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New Parental Controls Limit Xbox Time

samzenpus posted more than 6 years ago | from the saying-no-is-hard dept.

Microsoft 327

An anonymous reader writes "As part of a new marketing blitz to promote the Xbox 360 as a "family friendly" video game console, Microsoft on Wednesday rolled out a new feature called Family Timer, which will show up in the Family Settings Screen. The Timer will let parents limit the number of hours their kids can play the Xbox on a daily or weekly basis. When the time limit is reached, the console will automatically shut off, ostensibly after saving the game."

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Why is the box smarter than me? (-1, Offtopic)

rice_burners_suck (243660) | more than 6 years ago | (#21278253)

It should be my problem what I decide to do with an Xbox (assuming I owned one, which I don't). What if, say, I have some friends over and they take turns playing games, while I'm finishing up some homework before leaving to go to a party? That will count against my weekly maximum, unfairly!! We, as intelligent human beings, don't need the machines that are our own making to tell us what to do!

Re:Why is the box smarter than me? (5, Insightful)

Tarison (600538) | more than 6 years ago | (#21278261)

Kid, don't get married. I'd rather negotiate playing time with the xbox than my wife ;)

Re:Why is the box smarter than me? (5, Funny)

slyn (1111419) | more than 6 years ago | (#21278557)

Posts like this getting modded insightful scare the shit out of me.

Re:Why is the box smarter than me? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21279013)

If only you'd read /. *before* buying the ring... ;P

Re:Why is the box smarter than me? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21278293)

Ask your parents for an unlimited, second Xbox to be used exclusively by your friends. Problem solved.

Re:Why is the box smarter than me? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21278295)

We, as intelligent human beings, don't need the machines that are our own making to tell us what to do!

Fuck the goddamned soul-sucking nanny state to the lowest pit of hell.

Re:Why is the box smarter than me? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21278313)

it isn't the machine that sets the limit, it's the parents.

however, i know for a fact that my parents wouldn't be able to set this up, and I'm sure they're not the only ones.

Re:Why is the box smarter than me? (2, Funny)

Gabest (852807) | more than 6 years ago | (#21278865)

exactly, the kids will use this to lock out their own parents! what a great tool

The machine isn't telling you what to do. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21278315)

Your parents are.

Re:Why is the box smarter than me? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21278319)

Then don't set the limit. This is an option you know.

Re:Why is the box smarter than me? (3, Insightful)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 6 years ago | (#21278321)

Well, gee, I think the first step towards proving that you can be trusted with the burden of choosing when to stop playing video games would be to not somehow accidentally turn on the parental controls then forget how to turn them off.

If you're an adult, absolutely (4, Insightful)

patio11 (857072) | more than 6 years ago | (#21278343)

If you're thirteen, and you aren't doing your schoolwork, then bully on Microsoft for giving parents the tools they need to create fine distinctions about your playtime without having to just wholesale ban games. I'd prefer parents actually, you know, supervising their children, but I know in real life that option is not always readily available. (Mom and Dad have to work to send Junior to the college he will be going to if he manages to graduate, etc.)

Hacked in 3...2...1.... (-1, Flamebait)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 6 years ago | (#21278477)

Yet another way to distance kids from their parents. Way to go, Microsoft!

Short term gain, but long term...? (1)

kripkenstein (913150) | more than 6 years ago | (#21278813)

If you're thirteen, and you aren't doing your schoolwork, then bully on Microsoft for giving parents the tools they need to create fine distinctions about your playtime without having to just wholesale ban games.
...ok, maybe. But I doubt it. Based on TFA, this was the reasoning for the new feature:

Microsoft says that more than 90 percent of parents placed restrictions on gaming, and over half the parents surveyed said they would use a timer if it was available.
Sure, survey the parents and they love it. But if they had surveyed the kids, they would find that 99% will get totally pissed off by the new feature. If a parent tells you to stop playing, you can at least reason with them, perhaps for '5 more minutes', and if you're lucky the parent forgets about it for 15. But the machine shutting itself off?

It is hard to see how this plays out, but in a house with an XBOX and Wii, I predict the Wii will suddenly become the more popular device. Get annoyed enough times by the XBOX shutting off, and as a learned response you will dislike the device itself. Similarly, play XBOX at one friend's house and get annoyed, play Playstation at another's and not get annoyed - in time, the XBOX house will be less visited.

