back to article Observer columnist in online porn mixup

You might think being a Sunday newspaper columnist is a pretty easy gig. Think again. They have to conjure provocative opinions on everything, on demand, often with only the weakest grasp of the facts. To highlight their plight, here we present Barbara Ellen's attempt in yesterday's Observer to wrestle copy from ICANN's …

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common

It's rare for Barbara Ellen to get anything right so it's not surprising.

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WTF?

For fxxxs sake!

What is the plural of Doofus ... Doofi? Doofusses?

I'm so glad I'm not an interectual.

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Coat

@Doofi, doofuses

Doofera (Latin 3rd declension neuter plural, cf. genus, genera).

Mine's the one with the Shorter Latin Primer in the pocket.

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Silver badge

you may laugh ...

but this probably represents the upper-quartile's understanding of the internet, its naming and how it works. The other three-quarters think the internet is Google.

Since the whole censorship and copyright and freedoms debates will/are being informed by the same people (ooops, I nearly called them "journalists") who write this stuff, the best we can hope for are some over-zealous laws, quickly slapped together to solve the problems caused by tabloid headlines. These same laws will probably catch more unintended victims that actual harm-doers and will then be vilified by the same trashy newspaper articles that forced their creation in the first place.

In britain it's pretty much impossible to write a well-considered, emotionally uncharged and balanced piece of mass journalism about certain topics: drugs, children, terrorism and sex are the most frequently misrepresented (followed by europe, foreigners, green, non-green and small furry animals - esp. giant pandas, OK - and large furry animals). Until newspapers can get over their own taboos we stand no chance of making any sort of social progress and even less chance of some half-sensible legislation what does what it says on the tin.

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Anonymous Coward

Over 55's

I tried several times to explain to my father in law that BT Yahoo was not the internet. When I changed his default home page from BT Yahoo to Google he flipped out and phoned me. "My internet is not working" he said. You can imagine how the phonecall trying to get him to install and use Skype went.

The sooner anyone aged over 55 is dead the better.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: you may laugh...

I am laughing,

>but this probably represents the upper-quartile's understanding of the internet, its naming and how it works. The other three-quarters think the internet is Google.

Which group do you fit in? Or maybe your brain is so quick the internet expands for you and you can squeeze into a quarter in another dimension for really, really intelligent people who understand everything.

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FAIL

Get in where you fit in.

My brain falls into the group that recognizes the person to whom you are responding is absolutely correct. Perhaps you fall in to that same upper-quartile.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Over 55's

I don't understand why you want to impose anything on your father then not tell tell him. It sounds as if you changed his browser defaults then went away without telling him only for him to find out what you did when you weren't there. I get frustrated with my father but I wouldn't alter anything he didn't want altering just to suit me. If he's happy with the way he's doing things why do you feel the need to gain some feeling of superiority over him. What did he do to you as a child?

Also, changing the home page to Google isn't exactly the height of internet sophistication. I would wager that most techies have about:blank as their home page.

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The IT Crowd episode

Wasn't there an episode from The IT Crowd where the guys convinces Jen that the entire internet is contained in a small black box and she in turn gives a presentation to high-powered nobs who ended up in awe of the box?

A lot of similarities here methinks...

PS. I have always maintained that the standard of education in the UK is on the downward slide but that's another topic.

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Silver badge

Re: Get in where you fit in

It pains me to see that a lot of so called techies think that the internet can be divided into the elite upper quartile who don't know one end of a domain name from the other (hardly elitist) and those who think Google is the be all and end all of the internet. The latter appears to be supported by the "Over 55's" commentard.

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Yeah?

This >55 spent a chunk of his weekend rebuilding the MBR of a 16-year-old's netbook. Don't think the younger generation know much about technology. They know how to use the stuff, but ask them how to defrag a hard disk, or tell the difference between a VGA and a DVI connector, and their little jaws drop with incomprehension.

The over 55s will be dead in due course Sonny Jim, but don't take it out on us because you married into a family of techno-retards.

