Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 17th Feb 2010 12:29 UTC
Editorial Recently, a story about people mistaking a news story for the Facebook login page has received considerable media attention. It's currently being seen by many as justification for the recent trend in locking people out of their computers for their own protection - but anyone with even basic mathematical skills and a calculator should come to the conclusion that this story has been blown way out of proportion.
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The problem
by WereCatf on Wed 17th Feb 2010 12:57 UTC
WereCatf
Member since:
2006-02-15

The problem in this case itself isn't the computer itself: people had gotten used to a certain way of getting to Facebook login, and while it's not the way geeks prefer it to be done it worked fine for most people.

No, the problem is the people using the computers: if something doesn't work the way they want then they start bitching and can't be arsed to even try and actually READ what's happening. It's their inability to read or study anything when presented a new situation is the problem, and there's nothing you can do about it.

Now, I have nothing against people who don't know their way around computers or do things in an unusual way. I have a problem with STUPID people. I wonder how much happier place the world would be if you were required to take an IQ test and pass a certain mark before you were allowed to use a computer..

Reply Score: 11

RE: The problem
by KMDF on Wed 17th Feb 2010 15:11 UTC in reply to "The problem"
KMDF Member since:
2010-02-17

"You can't fix stupid." -- Ron White

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: The problem
by StephenBeDoper on Wed 17th Feb 2010 23:47 UTC in reply to "RE: The problem"
StephenBeDoper Member since:
2005-07-06

"You can't fix stupid." -- Ron White


Or my favourite variation:

"Ignorance is curable, but stupid lasts forever."

Reply Score: 3

RE: The problem
by gilljr on Wed 17th Feb 2010 16:54 UTC in reply to "The problem"
gilljr Member since:
2008-01-30

You hit the nail on the head!

I deal with this phenomenon on a daily basis. I have employees that will get an application error message or notification message and they simply press "OK" or the 'x' on the corner of the window. No one reads the messages. When forced to do so, 50% of the time they can resolve an issue with no outside intervention.

Most users are not stupid, only lazy and getting lazier.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: The problem
by StephenBeDoper on Wed 17th Feb 2010 20:41 UTC in reply to "RE: The problem"
StephenBeDoper Member since:
2005-07-06

I deal with this phenomenon on a daily basis. I have employees that will get an application error message or notification message and they simply press "OK" or the 'x' on the corner of the window. No one reads the messages. When forced to do so, 50% of the time they can resolve an issue with no outside intervention.


The best part is when you explain that computers aren't actually magic bullets, and people get upset about it. "What do you mean I still need to be organized and use consistent processes?!? Doesn't the computer magically do all of that for me?"

Reply Score: 3

RE: The problem
by orfanum on Wed 17th Feb 2010 17:27 UTC in reply to "The problem"
orfanum Member since:
2006-06-02

Perhaps they should also have an empathy test...There are always different means of categorizing people, and then condemning them. They call people who cannot get used to computers non-geeks, but those with an affective disorder are potentially sociopaths. I know which I would prefer to invite for dinner.

I also suggest a sense of proportion.

Reply Score: 2

kragil
Member since:
2006-01-04

Most people don't care how DNS works .. they type facebook login and let Google do its magic and click the first link, because Google used to be always right.

Thing is Google just shouldn't have moved dump news items to the top of the search results.

But still, we still live in the computer stone age. Things will be very different in 10 years.


Edit: I don't believe the 400 million users FB claim. How many of those are spambots and marketing droids?

Edited 2010-02-17 13:04 UTC

Reply Score: 2

WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

Thing is Google just shouldn't have moved dump news items to the top of the search results.

No, thing is the people should have read the results and only then clicked the correct one. That's how any sane person does it; they read stuff presented to them. The "It looks different but it's there so I won't bother checking it and will just instead click it and bitch if it's the wrong thing" - mentality is the issue here.

Reply Score: 5

kragil Member since:
2006-01-04

No, I grab my TV remote and press the button on the top right to turn on my TV. I don't read "Power" every time I press that button. If you google for "facebook login" it is a reasonable assumption that the facebook login page will be the first hit and after doing it 100 times nearly EVERYBODY would just click the first link.(OK, maybe not geeks, because they don't use Google this way. But EVERY person gets into habits that become second nature. I sure know that I have, only difference is that I laugh when I see myself doing stupid things like that and adapt really fast. Some people aren't as amazing as I am though ;)

Reply Score: 2

WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

No, I grab my TV remote and press the button on the top right to turn on my TV. I don't read "Power" every time I press that button.

The difference is that the button looks the same all the time, it doesn't change. But the text on the link changes, and even a very brief look in the general direction of it would reveal it doesn't look the same as it did before.

Reply Score: 2

Yanni Depp Member since:
2010-02-17

The clever thing to do would be to add sites you use often, such as the Facebook login, to your browser's Bookmarks/Favorites bar.

It's always The Right Thing for developers to design systems to handle so-called dumb users, but developers can only do so much before people's stupidity becomes overpowering.

Reply Score: 3

SilentStorm Member since:
2006-09-22

Or you can add tags to your bookmark so whenever you write "facebook login" to your address bar, correct page shows up.

Reply Score: 1

aesiamun Member since:
2005-06-29

Yeah those people who type Facebook login into Google will be able to figure out how to add tags to the Awesomebar...

Reply Score: 2

SilentStorm Member since:
2006-09-22

Unfortunately, Google is not a remote control. It's a search engine and dynamic. Refreshing itself is its primary job to bring you the newest and most accurate.

OTOH, Your remote control is designed to perform a limited number of things and be static.

Google's behavior is by design and does its job.

Edited 2010-02-17 13:21 UTC

Reply Score: 3

aldo Member since:
2010-02-17

kragil is right, up to a point. The point being when you arrive at a page that isn't the Facebook login page and that looks nothing like the Facebook login page. At that point if you don't at least investigate why you can't log in to Facebook, rather than posting a complaint in the comments of the story, you really are a bit stupid, in my opinion.

Reply Score: 5

big_gie Member since:
2006-01-04

I kind of agree: It seems stupid to take the time and effort to login to another web site and post a comment about thinking that the site is just a new facebook theme. Some efforts has been put to do this, its not as if the user was puzzled and left his computer.

But then, we all do stupid things, and quite often even! When we see someone doing something stupid, we automatically associate the stupid action to the person. And when we see many stupid actions, it just reinforce that perception. But in the end, it's a small aspect of the person.