Microsoft see the parents as liking this feature just by its description, and buying a device for it. Sure, there might be some short-term gain. But in the long run, this seems a very dangerous strategy, one that might tarnish the XBOX's reputation with the people actually playing it, as opposed to those buying it for others. Since most profit from XBOXes comes not from the initial device purchase but later on from games, etc., this doesn't seem very wise.

Re:Short term gain, but long term...? (2, Insightful)

TeraCo (410407) | more than 6 years ago | (#21278869)

Yes, but getting pissed off while playing Halo 3 is still better than getting 5 more minutes of .. oh, I dunno whatever game the PS3 has out these days. Kids won't choose a console based on anything but the games.

Re:Why is the box smarter than me? (2, Insightful)

Harmonious Botch (921977) | more than 6 years ago | (#21278347)

You're right, but it's a straw man argument. The issue is that another person - not the machine - can make decisions for a minor in his/her care.

Re:Why is the box smarter than me? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21278381)

Aren't your parents the ones telling you what to do and not the machine? The machine is just enforcing their wishes. This solution is much better than having to hide the xbox in a safe. I do not have kids of my own, but I know that kids cannot always see when their addiction is affecting their lives in a bad way. To take away the console completely might be seen as totally unfair. Parents do own their children until they are 18.

Re:Why is the box smarter than me? (5, Insightful)

iron-kurton (891451) | more than 6 years ago | (#21278479)

What if, say, I have some friends over and they take turns playing games, while I'm finishing up some homework before leaving to go to a party?

Nobody ever said that the parent can't turn them off. If that is indeed the case, then get your parents to turn off parental controls when you have friends coming over. Problem solved.

Secondly, I have never heard of a minor studying in another room before going to a party while his friends are playing his Xbox.

Getting the video game turned off without your consent is not going to make you go to your room and study -- it will make you very, very angry. Being the stubborn bastard that I was (and still am), I would not do my homework out of principle just to spite "the system". I would find a million-and-one other time wasters to avoid having to do homework.

Also, I used to watch cartoons and play the Super-Nintendo (I know, this dates me) when I got back from school, because my parents weren't there to watch over me. But when my parents got home, they started nagging at me to finish my homework, chores, etc... and I turned out alright.

While I think it's a relatively good idea, it speaks volumes about parental responsibility. Why parent when you can let a machine do it for you? Maybe a better system would be for the XBox to use its internet connection and SMS the parents periodically with usage statistics (for a monthly or yearly fee, of course), which would then prompt the parents to talk to the kids and make them turn off the game or whatever. Also, if the parent knows that all the homework is done or whatever, why not let the kid play? This system could be less intrusive for the kids, and it would put the control and parenting responsibility back onto the parents' shoulders.

Finally, is there some sort of hard reset on the XBox (like on routers) that would allow kids to bypass this feature? I don't have an XBox 360 so I'm not sure... anyone?

Re:Why is the box smarter than me? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21278571)

Yes, they can just clear the system cache.

Re:Why is the box smarter than me? (1)

Thanatos69 (993924) | more than 6 years ago | (#21278663)

Getting the video game turned off without your consent is not going to make you go to your room and study -- it will make you very, very angry. Being the stubborn bastard that I was (and still am), I would not do my homework out of principle just to spite "the system". I would find a million-and-one other time wasters to avoid having to do homework.


I didn't read the article but I wouldn't exactly chalk this up to "make kids do homework." It's more of a thing to get kids off the video games and do something else. If you can find a million-and-one other time wasters, it's better than you planting yourself in front of the tv playing some game. You might find yourself watching day to day programming but then it becomes an exercise of limiting another thing... Sooner or later it will hopefully boil down to you not becoming some fatty.

I don't mean to make this out to be a great thing, I still believe parents should be responsible. Unfortunately some parents aren't and those aren't the ones that are going to be setting this extra option. Perhaps it should be set by default. Once again, I'm not sticking up for the decision to remove personal responsibility but it will come at some point where a parent sues some gaming company because their kid is useless. I will use McDonalds as an example. I choose to eat their burgers, I know they aren't healthy but I will sue them when I am 400lbs... same situation.

