That's got to be a joke... right?
April 14, 2007 10:00 AM   Subscribe

On Sunday, April 1, jokingly introduced the 8-bit Tie, and due to customer demand, claims that now it'll be a real product. On Friday, April 13, apparently due to customer demand, hard drive manufacturer WiebeTech has now introduced the MouseJiggler, and claims it's not a joke.
posted by Fofer (28 comments total)
From the email blast:

Here's one example of someone who needs MouseJiggler:

JP Moneybucks spends a good part of his day transferring money from here to there and downloading huge files of account expenditures. The last thing JP needs is for his computer to revert to screen saver mode or go to sleep during this process. So JP has hired a guy (no doubt a nephew who is otherwise a shiftless lay-about) to sit at his computer and jiggle his mouse for him every few minutes. He pays said nephew about $100 dollars an hour to do this because...why not? He's JP Moneybucks and he's far too busy lighting his cigars with hundred dollar bills to sit around jiggling a mouse.

The rest of us are not JP Moneybucks, and we can't afford to pay our nephews to jiggle our mouses. Mouse Jigglerâ„¢, the latest innovation from WiebeTech, is available now. For a limited time receive COMPLIMENTARY SHIPPING on your Mouse Jiggler order!

I am wondering, why don't OS manufacturers have an admin setting for total sleep/dimming/screensaver override?

And how is this hardware any better/different that software like this?
posted by Fofer at 10:03 AM on April 14, 2007

Oops. link above should be this.
posted by Fofer at 10:04 AM on April 14, 2007

I am wondering, why don't OS manufacturers have an admin setting for total sleep/dimming/screensaver override?

They do, but often times office workers can't get to the admin settings, and they may not even be allowed to run any unknown software. This thing gets around that problem, and it's brain dead simple to use.
posted by delmoi at 10:07 AM on April 14, 2007

I am wondering, why don't OS manufacturers have an admin setting for total sleep/dimming/screensaver override?

Isn't it pretty trivial to do this with any given box? The problem for the average worker, I think, is that corporate policy often dictates (and even locks into place) timeouts. The Jiggler is an end-run around that sort of thing, I'd imagine.
posted by cortex at 10:13 AM on April 14, 2007

The screen lock policies are there for a reason, folks: in the event you forget to lock your machine when you step away, you've got a failsafe. Companies that insist on such policies and that provide no way for the user to override them probably also have policies prohibiting the installation of unauthorized hardware/software. I really don't know where the market for this is.
posted by aberrant at 11:02 AM on April 14, 2007

The market is people who prefer to work around the gaps in enforcement. Your corporate IT may well have locked down the screensaver settings more thoroughly than they have done for plug-and-play USB devices, for example.

That companies have good reasons to enforce these policies does not mean there's no market for people wanting to work around that enforcement. You could just as well conclude from US drug laws that there's no market for drugs.
posted by cortex at 11:05 AM on April 14, 2007

These folks definitely need one of these.
posted by azlondon at 11:38 AM on April 14, 2007

"I'm going to install this thing to get around the IT and HR policies at work" is just like saying "I'm too much of an ass to play nice with basic and sane security policies and will probably be fired soon." I mean, do these people also crap on the floor in the bathroom because of the inconvenience of using a toilet? Do they also refuse to wash their hands because 'the man' says they should? There isnt anything more pathetic than an "office rebel."

What do I know? I thought the 8-bit tie was real at first glance. 8-bit knits and prints are pretty old at this point. There's practically a new one listed at boingboing every month.
posted by damn dirty ape at 11:48 AM on April 14, 2007

"I'm going to install this thing to get around the IT and HR policies at work" is just like saying "I'm too much of an ass to play nice with basic and sane security policies and will probably be fired soon."

1. Most people don't take IT security very seriously.
2. People hate to be inconvenienced, especially for no apparent good reason.

Taken together, there's nothing surprising (or, in my anecdotal experience, uncommon or restricted-to-the-nigh-terminated) about this kind of behavior. There's a reason some companies lock their machines down hard: it's the only way to be (moderately) sure in the face of normal human behavior. It doesn't take an office rebel to push back against an auto-locking screen, it just takes basic human nature.
posted by cortex at 11:58 AM on April 14, 2007

"An 8-Bit tie - what an awesome way for the drones of Cubeland to show their independence from Corporate America!"

Hear's another awesome way: do something else for a living! Teach school! Drive a school bus! Repair motorcycles! Play professional air hockey! There are LOTS of jobs out there that don't involve sitting in a corporation's cubicle! ("What an awesome idea!")
posted by davy at 12:04 PM on April 14, 2007

Er, 'HERE's...'

(I hate it when that happens during a great stroke of geniosicality.)
posted by davy at 12:05 PM on April 14, 2007

I think it's such a cute idea that today's typical cube jockies get nostalgic for an interface they grew up with that came out when I their age (or, often, older). Gawd I feel so OLD sometimes: as one quip goes, 'I'm so old I remember when Michael Jackson was a little BLACK boy.' So please, O youngsters, forgive today's outburst.


P.S. Teaching school might be a good outlet for some of you, especially those who default to getting certain homonyms right.)
posted by davy at 12:12 PM on April 14, 2007

(And parentheses.
posted by davy at 12:15 PM on April 14, 2007

>it just takes basic human nature.

