Why the UK’s porn filter plans are just an illusion

The British government is considering once again whether to apply mandatory filters to block all adult content on the internet. But what’s the point of campaigning for a technological solution when the technology itself doesn’t work properly?

Today in Social

The Wall Street Journal says that Facebook is evaluating how it could use parental control technologies so that it can allow kids under 13 to use its main site. Critics say this could be a privacy disaster, while some have advocated Facebook create a kids-only “sanctuary.” Facebook has no choice but evaluate some kind of kid-safe strategy – it is against its terms of service for under 13-year-olds to use the site, but lots of surveys suggest kids are doing their own work-arounds. Facebook could be unintentionally violating COPPA regulations about collecting data on children. AOL used to have a pretty good business in parental controls, so this might be a revenue opportunity for Facebook. Premium kids-only sites have never really taken off. Mathew Ingram has some analysis, and a poll.

Apple, Google absent from ESRB’s new mobile app rating system

The Entertainment Software Ratings Board intends to apply its familiar game-rating stamps to mobile apps, providing a way for parents to monitor and restrict the games and content their kids download. Five mobile operators and Microsoft(s msft) have signed on but Apple and Google are missing.

How-To: Turn Mac Parental Controls Into Productivity Boosters

Parental Controls in Snow Leopard are an absolute hit with parents. But the usefulness of those tools don’t just stop at the kids. From blocking websites to tracking time, they can also be used to increase your own personal productivity. Here’s how.

Walkthrough: Setting Up a Mac for the Minis in Your Life

Does one set out to create a computer literate family, or to cultivate a creative family familiar with the modern communication capabilities of today’s age? The distinction is subtle, but the benefits of the latter strongly outweigh the former.