• Patch Lady – 31 days of Paranoia – Day 27

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    I apologize in advance if I’m a bit controversial tonight.  In the last several days we’ve had horrific things occur in the United States and I think
    [See the full post at: Patch Lady – 31 days of Paranoia – Day 27]

    Susan Bradley Patch Lady/Prudent patcher

    Total of 23 users thanked author for this post. Here are last 20 listed.
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    • #227647

      Cyberbullying around the World – which country has the most victims?
      By Sam Cook | October 22, 2018

      A 2007 Pew Research study found 32 percent of teens have been victims of some type of cyberbullying. Nearly a decade later, a 2016 study by the Cyberbullying Research Center found those numbers were almost unchanged. By 2016, just under 34 percent of teens reported they were victims of cyberbullying. Meanwhile, the National Crime Prevention Council puts that number much higher, at 43 percent.

      Cyberbullying: Estimating costs
      October 9, 2018

      New Zealand’s first-ever report into the economic effect of online harm estimates the cost to individuals, communities and interventions to be $444m every year.

      The new report commissioned by Netsafe and undertaken by leading economist Shamubeel Eaqub provides an important new assessment of the damage from online bullying and harassment. To date, cyberbullying has been primarily understood in terms of social cost and personal harm.

      5 users thanked author for this post.
      • #227739

        “New Zealand’s first-ever report into the economic effect of online harm estimates the cost to individuals, communities and interventions to be $444m every year.”

        I’m always highly suspicious of “estimated costs” in these kind of reports. They frequently seem to be designed to show a headline-grabbing number and almost always deserve greater scrutiny. In this case $347m out of the $444m cost (78%) is the time of friends and family in prevention and mitigation of cyberbullying, calculated at average earning rate. So if a parent talks to their children about cyberbullying then this is a cost? How so? If a parent makes a meal for their child and it takes one hour, does this mean the meal costs $40 ($30 for the parent’s time at average earning rate + $10 for ingredients)?

        Windows 10 Home 22H2, Acer Aspire TC-1660 desktop + LibreOffice, non-techie

        1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #227798

          From an Economists’ perspective, yes the time spent is an opportunity cost. That’s time that can’t be used productively, i.e. working. It’s a fairly common economic theory.

          The biggest financial impact would be where people have to take unpaid leave to attend to the consequences mentioned. It’s not hard to imagine financial hardship in some cases…

    • #227652

      I appreciate your post today. In years past, I used to comment on pages in online chat rooms on IRC platforms like mIRC. One great feature of such pages was that they usually had a moderator or two who enforced rules of civil discourse and had the power to kick violators out of the chats and even ban them temporarily or even permanently for repeatedly offensive chats. That’s what is lacking in social media today, live moderators with the power to enforce rules of common decency and civility. Now it is basically a free for all, a brawl, a mob. It’s not healthy for our society at all.

      • #227728

        Which is, of course, why we’re tightly moderated here.

        5 users thanked author for this post.
      • #229359

        Ding, ding, ding.

        To this day, I still cannot type select words (including the prime offender – that multi-purpose Anglo-Saxon vulgar word which starts with a ‘f’ and ends in ‘k’) without doing the asterisk self-censoring. Because typing the uncensored word would result in you (| me) being kicked from the chat room.

        IRC chat rooms had this as a defense. Fora, as well as Twitter as other social media, do not have this protection. I do not swear in real life. I may believe some words (including the one which could be applied to a donkey) should not be considered vulgar; but this is something I am prepared to deal with.

        Important links you can use, without the monetization pitch = https://pqrs-ltd.xyz/bookmark4.html
    • #227657

      The timing of this is at least convenient if not suspicious. In many cases, the social media is not the cause but the tool.

      Take some time and think about the ramifications of that. Think for yourself. Don’t be herded.

    • #227663

      The internet is a mixture of wonderful and terrible things, and I’ve long felt that the single most important factor behind the terrible stuff is the anonymity of the user.

      This was brought home to me when I was still working and went through a phase of posting on my professional body’s forum under my real name. I really had to think long and hard before I hit the “submit” button – did I really want to say that? Was it going to compromise me or my employer? With my real name came a level of responsibility that is totally absent when posting anonymously.

