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It REALLY IS scary IMO

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RPG Dinosaur
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It REALLY IS scary IMO

Post#1 » Wed Oct 10, 2018 11:10 pm

Two years ago I 'upgraded' from a flip phone to a smart phone. I could text on the old flip phone, but the mechanics of doing it were so unwieldly that I rarely did. I don't text much to begin with, but one positive about the smart phone is that it does make texting easier (tapping the screen, instead of having to mash the number keys of the flip).
One thing I did find a bit startling is that while composing words for the text, word suggestions will appear at the bottom of the screen; for example: if I type "be" I get the suggestions "be", "been" and "because". I'm sure many of you are also aware of this, but for those who aren't this feature allows me to save time by just tapping on the word suggestion and it is incorporated into my text. I don't have to type the whole word.
It took me awhile to warm up to this feature. I'm not a person who is highly suspicious of snooping by government agencies or tech companies, but I couldn't bring myself to use the word suggestion shortcuts for awhile. It was like the feature was writing the text for me, and I wasn't down with that at first. I do believe that the number of times a particular word suggestion is used is kept track of somewhere.
A related feature has recently started appearing when I receive e-mails on my Outlook.com (Microsoft, using Windows 10) account; and it is even more broader in scope! It offers complete sentence reply suggestions! Here's the options that appeared at the bottom of a short e-mail I received from a friend recently: "Thanks for the understanding.", "Look forward to the next time." and "I'm looking forward to that."
To repeat, I am not a paranoid person. About twenty years ago some people were alarmed when the grocery store rewards cards were introduced ("They can keep track of what you buy!!!"). No offense if you were one of those people, but I didn't, and still don't give a flip if some guy in a corporate headquarters knows whether I buy one or two ply toilet paper. This feature with the e-mail reply is unsettling to me though. I am not going to let a machine write entire e-mails to other human beings for me. I will never use it.
_Matt_

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Billy_Buttcheese
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Re: It REALLY IS scary IMO

Post#2 » Thu Oct 11, 2018 2:51 pm

Hi Matt,
It took me awhile to warm up to "smart" phones also. I feel they have become something of a crutch to many folks in our society today. I used to find it amusing to see folks bent over their phones intently concentrating on whatever the "app" of the moment might be. Now I find it simply rude. The functions to which you refer are pretty much the result of lazy and/or ignorant people's whining. Spelling/grammar corrections are nice but not normally necessary in my case. Have you seen the TV commercials for a software program called "Grammarly"? Even "Word" now offers suggestions while writing notes and formal/informal documents, in an attempt to make folks sound 'smarter'. Sadly in many cases it's necessary. Just another indictment of our education system getting away from teaching fundamentals and concentrating on teaching the 'test' to get students to pass so more money can be funneled to the 'smartest' schools. I'm all for time savers and that's pretty much how I view those suggestions. I believe it's highly probable that they 'learn' as we type. But as I said, it's the result of "giving people what they want". So use them or don't, it's your phone.

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garhkal
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Re: It REALLY IS scary IMO

Post#3 » Thu Oct 11, 2018 11:13 pm

Billy_Buttcheese wrote:Hi Matt,
It took me awhile to warm up to "smart" phones also. I feel they have become something of a crutch to many folks in our society today. I used to find it amusing to see folks bent over their phones intently concentrating on whatever the "app" of the moment might be. Now I find it simply rude. The functions to which you refer are pretty much the result of lazy and/or ignorant people's whining. Spelling/grammar corrections are nice but not normally necessary in my case. Have you seen the TV commercials for a software program called "Grammarly"? Even "Word" now offers suggestions while writing notes and formal/informal documents, in an attempt to make folks sound 'smarter'. Sadly in many cases it's necessary. Just another indictment of our education system getting away from teaching fundamentals and concentrating on teaching the 'test' to get students to pass so more money can be funneled to the 'smartest' schools. I'm all for time savers and that's pretty much how I view those suggestions. I believe it's highly probable that they 'learn' as we type. But as I said, it's the result of "giving people what they want". So use them or don't, it's your phone.


I agree. I feel too many folk these days, are so used to doing almost anything on their phones, if something happened that shut them off entirely, a solid 50% of the population wouldn't know what to do...

