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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 13, 2011 #61 of 113
    James Long

    James Long Ready for Uplink! Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    Yes we all know that. Now we just have to get the message on to those who are not savvy. and watch out for the things we don't understand.
     
  2. Jun 13, 2011 #62 of 113
    MysteryMan

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    Least we forget there are those on this thread who do not believe common sense should be part of the equation.
     
  3. Jun 13, 2011 #63 of 113
    Sharkie_Fan

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    To those suggesting that fault lies with the victims for not reading their manuals....

    Have you ever seen a manual that says "Warning, your web cam can be remotely turned on"? I haven't. I'd bet that at least some of these victims DID read the manual, knew they had a webcam, and maybe even knew how to use it. But they didn't think that someone who they had trusted to come into their home and fix their computer could do something like this.

    Familiarizing yourself with your computer and becoming familiar with every bad thing that could be done using it are two different things. In my mind, this situation falls outside the usual common sense scenarios when it comes to computers. This isn't a spyware program they got from opening the wrong attachment. This didn't happen because they were careless with their passwords, or used password that were easy to guess. They got scammed by someone who they trusted as a "professional", and I refuse to lay the blame at their feet for that one.
     
  4. Jun 13, 2011 #64 of 113
    Lucavex

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    People may hate me for saying this, but I really have ZERO pity for anyone who honestly believed that "The only way to fix your sensor is take your open laptop with you into the bathroom and shower with it." Seriously? For real? Man, I need a list of the ladies that fell for this. I've got some oceanfront property in Nebraska I'd love to talk to them about.
     
  5. Jun 13, 2011 #65 of 113
    dpeters11

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    But that's not exactly what people did. I would agree with you if they actually took it into the shower, but that's a lot different than putting it on the bathroom counter.

    False Authority Syndrome does happen.
     
  6. Jun 13, 2011 #66 of 113
    Lucavex

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    Open, on the bathroom counter, or toilet seat, or whatever, facing the shower, powered on.

    I mean, I can forgive the obvious problem that most people learn as children now, and that's "Electronics + Water/Steam/Vapor/Milk/Soda/Apple Juice = Bad Idea"

    But who in their right mind believes that a technician, who has magical remote access to your system, REALLY needs the laptop to be in a hot steamy bathroom, open, facing the shower, and powered on?

    Come on. Yeah, the dude's a perv and he'll likely go away for a long time, then get the dubious honor of telling all his neighbors what he did when he finally gets out and moves to a new place.

    But these chicks have gullible written ALL over them. It takes two people to run a successful scam. The scammer, and a gullible person who will believe anything you say if you say it with enough conviction.

    Yes, they're victims and it's awful, but they're gullible as hell to believe that crap.
     
  7. Jun 13, 2011 #67 of 113
    dpeters11

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    Well, he never actually said that, nor did his prompt, according to the article. It said to put it near hot steam. It never said it needed to be turned on, or facing a particular way.
     
  8. Jun 13, 2011 #68 of 113
    Sharkie_Fan

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    The message also mimicked a "system message", according to the article. It did not appear to these women as a suggestion from the technician. They didn't get a popup that say "Hey, ladies, take your computer in the shower with you, pretty please". It was much less suggestive than that - the women made the jump to placing it in the bathroom while they showered.

    And we don't know that the photos were "in the shower" necessarily. They could have placed it on the floor in the corner of the bathroom where there was nothing to see, and then put it on their dresser, or their desk, while they were dressing, thinking that the "sensor had been cleaned now". The article only says that he had pictures "undressed, or changing clothes".

    It's a little bit of a leap to assume that they had it on their counter, in the bathroom, opened and powered on, and facing their shower. Given that many of them were college students, it's quite possible that the victims were not even the computer owners, if the computers were in fact on in the bathrooms (I know that some dorms at Biola have community bathrooms - I don't know if they all do)
     
  9. Jun 13, 2011 #69 of 113
    spartanstew

    spartanstew Dry as a bone

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    I'm saying they can't remember EVERYTHING. Can you? Reading a manual that might be several hundred pages and you remember everything? Doubt it. You remember what's important to you. An included webcam could very well not be important to many.

    1. True
    2. True, as have I
    3. True, I'm sure I've been in various stages of undress in front of my laptop and or desktop too. So what?

    Seriously? My laptop (and desktop) is always open and always on. I'm sure there's been occasion when I've walked by it while I was getting dressed (and yes, even naked). Sometimes it's in the bedroom, sometimes it's in my office, sometimes it's on the kitchen counter. It's just another piece of furniture in my house. And I certainly don't look at it every time I walk by it to see if the camera is on. Now, I would definitely notice if it was on (by then it would be too late anyway), but I can certainly see how others might not - especially if they've never used it and aren't familiar with that light.

