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Crapware, Etiquette and the new generation

2008-03-31 10:53:35.428137+00 by meuon 25 comments

Nancy has a WinXP system (laptop) at home. She has to use one at work and there is no reason to change for what Nancy normally needs to do. It has a guest login so others can use it when visiting. Normally few problems, Nancy just checks e-mail and a few websites with it.

Last night, Lou (Nancy's Daughter) pops by, and asks to use Nancy's computer to print out a coupon. Sure, no problem. Only it won't print as 'guest', she asks to login as 'notguest/Nancy' so she can print out the coupon (saving her $10+ on cat food), and in doing so installs: "coupon printer". I jump her. badly. Installing software on someone else's system without asking is the ultimate in bad manners for me.

At first glance last night, I confirmed what I read online like this article, and also found other things as browser add-ons that may or may not have been directly related, but were not things that were in that system a few days prior. One 'plug-in' was simply labeled "Research" (now disabled, MSIE doesn't un-install such vermin easily). I'll clean it up more when I'm not steamed.

The "new generation" hasn't got a clue what they are doing with computers.. even when they (like this one) is a CompSci major.

[ related topics: Spam Invention and Design Food Software Engineering Current Events Work, productivity and environment ]

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment Re: made: 2008-03-31 13:01:42.357986+00 by: Dan Lyke

On the "CompSci major": Programmers are born, not made.

At least it wasn't "Bonzi Buddy", but, yeah, this is only going to get worse as Vista's constant barrage of "do you want to let this program wreak havoc?" dialogs make clicking "Okay" habit.

#Comment Re: made: 2008-03-31 13:33:57.290541+00 by: JT

Around our house we have the kids pretty well trained. They don't install something they don't know because they're afraid of getting spyware and/or viruses on their computers. One thing Marilyn and I do is a complete format and reinstall when we find anything and let the boys rebuild their computers (games, patches, updates, wallpapers, etc) as an inconvenience.

Normally they're pretty good with only downloading from reputable sources, making sure their spyware programs are up to date and regularly scanned, but they don't realize that even what seem to be reputable sources can cause great harm. MySpace messenger was our latest fiasco. It opens a back door and allows third party hosted "ads" to be streamed into the messenger and gives them permission to run scripts. After a week, one of their boot times went from about a minute to a little under 10. Spybot S&D wouldn't even run, something had disabled it, and we were getting scans across our network on port 3389 (remote desktop)

After a complete wipe and reinstall, our oldest was still surprised and couldn't believe that someone as /reputable/ as MySpace would do that. Even if we train them very well and preach constantly, there's still the "Ooh, shinies!" response when people see something they want where they put on virtual blinders and run for the prize. Whether it's chatting with their friends instantly instead of updating their blog or $10 off catfood when they have a whole website dedicated to being frugal, they're willing to compromise their own security as well as those around them for their precious new shiny.

#Comment Re: 50% compliant made: 2008-03-31 14:36:04.671089+00 by: ghasty

We've got my daughter pretty well trained on all the things NOT to download and install. My son on the other hand will try any popup that happens to sneak by. Last night at dinner he asked, "so what's your credit score? there's a web page that can help move it up"...Noooooooooo!!! Keeping on top of what get's around my filters is a daily thing on his computer...and yes, it's an Winders XP box.

#Comment Re: made: 2008-03-31 14:40:36.004151+00 by: Dan Lyke

Grin. Yeah, in the house buying frenzy I made the mistake of putting a moderate amount of information into mortgage and "free bids on roofing" web pages. In both cases they're just selling that information on to other people, and the actual value of the web site is just about zero.

#Comment Re: made: 2008-03-31 16:47:24.59461+00 by: ziffle

I think you were too harsh. She did not know - they just think they can trust everything and everyone - probably will vote for Obama so there is a pattern there eh?

#Comment Re: made: 2008-03-31 16:53:12.038958+00 by: Dan Lyke

Ziffle: giggle, I like the notion of voting for various politicians as "installing spyware".