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Grenade

Re: Over 55's

You do know that much all of the stuff that makes your shiny Google & Skype stuff work was done by people over 55...

Now go and play on Twitter (or Facebook or whatever you think is computing) with all of the other spoilt children - While we worry about Unix; and relational databases; and TCP/IP; and the World Wide Web; and C, C++ and Java - The trivial stuff that actual makes everything work.

Sorry, my mistake, Tim Berners-Lee and James Gosling are only just 55.

Sorry again - You may have touched a nerve - I probably spend too much time with people under the age of 35 who think that the internet is the big blue "e"; and wonder why they need a different account name and password to log onto their PC and Facebook; and think that Microsoft invented everything to do with computers.

Uphill, In the snow, both ways.

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about:blank

yup, and has been since i first used internet explorer (4?)

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but is that because....

you have had many more years in IT than they?

say you are 55, been into tech for 30 years....

you get a new techie, who is 25, been into tech for 5 years.

are you really 6x more knowledgable than him?

and any techie that cant tell a dvi (i or d?) from a vga needs to go work for mcdonalds lol.

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Anonymous Coward

Ggogle or ask.com aren't the height of sophistication

but they give me a quick check of whether I've got a connection when I start the browser, so I normally use one of them. Ask.com for myself, Google for people I setup systems for. Most of them do think Google is the Internet. Which is at least a bit better than my mother who thinks it is AOL and can't find her way without it, no matter how hard I try to show her otherwise.

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Alert

HEY!

Hey, I resemble that remark!

I still remember when Compuserve and AOL via 300bps were the "internets" you young whipper snapper!

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Megaphone

Ageist twat

'I tried several times to explain to my father in law that BT Yahoo was not the internet. '

Maybe should also tell the under 25s that facebook isn't the Internet either. And insults aren't purely the domain of the under 55s, you tosser!

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FAIL

FFS

"The sooner anyone aged over 55 is dead the better."

You should of said "The sooner anyone who is as thick as shit is dead the better." And then looked up the number of that Swiss suicide clinic.

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Thumb Down

Over 55's

Oy dipshit alot of people that use the internet quite cappably are a lot older than 55 just because your inlaws are thick it does not mean that we all are.

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Happy

I thought the Internet was AOL?

At least they have Google as the current Internet Provider instead of America Online.....

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Nope

>The sooner anyone aged over 55 is dead the better

I have a year to live then. Unfortunately I have e-mails dating back to 1998, can write web pages using note pad, I know where the HOSTS file is on my PC and can edit it etc. etc.

I'm probably more IT literate than you but it doesn't matter because I will be dead in a year.

Meh...

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WTF?

A whole weekend

spent on 512 bytes? Did you carve them in stone, but the finer parts of the calligraphy of those pesky `1's reeeally exercised your arthritis?

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Vint Cerf

Born 1943. Tim Berners-Lee - born 1955. Etc, etc.

Over 55s - done a lot, know a lot.

Anonymous coward - born yesterday, knows fuck all.

Get back behind your Dixon's counter and sell some extended warranties.

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Me too

Except my first browser was Mosaic... please tell me there are more here who remember it...

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Anonymous Coward

Looks about:blankly

Dammit, so that's what I've been doing wrong all these years.

Home page = El Reg.

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Pint

Re : Over 55s

And if one of my kids changed my PC settings without my express permission I'd feed one of their kid sweets and chocolate until said grandchild was about to be gloriously sick. _THEN_ I'd give the kid back.

Though as I'm the one who sets up _their_ machines I doubt that they'd dare mess one of mine about.

Beer, it makes raising children bearable.

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Happy

memories ..

Ah the simple pleasures of whistling down an acoustic coupler!!

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Thumb Up

Reply to post: Yeah?

I agree with you.

:)

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Troll

title

come on El Reg, will the targeted readers be able to tell the difference?

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Barbara Ellen, you silly girl!

