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(Computerworld)   Webcam software maker says that spying on naked school children should be left to the professionals   (computerworld.com) divider line 114
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12232 clicks; posted to Main » on 23 Feb 2010 at 11:16 AM (4 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2010-02-23 10:20:01 AM
pic.phyrefile.com
 
2010-02-23 11:03:09 AM
2.bp.blogspot.com
 
2010-02-23 11:17:58 AM
Says you.
 
2010-02-23 11:19:17 AM
The professionals also know partially clothed is sexier.
 
2010-02-23 11:20:35 AM
dirty
 
2010-02-23 11:21:42 AM
I'm trying to envision what was going through the head of the school administration when they approved this. Secretly turning on the webcam of underage students while they have it in their bedroom? Nah there can't be anything wrong with that.
 
2010-02-23 11:23:02 AM
i758.photobucket.com
 
2010-02-23 11:23:21 AM
lelio: I'm trying to envision what was going through the head of the school administration when they approved this. Secretly turning on the webcam of underage students while they have it in their bedroom? Nah there can't be anything wrong with that.

You obviously haven't spent much time around school administrators.
 
2010-02-23 11:24:01 AM
lelio: I'm trying to envision what was going through the head of the school administration when they approved this. Secretly turning on the webcam of underage students while they have it in their bedroom? Nah there can't be anything wrong with that.

Or being at that round table discussion when someone threw this idea out there and not one administrator said "lol, wut?"
 
2010-02-23 11:24:05 AM
Someone from the school district is now saying that they only took 42 pictures.
 
2010-02-23 11:24:16 AM
There is a kid toucher involved here somewhere, I tells ya.
 
2010-02-23 11:24:33 AM
Paging Dr.Bradley
 
2010-02-23 11:25:46 AM
Yes, it should be left up to the gov't: They possess the world's largest CP collection and know how to handle themselves!
 
2010-02-23 11:27:05 AM
The internet is full of monsters, we need more government control.
 
2010-02-23 11:29:15 AM
FTA: Absolute would ship an update in the next several weeks that will permanently disable Theft Track

I love it when something I purchased is retroactively taken away. The company should stop marketing the software, and leave the existing products as is.
 
2010-02-23 11:36:58 AM
... only to recover lost or missing laptops.

... an assistant principal accused him of selling drugs after seeing him holding what he said was Mike and Ike candy in front of his school-issued Apple MacBook


Which is it? If the laptop wasn't lost or stolen why would the assistant principal have seen an image of him? It will be interesting to see what happens and how many people get fired.
 
2010-02-23 11:38:48 AM
I don't know what's worse: the school remotely activating the cameras to spy on underage kids, or the fact that the school district has issued Macbooks to all the kids, thereby setting them on the path to being full-blown entitled little hipster snowflake douche-tards.

HotWingConspiracy: There is a kid toucher involved here somewhere, I tells ya.

If there's not now, there soon will be.
 
2010-02-23 11:40:46 AM
h2oincfs: I don't know what's worse: the school remotely activating the cameras to spy on underage kids, or the fact that the school district has issued Macbooks to all the kids, thereby setting them on the path to being full-blown entitled little hipster snowflake douche-tards.

Mac's been doing this school issue laptop thing for years and from what I understand are more giving to school districts than most other computer companies.
 
2010-02-23 11:41:41 AM
How about, no civilians have the right to spy on anyone, we could enact that rule. That way if we have to spy on everyone, it's like martial law.
 
2010-02-23 11:46:47 AM
KatjaMouse: h2oincfs: I don't know what's worse: the school remotely activating the cameras to spy on underage kids, or the fact that the school district has issued Macbooks to all the kids, thereby setting them on the path to being full-blown entitled little hipster snowflake douche-tards.

Mac's been doing this school issue laptop thing for years and from what I understand are more giving to school districts than most other computer companies.


Eh, I was just trying to fit in.
 
2010-02-23 11:47:09 AM
Soon there will be no privacy anywhere, not even your own home. O mighty sky wizard what the hell is this farking world coming to?
 
2010-02-23 11:48:55 AM
Makh: How about, no civilians have the right to spy on anyone, we could enact that rule. That way if we have to spy on everyone, it's like martial law.

Sure, but it has to be worded so it doesn't conflict with my right to record what I see out of my kitchen window or record my own phone conversations (which is illegal in many places).

Many police forces have tried legal means to suppress recordings of their activities.
 
2010-02-23 11:50:39 AM
HairBolus: Makh: How about, no civilians have the right to spy on anyone, we could enact that rule. That way if we have to spy on everyone, it's like martial law.

Sure, but it has to be worded so it doesn't conflict with my right to record what I see out of my kitchen window or record my own phone conversations (which is illegal in many places).

Many police forces have tried legal means to suppress recordings of their activities.


So many sexual harassment cases have gotten so much more interesting w/ people using the record feature on their cellphones now.
 
2010-02-23 11:51:56 AM
Were any of the kids hot?
 
2010-02-23 11:55:13 AM
Has anyone noted that is none of the school's farking business what kids do in their own homes?
 
Biv
2010-02-23 11:55:40 AM
HairBolus: Someone from the school district is now saying that they only took 42 pictures.

Oh, so that was the question.
 
2010-02-23 11:57:05 AM
Thank FSM I'm a professional!
 
2010-02-23 12:00:14 PM
KatjaMouse: lelio: I'm trying to envision what was going through the head of the school administration when they approved this. Secretly turning on the webcam of underage students while they have it in their bedroom? Nah there can't be anything wrong with that.

Or being at that round table discussion when someone threw this idea out there and not one administrator said "lol, wut?"


I think we talked about this event just the other day. I am still face palming that they thought this was remotely appropriate.

Had no administrators ever heard of ceiling cat?
 
2010-02-23 12:00:17 PM
This software sounds pretty damn cool though, I think I'll start installing it everywhere.
 