#Comment Re: made: 2008-03-31 17:08:59.095722+00 by: ziffle [edit history]

Obama to me, is just that - appears as a great tool bar add on to simplify your life - then he starts spying and taking control. Where will the anti root kit come from for our Obama virus?

#Comment Re: made: 2008-03-31 17:33:14.528901+00 by: Dan Lyke

I think the analogy to computers holds: Either you have to ditch the mainstream paradigm entirely, or choose between the various options that claim to protect you from such things but in fact just end up hogging your network, killing your boot times, and harvesting your personal details.

(Drifting further off-topic: I do think Obama sucks less than McCain or Clinton, for what little that says. That's kind of like preferring McAfee to W32.Blaster or Bonzi Buddy.)

#Comment Re: made: 2008-03-31 17:42:37.531016+00 by: ziffle [edit history]

I found 30,00 items in my msi folder. I deleted it and the whole computer loads much faster. I especially like windirstat for the colored bubbles for large files. And it has a pacman cute animation.

If you like communism you will love Obama. Of course all of them are communist. The only hope we had was Ron Paul.

Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard.

H. L. Mencken

A government is the most dangerous threat to man's rights: it holds a legal monopoly on the use of physical force against legally disarmed victims.

Civilization is the progress toward a society of privacy. The savage's whole existence is public, ruled by the laws of his tribe. Civilization is the process of setting man free from men.

Individual rights are not subject to a public vote; a majority has no right to vote away the rights of a minority; the political function of rights is precisely to protect minorities from oppression by majorities (and the smallest minority on earth is the individual).

Ayn Rand

#Comment Re: made: 2008-03-31 18:30:02.025505+00 by: JT

I didn't even take Ron Paul's campaign seriously, the only thing I knew about Ron Paul was hearing his name repeatedly in the paper when I was living in San Antonio when he came up with his "racist comment of the week" for a while there. After that, I saw a mostly naked white girl touting his name on her video blog and thought "Well that's fitting" and never gave it a thought that he'd even come close to a nomination.

#Comment Re: made: 2008-03-31 18:57:39.724794+00 by: ebradway

Maybe the solution is to setup a virtual machine for guests. Then they can install whatever they want and you can restore it without really impacting your machine.

When I managed computer labs at UTC, I setup permissions so users could install software. I would re-ghost the machines about once a month. Sometimes the solution isn't to lock things down - but to make it easier to just redo from start...

#Comment Re: made: 2008-03-31 21:03:34.373292+00 by: ziffle

JT I would not understand why anyone would take Ron Paul and distill all that could be said into a racist slur - unless one were trying to kill off the one good thing to come out of the campaign. Now why would that be ? He is not a collectivist and the only candidate running to be so - that is the reason, of course. So are you a collectivist who considers force against others to be ok if it furthers your goals? Thats the only reason I could think of.

#Comment Re: made: 2008-03-31 21:56:46.638244+00 by: meuon

re: VM or disk image.. Thanks Eric, I needed that thwack. Will Do!

#Comment Re: made: 2008-04-01 13:33:48.034192+00 by: polly

when we adopted our foster daughters two years ago, i told them do NOT go to my space or you tube because of the viruses lurking around there. being teenagers, they immediately set up their own little my space site. when i go to work on a 100 page portfolio that was due in two weeks, my computer was loaded with all kinds of little varments that i had to get rid of! i think the girls' ears rang for several days after i blasted them. to THINK that they even THOUGHT of doing something on my NEW computer after i told them not to, imagine that?

now, since there is only one computer in the house, NO ONE but me uses it. even then i still got a varment that wiped out my email address book that came out of nowhere...called around to see what it would cost to fix and decided that i could figure it out myself. i did, varment's gone <probably to someone in my email addresses that are gone>...computer good as new.

maybe i should change my degree from teaching to computers....probably a lot less stress and MAKE A LOT MORE MONEY :>

#Comment Re: made: 2008-04-01 13:34:28.827407+00 by: JT

Ziffle: I was just saying what I remember about RP. I just remembered him being called a racist over and over and seeing quite a few quotes from him Express-News (SA Newspaper) that made me wonder how he was able to stay in office. I assumed with such a past that he'd never make it as the republican candidate, and although I watched a few of his campaign speeches and read a flyer or two, I didn't really consider him as a viable candidate. David Duke was a pretty decent politician in the end and a former member of the KKK, but his state elections in Louisiana and RP's presidential elections are two different beasts. I didn't vote for Duke either or take his campaign seriously, but he did pretty well when he was in office regardless of his past. I just can't see a candidate having such a sordid history with race relations in a country where every man, er person, is hell-bent on political correctness.

