Apple Implements App Ratings/Restrictions for iPhone, iPod Touch

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The fact that they included parental controls for games in the 3.0 beta sort of hinted at this, but along with the iPhone 3.0 update today came app ratings, which appear rather inconspicuously under the app’s price and buy button on the detailed info screen. It also appears next to an app’s name in the list view of the iTunes store browser.

Interestingly, all apps appear to be getting a rating, as I checked out even one so innocuous as HP’s MediaSmart Server iStream app and found that it was “not yet rated.” It may be that all harmless utilities will receive this nondescript side-stepping of a rating going forward. Read More about Apple Implements App Ratings/Restrictions for iPhone, iPod Touch

Apple Brings Parental Controls, 3G Data Failure to iPhone OS 3.0

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Another new feature has surfaced in iPhone OS 3.0 beta 5 (though it appears to have been available in beta 4, I just discovered), and this one should come as welcome news to beleaguered and frustrated developers dealing with inappropriate content-based rejection. Parental controls are now available on the iPhone, just as was hinted recently in a rejection letter to the developer of Newspaper(s), a news aggregation app.

The new controls should also please Trent Reznor, who recently had a very high-profile and vocal (albeit one-sided) argument with Apple (s aapl) over their rejection of an update to his app for objectionable content. Much like Google’s Safe Search filtering, they allow iPhone owners to restrict the types of apps which are allowed to be installed on their iPhone. This means that poor little Johnny might soon have to go without Bikini Blast, for instance, if his parents get wise to the new features. Read More about Apple Brings Parental Controls, 3G Data Failure to iPhone OS 3.0

Kid Proofing a Mac With Parental Controls

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If you’ve got young children, chances are they’re already quite adept at using the computer. This is a new generation of wired little ones, and we’ve got our work cut out for us as we attempt to stay ahead of them.

I’ll wager that you’re more concerned with protecting your children from the sketchy dangers of the internet, but equally important is protecting your Mac from your children! Luckily, if you’ve got a Mac, OS X comes with some great Parental Controls built right into the operating system which will help you combat both of these situations.

This post should serve as a quick guide to get you started in locking down your Mac, making it safe for your kiddos to use without your direct supervision. The process is quite simple (as is standard operating procedure with all things Apple), but I realize you may be starting from one of two different scenarios.

  1. Children’s Account does not yet exist
    Starting from scratch is easy. Open System Preferences (under the Apple icon) and choose Accounts. Click the “+” button to create a new account profile. The very top line is a drop down menu — from that drop down, select “Managed with Parental Controls.” Create the rest of the account as usual. As soon as you finish that screen, the new account is visible with a button at the bottom to take you to the Parental Controls Preference Pane.
  2. Children’s Account already exists
    Converting a pre-existing account is just as easy to convert for use with Parental Controls. From within the Accounts Pane of System Preferences, select the account you want to change to Parental Controls. At the bottom of that profile page, all you need to do is check the box that reads “Enable Parental Controls” and then click the button to open that Preference Pane for configuration.

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Leopard’s Parental Controls a possible source of resource hogging?

Leopard Parental Controls
Jon Buys wrote in letting me know of a little issue he’s having with the new Parental Controls feature of Leopard.

He writes in:

I enabled the Parental Controls on my new Leopard install, and after letting my kids play Frozen Bubble and browse to Playhouse Disney for an hour or so I found that the daemon named “parentalcontrolsd” was eating 98-100% of one of my cores (Core 2 Duo MacBook).

Anyone else had this issue with the new Parental Controls? Have certain applications possibly caused the increase in CPU usage?