2010-02-23 12:01:05 PM
Quoted from Administrators Meeting

"Lets all hold hands and pray to Satan, then we turn on the spy cameras."
 
2010-02-23 12:11:16 PM
Biv- I see what you did there.
 
2010-02-23 12:12:06 PM
HairBolus: Makh: How about, no civilians have the right to spy on anyone, we could enact that rule. That way if we have to spy on everyone, it's like martial law.

Sure, but it has to be worded so it doesn't conflict with my right to record what I see out of my kitchen window or record my own phone conversations (which is illegal in many places).

Many police forces have tried legal means to suppress recordings of their activities.


Yes, sorry, I mean that in relation to the above example with the school or placing bugs in a private home. I fully believe, public activity is fair game which is why the police trying to stop others from recording what they do in public is also a shame and alarming.
 
2010-02-23 12:12:10 PM
Jument: ... only to recover lost or missing laptops.

... an assistant principal accused him of selling drugs after seeing him holding what he said was Mike and Ike candy in front of his school-issued Apple MacBook

Which is it? If the laptop wasn't lost or stolen why would the assistant principal have seen an image of him? It will be interesting to see what happens and how many people get fired.


It's also hard to believe that the "one time" they activated the remote camera, they just happened to catch the student supposedly doing something illegal.
 
2010-02-23 12:13:22 PM
prekrasno: Has anyone noted that is none of the school's farking business what kids do in their own homes?

img.photobucket.com
 
2010-02-23 12:13:41 PM
So much unrestrained chaos online. It's like the internet is for something, but I can't quite think of it.

/Why I think the net was born? Something. Something. Something.
 
2010-02-23 12:15:49 PM
NutWrench: It's also hard to believe that the "one time" they activated the remote camera, they just happened to catch the student supposedly doing something illegal.

This.

Part of me hopes that the candy he was eating is painfully, obviously candy in the pictures, too.
 
2010-02-23 12:18:04 PM
Snarcoleptic_Hoosier: So much unrestrained chaos online. It's like the internet is for something, but I can't quite think of it.

/Why I think the net was born? Something. Something. Something.


Is is bacon? I bet it's bacon!
 
2010-02-23 12:18:23 PM
KatjaMouse:
Mac's been doing this school issue laptop thing for years and from what I understand are more giving to school districts than most other computer companies.


Giving them? I find that hard to believe. Maybe cutting a generous deal is more likely.

This is why the U.S. spends the most on education for the least return.
 
2010-02-23 12:19:52 PM
When the software is used to copy DVD's of Music the Mfg. of the software is who gets taken to Court, ie 321 Software. Should the same rules apply to Child Pron enablers??
 
2010-02-23 12:21:35 PM
As TFA states, "This computer's been stolen" is insufficient reason to activate the webcam-a company manages that function with the software and starts with a police report. You can't just turn it on any time you want to.

I'm going to assume a couple of things here-there's some significant gang/drug-related activity at this school, and/or the school admins have got at least two pedos on staff. And at least one megalomaniac (part of the job description for a school admin).

Wasn't there a school a decade or so back in PA where the school admin was locking kids up or strip-searching them and claiming he could do it because the school was private property and therefore not part of the US of A?

/at least one person is going to pedo-happyland (PMITA), probably the poor IT guy
 
2010-02-23 12:31:22 PM
HairBolus: Someone from the school district is now saying that they only took committed 42 pictures felonies.

FTFY
 
2010-02-23 12:31:29 PM
If you don't want to be spied on by your school-issued mac, electrical tape will work just fine.
 
2010-02-23 12:31:32 PM
probably the poor IT guy

better
 
2010-02-23 12:32:03 PM
Does Meghan Fox have one of these computers in her bedroom?
 
2010-02-23 12:42:18 PM
crazywisdom_uk: /at least one person is going to pedo-happyland (PMITA), probably the poor IT guy

"Poor"? If ANYONE in this ridiculous story should have known better it was the IT guy. School administrators can get a pass for being slightly more sentient than clods of dirt, but a computer geek should have seen this truckload of shiatstorm coming from miles away.
 
2010-02-23 12:45:09 PM
crazywisdom_uk: As TFA states, "This computer's been stolen" is insufficient reason to activate the webcam-a company manages that function with the software and starts with a police report. You can't just turn it on any time you want to.

You misread the article. That's Lo-Jack. The school is using LanRev.
 
2010-02-23 12:49:49 PM
Makh: How about, no civilians have the right to spy on anyone, we could enact that rule. That way if we have to spy on everyone, it's like martial law.

How about no anybody has the right to violate the privacy of anybody. In particular the government has no right to violate the private sphere, in any way, without specific evidence of wrongdoing and a warrant signed by a judge.
 
2010-02-23 12:49:49 PM
NutWrench: Jument: ... only to recover lost or missing laptops.

... an assistant principal accused him of selling drugs after seeing him holding what he said was Mike and Ike candy in front of his school-issued Apple MacBook

Which is it? If the laptop wasn't lost or stolen why would the assistant principal have seen an image of him? It will be interesting to see what happens and how many people get fired.

It's also hard to believe that the "one time" they activated the remote camera, they just happened to catch the student supposedly doing something illegal.


According to my daughter, who is a LMSD student, the young man in question misplaced his original school-issued laptop and the school gave him a loaner which was not to be removed from school grounds until the original was found. He forgot about that particular provision and took the loaner home. Once he left the school grounds, the GPS in the computer flagged the loaner as stolen, and hilarity ensued.
 
2010-02-23 12:49:50 PM
Guysmiley: crazywisdom_uk: /at least one person is going to pedo-happyland (PMITA), probably the poor IT guy

"Poor"? If ANYONE in this ridiculous story should have known better it was the IT guy. School administrators can get a pass for being slightly more sentient than clods of dirt, but a computer geek should have seen this truckload of shiatstorm coming from miles away.


The IT guys probably did see it coming, but the clods of dirt call the shots. Schadenfreude is a mean biatch sometimes...
 
