back to article Smut pop-up teacher retrial stuck in delay loop

Substitute teacher turned smut-serving spyware suspect Julie Amero remains stuck in legal limbo, with the case taking a toll on both her health and job prospects, Connecticut paper the Hartford Courant reports. More than a year after Superior Court Judge Hillary Strackbein dismissed a discredited child endangerment conviction …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    home of the free and the brave - but at least she gets a trial... maybe, in the uk baseless aqusations are enough to put an end to lives and careers with no hope of trial.

  2. mtek
    Thumb Down


    One has to ask how the spyware landed on her PC in the first place - spyware of that nature, don't they have proper forensic procedures to determine this? and clear her name if not instantly? why would this trial be dragged on so long? ...yet another failing of the system.

  3. Bill Gould
    Gates Halo

    Just use the system

    Sue the court system for mental anguish and lost wages from the job she was denied due to their bungling. That should go through sooner.

  4. Dave

    Bill Of Rightw

    Which sounds like a very good reason that the charges should be dropped, due to the state violating Article VI of the US Bill of Rights:

    As for forensic procedures, that's one reason why certain states are requiring PC experts to have Private Investigator licenses. :-/


  5. This post has been deleted by its author

  6. Corrine

    The judge on the first trial needs to be locked away.

    The forensics were done by state investigators, no PI license necessary, and determined that spyware was the cause of the popups. Then a cop lied on the stand, said they found no such thing, and the judge refused to allow the crime labs report as evidence.

    As for the Bill of rights, 'speedy trial' means they can keep you waiting for three years iirc, the courts are a joke, and the bill of rights more so.

  7. Peyton

    Jury trials

    Have little to do with law and order. I don't know how it is in the UK, but in the States, jury pay is terrible, so any reasonably intelligent person will have a reasonably decent job, and therefore will do anything and everything they can to get out of jury duty.... this leaves you with the bottom wrung of society to make your legal decisions. Until the case gets appealed that is. Then a judge that actually has a modicum of legal knowledge (with sometimes even some common sense thrown in for good measure) can toss the jury decision and make a real verdict.

    Yup, it's crap, but hey - it's a constitutional right, so I'm sure at least its intentions are good.

  8. Garth


    Jury Trials are important. They let the public participate in their own administration of justice. They have their flaws and limitations, certainly. But there are reasons it is in place. And there are reasons we have an appeals system.

    In this case I would say the course of law is being subverted by a prosecution that should have just let it go.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    She's obviously a pedo

    She was obviously grooming the children for use in her sex pleasure dungeon. No need for a trial. Better to lock up a million teachers than let a child see married people sunngling and mr Squiggles in tunnel town.

    Yours, Jacqui Smith

    Home & Garden Secretary

  10. Bucky

    Whom to blame

    Okay, so she was hired to teach a class which featured a computer, which she didn't know how to use.

    Did she misrepresent her skills, or is the school just plunking anybody in front of a classroom, irrespective of that person's ability to teach that class?

    At least it was just porn. It could have been a shop class. Or is loss of limb preferable to an accidental, split-second viewing of human biology?

    [I like this icon because its description says to "man" the "pumps"--surely an expression to be banned from the classroom]

  11. yeah, right.

    Elected judges?

    Don't they select lower court judges based on popularity contests down there, not based on any actual ability? Or have they gotten smarter about that?

  12. kris mchale

    Reply to Peyton

    With regard to the above comment by 'Peyton'- there is no 'w' in rung! I May not have a decent job but at least I can spell.

  13. Anonymous Coward

    @mtek - background

    Actually, she's a substitute teacher, so wasn't her computer, she had been told not to log out of it since she didn't have her own login, and the school later had to admit they had allowed the license for their filtering/security software to lapse. A ton of stuff wasn't covered in the original trial. Were I a teacher in Connecticut, I'd hesitate to ever turn a computer on in the classroom. She's the victim of a school that didn't back her, an apparently incompetent IT department, and prosecutors that (let's remember) who passed the Connecticut bar exam, one of the easier in the country (it's a good fallback for law school graduates who think it may take a few tries to pass the New York bar exam.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @kris mchale - spelling

    So what? You're obviously a newcomer to the internet. Some of the brightest people on the planet can't spell, yet you'd trash their arguments based on that?!?

