Why you shouldn't trust local news on technology



  • While TRWTF may very well be Patch.com itself, I have to say I can't remember ever reading an article from a "legitimate" news source that got it's topic as wrong as this one: http://norristown.patch.com/articles/avoid-mondays-dnschanger-internet-attack

    Wikipedia has a pretty good summary of the DNSChanger malware, but basically it changed infected PC settings to use rogue DNS servers resulting in ads being injected into the websites served back. The FBI seized all of the US DNS servers in 2011 and got a court order for the IP addresses of the rogue servers to point to legitimate DNS servers since so many people were affected. The court order ended Monday so naturally anyone still pointing to those DNS servers would run in to some issues after then.

    The article, apparently requiring not one but two authors to write with the assistance of some "IT experts" at a local PC repair shop, somehow interpreted this to mean:

    • There was an attack scheduled for Monday ("D-Day for your computer" in fact)
    • The DNS servers at those IPs being decommed will somehow "search out private information"
    • Users will be redirected to malicious sites starting Monday (according to the FBI)
    • A "domain name server" is "the unique address of your computing device"
    • The website the FBI set-up with instructions on how to remove the malware will be taken down at 12:01 on Monday



  • Local news is wrong about everything. Why should tech be any different?



  • Legitimate coverage of this story would be the sentence "If your internet goes out on Monday, call your ISP for help." The actual coverage is more like "OH MY GOD WE'RE ALL GOING TO DIE THERE ARE COOKIES IN THE INTERTUBES AND THEY CAN CYBERCHASE OUR GRANDPARENTS"



  • @bullrider718 said:

    The article, apparently requiring not one but two authors to write with the assistance of some "IT experts" at a local PC repair shop, somehow interpreted this to mean:

    • There was an attack scheduled for Monday ("D-Day for your computer" in fact)

    Yeah, I got a frantic phone call from my wife's father Sunday night, warning be about some sort of "malware" that he heard about on the news and that was supposed to do something really bad on Monday.  I didn't know what he was talking about till later when I saw an article about the DNS servers being shut down.

     



  • @Ben L. said:

    The actual coverage is more like "OH MY GOD WE'RE ALL GOING TO DIE THERE ARE COOKIES IN THE INTERTUBES AND THEY CAN CYBERCHASE OUR GRANDPARENTS"
    I wish the actual coverage was that coherent.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    Local news is wrong about everything. Why should tech be any different?
     

    It shouldn't. It honestly shouldn't. But where people would sneer at inaccuracies in news, all bets are off when it comes to tech.

    Where technology is involved, many intelligent and reasonable people take an instant hit on the Bong of Cluelessness:

    • one particular application failing on a single machine is described as "the system's down! Nothing works!"
    • the words "paper out" or "toner empty" on a printer have no meaning to the reader
    • a new package that won't achieve their aims instantly is described as a "stupid thing" and is never down to their lack of training and familiarisation

    @El_Heffe said:

    Yeah, I got a frantic phone call from my
    wife's father Sunday night, warning be about some sort of "malware" that
    he heard about on the news and that was supposed to do something really
    bad on Monday. 

    Aaaaaannd... there it is.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @Cassidy said:

    @blakeyrat said:

    Local news is wrong about everything. Why should tech be any different?
     

    It shouldn't. It honestly shouldn't. But where people would sneer at inaccuracies in news, all bets are off when it comes to tech.

    Where technology is involved, many intelligent and reasonable people take an instant hit on the Bong of Cluelessness:

    • one particular application failing on a single machine is described as "the system's down! Nothing works!"
    • the words "paper out" or "toner empty" on a printer have no meaning to the reader
    • a new package that won't achieve their aims instantly is described as a "stupid thing" and is never down to their lack of training and familiarisation

    I don't think the inaccuracies are restricted to technology. Media's modus operandi seems to be learning just enough about the subject matter to write a story believable by those with a similar level of knowledge or less.



  •  It's always the same. If you know soemthign about the topic of a news article you will always find tons of mistakes up to serious misinformation. With that in midn you should never really believe much of what is written about stuff you have no clue about.


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