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Science

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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  • oh no (Score:5, Funny)

    by genican1 (1150855) on Thursday March 25, 2010 @08:20AM (#31609524)
    i hope they don't mistakenly target me in my rush to type fast and make this the first post!
    • Re:oh no (Score:5, Funny)

      by K. S. Kyosuke (729550) on Thursday March 25, 2010 @09:07AM (#31610082)
      They just might; after all, you seem to be excessively aroused by underage articles.
    • Re:oh no (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Jurily (900488) <jurily&gmail,com> on Thursday March 25, 2010 @09:19AM (#31610250)

      How does this work anyway? Does it account for the fact that I know my keyboard is wearing out and thus tend to hit the keys a bit stronger? Does that make me a man?

      Does it account for the fact that I grew up typing, and don't even need to look at the keyboard or screen while typing, because it "flows"? Does that make me a woman?

      Does it distinguish between typing on a laptop keyboard and a regular one? Since I'm used to laptop keys, I tend to go softer on regular keyboards. Does that make me a pedophile?

      And most importantly: WHAT DOES MY TYPING SPEED HAVE TO DO WITH WHO I WANT TO FUCK?

      • Re:oh no (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Jurily (900488) <jurily&gmail,com> on Thursday March 25, 2010 @09:30AM (#31610370)

        One more thing: the caption for the picture says "Fears: Ashleigh Hall, 17, was murdered by Peter Chapman after meeting him on Facebook. Her killing has sparked calls for more security to protect people online"

        Can you tell me how anything portrayed in this sentence could possibly relate to typing habits?

        This whole article is just standard fearmongering, and not even the entertaining kind.

        • Re:oh no (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 25, 2010 @10:29AM (#31611330)

          That's very sad for her, but unless our 17 year old Ashleigh still had to enter puberty, her death has very little ('nothing' to be precise) to do with pedophilia.

        • Re:oh no (Score:5, Insightful)

          by ultranova (717540) on Thursday March 25, 2010 @10:48AM (#31611704)

          One more thing: the caption for the picture says "Fears: Ashleigh Hall, 17, was murdered by Peter Chapman after meeting him on Facebook. Her killing has sparked calls for more security to protect people online"

          Can you tell me how anything portrayed in this sentence could possibly relate to typing habits?

          Or, for that matter, what does it have to do with pedophiles?

          This whole article is just standard fearmongering, and not even the entertaining kind.

          Actually it seems to be a scam, based on this: "Mr Butler said: 'We're going to submit a proposal to the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council for a bid of probably about £1million so that we can develop the research further."

          There's just no possible way you can spend the equivalent of 1.4 million dollars or 1.1 million euros making statistical correlations betweem "typing patterns, speeds and rhythms" and people's background, even if you a dumb enough to believe there is a correlation in the first place.

      • Re:oh no (Score:5, Funny)

        by thedonger (1317951) on Thursday March 25, 2010 @09:49AM (#31610600)

        WHAT DOES MY TYPING SPEED HAVE TO DO WITH WHO I WANT TO FUCK?

        Clearly you are trying to communicate with an audience unfamiliar with lower case letters. My guess? Young boys. You sicken me.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by vxice (1690200)
          there needs to be another level of mod points for funny. fucking hilarious. +5 funny doesn't do it justice.
      • Re:oh no (Score:4, Interesting)

        by thesandtiger (819476) on Thursday March 25, 2010 @09:55AM (#31610696)

        It doesn't have anything to do with who you want to fuck, but it sure seems to be getting in the way of you reading and understanding the article. :)

        This is not to determine if someone types like a pedophile, it's to determine where they might be and other demographic information about people who are targeting children online, based on their typing.

        Sounds like absolute bullshit to me - I've seen numerous other things that attempt to determine something about an individual based on input like typing, sentence construction and other info and they're usually off enough that they'd be worthless as any kind of forensic tool. Some of these combed through thousands of posts comprising millions of words for an individual and still only gave a 60% read on what gender the person was and a 70% read on their likely level of education based on word choice. The problem is that when you are taking part in a global community like the Internet, people pick up all kinds of habits.