Reply Score: 2

Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

Two things:
1. Your remote control is a completely different matter since it has a defined function for the buttons. Itś not a search feature.
2. These people who fail to notice that a completely different site with a completely diffeent design is not facebook are, well thereś no easy way to put this, complete idiots and/or incredible lazy. it has nothing to do with computers being hard to use and everything to do with people being idiots.

Edited 2010-02-17 13:36 UTC

Reply Score: 6

Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

These people who fail to notice that a completely different site with a completely diffeent design is not facebook are, well thereś no easy way to put this, complete idiots and/or incredible lazy. it has nothing to do with computers being hard to use and everything to do with people being idiots.


Exactly, but it's a small group of people. Using it as a justification that computers are hard to use is idiotic, at best - yet that's what lots of people are doing.

Reply Score: 1

Tuishimi Member since:
2005-07-06

OR they are super-advanced "cloud-ready" users who expect what they start typing in the browser search box to reveal exactly what they want/expect to see via adaptive software. And when the software does not adapt to their needs by remembering their previous actions and weighting their results, they get upsot.


[lol]

Reply Score: 2

kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

Most people don't care how DNS works .. they type facebook login and let Google do its magic and click the first link, because Google used to be always right.

Thing is Google just shouldn't have moved dump news items to the top of the search results.

But still, we still live in the computer stone age. Things will be very different in 10 years.

Edit: I don't believe the 400 million users FB claim. How many of those are spambots and marketing droids?


Why the hell would anyone use Google to log into Facebook? facebook.com then you log in - why not bookmark it in your favourites or are people adversed to using such easy short cuts?

I've seen my old man do it though; puts in a search query and NEVER checks what the web address actually is; just instantly clicks on the top one. The number of times I've had to tell him, "read the address before clicking on it" is too numerous to remember. If it weren't for MSE installed his computer would be riddled from top to bottom with every sort of worm, trojan and virus known to man.

It isn't ignorance, it is stupidity - plain and simple. They'll claim ignorance because at least with ignorance there is a certain degree of dignity that comes with it but the reality is that they're just stupid and lazy - they know they should investigate before trusting anything but they have this, "can't be bothered, its someone else's problem' attitude - and they wonder why their account is emptied 2 days after giving their account details to the nice Nigerian man promising millions.

Edited 2010-02-18 23:22 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Comment by jptros
by jptros on Wed 17th Feb 2010 13:42 UTC
jptros
Member since:
2005-08-26

Reading through the comments on the news article makes me laugh and feel sad at the same time. Hard to believe in this day and age that these young people can really be that stupid in regards to the internet.

Reply Score: 8

.
by google_ninja on Wed 17th Feb 2010 13:53 UTC
google_ninja
Member since:
2006-02-05

i need the old facebook this new one is very bad bbbbbbbbbbuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu!

Reply Score: 5

Doh
by phinaliumz on Wed 17th Feb 2010 14:02 UTC
phinaliumz
Member since:
2006-04-11

First I thought it was funny, but after reading some of the comments I came to a conclusion that this is actually sad.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Doh
by pepa on Wed 17th Feb 2010 15:56 UTC in reply to "Doh"
pepa Member since:
2005-07-08

I still can't quite shake off the feeling that this is all a big hoax, because it is just UNBELIEVABLE.

Reply Score: 3

Let me get this straight
by Fettarme H-Milch on Wed 17th Feb 2010 14:04 UTC
Fettarme H-Milch
Member since:
2010-02-16

These days common people are more used to a command line interface (= entering commands into Google) than a point and click GUI (= click on the bookmark)???

So the next time I install an operating system on someone's PC, I can just take the geekiest Linux distro that boots directly into bash and tell them "just google the app name"??

Reply Score: 4

RE: Let me get this straight
by libray on Wed 17th Feb 2010 15:55 UTC in reply to "Let me get this straight"
libray Member since:
2005-08-27

I don't think this can be summed up into people who typed www.google.com and then entered "facebook login"

Browsers also made things easier for users, thus adding to this problem. Years ago, if you type anything into an address bar besides a valid URL, you were shown an error message. When people learned that you can't search that way, we taught them how to use bookmarks and if they need to search use the search bookmark.

Now, the majority of browsers send those words to its default search engine and with some, you can either type into the address bar or an additional search bar without knowing what you are doing and still get to where you want to go.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Let me get this straight
by StephenBeDoper on Thu 18th Feb 2010 00:39 UTC in reply to "RE: Let me get this straight"
StephenBeDoper Member since:
2005-07-06

Browsers also made things easier for users, thus adding to this problem. Years ago, if you type anything into an address bar besides a valid URL, you were shown an error message. When people learned that you can't search that way, we taught them how to use bookmarks and if they need to search use the search bookmark.

Now, the majority of browsers send those words to its default search engine and with some, you can either type into the address bar or an additional search bar without knowing what you are doing and still get to where you want to go.


It also doesn't help that, thanks to ICANN's incompetence, domain names are becoming less and less useful for finding specific websites. I fully expect that we'll reach a point when domain squatters/stockpilers will account for the majority of domain name registrations (if that isn't already the case).

So far, the only "solution" from ICANN has been the addition of new TLDs (rather than enforcing the rules for existing TLDs). That merely guarantees that it will be easier to just use Google - "was that osnews.info, or osnews.mobi, or osnews.us? Ah screw this, I'll just google it."

Reply Score: 3

RE: Let me get this straight
by earksiinni on Wed 17th Feb 2010 17:34 UTC in reply to "Let me get this straight"
earksiinni Member since:
2009-03-27

That's actually a very interesting point...great observation!

Reply Score: 2

RE: Let me get this straight
by Laurence on Wed 17th Feb 2010 18:23 UTC in reply to "Let me get this straight"
Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26

These days common people are more used to a command line interface (= entering commands into Google) than a point and click GUI (= click on the bookmark)???

So the next time I install an operating system on someone's PC, I can just take the geekiest Linux distro that boots directly into bash and tell them "just google the app name"??


I'm a little disappointed with teh lack of attention your comment has received as I think you've nailed a home truth there.

Command line interfaces are easier to use because you describe what you're trying to do (like how you describe what you want to search for in Google).
GUIs, despite all the hype, demand users visualize things exactly as the GUI was designed - and not everybody does.

So logically, the next stage of usability isn't multi-touch, but "spoken-line interface" ( (C) 2010 by me ;) ) whereby the users describe the functions vocally and the GUI updates accordingly (I guess a bit like on Star Trek)

With advances in speech recognition, this idea is might already be practical....

