• Sellars (unregistered) in reply to Someone too lazy to login and at work

    It could be argued that blocking Scunthorpe is a net improvement, not a WTF. :)

  • ancientcoder (unregistered)

    You had keyboards in high school? In my day we only had a binary 2-key keyboard

  • some guy (unregistered) in reply to ancientcoder
    ancientcoder:
    You had keyboards in high school? In my day we only had a binary 2-key keyboard

    my aviation training included morse code. 1-key. beat that.

  • (cs) in reply to SenTree
    SenTree:

    Back to the main topic, my work filter blocks XKCD for adult/mature content - WHY ? :(

    My guess would be the warning at the bottom (especially the string 'adult'):

    Warning: this comic occasionally contains strong language (which may be unsuitable for children), unusual humor (which may be unsuitable for adults), and advanced mathematics (which may be unsuitable for liberal-arts majors).

    Yazeran

  • Ian (unregistered) in reply to Keyword Filter Bot
    Keyword Filter Bot:
    Richy C.:
    Dick Smith lived in Svaginahorpe and supported the Buttnal football club. He had intercourcetuplates at home with his girlfriend Dorothy breastt - they were conceived after they had been to prophylactic-en-Armagnac in France.

    Ah - keyword filtering.... :)

    Keyword Filter Bot has FTFY!

    What a clbuttic response...

  • (cs) in reply to Yazeran
    Yazeran:
    SenTree:
    Back to the main topic, my work filter blocks XKCD for adult/mature content - WHY ? :(
    My guess would be the warning at the bottom (especially the string 'adult'):
    Um, yes, I mentioned it to highlight the stupidity of these things. This is a workplace, not a school, and many more unsuitable sites are not blocked.
  • (cs) in reply to BrianT
    BrianT:
    Yeah my understanding is that while dihydrogen monoxide is technically correct - the di- and mono- are superflous.

    hydrogen oxide is sufficient

    Except that it isn't - there are two oxides of hydrogen, and I sure as hell don't want to take a shower in the other one.

    Addendum (2010-02-17 10:15): Oops, I forgot the other common oxide. Which I would also not recommend for topical application.

  • Jay (unregistered) in reply to Sailor
    Sailor:
    Real men program in COBOL. They type the entire 3-page ENVIRONMENT DIVISION by hand every time instead of copying it in from another file, even though it never changes.

    Did I say "type"? You should have it so easy. The punch card machine has a worn ribbon again, so you won't be able to read the printed characters at the top, just the actual Hollerith punch codes.

    You had keypunch machines that printed the text on the cards along with the Hollerith codes? Isn't that cheating?

    When I was in high school, we had paper tape. CDs are just a passing fad, you know. Paper tape is coming back.

  • Jay (unregistered)

    Just by the way ... Why is it that a web site or a TV program or whatever that is filled with crude sexual innuendo and bathroom jokes -- the sort of thing that appeals to 13-year-old boys -- is labeled "For mature audiences" ? Shouldn't it be labeled, "For immature audiences" ?

  • Ted (unregistered)

    You know... back in the day, before you younguns invented this whole P.C. thing, we didn't HAVE "content filtering." The interesting teachers would actually show us the smut, tell dirty jokes, and beat the crap out of kids who didn't behave.

    Ah, the good old days...!

  • Calli Arcale (unregistered) in reply to PRMan
    PRMan:
    forgottenlord:
    It also came with this nifty little feature called "Teacher Override". Each teacher was given one for the explicit purpose of "if you need it".

    Sounds like K9.

    K9 demonstrated quite effective "teacher override" on one occasion....

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/School_Reunion_%28Doctor_Who%29

  • Kef Schecter (unregistered)

    At my high school -- this was about 10 years ago -- we had WebSense. It blocked www.jargon.org -- the Jargon File -- for "hacking" content, even though the site explained in excruciating detail that the words "hacker" and "hacking" were being used in a completely different sense of the term, and the site had nothing at all to do with illegal (or even potentially illegal) activities. I wrote to them and explained this to them. They re-evaluated the site... and replied that they decided to keep the block, with no explanation. Furthermore, the matter would be closed and no further dispute possible.

    The funniest thing was that the very same website was still acessible from the URL that jargon.org was a simple redirect to.

  • Myrmidon (unregistered) in reply to Someone too lazy to login and at work
    Someone too lazy to login and at work:
    Keyword filtering is always utterly flawed. Witness the number of filters that block Scunthorpe. I know of at least one IRC channel that kicked you for saying it.