I support Obama because I watched campaign speeches of almost every candidate (Including RP) and tried to catch a few news stories that were less mudslinging and more news... overall he seemed and still seems like the only viable candidate. Apparently you feel that way about Ron Paul, which part of what makes America what it is... the ability to make your own choices and vote for who you see as the best candidate, even if that person is out of your party. There's nothing wrong with RP as your candidate, nothing wrong with Obama as mine. It's personal choices that we've made and can make as American citizens.

If you want to categorize my entire belief system for making one statement about supporting or not supporting a candidate, or you want to assume that there's one issue that I feel strongly about that outweighs all other issues that are supported by the candidate I wish to stand behind, then feel free. However, just because I support one person doesn't mean I support everything that one person stands for. It definitely doesn't mean I don't support anything that another candidate stands for.

If I believe in 60% of what Obama stands for and 30% of what RP stands for, I'm still voting for Obama. No issue in this election is strong enough to sway my entire vote, especially if I disagree with 70% of what's coming out of someone's campaign. Of course, anything's better than the last presidential race where I voted for Bush because I felt Bush would screw things up, but Kerry would screw them up even more. I actually support a candidate this time instead of just voting for the lesser of two evils. Even if I don't agree with 100% of what he says, he still makes the most sense to me out of the candidates that are available and viable.

#Comment Re: made: 2008-04-01 16:52:42.657417+00 by: Dan Lyke

Polly, I think the thing that got your email didn't even have to get on your computer, it was likely just a JavaScript flaw.

JT and Ziffle, had Ron Paul either fingered Lew Rockwell, or had Lew Rockwell 'fessed up to writing the stuff under Paul's name that was getting quoted and re-quoted, Paul's image would have come out of that situation a lot better. For me it wasn't so much the wording (although rewriting a NY Times article to put "black" in front of every quoted statistic does seem kinda weird in this day and age) as it was the lack of transparency in dealing with it. On top of all of the other places that Paul chose "states rights" over liberty and freedom it all added up to yet another politician in the race, and one who, like the "colloidal silver" wing of the Libertarian party, would do more harm to the cause of liberty than good.

#Comment Re: made: 2008-04-03 13:48:03.997744+00 by: ziffle [edit history]

I do not understand how one could ignore a thity year voting record consistent with the constitution and react only to what is purported to be a racist statement and make a decision based upon that only. Wild and irrational.

But I wondered what was all the hoopla about. regarding the newsletter apparently they are saying he said this:

"If you have ever been robbed by a black teen-aged male, you know how unbelievably fleet-footed they can be."

"Given the inefficiencies of what D.C. laughingly calls the `criminal justice system,' I think we can safely assume that 95 percent of the black males in that city are semi-criminal or entirely criminal."

"We don't think a child of 13 should be held responsible as a man of 23. That's true for most people, but black males age 13 who have been raised on the streets and who have joined criminal gangs are as big, strong, tough, scary and culpable as any adult and should be treated as such."

"What else do we need to know about the political establishment than that it refuses to discuss the crimes that terrify Americans on grounds that doing so is racist? Why isn't that true of complex embezzling, which is 100 percent white and Asian?"

I do not find these racist, but factual. Anyone who has spent time in the hood knows the truth, whether you are black or not. Ask yourself would you send your wife walking through the hood at night? No. Chance of injury very high. I know. I have black friends who hate all that is happening of course but would agree that these statements are true.

If these statements bother you then maybe you need to ask if you are energized about the wrong things.

