Nothing Like a Little Porn to Brighten the Class

Nothing Like a Little Porn to Brighten the Class

I saw this little article in BBC Tech News this morning and thought I’d share it … here’s the teaser:

“Children at a secondary school in Bradford got a little more than they bargained for when an Internet search for information about the heart resulted in a page of links to hardcore pornography.”

If you go on to read the article you’ll see the snafu was due to a faulty search filtering technology. All this stuff is software based, so I thought it went along nicely with the readings we’ve been doing (uhm, you HAVE been reading haven’t you). Seems to me if you are a major player — or are trying to hold onto being a major player — in the search space you better make sure your bread and butter technologies work. Looks like Ask Jeeves pulled the new technology before it “filtered” any more results … teaching with technology never seemed so dangerous – and exciting!

In some unrelated news, Google — the real search engine … finally topped its IPO price of $108-$135.00. After weeks of performing below, or at, that level the Internet search giant broke the $135.00 ceiling and closed at $138.37. Not that you guys care too much, but it is interesting to note that what was once a niche category is now THE major player in Internet technology. Just very interesting … You can read the article at the NY Time Online, but you’ll have to register for free … which I highly recommend!

While I’m reporting random tech news, the European Union wants to see Microsoft stay clear of owning the rights to a dominant DRM technology … they feel it will strengthen Microsoft’s strangle hold on the desktop and the emerging digital media market. Take a look at this article in Wired and start to think about what it all means.

One more quickie for you — insert porn joke here — I read this morning in the Chronicle of Higher Education that Congress has praised several Colleges for their efforts to curb illegal file sharing. Guess who’s in it? That’s right our very own President Spanier … interesting read and fits well with where we are going. You think all this stuff is really making a difference?

Interesting times to be alive! Porn in sixth grade, tech bouncing back, DRM battles just getting started, and PSU stopping illegal file sharing … What are your thoughts on this or anything else?

14 thoughts on “Nothing Like a Little Porn to Brighten the Class

  1. First!

    That is why my high school(in fact the whole school system) used Bess, an internet filter service. But, Bess sucks the wang, and I hope it stops being used because it blocks legit sites as well.

  2. This whole Penn State Napster thing sort of rubs me the wrong way for some reason. Call me cynical, but Ill tell everyone what I think…This whole Napster-Penn State agreement had nothing to do with all the nonsense Graham Spanier said it did. I don’t think Graham Spanier is nearly as concerned with us downloading music from Kazaa as he is getting Penn State some PR. I mean these type of articles were the whole point of this Napster thing…..Ive had people call me from home telling me about how they saw PSU on the news regarding this Napster stuff and I think thats the purpose, to get PSU’s name out. Now don’t get me wrong, this legal version of Napster is actually pretty cool, I downloaded it a few weeks ago, but just the idea that they keep on saying they are super concerned with the welfare of the students is kinda ridiculous. Just from getting PSU on the news and into tech magazines by itself probably RAISED the application numbers by a few percentage points. I feel like a lot of the policies here are used to make money (i.e not creating 15 minute parking spots on campus at important buildings like Shields) and they give us some other reason as to why they are doing it. If they just came out and said “Hey, we would like to make parking better here for you guys, but to be honest, those ridiculous parking tickets pay the officers salaries who are giving them and even if parking sucks here, you’ll still come here because its Penn State. Oh yeah and Napster, its a great way to get our name out to the public so a couple extra thousand people pay 40 bucks to apply here,” I’d be like alright well hey, you’re right I would still come here, and at least your honest about it.

  3. Its a shame that young kids can have access to porn on the net. I mean at my school, we had Bess (like someone mentioned in a previous comment) and it filtered out the bad sites and unfortunately even some good sites. I guess that school just needs some kind of program like Bess to help prevent situations like that from occuring. It’s one thing when kids are in senior high school and are able to handle such content, but it’s another when they are like 11 or 12 years old.

  4. I wonder who was the first person to use the internet for pornography. I mean, when it first came out, I’m sure people were thinking positive uses for it. It sucks that kids have to be exposed to it at that early of an age, but let’s face it, sex is all around us. If we want to filter the internet for sexual references in order to protect our children, we might as well shut off the television and make them wear blinders when they walk outside. Sex has become the topic for almost every advertisement out there. I say we might as well embrace the topic of sex because there really is no escaping it. I just think it’s bullshit that people like to see advertisements that hint at sex but if an ad really had two people having sex on it, it would be a problem. This country’s puritan background has been a crutch on society from day one.

    Wow, I really went off on a tangent.

  5. Like most of you have said, I also think it is a shame that young kids have to be subjected to porn and nudity on the internet. To comment on what Nathan said, I was watching TV the other day and it said that the average age that kids in the U.S. first see porn is 12 years old. Now isn’t it a shame that they get subjected to it, or simply stumble upon it, while doing research and totally legitimate searches? I remember several years ago I was helping my little sister do a research project for her science class and we stumbled upon several porn related links when we searched Google. I believe that most schools have content blocking programs on their computers. Every school I have ever attended has had a content blocking program and it has even prevented me from looking at my own personal webpage. So obviously the programs aren’t perfect, but what are we supposed to do? If we don’t try and block these porn sites, then kids will be openly subjected to them everyday…and as a society that’s not something that we want.