2010-02-23 12:50:56 PM
As someone who is originally from PA I am so not getting a kick out of this
 
2010-02-23 12:54:07 PM
Reminds me of something I read in Snowcrash.
 
2010-02-23 12:58:25 PM
Sun Khan: NutWrench: Jument: ... only to recover lost or missing laptops.

... an assistant principal accused him of selling drugs after seeing him holding what he said was Mike and Ike candy in front of his school-issued Apple MacBook

Which is it? If the laptop wasn't lost or stolen why would the assistant principal have seen an image of him? It will be interesting to see what happens and how many people get fired.

It's also hard to believe that the "one time" they activated the remote camera, they just happened to catch the student supposedly doing something illegal.

According to my daughter, who is a LMSD student, the young man in question misplaced his original school-issued laptop and the school gave him a loaner which was not to be removed from school grounds until the original was found. He forgot about that particular provision and took the loaner home. Once he left the school grounds, the GPS in the computer flagged the loaner as stolen, and hilarity ensued.


Is this The Official Administrative Story, or scuttlebutt from the kids?
 
2010-02-23 01:00:12 PM
KatjaMouse: h2oincfs: I don't know what's worse: the school remotely activating the cameras to spy on underage kids, or the fact that the school district has issued Macbooks to all the kids, thereby setting them on the path to being full-blown entitled little hipster snowflake douche-tards.

Mac's been doing this school issue laptop thing for years and from what I understand are more giving to school districts than most other computer companies.


I question the more giving than other companies part, however I recall a couple of years back when Bill Gates donated PC's to some schools, certain people were complaining that he did so in order to indoctrinate students to his system. Couldn't Apple be accused of doing the same?
 
2010-02-23 01:11:42 PM
This whole issue can be fixed (and probably already was by most of the parents who saw the laptop had a webcam) by placing a small piece of black electricians tape over the lens.
 
2010-02-23 01:13:38 PM
crazywisdom_uk: Wasn't there a school a decade or so back in PA where the school admin was locking kids up or strip-searching them and claiming he could do it because the school was private property and therefore not part of the US of A?

Hey, according to Clarence Thomas, it's A-OK for school officials to strip-search kids looking for a tablet of aspirin.
 
2010-02-23 01:16:11 PM
bighairyguy: lelio: I'm trying to envision what was going through the head of the school administration when they approved this. Secretly turning on the webcam of underage students while they have it in their bedroom? Nah there can't be anything wrong with that.

You obviously haven't spent much time around school administrators.


Came to say this. There is no creature on the planet with a bigger ego than a school administrator. They ALL think the constitution, all laws (federal, state, and local), and parental rights end the moment the kid enrolls in their school. I hope the FBI locks this bunch up just to set an example for the rest.DaddyRat: Guysmiley: crazywisdom_uk: /at least one person is going to pedo-happyland (PMITA), probably the poor IT guy

"Poor"? If ANYONE in this ridiculous story should have known better it was the IT guy. School administrators can get a pass for being slightly more sentient than clods of dirt, but a computer geek should have seen this truckload of shiatstorm coming from miles away.

The IT guys probably did see it coming, but the clods of dirt call the shots. Schadenfreude is a mean biatch sometimes...


Not this time. Well before the shait hit the fan, the IT guy was conducting seminars showing off his 007-like abilities - clips of which have been conveniently posted on the 'tubes.
 
2010-02-23 01:17:14 PM
OtherLittleGuy: Is this The Official Administrative Story, or scuttlebutt from the kids?

It's The Official Administrative Story as told by the kids. It makes some amount of sense, as otherwise I can't see how Harriton (our high school) could even remotely claim the laptop was stolen.
 
2010-02-23 01:19:34 PM
Memoryalpha: This whole issue can be fixed (and probably already was by most of the parents who saw the laptop had a webcam) by placing a small piece of black electricians tape over the lens.

Duct tape in always-stylish battleship grey here. Because if you can't fix it with duct tape, it just can't be fixed.
 
2010-02-23 01:21:03 PM
Latinwolf: I question the more giving than other companies part, however I recall a couple of years back when Bill Gates donated PC's to some schools, certain people were complaining that he did so in order to indoctrinate students to his system. Couldn't Apple be accused of doing the same?

*shrug* They are doing the same. The problem is, in the real world where people try to make money, no one uses brand new macs. We all use 8 year old PC's, because that's whats cheap. Why spend 4x the $ on a mac and then be forced to make it emulate a PC anyway?

Macs arent bad machines but ... meh. Not worth the $ except for a certain few groups of folks.
 
2010-02-23 01:22:13 PM
The problem is most educators are lazy mouth breathers. I would have to say 10% are insane, 50% incompetent, somewhere between 35 and 30% mediocre at best. Maybe 5-10% are worth their salt. Administrators are simply the morons that couldn't hack teaching.

Where else could one find a job working 7 hours a day, never get fired and have 1/3 of the year off. I would love to see these people try to exist in the private sector.
 
2010-02-23 01:23:28 PM
Sun Khan: Memoryalpha: This whole issue can be fixed (and probably already was by most of the parents who saw the laptop had a webcam) by placing a small piece of black electricians tape over the lens.

Duct tape in always-stylish battleship grey here. Because if you can't fix it with duct tape, it just can't be fixed.


Well if one must use duct tape, go with gaffers tape it comes in many colors, or if you've got a yin for the mil spec stuff go with hundred-mile-an-hour-tape. (if it's good enough to tape things to the outside side of a c141 for use after landing it's good enough for just about anything) Anyway, cover the lens and issue ceases to exist.
 
2010-02-23 01:24:12 PM
KatjaMouse: h2oincfs: I don't know what's worse: the school remotely activating the cameras to spy on underage kids, or the fact that the school district has issued Macbooks to all the kids, thereby setting them on the path to being full-blown entitled little hipster snowflake douche-tards.

