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HOUSTON BUSINESS REVIEW
COST-EFFECTIVE IT: PHOTO NO-NO!
By Richard Sonnier
Houston Business Show Commentator Richard Sonnier, of the Information Technology Services firm Nimble Services, provides weekly information on our show about information technology issues. Mr. Sonnier can be reached at 281.445.4800 x 250 or via email.
This week I will discuss new software being developed by Elex Technologies.
Elex Technologies is a Houston software development company that presented at the recent Rice Alliance IT Forum. They are a client company of the Houston Technology Center co-sponsor of the IT Forum. It is great to see Houston supporting the development of new IT companies like Elex Technologies.
Elex claims to have developed the "World's First Pornographic Photos Blocker." The product is called Photo No-No! and you can download an evaluation version from their website. The product addresses a real concern for parents like myself: how to keep inappropriate images away from children. Businesses have the problem as well due to sexual harassment laws. The product works by analyzing each image file downloaded while web browsing and checking it against its database. The database has been constructed by training the software with inappropriate images for over two years according to Elex.
I downloaded and installed the evaluation version. The installation was simple and the software worked fine on a new Windows XP PC. Once installed, Photo No-No! acts like as local proxy server that intercepts all Internet browsing request and checks the downloaded images. It slows down web browsing noticeably, but not to the point of being unacceptable. I did a test search on Google for naked women, and Photo No-No! did indeed block many images. It seems to be about 85% effective at the default settings. Photo No-No! has settings to make it more or less sensitive so that you can tune it to block more and more images. There is a trade-off between blocking the bad images and blocking the good images. If you increase the settings from the defaults, the product will block more bad images but also block good images. Furthermore, good and bad images are subjective so it is very unlikely that Photo No-No! will be 100% effective for anyone.
Photo No-No! is a new category of Internet protection software. If you are concerned about inappropriate images from the Internet, you should give it a try.
Next week I will discuss the keys to successful IT ventures.
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Richard Sonnier Archive
- Linux And Open Source 2005 (January 2005, Issue No. 3, Monday Edition)
- Planning The New Year (January 2005, Issue No. 1, Monday Edition)
- Service-Oriented IT (December 2004, Issue No. 4, Monday Edition)
- Photo No-No! (December 2004, Issue No. 2, Monday Edition)
- 100 Megabit Wireless (December 2004, Issue No. 1, Thursday Edition)
- Wireless Technologies (November 2004, Issue No. 2, Monday Edition)