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

    by epyT-R ( 613989 ) on Friday January 04, 2013 @07:49PM (#42482603)

    In trad slashdot style, I didn't read. Best way to do this is to keep R-rated stuff off the family tv's media playback device. Share them on a different share etc.

  • Permissions (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 04, 2013 @07:49PM (#42482607)

    How about just using Linux file permissions? Keep daddy's movies in his home folder, and have the XBMC under an unprivileged user.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 04, 2013 @08:10PM (#42482953)

    Here's what I do: To keep it simple, I tag all the "bad" movies as restricted. Then on the server in each room where a movie could possibly be played, I require that the server has an "adult present" token. At first this token was just a USB stick I carried around with just a certain named file on it (no crypto). A few years ago I switched to detecting the presence of a bluetooth device - my cell phone or a few other authorized devices. The server scans for the MAC address every 30 seconds, if it can't find it 3x in a row it disables playback of restricted movies. But you can use any convenient token.

    I don't use this at home but at a non-profit I run (a haunted attraction). It's got a mix of adults and teen volunteers, and we have PG-13 and R stuff in our horror video library. The system has worked rather well, but I admit the security of it is based on obscurity - that the teens don't know what enables the restricted content! If they ever figured it out, I'd switch to a secure token.

  • by shakezula ( 842399 ) on Friday January 04, 2013 @08:17PM (#42483047)
    I agree, my kids know a lot about computers because I work on them for a living. They are NOT typical of their friends. Most of their friends know their way about an iDevice or how to check their Gmail or Facebook, but that's the extent of it. My 10 year old could help you mount a heatsink to your Core2Duo and re-install Windows, but that's because he's helped dad do just that on countless computers in his short existence.

    This disposable computing age we're entering has its ups and downs...
  • by MrKaos ( 858439 ) on Friday January 04, 2013 @08:19PM (#42483069) Journal

    Treat your kid like an intelligent human being and implement the security measures the code has but no more. Explain to you child why but in a way that lets them weigh their own value system against their curiosity. We don't need more kids in the world that are mindless accepters of whatever is put in front of them. Allow them to make their own decisions and own the consequences for them, including nightmares.

    If they break through the security, get them to show you how they did it, congratulate them, fix it and challenge them to find the next one. Turn that part into a game and you maybe able to give you child an advantage over 99% of the sheeple out there.

  • by Miamicanes ( 730264 ) on Friday January 04, 2013 @09:20PM (#42483811)

    Yep. To load a game, at the *bare* minimum, you had to hop over at least one trivial speedbump that somehow managed to stump lots of supposedly "normal" kids:

    load "*",8,1

    God knows, it took my brother almost TWO YEARS to finally get the hang of it. He now owns a Mac. Surprise, surprise... ;-)

    Fast forward ~10 years to 1993... and try explaining the concept of an IRQ, a cascaded IRQ, and reconciling conflicts between a piece of shit internal modem that only supported IRQ 2, 3, and 4 & a malfunctioning soundcard camped out on IRQ 9... to that same tech-challenged brother (hint, for anyone who didn't instantly get the punchline... the modem was set to IRQ 2)

    Today's kids are no dumber than the kids we went to school with. The difference is, 25 years ago, today's clueless kids wouldn't have owned a computer at all, and if WE were 13 again, we'd spend summer vacation building Arduino LED cubes (or if we were in college, we'd be building circuits with FPGAs).

    Kids who are like we were still exist, they're just lost amidst the background noise of stupid kids with toys they think work by magic.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 04, 2013 @09:37PM (#42483945)

    I first got onto the "Internet" (gopher, email, FTP and BBSes) in 1991 when I was 9 years old. I bought my first domain name ( when I was 14 in 1996; it cost me about $150, iirc ($220 in 2012 dollars). My sister's boyfriend introduced me to BASIC at age 8 in 1990 and gave me Visual Basic 3.0 16-bit when I was 11 in 1993.

    For my 7th grade science experiment the next year, I created an automatic calculator that would do complex equations a million times (took forever in 1994!) and compiled it in 16bit and 32 bit and then extrapolated how much more efficient integer and float math would be on 64-bit machines, and extrapolated when we were likely to see them (I had said by 2000, iirc, and AMD released the specs for X86_64 in 1999).

    My point is that from the age of about 8 until this very day, every single person in my family relies almost exclusively on either myself or my girlfriend (another techie ^^) for almost all of their above-simple technical needs.

    And this includes my kids, aged 8, 10 and 11!!

    It drives me up the wall that my 11 yro is as thick as rocks when it comes to computers, despite being enmeshed in the technology to a degree unfathomable to me, quite frankly, as he has a combined 40+ year technical experience w/ his parents (she a DBA and myself a sr. software architect). He seems so uninterested and lacks the drive I had/have to be a self-solver. He threw hissy fits every time I just told him to plug in a USB disk and follow the windows install prompt, to set up a new box I built for the family. My partner was like, "JUST INSTALL IT FOR HIM ALREADY!!" but i was like, um, if he can't follow printed directions and install windows, then the family just doesn't deserve a common PC.

