Thought Number One: My Computer is a Peeping Tom
I was watching one of the morning news shows and there was a segment about how all of us should be extra careful in leaving our computers on with the webcam exposed.
Yes...exposed webcams are being used by voyeurs (or perverts, if you prefer) to keep an eye on you in the privacy of your home. At the beginning of the story there was an ominous tone that suggested that we were being spied upon in nefarious ways much in the same vein as a crazy neighbor looking into our windows at night. OK, that might be happening, also, who is to say?
There are always two things about this type of reporting that confuses me.
A. Whenever a news program programs offers this type of precautionary news, they hire some "expert" that may or may not gotten his expertise from being a criminal, and then they hire him to do "whatever they are warning us about".
B. The "expert" will proceed to tell us how he did whatever we should be frightened of. This instruction portion of the program is exceedingly handy for the creepy types that hadn't thought of doing it already. Less creative criminals, then can have "ah-ha moments". Can't you just imagine them saying "Sh**, why didn't I think of that?")
So, in this case ....the morning news program's expert hacks into a family's computers with the permission of the husband/dad but doesn't let the mom or two daughters know what is going on. (Hey guys, keep in mind that this man is playing with fire. If mom is caught on camera in less than a camera-ready shot, dad is going to catch hell.)
In this particular report, the first bit of video obtained by hacker-man is the family all sitting around the dinner table eating. Seriously? I am not even sure I believe this is real. Did the dad fess up to his family and they are pretending?? Who eats around the dining room table, anymore?
|Hacker-man, are you wanting to poke your eyes out yet???|
The next video sequence is capturing the girls in their bedroom laughing and sitting on their bed. The announcer is telling us that hackers are hoping for private personal moments by using voice inflections that are consistent with telling us the boogie man is going to get us. However, in the actual video being shown, the two clueless teens are chatting up a storm..all happy and sweet to each other. NO WAY!! Two teenage sisters that are laughing and not talking smack. Totally unbelievable.
Anyway, I guess the point of the story is that hackers can log into your computer via spyware and watch you. I am sure that, as we speak, a hacker is seeing how lovely I look in the morning.
BTW...The report tells us that there is a quick and easy fix. If you just can't take the time and the energy to close the lid on your laptop....yes, I know that is horribly inconvenient...put a band-aid over the web camera lens.
Thought Number Two: My Smart Phone is Now Speaking for Me
There was a time in a galaxy far, far away...oh wait, that's not right...let's try this again. There was time a long time ago (relatively speaking) when our phones let us use the words that we chose. Our words were ours to choose and they were audible. (or at least they were supposed to be audible.)
but as most people are painfully, or at least embarrassingly aware, our phones take over some of our thoughts. While the auto-correct has provided us with a few good laughs with it's failed attempts to help us find just the right word...that is now old technology.
|There going to be payback on that one.|
|He'll never say "you betcha" again.|
Now there is (supposedly) a phone that doesn't correct what we are saying but "gets to know us" and chooses our words for us.
I was listening to another interview on one of the morning news shows with the CEO of Blackberry, Thorsen Heines, who was touting how intuitive the new Blackberry 10 is. The new phone has the ability to think for you. If you are typing an email, it anticipates what words you need and displays them for you to tap (well, it's more like a slide, I guess) it rather than type it.
Mr Heines said ..."another cool feature, typing an email, it thinks ahead, if you type in look, okay, it immediately gives you a choice in the bottom of the screen, looking and you can thumb it up and like others do, it gives you words you might like to use to complete a sentence. In other words, it's doing the writing for you in some ways. We call this typing without writing.....a fantastic feature..after one week in knows you."
(Sorry for the run-on sentence. This is exactly how the transcript of the program had it. Evidently sentence structure is optional in transcripts.)
So there you have it..you can buy a phone who will get to know you in a week and be able to speak for you. I have known people for years and years and they still don't understand me or anticipate what is going to come out of my mouth.
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