Mac's been doing this school issue laptop thing for years and from what I understand are more giving to school districts than most other computer companies.


That's pretty much the Microsoft way.

People get exposed to the software/hardware when they don't use anything, but due to it becoming what they are used to, they follow up once they get older and start buying stuff.

It worked for Word, and that's how WordPerfect got blasted into almost oblivion even though it's 10x better (and less expensive).
 
2010-02-23 01:33:08 PM
So they were using lanREV huh? I haven't got a chance to use that software yet, but I do have the Casper Suite at work. Interesting enough, it seems Absolute is disabling that feature, which they probably just used the open source CLI to begin with, and this would make sense that it would phone home over the net through client based software, thus bypassing routers.
 
2010-02-23 01:44:21 PM
Latinwolf: KatjaMouse: h2oincfs: I don't know what's worse: the school remotely activating the cameras to spy on underage kids, or the fact that the school district has issued Macbooks to all the kids, thereby setting them on the path to being full-blown entitled little hipster snowflake douche-tards.

Mac's been doing this school issue laptop thing for years and from what I understand are more giving to school districts than most other computer companies.

I question the more giving than other companies part, however I recall a couple of years back when Bill Gates donated PC's to some schools, certain people were complaining that he did so in order to indoctrinate students to his system. Couldn't Apple be accused of doing the same?


To be "fair" Apple isn't a monopoly. Thus the difference I assume but we know what assuming equals.
 
2010-02-23 01:47:16 PM
I work in academia, in a 1:1 with all Macbooks. I have the same set up as the PA school did. We do not spy on kids via the camera, but I definitely have built and scripted tools that will screen capture the desktop at the directors of the ed center's request.

I can tell you right now IT doesn't make the calls. Here goes a typical school year for me.

Some director - "Oh hey, we bought this digital classroom book we want installed on all the laptops."

Me - "OK has anyone tested it out, and did we buy a site license?"

SD - "Uh, no I just bought 5 copies."

Me - "Well I can only put it on 5 computers then, legally."

SD - "Well can you just make it work and then I will buy more copies"

me - "OK well hold off on buying it just yet, it may not be what we are looking for or it may not work."

About a day or two passes and I am trying to package up this software that they already purchased and test it for deployment, so when they finally buy the licenses I can just push it out over the network.

First problem - Software requires the CD or DVD and I am not about to pass out 6,000 CDs to students, let alone burn copies for back ups

Second Problem - DRM, I have to authenticate a license online, which is unique to the machine. So, it ain't easy to package up and deploy across the board.

Third problem - The developers of said products are farking idiots and can't answer any of my questions

Then when I report back to the person saying we really can't use it and should look at a better solution, they say, "OH well I just purchased 6,000 copies the CDs should be in next week."

Then I say, fark my life silently so I don't get fired.
 
2010-02-23 01:55:00 PM
I am rarely surprised by stupidity anymore, but school administrators seem to come up with more new ways of being absolutely farking retarded than any other profession.
 
2010-02-23 01:58:20 PM
I never met a college kid who wasn't a Mac geek right up until he had to buy his own computer.
 
2010-02-23 02:07:33 PM
grizzlyjohnson: I never met a college kid who wasn't a Mac geek right up until he had to buy his own computer.

Why? Apple offers student discounts and they also offer college loans where the cost of a discounted laptop is included in your tuition and becomes part of your student loan which you have a lifetime to pay off. Plus most major universities have an Apple store in campus.
 
2010-02-23 02:09:16 PM
TheWizard: I love it when something I purchased is retroactively taken away. The company should stop marketing the software, and leave the existing products as is.

They want to sell the service model because they want the recurring revenue, not cause they give a shiat at all about this case. This quote is the most laughable part:

The idea that police would be able, or willing, to follow up on individuals' reports that they had located their laptop is unsupportable. "Someone says, 'I think my laptop is here,' but that could just send the police on a wild goose chase."

They are able and willing, if you know what you're doing and know how to collect evidence. This guy just wants you paying his annual subscription fees.
 
2010-02-23 02:10:13 PM
grizzlyjohnson: I never met a college kid who wasn't a Mac geek right up until he had to buy his own computer.

I was born and raised on pc gaming, before, during and after college.
 
2010-02-23 02:18:45 PM
drunkenmidnight:
Then when I report back to the person saying we really can't use it and should look at a better solution, they say, "OH well I just purchased 6,000 copies the CDs should be in next week."

Then I say, fark my life silently so I don't get fired.


I sympathize-been there. Document, document, document-then when the shiat hits the fan because some idjit bought 6000 CDs for shiat that doesn't work, you'll be able to point to your documentation and not get nailed.

/as much
 
2010-02-23 02:21:50 PM
crazywisdom_uk: drunkenmidnight:
Then when I report back to the person saying we really can't use it and should look at a better solution, they say, "OH well I just purchased 6,000 copies the CDs should be in next week."

Then I say, fark my life silently so I don't get fired.

I sympathize-been there. Document, document, document-then when the shiat hits the fan because some idjit bought 6000 CDs for shiat that doesn't work, you'll be able to point to your documentation and not get nailed.

/as much


Well the great thing about my job is, my head boss knows that I work hard and do a good job. Example, right now I am imaging 15 macbooks, compiling a new image, creating a new assessment test software package, writing two scripts to automate a certain process and testing out some remote management settings.

I am also surfing the web and reading the news, and am really good at multi-taskng. The sad part is, I really do the job of about 4 different positions (sys admin, server admin, directory admin, package deployment, client management, image creation and deployment, and so forth) and some of my co-workers don't do jack.
 
2010-02-23 02:33:29 PM
So the story went from "just this once!" to "only 42 times!" ... 42. Heh. I wonder if that was a number the tech gave them as a joke.

The answer to everything!
 
2010-02-23 02:34:36 PM
KatjaMouse: h2oincfs: I don't know what's worse: the school remotely activating the cameras to spy on underage kids, or the fact that the school district has issued Macbooks to all the kids, thereby setting them on the path to being full-blown entitled little hipster snowflake douche-tards.