    Ha! He said 'IRC'. IRC - the A.M. Radio of the internet.

    Yeah, I'm old.

  • (cs) in reply to Procedural
    Procedural:
    Pfft; we called a 150bps modem and whistled back and forth.

    Modems??? Acoustic couplers! .... etc, etc.

  • The 2-Belo (unregistered)

    The real WTF is the fact that she was attempting to show her class a sex ed video directly off the internet in the first place. If this has been part of the curriculum for years, then don't they even have a copy of this video on the local network?

  • RG (unregistered)

    I loved this.

    Why? At present the Australian Government is trying to enforce a mandatory internet filter across the entire country.

    The Communications minister– Stephen Conroy (or Conjob as he’s known locally), is using the argument “Think of the Children” as the reason behind the push. It’s unfortunate that Conroy’s major backers for the plan are a selection of Right Wing Christian lobby groups who have been pushing for sites about Abortion and Euthanasia to be blocked – along with sites that are "non-Christian" in nature.

    The sad thing about the Australian Internet Filter is that, not only has Conroy asked Google to filter Youtube like it does for China, it’ll operate with a secrecy clause. Sites will be blocked, but you won’t know about it til they block it, and the chances of getting a website unblocked are extremely low – especially if it’s the Christian Lobby groups that get them blocked in the first place.

  • cumbucket jones (unregistered)

    cum lol... yeah latin, whatever... it means jiz in the closet

  • (cs)

    I'm so glad my ISP filters TDWTF because of all the foul language used here; it saves me from having to read all comments posted.

  • Randy Snigger (unregistered) in reply to Richy C.
    Richy C.:
    He had sextuplates at home with his girlfriend Dorothy Titt

    Adult form of pilates?

  • Jim Brosky (unregistered) in reply to Ian
    Ian:
    Keyword Filter Bot:
    Richy C.:
    Dick Smith lived in Svaginahorpe and supported the Buttnal football club. He had intercourcetuplates at home with his girlfriend Dorothy breastt - they were conceived after they had been to prophylactic-en-Armagnac in France.

    Ah - keyword filtering.... :)

    Keyword Filter Bot has FTFY!

    What a clbuttic response...

    Manhood Smith

  • (cs) in reply to zoredache
    zoredache:
    Paul Ron:
    Censorship is TRWTF. There are an infinite number of ways to express the concept "one". (1, won, 3-2...) Anyone who tries to block the communication of information between two willing minds is doomed to fail.
    Unfortunately, in the US if you want E-rate money then filtering is required. Even if there is no way for it to be effective.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Children%27s_Internet_Protection_Act

    cipa is impolite Polish for pussy. That describes the geniouses who proposed the act, and quite accurately so.

  • yvan eht nioj (unregistered) in reply to Yazeran
    Yazeran:
    SenTree:
    Back to the main topic, my work filter blocks XKCD for adult/mature content - WHY ? :(
    My guess would be the warning at the bottom (especially the string 'adult'):

    My guess would be: http://xkcd.com/631/

  • (cs) in reply to yvan eht nioj
    yvan eht nioj:
    Yazeran:
    SenTree:
    Back to the main topic, my work filter blocks XKCD for adult/mature content - WHY ? :(
    My guess would be the warning at the bottom (especially the string 'adult'):
    My guess would be: http://xkcd.com/631/
    I'll have to take your word for it - since I'm at work.
  • CJP (unregistered) in reply to tg
    This reminds me that the Sony PS3 text chat obviously thinks the word 'nicht' (not in German) is evil. I cannot think of any reason that would justify this. Perhaps someone can enlighten me :)

    http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/nicht

    Dutch: 7. (derogatory) A male homosexual person.

    I honestly have no idea how this is related to the other meanings in Dutch.

  • Anonymous (unregistered) in reply to MacAdmin
    MacAdmin:
    PRMan:
    forgottenlord:
    I'm pretty sure we had a block engine called "Bess" when I was in school. It had a logo of a dog and every time we tripped it, we'd scream "Stupid Dog". By Grade 12, 3 years after it had been implemented, word leaked that our school board was looking to ditch it for High Schools and have different classes of filtering for different levels of education (eg: Junior Highs would be allowed to access more sites than Elementary Schools, etc).

    It also came with this nifty little feature called "Teacher Override". Each teacher was given one for the explicit purpose of "if you need it".

    Sounds like K9.

    Our school network connects via a fiber optic link to the state mandated ISP for educational purposes. This particular ISP filters all HTTP traffic using SmartFilter DA BESS and in a nutshell, it's a complete bloody nightmare.