        For example, I know quite a few USians who use "Cheers!" "mate" and "no worries" because they happen to frequent forums that have people from England, Australia and other countries where such turns of phrase are much more common than in the US. I also know many people of middle-age or later who use phrases that make them sound like teenagers. And there are a staggering number of highly educated people I speak with daily who write email as if they were 12-year-old girls named Becky and they RILLY RILLY RILLY wanna go see the Jonas Bros.

        I could see being able to get more info with LOTS of information - surely it would be possible to determine if someone was actually British or just a bit affected online if you could look at their spelling and other word use (or, at least, to see if they seem to be actual vs. faux British) - but this claim of in as few as 10 keystrokes and basing it on silly things like the force of the keystrokes etc. is just completely absurd.

        Though it does lead to some fun scenarios...

        "Hey, Joe - we got some sicko here trying to pick up 10-year-olds in Hello Kitty Online! Based on the typometric reading... It's either a left-handed, myopic 32 year-old male living in Cedar Rapids, Iowa or a mildly retarded 58 year-old intersex retired WalMart greeter who moved to Tuvalu sometime last spring."

        "Tuvalu? Awesome - I've always wanted to go to Oceania! I'll submit the travel vouchers while you call the Iowa office to let them know who's door to kick in!"

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Tanktalus (794810)

          Well, according to Gender Guesser [hackerfactor.com], you come across as:
          Genre: Informal
          Female = 530
          Male = 892
          Difference = 362; 62.72%
          Verdict: MALE
          It's been going on for ages.

  • Foolproof (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MyLongNickName (822545) on Thursday March 25, 2010 @08:20AM (#31609526) Journal

    I am sure this is foolproof! Sign me up!

    • by somersault (912633) on Thursday March 25, 2010 @08:28AM (#31609644) Homepage Journal

      Congratulations - you are a pedophile! Either that or a software engineer, but we've lost your paperwork and are just going to go with pedophile to save some time.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      I'm particularly impressed by his methods. He "hooks their fingers up to electronic sensors", then "videos, monitors and records their typing patterns, speeds and rhythms with a very accurate clock".

      Perhaps he's not aware that computer keyboards are often already connected to an "advanced monitoring device", and that this device is usually equipped with a "very accurate clock".

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 25, 2010 @08:21AM (#31609530)

    they're hunt-and-peckers.

  • by ThisIsAnonymous (1146121) on Thursday March 25, 2010 @08:22AM (#31609544)
    Looking for "left mousing" would be more accurate...
  • Typical /. summary (Score:5, Insightful)

    by wowbagger (69688) on Thursday March 25, 2010 @08:23AM (#31609566) Homepage Journal

    Typical /. summary - conflating the idea of "we can tell how old you are from your typing" with "we can tell if you are Wicked Uncle Ernie by your typing."

    The idea of this would be that if you can tell that somebody is a 40 year old man, and they are on a forum saying they are a 12 year old girl, you can flag that as being suspicious.

    Of course, the problem is that a web site or chat forum has relatively little visibility of the user's typing pattern, so unless you force all forums to be accessed by special software that can monitor typing (AND you prevent the use of cut-and-paste so that you type in one window, then paste into the chat window, or detect such matters and flag THAT) then this won't be very useful at all.

    Of course, making THAT statement in the summary would be hard, and would require actually thinking about the story.

    As I said, typical /. summary.

    • And... (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Frosty Piss (770223)
      But even more, how does it follow that the highest use of research into this sort of "knowledge" will / should automatically be use to find pedophiles? Isn't this just more of the THINK OF THE CHILDREN *hysteria*?
    • Dvorak (Score:5, Funny)

      by langelgjm (860756) on Thursday March 25, 2010 @08:41AM (#31609794) Journal

      Joke's on them - I use Dvorak!

      Of course, by saying that and posting on /., I've probably narrowed down my age, sex, and culture enough already. And I've identified my residence as parents' basement. Have they accounted for the mediating effects of Cheetos consumption on typing habits?

      • Re:Dvorak (Score:5, Funny)

        by GigG (887839) on Thursday March 25, 2010 @09:13AM (#31610146)

        Joke's on them - I use Dvorak!

        I think that pretty much guarantees we will be seeing you on 20/20 some day.

      • It watches to see if you are typing with just one hand.

