30th January 2009 at 00:00

Save the cyber oldies

Finally someone is taking action to protect our most vulnerable members of society from the perils of the internet: stalkers, cybercriminals, perverts and the BBC's Have Your Say pages.

By vulnerable members of society, FErret means, of course, people born before 1990. Croydon College is offering adults an award in internet safety to teach them all about viruses, firewalls and illegal filesharing.

The college may claim that the course is intended to help grown-ups who work with children protect their delicate sensibilities. But this must be a cover.

Exhaustive research carried out by FErret demonstrates that most of the offensive content on the internet was put there by teenagers themselves.

An internet populated by adults would be like a cross between the Great Library of Alexandria and the Algonquin Round Table, rather than the Hieronymus Bosch nightmare it has become.

So this course will give the oldies the chance to keep up with their charges, clearly capable of hacking into the Pentagon by now. Essential modules should include how to tell a real deposed Nigerian leader from a fake one, evasion techniques for unexpected Rick Astley videos and how to get the Tippex off your monitor.

Northern Soul-less?

Farewell then, Blackpool Mecca. Along with its legendary Highland Rooms, one of the temples of Northern Soul in the Sixties, it has been demolished to make way for Blackpool and The Fylde College's new campus.

The enterprising local council is flogging off the planks of the dance floor to nostalgists, collectors, and any other weirdo willing to cough up a tenner for an old plank of wood.

Hopefully, some of the atmosphere will transfer to the college's Pounds 150 million campus when it opens - a building at the centre of Blackpool's efforts to return to its glory days.

Perhaps as a mark of respect, "brain gym" activities could be replaced with a few spins and leaps to the Marvelettes. Better hold off on the amphetamines, though.

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