      Removing anonymity wouldn’t be a complete solution to this sort of problem, but it would make a massive difference. At the very least, those of us who care about these things should pause now and again and ask ourselves if we would be happy to post our comment if we were not doing so anonymously.

      • #227700

        Those of us who live in free countries may not think twice about posting under our own names. (I do it, as here.) But consider if we lived in less free societies where the consequences of even innocent posts could alter (or end) our lives or those of our loved ones. We would want the anonymity which the current Internet allows on most platforms.

        So let’s not throw out the baby with the bath water.

        -- rc primak

        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #228167

        lol all removing anonymity does is give the trolls more ammo to attack YOU under your real persona.

        You think you’re going to get theirs? As if. These people know how to cover themselves, they’ll NEVER be as open as you are.

        Regarding “bullying” and trolls online, anonymity is the only real protection you have from them. Remove it at your peril.

        2 users thanked author for this post.
        • #228460

          Yeah, but the bullies are also protected by anonymity. So it’s working two ways, both of which can lead to abuses.

          -- rc primak

        • #228476

          I agree with you BobT. Rules of common decency only restrict people who willingly do something as arcane as actually follow rules of common decency.

          For anyone that could be described as a bully, the rules are very convenient for controlling their target. Because the rules dictate their actions and make every part of control very predictable.

          While some choose to use full actual names for business purposes, I do not understand the illusion that a ‘handle’ is not just another form of anonymity.

    • #227664

      Hate is ramped up because even our leaders cannot find common ground anymore. Its the us against them mentality. This only feeds into mentally ill individuals who see this as a reason to act out. When leaders start talking about stalking and disrupting others who disagree as a reasonable means to a end. Then our leaders have to expect some to become unhinged. We can blame many things for bullies, haters, and shooters. Much of it goes back to a upbringing that never dealt with their child’s behavior properly or got help before they became violent. The fabric of society is seriously becoming unraveled.

      2 users thanked author for this post.
    • #227665

      @Susan Bradley, Patch Lady:  I was very upset when I noted that there was ANOTHER “new” Firefox update, and that this one requires a “NEW ACCOUNT”, acceptance carte blanche, etc.  I avoided accepting this so am hoping that I can remain with the current version that I have been using.

      No “warnings” at all on this one coming “out of the blue (or wherever).    Has anyone else seen this new update ( I think it references a Version 63)?

      • #227671

        You don’t have to create a new account in FF 63. That was just an invitation to create one if you wanted to do so, not a mandatory thing. If you want to sync your browsers across multiple PCs or use a synced password manager, you need an account. Otherwise you do not need one.

        4 users thanked author for this post.
        • #227676

          @PKCano:  Thank you so much for the very detailed information.   I was completely baffled by all of this, and sincerely appreciate you taking the time to explain it to me.   I hope I can proceed with an update without the other information I felt was necessary to set up a separate account etc.   You are truly a “genius” with your outstanding abilities using your computer “ultra” expertise.   Thank you  once again, for all of the wonderful assistance you provide.    🙂

          1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #227674

        Yes, I’m running Quantum 63 right now. It updated the other day. I was not asked to open a “New Account”, or give acceptance to anything – it installed just like any other Firefox update. And I haven’t had any problems; in fact, I can’t say I’ve noticed much difference: just like any other day on Firefox.

        1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #228402

          @The Surfing Pensioner:    Thank you for posting your “experience” with FF 63.   Strange how it appears to not have consistency when referencing “new accounts”.   Hmmmm.   More fodder for my “Wait and See” position which I shall return to.   Thank you again for posting your comments.   🙂

      • #227702

        How is a Firefox update related to Social Media? Can we please stay on topic here?

        -- rc primak

        3 users thanked author for this post.
      • #228100

        @ Walker

        Patch Lady: I was very upset when I noted that there was ANOTHER “new” Firefox update, and that this one requires a “NEW ACCOUNT”, acceptance carte blanche, etc. I avoided accepting this so am hoping that I can remain with the current version that I have been using.