      • by mcgrew (92797) *

        Of course, by saying that and posting on /., I've probably narrowed down my age, sex, and culture enough already

        Except for sex, you're wrong. I'm 57, I've run across geezers older than me here, yet we still get the "kill all thos old people cuz their n00bs" posts. As to culture, roughly half are in the US, and Texas culture is nothing like San Fransisco culture, and New York culture bears even less resemblance to either. Then there are the other half who come from diverse countries with diverse cultures.

        The

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by MtHuurne (602934)

      It's not hard to monitor typing into an edit box using JavaScript. The script could compute some kind of typing signature and then send that to the server. Copy-pasting all text is a very odd way of typing and could be flagged.

      I doubt such a detection algorithm would be accurate for all people, so they should not start auto-suspending accounts based on this. But it would help if a human moderator gets some hints about which accounts to pay closer attention to, since manually monitoring everything is not fea

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Jurily (900488)

        Copy-pasting all text is a very odd way of typing and could be flagged.

        From your argument, it follows, that

        - quoting from the post you're answering to is very odd and could be flagged
        - youtube links are very odd and could be flagged
        - sharing a patch with fellow developers is very odd and could be flagged

        But nevermind that. Let's say the typing monitor works perfectly, and it can accurately detect who you want to have sex with (and whether you're going to rape and murder them). Let's say today it says I'm heterosexual and perfectly normal.

        If I decide tom

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by apoc.famine (621563)
        I type vastly different on my home system than I do at work (on a mac) or on my netbook. Hell, I type differently now at work than I usually do, as I've got a stack of books under my left elbow that I'm supposed to be reading.

        The speeds are different, the mistakes are different, the key-presses a different strength, the mousing and clicking are different, etc. I really don't see that this is more than an attempt to get funding by waving the pedo flag.
    • by Jahava (946858)

      Of course, the problem is that a web site or chat forum has relatively little visibility of the user's typing pattern, so unless you force all forums to be accessed by special software that can monitor typing (AND you prevent the use of cut-and-paste so that you type in one window, then paste into the chat window, or detect such matters and flag THAT) then this won't be very useful at all.

      It can certainly be implemented via a Javascript-hooked message box and periodic AJAX messages. Look at how Google implements chat in GMail or Wave. Hell, in Wave they can show you typing letter-by-letter. Granted there is some latency and blocking, but heuristics could certainly work to smooth that out. Data may be lossy, but it also may not be so lossy that nothing useful can be extracted.

      There will always be ways around (Javascript blocking, copy/pasting, etc.), but your average Internet forum poser will

    • by fearlezz (594718)

      Not gonna work. Most of my 40-year old collegues type like 12-year olds....

    • by Lumpy (12016)

      Yup.

      so simply slap in a lot of OMG! and completely butcher spelling and grammar to thwart the "scanners"

      Honestly, I could write a greasemonkey script to emulate the atrocious communications that teens and pre teens have. Hell that same script could simply act as one with some really simple AI rules.

      OMG! Rlly?
      u suk.
      OMG!
      OMG?
      cl m l8ter k?
      y
      u suk!! :)
      OMG!

      Ok I feel like I just lost 30 IQ points...

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      Problem is, there is nothing illegal in pretending to be a 12 year old girl when actually a 40 year old man. Or copy-pasting into textboxes to avoid typing pattern detection.

      So we are talking about a method for detecting something that isn't illegal by itself (it becomes illegal when the 40 year old guy invites her new friend in his house to mistreat her) and flagging it as suspicious. Automatic crime detection leads to an unfair justice system IMHO. In addition, flagging someone for a crime that, statistic

    • by Kjella (173770)

      The idea of this would be that if you can tell that somebody is a 40 year old man, and they are on a forum saying they are a 12 year old girl, you can flag that as being suspicious.

      Somehow this sounds more like a tool for pedos to find out who's really a 12 year old girl and not a 40 year old man... Police sting? Anti-pedo vigilante? People just yanking your chain pretending? Aha... a real 12yo girl, jackpot. Not to mention I can imagine many really weird situations from false positives. There's so many holes it this logic there's more holes than logic.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by corbettw (214229)

      Couldn't this be used the other way round? Couldn't potential pedophiles monitor the typing speed of the "12-year old girl" with whom they're chatting to determine whether it's really a 40-year old FBI agent?