    I guess I could live my life paranoid and never walk around in the nude and sweep my house for bugs every week, but I choose not to (as I'm sure 99% of the population does too).

    Any time you want to go head to head on an IQ test, just say the word. I'm also smart enough to know that not everyone processes information the same way - clearly you're not.

    Nobody processes and retains everything they read. Nobody. What's important to you is not important to others. That's the big lesson you've failed to learn in your life.

    EXACTLY

    EXACTLY AGAIN

    EXACTLY A THIRD TIME.


    Nice to see some are actually using logic and not jumping to their own pre-formed conclusions. Obviously, since some can't see past their own lifestyles and behaviors, this discussion has proved futile. It's unfortunate that they can't see past the fact that not everyone is a geek and cherishes the same things they do. Oh well, just one of the many things wrong with this world, and since I (nor anyone else) won't change that, I'll bow out now. Have fun bashing those that don't place importance on the same things.
     
  10. Jun 13, 2011 #70 of 113
    billsharpe

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    I consider myself pretty tech-savvy but...

    I cannot operate my wife's clock radio and she cannot operate mine except for turning the darn things off and on.

    I have a lot of trouble setting pre-sets on rental car radios since they generally aren't the same as on my six-year-old SUV.

    I have no idea what the 16 settings on the round dial of my Canon camera do other than the "Auto" setting.

    I could not figure out why my TV set in a Florida hotel room turned itself on at 6 am the third morning of a five-day stay. Neither could the hotel tech who came up and looked at it.

    The only way I could stop the alarm from sounding early in the morning on a clock radio in our hotel room in Ecuador was to pull the plug on the unit.

    I could fix my first car, a 1939 Chevrolet, myself. About all I can do myself now with my SUV is check the oil and water level.

    I agree with the comment about the microwave. I pretty much use the clock timer and occasionally the power level feature but ignore the presets for meat and vegetables.

    I have a web-cam on my laptop computer. I turned it on to see how it worked once and haven't used that feature since. I do not ever take the laptop into the bathroom.

    I've got an iPod Touch 4th generation and I really like it, but I'm sure I haven't explored all the possibilities of its use. It came with a tiny four-page pamphlet but I did download the extensive user manual available free from Apple. I don't take this device into the bathroom either.
     
  11. Jun 13, 2011 #71 of 113
    Stewart Vernon

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    Exactly what some of us have been saying... You owe it to yourself to guard against being taken advantage of.

    Like those phishing emails... the people sending them are unscrupulous and likely breaking various laws, especially if they use information you give them... but YOU can avoid the whole thing by not falling for the scam in the first place.

    I'm not sure why people keep trying to associate advanced understanding of everything with basics.

    I never said they had to know advanced computer or electronics theory!

    I said, simply... they need to know how to tell when their computer and web cam is on or off... how to turn the web cam on or off... or at least where the cam is located so they can cover it IF they are unable to turn it off.

    How is that considered the same as being a computer expert?

    When did knowing how to turn things on and off become expert advanced knowledge?

    I do not know all things about cars... I never said I did. What I said was basic understanding.

    The average person doesn't need to know the same things a race car professional does... neither does the average person need to be a computer engineer to surf the web... but seriously, you need to at least know how to identify when your computer and components are on and how to turn them off!

    *Sigh*... when has anyone every said people should learn and remember everything?

    Again... How about they learn how to turn their computer and web cam on and off... how to tell when the web cam is on... and where the cam is located so they can cover it IF they can't turn it off for some reason.

    Why are you equating that with being a genius computer expert? Is it seriously that difficult to turn things on and off and know when they are on?

    Again... who said anything about living paranoid or never being nude in your home or sweeping for bugs.

    How about some common sense... How about if you have a computer in your house that is on and connected to a live internet connection and that computer has a web cam built-in... how about you be sure it isn't on and sending images of you to places you don't want them to go?

    Do you have kids? If so, would you feel the same about having that computer in your kids' room where a different perv might be watching your kids? We had this thread before... and most agreed that it was a bad idea to have a web cam in a child's room where the kid could potentially be observed without the kid's knowledge.

    So... why would you argue the opposite for the computer in the adult's room or living room?

    It seriously takes less than a minute to verify your cam isn't on OR just make a habit of covering it up when you are not intending to use it. Heck, think of it like a lens cap to protect your web cam... keep it covered all the time by habit and then these kinds of things can't happen.

    Are you paranoid if you lock your windows and doors? Are you paranoid if you install an alarm system? Those are designed to keep people out... are people always trying to break in to your home? OR are you using the "ounce of prevention..." theory to take a little time now to prevent a big headache later?

    Do you advertise to everyone when you will be gone for a week? Or do you keep that info private? Is it because you are paranoid? Or is it just common sense?