        How is a Firefox update related to Social Media? Can we please stay on topic here?

        As noted by *rc primak*, starting a discussion about Firefox Updating is a fair bit off topic here.

        Previously, I have talked with you about Settings for Firefox, and I offered to help you go through some of those settings to help you match your *preferences* with the actual Firefox Settings. But, you stated at that time that everything with Firefox was working just fine, and you did not want to look further into it.

        For the record, there are settings to control *if and how* Firefox Updates itself:


        (Click on the attached file above to get an enlarged view that’s easier to read.)

        As you can see, I’m currently on Firefox version 62.0, and I’m being offered version 63.0 for the last week or so. But, to date, I have respectfully *declined*. (I like to let the dust settle for awhile, just as we do here with Windows Update, before updating.)

        So, if you want to start a separate topic, in an appropriate forum, to discuss Firefox updating options–let’s do so. You don’t have to leave Firefox in its *default* settings if they are not to your liking.

        • #228401

          @NightOwl:  My error on bringing that issue into this topic.  I found that FF appears to have separate options which I was not familiar with.   I shall return to my “WAIT” stance, as I once did, as it was less cumbersome, and anything which appeared to be amiss was addressed in the end.  Thank you for your “reminder”.     🙂

    • #227701


      Excellent post! As far as what can be done, I think one of the most important things is to teach our youth critical thinking skills. In this day and age the ability to separate the wheat from the chaff is more important than ever. We are constantly bombarded with skewed messages that require good critical thinking to parse them correctly. Just my two cents worth.

      May the Forces of good computing be with you!


      PowerShell & VBA Rule!
      Computer Specs

      6 users thanked author for this post.
    • #227699

      I post as anonymous on this platform and with a handle on other technology platforms in which I participate.  I never use my real name or post personal information.  I opt for anonymity not because I start flame wars, engage in bullying or spew vitriolic hate speech.  In today’s day and age anonymity is also a way to minimize or eliminate my digital footprint as a means of self-defense.  Remaining anonymous is a prophylactic measure intended to protect me from anyone who might, for whatever irrational reason, choose to pursue a digital vendetta against me.

      2 users thanked author for this post.
      • #227716

        I feel you, I do the same thing because anyone nowadays with a computer can target you for any reason. It’s easy for them to post anything they want online, whether true or not. People can’t simply agree to disagree, you are either with them, or your the enemy and therefore you life must be ruined. It honestly feels like Highschool all over again.

        • #227812

          They don’t even need to have their own computers. A phone will do the trick. So will a public computer, and those leave a far less traceable trail.

          -- rc primak

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    • #227704

      Fast forward twenty years to where twitter, facebook, Instagram and other platforms are deemed “mainstream” and I think the same issues we saw twenty years ago in the newsgroups – that where communication is broken down – is now in our daily lives. And now what used to be a small small group of folks that you could easily ignore is now a much larger problem in society.

      As in the real, face to face world, the ability to disengage, even for a short time,makes a critical difference in people’s behaviors, no matter what our ages or genders.

      We may not all be able to take a whole day away from our tech and social sites, but even an hour or two, combined with a brisk walk outdoors away from other people, or a get-together with real-world friends or family can make a big difference. Even a few minutes away from the screens may defuse an impending online (or offline) blowup. We all need to be mindful of when we are getting caught up in our feeds and losing our perspective.

      (The exact same thing, getting caught up in an online dispute which later turned out to be pretty trivial, happened to me this week. Time away would certainly have helped me to deal with the underlying disagreement more rationally.)

      -- rc primak

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    • #227719

      Bullying is unfortunately part of human nature. I’m not sure why people are surprised that more of this is becoming “cyber”, of course it would be, since more people are spending more time online now.

      However much of this IS just the hurt feelings / wanting attention brigade. Many have a fit now just if you say “hi” to them the wrong way. Most cyber bullying can be avoided simply by NOT putting all your personal information online, and switching your device off. (Why would you do this in real life? People share WAY more private stuff online, they also close their doors to the outside world when they wish).