  • Congrats! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by boneglorious (718907) on Thursday March 25, 2010 @08:24AM (#31609572) Journal
    Now good luck getting this pedophiles to have those sensors hooked up and letting themselves be videoed and monitored. How about saving yourself the analysis and just looking on their screen for child porn??
    • If it is just speed an rythm, wouldn't you be able to tell this in virtually any chat room?

      No, I didn't RTFA. There may be nuances to this left out of the summary.

      • Crap. Let me rephrase:

        "with virtually any chat room software? I don't see the need for special equipment.

  • Wait... what? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Kell Bengal (711123) on Thursday March 25, 2010 @08:24AM (#31609576)
    It boggles my mind that they even consider this a legitimate avenue of inquiry... I mean, really. How many opportunities do kiddy-fiddlers present for you to analyse their keystrokes, but not say... their IP? Sure, it allows you to tie an online interaction to a particular user, but if you have that kind of hook into their system odds are you know more than enough to do that already.

    Oh wait, you mean there are applications where you want to tie users to content generically on the internet, but you think it's too invasive to make everyone agree to it simply so you can sell them more soda or send them to prison for their political ideas? That's OK - we'll just say it's targeting pedophiles.

    That always works.
    • by Joce640k (829181) on Thursday March 25, 2010 @08:33AM (#31609706) Homepage

      I'm pretty sure chat programs send the message in chunks, not individual keystrokes. /Didn't dignify the article with a reading.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by boneglorious (718907)
        Exactly, and add to that the variances in how quickly things move over the internet, and suddenly your error margin in almost certainly unacceptably large.
        • by Jesus_666 (702802)
          I think the idea would be for the client to collect the data and offer it to the server upon request.

          So yeah, my chat client now builds a typographic profile of me. Sounds great. (In fact it sounds like something all open source IM clients will mysteriously fail to implement correctly.)
      • by timeOday (582209)
        "Don't dignify with a reading" = the definition of willful ignorance.

        This could be as simple as watching all the text coming from an individual and getting suspicious when an "11 year old" types 90 wpm (based simply on time to respond and length of response). Would that be 100% accurate? Probably not (fire away with anecdotes about your niece), but it's entirely possible that the vast majority of kids cannot type that fast - such that it's worth collecting the data.

      • Besides IM programs (which are more peer to peer channels, instead of open channels), the only "chat programs" are websites, which can include Javascript to do it.

        Remeber, 12 year old girls don't use IRC.

  • I know why! (Score:5, Funny)

    by B5_geek (638928) on Thursday March 25, 2010 @08:24AM (#31609580)

    Is that because they are all typing one-handed? =)

    • by santax (1541065)
      Where are modpoints when you need them. +1 insightful. But it does raises some concern for me. I regular type with one hand due to the other being busy handling other *output and input* tasks.
      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by cgomezr (1074699)

        Yeah, we know, those where you input repeatedly until you get an output, right? You needn't have specified.

        • by santax (1541065)
          I was more referring to my habit to smoke while typing. But I do respect a dirty mind just as much as the next /.-er.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 25, 2010 @08:26AM (#31609608)

    When will Slashdot learn?

    Daily Mail is sensationalist bullshit from the UK.

    • Sensationalist bullshit sells papers.

      Start thinking of /. as what The Register was just before they employed Lester Haines and Andrew Orlowski, or Horizon before Jeremy Vine, and you'll see where /. is going. More "Idle" stories, more "OMG DINK OF DUR CHILDRENZ!" sensationalism, more 3 line story stubs which link back to a Digg link which links to an article from a less than reputable source.

      Anybody know of an IT news website which isn't becoming more and more like the IT version of the Daily Star?
      • by xaxa (988988)

        Anybody know of an IT news website which isn't becoming more and more like the IT version of the Daily Star?

        Failing that, does anyone want to start one?

    • by Shrike82 (1471633) on Thursday March 25, 2010 @09:10AM (#31610114)
      You've clearly failed to understand the important role the Daily Mail plays in British society. Every page is full of stories about how immigrants are taking all the jobs, how your tax money pays for illegal immigrants to buy pornography, how your children are at risk every time they go online to check their e-mail, how beef/bread/wine/cheese/saturated fat/unsaturated fat will WITHOUT A SHADOW OF A DOUBT kill you/reduce your risk of heart disease/prevent you from getting cancer.

