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Ask Slashdot: Keeping Your Media Library Safe From Kids? 307

Serenissima writes "I've spent many hours building my Media Library in XBMC and scraping all the DVD Covers and Fanart. And I love it, I can pull up movies on any computer or device in the house. I played a movie for my son the other day so I could get some cleaning done without him being underfoot. I noticed shortly after that the sound coming from the other room was from a different movie than I played for him. I snuck up and watched for a few minutes and saw him use a trackpad to navigate to the stop and play buttons of different movies in his folder. I know it's only a matter of time before he realizes he can see all of the movies. I don't want him to have nightmares because he saw the T-1000 stab someone in the face. The quickest solution I can think is a screen saver with a password. It's mildly inconvenient to me, but would stop him from accessing anything. However, I remember how much more I knew about computers than my parents when I was a kid, and I have a feeling he's going to surprise me one day. There's a lot of ways out there to stop it, the way we do it now is to not let him watch anything unless we're there (but there are only so many times I can watch the same kid's movie). How do YOU guys find yourself dealing with the convenience of running your own server while keeping your media safe from prying eyes?"
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Ask Slashdot: Keeping Your Media Library Safe From Kids?

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  • by gnasher719 ( 869701 ) on Friday January 04, 2013 @07:50PM (#42482619)
    Don't worry. You knew more about computers than your parents. You'll also know more about computers than your children.
  • Coming of age (Score:5, Insightful)

    by White Flame ( 1074973 ) on Friday January 04, 2013 @07:51PM (#42482657)

    If they're smart enough to figure out how to pry through complex systems and look at daddy's files, exposure to what they see will have a self-determining effect on them. Either they'll be scared of what they saw in the "grown-up movies" and will leave it alone (and you can talk it out with him), or the kid will find something he likes and expand his horizons a bit.

    You don't say how old he is, but I generally believe that you've got to let curiosity run its course for everyday sorts of things like this.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 04, 2013 @07:53PM (#42482681)

    Instead of looking for a technical solution to do your job for you.

    Yeah, i know. mindblowing for sure.

    Kids require 24-7 supervision for about 16 years or they WILL get into something you don't like. 100% guaranteed. The only fix is doing the job you signed up for when you had a child.

  • Re:RTFM (Score:5, Insightful)

    by WilliamGeorge ( 816305 ) on Friday January 04, 2013 @07:53PM (#42482691)

    I have mod points, but where is the option for 'Informative - but a jerk'? Granted, it can be annoying to help someone when the answer to their question is a short Google search away... but the question there at the end seems unkind (at best). Lets keep things civil :)

  • by maharg ( 182366 ) on Friday January 04, 2013 @07:55PM (#42482725) Homepage Journal

    the boy has the whole internet to peruse unless you have locked that down also... Seriously.. Are you actually running a walled garden ? If not all bets are off...

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 04, 2013 @07:55PM (#42482731)

    How do I hide my porn!

  • by plaut ( 42347 ) on Friday January 04, 2013 @07:59PM (#42482805)

    Set and communicate the rules and the consequences for breaking them, monitor compliance, and enforce the consequences if the rules are broken. If you force compliance with technology, your son won't learn what is and isn't appropriate behavior and you won't have the opportunity to build trust. And, believe me, you'll need that trust when he's older.

  • Re:RTFM (Score:5, Insightful)

    by geekoid ( 135745 ) <dadinportland&yahoo,com> on Friday January 04, 2013 @08:03PM (#42482855) Homepage Journal

    No. people need to know they are being lazy, and being nice hasn't been working.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 04, 2013 @08:09PM (#42482935)

    This should have been moderated to 5:insightful by now. Parenting is a social feat, not merely a technical or biological one.

    This parent could have simply said "hey, there are a lot of grownup movies on here that WILL give you nightmares. You are not allowed to watch the grown-up movies, ask me first before you change what's playing." You don't even need to threaten with punishment. Just state that this is how it will be, and if they start testing boundaries when they get older, THEN you can step in and start revoking privilege as punishment.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 04, 2013 @08:09PM (#42482941)
    Some will disagree with you but I'm not one of them. So I want to expand on what you're saying. There is a certain age range that had to understand how a computer worked to run anything. Older generations were past the age of quick learning when this happened with only a few exceptions. On the other end, younger generations have no need to know any of that stuff. The file system is more and more hidden. Younger generations know how something works by clicking and touching on different things, but beyond that not much. That middle generation however can figure out any UI and fix problems as they arise because they understand what's going on underneath. There are exceptions to all of these generalities, but in general they're true :)
  • Re:RTFM (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 04, 2013 @08:40PM (#42483351)

    He should also stop pretending he's trying to hide Terminator movies. We all know who is stabbing who in the face and with what in his collection.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 04, 2013 @08:41PM (#42483375)

    I'd agree with you on the premise that today's youth is dumber and less capable period, lack critical thinking, never been in a fight, etc...