    Since it's state mandated, not even the network administrators can browse around for software updates or device drivers without incurring its wrath, which although simple enough to bypass with a quick "Temporary Override", is still a hurdle in a job that could have only taken seconds. Even more so if you're waiting 5 minutes for a technician to come down to a classroom and enter the magic words to kill the beast (at least for the next 3 hours).

    To add insult to injury though, the filter, being a blanket filter for all educational institutions across the state, can take block requests from any teacher through any administrator at any school in the state. Couple that with the so called "intelligent" keyword based filtering, and you have a filter that allows practically nothing through.

    Possibly the only fun to come of that filter was when we discovered by changing a few pieces of the URL, you could generate a "Stop" page with any URL and reason that you wanted. Suddenly this filter was more of a joke than it was practical.

    Hopefully some day it'll be scrapped in favour of school-level filtering or anything for that matter, because I can't think of a solution worse than the current one.

    Sounds like NSW Department of Education.

    tin:
    I know this comment is on page 3 and no one will read it, but...

    Welcome to NSW schools in Australia. The filtering still sucks big time, and teachers still ask me for plain normal websites to be unblocked (a request usually denied within hours by the "filtering team", who are anonymous and unaccountable), but at least now it's not as bad as it was about 12-18 months ago....

    Teachers were using 20 year old text books they had nearly thrown out for a while at our school. Especially in subjects like PE, where sex, drugs and other such interesting topics are mandated by the same idiots that think we should block the internet.

    LOL. I bypass it on a daily basis by setting up a SSH server that runs on port 443 then tunneling through it.

  • Herby (unregistered)

    From this discussion, it is redly apparent that given a chance, students will get around just about any rule that teachers impose (I believe that it is in their nature!). My excursion into this folly was in my school years (the 60's as I remember it). We had a language lab that had individual cubicles (desks with high sound proof walls). All of these had nice microphones so that the teacher could "monitor" your wonderful speaking voice. In addition, there was a tape recorder that could select the proper microphone to record for prosperity (and humiliation of the victim). The problem was that there was a "sneak path" that if you used this "recorder" for general playback, it mixed in the selected "victim" for all to hear.

    It didn't take me long to see this, as they used this "recorder" in playback mode for the main language tapes. One time I setup my cubicle to be the "overdub" person and proceeded to narrate the lesson of the day. They had one particular phrase that sounded "difficult" and I responded with "tongue twister" and it caused great amounts of laughter. The teacher didn't have a clue, and I would pick others to be the victim. Great fun in the 8th grade!

    Yes, Virginia, filters never work!

  • Jason (unregistered)

    I think that sites should be blocked on an individual basis. At my school Facebook is blocked (Social Networking), Youtube (Video Sharing) G.ho.st (Generic Remote Acess) Drop Box (File Sharing). Even though some people need it for projects and will useing responsibly like getting a picture of a friend, talking to partners in a project, downloading a file you for a group project. I think that if you are caught using the sites for things other than school often then they should block The sites for you. There are some sites that should be block for everyone such as sites containing porn, sell drugs and anything else illegal, but should be confirmed manually.

    I know that implementing this would require a lot of setup and monitering (at my school the IT gut can already watch you) but I think it is the best way to go.

    Posted by a student at Grand River Collegiate Institute

  • oheso (unregistered) in reply to EvanED
    EvanED:
    Reading all these comments... has anyone done a Fortress-like app that actually mostly works? And is reasonably difficult to get around?

    It'd probably be hard, but someone has to have done a better job than the stuff that people are talking about in this thread...

    For filtering, pattern matching will never work well for all the reasons (examples) mentioned. iPrism (St. Bernard) works on URL lists. URLs are assigned to various categories, and the administrator has the option of deciding which categories are blocked. There are a number of categories, so the slicing and dicing can be done rather finely. The administrator can propose categories for sites, and override (block or unblock) a given URL on a permanent basis.

    Users can be given the ability to override on a temporary basis, and this ability can be tied to user classes in Active Directory.

    That's about as intelligent as it gets at the moment, and it's still far from perfect. First, it's only as good as its lookup table, and apparently any idiot can categorize a URL any way he likes. (All the vendor's customers can propose URL categories, which get incorporated into the next day's update.) One person's sex education lesson is another person's porn. And, naturally, new sites spring up every day.

    Next, if an https block is enforced, it goes for all sites at a particular IP address. (Some people may be surprised to find their educational website is hosted on the same IP address as a porn site, but I've seen sillier things.)