There was one participant of this board who used to carry around a sawed off shot gun - just in case, when his location was in the hood area. Why?

The fact is our constitution is written to protect the individial rights of each of us; if you decide to vote against the constitution and for someone who is muslim, white hating, angry, and hates America like Osama you will be responsible for what you get. Until we get back to the constitution we will continue to slip into fascism which is where Osama will take us. The issue is not his color but his mental state and the content of his ideas.

The fact is Osama is deeply color conscious - that is, racist. As Ann Coulter shows us about his book:

"Should you refuse this defeat and lash out at your captors, they would have a name for that, too, a name that could cage you just as good. Paranoid. Militant. Violent. Nigger."

When his mother expresses concern about Obama's high school friend being busted for drugs, Obama says he patted his mother's hand and told her not to worry.

This, too, prompted Obama to share with his readers a life lesson on how to handle white people: "It was usually an effective tactic, another one of those tricks I had learned: People were satisfied so long as you were courteous and smiled and made no sudden moves. They were more than satisfied, they were relieved -- such a pleasant surprise to find a well-mannered young black man who didn't seem angry all the time."

First of all, I note that this technique seems to be the basis of Obama's entire presidential campaign. But moreover -- he was talking about his own mother! As Obama says: "Any distinction between good and bad whites held negligible meaning." Say, do you think a white person who said that about blacks would be a leading presidential candidate?

The man is stark bonkersville.

He says the reason black people keep to themselves is that it's "easier than spending all your time mad or trying to guess whatever it was that white folks were thinking about you."

By contrast, Malcolm X's autobiography "spoke" to Obama. One line in particular "stayed with me," he says. "He spoke of a wish he'd once had, the wish that the white blood that ran through him, there by an act of violence, might somehow be expunged."

This guy is a nut and while it appears there are enough fools to overlook the truth and actually vote for him, we will live to rue the day he was elected. Poor America what will come of you?

#Comment Re: made: 2008-04-04 01:05:06.5277+00 by: concept14

/sbu ziffle

#Comment Re: made: 2008-04-04 15:40:44.932473+00 by: JT

Sorry ziffle, I can only assume by your lack of understanding Obama's statements that you're white. If you aren't, my apologies, but being racially aware and racist are two different things. Knowing that whites are usually uneasy around other races of people teaches you how to act differently around them. Thankfully through years of paleness from working night shift and unlearning my accent, my skin and voice has faded to where I can pass for white in most situations, but as a teenager and a young man, my life was quite different when dealing with whites.

If I spend a few days in the sun, or hang out with people with strong spanish accents, it starts to come back to me. Walking into a starbucks and ordering a coffee even gets a different reaction than when I'm conscious of how I sound and look to others. If you, assuming you're white, walk into a room full of blacks or mexicans, do you think they treat you the same? Do you really think that you get the same courtesies or the same treatment that someone their own color would receive? You probably wouldn't. Whites do the same thing to people of other races. It's not racist to say that, prejudice at times, but not racist. You probably don't get followed in stores, you probably don't get snide comments, and probably don't have racial slurs yelled at you from moving cars.. however when those things do happen, it tends to stand out in your mind when it's the same race that performs these actions repeatedly.

I'm sorry I can't express this better than "it's just different" but that's about the extent of how I can explain it. Obama (or as you spelled his name, 'osama') is talking about those differences that I see and I've had to deal with. This doesn't make me racist, it just makes me aware of who I am in certain situations. Aware of my own race, and how that becomes different treatment in certain situations.