    Get over it - content is infinitely more important than style.

  15. Pyros

    Wait, AC...

    "and prosecutors that (let's remember) who passed the Connecticut bar exam, one of the easier in the country (it's a good fallback for law school graduates who think it may take a few tries to pass the New York bar exam.)"

    I thought Florida was easier? (I mean, we actually passed Jack " Rabid Anti-Game"Thompson through the Florida Bar before he went psychotic.)

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Whom to blame

    Does that ever work? I mean trying to sneak in false accusations to pin blame like that? Does it ever work, or do people just see right through you and think your an ass?

    "Okay, so she was hired to teach a class which featured a computer, which she didn't know how to use."

    Can you defeat popups? Or do you need virus checkers, popup blocker and other software help? Myself I use firefox. But she didn't get to setup her computer.

    If you were her, you would be in hospital for stress now.

    "Did she misrepresent her skills, or is the school just plunking anybody in front of a classroom, irrespective of that person's ability to teach that class?"

    ...Or did you just try to plant the idea that it's her fault anyway for some sort of incompetence?

    "At least it was just porn. It could have been a shop class. Or is loss of limb preferable to an accidental, split-second viewing of human biology?"

    You know what, if the drill explodes, even shop teacher can't help you. Faulty equpment is faulty equipment. She did nothing wrong, the computer however was riddled with crapware.

    So if you think she should be prosecuted anyway, why not just come out and say it, why talk around the issue? Why be such a dick?

  17. Kevin Bailey

    terrifying really

    It's terrifying that people can end up in real jail because of how crap Windows is.

    They should just get this clear - with a Windows PC all bets are off. And as for forensics - fuggeddit. Even MS top brass admit that once a Windows PC is borked it is such a mess that it is unfixable.

    The US law should take it up with MS. How come your OS can be hijacked so easily?

  18. kain preacher

    By Bucky

    Um it was not her computer. Repeat after me it was not her computer. If had you a random laptop for the first time are you responsible for whats on it.

  19. Peter Bennett

    @Peyton; @AC; OK second go... trashing Peyton's arguments, no reference to spelling... It's sad to see someone saying that 'intelligent' people would automatically try and opt out of jury service because they might lose some money over it. So everyone who opts to do jury service in the US is 'unintelligent'? What about people who do volunteer work or otherwise contribute to charity or anything else socially oriented - are these people 'unintelligent' too?

  20. Chris C


    Some of these comments so far are unbelievable. This woman's life has been ruined, and some of you just can't help but jump on her back and blame her for it. She may not have been the perfect teacher, but no teacher deserves this. Even if she is found not guilty and there is no conviction, she will likely never be able to get a job working with or around children again simply because of this arrest (an arrest that any halfway-intelligent person knows should not have been made).

    I know it's hard, but try using your brain a bit (you do have a brain, right?) and do some actual research. For $deity's sake, The Reg listed the related articles at the bottom of this article, you don't even need to search for the information.

    But if you're really feeling smart, ask yourself which is more likely -- that an unprotected computer is filled with malware and is showing endless popups, or that a substitute teacher is actively viewing porn in a classroom. As for notions of "typed URLs" and "manual clicks", that's meaningless since any program (such as past ATI and Realtek driver installations) can insert "keystrokes" into the buffer and/or "click" a link or button.


    re: Jury Trials

    " the States, jury pay is terrible, so any reasonably intelligent person will have a reasonably decent job". Really? Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't the unemployment rate the highest it's ever been? Companies are cutting raises (if not rolling back pay) and laying people off. Unemployment in my state has extended its benefits because there aren't enough "decent jobs" for people. I understand what your point was, and I don't necessarily disagree with it, but that's a lot different than saying any reasonably intelligent person will have a reasonably decent job.


    re: Whom to blame

    No, she was not hired to teach a class which features a computer. She was a substitute teacher. If you cannot tell the difference, please do all of us a favor and simply keep quiet while repeating the mantra "ignorance is bliss". And being able to close down popups while using Internet Explorer isn't exactly a common job skill, if it's even possible. Because of Javascript's ability to open any page without prompting or permission, and perform actions on page load and page unload, it is entirely possible to have a never-ending stream of popups. The only way to kill them is to kill the IE process (kill, not close).

