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To: Link list <link@www.anu.edu.au>
Subject: Link Institute announces web content ratings
From: Glen Turner <glen.turner@adelaide.edu.au>
Organization: IT Services, University of Adelaide, South Australia
Date: Wed, 02 Jun 1999 00:46:30 +0930


The Link Institute today announced an initiative to rate web content.

"The COREDUMP programme is a unique web content rating system, as it is the only one in the world to rate the attributes that users actually care about", Institute Spokesdroid Glen Turner told Radio 5UV.

"Most rating systems are designed in a pre-Internet age, and are concerned about Sex, Nudity, Violence and Language. Unlike the RASCI scheme, our new COREDUMP rating measures Clue, Expression, Reality, and Taste."

Clue is the knowledgability of the source. A posting by Alan Cox on Linux has a clue of 5, a posting by "warez d00dz" has rating of 0. Clue may also by tempered by reliability. Thus Bill Gates should have high Clue, except for the underlying suspicion that his words are tailored more to add to Microsoft's profits than to educate or explain.

Expression is the readability and humour of the content. Ratings are not limited to English expression: Oracle's Ellison has an Expression of 5 for personal appearance, whereas FSF's Stallman rates 0. oddly, c code by kernighan rates 5 but his english rates 0 until he learns where the shift key is and that sentances shouldnt wander on endlessly and that punctuation does have a purpose

Reality measures the application to the real world of the posting.

"There was real competition for the benchmark of the zero rating. We had a hard time deciding between the financial projections of Internet IPOs and NATO explaining how carpet bombing cities can stop a genocide being conducted by infantry in the countryside."

"For some reason, the domain name system also attracts low Reality ratings", although when asked the Institute's spin doctor declined on legal grounds to rate the content of DNS-related material from Denninger and Sexton, some of which appears to show high Clue but little Reality.

Taste measures the offensiveness of the content. Postings from males saying "one night with me and I'll solve your problems" to alt.sexual.abuse.recovery have a Taste rating of 0.

"Taste is not simply rating something G, M, R or X", said Media Smoozer Turner. "Posting nude pictures of either Ms Minogue may occassionally be of high taste, but posting a nude Senator Harradine would always be tasteless."

Image Polisher Turner did admit some shortcomings to the scheme. "I have my browser set for: some Clue, bearable Expression, resembling Reality and moderate Taste. Unfortunately, my access to Senator Alston's media releases appears to be blocked."

COREDUMP 0.1beta was announced on Radio 5UV's Not the John Laws Show as being "at the same stage of development as other artificial intelligence content classification systems". "We already have glossy literature and really cool t-shirts. We are just ironing out the last 10% of the problems in the code, although we are happy to take your money now".

Notes for Media

COREDUMP is a product of LI Pty Ltd, a blind trust incorporated in the Cook Islands established by our legal advisors Skase, Pixie and Bond.

For COREDUMP coffee mugs, pens, mouse mats and nerdish t-shirts contact LI Pty Ltd on 1111 1234. Product literature is also available, although the photocopies of the manuals that we promised last month aren't yet ready as our work experience author went back to high-school after two weeks saying we were exploiting her. We've rung up John Laws to tell him just what job snobs the youth of today are.

Glen Turner Network Specialist
Tel: (08) 8303 3936 Information Technology Services
Fax: (08) 8303 4400 The University of Adelaide 5005
Email: glen.turner@adelaide.edu.au South Australia

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