**disclaimer: I support personal responsibility unfortunately the law doesn't. I don't believe people should be limited to something based on some arbitrary number set by a third party. I also don't believe someone should be able to become rich because they did something that they chose to do even though it was unhealthy.

Re:Why is the box smarter than me? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21278665)

Also, I used to watch cartoons and play the Super-Nintendo (I know, this dates me)


Shit dude, you must be at least 21. You're over the hill buddy.

It wouldn't be the machine (1)

goldcd (587052) | more than 6 years ago | (#21278915)

telling you what to do - it'd be whoever put the lock on the console telling you what to do.

Re:It wouldn't be the machine (1)

draxredd (661953) | more than 6 years ago | (#21279015)

A lock without a key is sure, but useless
A lock with a key is useful, but insecure

Time's up (4, Funny)

gringer (252588) | more than 6 years ago | (#21278257)

Sorry, I was going to do a verbose post about all the reasons why I should stay on the computer, but my timer is about to kick...

Re:Time's up (1)

zig007 (1097227) | more than 6 years ago | (#21278515)

Does anyone else get have this weird invalid link to a Zonk post as sibling here?

Re:Time's up (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21278551)

Yep!

Re:Time's up (1)

zig007 (1097227) | more than 6 years ago | (#21278591)

Ahaaa it's in the signature..

So... (0)

aliquis (678370) | more than 6 years ago | (#21278259)

... just remove the harddrive and memory card and you will be safe and can play on? ;)

Re:So... (2, Informative)

RzUpAnmsCwrds (262647) | more than 6 years ago | (#21278279)

No, the 360 has internal flash memory. Presumably the settings will be saved there.

Master Chief says... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21278263)

I pitty the fool!

not the root of the problem... (4, Insightful)

ScaryMonkey (886119) | more than 6 years ago | (#21278275)

In my experience, the parents who would be responsible enough to use such a feature don't need it anyways. The problem is the parents who want their kids lifeless in front of the Xbox (or the TV) so they'll be "out of their hair".

Re:not the root of the problem... (5, Insightful)

4D6963 (933028) | more than 6 years ago | (#21278351)

In my experience, the parents who would be responsible enough to use such a feature don't need it anyways.

I don't completely agree, this feature can help enforce a rule, or give more legitimacy to a decision, for example, instead of trying to estimate how long your offspring has spent on the console and going "Mmmh I think you've played enough of it for today. -But Dad?!?", you can agree with them on a weekly amount and when the time runs out, there's no "but I didn't even play it while you were at work" arguments or anything of the sort, the time you agreed on has unambiguously ran out, and there's nothing to argue about.

By the way that would also be cool if that thing prevented the Xbox from running from say 10:30pm to 6am.

Re:not the root of the problem... (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21278413)

My worry is that this robs children of the opportunity to practice some self-discipline. Without the timer, the child thinks, "If I don't discipline myself, Dad will." With the timer, the child doesn't have to think at all. The timer may also create a situation for some children where they make sure to use all their time each day so it isn't 'wasted'. So you have children playing because the box said 'okay' even though the circumstances for that minute/hour/day make it definitely not okay.

And, you know, sometimes its okay for children to have a 4-5 hour gaming session. Imagine trying to play a new Final Fantasy game if you can only play for 30 minutes. You might not even make it to the first opportunity to save. :) As long as it isn't a habit and responsibilities aren't being ignored, there shouldn't be a problem.

If there is a problem, I think that's the time it might be appropriate to use the timer. And then, only temporarily. You have to trust your children to make their own decisions again at some point.

I like the way the Wii does it. It gives you a report on what was played each day and for how long. The only problems with it are that it cannot track GameCube games and, so far as I know, there is no way to prevent your child from gaming for 10 hours, deleting the message, and then playing for another 30 minutes and saying, "Dad, I only played for 30 minutes!" If they fixed those problems, it would be a great way to keep tabs on the game playing.

Re:not the root of the problem... (3, Insightful)

speaker of the truth (1112181) | more than 6 years ago | (#21278741)

In that case decide on a set time, say 20 hours, and set the timer on 25 (numbers are pulled out of my ass)7. Tell little timmy that there'll be no punishment if he uses all 25 hours, however his father will be severely disappointed in little Timmy. Hopefully over time little Timmy will learn self-discipline, but if he doesn't then the timer is simply limiting how much trouble he's getting into.

