Being Thwarted By Cyberpatrol

It went straight over my head at the time. Apparently it went over the heads of most of the audience, which is probably what Simon Groome intended. I am of course referring to the incredible moment where one of the longest serving Blue Peter presenters said, “Great pair of knockers there.” after a feature on door bells and, well, knockers. I would link to the clip on youtube but I can’t, as Cyberpatrol 7.7 has been set up to filter any site containing the word “knockers”.

Cyerpatrol 7.7 is the latest version of Cyberpatrol LLC’s (not the words most imaginatively named company but I suppose it avoids confusion) Internet filtering software. It can also be used to filter/time restrict any software use but I’m sure most people use it to stop their kids either unwittingly getting exposed to boobs whilst looking for great clips featuring Blue Peter alumni or to stop their hubbies looking at boobs whilst actually looking for boobs. Since beingamummy-mummy isn’t the sort of person to need cyberpatrol’ing, she’s set the parameters and unleashed it upon me, her hubby, in an attempt to completely ruin the Internet.

When I was a nipper computers didn’t connect to the Internet, and if you had a PC it had imaginatively colour displays like “EGA”. Even if we had a modem and naughty websites existed, anything displayed in cyan, magenta and white wouldn’t have excited me very much. I probably wasn’t odd in that.

Of course nowadays things are different. I understand the late Paul Raymond, one of Soho’s original pornographers, owed most of his fortune to property rather than fine art publications when he passed away because there’s naff all money in printing rude magazines when the Internet has it all for free. Naughty and more importantly inappropriate images and websites are all over the Internet.

Any parent who doesn’t monitor their child’s Internet activities is heading down the wrong road and will probably end up buying their 12 year old a copy of the 18 certificated game, Grand Theft Auto IV at some point because it’s a video game and video games are for kids.

You can’t blame the kids for wanting to see what they’re not allowed to, it’s human nature but what they see and do can affect them profoundly and in ways they wont realise at the time.

There are some basics you can do as a parent that are free, like setting a computer up in a communal room and allowing access only when supervised but realistically you’re not going to be there all the time. Internet browsers are also aiding and abetting kids curiosity by introducing features that clear the history of visited websites- you now you can’t even check after the event.

So I’ve been placed in the position of a youngster who is innocently looking for some Blue Peter clips and who wants to have a look at some pictures of naughty ladies. I realise this is a big favour I’m doing wifey, but that’s just the kind of guy I am.

Thwarted in my endeavour to accidentally stumble upon boobs with a great alibi already in place. I decided to accidentally head over to the playboy website to read some of their informative articles. I should say there is nothing wrong with the Playboy website. I’ve, cough, heard it does feature interesting articles and features but for the purpose of this test I’m 12 again and the stirring in my pants has more than the girls netball team to fixate on.

The discussion of whether porn is good/bad/unhealthy is fortunately well outside of my remit here.

Dang, I’m greeted with Cyberpatrol’s “Access Restricted” screen. Much as I was for my attempts to provide you with a link to a bit of Blue Peter history.

Over the next half an hour (it appears I’ve had the time restriction function enabled on me too), I completely fail to find any “minge” and any number of more unpleasant euphemisms for lady bits that most parents wouldn’t be aware of but thanks to a Christmas gift of Viz Magazines Roger’s Profanisaurus, are now imprinted upon my mind (shame Cyberpatrol can’t keep an eye on your bookcase really).

I’m 34 and I know my round computers. I’ve used telnet for goodness sake and don’t baulk at the idea of a command line. But I can’t get round Cyberpatrol. In a moment of what I considered at the time genius, I hit control, alt and delete and crash out of the programme. If its not running, I can visit any number of naturist websites to see what the fresh air does. But I can’t, its still working. Dang from my 12 year old perspective but good work from my responsible parenting perspective.

Talking to wifey, it didn’t take much to set up. All the rude stuff is barred by using a slider so you don’t have to mire yourself in a sea of filth to block the sea of filth, it just knows. Hopefully the chaps at Cyberpatrol that have to work out which key words get blocked get some counselling but from my perspective as an end user, its ace. Definitely something worth owning if you have teenage kids about (or younger kids with a good vocabulary) and as long as you give your husband the password to amend the settings, I can wholeheartedly recommend this product.

Now, wifey, can you turn this time restriction limiter off?

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1 Response

  1. Womanatwork 20th April 2009 / 1:01 pm

    You sound like the kind of man I have just written a post about. You should meet my husband!

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