    But that's where it ends: assembly programmers probably know more about how a computer works than either one of us, in fact I always raise an eyebrow when I hear older techs talking about motherboard processes in the form of IO & voltage rather than clock speeds & bridges. I know voltages only for the purpose of OC (and fixing buggy asus motherboards), but that's not my #1 thought process when it comes to analyzing mobos. The point being we do our stuff just find without knowing assembly, a select few still have to know it to write translation / engine tools for frameworks, but a time ago that was everybody.

    It goes something like this: jscript > jquery > ajax / jquery, and remember how hard ajax was at first? Ya most of that has been automated, no reason this pattern won't continue.

  • Re:RTFM (Score:4, Insightful)

    by cgimusic ( 2788705 ) on Friday January 04, 2013 @08:42PM (#42483379)
    My ideal target is for Ask Slashdots to be interesting and informative with the pros and cons of various solutions to a complex problem being discussed. With a really basic problem such as this I really would have thought a simple Google would have given the best solution. In fact I had this very problem several months ago and all I did was search the internet and the manual for XBMC came up top.
  • by Andrewkov ( 140579 ) on Friday January 04, 2013 @08:42PM (#42483385)

    So true.. Kids today are very well versed in the Internet (Facebook, Twitter, email, etc), but have no idea of anything technical like setting up a network or troubleshooting hardware. There are exceptions, of course, the nerds who have the interest and might go into IT. But generally, kids are strictly users like most of our parents were.

  • by jedidiah ( 1196 ) on Friday January 04, 2013 @08:49PM (#42483461) Homepage

    Some things are adult by nature simply because of unavoidable social convention. Those really should be locked away using some mechanism that is expected to pose some sort of minimal barrier.

    It doesn't have to be unhackable. It just has to create a clear boundary.

    It doesn't matter if it's a "parents" fileshare or a lock on a gun cabinet.

  • Re:RTFM (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 04, 2013 @08:53PM (#42483519)

    No. people need to know they are being lazy, and being nice hasn't been working.

    Working for what (i.e. what purpose do you target)? 'Cause not all the nerds share the same purposes, moral or ethical values (and it's is still OK... less boring, you see?)

    E.g. if it is the opportunity of jerks to show themselves informative (which I can accept as a passable purpose), it seems it's working quite well.

    Yes, you're right. Not all nerds share the same purposes or values.

    That being said, do you know what all lazy people have in common? Being fucking lazy.

    Bottom line is when it takes longer to type the question on Slashdot than it does to find the answer in Google, you're not only doing it wrong, but you have no right calling yourself a nerd.

  • Re:RTFM (Score:2, Insightful)

    by wer32r ( 2556798 ) on Friday January 04, 2013 @08:57PM (#42483567)
    I really hate this one. Few things are as annoying as searching for some difficult-to-search topic, find a forum link on the top search result with a relevant topic, and then find that Imgtfy link to just another Google search. Typically when this happens, the result of the next search is as little informative as the link itself. The really annoying part is that you know that whoever posted the link is likely to know the answer and could have stated it in a few words or have provided a relevant link instead of being a douche.
  • Re:RTFM (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 04, 2013 @09:13PM (#42483745)

    Give a man a fish, he'll eat for a day, then come back and bitch about being hungry tomorrow.

    Teach a man to fish, and he'll leave you the fuck alone.

  • Re:two choices (Score:5, Insightful)

    by arth1 ( 260657 ) on Friday January 04, 2013 @10:16PM (#42484273) Homepage Journal

    The third one being the one the spouse doesn't get to see...

  • by readin ( 838620 ) on Friday January 04, 2013 @10:25PM (#42484319)
    You're right about the generation that grew up while computers were growing up likely understand the internals much better (at least those who were at all interested). However kids today don't need to understand the internals to hack anymore. They just need to find the right hacking software.