So you have children playing because the box said 'okay' even though the circumstances for that minute/hour/day make it definitely not okay.
This is why its better for a week rather then a day. If you know of something that will effect the entire week ahead of time, you can set the timer lower. This is also where self discipline comes into play.

Re:not the root of the problem... (1)

jeffkjo1 (663413) | more than 6 years ago | (#21278437)

I don't completely agree, this feature can help enforce a rule, or give more legitimacy to a decision, for example, instead of trying to estimate how long your offspring has spent on the console and going "Mmmh I think you've played enough of it for today. -But Dad?!?", you can agree with them on a weekly amount and when the time runs out, there's no "but I didn't even play it while you were at work" arguments or anything of the sort, the time you agreed on has unambiguously ran out, and there's nothing to argue about.

By the way that would also be cool if that thing prevented the Xbox from running from say 10:30pm to 6am.


I knew the secret codes my parents used for things when I was in high school, and I would hazard to guess many kids also have their parents information. Perhaps Dad isn't using level 4 security when he makes the XBox pin number* the same code used to open the garage door.

*(Yes, I said pin number.)

Re:not the root of the problem... (4, Funny)

feepness (543479) | more than 6 years ago | (#21278363)

In my experience, the parents who would be responsible enough to use such a feature don't need it anyways. The problem is the parents who want their kids lifeless in front of the Xbox (or the TV) so they'll be "out of their hair".
As a new parent, may I ask, dies this work for five-week olds?

Re:not the root of the problem... (1)

conufsed (650798) | more than 6 years ago | (#21278385)

Be more worried about your little one pulling it from where it lives and letting it drop on the floor, or giving parts the good old saliva test

Re:not the root of the problem... (3, Insightful)

Eivind (15695) | more than 6 years ago | (#21278509)

Only one thing works for 5-week olds: A metric, hell, make that IMPERIAL, shitload of patience. If it's any comfort, I can assure you that 5-week-old *twins* are twice the fun. On the flipside, I can also report that things tend to improve quickly. The twins are 8 months now, and it's a different world. One in which they go sleep at 7pm and sleep calmly until 6am. Heaven !

Stay in there !

Re:not the root of the problem... (2, Interesting)

deroby (568773) | more than 6 years ago | (#21278775)

Hehe, been there, not all that long ago even (she's 2 now), and yes, if you're lucky things improve dramatically. Maybe we got lucky, but 20:00 in bed and not a whisper until 10:00 the next morning is "normal" here...

(for the critics around here : yes, that's in weekends only... Now I come to think about it, I should have somehow put in my contract that the firstborn would replace the alarm or something; don't think the boss will agree on it now anymore =)

Re:not the root of the problem... (4, Interesting)

vishbar (862440) | more than 6 years ago | (#21278473)

It's not only good for parents. It's also good for those of us who have busy schedules and short attention spans...set the timer to 1 hour, play away, and no risk of losing track of the clock. I learned this with WoW.

Re:not the root of the problem... (4, Funny)

darthflo (1095225) | more than 6 years ago | (#21278655)

wine WoW.exe -opengl & sleep 3600 && killall WoW.exe -9
:)

Re:not the root of the problem... (5, Insightful)

Eivind (15695) | more than 6 years ago | (#21278575)

That's the problem with -all- measures to help out parents or to improve the life of kids.

Offer free health-checks, and the ones who -aren't- coming are the ones who'd be most in need of it.

Offer courses on child-nutrition, and the ones who show up are the ones that'd feed their kids sensibly even without the course.

Arrange a course in firts-aid, focused on the kinds of accidents children have the most often. And the ones who show up are the ones who already have half a clue.

Put recommended age on video-games, and the parents who actually take the time to know what their kids are playing and evaluate if it's apropriate for them or not, perhaps with help from the recommended age (but hopefully not by trusting it blindly) are precisely the same that'd probably make a reasonable decision even in the absence of recommended minimum age.

Cunning Plan (5, Funny)

ozmanjusri (601766) | more than 6 years ago | (#21278281)

In a very clever move by Microsoft, the indicator showing the console is on standby will be a lit red ring on the front of the unit...

Re:Cunning Plan (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21278287)

Something as simple as the A/V cable being unplugged induces all 4 red lights to illuminate as well. The red lights were clearly meant to signify any problem, minor to major, and now people just associate it with a dead xbox.