      Some stuff is not under your control though, some idiot at college kept making fake facebook profiles of me (with pictures he took etc), since I wasn’t on facebook myself. I did get wind of it eventually though and just quietly kept getting them deleted, he got angry it wasn’t working, then bored, then eventually stopped. Screaming on twitter about it etc is just the online equivalent of giving bullies what they want, which is unfortunately what most do nowadays.

      Deal with it the same was as physical bullying is dealt with and job done, I really don’t understand the whole “outcry” about all this. Nothing new is happening, nothing is getting “worse”, we’re just seeing it happen in different arenas now, and people are becoming a lot thinner skinned and less equipped to deal with it, that’s all.

      • #227810

        Hijacked profiles and pictures are a real problem on Facebook, and to a lesser extent, on Twitter. Some folks have committed criminal acts by posting fake profiles using real users’ data. It’s almost impossible to swat down all the flies when someone does this to you. Proving you are the Real John Smith is nearly unachievable due to the quantity of information which can be gleaned even about the least Social of us.

        Cyber Bullying can get very personal, and to younger folks who spend a lot of their time attached to their Social Accounts, the effects can be truly overwhelming for those who are already having self-esteem issues and trouble being accepted or making real-world friends.  And since anonymous or fake accounts can so easily be put up, getting rid of the bullies has proven very daunting indeed. With Snap-Chat and similar apps, the evidence itself can even disappear very quickly, unless there is police involvement.

        It’s bad enough to be bullied all day at school — even worse when the bullying follows you into your private life.

        -- rc primak

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        • #228171

          Exactly, which is why kids should be equipped to deal with it.

          All this softly softly approach and “We must eliminate all bullying” campaigns do is remove the agency from our children, and leave them vulnerable and thin skinned, with the expectation that it’s out of their hands.

          Tech sites should be looking at making it easier and better to verify real profiles against fake ones, absolutely. But all censoring etc does is push it elsewhere, and leaves people crying on twitter or suffering in silence, with no idea what to actually do, or just like I said, TURN THE ****** DEVICE OFF! (or at least close facebook).

          Bullying has been around forever, and unfortunately it always will be. Suppressing it achieves nothing, teach our kids to be strong instead, AND to realise it’s up to THEM to deal with it. The problem with tech is it removes any and all agency, you give your life over to the tech and the people running it, and act like everything is out of your hands.

          Bullying isn’t getting worse, it’s just changed platforms. Just as you can get home and shut your door to the bullying you faced at school, you can also shut it out of your life on your computer just as easy.

          • #228461

            The platforms being used now are much more pervasive in the lives of young people. So even though the occurrence of bullying may not have increased, it’s getting harder to escape from it.

            -- rc primak

            • #229225

              Then teach those young people not to put their entire lives online. Nowadays people post allsorts of drunken stupid pics, family feuds and so on, we have a saying about not “airing your dirty laundry”.

              So much that people used to keep private, they’re now encouraged to splatter everything fully in the open for everyone to see, purely so the social media companies can hoover up all the data.

              I close my door when I get home, I have net curtains covering my windows during the day, I close my curtains at night, because I care about privacy.

              Again, young people should be taught to take their social lives into their own hands, just as they should with their real ones. If anything it’s MUCH easier to avoid bullying online than it is in real-life. The problem is now that everyone is hanging everything out on show, then complaining when it inevitably gets picked up by bullies and trolls.

    • #227742

      In simple terms: I do not use any social media, unless one counts a few forums on technical topics and moderated.

      So: no Twitter, Facebook, Whatsapp, Instagram and the like for me. Don’t need them for professional or business reasons (e.g., not a media, technology, etc. journalist). I keep in touch with real friends the old-school way, and am also comfortable in solitude, where I like to do much of my work and my thinking. And do not feel a strong need to have plenty of electronic ghostly “friends” or “followers” to make sure that I matter.

      I know that, as non-user, I am in a minority in the world at large and also know that mine is not a viable approach for everybody regarding social media. But I wonder: am I in a minority of one here at Woody’s?

