of a computer must become an expert.

    A lot of people have learned to cook only well enough to keep themselves fed. Should we insist everyone become a gourmet? Most people can only write well enough to communicate. Should they all be forced to become English majors? I can only garden well enough to not kill my plants. Do I need to be a naturalist to have a nice looking front yard?

    It's not supid to learn just enough about a task to get by. In this complicated, multi-tasking world, that seems pretty smart to me.
     
  3. Jun 12, 2011 #43 of 113
    MysteryMan

    MysteryMan Well-Known Member DBSTalk Club

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    Per Webster: Ignorant 1. Lacking education or knowledge. 2. Showing or arising from a lack of education or knowledge: an ignorant mistake. 3. Unaware or uninformed......It's one thing to be ignorant of how to properly use a appliance. It's stupid not to familarize yourself with it before using it. That's what Owner Manuals and Product Information Guides are for. Try committing a crime and telling a judge you were "ignorant" of the fact that it was against the law (ignorance is no excuse in the eyes of the law). Trevor Harwell knew what he was doing was against the law. He gambled and lost. He wasn't ignorant, he was stupid. The same applies to the victims. They may have been ignorant on how to properly use a computer but were stupid for not familiarizing themselves and learning how to use a computer before operating one!
     
  4. Jun 12, 2011 #44 of 113
    bobnielsen

    bobnielsen Éminence grise

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    I know all about being taller than some doorframes--OUCH!
     
  5. Jun 12, 2011 #45 of 113
    spartanstew

    spartanstew Dry as a bone

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    As I stated before, we all strive to be as perfect as you Mystery Man.

    Memorizing every manual for everything ever purchased, understanding every feature of everything ever purchased (even the feature's you don't use). That's quite a feat.

    You really expect people to understand every feature of camera's (for example) that they buy? EVERY single camera you can buy comes with features that hardly anybody wants. They want to aim it and take a picture. What's the difference? You really expect everyone to understand all the settings and how to adjust the aperture and the shutter priority mode and ISO speed? Do you know all of those on every camera you own? Doubt it.

    I'm sure there's many things you own that you don't fully understand how to use, but your condescension is only surpassed by your own ignorance of the fact that people are different than you. The internet is a certainly a great place to try and prove your better than everyone else. I imagine it helps hide the painful highschool years spent alone in mom's basement unaccompanied by a female worth spying on. Revenge of the nerds, indeed.
     
  6. Jun 12, 2011 #46 of 113
    phrelin

    phrelin Hall Of Fame DBSTalk Club

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    Gee whiz guys. I started this thread and I didn't think it was all that important other than as a cautionary tale. Tone it down a little.
     
  7. Jun 12, 2011 #47 of 113
    trh

    trh This Space for Sale

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    ^ What he said.
     
  8. Jun 12, 2011 #48 of 113
    Stewart Vernon

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    I'm not losing any sleep over it... I'm just amazed that there are so many excuses to be made for people not taking a few minutes to familiarize themselves with their computers so that this cannot happen to them.

    This could be a teaching moment... where people learn better to use their computers and avoid this happening to them... but instead basic operation of a web cam and computer has become synonymous with "expert" and rocket science somehow. That sounds like setting the bar for intelligence pretty low to me.
     
  9. Jun 12, 2011 #49 of 113
    MysteryMan

    MysteryMan Well-Known Member DBSTalk Club

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    Watch my fingers, I'm going to type slow just for you. I never said I am perfect nor did I say I or anyone else should memorize every manual that comes with everything they purchase. Your poor reading skills and lack of comprehesion are quite evident. Perhaps attending a course in adult education will bring you up to par. ;) What I did say is one should "familarize" themself with the appliances they purchase before using them. That's called common sense and that's why Owners Manuals and Product Information Guides are provided. Maybe if the dingalings who fell for Trevor Harwell's scam had done that they wouldn't be one of his victims. Actually it was Dad's basement. The last time I was there was when I was 17, just after graduating High School and just before I entered the Army. I made a career with the Army. Did three combat tours in Nam and finished with a combat tour in Desert Storm. Gave me little time to reflect on my highschool years. I retired from the Army when I was 42. I invested in income properties and was able to retire permanently before I was 50. I notice your still working. Even made your team attend a hour meeting on Memorial Day as you so proudly posted on another thread. That must of went over like a fart. :rolleyes: The bottom line is it takes intelligence and some common sense to prevent becoming a victim in a scam like Trevor Harwell's. You fall short on both counts!
     