Re:Cunning Plan (3, Funny)

ozmanjusri (601766) | more than 6 years ago | (#21278441)

The red lights were clearly meant to signify any problem, minor to major, and now people just associate it with a dead xbox.

Only 'cause that's more common than an unplugged A/V lead...

How about for PCs? (5, Funny)

aero2600-5 (797736) | more than 6 years ago | (#21278325)

My mother would love to have something like this on my father's computer. She calls Diablo II 'the divorce game'.

Aero

Re:How about for PCs? (1)

Fluffy Bunnies (1055208) | more than 6 years ago | (#21278387)

IIRC, Vista has a feature like that.

Re:How about for PCs? (1, Insightful)

ozmanjusri (601766) | more than 6 years ago | (#21278457)

Vista has a feature like that.

Being irritating enough to drive you from your computer isn't normally considered a feature.

Or were you referring to something other than UAC?

Re:How about for PCs? (1)

Osty (16825) | more than 6 years ago | (#21278389)

My mother would love to have something like this on my father's computer. She calls Diablo II 'the divorce game'.

Yes [microsoft.com] . She can also setup limits on web browsing and overall computer use besides just gaming. Of course she'd have to upgrade to Vista to use it.

This will solve nothing (0, Flamebait)

johncadengo (940343) | more than 6 years ago | (#21278339)

This will solve nothing if parents aren't responsible enough to realize that their child is simply playing way too many video games. If they have to depend on a timer to shut off the Xbox, what else do they rely on to do parenting for them?

Oh, Thank Heavens! (2, Insightful)

haakondahl (893488) | more than 6 years ago | (#21278361)

For a minute there, I thought I was going to have *raise my own children*.

Parents should monitor and correct, monitor and correct their children's behavior. Nobody said it was easy. Parents should be aware of what their children are doing online and with games or what-have-you, just the same as when children are expected to let their parents know who they're with, what they're doing, where they are, when they'll be back, why they're going, and how they'll get there.

The process ofa parent busting a kid in a lie and then doing something about it is good for the kid, good for the parent, and good for the relationship. More to the point, it's damned good for the *adult* that the kid will someday become. Isn't that the whole point?

Time limited technology is not in and of itself bad. It's neutral--it's technology. But try to deny that the only people for whom this poses an attractive solution are the exact people who need more direct family involvement, not less. This is what conservatives are talking about when we say that all these little influences, each one seemingly innocuous, are corroding the family.

Re:Oh, Thank Heavens! (2, Interesting)

bluemonq (812827) | more than 6 years ago | (#21278427)

It must be really nice to live in a household where one parent earns enough so that the other can stay at home at all times.

Re:Oh, Thank Heavens! (0, Troll)

fractoid (1076465) | more than 6 years ago | (#21278505)

Is this that rare? I'd think that any household that could afford to buy an xbox rather than more pressing needs is probably solvent enough to have a stay-at-home partner. I know that when my fiancee and I get married and have kids, she plans to be a full time mum to our kids, and I'm happy to support that.

Re:Oh, Thank Heavens! (1)

sholden (12227) | more than 6 years ago | (#21278629)

Of course it is, no stay at home parent is common in this dual income world and has been for a long time now.

Over 20 years ago when I was at school my sister and I would be home a couple of hours before anyone else. Because "anyone else" was my mother and she worked, being a single working mother and all that... Of course that was when we were old enough to be trusted with that, prior to that we went to after school care of one form or another.

Being a full time mum is going to be great when the kids are tiny, not so hot when the kids spend 7 hours in school each day. Unless she likes video games of course, 7 hours a day of downtime would be great for that particular addiction :)

Re:Oh, Thank Heavens! (1)

fractoid (1076465) | more than 6 years ago | (#21278659)

Hmm... I guess we live in somewhat different demographics, or maybe I'm just being unrealistic - admittedly not many of my friends have kids yet. :P

I'd guess she'd only stay home for the first few years, once the kids are going to school she'll probably start working again. If not, well, we both play WoW... She can farm us gold! ;)

Re:Oh, Thank Heavens! (1)

speaker of the truth (1112181) | more than 6 years ago | (#21278757)

It must also be nice to live in a two-parent household where both parents are actually good parents.