Reply Score: 3

RE: Let me get this straight
by AnythingButVista on Thu 18th Feb 2010 00:17 UTC in reply to "Let me get this straight"
AnythingButVista Member since:
2008-08-27

These days common people are more used to a command line interface (= entering commands into Google) than a point and click GUI (= click on the bookmark)??? So the next time I install an operating system on someone's PC, I can just take the geekiest Linux distro that boots directly into bash and tell them "just google the app name"??

This post is brilliant!

Reply Score: 1

lol
by Caveman2 on Wed 17th Feb 2010 14:17 UTC
Caveman2
Member since:
2010-01-06

Those people belongs in a zoo...

Reply Score: 3

man was given a mind: USE IT
by re_re on Wed 17th Feb 2010 14:19 UTC
re_re
Member since:
2005-07-06

In the words of Ayn Rand "Man was given a mind: USE IT!"

I understand that man is a creature of habit and the general instinct is to click on the first link in the google search when it is what you have become accustomed to. But REALLY? ... Have people really become so mind numbed as to not use any deductive reasoning in the general tasks of their daily lives?

I hate to say it but there is no amount dumbing down computers (or anything else) that could make these people happy. In the words of a close friend of mine "You can fix a lot of things, but you can't fix stupid"

Reply Score: 3

URLs not really universal
by John Bayko on Wed 17th Feb 2010 14:37 UTC
John Bayko
Member since:
2006-10-20

The location bar in most browsers is also a search box - if you type in facebook, to most people (most of the time) that's the same as typing "http://www.facebook.com/", except without all that stupid, useless stuff computer guys like to put in just to make things complicated. Right?

If entering "facebook" on the location bar doesn't take you to the correct location, it's broken, simple as that.

URLs depend on DNS, which is really just another search engine, just one that has internationally agreed-upon rules to guarantee that the result is always correct, but also never intuitive. For normal people, URLs are as meaningless as a dot-notation address, and are therefore not the primary way to identify a site.

Software developers have a sort of blindness to that sort of thing - mistaking one arbitrary representation for something's intrinsic identifier - and miss the way normal users think and act. What they want is for the location bar to be a "universal bookmark" list that they use whey a site is not in their own list of bookmarks (or they just prefer to type a name). There is no such web site name list, so search engines are used as a substitute - but there easily could be (as a search sub-category maybe?), and should be because that is really the solution.

Reply Score: 3

RE: URLs not really universal
by asdf on Wed 17th Feb 2010 15:15 UTC in reply to "URLs not really universal"
asdf Member since:
2009-09-23

FF address bar has been working fine in that regard for some time now by searching bookmarks and history. It's better than some centralized directory (BTW, who would control that?) because people's interests are different and it adapts to your interests.

While such feature sure is convenient, it isn't all that hard to learn that when a page loads, the dotted string at the top of the browser is the address. The concept is more intuitive than that of ZIP code or phone number. If someone can't learn that, I doubt any amount of protection or dumbing down can save him or her.

There are cases where things can and should be made more intuitive for normal people but this is just a wrong example.

Edited 2010-02-17 15:15 UTC

Reply Score: 4

RE: URLs not really universal
by qortra on Wed 17th Feb 2010 16:49 UTC in reply to "URLs not really universal"
qortra Member since:
2005-10-05

I disagree. Nothing is broken with regard to DNS and useability. The address notation is the result of compromise to innovation in order to be both unambiguous and internationally useful.

Firstly, DNS isn't a search engine - it isn't even like a search engine. It is a mapping engine, and when it is working properly, it will always be a 1:1 mapping with an unambiguous name and an IP address. Search engines make no such claim. When a search engine is working properly, the top result is essentially the winner of a big popularity contest.

Secondly, nobody has to type in "http://www.facebook.com/", and they haven't for a while (if ever). In a "Web" Browser, the "Web" protocol prefix (HTTP://) can be assumed. Also, the trailing slash can be omitted. Finally, the "www." is taken care of by DNS redirects (if it even has to be). So now we're left with "facebook.com", which is both pretty easy to remember and unambiguous in a web context. If you don't think it's necessary, than it's probably because you live in the US and aren't aware that different countries have their own top level domains and their own trademarks. Anyway, the top level domain is simple enough to work into the marketing.

Thirdly, as another commenter pointed out, you're wrong anyway with regard to Firefox which does indeed open "facebook.com" when "facebook is entered in the address bar. But frankly, I think it shouldn't. I always prefer disambiguation wherever possible, and "facebook" is technically ambiguous.

Reply Score: 3

RE: URLs not really universal
by Soulbender on Wed 17th Feb 2010 19:46 UTC in reply to "URLs not really universal"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

If entering "facebook" on the location bar doesn't take you to the correct location, it's broken, simple as that.


They didnt type "facebook", they typed "facebook login". The first one always worked while the second one is unclear what is actually meant. The address bar works as it should and google works as it should.

URLs depend on DNS, which is really just another search engine


DNS is a directory, not a search engine.

There is no such web site name list, so search engines are used as a substitute


Guess what happens when you use the wrong tool for the job? Search engines does not list sites, the list search results for content.
There's is NOTHING here that is a technology problem and it can not be solved with technology.

Reply Score: 2

Magic Box
by ido50 on Wed 17th Feb 2010 14:44 UTC
ido50
Member since:
2006-02-06

People are idiots. They think the computer is a magic box. You just think of something, and it magically comes up. I found out a lot of people will never try to actually read what's on the screen. It's actually not just a computer-related problem, people are doing the same thing when it comes to newspapers, television, etc. It's just more prominent in the computer world.

My mother, for example, started taking an Arts course at a university just for fun, and she needs to connect to the university's system to read course material. Well, it's been hell ever since she started the course, since she never ever bothers to read whats on the screen, let alone try to navigate through it by herself. The first few times I logged in to the system for her, she just replied "well, where's all the material, I don't see it?" Well, you actually have to look if you wanna see it. Why not try the big link at the right menu that says "Course Material".

The problem is more prominent in the computer world since it's diverse and not that familiar for a lot of people. A newspaper or television set are familiar things, with more-or-less standard and consistent interfaces, and everybody knows how to use them (Though my mother has yet to figure out the concept of one remote control that powers up both the TV and the digital receiver). People are lost when it comes to computers, first because they refuse to read, second because they have never learned all the concepts involved. A lot of people do not know the concept of the URL, let alone what the Internet is, what's a computer program, what's a web browser, etc. etc.

