Gaping hole in Microsoft’s bid to block bombers

Microsoft has admitted that it needs bomb makers to come forward to make a vital aspect of its new content-filtering software work.

Gaping hole in Microsoft's bid to block bombers

Microsoft’s recently launched OneCare Family Safety claims to prevent children from visiting unsuitable websites. It offers a list of categories – including mature content, gambling and bomb making – that parents can choose to prevent their child from visiting.

There’s just one tiny flaw in the plan – it requires the site owners to confess to their sins. “The software uses a combination of global databases of sites that register themselves,” Microsoft product manager, Cristiano Ventura tells PC Pro.

And how many bomb makers have come forward to declare the content of their sites? “In some cases, that could be a problem,” admits Ventura, leaving the door optimistically open for Al Qaeda experts with a conscience.

Family Care is just one of a new suite of software products launched by Microsoft, which can all be downloaded in one go via a unified installer. The suite includes email, photo editing and blogging applications.

Microsoft says it will continue adding to its Google Pack rival over the coming months. “Extending the portfolio and technology is critical to our success,” says Jonathan Hall, head of the Windows Live consumer business group at Microsoft. Unlike Google, however, Hall says the company “doesn’t have any current plans to include third party apps”.

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