Mac's been doing this school issue laptop thing for years and from what I understand are more giving to school districts than most other computer companies.


My graduating class had school issued laptops, starting when we were freshmen. This was in 1992. And yes, they were macs. We were excited because the hard drives were a massive 40 MB.
 
2010-02-23 02:42:14 PM
If only there was some sort of technology to disable the camera on the laptop.
ecx.images-amazon.com
 
2010-02-23 02:48:21 PM
Sun Khan: OtherLittleGuy: Is this The Official Administrative Story, or scuttlebutt from the kids?

It's The Official Administrative Story as told by the kids. It makes some amount of sense, as otherwise I can't see how Harriton (our high school) could even remotely claim the laptop was stolen.


Or claim it turned it on to see. Otherwise, if it's the originally loaned laptop, get sunscreen and popcorn.

/cool story bro
 
2010-02-23 02:51:07 PM
drunkenmidnight: grizzlyjohnson: I never met a college kid who wasn't a Mac geek right up until he had to buy his own computer.

Why? Apple offers student discounts and they also offer college loans where the cost of a discounted laptop is included in your tuition and becomes part of your student loan which you have a lifetime to pay off. Plus most major universities have an Apple store in campus.


I grew up using Macs, picked up Windows experience in college, now that I work with both professionally, I'm switching back to Mac at home (have had a PC for years since college). Both platforms have strengths and weaknesses, and whether one or the other is better for you depends on what aps you want to run on them, and how much of a OS nazi for either side you are.
 
2010-02-23 02:51:31 PM
Sun Khan: According to my daughter, who is a LMSD student, the young man in question misplaced his original school-issued laptop and the school gave him a loaner which was not to be removed from school grounds until the original was found. He forgot about that particular provision and took the loaner home. Once he left the school grounds, the GPS in the computer flagged the loaner as stolen, and hilarity ensued.

Two things.

The loaner has a GPS which flagged it as stolen? Wouldn't GPS be a better way to find a stolen laptop than turning on the camera?

Student takes loaner off campus which makes the system think it's stolen so the first reaction of the administrator is to turn on the camera to see where it is? Wouldn't it be better to all up the boy and ask him if he's lost ANOTHER laptop?
 
2010-02-23 02:59:32 PM
Sun Khan: NutWrench: Jument: ... only to recover lost or missing laptops.

... an assistant principal accused him of selling drugs after seeing him holding what he said was Mike and Ike candy in front of his school-issued Apple MacBook

Which is it? If the laptop wasn't lost or stolen why would the assistant principal have seen an image of him? It will be interesting to see what happens and how many people get fired.

It's also hard to believe that the "one time" they activated the remote camera, they just happened to catch the student supposedly doing something illegal.

According to my daughter, who is a LMSD student, the young man in question misplaced his original school-issued laptop and the school gave him a loaner which was not to be removed from school grounds until the original was found. He forgot about that particular provision and took the loaner home. Once he left the school grounds, the GPS in the computer flagged the loaner as stolen, and hilarity ensued.


Interesting! That makes sense (within the confines of the story).

Of course, you still have the issue of what happens when you turn on a webcam on a "stolen" laptop and realize it isn't actually stolen and that you are effectively invading the privacy of a student? Do you a) immediately disable the webcam, b) re-consider the entire idea since accidental privacy invasions aren't cool, or c) attempt to use the images to discipline the student.
 
2010-02-23 03:04:02 PM
netringer: If only there was some sort of technology to disable the camera on the laptop.

Interestingly, the same technology can be used for reducing blur from the video subject moving around too much.
 
2010-02-23 03:08:39 PM
BizarreMan: The loaner has a GPS which flagged it as stolen? Wouldn't GPS be a better way to find a stolen laptop than turning on the camera?

Likely they noticed it wasn't in the rack it was supposed to be or something, so it was technically stolen. I'd say if this is the case, the outrage should be that the principal was going to punish him for anything more than taking a laptop he didn't have permission to take.

Jument: it isn't actually stolen

What's another word for taking something you don't have permission to? I think it's 'stolen'.
 
2010-02-23 03:09:39 PM
Everyone interested in this case should read this investigative article (new window).

This was not some accident, nor was it only used occasionally. The administration (or someone in it) was actively and knowingly spying on kids, the software company knew and encouraged it, and everyone is (hopefully) about to be farked.
 
2010-02-23 03:15:21 PM
All these people saying "Just tape over the camera lens"

Hey, you forgot the microphones, morons. If they can monitor video, they sure as hell can monitor AUDIO.

The proper thing to do is unscrew the bezel, unplug webcam and microphones, and reassemble the bezel.

N00bs.
 
2010-02-23 03:19:25 PM
Crotchrocket Slim: drunkenmidnight: grizzlyjohnson: I never met a college kid who wasn't a Mac geek right up until he had to buy his own computer.

Why? Apple offers student discounts and they also offer college loans where the cost of a discounted laptop is included in your tuition and becomes part of your student loan which you have a lifetime to pay off. Plus most major universities have an Apple store in campus.

I grew up using Macs, picked up Windows experience in college, now that I work with both professionally, I'm switching back to Mac at home (have had a PC for years since college). Both platforms have strengths and weaknesses, and whether one or the other is better for you depends on what aps you want to run on them, and how much of a OS nazi for either side you are.


Started off as a PC gamer when I was a kid in the early 90s. Learned how to use a modem from the command line to create dial up games of doom over the phone lines back in the day. Then I learned of Linux, then in 1999 I landed my first IT job.

Long story short, the Mac guy quit and my boss said, no more Mac guys. Now everyone here in IT is going to learn both Mac and PC. Been using both ever since. Prefer Macs, mainly because I do love a very robust command line and the Unix under the hood in OS X gives just that.