    Again... not asking for people to be expert mensa genius engineer doctors... just asking them to know how to lock their doors and windows and turn off their web cams. When did that level of common sense become considered being a genius and unfair burden to expect?

    True... but you seem to be saying that the average person can't retain even simple things... like how to turn something on and off.

    It is truly a sad world we live in when expectations are so low of people that we can't expect them to comprehend the simplest of things like being able to turn something on and off.
     
  12. Jun 13, 2011 #72 of 113
    Sharkie_Fan

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    I won't go so far as to suggest that you want them to be experts in computer theory.... HOWEVER. I *DO* think it's a bit much to suggest that they should be checking their webcam at every turn to see if it's on or not.

    I don't think mine has a light - if it does, I missed it sitting a foot away from the screen on the couple of occasions that I used it to video chat with the family while I was away from home. If I can't see it from that distance, I sure as heck won't see it from across the room.

    And frankly, aside from those couple of times I actually used it, I haven't given my webcam a second thought. It was a throw in, basically, when I bought the system. I didn't ask for it, it just came with it. I never look at the damn thing, even when the laptop is sitting on my lap and I'm surfing the web. And I'm sure as heck not checking it to see if someone remotely turned it on. I wouldn't have thought of that in a million years if not for this article.

    I said it before - this scenario falls outside of the "normal" common sense problems with the internet, IMO. This isn't "I was doing a web session for my boyfriend and accidentally posted to facebook", and it's not "I opened an attachment I shouldn't have" or "I gave out my password" or.... the list goes on and on. It is something that I guess people should look out for now, but it's not something I was on the lookout for prior to reading this article.
     
  13. Jun 13, 2011 #73 of 113
    spartanstew

    spartanstew Dry as a bone

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    I know I said I was done, but just can't let this go. It seems so obvious to me, but you're failing to grasp it.

    Yes, that's ONE thing. An arbitrary ONE thing that you decided. You want them to learn and remember that ONE thing. Why that ONE thing? There's thousands of things to know about a computer. If they don't know that ONE thing, they're apparently and IDIOT. Maybe there's another ONE thing you think they should now (whether they use it or not). Maybe Mystery Man has another ONE thing. Add all those ONE things up and what do you get? EVERYTHING. Maybe they knew every single things about their computer except that ONE thing? In your mind they're still an IDIOT because they didn't know that ONE thing, right?

    To you a webcam is BASIC, but to many people it's not. They don't care about it, so they're not going to learn about your ONE thing.

    The point is simple, they may not have known about that ONE thing. Many people don't. People don't really need to, because this is a very isolated instance and case.

    Today it's this ONE thing you claim everyone should know. Tomorrow it will probably be another ONE thing. People should have the right to use a computer without knowing EVERYTHING about it. They should be able to be naked in their own home without walking around and turning all the computers off. They should be able to leave their laptop in the bathroom if they want. They should not be called IDIOTS or STUPID because they do any of those things.

    Those things are perfectly NORMAL.
     
  14. Jun 13, 2011 #74 of 113
    MysteryMan

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    It's a pity all those pieces of little know-it-all's are in someone's stool instead of his cranium. Shows us where his logic comes from. :rolleyes: The "big lesson" I learned in life is never confuse academic achievement with intelligence. ;)
     
  15. Jun 13, 2011 #75 of 113
    Nick

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    ...nor intelligence with common sense.
     
  16. Jun 13, 2011 #76 of 113
    James Long

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    It is not that simple. We're not talking about something that is overwhelmingly obvious that it is on or off (like the PC itself, in most cases). We're talking about one feature that was overlooked.
     
  17. Jun 13, 2011 #77 of 113
    Stewart Vernon

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    Hmm... perhaps because learning that ONE thing would have prevented the perv from being able to take naked pictures of the people!

    Just knowing that one thing would have prevented all the embarrassment and headache those people have had to deal with since the guy hacked their web cams.

    It isn't an arbitrary thing at all.

    You could just as well say "why do I have to use the rear view mirror in my car... I don't need it... I won't learn about it... why should I? I don't care about stuff that is behind me anyway... it's just one arbitrary thing to learn on my car, so I won't bother with it. I rarely ever look behind me when I'm driving forward... so what's the point? I bought a car, not a rear-view mirror... it came with the car." :rolleyes:

    No... I said they were stupid for having a computer that they weren't familiar enough with to prevent it from sending naked pictures of them. There are lots of solutions to this problem:

    1. Learn how to turn the web cam off.
    2. Cover it up.
    3. Cover yourself up.
    4. Don't own a computer with a web cam.

    Any of these 4 simple concepts would have prevented the invasion of privacy that these people suffered. In fact, I guarantee you that IF you ask any of the victims, each would say they have learned a lesson and will in fact do one of the four things I suggested above in the future so that it doesn't happen again.

    This thread isn't about everything... It is about one thing. I'm not sure why you think this thread is about everything.