My mother (jeez, I'm killing her here) thinks the Internet is "a thing". She often comes to me asking me to find something for her, like a Persian film for example, and she'd just go "Can you get on that Persian film for me?" and I would go "What do you mean get on it?" and she'd say "You know, on the Internet". So I say "You want me to download it for you so you can watch it?" and she'd say "Yes!" and then I'd ask "What Persian movie?" to which I will receive the illustrious "I don't know, that one" reply.

I really think I could start a "Basic Computer and Internet Usage" course on my town and make a freakin' fortune.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Magic Box
by Thom_Holwerda on Wed 17th Feb 2010 14:46 UTC in reply to "Magic Box"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Point. Woooooosh. There it goes.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Magic Box
by aesiamun on Wed 17th Feb 2010 15:19 UTC in reply to "RE: Magic Box"
aesiamun Member since:
2005-06-29

Tom, so you don't believe that education is the key? I think people need to have a basic understanding of computers and the Internet. It's second nature to us because we use it all the time, but there are many people that don't understand it and it is indeed a magic box.

Basic Internet Usage classes would do the world of difference, imo.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Magic Box
by HappyGod on Thu 18th Feb 2010 04:57 UTC in reply to "RE: Magic Box"
HappyGod Member since:
2005-10-19

There is a wide perception from geeks that users are stupid, and that perception deonstrates arrogance.

Unfortunately that doesn't make it wrong. Users are both stupid and lazy, in large and equal measure. Not all of them, but a LOT of them.

I have worked on 2 IT helpdesks, in PC hardware support several times, and am now a developer, and I am here to tell you that almost nobody ever reads dialogues that are presented to them, no matter how alarming the dialogues are made to appear.

We proved that point on several occassions where we asked users (with a pop-up dialogue) to call in if they met some condition, like a particular brand of PC, or some piece of software. We knew we had hundreds of matches, but seldom received more than 20 or so calls.

If you choose to ignore your computer, you should expect the unexpected.

Users also apply totally different reasoning to computer concepts than they do with their real-life counterparts. For example if they received a letter in the post advising that the sender had come across a large amount of money, and to please post back their bank account details (Nigerian scam), they would throw the letter in the bin. But, when they get that in an email ...

Your reasoning regarding the number of 'stupid' users in relation to FacePlant's user base is also flawed for two reasons:

1. If the user doesn't understand the concept of his browser's address bar, he is unlikely to understand how to post on a blog, meaning most of the users in question were unrepresented in the blog count.

2. If this issue received enough attention so as to displace Facebook itself as the number 1 result for the phrase "Facebook Login", then we can assume millions rather than thousands of "stupid" users.

(phew) I feel much better now!

Reply Score: 2

RE: Magic Box
by Delgarde on Wed 17th Feb 2010 20:24 UTC in reply to "Magic Box"
Delgarde Member since:
2008-08-19

People are idiots. They think the computer is a magic box. You just think of something, and it magically comes up.


It's not idiocy, just ignorance - it might as well be a magic box, when you don't understand the concepts involved.

Nevertheless, these people are likely part of your target audience, if you're designing software or web sites. So design with them in mind.

Reply Score: 2

The Internet is different than The Desktop
by qortra on Wed 17th Feb 2010 14:51 UTC
qortra
Member since:
2005-10-05

I agree with several of your points, and your by the numbers analysis is definitely poignant. However, you are incorrectly conflating The Internet with The Desktop. They are separate, and should be treated as such.

On The Desktop, it is possible to provide shallow learning curves while still offering users advanced functionality, even while not allowing users to unknowingly do harmful things.

However, The Internet is a different beast. By its nature, it is dangerous, and to novices, it frankly can be confusing. Sometimes users get tripped up because of random oddities (such as this situation), and sometimes they are purposefully deceived by malevolent people (can you imagine if "readwriteweb.com" was a rogue site farming for Facebook IDs?).

Somebody else here suggested an IQ test to use the internet - of course, this is impractical and nobody here really wants that (big brother and all that). By comparison, there are many dangers in the real world, and it isn't always the government's job to protect us from those (though it often tries and fails): crossing the street without looking, talking to strangers as a child, responding to phone or snail-mail scammers, etc. It is perhaps the duty of parents or friends to educate people around them of these dangers and how to use The Internet properly, safely, and respectfully.

Reply Score: 2

Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

However, The Internet is a different beast. By its nature, it is dangerous, and to novices, it frankly can be confusing. Sometimes users get tripped up because of random oddities (such as this situation), and sometimes they are purposefully deceived by malevolent people (can you imagine if "readwriteweb.com" was a rogue site farming for Facebook IDs?).


It's the computer's job to mitigate as much of the dangers as possible.

Note the "as much [...] possible". There's only so much you can do. Cars are packed with safety features these days, but that still won't prevent an idiot to drink and drive. Yes, the internet can be dangerous, but so can is the real world. It will take time, but eventually people will come to be cautious on the internet, much in the same way they are cautious in some neighbourhoods at certain times of the day.

Reply Score: 1

qortra Member since:
2005-10-05

I wholeheartedly agree that the OS and browser should mitigate the dangers of The Internet to a certain extent, and I am a huge proponent of a strong sandbox of the Internet experience. It should be very hard for things on The Internet to escape the browser and reside on The Desktop. However, there are a few caveats.

Firstly, while the OS/Browser should provide some security, it most certainly should not ever provide users with a *false* sense of security. IMHO, people shouldn't get too comfortable, and should always be vigilant of the dangers that simply can't be stopped by even the best online security features.

Secondly, there are some "dangers" that we really don't want to stop, especially when the danger is actually expected behavior. This readwriteweb.com situation is frankly the perfect anecdote. Every component of the these peoples' systems was performing just as expected and desired, and they were offered every opportunity to find the right site.

- Their systems all have address bars (call me a prude, but I think that's the best way to get to a site that you've visited hundreds of times before).
- Their systems all have bookmark systems, which they probably should have used if they don't like using the address bar.
- Most of their browsers probably supplied histories that they could have leveraged to get back to Facebook in the event that they don't like the other two options.
- The correct Facebook login page was provided for them in the search - they just choose to click on something else because they didn't read what was on the screen (this, IMHO, was the most critical failure in the process).
- Their address bars, in addition to being the perfect input method for the situation, are also the key method of ascertaining *where you are on The Internet*. If they had even glanced at it, they would have known immediately that they were in the wrong place. Heck, IE8 and Chrome even highlight the domain for you to it's easy to see.