    I would say a simple password will work against the 4 yr old for at least the next 5 years. After that it's only partly a technical problem. It is also a question of how well your kids listen to you and what kinds of friends they're making.. Possibly in upper elementary school, probably by middle school, and certainly in high school, there will be kids who know how to get the software to crack their parents computers. Complain about your parents restrictions to the right person and they'll likely offer to get you a flash drive that will let them bypass the protections (and perhaps give you some viruses).

    The kids have physical access to the computer. If they're well behaved kids who don't feel a strong need to bypass the rules you've set, then regular passwords should continue to work. But if they're the kind of kids who regularly go behind your back then I doubt there is much you can do.
  • by rubycodez ( 864176 ) on Friday January 04, 2013 @10:28PM (#42484343)

    the percentage of "computer people" is very small and always was. your 11 year old would probably be excited and self-motivated by *something*, but maybe it's outside of what dual computer-geek parents would even consider. could be art or music or mechanical things or sports or debate......

  • by readin ( 838620 ) on Friday January 04, 2013 @10:32PM (#42484363)
    I disagree on the "dumber and less capable" part. They're capabilities are different. I think the schools do a better job of teaching the kids to be organized and to think abstractly. But when you say "never been in a fight" I think you hit on something that worries me.

    These kids are going to vote. If the schools protect them too much from each other, they'll never understand what people are like. Kids today don't get out and play - they stay inside and play video games. The rules are enforced for them (they don't have to argue the rules with each other). They don't have to figure out who the quarterback is. And they don't have to worry about people who break the rules and try to bully others into accepting their rule breaking.

    In short, they'll suck at foreign policy because they'll assume everyone is basically good and willing to follow the rules. Older voters already seem to include a lot of people who don't understand that foreign leaders typically have more in common with Al Capone than with Martin Luther King.
  • by cusco ( 717999 ) <brian.bixby@gma i l . c om> on Friday January 04, 2013 @11:19PM (#42484643)
    Is everyone serious? Have you never heard of NTFS? Put all the movies he's allowed to access in a folder with Full Control permissions for Everyone. Put the movies that you don't want him to get in a different folder, remove Everyone from the Access Control List, give Full Control to the Administrators group or just to your user account. When you're logged in you can access everything, when he's logged in he can only access his folder.

    It ain't rocket surgery.
  • by Gr8Apes ( 679165 ) on Friday January 04, 2013 @11:46PM (#42484821)

    I disagree on the "dumber and less capable" part. They're capabilities are different. I think the schools do a better job of teaching the kids to be organized and to think abstractly.

    I disagree with every point you make above. They are dumber. They are less capable (unless playing video games with top notch hardware beating out those unfortunate enough to have slightly less capable hardware counts in your statement) The schools do a horrible job of teaching kids anything at this point. I swear we learned more in half the grades than current spoon-fed "graduates". And colleges? Since when is it the job of a college to graduate students versed in some corporations level 1 training program: just about any comp sci school these days only teaches 1 or 2 language syntaxes. Algorithms? What are those? Data structures? You mean like when I lean the 'A' against a 'D' to create a wall? And I'm 99% sure that what you call "abstract thinking" is nothing more than glazed eye day-dreaming. We won't even talk about pattern recognition, critical thinking, or applying logical solutions.

    I interview a few "senior" folks a week. These have already been screened through 2 layers, which weeds out a bunch before I see the cream of the crop. I pass maybe 1 out of 10, and most are in their 30s and 40s, with several up to their 60s. No age bias here, if they know their material, I'll thumbs up them - last 2 that got thumbs up were most likely 60+, I am not allowed to ask. I had some 20-something that somehow slipped through (someone else answering for him earlier?) and couldn't answer even basic technical questions about what he claimed to have accomplished on his own resume. He's not unusual. These aren't just out of school people. They have worked for generally more than 2 companies over a period of years.

  • by Patch86 ( 1465427 ) on Saturday January 05, 2013 @05:30AM (#42486217)

    IT has always been this way. Think back to when you were at school- you and a few of your friends were probably pretty techy, but what percentage of the kids at your school were? Were most of them more interested in sport? Pop music? Heated political debate? Doing drugs behind the bike shed? Things other than computers and technology?

    That's how I remember my childhood, anyway. I loved computers. A few of my friends loved computers. We were a minority.

"Don't worry about people stealing your ideas. If your ideas are any good, you'll have to ram them down people's throats." -- Howard Aiken