    Fortunately, my 2 younger kids were very excited with the opportunity. They even put together the hardware components, and we went to the store, too. Then they started viciously harranging the 11 yro, calling him retarded and stuff, cuz he wouldn't figure it out, but he's tested for a 130+ IQ and is in the GT program, so it isn't that. Afterwards, I paid them both 1/2 of what Best Buy would have charged me, and oh boy, the 11 yro took that *so* hard. He literally went crying to mommy about how he would have worked if he knew there was such a lofty reward.

    "It's too bad you didn't get in on the offer when you were given exclusive rights to it", I told him. "Your payout would have been double." When his tantrum escalated after that little bit, I said, "Look. The payout was a selection pressure designed to promote self-initiative and help you become a little more skilled in a craft. You're already a geek, no denying that, but if you have all of the likes of a geek but few of the positive technical skills, where will that leave you?" ::sigh::

    Before I had children, I honestly looked forward to them teaching me cool stuff and expanding my horizons, like I did so often and so much with my parents. Now, all of my kids are very adept at *tweaking* technology. My 11 yro can modify my android phone in ways I never even thought possible. But is there any technical aptitude in being skilled at finding and punching checkboxes in preference windows? I don't think so. I think he just has more time and less pressing things to do than me and chooses to explore the UI of the phone.

    I'm of the opinion now that people born between 1975 and, from what I can tell, 1991 are a special segment of self-initiatied technically-midned people. At least, a sizable minority of us. I simply do not see the same characteristics in people born after.

  • Re:Two servers (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Architect_sasyr ( 938685 ) on Saturday January 05, 2013 @01:17AM (#42485329)
    I mount and unmount the various age-shares automatically via cron - that way the teenagers can't even watch movies during the day when they have other things to do - but the smallest can watch finding nemo whenever they have free time and a movie is their option. They can see the movies there (no porn in folders!) but can't play them if the source files aren't there.
  • by bogjobber ( 880402 ) on Saturday January 05, 2013 @07:59AM (#42486715)
    Senior engineers with 30+ years of experience are more knowledgeable than people in their 20s? The horror! The shame!

    I'm not sure what country you or the GP poster are living in, but the people I grew up with seem a hell of a lot more hard-nosed and street smart than most of the boomer generation. We didn't grow up with peace and prosperity, cheap education, and a straight shot into the middle class. We didn't get to ride the coattails of a 50 year economic boom caused exclusively by the fact that North America was the only part of the developed world that wasn't burnt to the ground in the 1940's.

    Your generation of course calls this concept American exceptionalism, because America was largely excepted from the destruction caused by World War 2. This American exceptionalism naturally does not translate to the younger generation, due to the lack of such an important geopolitical event in our parents' lifetimes.

    Said exceptional generation seems (at least as far as I can tell from the history books I haven't read) to have earned their wealth primarily through plundering our country and running it in the ground, and whose main occupation currently seems to consist of trying their damnedest to pull the ladder up behind them by removing every single social program they used to get to where they are today, all the while yelling at us that we're stupid and lazy.

    This is, of course, completely true. Our generation is demonstrably different from, and in every way inferior to, the one preceding us. This is proven by the obvious fact that our country, right as the younger generation is coming of age (hardly a coincidence wouldn't you say?), is on the edge of economic collapse, with a failing political system and a military that is fighting multiple unnecessary wars around the globe.

    In fact, most of those soldiers are members of the younger generation! The fact that we can no longer pay for college, long considered well within the reach of an average working class youth, is further evidence of our generational failure. If only we worked a little harder, like our daddies did, maybe we'd have something to show for it.

    There are vast reaches of this great land of ours, usually in the suburbs, where Montessori schools are churning out glaze-eyed traveling team soccer players who are destined to be nothing more than mediocre students and passive recipients of whatever the nanny state or corporate bureaucracy tells them to do.

    Places where information is inaccessible, ambition does not exist, minds are not independent, selfs do not actualize, and the older generation is simultaneously the cause and victim of (but entirely devoid of culpability, or indeed self-awareness, in either case) the inter-generational misunderstanding that has been so well-documented over the course of history that to call it trite is a truly magnanimous compliment.

    Or... maybe... you're just getting old.


    I see no hope for the future of our people if they are dependent on frivolous youth of today, for certainly all youth are reckless beyond words... When I was young, we were taught to be discreet and respectful of elders, but the present youth are exceedingly wise and impatient of restraint.
    - Hesiod 8th Century BC

"It takes all sorts of in & out-door schooling to get adapted to my kind of fooling" - R. Frost