Re:Oh, Thank Heavens! (4, Insightful)

shawn(at)fsu (447153) | more than 6 years ago | (#21278533)

These arguments about "parents having to raise their kids" are getting old. There are gamers that are so obsessed they will get up in the middle of the night to play when they should be sleeping and going to school the next day. Tell me how a parent is supposed to monitor their child 24x7? Parents have to sleep too you know. This tool allows them the ability to make sure junior is not playing games when the parents feel he/she shouldn't be.

I could give more examples but I need to go to sleep so I can go to work. Hey /. where is a timer so I can't comment after my bed time?

Re:Oh, Thank Heavens! (1)

deroby (568773) | more than 6 years ago | (#21278821)

Here it is :

http://www.proginosko.com/leechblock.html [proginosko.com]

And yes, it works very well...
Given the 'changes' that trickle into it, I guess the author has quite some fun trying to keep himself 'locked out' =)

Re:Oh, Thank Heavens! (5, Insightful)

sapphire wyvern (1153271) | more than 6 years ago | (#21278539)

I don't understand why there is so much distaste for giving parents tools for *enforcing* the policies they have put in place. Which of the following would you disagree with: 1) Locking gun cabinets. After all, parents can just tell their kids not to play with guns! 2) Keeping household chemicals out of reach of children. After all, parents can just tell their kids not to touch them! 3) Running corporate computers without any kind of limited user environment. Every one can be admin! After all, if you tell your users not to download the special pointers and smiley sets off the Internet, they never would, right? They're trustworthy adults! And the process of an IT admin busting an employee and then doing something about it is good for the employee, the IT admin, and good for the company! Seriously, *what* is wrong with making a parent's decisions enforceable by the software and hardware?

Re:Oh, Thank Heavens! (1)

sapphire wyvern (1153271) | more than 6 years ago | (#21278565)

Huh. Apparently the line breaks I put in that post didn't work the way I expected. I must be new here.

Re:Oh, Thank Heavens! (1)

garbletext (669861) | more than 6 years ago | (#21278993)

That always get me as well. It's because the default is HTML Formatted, where <br>s aren't taken as implied. I never understood why they don't make plain text the default, where things work like you expect.

Re:Oh, Thank Heavens! (1)

Icarus1919 (802533) | more than 6 years ago | (#21278809)

Well put.

Because they don't work (3, Insightful)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 6 years ago | (#21278879)

Simple, these things rarely work, and people rely on them as if they they are foolproof.

I see some people argue that you could use this to enforce a limited amount of play time with a kid, so that they cannot "cheat". But ask yourselve what this says about your relation with your child. You do not trust your child and broadcast this very clearly.

Ask yourselve if this does not already show that your parenting skills are lacking and you really need to take far more drastic actions then rely on some tool.

A well raised child will at times attempt to bend the rules (essential part of growing up) but at the same try not to actually break them because they simply do no want to hurt their parents. Offcourse because they are too young to know better, they will get this wrong. THAT IS GROWING UP. A kid watching a movie that is way too scary for it, learns the hard way. You can install all the counter measures you like, but isn't watching something too scary also a part of childhood? Same as with breaking something and cuts and bruises. Anybody here who did not risk their neck as a child doing silly stuff like making ever higher jumps with their bike?

Part of growing up is seeing what the laws of society are and this starts with the laws at home. We must at once learn to respect them if we are to function of society, but also learn when and how to break them unless we want to become mindless machines.

This is offcourse a nightmare as a parent, but any child will attempt to push curfew, it doesn't matter what the curfew is, if you tell your teenage daughter she doesn't have to come home from her friday night date before monday morning 9:00, she will be coming in monday 9:30. Bedtime is important, but so is allowing a child to just push it a little, now and then. It is a give and take and the secret is that there are no books you can follow for this. No simple one liners.

You ain't got a clue how to parent and your only hope of success is to stop the kid from finding out. It usually works.

The problems emerge when parents are unable to see themselves as the parents and want to be friends with their kids instead, or simply refuse to take responsibility. YOU raise your kid. Not the state, not the media and not some device. If you cannot do it without help, then hand over custody to those who can.

