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Is it possible to accidentally expose oneself on a Zoom call?   The Real You: Personality Poll

Started 10/19/20 by Showtalk; 956 views.

Poll Question From Showtalk


Is it possible to accidentally expose oneself on a Zoom call?
  • Yes5  votes
  • No4  votes
  • I don't think so2  votes
  • Only if drunk or out of one's mind5  votes
  • Other3  votes
I don't think so 
Only if drunk or out of one's mind 
In reply toRe: msg 1

From: Showtalk 


In reply toRe: msg 2

From: Showtalk 


This one calls it a “mishap”


From: kizmet1 


He sure has not aged too well. I would hate to see what the rest of him looks like.

Other. At least once i was able to stop laughing at the recklessly compulsive wanker.

One could pigeonhole it very loosely as "accidental" due to incredible naivete about the nature of web cameras, and not surprising for a typical technopeasant to be blissfully unaware that the only way to be sure a camera isn't broadcasting is to physically cover the lens.

However, I'd classify it more as incredibly reckless, and incredibly lacking in self-control, or maybe even the possibility of being discovered was intensely exciting to him, while thinking the camera was off while he was -ahem- getting off.

Now to the more technical end of things. I've seen many examples of cameras being either hacked or just left broadcasting by someone failing to close a video chat app, and with the number of known bugs in Zoom, such a situation of the camera remaining on when the user has a "reasonable expectation" that it is off, does not surprise me at all.

Then the camera in every notebook I've ever had is in the top of the screen frame. So if you tilt the screen partly towards you, to hide the screen, the camera can easily see right over the keyboard and over the edge of desk or table (since most people put the notebook right on the edge) and thus has a very clear view of whatever is going on down below.

I've had to do some teleconferences via computer during the pandemic. I cover the camera with blue painter's masking tape whenever not actually in use. I peel it off (it comes off clean) only when actually doing the conference, and cover it back up immediately at the end, partly because having tracked down leaking information over networks before, I'm much more acutely aware of exploits that can keep a camera quietly watching everything in its field of view for either a bad actor's voyeurism, or from actual bugs in the software.

And one of the theorems of software is "there's always one more bug."

Then, way back in the naughts, when the first built in cameras showed up in notebooks, I was helping someone work on a forensic case, and I met an FBI agent who had electrical tape over the lens on his own notebook. He said that cameras are one of the most easily hacked things on modern computers, and someone can learn an awful lot and compromise sensitive information by having a spying device built in.

This was before the Edward Snowden revelations, but I figured that if a federal agent was that paranoid, he knows a lot that maybe we mere peons who don't have a high security clearance or work on highly sensitive investigations don't know.

Also assume the microphone is also live. If you're handy with a screwdriver and soldering iron, and aren't intimidated with taking a notebook computer apart and messing with connectors on the motherboard, you can physically disconnect the internal microphone. You can even get a replacement plug and solder a 600 ohm resistor across the terminals and plug that in.

For the technopeasants that would be terrified at the thought of opening up a computer, you can plug in a dummy plug into the microphone jack on the computer. A real nerd can solder two 600 ohm resistors instead of wires to the plug terminals - one between the ring and sleeve (left channel) and one between tip and sleeve (right channel). Plug that in when not actually using the internal microphone, and someone who hacks into your computer (or a badly behaved app that doesn't always disconnect when you think it did) just hears the near complete silence of thermal electron noise in the resistors if they crank the gain way up to try and pick up any faint audio.

Or you can plug in a box such as a Raspberry Pi that has dozens of hours of pre-recorded audio that it plays in an endless loop, with proper patch cord attenuation. You can feed the audio of your choice - from white noise to annoying robocalls snagged from your voice mail, or even random digital data sent over a radio from the warbing on 137 mhz from weather satellites, the tweedle of radio teletype, the annoying fingernail over chalkboard sound of dozens of PSK-31 QSOs you can pick up on 14.070 mhz USB. Or even true white noise. Or maybe historical radio broadcasts, from FDR's "Day of infamy" to Armstrong stepping on the moon, or breaking news from KRLD of JFK's assassination, the Challenger explosion, the initial news as 9/11 unfolded. Or get some sound effects and assemble loud arguments, smashing things, horrible scream, a couple of gunshots - whatever fits your disturbed and twisted darker humor.

And if they access the camera, all they will see is darkness.

Hahahaha - "mishap".

hehehe hohoho <gasp><wheeze> <holding sides> <snort> hahahahaha.

Guess he had a shirt on to look presentable for the intended part of the conference. So it was semi-nude, just the lower half instead of the upper half - hahaha.

I never understood the mentality of compulsive wankers. And this is what popped into my head in between giggles and snorts.

"Mama walked in and she caught me one handed
Dreamin' 'bout the girl next door
Picture this I was workin' that gherkin'
Should have locked the bedroom door"

The supply of jokes at that schmuck's expense are practically endless.


From: Showtalk 


I don’t even want to think about it.


From: Showtalk 


I think he was drunk and stupid.  The camera can be tilted up so it’s over one’s head. Tilting it down is just stupid.  


From: Showtalk 


That’s now the issue. Who can ever take him seriously again? He had an affair with the daughter of another journalist while he was married and tried to pressure her into having an abortion.  He’s not smart at all for an attorney. Or for anyone.

Showtalk said:

I think he was drunk and stupid.

On either page, I didn't see any mention of alcohol or any text string that could be a synonym. But then, maybe the drive-by media for some reason knew but didn't say anything in print because it didn't fit some pre-defined narrative.

However, if he was drunk as well as stupid - since it's definitely a given that he was stupid - then drinking while on the job is what you see with a hard core alcoholic.

However there are other mind-altering substances that often seem to be an occupational hazard for those kind of people, as are an assortment of mental health issues.

Often they function for years with their demons barely kept below the surface and out of sight, until the day that they can't hold it any more and everything comes out.

Drunk, stupid, crazy, high. All of those could definitely play a role.