Plus, Windows doesn't even have multiple desktops, seriously, wtf?
 
rpm
2010-02-23 03:19:56 PM
drunkenmidnight: this would make sense that it would phone home over the net through client based software, thus bypassing routers.

Huh? If it's not on the same subnet, you ain't bypassing the router.
 
2010-02-23 03:21:47 PM
davidphogan: Jument: it isn't actually stolen
What's another word for taking something you don't have permission to? I think it's 'stolen'.


The student was apparently given a loaner laptop which he was not supposed to take off school grounds. He took it home. Does that make it stolen? If so, what kind of prison sentence do you think he should get for this theft?

It would be reasonable to call his house and ask him to return it. It would also be reasonable to revoke his laptop privilege for violating policy. It would not reasonable to call this a theft or to involve the police (unless he refused to return it, of course).
 
2010-02-23 03:29:17 PM
Gameshot911: Everyone interested in this case should read this investigative article (new window).

This was not some accident, nor was it only used occasionally. The administration (or someone in it) was actively and knowingly spying on kids, the software company knew and encouraged it, and everyone is (hopefully) about to be farked.


THIS. It sounds like they set the cameras up to take a picture everytime you turned on, or opened up, the laptop. In the article, it talks about how multiple students reported the webcam led randomly turning on. Sure, 1 person might have a camera glitch, but multiple people? LOL NO.
 
2010-02-23 03:37:16 PM
rpm: drunkenmidnight: this would make sense that it would phone home over the net through client based software, thus bypassing routers.

Huh? If it's not on the same subnet, you ain't bypassing the router.


It is client based, so it goes over HTTPS most likely, which is bypassing the side product of NAT which does not allow remote hosts to connect with out port forwarding.
 
2010-02-23 03:41:35 PM
Dragonhermit: Paging Dr.Bradley

Just awful!
 
2010-02-23 03:59:17 PM
JustGetItRight: bighairyguy: lelio: I'm trying to envision what was going through the head of the school administration when they approved this. Secretly turning on the webcam of underage students while they have it in their bedroom? Nah there can't be anything wrong with that.

You obviously haven't spent much time around school administrators.

Came to say this. There is no creature on the planet with a bigger ego than a school administrator. They ALL think the constitution, all laws (federal, state, and local), and parental rights end the moment the kid enrolls in their school. I hope the FBI locks this bunch up just to set an example for the rest


As a former HS teacher myself, I will absolutely attest to this. The only thing worse than helicopter parents are school administrators. Administrators have always been bad but after Columbine they got 400x worse. "Zero tolerance" just dovetailed so easily into the erosion of students' rights. They think that as long as a decision can somehow be defended by "we're doing it to protect the children!", it's justified.
 
2010-02-23 04:13:24 PM
grizzlyjohnson: I never met a college kid who wasn't a Mac geek right up until he had to buy his own computer.

I never worked on a Mac in my life. Ever.

And I worked for a sub-contractor for Apple from 1995-2000.
 
2010-02-23 04:37:37 PM
Jument: davidphogan: Jument: it isn't actually stolen
What's another word for taking something you don't have permission to? I think it's 'stolen'.

The student was apparently given a loaner laptop which he was not supposed to take off school grounds. He took it home. Does that make it stolen? If so, what kind of prison sentence do you think he should get for this theft?

It would be reasonable to call his house and ask him to return it. It would also be reasonable to revoke his laptop privilege for violating policy. It would not reasonable to call this a theft or to involve the police (unless he refused to return it, of course).


There were better courses of action, but taking something home with you that you don't own and don't have permission to take is pretty much the definition of stealing. I'm not saying he should go to jail for it, but it doesn't mean it didn't appear to be stolen to the district.
 
2010-02-23 05:02:58 PM
drunkenmidnight: I am also surfing the web and reading the news, and am really good at multi-taskng. The sad part is, I really do the job of about 4 different positions (sys admin, server admin, directory admin, package deployment, client management, image creation and deployment, and so forth) and some of my co-workers don't do jack.

If you have time to complain, then you're not keeping busy enough. Now, GTFBTW!
 
2010-02-23 05:04:44 PM
Every time I think my deep-seated hatred of school administrators is unduly harsh or judgmental, some shiat like this happens and reminds me that they are quite possibly the lowest form of life. Paid to bully teenagers around, and pull this kind of crap on top of it? Yeah, real tough guy, at least the guards at juvenile prisons face real threats.

/ Was not well liked by his vice principal
// In case it doesn't show :P
 
2010-02-23 05:10:37 PM
davidphogan: There were better courses of action, but taking something home with you that you don't own and don't have permission to take is pretty much the definition of stealing. I'm not saying he should go to jail for it, but it doesn't mean it didn't appear to be stolen to the district.

What does this have to do with getting punished for possession of Mike and Ike candies? The mother of one of the students was on television last night. She said that the laptop camera caught her son with what the school principal thought were drugs. They were Mike and Ike candies (which look like colored capsules if you don't look too closely). This image was captured at the students' home. The student wasn't accused of stealing the laptop. He was accused of abusing drugs.
 
2010-02-23 05:20:01 PM
Fark Me To Tears: drunkenmidnight: I am also surfing the web and reading the news, and am really good at multi-taskng. The sad part is, I really do the job of about 4 different positions (sys admin, server admin, directory admin, package deployment, client management, image creation and deployment, and so forth) and some of my co-workers don't do jack.

If you have time to complain, then you're not keeping busy enough. Now, GTFBTW!


But what if I aggregate everything into simplified RSS feeds and am still doing more work that others?
 
2010-02-23 05:42:45 PM
AgnosticAngles: Quoted from Administrators Meeting

"Lets all hold hands and pray to Satan, then we turn on the spy cameras."


I remember that episode. If it starts raining toads, I'm so out of here.

/Been nice working with you
 
2010-02-23 06:02:45 PM
thelovelytigger: As someone who is originally from PA I am so not getting a kick out of this

So what will your secret web-cam pics tell us?