Lets face it, if you need the help of a machine to deal with a child, you are a miserable failure. What next, you can only toilet train a puppy with a cattle prod? I deal with "troubled" kids now and then as part of volunteer work. Problems enforcing the rules? Are you kidding me, these kids are drunk for rules. They WANT someone to tell them what they can and cannot do and be clear about it. Simple rule, no smoking in the computer room, full stop end of argument, this is obeyed, but the rule is enforced for everyone, at all times. This is clear, and gets respected. Do not be wishy washy and allow it after class, or allow adults to smoke. The kids even enforce it themselves on new arrivals.

Frankly the simple truth is that if you need a machine to check up on your kid it is already too late. You are fighting a symtome, not the disease. So even if you succeed and get the kid of the 360, the kid will just disobey in some other way. A friends 360? Gaming on the PC?

Re:Because they don't work (3, Interesting)

4D6963 (933028) | more than 6 years ago | (#21278945)

Lets face it, if you need the help of a machine to deal with a child, you are a miserable failure.

Oh come on. These type of posts on Slashdot crack me up. The "be a super-parent FFS!" type of post. The problem with "parenting" is not that people rely on machines to enforce rules, the problem is the lack of firm rules. You just need to watch an episode of Super Nanny to know what time it is, that is, a lot of children don't have any fixed set of rules, they can do whatever they want and it makes them very unhappy. In the real world, most people are far from being perfect parents, and they have trouble getting their authority respected. Such solutions help with that, by firmly enforcing rules that parents don't manage to enforce this firmly on their own.

By the way, that's "of course", not "offcourse".

Re:Because they don't work (2, Informative)

aarggh (806617) | more than 6 years ago | (#21278991)

All I can is WOW!

So making use of technology to limit the amount of gameplay makes YOU as a parent a failure???

I suspect you live in a fairly rosy-colored world or have some helpful medications, because the majority of your comments I think are so ridiculous it doesn't bear consideration.

Yes in a perfect world our children would only push the envelope a little bit.
Yes in a perfect world our children would always be thankful for vigilant guidance.
Yes in a perfect world our children would always respect our authority and value the parents accumulated wisdom.

What the hell planet do you live in? "your only hope of success is to stop the kid from finding out. It usually works." CRAP! If you have kids in school, especially high school, THEY ARE discussing, behaving, and doing things that would horrify you as a parent.

The kids now have SO MANY friends who KNOW everything, and they are convinced we as parents know nothing, even though we get to routinely say "we did try to tell but you just don't want to listen!"

Couple with the tremendous peer pressure now in schools, the falling standards of education, and the minority groups educating us adults that we must "reason" with the teenagers! Reason??? Sometimes the kids make it clear they can barely tolerate parents, and this is fairly universal I've found. and YES, we HAVE had homeless kids living with us, and numerous kdis staying over, and vast amounts of volunteer work at school and kinder, etc, etc.

I think your attitude is so narrow minded I can't believe based on your remarks you have a well adjusted relationship with your kids, especially if they are teens. They really do turn to animals when they hit the teens!

Things are considerable different now than when we grew up, when we were kids we had the sense to at least pretend to respect our elders as we soon got a backhander if we didn't!

If the kids now want to do something, they feel it is their God given right, no matter what it is, and there's been plenty of adult groups whispering in their ears over the years, "mum or dad smacked you just because you swore at nanna?, you should report them to child welfare, they'll fix them up and you'll never have to do anything again cause mum and dad will be too scared!"

Again, WOW!

Re:Because they don't work (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21279035)

Eh, if I did something like what you propose my parents would've refused to let me come back until I agreed with their rules. Hitting isn't the only method of control ya?

Re:Oh, Thank Heavens! (1)

haakondahl (893488) | more than 6 years ago | (#21279045)

I don't understand why there is so much distaste for giving parents tools for *enforcing* the policies they have put in place. Which of the following would you disagree with: 1) Locking gun cabinets. After all, parents can just tell their kids not to play with guns!

First example, and already you're oversimplifying. I didn't say "just tell them not to do it". I said "monitor and correct, monitor and correct". It is an iterative process, and the "correction" part comes in after a failure of some sort. There will be failures--try not to let them be life-threatening ones. Build the rule-following and decision-making skills ("No way, man, my Dad would KILL me if I did that!") with relatively trivial experiences with time limits for video games. Hopefully, (and in the end that's as much as you can say) those skills will be in place when the real threats come. No parent is there 24/7, and that's the whole point of child-rearing: someday, the parents won't be there at all, and neither will Microsoft. There will only be prison and the grave waiting as corrective measures. They had better be prepared *before* that day to make decisions.

