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Tracking Pedophiles By Their Typing Habits 292

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the you-gotta-be-kidding dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Pedophiles using the internet to target youngsters could be tracked down — by the way they use a keyboard. Researchers are investigating ways to use technology which can determine a typist's age, sex and culture within ten keystrokes by monitoring their speed and rhythm." Since Phrenology hasn't exactly panned out, they gotta try something new.
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Tracking Pedophiles By Their Typing Habits

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 25, 2010 @09:26AM (#31609608)

    When will Slashdot learn?

    Daily Mail is sensationalist bullshit from the UK.

  • Pecking? (Score:2, Informative)

    by beatsme (1472991) on Thursday March 25, 2010 @09:26AM (#31609612)
    It seems like the way a person was taught to type and their experience with a keyboard would determine to a large extent their speed and rhythm (and accuracy). Not to mention what they're doing besides typing on MSN or whatever. If you're drinking a cup of coffee with one hand... or switching between windows. There are way too many factors at play. Phrenology at least had the advantage of a theoretical framework. Hell, even hand-writing analysis had fewer confounding factors.
  • by AlastairLynn (1366585) on Thursday March 25, 2010 @10:06AM (#31610068)
    Here's the paper which may have started this research: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/66795/01/thesis.pdf [soton.ac.uk]
  • by clone53421 (1310749) on Thursday March 25, 2010 @10:09AM (#31610100) Journal

    Apparently they had to hook up sensors to the typists’ fingers. Now we just need to have all the paedophiles register so that we can make sure they’re wearing their typing gloves when they go online.

    (Why they couldn’t just use a regular keylogger is beyond me, but the fact that they didn’t implies that for some reason a simple keylogger wouldn’t work. It would certainly have been easier than wiring up the typists and developing electronics to monitor the sensors.)

  • Remember graphology? (Score:3, Informative)

    by jazcap (1125477) on Thursday March 25, 2010 @10:10AM (#31610108)
    For a time in the '70s, World's Fairs, science expos, etc. might feature handwriting analysis by computer. A large, impressive, punchcard-based machine would read your signature or other writing sample and produce a 'description' of your personality.

    Graphology has at times significant support, and its use has been explored by criminologists. Nowadays, it's generally considered to be a crock. One of the areas where graphology was earliest discredited was in its (in)ability to tell the gender of a writer.

    The Daily Wail article makes similar claims to those made for graphology, including the ability to determine gender, and proposes some of the same uses for the new technique. I suspect this will wind up on the crock-shelf next to graphology.
  • by TheRaven64 (641858) on Thursday March 25, 2010 @11:03AM (#31610850) Journal

    Given that the left-wing Labour party has been in power in the UK for many years

    We call that kind of reasoning 'ex falso quodlibet'. If you start from a false statement, you can prove anything. The left-wing Labour Party hasn't been in power in the UK since the early '80s. New Labour (old tories) has been in power since the '90s, but isn't even remotely left wing.

  • Re:oh no (Score:3, Informative)

    by ultranova (717540) on Thursday March 25, 2010 @11:57AM (#31611880)

    Also, there's this thing called the Backspace key, I type faster with one hand than half the population with both.

    So you must be pretty experienced with computers. Such a person could easily set up an anonymity network, such as Tor or Freenet. Those could be used by pedophiles to hide their identity online.

    The evidence seem pretty damning. You'd better just confess; you can't fool statistical correlations, you know.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 25, 2010 @12:14PM (#31612248)

    Pedophiles are rapists, but not all rapists are pedophiles

    A rapist is someone who rapes (duh).
    A pedophile is someone who wants to fuck children.

    However, until the pedophile actually fucks a kid, is not a rapist.

    If I want to implant an axe in the head of my neighbor, I am not a murderer until I actually do so.

  • by GasparGMSwordsman (753396) on Thursday March 25, 2010 @01:37PM (#31613888)
    Some items of note.

    Lieberman is an independent not a Democrat. He left the Democratic party after the 2004 elections.

    Most people in the Executive branch are career employees. They don't suddenly switch when a new President gets elected. According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, the Federal Government has a yearly turnover rate of about 7.1%. Meaning that of the approximate 2,000,000 current Federal employees, about 1.86 million served during the previous administration. Other studies show that the majority of turnover is to lower positions and due to being promoted to higher positions.

    In short, most of the people rejecting those FIOS petitions now, are the same people who were rejecting FIOS petitions four years ago. Many of those same people were probably hired during the Clinton administration for that matter, perhaps even during the Bush (Sr.) administration or even before that.

    Also in an irony of ironies, your post got modded interesting instead of troll.
  • Re:oh no (Score:3, Informative)

    by vxice (1690200) on Thursday March 25, 2010 @01:47PM (#31614106)
    there needs to be another level of mod points for funny. fucking hilarious. +5 funny doesn't do it justice.

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