    Believe it or not, you don't need to use a computer to teach a class. While that may not seem very "Web 2.0", it's still true nonetheless. Not being able to control IE on a malware-infested system says nothing about a person's ability to teach a class, just as your ability to enter a comment here says nothing about your ability to change the oil in your car.

    I just love people who hear one piece of information about a long drawn-out issue and feel they can speak authoritatively about the subject.

  21. Neoc

    @Peyton, @AC

    Lousy pay for jury service? Weird. Everywhere I've worked so far has had "Jury Duty" special leave, full pay, as part of their HR commitments.

    Must be a US thing.

  22. Steven Knox

    Jury Duty

    Can't remember the source, but I've heard that both prosecutors and defenders prefer to eliminate potential jurors who show signs of intelligence, because it's much easier to win a case when you can just appeal to emotion, and not have to resort to nasty things like logic.

    Oh, and @AC Re: spelling. You're obviously new to El Reg, if you're shocked by some pedant complaining about spelling. 'Round these parts, that's considered witty social discourse.

  23. Jel Mist

    Spelling? Pedant? Moi?

    Steven: Damn right. I prefer the pluperfect tense myself.

  24. TeeCee Gold badge


    Does this mean: a) you've always checked the Ts and Cs for "there's a statutory requirement and that's what you get" and turned jobs like that down or b) you're astonishingly f***ing lucky?

  25. Anonymous Coward

    @Steven Knox, Spelling.

    Diffrent AC here...

    And it is VERY anoying. Much like laughing at someone who uses a wheelchair if the person is Dyslexic.

    It seems that the people who do pick on people spelling round here are often the ones who have no real argument to make.

    As they say Dyslexics of the world untie against these ideots.

  26. Mark

    Re: Reply to Peyton

    "there is no 'w' in rung!"


    There is one in "wrung", though. As in "wrung out to dry".

  27. Steve

    @ Steven Knox

    "You're obviously new to El Reg, if you're shocked by some pedant complaining about spelling. 'Round these parts, that's considered witty social discourse."

    Oi, numpty! You forgot to close your quotation with a second inverted comma - did they not do English at your school?

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Spelling is important!

    Most here are IT orientated, that means we have to be accurate at what we type on the computer although I would like an extra 0 or 2 on the end of my pay cheque. Many people here do not have English as a first language and appropriate allowances are made.

    But if you are in IT and English is your first language there is no excuse for poor spelling apart from the odd typo. It does not do credibility any good and efforts should be made.

    In fact if teachers were left to teach instead of having to do everything else maybe neither problem would arise.

    The handling of this case is diabolical. The school were quick to apportion 100% of the blame on the supply teacher as it actually fell 100% back on the school administrators. Meanwhile they have been living as normal for the last 4 years whereas this poor victim has had her life turned inside out and destroyed.

    It is bad enough being unemployed but to have a miscarriage like this hanging over you as well ... no wonder she ended up in hospital, but surely that involves more costs and more stress. This is worthy of a NuLab stunt and no doubt behind the latest plan to make everything illegal in the UK regardless of the legality in rest of the world. Apparently if NuLab decide something is illegal then you will be prosecuted for doing it abroad regardless of whether it is illegal there or not. So if a photo appears on the web of someone in a "coffee shop" in Amsterdam, they will be able to be prosecuted as soon as they set foot on UK soil.

  29. ChessGeek

    @ Steve

    'Round is meant to abbreviate Around. The apostrophe indicates the abbreviation, not the beginning of a quote.

    As for the lady who is the subject of this article, I think they should dismiss the charges and be done with it.

  30. Peyton


    I don't think I've ever elicited such a response. A few thoughts:

    -Ok, my mistake for using hyperbole in my post - I admit it doesn't always come across clearly on a web page - my apologies. Feel free to replace words like "any" in my post above with "many," "some," etc., whatever keeps one from getting riled up.

