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Thread: Does Having Live Mics in Your Home Bother You?

  1. #31
    Quote Originally Posted by John K Jordan View Post
    Black tape blends in better with my the black bezel on my laptop.
    I've turned my microphone and camera off in the BIOS. Pretty sure it can't be activated unless allowed in the BIOS. But I've searched and not found a definite answer. You would have to go through a boot cycle to reinitialize the BIOS with new settings. And if my computer did an unrequested boot I'd be suspicious. I check on it every once in a while to make sure the settings are off. I've checked with online sites that activate the camera and microphone to test them and they say those devices do not exist on my system. So I'm pretty confident they are non accessible from the outside world.

    My phone on the other hand is on 24/7. And even if not on it is still powered and I've been told the microphone can be activated even with the phone in the off condition. I can no longer remove my battery so it can never be off off off. Best you can do is put it into a Faraday bag and put it into a box.

  2. #32
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    Anyone ever have Siri on your phone turn on by accident? I had phone in pants pocket once, when Siri scolded me " Stan, watch your language!".

    I did some research for a class, on the legal use of license plate readers. There's actually a lot of academic research papers on the subject. I learned that the main users of this technology are auto repo services and debt collectors. They like to cruise the parking lot at Wal-marts, looking for plates of people they're looking for. Not making that up.

  3. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Julie Moriarty View Post
    The TV remote has a live mic. Our smartphones have live mics. Our computers have live mics, and live cams. And then there's inviting Alexa, or whatever device one chooses, into your home.

    Why do I keep thinking of Big Brother?
    No. I don't worry about like this.
    Last edited by Bruce Page; 01-16-2019 at 2:06 PM.

  4. #34
    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Henderson View Post



    Cell phone cameras have brought a lot of "light" to acts that would have gone unpunished or unreported in the past. Look at the Rodney King beating that was videotaped. The cops would likely have said that he fell down while trying to escape.

    Mike
    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Rozmiarek View Post

    Question for you guys that are ok with this for the sake of security, what if the cameras catch you breaking a law you didn't even know existed? There are so many, I'll bet we all break one periodically. Add an ideological enemy in control of the camera, and you just became a criminal. Don't commit a crime? With all the data, it'd be simple to make anyone appear to be a criminal with a little selective editing. Pretty easy to go full Orwell from there...
    I can see both sides of the argument. Yes, there's a general attitude that more security is always better. However the Rodney King example makes a separate point that Mike may not have intended - that is, that police power can be abused.
    If surveillance and other types of technology eventually become a near inescapable blanket of power in the name of security and crime fighting, history teaches us that it can be abused by those in control of it, if they are not held in check in some way.
    I guess it's each person's decision as to where they might balance the desire for security against their personal freedoms and rights.

  5. #35
    Re: turning off your GPS app... all that does is stop YOU from knowing where your phone is/has been. Doesn't stop others- The ONLY way to keep ANY cell phone, smart or not, from being tracked is to remove its battery. Just turning off older phones may be sufficient, but not the newer ones. That microphone thing, among others...

    Re: social media ie FB, Twitter, Instagram, etc... Pretty much the root of all evil IMO. We have a DIL that hasn't spoken to us for 2 years over pics my stepson put on FB from a 'family' lunch gathering at Golden Corral. She posted up how it was "a slap in the face' that SHE wasn't invited. She didn't even bother to notice the family members were all my wife's family, not mine/hers. My one and only FB post was explaining exactly what I thought about that slap in the face. How dare I?


  6. #36
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    So they knew I was at a building where orthopedic surgeons have their offices because I had my phone with me. But how did they know about the knee brace?
    Was there a credit card involved?

    My wife does a lot of internet shopping using her iPad. The ads popping up on my screen seem to reflect what she has been purchasing.

    jtk
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

  7. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stan Calow View Post
    Anyone ever have Siri on your phone turn on by accident? I had phone in pants pocket once, when Siri scolded me " Stan, watch your language!".
    Then tell it to stop turning on vibrate mode.

  8. #38
    I avoid this at all cost. No smart home devices welcome. I turn the mics off of the phones. Itís impossible to avoid all of it but I welcome none of it.

  9. #39
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    Yep, absolutely. And Iíll wager a small amount that I have not even thought of all of them.
    "Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity" - anon

  10. #40
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    I don't think it is impossible to avoid this stuff but do you want to as to do so takes away convenience that we have grown accustomed to. I was given one of the Amazon speaker things and I have never plugged it in as I doubt it would make my life easier so why bother. I have a mobile phone which is on a $10 a year plan and I never use it all, the thing sits buried in my car in case I need it for an emergency. It has taken some years to convince family and friends that it is a waste of time ringing me on it as I simply do not answer it unless I happen to be in the car when it rings. My personal hatred of mobile phones grew out of my last job before I retired, I carried two for work and my personal phone and that put me off them for life.
    Chris

    Everything I like is either illegal, immoral or fattening

  11. #41
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    I have an Amazon Echo given me by my family for Christmas a couple years back in my shop. I use it to listen to books on tape and music. The voice control is handy when it works - I can easily pause a book when I am going to turn on a machine, and resume it when I go back to hand work. That's all I use it for, other than maybe occasionally asking it what time it is. It also provides occasional random amusement. Sounds in the shop will occassionally trigger it to let me know it doesn't understand what I'm asking, and when I'm listening it not infrequently hears it's own voice as a trigger (mine responds to "computer" rather than "Alexa") and then tries to answer itself. I should start a list of the definitions it's looked up and read for me. Since I'm always by myself in my shop, and I don't talk to myself, the device leads a boring life.

    I also have an Amazon Dot and a Google Home device I've been given by various people. They are still new in the box - never unpacked them. I won't have one in my home. Have also disabled the mic and location services on all my phone apps. I turn them on if I have use for them (hardly ever for the mic, other than the actual phone use of it, when I need directions for location).

    I also have real concerns about phone-mic applications in the workplace. More than one conversation about Google at work has been interrupted by a colleagues smart phone chiming in, when it detected the Google Assistant trigger word. I know we don't want our confidential and patient conversations being listened to by such apps casually left on, or criminal hacks on somebody's phone.

    That said, we're building medical voice applications for both the Google and Amazon devices at work. There is significant demand for them from our patients, and I know many older patients who find the idea of being able tell Alexa to "call <insert child's name>" or "call 911" if they fall or injure themselves a real comfort. There are reasons to make this work.

    Ultimately we need much better privacy regulation so that any non-intended (that is, non-opt-in) use of the data scanned by such devices is strictly forbidden.

  12. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lee Schierer View Post
    I wish you would speak up, it is hard for all of us to hear you.
    Sorry, I had my thumb on the mic.
    ďTravel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness..." - Mark Twain

    Diapers and Politicians need to be changed often... Usually for the same reason.

  13. #43
    When planning a huge bank heist, I always speak in Pig Latin.

  14. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by John K Jordan View Post
    Black tape blends in better with my the black bezel on my laptop.
    Put a bit of paper directly over the camera and black tape over that. Putting tape directly on the camera could leave adhesive on the tiny lens which may not matter until someone wants to use the camera.

  15. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Demuth View Post
    Since I'm always by myself in my shop, and I don't talk to myself, the device leads a boring life.
    .
    It needs a hobby, a paper route,....something.....

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