      The middle classes are happily distracted by the constant threat towards their very way of life, and which foods are killing them this week, that they forget about things like climate change, human rights violations around the world and the state of the global economy, which makes the government very happy indeed.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by andrewbaldwin (442273)

        Reminds me of an old joke:

        "How do you confuse a Daily Mail reader?"

        "Tell them immigrants kill paedophiles!"

        (You can, of course, recycle this with any of the Mail's current list of hate targets [BBC, the EU, Muslims, Labour Party, Environmentalists, Unions, .... the list is long)

    • And it's a news paper that happens to have the second largest circulation in the UK, second only to The Sun.

      I'm not sure how things work where you live, but in most western countries, high circulation news papers have quite a bit of political pull, even if what they're spewing is ridiculous hokum.

  • Pecking? (Score:2, Informative)

    by beatsme (1472991)
    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.
  • Let me be the first to say W T F? Yeah..I'm sure this wouldn't ever produce any false positives...
  • by rindeee (530084) on Thursday March 25, 2010 @08:27AM (#31609632)
    From a purely technological point of view, I could see this working IF you had a profile pre-built. That is to say, if you had established a baseline of a particular persons typing habits (tempo, speed, accuracy, common mistakes, pause patterns, etc.) then I think it would be relatively easy to identify/track them in the future. I realize that this isn't really what the OP is talking about, but I think this is the closest to reality as one could get. I've seen authentication tools that combine the password you've entered with the 'way' in which you enter it, doing essentially just that. Anyway, determining a persons proclivities based solely on the way they type is, well, stupid.
  • Nothing new (Score:5, Funny)

    by thijsh (910751) on Thursday March 25, 2010 @08:27AM (#31609638) Journal
    Thats nothing, they can already measure it by the way you walk for years now... Have you ever heard of a pedometer?
  • i quote: 'If children are talking to each other on Windows Live or MSN messenger, Microsoft might be able to see if there's an adult on there.' See where we going here?
  • Obligatory (Score:3, Funny)

    by bcmm (768152) on Thursday March 25, 2010 @08:30AM (#31609670)
    h|tler> HOW THE FUCK CAN YOU TELL THAT I'M 13 BY LOOKING AT WHAT I'M WRITEING? [bash.org]

    If you click, you get more question marks... Damn lameness filter.
  • Tracking Pedophiles by Phrenology sounds kind of creepy. There's also a public health issue with lice and other parasites.
  • good luck (Score:4, Insightful)

    by roman_mir (125474) on Thursday March 25, 2010 @08:34AM (#31609718) Homepage Journal

    Good luck figuring anything out at all from people who are proficient enough in typing, touch-typists with years of experience who is who, who is a man, who is a woman, how old they are.

    FTFA: men are 'heavy-handed and women are 'lighter' and their typing 'flows more' - that is beat by touch-typing.

    But the basic problem with this is that it is a Turing test. Can a 'pedophile' impersonate someone that he/she is not? I think they should be able to, they fool kids supposedly into believing that they are also kids, of-course it is not that difficult to fool a kid, but maybe it is because it is not that hard to pretend on the Internet if you are really putting in the time to do it.

    I can only guess why the 'pedophile' line is used here again, is it about the money? Is Roy Maxion trying to get a grant money from the government for this 'research'? I think so.

    'If children are talking to each other on Windows Live or MSN messenger, Microsoft might be able to see if there's an adult on there.'

    - MSN, the world police. What are they going to do if there is a suspicion, block access and send cops?

    The department, which was formed last summer, believes the new technology could be used to prevent fraud at cash machines.

    - ATMs? So from pushing 4-6 digit pin and a few menu options they are going to figure out whether it is a woman/man, what's the age etc?

    I can only imagine one possibility: record information collected from the actual account holder pushing the buttons and compare the speed of typing and delays between touches and releases to try and see if it's the same person. It's not as sexy as figuring out person's age and gender though, is it?

    Also how are they going to figure out how pedophiles type? Are they going to find actual pedophiles and make them sit in front of a computer and type? Did they somehow figure out that pedophiles all have the same typing abilities/habits? Do pedophiles all have the same profession and are they really that easy to figure out from the rest of the 'normal' people? Anyway, I think this 'research' is a load of bull crap and it's all about grant money.

