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 Forum index » Reviews, Editorials and Commentary » Commentary and Editorials
The polluted Internet
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seraph
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 27, 2004 10:05 pm    Post subject: The polluted Internet Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Quote:
About 95 per cent of the world runs Windows on their desktop. That won't change in the corporate world to a significant extent any time soon. Deal with it.


The tiny 5 per cent of the world that's leftover and running something other than Microsoft, well, their owners have reason to rejoice. Those of you who use Linux/Gnome/Kde or X Windows on BSD, or the incredibly cute Mac OS X desktop... or Amiga or Atari or whatever, please keep quiet. For all intents and purposes, we've slipped under the radar. Let's keep it that way.

Shocked

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2004/08/27/polluted_internet/

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elektro80
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 28, 2004 3:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Shocked
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mosc
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 28, 2004 8:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

This is another tell me something we already know article, but he makes a point about how difficult it is for non-computer savey people to use the internet. Assuming you buy a PC (or whatever) from a responsible dealer who configures it with good anti-virus and firewall software (a big if), you still have an annoying problem with spam. How to deal with that one if you don't know anything about computers?

BTW, Mozilla's junk mail controls are pretty good if you're looking for something.
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SynthLord



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PostPosted: Mon Nov 28, 2005 3:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Quote:
Assuming you buy a PC (or whatever) from a responsible dealer who configures it with good anti-virus and firewall software (a big if), you still have an annoying problem with spam. How to deal with that one if you don't know anything about computers?


Well, you do like a good gorilla and pick up the shiny free AOL CD at the check-out counter. You marvel at your introduction to the information age, and flaunt your fancy new email address.

Fast-forward a year. Your computer's clogged with all kinds of spyware and adware because (as good as the anti-wares s/w was when you bought it) you've never upgraded your protection protocols. Your kids have downloaded a billion mp3s, games, and Buddy icons to various locations on the hard drive, and you don't know what 'defragment' means. Your desktop looks like an arial photo of Detroit, and someone changed the theme to "blind old geezer". Eventually, this once zippy PC is an unbootable plastic paperweight. But, you've already renewed your online subscriptions - including 4 you can't figure out how to cancel, and 2 you don't know about ...

... so you go right back to Mega Electronics Retailer and buy a whole new machine, and the cycle begins anew.

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opg



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PostPosted: Mon Nov 28, 2005 3:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

SynthLord wrote:
Well, you do like a good gorilla and pick up the shiny free AOL CD at the check-out counter. You marvel at your introduction to the information age, and flaunt your fancy new email address.

Fast-forward a year. Your computer's clogged with all kinds of spyware and adware because (as good as the anti-wares s/w was when you bought it) you've never upgraded your protection protocols. Your kids have downloaded a billion mp3s, games, and Buddy icons to various locations on the hard drive, and you don't know what 'defragment' means. Your desktop looks like an arial photo of Detroit, and someone changed the theme to "blind old geezer". Eventually, this once zippy PC is an unbootable plastic paperweight. But, you've already renewed your online subscriptions - including 4 you can't figure out how to cancel, and 2 you don't know about ...

... so you go right back to Mega Electronics Retailer and buy a whole new machine, and the cycle begins anew.


Laughing MY DEAR LORD THIS IS SO FUNNY!!!

It's called "preying on the weak," the fine print on the Statue of Liberty and the Social Security Cards of anyone born before 1960.

What's sad though are the crowds I see in the new Mac stores popping up in the high-end malls and shopping centers. They have the money for the newest Apple products and feel so cool, yet they are STILL going to screw up those wonderful machines somehow. I guess it's like yardwork. You have to realize that all things require regular maintenance, whether you pay someone to do it for you or not.
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Kassen
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 28, 2005 5:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I dunno, I think it's all working properly. If you double click on a unknown executable it will execute and you'll have arbitary code running on your machine; if that's not what you want then don't do that. If you leave your ports open then stuff will come in; it can only come in because you set your computer to allow it to come in.

Practically this means you must either trust people or verify how it all works by hand (or of cource program your own). It's the exact same as everything else. If you can't determine how to govern your music's rights or what you can and can't do with data then you can pay companies like the RIAA or MS/Apple to determine this for you. If you have no idea how you want parts of your music to relate to eachother then you can pay companies to determine that for you too.

In my experience most people are quite happy with that deal, taking responcibility in a responcible way is terribly unfashionable. Generally people seem to become quite unhappy and insecure as soon as they are forced to make their own choices and some even become possitively defensive or even agressive as soon as the topic of having a choice pops up. Research shows that most people prefer to share the opinion of the majority; I think people actually prefer buying a new computer every year over making their own choices about what the computer is doing. All is well.

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Kassen
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 28, 2005 5:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

mosc wrote:
This is another tell me something we already know article, but he makes a point about how difficult it is for non-computer savey people to use the internet.


Yes, it is. It's also dificult for people who can't drive to race in formula1 races and it's equally dificult (and dangerous!) to weld if you have no idea how a welding machine works.

I can't drive and I can't weld so if I need any driving or welding to be done then I ask/pay people to do this for me. We used to have people who made it their job to write dictated letters or to read the replies to them. This was a sensible profesion since many people couldn't read or write. Somehow the internet is found to be different; I don't understand why.

Personally I'm very much in favour of allowing people to drive formula1 cars and operate welding machines but since both are dangerous things in untrained hands I would apreceate it if they'd do this at a safe distance from me.