Edited 2010-02-17 15:30 UTC

Reply Score: 3

International users
by lezard on Wed 17th Feb 2010 14:57 UTC
lezard
Member since:
2005-10-11

You didn't take in your statistics the fact that people that went to RWW are only english-speaking users. Let's say that 50% of facebook users use Google in English (conservative), then the percentage is twice what you said: 8.2%.

Reply Score: 2

RE: International users
by Thom_Holwerda on Wed 17th Feb 2010 14:59 UTC in reply to "International users"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Euh, no. "Facebook anmelden" or something wouldn't bring German Facebook users to that news story, now, would it?

Reply Score: 0

RE[2]: International users
by lezard on Wed 17th Feb 2010 15:17 UTC in reply to "RE: International users"
lezard Member since:
2005-10-11

That's my point: the French users would never have commented on RWW, so you should take into account only 200 millions of Facebook users and not 400.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: International users
by Heard on Wed 17th Feb 2010 16:40 UTC in reply to "RE: International users"
Heard Member since:
2009-12-24

I don't know about other countrys, but I'm german and nobody I know would use "anmelden", english words like "login" are very common here regarding websites.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: International users
by kragil on Wed 17th Feb 2010 18:06 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: International users"
kragil Member since:
2006-01-04

Sure, but Google.de would have GERMAN news at the top.

So lezard is right international users wouldn't land on RWW.

And besides: Pulling numbers out of your ass is always tricky.

Reply Score: 3

The art of reading
by Janvl on Wed 17th Feb 2010 14:59 UTC
Janvl
Member since:
2007-02-20

The biggest problem is that people do not read. If one reads what is presented on ones screen, one knows what to do in about 98% of the cases.

Even my mother who is 89 years old re-installed Skype after a problem because it was clearly stated on screen that that would help, I quote "of cause I did that, I can read can't I". She is no academic.

So this has little to do with computers or geeks but with the simple capability to read.

Reply Score: 4

RE: The art of reading
by jal_ on Wed 17th Feb 2010 15:15 UTC in reply to "The art of reading"
jal_ Member since:
2006-11-02

Even my mother who is 89 years old re-installed Skype after a problem because it was clearly stated on screen that that would help


I hate to bring it to you, but an 89-year old who can use a computer, let alone knows what "(re)installing" means and know how to do that, is anything but usual. I have deep respect for her though, that she can do that.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: The art of reading
by aesiamun on Wed 17th Feb 2010 15:23 UTC in reply to "RE: The art of reading"
aesiamun Member since:
2005-06-29

I agree, she is above average on the bell curve. I don't think computers need to be easier, I believe users need more education. I wouldn't want legislation of this, but we don't really let drivers on the road without some form of education, practice ,etc.

I don't think it should be a requirement. The Internet and computers are a tool in everyday life and should be available to everybody...but as proponents of technology, we should also encourage our ignorant loved ones and friends to get some form of education.

Reply Score: 3

RE: The art of reading
by AnythingButVista on Thu 18th Feb 2010 00:16 UTC in reply to "The art of reading"
AnythingButVista Member since:
2008-08-27

The biggest problem is that people do not read. If one reads what is presented on ones screen, one knows what to do in about 98% of the cases. Even my mother who is 89 years old re-installed Skype after a problem because it was clearly stated on screen that that would help, I quote "of cause I did that, I can read can't I". She is no academic. So this has little to do with computers or geeks but with the simple capability to read.

Unfortunately, today's computer user interfaces focus less and less on reading and writing, and instead encourage users to touch onscreen pictures the way preschool kids do. Computers should not be dumbed down but they shouldn't dumb down users either!

Reply Score: 1

Of dumb people.
by biffuz on Wed 17th Feb 2010 15:06 UTC
biffuz
Member since:
2006-03-27

I can understand people that type "facebook login" in the search box.
I can understand they click on the first result without reading just out of habit.
I can understand they are surprised to not find what they expected.
But I cannot understand that, instead of trying to understand what's happened, they actually waste time to look for the comment box and write complains.

It's like complaining with a brand of biscuits because your local wall-mart has moved your favorite biscuits in a different place.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Of dumb people.
by leos on Wed 17th Feb 2010 15:31 UTC in reply to "Of dumb people."
leos Member since:
2005-09-21

I can understand people that type "facebook login" in the search box.
I can understand they click on the first result without reading just out of habit.
I can understand they are surprised to not find what they expected.
But I cannot understand that, instead of trying to understand what's happened, they actually waste time to look for the comment box and write complains.


And not once during that entire process do they stop to think that perhaps if it doesn't quack like a duck, or look like a duck, it might not be a duck.

That I just cannot comprehend. One would assume that these people function in normal society, so they know what a newspaper article is. They know that just because an article mentions Ford they are not at the Ford website (or maybe not?). So what exactly is the process going on in the brain to lead to this? I think this could be a fascinating study for a psychology PHD.
The force of habit (I've done this a million times) is so strong that it overwhelms the logic centers of the brain in some people.

As for what to do about that? I don't think you can do anything. Google should not have had this site as the number one result, so perhaps we can work on better search algorithms so this happens less often.
I don't think anything else can be done though. If people confuse one site for another, when those sites look completely different, then what chance do they have against a phishing attack? What we need to do is emphasize education. Let's make sure that anyone that goes through the school system takes a half-term on the Internet and Internet safety.

We don't have any formal training and most of the people giving advice are wrong. Just like in learning how to ride a motorcycle, it has been found that if you learn from your friend you are the most likely to get in an accident. If you teach yourself you will be somewhat less likely to crash, and if you learn from a professional you are the least likely. Most people learn about the internet from their friends that barely know more than they do.

Barring formal education, one of the things we could do is to develop a really nice interactive tutorial that comes up the first time you open your browser after install (or after you get your computer). It would show you the basics of getting around on the Internet, and the major components of the browser, and internet safety. There are plenty of tutorials like that, but none of them are actually presented to the user when they need it (right at the beginning). I think a truly first class tutorial integrated into the major browsers would do a lot for new computer users.

Edited 2010-02-17 15:37 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Of dumb people.
by biffuz on Wed 17th Feb 2010 21:14 UTC in reply to "RE: Of dumb people."
biffuz Member since:
2006-03-27

If people confuse one site for another, when those sites look completely different, then what chance do they have against a phishing attack?


Exactly what I was thinking. Now we understand why phishing is so effective.

Another thing we should think about: I've heard people complaining about they should check "that little lock" before typing their bank credentials. It seems that people does not understand the freedom on which Internet is built upon, that there isn't any "central authority" that checks every site out there for frauds. This is the kind of people that the 20th century has grown up...