/Hatboro-Horsham JHS, but in pre-computer days
 
2010-02-23 06:06:38 PM
Jument: Sun Khan: NutWrench: Jument: ... only to recover lost or missing laptops.

According to my daughter, who is a LMSD student, the young man in question misplaced his original school-issued laptop and the school gave him a loaner which was not to be removed from school grounds until the original was found. He forgot about that particular provision and took the loaner home. Once he left the school grounds, the GPS in the computer flagged the loaner as stolen, and hilarity ensued.

Interesting! That makes sense (within the confines of the story).

Of course, you still have the issue of what happens when you turn on a webcam on a "stolen" laptop and realize it isn't actually stolen


If the student took the laptop home in violation of the terms of the agreement, then by definition it was stolen.

Think of it this way, if a UPS driver took his truck on a joy-ride after work without permission, that vehicle is stolen. He has permission to drive it during work and on work business, but not after hours for his own purposes.
 
2010-02-23 07:29:12 PM
Came for the pics
/disappointed
 
2010-02-23 09:36:45 PM
Apple gives a 10% discount to individual students buying products that can prove they go to an "approved" university. Apple gives a 15% discount to a school/district buying in bulk.

So it's pretty easy to see how an Administrator would decide to go with Apple:

Principal: We're going 1:1 should we get Apple or PC?
IT Tech: What will the kids be doing?
Principal: You know, Word and internet.
IT Tech: We can get a PC netbook for $200.
Principal: What about Macintosh?
IT Tech: The cheapest Macbook is $1000- but Apple gives us 15% off, so $850.
Principal: So we save 15% by going with Apple?
IT Tech: Well, yeah, but not really...
Principal: I hope I get a bonus for my cost savings.
IT Tech: *bang* (gun hits the floor)
 
2010-02-23 10:05:00 PM
I know a guy who went to this school, and he remembers the Vice Principal in question (the one who allegedly showed the kid the webcam picture).

I don't want to Godwin the thread, so let's just say his description of her personality was... uncomplimentary.
 
2010-02-23 10:40:19 PM
mayotte: If the student took the laptop home in violation of the terms of the agreement, then by definition it was stolen.

Think of it this way, if a UPS driver took his truck on a joy-ride after work without permission, that vehicle is stolen. He has permission to drive it during work and on work business, but not after hours for his own purposes.


Whether the laptop was stolen doesn't really matter. Otherwise, you could legally spy on someone just by inducing them to "steal" a device with a hidden camera embedded in it.

Paparazzi + celeb scandal pics/vids, here we come!
 
2010-02-23 10:42:12 PM
Fark Me To Tears: What does this have to do with getting punished for possession of Mike and Ike candies? The mother of one of the students was on television last night. She said that the laptop camera caught her son with what the school principal thought were drugs. They were Mike and Ike candies (which look like colored capsules if you don't look too closely). This image was captured at the students' home. The student wasn't accused of stealing the laptop. He was accused of abusing drugs.

You moved the goal there. My original post was:

davidphogan: Likely they noticed it wasn't in the rack it was supposed to be or something, so it was technically stolen. I'd say if this is the case, the outrage should be that the principal was going to punish him for anything more than taking a laptop he didn't have permission to take.

So, whatever. The laptop appeared stolen, and the school investigated. You completely missed my point. The drugs weren't the issue, the theft of a laptop was. The photos were bad, but the kid stole a farking laptop, unless you want to change the definition of stealing from taking something you're not allowed to from someone else. If you borrow something you ask permission, otherwise you're stealing.

This kid farked up, and decided to file a lawsuit as a revenge for the principal being stupid. They're both assholes, one a thief, the other on a power trip. I'm not implying anything more than that.
 
2010-02-23 10:54:29 PM
Illidan: Whether the laptop was stolen doesn't really matter. Otherwise, you could legally spy on someone just by inducing them to "steal" a device with a hidden camera embedded in it.

Paparazzi + celeb scandal pics/vids, here we come!


CSB time: You can legally activate a web cam on a stolen computer. I've done it, at work, on the advice of a lawyer. An FBI agent and a California police officer both told me I was in the clear as well. I also installed keyloggers among other things.

We got our systems back, suspects were caught red-handed, etc. Since they were using stolen computers the first thing I did was file a police report before I ever logged in, and more than one PC was stolen. Once I found people familiar with Internet crimes every officer or lawyer I spoke to said I was in the clear to use the PC's to their fullest capabilities.

That's just a summary of the first time PC's were stolen from me. Here's my Slashdot post (new window) that got the FBI involved. They referred me to the CHP, and the CHP and FBI got them.

The best part was that I had their MySpace, email, etc from them using the system. The FBI/CHP located them due to license plates shown in MySpace pictures combined with the IP address with proof they were using hardwired (and not WiFi) based on the active MAC address. No doubt whatsoever.

That was just the first people that made my life inconvenient by stealing computers. The next guys were caught with a bunch of drugs and illegal weapons just outside LAX.

The school screwed up for going after him for more than they had proof of. They should have gone after him for stealing the laptop, but not criminally, just make sure he learns his lesson. Instead they went overboard and farked up. At the same time, don't steal computers. It's not that tough to not steal stuff.
 
2010-02-23 11:26:14 PM
davidphogan: You can legally activate a web cam on a stolen computer. I've done it, at work, on the advice of a lawyer. An FBI agent and a California police officer both told me I was in the clear as well. I also installed keyloggers among other things.

Question: You do this and the image pops up on your screen of an 8 yr old child, in their own bedroom, nekid. Are you guilty of child p0rn?

I submit that activating the web cam might not be necessary to locate the laptop. The IP address alone should give you a huge push towards getting it. Taking screen snapshots should be fine and might also give huge help. You likely grabbed their myspace without the web cam, so... why did you need the web cam?