    -Losing "some" money? You've never been dragged into a jury trial that dragged out for months - these can have a huge *negative* impact on the financial situation for a person and their *family* as well as their responsibilities at work.

    -What is logical about people completely untrained in the law making decisions on the law? We've had cases where judges have had to throw out the jury's decision because the jury's decision *itself* contravened the law. I'm all for citizens having a say in the law - but I feel my needs are met by voting on representatives.

    -Bringing up spelling in a discussion - especially where the point is clear - is the mental equivalent of saying "I know you are but what am I?". The only related point I can see here is: how do teachers make up for lost time in the classroom when said teacher is called away on jury duty?? This could lead to more misspelled words - apparently a compelling argument for some.

  31. Scott Swarthout

    Spelling errors?

    Given that El Reg is so very popular with geeks all over the world, I fully agree with giving folks that do not speak English nativly certain allowances. The question arises though, which English? I have seen knock-down drag-out flamewars in previous comments sections over differences in American (sorry, 'Merkin) and British spellings, word usage, and phrasing.

    I submit that no more should we bash each other in the forums over small misspelligs, typosd, mis-placed hyphens, and differences in dialect, but rather for being completely stupid or incomprehensible. if the wording is clear enough and the typing is close enough that you can read it, then, read it. If a comment is obtuse, poorly written, or just stupid, then begin the abuse.

    save the pedantry for bits about IT, or facts related to the article; picking on writing just makes it seem that you have nothing better to contribute.

  32. Dave


    Maybe the way to eliminate the spelling problems is to make it a requirement that all comments be written in Klingon (and, note that Babelfish doesn't currently support translation to/from Klingon!). ;-)

    Now, I wonder how that will colour my language?


    P.S. Mine's the armoured one.

  33. Anonymous Coward

    ahh to be truly innocent

    By Rik Hemsley

    Posted Thursday 10th July 2008 18:21 GMT

    Now her life's messed up completely despite the fact the chance she was actually doing anything inappropriate is extremely small. Why isn't the court system protecting her from this?

    this is rethorical question right?

    in USA legal and court system is set up to protect the guilty and shaft innocent.

  34. b

    Spelling errors?

    I agree wholeheartedly.

    Except for people who spell "lose" as "loose".

    They should be dragged out and shot.

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    re: jury duty pay

    It was $10/day last I heard where I'm at in the US -- doesn't even buy you lunch, unless it's chips and a coke. Your petrol to get there is right out, dude. Sure, most employers cover it -- they'll want the $10 the courts pay you in order to document that they did their civic duty and pay your normal wage, or they make up the difference in pay. However, that means your employer takes it in the shorts for you doing your civic duty.

    If you're self employed, you have to pay for it yourself. Let's see -- $10 a day to listen to a court case in the presence of the unwashed, or avoid it and live a normal life? Just as as side note to Paris, at $70k/year, you'd lose $270 for each day.

  36. Edward

    @The judge on the first trial needs to be locked away.

    If that really is true, and is public knowledge, then it's quite terrifying. Sadly, I'm not in the least bit surprised, where we go so wrong?

  37. kris mchale

    @Anonymous Coward

    My issue was not with spelling. My issue was with the comment::' so any reasonably intelligent person will have a reasonably decent job'.

    I accept that my comment may have been offensive to anybody with dyslexia, or who do not have English as a first language and for this I apologize.

    I merely wished to point out that Peyton seemed to sneer at people that may not have had his opportunities in life.

  38. Anonymous Coward

    That's "Mr. 'Merkin" to you!

    From all I have read of this she should never have been prosecuted in the first place. It appears to be an attempt by the local prosecutor to gain points for re-election and borders on malicious prosecution. It also appears that her lawyer(s) didn't fight hard enough if her expert witness(es) were not allowed (unless the judge was a total tw@t; which is also possible). Many judges in the US are in elected positions and they don't want to be seen as "soft" on crime, either. The pay I have received for jury duty (twice) was not even close to my daily pay at my job; but I wouldn't ever NOT do it as I WANT TO. I think it's more than just a civic duty to try to make sure justice is done. Sometimes it takes a rational mind in the jury room to make a difference (which is why I also didn't get selected a couple of times). You have to try to see beyond the partial truths you get from the prosecutor and defence attorneys.

