Security suite vendor McAfee debuts its 2010 product line today, introducing an overhauled interface and new features in a bid to remain competitive. The change to its interface is as dramatic a shift as the one that Avast introduced in its 2010 suites, although McAfee's look is drastically different from any major security program currently on the market. Most of the features in McAfee AntiVirus Plus, McAfee Internet Security, and McAfee Total Protection are not new, but the presentation is so radical that the improvements are likely to be glossed over. Users of older McAfee should note that VirusScan … Read more
Some of you might remember Harry Chapin's delightful ditty to parent/child relationships, titled "Cat's in the Cradle." It was all about a child being neglected by his father. He then grows up and neglects him.
Might I bring you, therefore, a modern day tale of a Chapin? This Chapin--Tess is her name--has parents who don't seem to neglect her. However, she has decided to offer a potty-mouthed pout at their discipline in the world's largest whining arena: Facebook.
Taser International, the company that makes Taser guns to help law enforcement subdue unruly suspects, now has a product aimed at children. At CES, the company announced the Protector Family Safety Program--a series of products designed to help parents monitor and control what their kids are doing with their phones.
Lets parents listen in Protector goes further than most parental control products in that it doesn't just provide a summary of activity--such as the incoming and outgoing numbers of people the kids call or text--but allows parents to listen to actual calls and read text messages.
Depending on … Read more
Created in the Uchiyama Lab at Japan's University of Tsukuba, Yotaro is meant to be a baby simulator for teaching new parents and about-to-be-older-siblings the ways of babyhood. As crying is obviously a big part of infancy, warm water comes out of a small opening in the interactive screen that doubles as Yotaro's touch-sensitive face.
Yotaro, just a concept for now, is not a standalone robot, as a rather extensive set of devices must be … Read more
Parents' jobs are extremely difficult. From time to time, it's nice to get a little help from technology to make the job just a little easier. That's why I decided to sift through Apple's App Store to find applications that help parents monitor and ensure the safety and well-being of their kids. Some of the apps listed below are for young children, while others are designed for teenagers. But in the end, this roundup is for any parent with an iPhone.Get parenting help from the iPhone
Baby Monitor Since some baby monitors don't have the kind of range parents hope for, the Baby Monitor iPhone app will deliver.
Baby Monitor provides a relatively simple experience. You can place the iPhone next to the baby while the application is open. You'll also need to input a phone number. When the baby starts making noise, the Baby Monitor places a call to the number you input into the application, so you can listen from another phone. It's a great way to monitor what your baby is doing, but beware that it costs $4.99.
Baby Soothe Sometimes getting your child to go to sleep can be a difficult task. That's where Baby Soothe comes in.
Like Baby Monitor, you'll need to put the iPhone next to the baby for it to work properly. When you do so, you can pick from several different sounds that, according to the app's developer, will help your baby go to sleep. You can choose from relaxing water sounds, like a waterfall or rain. You can also choose a heartbeat option, which mimics the sound babies will hear in the womb. The app also features white noise, like fans and static. All the app's audio features high-quality sound that should appeal to most babies. Even better, it's affordable at just $0.99.… Read more
Straight from the No-Brainer Department comes a list of games that parents should not buy their children this holiday season. The New York Times has republished a collection of 10 titles deemed totally uncool for kids to play by the media watchdog group Common Sense Media.
While we're all for educating parents about the naughty video games their children want to play, we can't help but slap our foreheads at how obvious some of them are. Besides, all a responsible parent needs to do is stray away from the big fat "Rated M for Mature" logo on the box art of such titles.
We wouldn't disagree with any title on the list, but some of the suggested alternatives for these titles are a bit suspect. For example, replacing Modern Warfare 2 with Battlefield: Bad Company only brings the blood level down a bit--the war combat and violence are still present in Bad Company. We absolutely loved Uncharted 2, but there's plenty of gunplay and headshots in the T-rated blockbuster as well.
Ideally, we'd love to see parents become more involved in their child's gaming habits. The only way to make sure a game is right for the younger ones is to have Mom or Dad sit in on a few sessions.
The Department of Defense has pulled a parental control product from its online store serving military families after learning that the company collects childrens' data, according to documents the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) obtained from the government agency.
EPIC has filed a complaint (PDF) with the Federal Trade Commission alleging that Echometrix, maker of FamilySafe parental control software, violates the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act by collecting personal information from children and disclosing it to third parties for market intelligence purposes. Echometrix denies the allegations.
After learning that the Defense Department's Army and Air Force Exchange Service (… Read more
Once set up, the parental controls and permissions restrictions for an account in OS X should be fairly secure for a booted and running system. Despite this, a number of parents are running into problems where their kids are cleverly getting around the parental restrictions. Here are the ways they are doing this, and how to best combat them.… Read more
The much-anticipated and controversial Modern Warfare 2 finally arrives in retail stores today, which gives us an excuse to invite AOL GameDaily.com's Libe Goad to give us some insight into all the action. Although it's definitely not the first Call of Duty game, Libe and Jeff tell us it's the most controversial of the pack, with disturbing scenes that let you take the side of terrorists.
It's hard to believe anything can be scarier than making the trip down to Chinatown, NYC, to pick up your "advanced" copy, though. Don't call it a bootleg; the copies they're selling down there are actually legit, a first for Canal St. merchants. And although they cost the same as copies from the big box stores, Modern Warfare 2 has been available at these "select retailers" for the past week! Good to know I live in such a respectable part of NYC.
Yesterday's episode sparked such a heated conversation about censorship, video game and movie ratings, and parenting video gamers that we're happy to revisit the topics today, with Libe's valuable industry input, of course! This time, we address the world of online gaming that's brought a new level of offensive material to young people who might not understand the implications of their trash-talking. With no moderators to police Xbox Live or PSN, players are allowed to communicate directly with each other, which often results in racist and misogynistic epithets. Tune in to today's episode to listen to our opinion on what should be done.
Finally, we hate to take the spotlight away from Libe, but we've been resisting the urge to announce our guest for the past week. We finally got the green light, so we're happy to announce that Tony Hawk will be in The 404 studio on Monday, November 16, to chat with us about his latest game, Tony Hawk: Ride and maybe even do a live in-studio demo! Start thinking up questions, as we'll most likely be taking questions from the audience as well.EPISODE 464 Subscribe in iTunes audio | Suscribe to iTunes (video) | Subscribe in RSS Audio | Subscribe in RSS Video… Read more
Parents have to fight hard to find new ways to get through to their offspring.
Naturally, there are those who might think it pointless to bother communicating with them at all. Yet somehow parents keep trying like the spurned lovers of Cleopatra.
According to The Washington Post, the latest trend in parenting patter is to nag your kids by text.
The article points out some touching nuances. Kids don't like picking up the phone when a parent calls. A text that says, for example, "u little dolt. Where the hell are u?" can be read rather more … Read more