If you meet a young black man who doesn't seem angry, if you meet a young black man who's well spoken and very nice, does it stand out in your mind? Do you treat him differently than the young black man with a Pistons jersey on that's four sizes too big? Gold chains? Gold teeth? Untied sneakers and shorts pulled halfway down his legs with the crotch between his knees?
This, too, prompted Obama to share with his readers a life lesson on how to handle white people: "It was usually an effective tactic, another one of those tricks I had learned: People were satisfied so long as you were courteous and smiled and made no sudden moves. They were more than satisfied, they were relieved -- such a pleasant surprise to find a well-mannered young black man who didn't seem angry all the time."
would that statement seem alien to you in that context? And keeping all this in mind, prejudices and preconceived notions intact, is it easier to deal with people or avoid the situation when you're trying to go to school, work, or just cut a slice of the pie for yourself?
He says the reason black people keep to themselves is that it's "easier than spending all your time mad or trying to guess whatever it was that white folks were thinking about you."
My first year as a policeman, I saw a 35 year old man sawing at his 2 year old daughter's head with a steak knife after killing his wife and son. That horrific visual stays with me today.
By contrast, Malcolm X's autobiography "spoke" to Obama. One line in particular "stayed with me," he says. "He spoke of a wish he'd once had, the wish that the white blood that ran through him, there by an act of violence, might somehow be expunged."
Just because it stays with me doesn't mean I want to emulate it. Of course, you'd probably think different and assume I'm a criminal because two out of my three best friends growing up were arrested for felonies. One for car theft and one for armed robbery. Of course, just because my friends were taking the wrong path, doesn't mean that I was going to.
When his mother expresses concern about Obama's high school friend being busted for drugs, Obama says he patted his mother's hand and told her not to worry.
I ended up working 10 years as a policeman and getting officer of the year in the state of Mississippi before being medically retired because of an on-the-job injury. Just because my friends had started to head down the wrong path doesn't mean my parents had to worry about me.

context means a lot with some statements. I implore you to read Obama's book and look up Ron Paul's full quotes on these. In context, these quotes have much deeper meaning in Obama's case. Sadly, they can be taken at face value in the case of Ron Paul

Since RP has no chance of winning the nomination or election at this point though, I'm sorry your candidate didn't make it in. Even if he had a single issue that meant riding your entire vote on him, maybe if it means that much to you, you can abstain from this election out of respect for what you see as the decaying political atmosphere of Los Estados Unidos or even write his name in on the ballot. Meanwhile, I'll vote for the candidate I still see most fit to take the office.

#Comment Re: made: 2008-04-04 18:45:56.249919+00 by: topspin [edit history]

Read 'em and weep and I mean that literally. How could decent folks be taken in by someone who either lent their name or wrote this kind of garbage for 20 years?

It either speaks to the gullibility of Paul and his supporters or it speaks to something far worse.

#Comment Re: made: 2008-04-04 20:08:59.64586+00 by: ebradway

You know, by hiding this Ron Paul thread inside a thread about "Crapware, Etiquette and the new generation", you'll skew Paul's stats in the number of threads bearing his name on Flutterby!.

BTW, Obama now rates 33 Google search results on Flutterby.com, still less than half of Ron Paul's 78 results. "Clinton" yields 165 results and "Hillary" just under half of those (80 results).

Basic politcal bias:

Democrat 93 results Republican 203 results Libertarian 214 results

And true to Flutterby's masculine bias:

penis 144 results vagina only 53

Beyond "penis", "wood" gets a whopping 203 results!

Of course, we want to keep our wooden penises to ourselves:

privacy 483 results!

Maybe I should look into building a Folksonomy for Flutterby. That'd be fun!

#Comment Re: made: 2008-04-04 20:53:13.244567+00 by: Nancy

This is the thread that won't die. And somehow Eric knows that and is using it to garner readership of his folksonomy post - clever! It worked for me, anyway. ;-)

Ziffle, I'm incredulous over your claim that you have 'black friends.' Would you mind having them log on and comment to verify that?

concept14, I googled it, but someone'll have to explain your comment for me to understand it. standard build unit? sensitive but unclassified? whatever it is, it's way too geeky for me. Let me rephrase that. It's geeky, which is too geeky for me.

why am I here and what am I doing anyway?

I'm going off to find a princess blog somewhere . . .