    Incompetance at the local schools in the way they set up/administer the computers and the "agreement" they try to get the parents to sign (we're responsible for everything if they kid touches the computer) are sure signs to me that she was the victim here. The judge is probably in the clear unless obvious violation of procedure or law can be shown and ditto for the prosecutor (sad to say) and both are generally protected against lawsuit for their unsavoury behaviour unless it's particularly egregious.

    My best guess at this (not having been in the courtroom) is that she should be set free of all charges, all records erased, a public apology from the judge and prosecutor and school, and last; but certainly not least, monetarily awarded for future loss of income due to their stupidity.

  39. John Dougald McCallum

    Nuf said

    "My best guess at this (not having been in the courtroom) is that she should be set free of all charges, all records erased, a public apology from the judge and prosecutor and school, and last; but certainly not least, monetarily awarded for future loss of income due to their stupidity." FAT CHANCE!

    Re jury service in the UK:-

    From the employee hand book of the Co. I work for,

    "Jury service and attendance at court as a witness.

    If you are called for jury service or as a witness,you will be granted UNPAID leave of absence and you should claim for loss of earnings from the Court."

    also I will put this on record that I think that Ms Amero conviction should be put aside and the person responsible for the Fiasco tried in her place.

  40. Anonymous Coward

    Never Work with Kids

    12+ year old computer literate kids love to pull a good prank. A favourite is to set the desktop background image on a momentarily un-attended machine. Of course the teachers remind the kids never to leave their machine un-attended but sooner or later someone falls victim. Generally the prank is harmless and amusing - a smutty picture probably does little damage at this age. The kids are also adept at getting staff passwords. They just watch the slow two fingered typing. School computer networks are notorious for poor security. With limited budgets, older operating systems and a lack of well qualified staff the NOS can be wide open. I've heard many tails of schools where the kids have backdoor full-privilege access to all parts of their network. In a small way, I too have fallen victim to such pranks. By school standards, I'm a bit of a computer expert but my poorly coded on-line tools were cracked much to everyone’s amusement. Had the politically-correct brigade witnessed this crack, I could have finished up in similar legal straits. Teachers without much IT knowledge have no hope of avoiding such situations. Fortunately most kids, teachers, parents and managers are sensible and silly incidents like this do not finish up in court. Staff-room hilarity and leg-pulling are the only consequences. In addition, the kids are much less horrible than the media make out and such incidents are quite rare.

  41. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @kris mchale - spelling

    "By Anonymous Coward

    Posted Thursday 10th July 2008 21:02 GMT

    So what? You're obviously a newcomer to the internet. Some of the brightest people on the planet can't spell, yet you'd trash their arguments based on that?!?

    Get over it - content is infinitely more important than style."

    Er, spelling IS the content. Style is the way the text appears on the page, or the se of metaphor and allegory. If you use the wrong word then your content is invalid. Language is supposed to rely on well defined terms, not random jibberish, or take your pick meanings.

    If we all take the attitude that correct spelling and grammar are a waste of time, then we can no longer communicate effectively. It forever amazes me that so called computer literate people will accept shitty spelling. If I change a library file so that x=2.73659 instead of x=1 but don't update the documentation, then anybody else using the same library and expecting x=1 will get rubbish returned.

    You all complain about the ISPs offering Unlimited usage, but who gets to define Unlimited this week ? If you rent a car with unlimited miles but only 1 tank of fuel allowed, there is obviously a limit on the number of miles, but the Car Rental firm is not limiting where you can go with those miles. Your life allows for unlimited possibilities, except that you will of course die. Is that a correct use of Unlimited or not. Words can have different meaning in different contexts, but using the wrong word altogether is not acceptable.

    In other news, I think I have a paediatrician living in my street - evil bastard.

    And if you think that's a smug approach, then consider that maybe someone else reeding the comment may not know the wright word, and take the wrong won as the correct usage. Then they talk to others hoo no no better, and nex thing u no, sum giy hoo maiks his livin bi hellping sik kidz getz hiz hows bernt down.

    All because spelling isn't important.