  • On the Media (a fantastic program if you haven't heard of it yet) covered this last month. Interview and transcript are here: http://www.onthemedia.org/transcripts/2010/02/26/03 [onthemedia.org]

  • by Rah'Dick (976472) on Thursday March 25, 2010 @08:40AM (#31609790)

    They say they can identify a single person by a typing profile that they've previously generated, but you certainly cannot deduct from a typing profile that any given person is a pedophile! I agree with the author's comment.

    [rant]On a side note, TFA has pictures of a murderer and a 17 y/o girl next to each other. I refuse to call someone a "pedophile" who is attracted to 17-year-old girls, because becoming an adult is not a matter of some age number increasing by one digit. 17-year-olds are certainly not KIDS! I'm sick of the misuse of the word "pedophile". What they actually mean is "ephebophile", but since that one is - to some degree - accepted by society, they cannot polarize people enough to enact more stupid laws. [/rant]

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by mdwh2 (535323)

      I fully agree with your rant - and furthermore, this article is in the UK, where 17 is over the age of consent.

      It's rather ridiculous - that story has been all over the media, and referenced in stories to do with child abuse, such as the recent demands to force Facebook to have a big red panic button. Not just the tabloids either - places like the BBC have been reporting the murder story, as if she was underage. Yet not one of these places has even noted that the age of consent is actually 16.

      It wouldn't ha

      • But if she'd sent "nawty" pictures of herself, or they'd filmed getting it on together, they'd both be put on the Sex Offender's register, and they'd both be charged with creating / posessing / distributing indecent pictures of a minor. You have to be 18 to consent to that.

        Boggles, the mind, doesn't it.
    • by xaxa (988988)

      The age of consent in the UK is 16 anyway, also the age when you can leave home.

      Don't expect the Daily Mail to bother with the facts though, when they can do sensationalism instead.

    • by khallow (566160)
      I don't think you're seeing this in the right light. This software will help keep Facebook from killing more of our 17 year old women.
  • by vadim_t (324782)

    Of course, there's no way children and adults could ever legitimately interact anywhere online. They never happen to play the same games, post to the same forums, and parents never talk to their children online.

  • ffs (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Therilith (1306561) on Thursday March 25, 2010 @08:52AM (#31609918)
    Pedophile != child molester
  • I think the research would get better results if they concentrated on using the web-cams to see who is in front of the computer. Shouldn't be too hard, they do this at US schools already, just supply everyone with a 'free' laptop and disallow anyone from using their own equipment on the web and make sure that the camera on the laptop can be used any time at all to view the laptop user.

    Then just look for clues [youtube.com] to figure out who is a pedophile. Job done.

    Can I have the grant money to do this now?

  • Anybody have a link so I can try it out? I wanna see how it identifies me.

    What... no! Of course I’m not a pedophile...

  • 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 @09:09AM (#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 @09:10AM (#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.
  • Keyboard proxy. A device which is plugged between keyboard an computer and which accepts key strokes and sends them in a freely selectable pattern to the computer. The base package contains: 'young white woman', 'trustworthy, well situated man', and 'perfect lover'. Additional packages like 'honest politician' or 'horny milf' can be ordered separately.
  • Depending on my mood alone, I have a different typing style. At work I have a different chair which forces a more upright posture, which changes my typing.. also the type of thing I would be typing: if I'm inspired my typing is very fast and in a continious stream, in a chat it's often less quick.

    I doubt there is anyone who has a continious typing habit. It's just a curiosity and technical exercise, the "pedo"-tag helps them justify their work

  • What, like everyone has a unique 'wanking fingerprint'?
  • Type without rhythm and it won't attract the worm. Or the fuzz.
  • by dbIII (701233) on Thursday March 25, 2010 @10:35AM (#31611456)
    In the days of morse code the distinctive way an operator keyed in the messages was called their "fist".
  • by theArtificial (613980) on Thursday March 25, 2010 @02:25PM (#31615862)
    Lets replace this headline with something else:

    Tracking Whites by the way they type
    Tracking Blacks by the way they type

    This seems like a slippery slope. I'm getting tired of all this "pedo" tracking. Our software has determined you type like a pedo, not a rapist. What next? How about monitoring your children? Know what they do, where they go, who their friends are.

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