What we need to do is emphasize education. Let's make sure that anyone that goes through the school system takes a half-term on the Internet and Internet safety.


Yes. I don't know what happens elsewhere, but in Italy computing has been pushed out of the national school and is only "optional", and it has been mandatory for years! Looks like the elders at the government just can't understand that the school should prepare the kids for the tomorrow, not for the past, and computers and the Internet are here to stay (or evolve, of course).
Actually, someone proposed to push out every science at all in favor of poetry, music, and art.

Reply Score: 1

Thom's Story
by fretinator on Wed 17th Feb 2010 15:09 UTC
fretinator
Member since:
2005-07-06

I read Thom's commentary as not being about the dumb users, which too many people seem to be commenting about.

The real "story", if you will, is what are we to do with these poor folks. Should we lock all computers down so that these folks can still get around?

I think the issue is management style. I have worked at companies that organized all of their business processes and rules around the worst employees. Every policy assumed that everyone was a Liar, Thief or Idiot. This creates a very poor work environment. Everywhere you looked, every page in the employee manual, EVERYWHERE was a reminder of how bad an employee you were.

I think this applies to this case. Yes, we should make computers as easy to use as possible. But let's not start treating every computer user as if they were dumb as a box or rocks. Provide "easy modes", or "kiosk mode" for the simple user, but make sure you do not lock the power users from the computer.

Otherwise we run the risk of our computers telling us what to do, instead of the reverse. I hate operating systems and applications that do that!

Reply Score: 5

RE: Thom's Story
by Soulbender on Wed 17th Feb 2010 19:35 UTC in reply to "Thom's Story"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

The real "story", if you will, is what are we to do with these poor folks.


We should do nothing.
These morons are represents a very small part of the worlds computer users and there's really nothing we can do to help them. Either they get their shit together and start thinking or, well, they'll continue being stupid. This is a very small sample and we really shouldnt be paying any attention to it.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Thom's Story
by Thom_Holwerda on Wed 17th Feb 2010 19:44 UTC in reply to "RE: Thom's Story"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Agreed.

Stupidity is part of life. Heck, we here might be smart at computers, but I can assure you, each of us is stupid in any number of other fields.

Like, girls, for instance. *cough*

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Thom's Story
by Soulbender on Thu 18th Feb 2010 19:59 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Thom's Story"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

Heck, we here might be smart at computers, but I can assure you, each of us is stupid in any number of other fields.


Right, but there's a difference between being stupid at something and behaving stupidly about it.

Like, girls, for instance. *cough*

I'm married ;)

Reply Score: 2

Comment by runjorel
by runjorel on Wed 17th Feb 2010 15:26 UTC
runjorel
Member since:
2009-02-09

"One final note: your personal anecdotes about the people you help with their computers are irrelevant. A doctor only sees sick people, but that doesn't mean everybody in the world is sick."

Ok, you're right. It doesn't mean the world is sick, but Doctors are the number one resource people use to DIAGNOSE and FIX a problem. I think they (and when I say 'they' I really mean us tech support geeks) have a right to discuss an epidemic.

Now, I agree completely with you that dumbing things down is not the solution because even if you 'dumb' things down, there are still going to be problems because people approach things differently.

However I don't think this "people are already capable" laissez faire attitude is the right one. I just deal with so many people on so many levels that I can honestly say with humility that there is something wrong with at least the U.S. population when it comes to technology.

I could write a whole essay on this subject, so I will spare the fluff and just say that I think the answer is (at least for the America population) is basic education! Do I think people need to be geeks or to better understand HOW or WHY technology works? No. Do I expect people to read user guides and manuals before the operate hardware or software? I don't, so No.

However if you are going to use the Internet daily and safely, then I believe you should learn things like "Using the address bar" and verifying that the domain in the address bar is the same as the website you are on. Facebook=Facebook.com. I feel that is something simple and not too technical. Is it a completely safe and secure solution? No...is it a step in the right direction that would at least stop a good percentage of malware attacks from users click on websites that they should not? Possibly.

Again, at least for the America public I deal with, I don't think they are dumb when it comes to electronics....I think they just don't know some of the basic things us geeks take for granted (almost as if we were born with the knowledge). Because no one has taught them certain things. I think education is the answer.

If you read this far, thanks for your time.

Edited 2010-02-17 15:27 UTC

Reply Score: 2

iPad like devices are the future.
by CaptainN- on Wed 17th Feb 2010 16:03 UTC
CaptainN-
Member since:
2005-07-07

I don't think you got this right. I watch my family members dismiss Windows update screens because they are "annoying". then they complain about how slow their computer is when it becomes a zombie.

End users absolutely cannot be trusted to run their own computers. It's that simple. Now, there is a class of folks who will continue to run desktops - mostly managed by IT because they too cannot be trusted to run their own computers (feel free to consult anyone in IT on this). These professional workstations are not going to be replaced by iPads and Android based devices any time soon.

Other uses - mostly home use - will absolutely go the way of walled gardens. It has to. There is no other way to protect these users from all the bots and ID theft that's been destroying peoples' finances for a decade now.

That said - it will not be iPad, and it there will be unlock switches for those who wish to play around (just look at Android - mark my words, Android has already won the ARM race).

Reply Score: 1

Comment by Heard
by Heard on Wed 17th Feb 2010 16:55 UTC
Heard
Member since:
2009-12-24

This way of visiting websites seems to be quite common. There recently was an article about people thinking that a german blog is their internet provider on the german news site spiegel.de (http://www.spiegel.de/netzwelt/web/0,1518,677892,00.html). They even sent many cancelations of there contracts to the blog. (using mail, which isn't even legally binding here)

What most people seem to forget, though, is the existing feature of Firefox which allows you to type in terms in the address field, press enter and it goes to the first site google finds. So, in fact not all of these people even went to google themselves. I think that feature is dangerous for users that aren't very experienced.

Reply Score: 1

UNSUBSCRIBE
by StephenBeDoper on Wed 17th Feb 2010 16:56 UTC
StephenBeDoper
Member since:
2005-07-06

The internet soon jumped on this: "users are stupid, and they need to be protected from themselves", or "developers are not catering to these users who shouldn't have to deal with these confusing text fields", and so on, and so forth.


The only real conclusion that can be drawn from this incident is that we've now resolved the question of "where did all the morons go when AOL started to decline?" Answer: they migrated to Facebook. It's just the 2010 equivalent of AOL users posting "UNSUBSCRIBE" messages to Usenet, because they didn't understand the difference between a newsgroup and a mailing list.