  6. Well it seems that teachers using the net to teach their classes have to send home permission slips to inform parents of the possibility of their kids being exposed to porn. More work for the teachers and more anal parents on their backs, sucks to be in their position right now. I guess Microsoft is getting its pockets dug into

  7. I don’t see what the big deal is. I mean go to any other country but this one and there is sex everywhere. I guess it is a little diferent the hard core porn, but I mean get over it. No matter what kids are going to exposed to porn, why does it have to be such a big deal. I understand at school, but in the article it sounds like they did not even go to the site, just the list for the site appeared. My view is that there are too many anal people in america. If this happened in europe, it would not even be worthly of a rumor, let alone the news. Besides that schools have filtering systems that do not let students go to certian site, I know in my school I could not get on pages that had nothing to do with porn, I guess they just thought they were inapropitate. I think that America in general needs to loosen up a bit, to many uptight polaticions. Now I am rambaling so I will end with this, everyone relax, if we didn’t make such a big deal about it, then there would be no reason why anyone would have thought twice about it and just clicked it off. I think everyone should relax, get some munchies, then you will be able to relax.

  8. It is kind of disturbing that schools can’t even filter out this content fully! I think there should be two types of internet…one that is just a public type and then one that is government run that would limit the sites with illegal content. Maybe then schools could have a safe net to work with. I shared this story with my roommate and he said “I started looking at porn on the internet when I was in 4th grade, so this really isn’t a big deal.” I disagree because kids in grade school shouldn’t be accessing porn even if they didn’t mean to.

  9. I have to admit that I got a chuckle out of the fact that a sixth grader was able to view a porn site from school. Who writes the programs that filter out such websites? Do they test it before selling it to schools? It’s too bad that a child inadvertently would up on a porn site. That poor kid will probably have to go to therapy now. With all of the web sites out there it would be difficult to filter out everything and like some of the other students noted it would probably filter out some legitimate sites as well.

  10. Search engines always have some problems of either filtering or finding the material you need. I can remember a quite a few times of it taking a lot of time to sort through search results to find valid articles that will help you. I do find it disturbing that the school did not have any filters of their own in place to prevent this kind of mishap. Even though Ask Jeeves, should definitly be filtering this kind of content, the school needs to be taking a proactive role in preventing their students from viewing questionable material. The web safe initiative is a good idea that more online companies, schools and the government should be focusing on. The government regulates what viewers see on TV, there should be similar safe guards built for the Internet to protect children from this kind of content.

  11. Wow, that’s insane. Porn in the classroom? Search engines should be more supervised. Although, it wouldn’t hurt for all schools to utilize filtration systems to prevent such fumbles in search engines.

  12. Google ipo was ridiculous. Google will not out perform than what it’s doin now. Haven’t we learned our lessons in tech stocks already from past history? I’m not quite sure why the auction was implemented but in any case if it was to draw off demand then you guys did a brilliant job. Those guys are bastards wreaking profits off our diminutive minds. Ever think why they went public with the IPO. Nothing good last forever, and certainly not a search engine. btw if Cole invested then ignore everything I said above. Good Choice Cole!!!

    As for the porn thing…..HAHAHAHAHAHAHA so many jokes. but i think its happened to all of us, rite? i mean comeon who hasn’t gonne to whitehouse.com instead of whitehouse.org Well look at me i turned out well rite? i think i did.

  13. I think most of the articles could be summed up as follows: Porn is everywhere and kids will see it at home anyway, Microsoft owns the world, Google is the best and PSU took a step towards limiting illegal downloading but the purpose of doing so is a very gray area.

    Regarding the pornography that the young kids saw from using a search engine is ridiculous. I don’t know how a company can use a system of software before it has been tested, especially for something of that caliber. However, I believe that kids will find whatever they want to find on their own computers at home, so I’m sure the impact wasn’t all that devastating, maybe a talk from their parents about pornography, probably not a bad idea anyway.

    Microsoft will forever be the leading software and desktop company because they basically have a strangle hold on that department. They know how to market their products and how to make products that computer ignorant people can use. In my opinion, they should buy whatever company they need or can to improve their industry and products. Every other company would do the same thing. However, I do fear the monopoly that is Microsoft because they are able to price things much higher because of the obvious lack of supply from other companies.

    As for Google, their search engine is great. I can usually find everything I need using their engine and it’s usually organized well. With other search engines the searches I come up with will sometimes have nothing to do with what I want. So, Google is the best. I hope they continue to make a ton of money and improve their site.

  14. Most people responded to the school porn idea, so I’ll go on about the rest. Google and its record price was something that I actually have been keeping my eyes on. I am real into stocks and such, and when I saw that Google was going to break a buck 35, I was excited.

    DRM and Microsoft: Sure, Europe ‘wants’ M$ to keep away from the whole digital rights stuff, but Europe isn’t running M$ now is it? If M$ comes up with a good idea, or has produced something that they think is copyrightable, then let them go.

    Congress is apparently excited about us helping to stop illegal music distrobution. First, I’m not a fan of the whole Napster on campus idea. Waste of time and resources as well as giving us an excuse to listen instead of doing hw or going to with our friends for fresh air! Besides, a lot of students here use programs other than napster for their music needs simply because they don’t have to pay to burn the music to CD’s and such. That’s my two cents.

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