Technical Difficulties from on Top of the Mountain
2005-07-28
  Why automatic classification just doesn't work.
About a year ago I happened across a weblog from a fellow geek who had just had his life turned upsidedown. After a couple of years chronicling various electronic goodies, developer tools, php, rss , other random web stuff, and the usually blog echo-chamber activity; Eric suddenly had his life turned upsidedown.

Eric C. Snowdeal IV.
born at 8:36 p.m. on july fourth 2004.
weight: 1 pound 7 ounces
length: 12 inches

sometimes things they don't turn out quite exactly how you planned.
Born after only 25 weeks, little Odin (Eric IV) was looking at a 65% survival rate and mom was recovering from a life threatening attack of Preeclampsia. The next three months were absolutely frightening as things would look up one day and down the next, Odin would go through all kinds of procedures, and the parents wouldn't know what to expect.

The good news, if you've already jumped to present day, is that Odin survived all this and has settled into what seems to be a normal life.

This week I was out at AICM teaching the kids there to melt metal and occasionally get it to stick back together (welding), and since someone had recently decided to donate the money for the school to upgrade its IT infrastructure, I actually had highspeed access out in the dorms. Besides connecting into work and getting some work done, I also checked in with the usual suspects to see what was happening. At least I did with the other webloggers on my list.

The camp had put a web proxy in place (most schools have), and the web proxy had sorted through snowdeal.org, finding lots of images featuring large quantities of skin-tones. Deciding to err on the side of caution, bluecoat decided that it was possible that this web site belonged to an altogether different economic sector, one generating large quantities of pictures featuring lots of skin-tone areas. Luckily they supplied a "response" form so that I could inform them that a premature baby in an ICU was not the pr0n they were looking for. sigh

 
Comments:
ha! thanks for submitting the form. i had no idea. like you said, just one more bit of evidence about why automatic classification leaves a lot to be desired.
 
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Blogroll
Paul Graham's Essays
You may not want to write in Lisp, but his advise on software, life and business is always worth listening to.
How to save the world
Dave Pollard working on changing the world .. one partially baked idea at a time.
SnowDeal
Eric Snowdeal IV - born 15 weeks too soon, now living a normal baby life.
Land and Hold Short
The life of a pilot.

The best of?
Jan '04
The second best villain of all times.

Feb '04
Oops I dropped by satellite.
New Jets create excitement in the air.
The audience is not listening.

Mar '04
Neat chemicals you don't want to mess with.
The Lack of Practise Effect

Apr '04
Scramjets take to the air
Doing dangerous things in the fire.
The Real Way to get a job

May '04
Checking out cool tools (with the kids)
A master geek (Ink Tank flashback)
How to play with your kids

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