Quote:

Assuming you buy a PC (or whatever) from a responsible dealer who configures it with good anti-virus and firewall software (a big if), you still have an annoying problem with spam. How to deal with that one if you don't know anything about computers?


I don't think dealers can be expected to configure computers, actually I think it's silly to have somebody else configure a machine who's very purpose is being able to be reconfigured for you. That's like getting a sheet of answers to the questions in your math book when you were trying to buy a calculator. I've never seen a properly configured computer off the shelf; actually it turned out that 5 out of 6 computer dealers in my hometown were unable to sell me a din to ps/2 converter plug. Some were helpfull; they held nice looking stereo mini jack to dual rca plugs in the air with questioning faces, all were polite and friendly but none seemed like the sort of person you'd entrust your data to.

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dasz



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PostPosted: Mon Nov 28, 2005 9:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Oh, SynthLord, man that was funny. I needed that ...

I wish I could Nord tonight ...
/Dasz

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opg



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PostPosted: Tue Nov 29, 2005 8:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

The unwritten rule here in the U.S. is that you NEVER ask for advice from a salesman when shopping at a Radio Shack or Best Buy. Well, that is to say, if you know what you are looking for.

It's funny - it's the exact opposite at a Lowe's or Home Depot. If you don't exactly know what you need to do something, all the employees scatter or give the quick, "Yeah, we don't have that" reply. Once I made the unfortunate mistake of asking someone what bit I would need to drill a hole through a steel pipe. He gave me the "Oh shit, this kid is making a pipe bomb" look. I just wanted coping for a skateboard ramp.

But back to the topic, I'm in an interesting position here at work with regards to "newbies" on the internet/computers. I work at a community college, where the students are of all ages and nationalities. I'm often giving advice about how to clean up their computers at home. Anyone who's having trouble with their laptop ends up bringing it in to show me.

From what I've seen, the senior citizens taking Intro to Computer classes just think in a different way than today's generation. I often see them writing out notes in flowchart style when I explain how things work. They want to get into the basics of computer operation, even if their main goal is just how to get around the internet or use MS Excel. With students from other countries, it's usually just a language barrier. Unlike slacker students from the U.S., they know why they need to use something, like Excel or Access, but have more difficulty typing or asking questions.

I find it exciting to see someone from say, Liberia, who has been an accountant for years but has never used a modern PC. Then I go and help a student who failed out of a 4-year college and has had his parents pay for him to come here and take accounting classes. He'll be in the lab with a cell phone on, checking his e-mail, and passing his Excel tests but have no idea why he needs it or what all the functions are good for.

Well, that's my rant for the day...
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Kassen
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 29, 2005 9:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

opg wrote:
The unwritten rule here in the U.S. is that you NEVER ask for advice from a salesman when shopping at a Radio Shack or Best Buy. Well, that is to say, if you know what you are looking for.


I knew what I was looking for, I was quite explicid, they just had no idea what either a ps/2 or a din plug was and all plugs and cables were in some storage int he back, aparently. I had the same problem trying to buy a scsi cable.

It wasn't quite as problematic as one Mac salesman I encountered; that one had to call some other office to find out what a G4 was. Even with the aid of that office he was unable to tell me wether dual G4 powerbooks existed. Or even figure out what a powerbook was, for that matter.

The article claims "People shouldn't have to be computer experts to own a computer.". Why not? We expect owners of microwaves and dogs to know enough about both not to put one into the other. It's asumed that people operating wellding machines know so much about the principles involved that they won't put the flame on the cilinders. It is also asumed that drivers will have the common sense not to drive their cars into schoolyards full of playing childeren; if you can't manage that then you shouldn't be operating such equipment or at the very least you shouldn't operate it where you can harm others.

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opg



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PostPosted: Tue Nov 29, 2005 11:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

That's right. Don't drink and surf the internet. You could stagger into some sleazy porn site and get a virus. You could pass out and wake up the next morning underneath the computer desk with the mouse cable wrapped around you, thinking "What did I do last night?" The next thing you know, you've won 5 acres of barren, radioactive, dusty land in New Mexico on eBay. There are printouts of e-mails where you agreed to receive unclaimed lottery winnings by opening an offshore account. And lastly, there is a Fanta in the CD tray.

Well, I guess if people are willing to spend $100 a week filling up their massive SUVs, they'll also throw down some cash for a new computer every year.
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Kassen
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 29, 2005 12:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

opg wrote:
That's right. Don't drink and surf the internet. You could stagger into some sleazy porn site and get a virus. You could pass out and wake up the next morning underneath the computer desk with the mouse cable wrapped around you, thinking "What did I do last night?"


I LOVE YOU
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 30, 2005 5:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

One problem is that, IMHO, the best way to learn how to use a computer is to not be afraid to break it - just go ahead and do crazy, stupid stuff and see what happens. This is something that old people are bad at and young people are good at.

If it's true that you should know stuff on the level of a Formula 1 racer in order to be able to use a computer safely, then the world of computer users will be an elitistic, scary thing indeed in a couple of decades.
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opg



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PostPosted: Wed Nov 30, 2005 7:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

"Frink: Well, sure, the Frinkiac-7 looks impressive, DON'T TOUCH IT, but I predict that within 100 years, computers will be twice as powerful, 10,000 times larger, and so expensive that only the five richest kings of Europe will own them.
Apu: Could it be used for dating?
Frink: Well, theoretically, yes. But the computer matches would be so perfect as to eliminate the thrill of romantic conquest. Mw-hurgn-whey."
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