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Oh, SmAlbany!

Daily posts and occasional longer essays about politics, culture, and life in the Capital Region...updated M-F, midmorning


"I write this not as a booster of Albany, which I am, nor an apologist for the city, which I sometimes am, but rather as a person whose imagination has become fused with a single place, and in that place finds all the elements that a man ever needs..." -W. Kennedy, from O Albany!

WRGB is obsessed...

WRGB is obsessed:...with Internet scams. I don't think this is even debatable anymore.

SJC and I don't watch much TV (we don't even have cable), but we do watch Without a Trace on WRGB on Thursday nights. For at least the third week in a row, the teaser for WRGB's 11pm local news has been about some sort of Internet scam - phishing, Nigerian lottery emails, or (as was the case last night) "drive-by" hacking, in which the scammers target your home wireless network from their car. Really. I'm not making this up. How funny is the image of "drive-by hackers" prowling your street? How scary is it that my last three interactions with WRGB commericals have been on this topic?

Ok. Fine. I know that a disproportionate percentage of local news viewers are people with little internet experience ( i.e. the over-60 crowd). I also know that local news is a medium getting destroyed by the advent of the internet (and, obviously, 24-hour cable news). And i guess these stories attract viewers. (Or maybe they just know that the Thursday night crowd is a bunch of suckers for that stuff? -ed. No, local news doesn't do anything that strategic.)

But I still find it ridiculous. I wonder if older people believe this stuff is going on all around them. Can't you see the poor little old ladies who watch the WRGB broadcast calling the police next time someone is on a cell-phone in their apartment parking lot?

I think the upshot last night was to make sure your wireless network is encrypted. Couldn't they just go back to testing "As seen on TV" products?
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At 12:11 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said:

This is so true. The point you missed, though, is that the very people who would be suceptible to such a wireless scams (seniors are so unlikely to have wireless that it could only serve to scare them, generally, about the "big bad internet."    



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