  42. Anonymous Coward

    what is it with you people

    this is a gross infringement of a persons right to liberty, decency and due process. What if this happened to you, your wife, child, parent. 4 years waiting for a result, any kind of result from the legal process is just not on.

    Send a letter complaining (not a petition or email or any other kind of easily dismissed junk) to

    Michael Regan state attorney

    Donald E. Williams state senator

    in Connecticut marking the outside of the letter "cheque enclosed"

    obviously don't enclose a cheque (check in US?)

  43. Andy Bright

    Her life is ruined?

    Yep, and because of the backward laws that well-meaning people put in place to stop pedophiles from teaching or running daycares, even an arrest that ends with no trial or even charges will probably permanently tarnish the record of anyone in those professions.

    You see local authorities (municipalities as they're called in the US) keep records of every daycare provider and teacher in their district. These are permanent records with no possible challenge to their contents. So if a random parent or witless prosecutor decides to accuse you of a crime against children, your record will permanently show it. Any future employer (or parent looking for daycare) can then view these accusations, which contain little or no detail and can never be challenged or removed if proven false.

    After all we have to think of the children, and it's much better that someone's life is in tatters than using something as reliable as proof to determine if someone is a danger to kids.

    All this doesn't answer the question of the malware on the computer, and I put the school administrators front and center as the culprits in this case. They have certain responsibilities if they insist on using Wikipedia rather than teachers, not least of which is making sure their computers are adequately patched and have uptodate and meaningful antivirus and antispyware software installed.

    This means hiring adequate numbers of IT staff and purchasing the software recommended. If they can't do this, they shouldn't be using computers connected to the internet. It's as simple as that. They are completely unnecessary for the purpose of teaching any subject that isn't directly related to computing itself.

    If they were to install workshop equipment without hiring or at least contracting the relevant professionals to keep it serviced, they would be liable for any serious injury resulting from its breakdown. Computers should be no different.

    Ignorance is no excuse, not in an age where spyware and identity theft stories proliferate in our media. Saying I didn't realise that acid is dangerous wouldn't go down well if a kid was blinded because the school administrators refused to buy goggles for chemistry classes. The obvious is the obvious, and if you don't know that the internet has issues, perhaps you aren't qualified to run a school district.

    Passing the buck onto the user of the computer is simply not good enough. Even if it were her computer, she should not be required to have professional knowledge on how to protect it from internet malware. Her job is to teach her subject, which apparently wasn't network administration.

    So if they really want to prosecute someone for kids seeing naked people, what about the municipality school administrators or the state board of education. Seems to me they have the ultimate responsibility for making sure their equipment is properly safeguarded.

    Personally I don't place kids seeing porn as a crime worthy of 40 years in jail, but that's just me. And yes I have kids, and no I don't care if they happen to see naked people for a minute or two. That's life, hiding from it won't protect anyone. But Americans in general tend to be the most over-protective individuals on the planet, and if they think kids seeing penises is as bad as pedophilia then the least they can do is go after the people that do bare some sort of responsibility.

  44. Tom

    Where to begin, where to begin...

    Jury pay - Is definitively crap in the US. I was called for jury duty a while back, pay barely covered parking and gas (before oil prices went up). But, like most people in the US who don't have burger flipping jobs, for my company pays full salary for a limited time (5 days in our case) for trials.

    Judges, Lawyers, and Trials - I was called for the big pool from which they eventually selected the jury, but not the actual trial. It was educational and highly amusing. After the overly sappy patriotic indoctrination video feature appearances by big name news anchors from the big three networks we filed into a room where the lawyers genuflected to the potential jury pool like a catholic parishoner in an SNL skit. They asked innumerable inane questions. I was one of the few who didn't answer in a way that would reflect negatively either for or against the plaintiff. There was however one gentleman who stood out. An EMT who lives in a tony area whose neighbors are lawyers, and bankers, and who as a result of his job is frequently filing reports with police in a variety of cases. He knew people who worked for both law firms involved in the case, and by my reckoning should have been excused from the pool after about the fifth question because while he might have the impartiality of God himself, under the US law he clearly ought not be on the jury. None the less, he was not excused at the end of the first round of questioning. Then, because the case was likely to take several weeks, the judge asked for anyone who believed it would cause a hardship for them to be away from their job for that long to come forward and make their case. About 90% of the people in the room (including the EMT) came forward to state their reasons and again I did not. More people were excused, and the EMT remained in the pool. Finally they called the jury and the alternates. Wouldn't you know it, the EMT was the second or third person named for the jury. After the whole jury was seated, lawyers from both sides asked to approach the bench and the EMT was finally excused and replaced with someone else from the pool. Somehow or another I was not selected. Maybe I shouldn't have been carrying a copy of Mark Levin's book about the Supreme Court.