#Comment Re: made: 2008-04-04 21:11:42.834303+00 by: ziffle [edit history]


"Paranoia strikes deep

Into your life it will creep

It starts when you're always afraid

Step outta line, the men come, and take you away"

Buffalo Springfield

topspin: Reading that I learned things I did not know about MLK - I always thought he earned his Phd. Here BTW is Ron Paul on racism:

Racism is simply an ugly form of collectivism, the mindset that views humans strictly as members of groups rather than as individuals. Racists believe that all individuals who share superficial physical characteristics are alike: as collectivists, racists think only in terms of groups. By encouraging Americans to adopt a group mentality, the advocates of so-called "diversity" actually perpetuate racism.

The true antidote to racism is liberty. Liberty means having a limited, constitutional government devoted to the protection of individual rights rather than group claims. Liberty means free-market capitalism, which rewards individual achievement and competence - not skin color, gender, or ethnicity.

Its non-objective government involvement that creates the problem. Ron Paul represents freedom from coercion and no one else does.

Nancy: Now that was not very nice - go back and read what I wrote and I won't ask you to justify your friends either.


Just because you have chosen to skip reality and good judgment and support an America hating nut case does not mean you are right because you want to be.

Dan is there anyway in this editor to have one line display below the last line without an empty line in between? :)

#Comment Re: made: 2008-04-04 21:40:44.615491+00 by: topspin [edit history]

JT, I suspect you are Hispanic, not African-American, but I couldn't help but think, especially today, about Dr. King and his words from a Birmingham Jail in 1963. Thanks for sharing your personal issues and experiences.

For years now I have heard the word "Wait!" It rings in the ear of every Negro with piercing familiarity. This "Wait" has almost always meant "Never." We must come to see, with one of our distinguished jurists, that "justice too long delayed is justice denied."

We have waited for more than 340 years for our constitutional and God given rights. The nations of Asia and Africa are moving with jetlike speed toward gaining political independence, but we still creep at horse and buggy pace toward gaining a cup of coffee at a lunch counter. Perhaps it is easy for those who have never felt the stinging darts of segregation to say, "Wait." But when you have seen vicious mobs lynch your mothers and fathers at will and drown your sisters and brothers at whim; when you have seen hate filled policemen curse, kick and even kill your black brothers and sisters; when you see the vast majority of your twenty million Negro brothers smothering in an airtight cage of poverty in the midst of an affluent society; when you suddenly find your tongue twisted and your speech stammering as you seek to explain to your six year old daughter why she can't go to the public amusement park that has just been advertised on television, and see tears welling up in her eyes when she is told that Funtown is closed to colored children, and see ominous clouds of inferiority beginning to form in her little mental sky, and see her beginning to distort her personality by developing an unconscious bitterness toward white people; when you have to concoct an answer for a five year old son who is asking: "Daddy, why do white people treat colored people so mean?"; when you take a cross county drive and find it necessary to sleep night after night in the uncomfortable corners of your automobile because no motel will accept you; when you are humiliated day in and day out by nagging signs reading "white" and "colored"; when your first name becomes "nigger," your middle name becomes "boy" (however old you are) and your last name becomes "John," and your wife and mother are never given the respected title "Mrs."; when you are harried by day and haunted by night by the fact that you are a Negro, living constantly at tiptoe stance, never quite knowing what to expect next, and are plagued with inner fears and outer resentments; when you are forever fighting a degenerating sense of "nobodiness"--then you will understand why we find it difficult to wait. There comes a time when the cup of endurance runs over, and men are no longer willing to be plunged into the abyss of despair. I hope, sirs, you can understand our legitimate and unavoidable impatience.

#Comment Re: made: 2008-04-05 12:31:50.977998+00 by: meuon

  1. After you get to know JT, often wearing a "I live in my own little world, but it's OK, they know me here" T-Shirt, sitting cross legged on an office chair, you realize he defies most stereotypical descriptions of any single aspect of him.
  2. I wish I had more time to join in properly, but I am in a project mode, with a lot riding on it, gotta get back to work. Part of me wants to stick with the known entities like a McCain or Clinton, but I am sure there needs to be Change. I'm willing to risk some chaos for change, and reserve the right to change my mind later on announcing of VP candidates and future positions and actions of the candidates.
  3. It wasn't "sawed off", it is 18.5 inches, it was machined off by the Joliet Prison Armorer.