      Ex-Windows user (Win. 98, XP, 7); since mid-2017 using also macOS. Presently on Monterey 12.15 & sometimes running also Linux (Mint).

      MacBook Pro circa mid-2015, 15" display, with 16GB 1600 GHz DDR3 RAM, 1 TB SSD, a Haswell architecture Intel CPU with 4 Cores and 8 Threads model i7-4870HQ @ 2.50GHz.
      Intel Iris Pro GPU with Built-in Bus, VRAM 1.5 GB, Display 2880 x 1800 Retina, 24-Bit color.
      macOS Monterey; browsers: Waterfox "Current", Vivaldi and (now and then) Chrome; security apps. Intego AV

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      • #227745

        No, there are at least two of us. I don’t use any of big social media, either. I see them as far more downside than up.

        Not having a Facebook account is somewhat annoying with many small businesses using it as a free web host: you can’t read (much of) their page without logging in. Accounts without real data in them get quickly purged, so that doesn’t work either. Therefore if you’re using Facebook to post your online business information, you’ve lost me as a customer.

        4 users thanked author for this post.
        • #227809

          Businesses use Facebook and especially Twitter to keep in touch with customers as well as employees. Some businesses have even fired most of their customer service phone reps in favor of letting customers tweet about issues in order to get faster response times. As long as the official company reps can be recognized, folks seem to like this illusion of immediate and personal attention when they have issues. Social media skills now are very much a part of a complete business resume.

          -- rc primak

        • #227882

          I too do not use any social media. No Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, not even so much as a Reddit account. The second this smart phone craze ends in my area, I’ll be getting rid of my forced smart phone (Yes, they forced upgrades for this garbage here) for a dumb phone with buttons.

          Honestly, if a company requires me to login to Facebook to see basic information about them, they’re not worth my time. If I can’t quickly see a cached copy of the page from a Google Search, they’ve lost my business. Simple as that.

          • #227887

            You can see any Facebook Main Page without signing up for an account, as long as the page is Public. You just can’t post without an account.

            -- rc primak

      • #227746

        No, you aren’t. I’m not on any social media sites, nor am I on LinkedIn.

        I value my privacy; I google my name occasionally and never find anything on the internet, just the way I like it.

        Windows 10 Home 22H2, Acer Aspire TC-1660 desktop + LibreOffice, non-techie

        1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #227770

          I don’t use social media either. I have a facebook account, but only because I used to play some of the games there. I don’t use my real name and took my photo off there a long time ago. I don’t use it for anything these days. I never deleted it in case I may need it for something one day, but I’m not on anything else. I really don’t understand social media or why it’s so appealing to the degree it is.

        • #227819

          I’ve never done social media, and I’ll raise you “never had a smart phone” either (something that seems more common here than in the world at large too).


          Dell XPS 13/9310, i5-1135G7/16GB, KDE Neon
          XPG Xenia 15, i7-9750H/32GB & GTX1660ti, KDE Neon
          Acer Swift Go 14, i5-1335U/16GB, KDE Neon (and Win 11)

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    • #227755

      Thanks, Susan, for the topic.  For those who have to use their tech tomorrow for work, etc, there’s always this:


      Tech and Social Media are just like bricks, a tool…you can build a hospital with them, make a home for the homeless, or you can use them for many other nefarious purposes. Unfortunately, human nature, and the fact that we’re biologically the same as we were 100,000 years ago, means that when Homo Sapiens (or his ancestors) picked up a wedge-shaped rock, he wasn’t thinking about building a hospital, he was thinking about that guy in the next cave and HIS head. We have to constantly on guard against that old “lizard brain” and stay in touch with “The angels of our better natures”.

      I look people in the eye when I’m talking to them, and I engage Tellers, Clerks, Salespeople, etc, in casual conversation when I pass by.  They’re human beings too, and have just as many issues and problems as anyone else.

      …but for social media? Well, a main character in a Vonnegut book put it thus:

      “Welcome to Earth, babies.  It’s hot, wet, and crowded. There’s just one law I know of: You just have to be kind.”

      Or, as an old rancher said to me in the last century, “Son, always be kind to folk.  Just don’t expect them to be kind back.”