    Then there are the sites that don't get proper DNS assignments. A certain major webmail service tends to add IP addresses to its server farm but forget to add DNS records for them. So local overrides on the domain name are ineffective.

    Proxy sites are tracked and added to the database, along with everything else.

    And even absent all those issues, then there are the times when someone, for very good reasons, wants to change the rules on a temporary basis. "OK, no games. Except between 9:25 and 10:15 a.m. in Room 215 on Monday and Wednesday this week, for lesson purposes." I'm sorry, that's why I give you temporary override privileges. Yes, you'll have to perform the override individually on 30 machines. Life can be funny, eh?

    And the system headaches. Yes, when you put a device between the request and the response, and modify the request, there are problems. And can someone please tell me why Google with strict filtering returns different results on technical questions than Google with no filtering?

    Thus internet filtering. For locking down machines, group policy is your friend (Windows). You must lock the client BIOS and set it to only boot from the internal disk (or from network). There are probably similar techniques for Mac using OpenDirectory.

  • Qwertyuiopas (unregistered)

    It's quite funny when an entire school board funnels all internet traffic through a central server. Especially funny that for a while you could circumvent the system by going through port 8080 of that exact server rather than port 80. (That and/or a diffrent server with a similar IP. I forget what one(s) worked). They don't seem to have enabled content filtering even though their filter allows it, likely because it would put too much strain on the server.

    Since teachers could get on nearly any site, and internet logins were tied to computer logins, one keylogger and a student could log in to the computer itself as a teacher.

    The only prevention on running programs was the policies of windows explorer, so get even one command line open, and you had full access. THe graphical registry editors were blocked by windows built-in disables, but reg.exe wasn't, so you could edit the explorer policies from a command prompt, use task manager to kill explorer, then restart it with the command prompt and run anything.

    Also most of the allowed programs list didn't have full paths, so one command with a > in it could get you a nice text file of allowed .exe, .msi, and .bat files.

    For a while, you could launch anything through scheduled tasks, as well.

    (Also, they deleted mspaint off the computers, though added it to the allowed program list. The teachers had to distribute it from a shared folder.)

  • Mr. D (unregistered)

    Just goes to show what our district IT manager kept saying, "These kids are smarter than we are."

  • (cs) in reply to WildcatMike
    WildcatMike:
    You had computers in high school? Whippersnapper. In my day, we had to use a typewriter and generous amounts of white out to write any application.

    You had White Out? Until we got erasable bond paper, we had to retype the whole page to fix an error.

  • MacAdmin (unregistered) in reply to Anonymous
    Anonymous:
    Sounds like NSW Department of Education.

    Close. South Australia.

  • newtoid (unregistered) in reply to threecheese

    i work for the public sector in the uk, in my region there are places called Penistone and Scunthorpe, for years we had a bulletin board where these names were changed to Thingytone and Sthingythorpe because of wildcarded bad word lists.

    we were also blocked from http://essex.police.uk because of an over-zealous dba, blanket banning urls with the word sex in them.

    we've cum a long way baby!

  • Don (unregistered)

    Wow, this brought back memories. The exact same thing happened verbatim to me back in high school. We also went the proxy server route, at the time, we used a free one that Lucent Technologies not only left open to the public but advertised it as well on a website.

    Violet could have been my 11th grade English teacher. I remember one day where she was trying to pull something up about a book we were reading and Bess blocked it. A group of us showed her how to use the Lucent proxy and it worked like a charm, and she was really happy that she didn't have to go run to the library to get an override.

  • jm (unregistered)

    Replace 'Bessy' with 'Apple', and re-read.

  • eric bloedow (unregistered)

    "What's the proper procedure when this chemical spills?" she demanded, holding a beaker over Roman's head.

    He jumped back a foot-- all the space the repurposed AV-closet-cum-IT-office afforded. "I-- what the-- what is it?"

    "Dihydogen monoxide," she said, tilting the beaker. "Answer!"

    "I don't know!"

    "Then look up the MSDS sheet on the WHMIS website!"

    Content Blocked "Category: Dangerous Knowledge!" she said, putting the beaker down.

    i've seen similar gags in other sites: Dihydrogen Monoxide=H2O=water. she was threatening him with WATER...i've also seen it called "oxy dyhydride" on a comic site-an Environmentalist thought it was dangerous.

  • eric bloedow (unregistered)

    i just remembered an old new program where "marS EXploration" got censored...

Leave a comment on “Bessy Keeps You Safe”

Log In or post as a guest

Replying to comment #:

« Return to Article