For a free Internet filter, K9 Web Blocker does its job well, providing a broad collection of options for customizing your remote Web supervision needs. The app comes with a handful or so of predesigned filters and an option to customize. With more than 50 categories for organizing Web sites, and the keyword-free proprietary K9 rating system, the Web monitoring and blocking aspects of the software functioned well. K9 also has categories for blocking sites that have been detected as potential malware threats. Equally impressive--and a little bit scary--was the log that detailed not just blocked Web sites but also … Read more
Someday my son will hate me for this, but I just implemented a new way to record his daily achievements: A dedicated Gmail account. I got the idea for this tip from John Girard, CEO of Clickability, who sends tagged emails to his Outlook account. Anything with his special code in the subject means it's news about one of his kids, and he has filters to archive those notes into an offline file.
But it's so easy to set a new Gmail account, I thought, why not just do it this way? Plus, I can give account access … Read more
Two decades ago, video games, like comic books before them, were written off as a form of entertainment strictly for children. Just like the comic book industry eventually produced mature, extremely-not-for-kids books like Alan Moore's Watchmen or Garth Ennis' Preacher, the video game industry has produced mature, extremely-not-for-kids games like BioWare's Mass Effect and 2K Games' Bioshock. These games can have violence, sex, and very strong language, and are not appropriate for children.
Back from the weekend, Randall's parents get rid of their home phone...so that Randall can't call anymore. Nine Inch Nails is another band releasing their album free online. Seth MacFarlane is back in business with Fox and may release a new Family Guy spinoff, Cleveland. Semi-Pro was semi-awful, and if you want to meet men, go to the Apple Store.
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The Playstation 3 has many great games. Unfortunately, the majority of those games are violent, bloody, and utterly inappropriate for children. Fortunately, the PS3 has a parental control system that lets you make certain your kids can play Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga and Ratchet and Clank Future: Tools of Destruction, but won't be able to load the ultraviolent Ninja Gaiden Sigma or The Darkness. The Playstation Portable contains a similar control system, so this handy guide can help you watch what your children are playing, both at home and on the go.
Please note: Unlike the Xbox 360 and Nintendo Wii, the PS3 and PSP don't use the Entertainment Software Ratings Board's rating system. Instead they use a series of numbered levels ranging from 1 for only the most acceptable titles to 11 for almost all games. Level 5 approximately corresponds with T-rated games, though parents should experiment with the different levels to determine which level is most appropriate for their family.… Read more
The Nintendo Wii has plenty of great games for children and adults. However, it also has a handful of incredibly violent titles that can be fun for adults but completely inappropriate for children. While Super Mario Galaxy is a fun, cute game children can enjoy, No More Heroes is an ultraviolent gorefest and Manhunt 2 will probably give them all nightmares. Fortunately, the Wii has a built-in parental control system that lets you limit what games your children can play. This handy guide can help you set up your Wii to make certain your children will only play appropriate games.
Please note: The Nintendo Wii uses game ratings designed by the Entertainment Software Rating Board. Like the MPAA and movie ratings, the ESRB divides games into age-based categories, including E for Everyone, T for Teen, and M for Mature. For more information on the ESRB rating system, visit their Web site.… Read more
The Xbox 360 has a ton of great games, but not all of them are meant for children. You may have fun chainsawing zombies in Dead Rising or immolating deranged splicers in Bioshock, but your young child could get nightmares. Fortunately, the Xbox 360 has a parental control system where you can set it to make certain that little Timmy only plays E- or T-rated games, while you can still enjoy your ultraviolent carnage. This guide will walk you through the process of making your Xbox 360 safe for your children.
Please note: The Xbox 360 uses game ratings designed by the Entertainment Software Rating Board. Like the MPAA and movie ratings, the ESRB divides games into age-based categories, including E for Everyone, T for Teen, and M for Mature. For more information on the ESRB rating system, visit their Web site.… Read more
Apple today released 11 security updates for Mac OS X, with many of the updates specific to the newly-released Leopard operating system. The Security Update 2008-001 is the first from Apple for 2008. The applications affected include Time Machine, Mail, and Parental Controls. The update can be downloaded and installed via Software Update preferences, or from Apple Downloads.
Directory Services This patch affects users of Mac OS X v10.4.11 and Mac OS X Server v10.4.11 and addresses the vulnerability in CVE-2007-0355. Apple says, "A stack buffer overflow exists in the Service Location Protocol (SLP) daemon, … Read more
On Tuesday, I wrote about the misinformation surrounding Mass Effect, a highly rated Xbox 360 game. I pointed out that, even if the game contained the obscenities various news outlets have falsely claimed it to have, parents can easily restrict their children from playing it on their Xbox 360. It's a simple matter of entering the "Family Settings" menu on the Xbox 360 dashboard, making up a passcode your kids won't find out, and setting the level of the games you want them to play. Keep it set to EC or E if you have young … Read more
I spent the whole day at CES attending the Sandbox Summit, an ambitious new specialty session put on by the Parents' Choice Foundation. We heard presentations from over 20 speakers, from Nickelodeon and Sesame Workshop (an Elvis-impersonating Elmo showed up live as a keynote speaker!), to Michelle Slatalla, Cyberfamilias columnist at The New York Times; Anastasia Goodstein, founder of YPulse.com; and Warren Buckleitner, editor of Children's Technology Review. The five panels addressed topics in depth and from several angles, including marketing, safety, the quality and effectiveness of educational media, and the question of how families can develop reasonable limits on screen time. I will be covering the details this five-hour summit in many upcoming blog posts.
The Sandbox Summit was well-attended and I had the most amazing networking experience afterward, talking to other women who attended as audience members. … Read more