      Win7 Pro SP1 64-bit, Dell Latitude E6330, Intel CORE i5 "Ivy Bridge", 12GB RAM, Group "0Patch", Multiple Air-Gapped backup drives in different locations. Linux Mint Greenhorn
      "The more kinks you put in the plumbing, the easier it is to stop up the pipes." -Scotty

      • #227767

        NTDBD: Good posting. Just a reminder that wedge-shaped rocks (or of any other shape) do not report one’s data back to unknown parties to be sold for somebody else’s profit and completely without one’s consent.

        But there are people who need to use commercial social media and, therefore, must take the risk of some or all of that happening to them, because they have no better choice, and have to take their lumps when doing so, and the more is the pity.

        Ex-Windows user (Win. 98, XP, 7); since mid-2017 using also macOS. Presently on Monterey 12.15 & sometimes running also Linux (Mint).

        MacBook Pro circa mid-2015, 15" display, with 16GB 1600 GHz DDR3 RAM, 1 TB SSD, a Haswell architecture Intel CPU with 4 Cores and 8 Threads model i7-4870HQ @ 2.50GHz.
        Intel Iris Pro GPU with Built-in Bus, VRAM 1.5 GB, Display 2880 x 1800 Retina, 24-Bit color.
        macOS Monterey; browsers: Waterfox "Current", Vivaldi and (now and then) Chrome; security apps. Intego AV

      • #227806

        Some argue that we didn’t become fully human until we not only picked up the wedge shaped rocks, but started making our own wedge shaped rocks. In both hardware and software, learning by doing also helps us to see how tech works. In social media, building our own social networks, online and offline, instead of relying on premade tools or commercial sites, can teach us a lot about how social media works. And in the process I hope we can become more fully human.

        Not to plug open source too much (Is that even possible?) but this is another advantage of roll your own software and servers, if you have the time and the talent to do all the work involved.  In any event, the feeling of controlling technology and social media instead of being controlled by them, is very empowering.

        And yes, there are open-source social media platforms already in existence, which could be a topic for a whole other thread. You meet a totally different (but much smaller) crowd of friends in these communities.


        (@OscarP: What does NTDBD mean?)

        -- rc primak

    • #227769

      See books by Ben Sasse, most especially the new one.

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #227773

      Susan wrote:

      So I challenge all of us.. .including me, to do something tomorrow. Instead of using technology tomorrow, glance up at another human being and say Hi to them.

      Umm… what’s a human being??  😉

      I have lost count of the number of times when we’ve dined out and everyone at the table next to us is looking down at their own phone, with no conversation taking place across the table.

      3 users thanked author for this post.
      • #227777

        That’s because those people at the table next to yours are all texting to each other.

        Ex-Windows user (Win. 98, XP, 7); since mid-2017 using also macOS. Presently on Monterey 12.15 & sometimes running also Linux (Mint).

        MacBook Pro circa mid-2015, 15" display, with 16GB 1600 GHz DDR3 RAM, 1 TB SSD, a Haswell architecture Intel CPU with 4 Cores and 8 Threads model i7-4870HQ @ 2.50GHz.
        Intel Iris Pro GPU with Built-in Bus, VRAM 1.5 GB, Display 2880 x 1800 Retina, 24-Bit color.
        macOS Monterey; browsers: Waterfox "Current", Vivaldi and (now and then) Chrome; security apps. Intego AV

        2 users thanked author for this post.
      • #227799

        Some cafes are banning wi-fi to encourage conversation

        As the gig economy grows, many cafes have become filled with people silently working on laptops. Some owners are trying to buck this trend.

        By Elle Metz | 27 February 2017

        “Deprived of these places,” Oldenburg writes, “people remain lonely within their crowds. The only predictable social consequence of technological advancement is that they will grow ever more apart from one another.”

        Spots where people can unplug are a public necessity, Excell says. “There’s something sacred about genuine conversation.”

        Read the full article here

        4 users thanked author for this post.
    • #227808

      @susan   <3 Hear Hear,, so good of you to do some reflecting

      * _ being 20 in the 70's was fun _ *
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