Reply Score: 3

GEOS/GeoWorks/Ensemble
by bhtooefr on Wed 17th Feb 2010 17:00 UTC
bhtooefr
Member since:
2009-02-19

Programs in the PC versions of those OSes had various levels of complexity - so, at level 1, you got a single-tasking OS with very, very limited functions in all of the applications. At level 4, you got a fully-featured OS.

I don't have any problem with closed ecosystems, as long as you can easily click a "I know what I'm doing" button, or a "su root" button. (Easily being something that's easy for someone who knows what they're doing. So, I don't LITERALLY mean a button. Requiring the user to go to a command prompt and type a command is fine.

The trick is, how to adapt this to the Internet, without limiting functionality too much.

Reply Score: 2

nothing to do with degrading gracefully
by rhavenn on Wed 17th Feb 2010 17:13 UTC
rhavenn
Member since:
2006-05-12

This issue has nothing to do with a user interface or computer degrading gracefully to handle everything a person will throw at it. Users opened their browser, they loaded Google and they used Google in the way it was intended to be used. However, they failed to notice that the ranking for their usual page had changed. I'm sorry, this is just user ignorance. Google doesn't have ESP and their interface worked 100% correctly. It didn't need to degrade anything or handle anything weird. It returned exactly the query asked for and in the order for what its page rank warranted. If Google added one off exceptions to its search interface for everything then I would consider Google broken and switch to a different search engine.

Now, I may jest that all 1d10ts who couldn't figure this out should get a license to use the internet, but computers ARE confusing and complicated and that's just the nature of the beast. However, this wasn't anything "complicated".

Personally, part of the problem is that too many OSs do degrade gracefully in order to meet the lowest common denominator and instead of forcing the low end of the bell curve to learn they go down and meet it. Hence, no one learns anything.

It's not that everyone is lazy in general. They're just lazy and/or scared of what they don't know and don't want to take time to learn something that works well enough.

Reply Score: 1

confused != insecure
by ggiunta on Wed 17th Feb 2010 17:54 UTC
ggiunta
Member since:
2006-01-13

What Thom seems to be missing is not the fact that 1% of fb user are so clueless (so what? people complain about windows being broken every day, and still have been using it for years), but the fact that their behavior is ripe for abuse.
In this particular case password harvesting for 0.01% of the fb user base - think if it was the google nr. 1 results page for "my bank login".

I'm not at all for locking down computer and dumbing down interfaces - what I think is needed is INSANELY GREAT interfaces.

And you need to have mad design skillz and extreme empathy to produce those - I have seen people having completely hidden the location bar from their IE configuration for a couple of years, and I applauded google at the time for building a 'better location bar' than the real thing, but did not have enough psychological insight to foresee this accident coming.

The funny thing about those people who left comments is really that they spent some time to post a rant but 0 seconds trying to understand what was happening.

If we'd have to learn some lessons here is that a good interface is maybe one where users can post all they want and an advanced AI robot parsers their rant and gives them clues. But, afaik, ai robots are so dumb they freak off even the dumbest of people...

Reply Score: 1

It's a Google bug
by JoeBuck on Wed 17th Feb 2010 18:43 UTC
JoeBuck
Member since:
2006-01-11

It's a Google bug that an article about changes to the Facebook login page became the top search entry for "Facebook login", since that is clearly not the page that people were trying to locate.

Reply Score: 2

Apple can't even help
by FunkyELF on Wed 17th Feb 2010 18:45 UTC
FunkyELF
Member since:
2006-07-26

I was going to say that all those people should use Apple since they have the whole "you only need one mouse button" mentality.

But I just looked at Safari and it also has a search bar along with an address bar.

I'm guessing Safari users would be victim to this as well if they typed "fac" into the search bar and were immediately presented with "facebook login".

Reply Score: 2

priceless comments....
by FunkyELF on Wed 17th Feb 2010 18:47 UTC
FunkyELF
Member since:
2006-07-26

Please reply to this thread with your favorite comment. Just go to a random comment page and find one.

This is good....


where is facebook

i need 2 puter 2 fcaeboook

i vote 4 OBAMA!!!!!

i kneed fecaboook NOW!!!

Reply Score: 2

RE: priceless comments....
by StephenBeDoper on Thu 18th Feb 2010 00:37 UTC in reply to "priceless comments...."
StephenBeDoper Member since:
2005-07-06

I WANT THE OLD FAFEBOOK BACK THIS SHIT IS WACK!!!!!

Reply Score: 2

FunkyELF
Member since:
2006-07-26

All we need now is someone to write a news article about Bank of America's login...

Of the thousands of people that would enter their account numbers into the system to post a comment, I wonder how many of their PIN numbers are 12345

This is 100% the users fault. They are dumb. Enough said.

Reply Score: 3

Thinking is optional
by bousozoku on Wed 17th Feb 2010 21:22 UTC
bousozoku
Member since:
2006-01-23

Many people just don't want to be bothered and having to think is inconvenient.

It's not a matter of intellect, it's a matter of laziness.

If people really had to work at using the computer, as they did before Windows 95, you'd see computer usage plummet.

You have to wonder if there are a great many who use the web search field since Google combined it with the location field in Chrome.

It used to be that some software would require you to take the training before you used it. It's probably a good idea because without being forced, people won't take time or responsibility to do things the correct way.

Reply Score: 2

WOW my stomach hurts.
by jboss1995 on Wed 17th Feb 2010 21:55 UTC
jboss1995
Member since:
2007-05-02

That was funny. Not to pick on anyone but some of those people were so mad. One guy put a long string of profanities and put a period at the end. WOW I understand some people are not computer smart but to react that way was funny.

Reply Score: 1

RE: WOW my stomach hurts.
by AnythingButVista on Thu 18th Feb 2010 02:36 UTC in reply to "WOW my stomach hurts. "
AnythingButVista Member since:
2008-08-27

That was funny. Not to pick on anyone but some of those people were so mad. One guy put a long string of profanities and put a period at the end. WOW I understand some people are not computer smart but to react that way was funny.

At least he took the time to use a period. Most users these days won't even bother to use any punctuation at all.

Reply Score: 2

Cult of the nobel clueless
by Verenkeitin on Wed 17th Feb 2010 22:35 UTC
Verenkeitin
Member since:
2007-07-01

Exactly why are geeks not allowed to lament the stupidity of the unwashed masses?