  10. Jun 12, 2011 #50 of 113
    MysteryMan

    MysteryMan Well-Known Member DBSTalk Club

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    +1
     
  11. Jun 12, 2011 #51 of 113
    Carl Spock

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    Nor I. Anybody who gets bent out of shape over a discussion on an Internet board should unplug their computer for the day, go out for a long walk and spend some time with family. There are more important things than DBSTalk.

    In my case, I've found the discussion in this thread invigorating and have enjoyed the civil banter back and forth with MysteryMan, you and others. :)

    My problem, Stewart, is I had thirty years of teachable moments.

    They were regarding stereos but it's the same difference. Many folks were like you (and me and MysteryMan), who want to know everything about their piece, would try to learn every trick and actually read the owner's manuals. But they are on the far right end of the bell curve. Other folks are like a good friend of mine who was told by his parents not to get too near an electrical outlet because sparks could jump out of it. That was the way he grew up. (Doug has done a good job of growing out of this ignorance and is now pretty good with computers.) I also remember a customer's wife who when I tried to teach her how to use her new Harmony remote, threw up her hands and walked out of the room. No, that's incorrect. She ran out. After that, if she wanted to do something with the home theater more than change channels, her husband or her kids had to do it. While she is an extreme example, you don't know the number of cheat sheets I made up to help people work their home theaters, knowing those notes would be lost in a bottom drawer, even though anything more than changing the volume and channel was challenging for them. Beyond the cheat sheets and the training after the sale, what would you have me do, Stewart? I had one elderly couple who lived 40 miles out of town. I probably made a half dozen trips to their house to help them when they got stuck working their home theater. I'm not making excuses. This is the reality of people and consumer electronics.

    I wish everyone was on the far right end of the bell curve, like you. It would have made my life much easier. I also would have sold more stereos because an educated consumer is one who wants the latest and the greatest. But you don't know how many customers who, when daylight savings time started, would drive to my store and I or one of my salesman would have to go out to their car and reset the clock on their Alpine car stereo. That was a teachable moment. We'd show them how to do it in the future. Most people appreciated the lesson and could adjust their clock from then on. But there were other customers who would be back in the fall, asking us to set their clock back an hour. One of them is my best friend. He refuses to learn how to set his clock. By now, he's used to it being off half the year because I refuse to reset it anymore. You're right. He should learn how to set it. He's plenty smart enough. I can tell him to go to Hell but I can't tell that to a customer.

    I, too, am done with this thread. I've said all I can say about this subject. If I can make one last over-generalization, I found many folks wished technology stopped with what they learned in their teens and twenties. After that, they struggled to learn how things worked. Fortunately, that is not true of other people. In general, people on this board want new and different technology, and enjoy learning how it works. But we aren't the norm. My experience is that the majority of people will learn only enough about their machines to get by. It's the way they are, their nature. I know of no teachable moment that can change that.

    Trust me, I tried.
     
  12. Jun 12, 2011 #52 of 113
    Stewart Vernon

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    I actually know what you mean... unfortunately.

    I tell the story of a guy I knew... so actually it is his story...

    He was working in a store, selling computers... and one day a customer called. She was having troubles printing. This guy went through all kinds of configuration stuff on her computer... then he thought of something... he remembered selling her the computer and she didn't buy a printer that day.. so he asked her about the printer... if it was connected, did she have paper.

    Turns out, she was holding paper up to the screen... and expecting something to happen. Sadly, this is a true story.

    I've long argued that the affordability of computers and somewhat ease-of-use has setup a false sense of intelligence in many, and resulted in a lot of people owning and using computers that aren't qualified to operate them.

    Thinking about driving a car... you don't give your kids the keys until you know he can operate it... you teach him, and in most states they are required to take a course and get a certificate before getting a permit or license to drive from the state.