    That is such an absurd statement that I don't know how to respond. You really think it likely that the person knew everything except that one thing?

    And I feel I have to say it again... No one here has said they should know everything... just a grasp of the basics like how to turn things on and off and what components they have on their computer.

    There's a reason why we don't let young kids play with fire or sharp objects... because they aren't capable of appreciating the danger... A computer is a tool just like fire or a knife... and just like those things, there are ways you can mis-use the computer that can harm you or others unintentionally... so I say you have no business owning one if you don't intend on learning how to use it properly.

    Then don't walk around naked in front of it... OR if you do, and someone takes pictures of you... don't complain like you couldn't have done anything to prevent it from happening.

    Only in so much as their misuse of it doesn't cause problems for others... You could forward spam emails enough that your ISP will shut you out of the internet for violating policy... and all the claims of "I didn't know" won't help you there.

    I can own knives... but not if I randomly throw them at people.

    They should... and as noted, there are many ways to do this... Turn off the Web cam, turn off the computer, disconnect your computer from the internet, cover up the web cam, or put your computer in a room where you aren't naked.

    I have a right to be naked in my home... but if I open the curtains and stand in front of the window naked, I can't complain if a neighbor sees me can I?

    Although I can't imagine why anyone would want to... I agree they should be able to do this if they want.

    IF someone uses their computer to take pictures of them while naked and they are embarrassed and want to not take some of the blame... then yes, I think maybe their intelligence should be questioned a bit.

    Some of the things are... but certainly not in all possible combinations.

    I am just amazed at the low bar here for people using their computers.

    It might not be ABC & 123 simple... but it should be something less than 10 minutes of reading in the manual would cover... and less than 1 minute to determine if the cam and computer are on... and less than 1 minute to turn one or both off OR put something over the cam lens so that it isn't filming you unawares.

    I'm not saying these people deserved to be taken advantage of... I'm saying they could have prevented it with just a few minutes of their time.
     
  18. Jun 13, 2011 #78 of 113
    Sharkie_Fan

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    If my neighbor opened the curtains without me knowing it, you're damn straight I can complain about it. Or if my neighbor is peeking through a gap in the curtains....

    Since you started the curtain analogy: I close my curtains nightly. However, my neighbor - while he was over for the football game, pokes a hole in one of my curtains. Large enough that he can see through, but small enough, and in an unobtrusive enough place, that I don't notice him watching my wife get ready for bed each evening. Am I at fault?

    Because that's really what you're suggesting. That something so small, and unobtrusive - something that most people don't give a second thought to - should have been so obvious to these people that they never should have been caught.
     
  19. Jun 13, 2011 #79 of 113
    spartanstew

    spartanstew Dry as a bone

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    It amazes me we're really having this conversation. It IS an arbitrary thing. Of course, in hindsight they realize what could happen, but they would have had no reason to think someone might hack into their computer and use their web cam against them ahead of time.

    Did you ever have a tape recorder? Did you check it all the time to see if it was on before speaking, in case someone had hacked it and was remotely recording all of your conversations? Of course not. Because the odds of that happening are so remote it's not even worth thinking about.

    That's what we're talking about here. Not review mirrors that people use every day. Not locking doors that people do every day.

    You honestly cannot be that obtuse. You really think it's the same thing as those?


    The repairman might have put a keystroke program on their laptops too. Should everyone be looking for that all the time? Should they have run some kind of diagnostic each time they logged in (I'm sure you would know how), and if they didn't would they be facing ridicule over that ONE thing? Of course they would, from you.

    Because it's not about one thing. Don't know how I can make it any clearer. It's about this particular thing which many people don't care about and have no reason to care about - with the exception of some fluke pervert.

    Most people don't lead their lives anticipating the fluke things. Apparently you do.

    As to your solutions:

    1. You don't know that they didn't turn it off (he operated it remotely, remember).
    2. Great idea. Everyone in America should drape towels over their webcams when not in use on the off chance that someone might be remotely accessing it. Do you read these things before typing them?
    3. Another great idea. Everyone in America should remain fully clothed at all times whenever in the presence of a computer just in case. Brilliant.
    4. You're 4 for 4. Don't buy a computer with a webcam on the off chance that someone might hack it.


    You go ahead an lead your life by constantly checking your computers webcams every time you walk by them. By turning them off and covering them up whenever you're not fully dressed. Have at it. I don't think I need to tell you how abnormal and laughable that is - but you're right, nobody will ever get a nude shot of you, congratulations.
     
  20. Jun 13, 2011 #80 of 113
    Sharkie_Fan

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    Just for giggles.... I turned on my laptop this evening and turned on the webcam to see if there's a light.... My Dell has a bluish-white light that's so small I practically need a loupe to see it when it's sitting on my lap. There's no way I could see that light from across the room.
     
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