Here's the thing, once that lappy is stolen, you cannot simply assume that whoever currently has it is the thief. The original thief might have sold it almost immediately and the current person holding it purchased it in good faith. That doesn't (or shouldn't) give you some sort of right to invade their privacy by taking web cam pictures of them. To allow this is a breathtaking violation of their rights. Go ahead and grab IP addresses, screen shots, GPS coordinates(if available), etc. But I'd suggest you don't activate the web cam unless you've got the cop sitting next to you with a court order in hand and you've exhausted every other possible course of action to locate the lappy.

// just my $.02
// Neither a lawyer, nor particularly bright.
 
2010-02-23 11:44:00 PM
remus: Question: You do this and the image pops up on your screen of an 8 yr old child, in their own bedroom, nekid. Are you guilty of child p0rn?

Not likely, that was not an intended response. There's a thing called intent which is typically needed to prove guilt in a case under our justice system.

remus: I submit that activating the web cam might not be necessary to locate the laptop. The IP address alone should give you a huge push towards getting it. Taking screen snapshots should be fine and might also give huge help. You likely grabbed their myspace without the web cam, so... why did you need the web cam?

It makes the case more solid if you want to prove who was using the stolen property, helping prove they were in possession. Otherwise you can blame friends/roommates/neighbors.

remus: Here's the thing, once that lappy is stolen, you cannot simply assume that whoever currently has it is the thief.

Who cares? Possession of stolen property is also a crime, and what at least one person was convicted of because we couldn't prove they committed the initial theft beyond a reasonable doubt. The MySpace tied her to the admitted thief, and the pictures proved she was the person using it.

remus: That doesn't (or shouldn't) give you some sort of right to invade their privacy by taking web cam pictures of them.

It does under the laws of the United States, so your opinion barely matters on the subject. Boo farking hoo, don't take stolen property from people, and don't steal from people. Not that tough.

remus: But I'd suggest you don't activate the web cam unless you've got the cop sitting next to you with a court order in hand and you've exhausted every other possible course of action to locate the lappy.

How about don't be in possession of a computer that I'm responsible to make sure is received and working for the customer who bought it?

remus: // Neither a lawyer, nor particularly bright.

No shiat, really? That's why I consulted real lawyers and law enforcement officials before doing a damn thing.
 
2010-02-24 12:50:12 AM
crazywisdom_uk: I'm going to assume a couple of things here-there's some significant gang/drug-related activity at this school, and/or the school admins have got at least two pedos on staff. And at least one megalomaniac (part of the job description for a school admin).

Given the remarkably rich and white background of Merion, Pennsylvania, draw your own conclusions.

Mind you, I still think the FBI got involved to make sure that a bunch of tenth graders are going to PMITA prison for eating Mike and Ikes and undressing in front of their laptops.
 
2010-02-24 12:54:39 AM
davidphogan: TheWizard: The idea that police would be able, or willing, to follow up on individuals' reports that they had located their laptop is unsupportable.

They are able and willing, if you know what you're doing and know how to collect evidence.


Please.

If you're lucky, they'll take a report by mail so you have a case number to give your insurance company.
 
2010-02-24 12:57:42 AM
fnordfocus: If you're lucky, they'll take a report by mail so you have a case number to give your insurance company.

Or you can recover over 90% of stolen systems if you figure out who to work with and how to do so. Or don't, unless it's my problem I don't really care.
 
2010-02-24 01:07:06 AM
davidphogan: fnordfocus: If you're lucky, they'll take a report by mail so you have a case number to give your insurance company.

Or you can recover over 90% of stolen systems if you figure out who to work with and how to do so. Or don't, unless it's my problem I don't really care.


If you live in a rich suburb, or your daddy's a cop, more power to you.
 
2010-02-24 03:06:45 AM
fnordfocus: If you live in a rich suburb, or your daddy's a cop, more power to you.

Read my posts above. That was working for a private business that had thefts. I was contacted by an FBI agent after a /. posting, who helped me learn who to contact. Every state has people who will take a simple case, like one where they have photos of the thief, the IP address they're using, evidence they're on a hardwired connection (and not stealing WiFi), and a police report showing that said system was stolen.

If you want to recover stolen computers most thieves I've run into are gang members or meth addicts. They're not even slightly tech savvy, and are willing to leave all kinds of traces anyone with any experience working with computers can find.

For the first few years I didn't have the right tools to make it work, but if you're serious about it you can typically recover a stolen computer within 2-3 days of the theft. My favorite recovery was a computer stolen from one hotel near LAX, plugged in at another in a guest room where the IT guy was happy to tell us what room it was in based on IP address, and get security to monitor the room until the LAPD made it there.

Maybe I'm just a freak though. I did find my own stolen car (new window) on Craigslist also. No bullshiat, that's me.
 
2010-02-24 04:04:42 AM
fark, I used to work for Absolute. Hell, I even browsed fark from their offices...
 
2010-02-24 10:50:39 AM
SophT: Apple gives a 10% discount to individual students buying products that can prove they go to an "approved" university. Apple gives a 15% discount to a school/district buying in bulk.

So it's pretty easy to see how an Administrator would decide to go with Apple:

Principal: We're going 1:1 should we get Apple or PC?
IT Tech: What will the kids be doing?
Principal: You know, Word and internet.
IT Tech: We can get a PC netbook for $200.
Principal: What about Macintosh?
IT Tech: The cheapest Macbook is $1000- but Apple gives us 15% off, so $850.
Principal: So we save 15% by going with Apple?
IT Tech: Well, yeah, but not really...
Principal: I hope I get a bonus for my cost savings.
IT Tech: *bang* (gun hits the floor)


The application of the technology is what they look at, and overall cost of ownership. Sure you could buy the cheapest shiattiest PC notebooks out there, but your overall cost of ownership would be higher because of all the support issues you would have with them. Plus, in a 1:1 you typically have in-house repair techs, that do warranty work in house and get reimbursed by the manufacturer for their work. Thus generating revenue to help mitigate the costs of out of warranty repairs.
 
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