    But computers... now that they are cheap... everyone owns one. And some cause damage by using them improperly...

    Not everyone should own sharp knives... not everyone should own a computer. I knew kids growing up that if they kept on the path they were own, I would have argued they didn't need to be anywhere near a computer where they could wreak havoc by accidentally doing all sorts of things.

    Think for a moment... maybe the person who can't operate that computer... who thought it was a good idea to give it a steam bath... and didn't know about the web cam... maybe that person works at your bank and is responsible for entering/checking data! Or maybe they work for an insurance company processing claims... or a hospital or other medical company entering records... and imagine their lack of computer operating skills there having a more negative impact than naked pics of them being taken by a pervert!
     
  13. Jun 12, 2011 #53 of 113
    James Long

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    One of the frustrations of being savvy is dealing with those who are not. People who can't figure out how to use tabs while word processing and spacebar across to line things up on each line are part of the non-savvy ... and there have been much worse examples in this thread.

    But there are things I don't know ... and many times I would not want to do the job these non-savvys do for a living because in those areas I'm not savvy. Within my area of expertise I'm pretty good ... within their area of expertise they are pretty good. NOBODY knows it all and only a total fool believes that they know it all.

    Even with the known things we become comfortable. Unless you are paranoid do you think about the cameras around your home? It is hard to buy a cell phone without a camera (or TWO) on it. Do you ALWAYS make sure the cell camera is pointing away from you when changing clothes? Does your spouse and children? Or do you assume that your phone camera isn't hackable?

    Yes, we're savvy. Some of us are paranoid. We assume that if there is a microphone present that it is on and transmitting our secrets to the ones that we want to share them with the least. We cover the cameras on our laptops (do we also disable the microphone permanently?). But much of what we know has come from other's mistakes or perhaps devious thoughts of how we can exploit a weakness in a system.

    So we now have a cautionary tale to remind us that a camera can be live at any time (just like a microphone). Don't do anything in front of either of those that you don't want to share.
     
  14. Jun 12, 2011 #54 of 113
    Carl Spock

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    In that case, I'd like to apologize to everyone for what I did last Thursday night at about 9:30. I'm usually not that messy.

    I knew I shouldn't have downloaded the DBSTalk ap onto my phone. :nono2:
     
  15. Jun 12, 2011 #55 of 113
    Stewart Vernon

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    This discussion also brings up an interesting side-bar... which is the downside of having so many all-in-one devices.

    It is getting harder to buy a phone that doesn't have a camera... and as noted, harder to buy a computer that doesn't come with a camera.

    So as more and more things come bundled together, you increase the odds of there being some component of that all-in-one that the end-user didn't want or doesn't know how to use and isn't willing to put forth the effort to learn about.

    Things like the original article in this thread would be much less likely, I suspect, if the Web cam in question was a third-party add-on that the customer had to buy separately and install... Granted, it doesn't remove all the pitfalls, but it increases the awareness of the webcam if you had to install it vs it just being there.
     
  16. Jun 12, 2011 #56 of 113
    spartanstew

    spartanstew Dry as a bone

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    So, they could familiarize themselves with the manual, and which light means the web cam is on, but a year later having not used the webcam, unless they've memorized it, how would they remember??

    The only way to satisfy your definition of "familiarize", is to indeed memorize, lest they get chastised by you for forgetting.

    Even though, as I've said before, and you keep failing to address, we have no proof that anyone even saw the light on on their laptop while it was being used. No proof at all that anyone of these people did anything that even you or I might not have done, but yet you still feel the need to criticize them. That's a YOU problem.
     
  17. Jun 13, 2011 #57 of 113
    Stewart Vernon

    Stewart Vernon Roving Reporter Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    I know you weren't responding to my post... but I had 2 cents to offer anyway :)

    Are you saying that most people are so dumb that they couldn't remember something they read about their computer?

    You seem to be painting a very bleak picture of humanity and their ability to assimilate long-term knowledge.

    IF your assessment is true, then I'm even more sure that these people shouldn't be allowed to own a computer. IF they can't retain knowledge any better than that... who knows what else they are doing to endanger themselves on a regular basis.

    Here's what we do have proof of...