The Gaurdian does sometimes do EXCELLENT articles such as this article about Dumb & Dumber who are now on the Health Select Committtee -http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2010/jun/26/conservatives-health-select-committee

Clearly, they shoudl fire Barbara because she's stupid.

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Anonymous Coward

Stupid

Stupid she may be, but can she spell?

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Anonymous Coward

Is this

to imply that he misspelled "Grauniad"?

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He also misspeled

"shodul"

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Silver badge

knowing things

It might be excusable for the journo to know bog all about the internet and even bog all about porn, but you would expect that even if they don't know which one is a prefix and which one is a suffix that they could at least tell the two apart.

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Anonymous Coward

Even if the columnist didn't know

Perhaps the sub-editors should, and could have sent it back to be corrected before the cheque went in the post.

Though I believe the role of sub editor has been trimmed from many British papers, because they cost money.

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Read the whole article

It gets worse. Totally clueless. Not even in an amusing way.

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FAIL

Nothing to do with censorship?

If she doesn't even know how the address works, I doubt she understands how it could be used for censorship.

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hehe

Like most cluetards, they post before they think.

Perhaps people should start campaigning for more TLDs, .whine, .rant, .drivel and .clueless spring to mind.

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Paris Hilton

Unhappy?

Why would any porn company be unhappy about having a whole new address space to buy into with almost no competition from any other companies?

I can't see them ever forcing certain types of companies to have xxx on the end in the same way all the other top-level domains are not used by the correct companies most of the time.

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Boffin

er ....

that's *exactly* what the pornmeisters are worried about. And once they are coralled into .xxx domains, it's the work of a second for a country to block that entire domain.

He's a similar suggestion .... you know how currently we use .gov for government associated websites ? Why not have .anarchy as a domain for all viewpoints that oppose the government ?

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Troll

>Frozen Ghost, 28th June 2010 14:10 GMT

because they could very easily be blocked from networks (or countries) that don't allow pr0n. Right now, you can't block ".com" (which is where they reside), you have to instead depends on a published list of known pr0n sites and block each one*. If you force the pr0n industry to use the top domain ".xxx" then they will lose a good partition of their customers.

* or force your network through opendns, which is what I did in my office. All non-encrypted DNS requests are forwarded to opendns.

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Anonymous Coward

Anarchy?

Then may I propose the .nrk suffix?

AC, natch...

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Boffin

re: er ...

Not exactly trivial to block at the domain level - use any other DNS server (or even your own) or IP address and suddenly the ISP/country is doing rDNS queries for every connection..

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Gold badge

Re:eR

"once they are coralled into .xxx domains, it's the work of a second for a country to block that entire domain."

...and the work of another second for users to type in the actual IP address and thereby bypass the censorship. The .xxx proposal is protection against *accidentally* landing on porn. To make it even vaguely secure against *deliberate* attempts to reach these sites you'd have to perform a reverse DNS lookup on every TCP connection attempt. To make that even remotely efficient, you'd need to cache the lookups, which is no different from having a long list of barred IP addresses, which is what these countries presumably have right now.

Only a young child or a politician will be thwarted by censorship at this level. However, that's the benefit. In the case of young children, I don't actually hear anyone campaigning for their rights to access smut. In the case of the latter, perhaps that's the best solution: give them a fig-leaf so that they can go back to their constituents and say "Porn has been banished from the interweb! Praise $(diety)!".

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Unhappy

Anarchy? Certainly not

nrk.no

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Troll

Rule 34

Any Rule 34 on Barbara Ellen?

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xxx prefix

Excellent idea.

In fact, it should be mandatory, change www to xxx on any website to get a NSFW version of the site. I think El Reg could indeed take a lead here (to index your NSFW stories?)

Jolyon

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Seconded.

Come on Reg, get your XXX variant in gear ASAP. You could replace the tired old vulture head with some other dangly bit maybe...

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Joke

theregister.xxx

Sucking the **** that feeds IT?

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FAIL

There's a good reason...

I don't buy either paper!

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