As for the spelling/math issues, we had a thread a while back where both me and Hal commented about the stupidity of some store employees.. All because they were so used to having computers/cash machines work it out for them, they couldn't do simple ADDITION AND SUBTRACTION.. IMO that's a mix of what schools are doing AND what tech's done.

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RPG Dinosaur
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Re: It REALLY IS scary IMO

Post#4 » Thu Oct 11, 2018 11:43 pm

Billy Buttcheese wrote:Have you seen the TV commercials for a software program called "Grammarly"? Even "Word" now offers suggestions while writing notes and formal/informal documents,

The name "Grammarly" sounds vaguely familiar to me so I think I have at some point seen one of the commercials. I don't think I understood what it did though; probably would have remembered that.
I actually won't pay Microsoft to use Word on my own PC, and instead go to the local library if I need to use it. I think the version from 2010 is what is installed on those computers :sucks: , and I haven't had to create any documents since getting my second job anyway, so I didn't know about Word also implementing suggestions. Thank you very much for the heads up!

Billy_Buttcheese wrote: But as I said, it's the result of "giving people what they want".

I totally did not know that these features were a result of public demand. It's kind of a mind blower to me 8O.

Garhkal wrote:As for the spelling/math issues, we had a thread a while back where both me and Hal commented about the stupidity of some store employees.. All because they were so used to having computers/cash machines work it out for them, they couldn't do simple ADDITION AND SUBTRACTION..

Ah yes, I think I remember that thread, it was about THACO wasn't it?
_Matt_

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TigerStripedDog
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Re: It REALLY IS scary IMO

Post#5 » Fri Oct 12, 2018 6:31 am

For what it is worth I don't think you're paranoid at all. There is excellent documentation from FOIA requests and other means of inquiry, as well as from whistleblowers like Snowden which shows that not only are these companies and the NSA collecting metadata on everyone, but that they are actively listening to your conversation.

While the idea is somewhat conspiratorial - there was an idea floated around that the current generations of smartphones don't come with removable batteries (as opposed to the older generation and flip phones) is so that you cannot really ever turn the phone off. There is always power running through the phone, and by remote signal the phone can be turned on -against your will- to become an active listening/recording device. What is more - there are now means by which sensitive cameras operating at a high enough FPS can be used to "listen" at a distance. Basically, if you can get an image sharp enough to actually detect the vibrations of an object, you can use those vibrations to decode the sounds that caused them - without actually recording sound with the image. This was on NPR recently.

You're not paranoid. And even if you were, that doesn't make it untrue. You are absolutely right to be suspicious of large corporations, and you are even more right to be suspicious of the government. The greatest atrocities man-kind has ever known - the Red Terror of Stalin, the Great Leap Forward of Mao, and the Eugenic Purges of Hitler were all aided by complex surveillance apparatus. Don't talk about sensitive topics on your phone - and certainly don't use any traceable computer to search for compromising research.

Tiger
*unreadable scribble*

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garhkal
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Re: It REALLY IS scary IMO

Post#6 » Fri Oct 12, 2018 11:29 pm

TigerStripedDog wrote:While the idea is somewhat conspiratorial - there was an idea floated around that the current generations of smartphones don't come with removable batteries (as opposed to the older generation and flip phones) is so that you cannot really ever turn the phone off. There is always power running through the phone, and by remote signal the phone can be turned on -against your will- to become an active listening/recording device. What is more - there are now means by which sensitive cameras operating at a high enough FPS can be used to "listen" at a distance. Basically, if you can get an image sharp enough to actually detect the vibrations of an object, you can use those vibrations to decode the sounds that caused them - without actually recording sound with the image. This was on NPR recently.


I've never heard that comment before, that the whole reason the new batches of smart phones have internal batteries you can't remove yourself, is so that you can't turn it off fully, to where the govt can't remotely re-activate it... I always thought it was just so the phone companies can charge you an arm and a leg to replace one if it goes bad...

