A "good enough" mom muses about alpha moms, adoption, computers, the State Of The World, Internet quirkiness, and the Kosmik All
Pop-up hell

All of us on Windoze machines have encountered it:  you spy an interesting ad on some website, hit the link, and suddenly pop-ups are blossoming like a million flowers on your screen.  You click and click and click, and, like a hydra, one window dispatched launches two new ones, until your screen is littered.

If you're lucky, you'll have hit a gambling pop-up link.  If you're unlucky, you'll hit a p0rn pop-up loop.  Your screen will fill with leetle images of leetle women with their legs asprawl, close-ups of men's dangly bits, tongues licking lips and other things.  Even an old lady like myself can be...um...shocked and awed by the array.

I've had it happen once or twice myself; I'm a tech-savvy person who growls, hits Ctl-Alt-Del, and kills whichever browser it is that has spawned the window hell.  (These days, of course, I've got pop-up killers running, so that if I want to see any pop-ups, I have to explicitly say so.)

I've also worked on a computer help desk for a medium-sized university.  There are people all across campus who are whizzes with Word, but when told to change their password haven't got the vaguest idea of how to do it.  There are people who can take electronic equipment apart in their sleep, but who, when faced with a computer, freak out. 

There's a whole herd of folks out in the world who, when confronted with pop-up hell, freeze.

Imagine you're someone who is a professional in the world, but who still needs help from your significant other to access your email and your favorite websites.  Imagine you're at your workplace.  Imagine you click an innocent-looking link to something like hairstyles.com.  Imagine your horror when it spawns fifty kazillion p0rnographic images.

Now imagine you're a substitute teacher, you're using the regular teacher's login, you've been told not to turn the computer off or log off, you were checking your email on your classroom computer, and there's a whole herd of 7th graders who are sitting on the other side of the computer from you.  You don't know what to do.  You dash off to the teacher's lounge to get help.  No-one will help you.

Then imagine that two days later, you're fired.

Then imagine that the police show up at your doorstep to arrest you for showing p0rnography to your students.

Then imagine you're tried.  Your forensics expert's testimony is severely curtailed due to a legal technicality.  You're convicted.  Imagine that you face up to 40 years in prison for this fiasco, and you've lost your license to teach.

Sounds crazy?  Sounds like the script for a satire?


Talk to Julie Amero.

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posted by Kate @ 2/05/2007 08:27:00 AM  
  • At 2/05/2007 04:41:00 PM, Blogger MomEtc. said…

    Thank god I don't work with kids because I might have been telling the same story. I'm one of those people in pop-up hell. I can get rid of some but I cannot get rid of them all. They reproduce when I'm not looking! They hide for a while, I think they are gone, and then they sleak back! I have a pop-up blocker which doesn't fully do the job. I have pop-ups shut off on my computer. I have cookies off. I don't know what else to do. Adnet and firstgoodsearch are the worst offenders. I continually ban them and they sneak back in! I know I don't have any viruses.

    BTW, I had a funny incident when I was seeing my shrink. She sits with her back to her computer and I face the screen. Po*rno pops up one day! She just laughed it off!

  • At 2/06/2007 02:07:00 PM, Blogger SBird said…

    I had not heard about this case. Wow. I'm stunned. Maybe I'm crazy, but this story dovetails for me with the whole controversy over vaccinating our 11-year-old daughters for HPV. We have such a weird relationship to sexuality in this country that we end up reacting when instead we should be THINKING more carefully.

    BTW, this describes me to a tee:

    "There are people all across campus who are whizzes with Word, but when told to change their password haven't got the vaguest idea of how to do it."


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Name: OmegaMom
Home: Southwest
About Me: Middle-aged mom of a 4-year-old adopted from China. Love science, debate, good SF and fantasy, hiking, music of almost every style. Lousy housekeeper. "Good enough" mom.
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