    Teachers, Students, and porn - Growing up I was a bright kid in an above average school district. When the school finally bought TRS-80 model III PCs to teach some computer classes, it turned out that for the most part I already knew more about computers than most of them did. I elected to take a probabilities and statistics class the previous year, knew the teacher well, and asked him some questions he thought would be better modeled on a computer. So he gave me access to the one the teachers were learning on in the library and helped me write the programs. I even figured out how to download games from the teachers console to the work stations so I could play 'centipede' during free time. Students always know more about the PCs than the teachers. Chances are, if there were porn URLs on the machine, it was because the students had gone there while the teacher wasn't looking. So even if the URL was under her ID, and there was no malware, it doesn't necessarily mean she was browsing the porn. The rest of the information provided about the case make it inexcusable to prosecute her.

  45. Anonymous Coward

    What about the school's IT mob?

    Surely if they have (properly configured) filter software an event like this wouldn't happen. Windows itself was designed to make computer use easy for everyone; whatever their level of IT literacy or understanding of computers. If the user has limited computer ability, it is, as far as I'm concerned down to the school's tech support.

    SomeOS V1.985 (c) BloggSoft Inc

    (Incompatible with just about everything)


    Is how it used to be, but relentless pressure on computing and technology by governments and other organisations trying to make things easy hasn't made things easy for the average Joe.

    A long time ago, armed with no to little knowledge of DOS, I went off to one of my first job interviews. I mentioned that I was computer literate (having used beebs) during the interview and was instantly caught out on the company's 80286 Amstrad clone. I couldn't get the word processor to load and the interview ended there and then.

    There is no requirement for users to have or need much knowledge; many car drivers have no idea of aerodynamics, nor do they need to know.

    I also used to do voluntary work in my local library where the staff would frequently ask me to sort out minor problems with the computers. I spotted a huge security hole where users details were not deleted on password accessed sites (I used to show senior citizens how to use the internet) and I raised this with the staff immediately. The lady concerned was checking flight details of her holiday, and these were visible to *anyone* who checked out the hisotry.

    Upshot was I was the computer literate volunteer (unemployed at the time) and the paid staff were clueless. I knew how they could sort it out quite easily and pointed this out to the staff, but Council IT didn't give me the access to do it.

  46. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton


    "and if they think kids seeing penises is as bad as pedophilia then the least they can do is go after the people that do bare some sort of responsibility."

    See? This is where spelling is important. Is that a spelling error, typo or play on words? Only a smilie would know for sure.

    Meanwhile you only have to look at some of the kiddie chat sites to find out the sort of sh1t they get up to with school computer systems.

    Paris, because she bares a lot of.....

  47. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    What's "speling... "? Also - I understand that quote. How can't you? Sure it's the wrong form but the meaning is evident from the context. Unless you're being a pedantic arse hat.

  48. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    arse hat ?

    "What's "speling... "?" - a little bit of humour, perhaps.

    "Also - I understand that quote" - so is it a play on words, then, or an error?

    "Unless you're being a pedantic arse hat" - I dare say you're as pretty as a hatful of said orifices.

    I wonder if Paris knows what an arse hat is?

  49. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    Utterly scary

    To be innocently doing your job and get wrongfully accused, jailed, harassed, and possibly have your reputation never recover. Scares the hell out of me that at no point did anyone in the justice system do anything but assume the worst and/or cover their own asses.

    I don't even know what else to say. I hope the poor woman doesn't have nightmares for the rest of her life about this. Perhaps some quality control and/or education in the law enforcement and judicial system would be in order.

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