    1. The predator was in their homes to "fix" their computers, and while there he installed software that allowed him to control their computers remotely AND operate the web cam in order to send himself pictures.

    2. Some of these people took the computer into the bathroom.

    3. Some of these people were naked in front of the camera when it was recording.

    Without assuming anything... here's what I can say:

    1. If you are never naked in front of your computer, then you will never have naked pictures taken of you on your computer without your knowledge by someone who has installed something on your computer to do that.

    2. If you aren't sure whether you have a web cam, or if it is on, or if you are the kind of person who forgets such things easily... then you should probably be careful when and where you become naked.

    I think it is safe to say that the old saying "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure" applies here. Every one of these victims could have spent less than 10 minutes familiarizing themselves with their computer as far as the web cam goes... and less than a minute to determine if the camera was on and to make sure it was off or obscured before being naked around it.

    It's not about paranoia... it's common sense. Like all these people who keep taking pictures of themselves (see the recent Anthony Weiner story) and then sending them to someone... then not understanding why those pictures go viral and people you didn't want to know are privy suddenly to your privates.

    Don't take the pictures, then no one can have them.

    Don't be naked in front of your computer with a web cam + internet connection, and no one can take pictures using your computer.

    There are enough perverts who actually will plant hidden cameras while in your home for some reason... and those you wouldn't have any reason to suspect were there! So please don't help the perv out by allowing him to use the camera you should know about against you!
     
  18. Jun 13, 2011 #58 of 113
    MysteryMan

    MysteryMan Well-Known Member DBSTalk Club

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    A normal, healthy human brain is remarkable. It has the ability to "process" and "retain" information faster and longer then a computer. Short of being underdeveloped, damaged, or ravaged by disease the human brain will continue to "process" and "retain" information through it's lifecycle. Given this your posts on this thread's topic are absurd to say the least and causes one to wonder if your brain is underdeveloped, damaged, or ravaged by disease.
     
  19. Jun 13, 2011 #59 of 113
    Lucavex

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    Boy, so much vigor in this thread! I suppose I may weigh in.

    I'll even play both sides here.

    First, yeah the guy is a scumbag and he deserves everything he gets.

    Second, SOME of the blame has GOT to go to these people who paraded around in front of their webcams naked. As someone in the thread previously stated, it takes two to tango.

    Now, to address many parts of Stewart's analogies. You claim to know how to "operate" a car. But, if you talk to a racecar driver, you knowledge of driving and vehicle maintenance will seem infantile and laughable. Are you familiar with the specifics of downforce? Do you know how to hit the apex of a turn? Do you know what Thrust-to-Weight ratio is, and why it's important? Even if YOU do, 90% of average drivers do not. However, someone familiar with those things would consider them to basics of owning any vehicle. Hell, most drivers don't know why their tachometer's number markings turn red after a specific number. Yet, I consider knowing the redline of my vehicle to be a basic of car ownership. Not knowing doesn't make another person stupid, or even ignorant. They can operate the car to their satisfaction, be generally safe and accident free, and that's enough for them.

    Or, let's take your microwave analogy. I don't know what the various settings of my "defrost" ability does. Hell, There are so many settings on that thing for defrost that I'd given up trying to understand it. I can repair any computer blind-folded, I know my way around Linux, I can even program. But darned if that defrost menu isn't a mystical tome in another language. What do all the power settings do? What's the difference between fish, poultry, and meat? It's so confusing I just press "meat" "high" and then pick a time. Is that the proper use of my microwave? Probably not. Does it do what I WANT it to do? Heck yeah. Am I ignorant or stupid for not pouring over my microwave's manual and learning what all those freakin' settings are for? That's up for you to decide.
     
  20. Jun 13, 2011 #60 of 113
    mystic7

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    Didn't they get that employee to also smash all of the windows? As dumb as that was, the one that takes the cake is the one where "HQ" calls this assistant manager at a McDonalds and gets them to bring in a teenage female employee and force her to strip naked to check for theft, and not only does the guy do it, but the girl acquiesces. How stupid do you have to be to strip naked just because your "boss" tells you to? And it was all caught on security camera. This goes beyond someone not knowing about computer scams. This is just common sense.
     
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