Mistaking a news article for Facebook shows some serious lack in basic mental awareness. This has nothing to do with technology anymore. This is purely general stupidity and inability admit one might have made a simple mistake. Sadly I expect this trend to just continue.

Every now and then I get a phone call where the caller has a wrong number. Again, that is understandable, but over the last few years these callers have became unable to understand that they called to a wrong number. I have to explain it to them two or three times.
What makes this phenomenon absurdly stupid is that even when I answer my phone with my name (Finnish phone etiquette), hearing an unfamiliar voice answer with an unexpected name doesn't discourage them from demanding to speak to the person they tried to call or to just start talking.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Cult of the nobel clueless
by StephenBeDoper on Thu 18th Feb 2010 00:51 UTC in reply to "Cult of the nobel clueless"
StephenBeDoper Member since:
2005-07-06

Every now and then I get a phone call where the caller has a wrong number. Again, that is understandable, but over the last few years these callers have became unable to understand that they called to a wrong number. I have to explain it to them two or three times.
What makes this phenomenon absurdly stupid is that even when I answer my phone with my name (Finnish phone etiquette), hearing an unfamiliar voice answer with an unexpected name doesn't discourage them from demanding to speak to the person they tried to call or to just start talking.


Wow... life imitates The Kids in the Hall:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iwqIazaeeJc

"Well, I never make a mistake with numbers, so I'm forced to assume that you're lying. Put Frank on now!"

Reply Score: 2

RE: Cult of the nobel clueless
by jaklumen on Thu 18th Feb 2010 07:39 UTC in reply to "Cult of the nobel clueless"
jaklumen Member since:
2010-02-09

I should have made my last post as a reply to this, but see above.

I have experienced the same on the phone, too. I also answer the phone that way by saying my name-- it is not customary in the United States, but I know callers will usually tell me who they want to talk to when I do so.

I had a mobile number for a time that was previously a business number. Sometimes people got very rude when I explained I was just a private resident and was also interested in contacting said business owner (to get him to take care of his business). But it became obvious he had closed shop, told no one, and I just got a new phone with a new number.

There will always be some that don't seem to get it-- again, laziness, ignorance, impatience. They get overcome by emotion instead of working it out logically. This is true of many things, not just computers, and I'm sure you'd agree, which is why responding much the same in kind would not help things. Generalizing them as "unwashed masses", I sincerely doubt, would get them to pick up the soap.

Reply Score: 1

Missing the point...
by Moochman on Wed 17th Feb 2010 23:36 UTC
Moochman
Member since:
2005-07-06

You are absolutely right that UIs need to degrade and not just be dumbed down. But with your comment at the end you give the impression that anecdotes count for nothing. I would argue that it is exactly such anecdotes--from others and from your own life--which form the basis of understanding interaction design problems. Most times, a balanced account of a variety of anecdotes will be able to guide a designer in the right direction--just as simple as it needs to be, and no simpler. It's only due to some designers' tuning out the needs of more experienced users that a "dumbing down" effect takes place.

Edited 2010-02-17 23:45 UTC

Reply Score: 2

nt_jerkface
Member since:
2009-08-26

Some people get locked down computers, most don't.

There was a time when I would have been against locked devices but after meeting someone who could not resist installing random crap I've changed my mind. This guy had a magical touch when it came to malware and could transform his desktop into a Russian server within minutes. I gave him all kinds of safe computing advice to which he would promptly ignore.

He needed to be locked into MS Office, a browser and an mp3 player. Installing software was not just a risk to him but anyone else who exchanged files with him.

Reply Score: 3

jaklumen
Member since:
2010-02-09

What I got from Thom's article is that polarizing the issue by dichotomies doesn't help the matter. Not every non-geek is an extroverted, loud person who thinks while they are talking, and not every geek is a introverted, self-absorbed person lacking manners, because they only understand things, and not people.

I'm not saying geeks shouldn't complain. I am saying that when fellow geeks give me a "you are an utter moron and total noob for not knowing what I expected you to know" when I demonstrate what I don't know or understand isn't appreciated, or helpful... and sometimes it's more so BECAUSE I have a better idea of what I'm doing compared to others. Maybe some of them DO want to drive non-geeks away and be elitist and cliquish but they aren't doing any favors for those of us who want to help them.

I'll go away and read up when that happens, especially as words don't talk back, but not everyone learns that way. Yes, I was trained as an educator at one point and I am speaking as such.

Laziness, ignorance, and impatience derail many a user, yes. This has always been around since technology existed (flint and steel, bow and arrow, etc.), I'm sure. It will impede those who would teach just as much as those who would learn. It's a two-way street.

Reply Score: 1

Math is hard
by kelvin on Thu 18th Feb 2010 08:28 UTC
kelvin
Member since:
2005-07-06

As of writing, there are 1631 comments on the ReadWriteWeb story, and Facebook has "more than" 400 million users. [...] about 0.04% of Facebook users.

@Thom: I never graduated college, but I'm pretty sure that your percentages are off by a factor of 100.

1631/400million = 0,000004 = 0,0004%
163100/400million = 0,04%

Reply Score: 3

RE: Math is hard
by Thom_Holwerda on Thu 18th Feb 2010 09:41 UTC in reply to "Math is hard"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

@Thom: I never graduated college, but I'm pretty sure that your percentages are off by a factor of 100.

1631/400million = 0,000004 = 0,0004%
163100/400million = 0,04%


You indeed need to go back to college, as the formula for calculating percentages goes like this:

(a/b)×100=x

Where a is the number you want to know the percentage of, b is the total, and x is the percentage. In other words:

(1631/4000000)×100=0.04%.

Reply Score: 0

RE[2]: Math is hard
by Thom_Holwerda on Thu 18th Feb 2010 10:13 UTC in reply to "RE: Math is hard"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Holy crap, I totally suck! I'm a friggin' moron. The original poster was totally right, my numbers are way off because for some weird reason I'm making the calculation with 4 million instead of 400 million!

Heh, this is what we call the backflip FAIL. Fixin' the numbers right away. D'OH!

Reply Score: 2

my new outlook on life
by TechGeek on Thu 18th Feb 2010 14:30 UTC
TechGeek
Member since:
2006-01-14

I have come to a rather sad conclusion about most people in this world:

"You just can't fix dumb."

Reply Score: 2

Comment by cefarix
by cefarix on Thu 18th Feb 2010 20:23 UTC
cefarix
Member since:
2006-03-18

what u did to the login facebok? where is it i just want to see my friends... hurry up and fix it!!!1

Reply Score: 1