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Halaster-Blackcloak
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Re: It REALLY IS scary IMO

Post#7 » Sat Oct 13, 2018 1:43 am

There's no question whatsoever - Google, Apple, Microsoft, etc - they all spy on you 24/7. Facebook listens in even when it's turned off. Everything is spyware. Candy Crush? Spyware. We live in a literal surveillance state. Even with your phone turned off, there are ways to track it. Deep state corruption due to consumer laziness and apathy.

And apparently Snowden is not the hero we thought he was. He was a CIA plant who was sent to NSA in order to expose their abilities because the NSA is the only intelligence agency that can spy on both the FBI and CIA, and the treasonous deep state operatives therein. Snowden was paid to expose the NSA's capabilities in order to create outcry so that we would demand the government shut down or curtail the powers of the NSA, which would allow the totally corrupt (from the very top to the very bottom) FBI and CIA to escape scrutiny. We're living in a real life spy novel, with the evil deep state on one side and Trump and the few heroes like Admiral Rogers on the other side. Hillary and Obama attempted a coup, now the military is engaging in a counter coup. We're literally at a state of civil was, it's just that too few people are aware enough to see the elephant in the room. But luckily, people are waking up in droves.

Hillary Clinton and a bunch of her aids lost their security clearance today. :twisted: We really are headed for a serious purge of evil.

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Halaster-Blackcloak
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Re: It REALLY IS scary IMO

Post#8 » Sat Oct 13, 2018 1:49 am

TigerStripedDog wrote:

Don't talk about sensitive topics on your phone - and certainly don't use any traceable computer to search for compromising research.


Oh, I talk sh!t about the deep state and taboo topics on my phone as often as I can. Yes I do. And I personally identify myself and say hello directly to those listening in. I often wonder if they simply think I'm nuts. :lol:

And yes, I am on some serious shit lists. Especially once I started digging into Obama's fake birth certificate and filed some FOIA requests dealing with the issue. The State Department at the time took a very serious disliking to me. Oh well, screw them. You'd be shocked though, how hard it is to get people to even bother looking at the evidence for one of the greatest hoaxes ever perpetrated on America - the fake presidency of an unqualified, likely foreign-born, communist/muslim pseudo-president (Obama).

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TigerStripedDog
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Re: It REALLY IS scary IMO

Post#9 » Sat Oct 13, 2018 8:33 am

I don't usually go that far lol. But I should have been more clear when I said "don't talk about sensitive topics on your phone" - don't even talk about that stuff when your phone is anywhere near you.

There was a great meme... I'll see if I can find it...

Here it is.

Image

:lol:

Its funny because it is true. I think a balance is required between going full in on every conspiracy, and having a healthy distrust and suspicion of government. And that is all government. We are taught in grade school that "Government is Great, Government is Good, let us thank it for our food..." The truth is far from that. Very few governments in the history of the world have been benevolent, or designed to do anything other than enrich those in power at the expense of those outside of power. There is also a belief that "We the People" are somehow in control. All anyone has to do is see what the DNC did to Bernie Sander, or what the RNC did to Ron Paul to see that this isn't the case. True challenges to the power structure simply aren't allowed. Assuming there is no sarcasm in his comments, Halaster seems to be very Obama - but remember that it was under Republicans that the NSA had its greatest expansion of power. Reagan, Bush I, and Bush II all abused government power.

I'd like to believe that this is because it isn't any one person that is the problem - it is the power structure that is the problem. Power will breed abuse. Always. No one is a paragon of virtue. Every one of us has our dark sides, and truly none of us should be trusted with power.

In the words of the great author Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn "The line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being."

Even governments that start off with the best interests of "The People" will eventually degrade and corrupt itself. Historically that has meant the eventual failure of said government under its own weight and bloat - leading to revolution, drastic restructuring, or total failure. What will be interesting is to see if that remains the case as technology advances. There really is no precedent here - we have no idea if modern convenience, sloth, and complacency combined with an ever more powerful surveillance state will lead to that same historical outcome, or if it will just sort of continue on and petrify.

I know what I believe, but its a religious belief and not really founded on evidence (since we have no evidence given how drastically different societies are these days).


Tiger
*unreadable scribble*

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JadedDM
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Re: It REALLY IS scary IMO

Post#10 » Sat Oct 13, 2018 10:38 am

Okay, enough of that. I'll remind everyone that politics is off limits.

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