Basic human nature is fucking, killing, and eating. Keeping it real, I see!
posted by damn dirty ape at 12:21 PM on April 14, 2007

I wish ThinkGeek would come out with that alarm clock that donates money to causes you hate if you don't wake up in time.
posted by dirigibleman at 12:34 PM on April 14, 2007 [2 favorites]

Whereas blindered reductions of corporate IT transgressions to rebellious, 'pathetic' floor-crapping are spot-on? I'm just saying there's a big and not hard to understand stretch between ZOMG WILLFUL VIOLATION OF IT POLICY and people being annoyed at things they don't care very much about.
posted by cortex at 12:40 PM on April 14, 2007

I used to work as a receptionist in a particularly evil place that only gave full internet access to a few managers - the rest of us only had access to the company website and webmail. There was one manager who was sympathetic to how mind-numbingly boring my job was and would often log on as herself on my computer so I could surf. Of course, if I got up to go to the bathroom or I was called away from my desk, it was all over. I couldn't very well ask her to type in her password ten times a day. I would have killed for one of these mouse jiggler things.
posted by Wroksie at 1:39 PM on April 14, 2007

damn dirty ape : "There isnt anything more pathetic than an 'office rebel.'"

Someone sidestepping specific security policies when those security policies are sloppy "one-size-fits-all" policies established without consideration of specific PC environments, uses, etc., can be a reasonable thing, in some cases.

Someone sidestepping security policies because they Fighting The Man is pathetic.

Someone assuming that the only reason a security policy might be sidestepped is because someone is Fighting The Man is about equally pathetic.

But, of course, this is the Internet. There isn't a range of situations with black, white, and grey. How silly. No, everything is either solid black or solid white.
posted by Bugbread at 2:23 PM on April 14, 2007

The promo text at the bottom of the MouseJiggler page suggests these people are full of it:

Computer Forensics Investigators use Mouse Jiggler to prevent password dialog boxes due to screen savers or sleep mode.

Computer forensics investigators don't boot from the OS they're investigating, lest something left by the person being investigated run and destroy evidence.

IT Professionals use Mouse Jiggler to prevent password dialog boxes due to screen savers or sleep mode after an employee is terminated and they need to maintain access to a computer.

IT professionals change users' passwords after an employee is terminated, they don't just hope the screensaver never kicks in.

IT professionals or office workers use Mouse Jiggler when downloading/installing programs to keep overactive screen savers from interfering.

Since when do screen savers interfere with downloading?

Not many can resist watching the reaction of a coworker encountering the fast Mouse Jiggler for the first time.

There we go, that's more like it. It's a prank, that's all.
posted by mendel at 2:31 PM on April 14, 2007

This thread is just begging for this xkcd comic
posted by futureproof at 3:04 PM on April 14, 2007

it's blindingly, unspeakably obvious, dude
posted by cortex at 5:51 PM on April 14, 2007

I'll give you a good example of why we have to break IT policy on a regular basis: 'cause we have to do stuff that doesn't stay between the nice little lines IT draws around our work.

I work in emergency services. I work with a lot of field instrumentation. My IT department would like to pretend that we sit in offices all day and work on Word, desipte many, many discussions about what we do.

When I'm in the field, do you think I give a god-damn what IT thinks I should be doing? No, I'm going to do what it takes to get the job done regardless of corporate policy and face the consequences when I get back. It would be childlishly satisfying to say "Sorry No Can Do!" when I get an unconventional request, but the real world consequences would be too extreme to allow some arbitrary rule to get in the way.

That's why "just follow the rules" is probably the worst IT policy evar. And sadly, yes, I CAN think of places where "mouse jiggler" would be useful.
posted by bonehead at 5:57 PM on April 14, 2007

IT: computer science wannabes.
posted by ladd at 9:33 PM on April 14, 2007

I actually like the mouse jiggler. When I am away on business, I sometimes like to watch DVDs on my work laptop. If I don't jiggle the mouse every 7 minutes, the screensaver pops up. Our IT department doesn't allow that we disable this function, but doesn't prohibit us from keeping our laptop running by manually jiggling. This would save me that trouble. It's not something I would use all the time, but for the occaisional use it would be nice to have.

But I'm too cheap to spend the $30.
posted by genefinder at 9:41 AM on April 15, 2007

WiebeTech's marketing emails they send out have goten more and more bizarre over the last month or so, announcing that one of their products was being 'kidnapped' (it was just phased out), among other retarded stunts.

Dear WiebeTech:
You sell high-end apparatus for the use of hard drives. You do not need to be starting alternate reality games to market them. They sit there and sell themselves. Seriously dudes, don't be doing that to my inbox. Product release notices are fine. That is all.
posted by blasdelf at 12:45 PM on April 15, 2007

Alright everybody, commence ta jigglin'!
posted by deusdiabolus at 11:17 PM on April 15, 2007

MouseJiggler? back when I were a student, on the Sun boxes with old-school optical mice (that required an aluminium mousepad with scored vertical and horizontal lines), I used to do that with my watch... you'd get logged out if the workstation was idle for 10 minutes or whatever, but if you left the mouse sitting on your (analogue) watch you'd get 1 pixel movement per minute as the second hand swept past the optical sensor... only ever did it if there was someone I trusted at the next space over to make sure my watch didn't get flogged, but it did the job in late-night sessions when I needed a smoke...
posted by russm at 4:10 AM on April 16, 2007

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