Member Rara Avis
Marge, with the exception of Java applets and VBX controls, which we don't use and no one should ever have enabled, there is very little our programs can do to control your hardware. We have "some" control over your display, but only as filtered through your browser. We can't format your hard disk, we can't read your email or other data, and we can't hang up your phone line. If any of those were intentionally possible, the whole Internet would quickly become a quagmire of mischievous.
You obviously are the victim of a very irritating bug, and it might even be triggered by something in the forums. But the only programs that can control your machine must reside on your machine. The fact you are being so "unique" suggests to me it's probably not even a single bug, but an accumulation of several, from several different programs. The only other possibility is that your ISP is looking for a specific sequence of characters and doing something strange when it sees that sequence. If you know anyone in your area using the same ISP, you might test that theory on their machine. If it happens on multiple machines using the same ISP, we can start documenting exactly which threads trigger it and I'll try to trace the sequence of characters common to each. I can make program changes to insure that sequence never happens again. If it doesn't happen on other machines using the same ISP, then it's probably not a specific sequence of character but rather a specific sequence of actions - which is almost impossible to trace. And, certainly, impossible for our software to prevent.