Now guns are hardly the same as XBox, right? So I don't think your comparison is apt.

2) Keeping household chemicals out of reach of children. After all, parents can just tell their kids not to touch them!

See above.

3) Running corporate computers without any kind of limited user environment.

Children. I am talking about children.

Every one can be admin! After all, if you tell your users not to download the special pointers and smiley sets off the Internet, they never would, right? They're trustworthy adults!

Adulthood is not attained by counting years. Adulthood is produced by child-rearing. Obviously, the law is silent on whether a particular 20-year old is a more responsible person than a given 22-year old, but the law says 21 to drink. That's an objective standard, and not what we're talking about. What I want to know about an employee will not come from looking at a birth date. And if I make him a SysAd (in my imaginary company, which is doing wuite well, thank you), it will be because I am satisfied (or have decided to accept a risk) with the employee's level of responsibility.

And the process of an IT admin busting an employee and then doing something about it is good for the employee, the IT admin, and good for the company!
Maybe, Yes, and Yes.

Seriously, *what* is wrong with making a parent's decisions enforceable by the software and hardware?

As I said, nothing is wrong with it. It's technology. What's wrong is where we all know this is going--latch-key kids whose parents do not have the skills to get them off the damned XBox in the first place. Besides which, the kids are going to install Linux on it and roll the clock back anyway. And the parents will be satisfied in their ignorance, to the detriment of the child. If, on the other hand, parents focused on knowing what their children are doing and on the children knowing what their parents expect, and the consequences, it wouldn't matter what software or hardware the next XBox comes out with. Or PS3. Or bleach bottle or crack pipe. Thankfully, the software for crack pipes is limited.

Re:Oh, Thank Heavens! (4, Insightful)

aarggh (806617) | more than 6 years ago | (#21278567)

I totally agree that parents should monitor and correct their children's behavior, but having four children of my own, two of them teenagers, it is not that simple. I've found that no matter how much you create and build the relationship, by the time they are in early teens, peer pressure is so strong, and with diminished responsibility, that the teenagers as a result are so aimless, unmotivated, and generally obnoxious and full of their own perception of their "rights" that it is very difficult to counter. I find this with virtually all the parents I talk to, most simply put it down to them being teenagers, and can't wait for them to move out. So I welcome any move from a vendor that allows me to within reason limit the hours spent on a singular device such as the XBOX. I would love something similar for computers. Without trying to start a flamewar, the results I see from most kids becoming increasingly socially backward spending several hours (every day!) chatting on MSN and by chatting I mean nothing more substantial than often repeated "LOL", "wassup?", and "rofl", and umpteen hours playing games does not help at all intellectually, don't get me wrong, I love nothing more than playing a bit of Unreal T or WOW on occasion, but it's a fact, if you don't use the grey cells when younger, they DON'T increase much later. Even though I generally consider Microsoft to be from the Dark Side, they are offering a very useful "checks and balances" option to counter the growing problems in society of raising kids.

Re:Oh, Thank Heavens! (1)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 6 years ago | (#21278709)

But try to deny that the only people for whom this poses an attractive solution are the exact people who need more direct family involvement, not less.

My parents both work. My little brother, for awhile, had a WoW addiction, and isn't always trustworthy.

So...

The process ofa parent busting a kid in a lie and then doing something about it is good for the kid, good for the parent, and good for the relationship.

Given that my parents are unable to supervise my brother all day, every day, this seems pretty effective -- he says he wasn't playing it all day at home after he called in sick? Or all night after he pretended to go to bed? Fine, but the computer says otherwise.

I would say that more direct family involvement is not a bad thing, but it's also not mutually exclusive with good use of this technology.

hacked in less than a month (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21278393)

I'd put money on it.

Worried about the Wii much? (2, Insightful)

stoolpigeon (454276) | more than 6 years ago | (#21278397)

Apparently the ps3 is not the primary driver right now.

Re:Worried about the Wii much? (1)

dabraun (626287) | more than 6 years ago | (#21278819)

Apparently the ps3 is not the primary driver right now.


Apparently? Come on, that's was apparent by January when everyone had an idea of the sales numbers for Wii and PS3.

Microsoft's plan? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21278417)

1. Limit Xbox time
2. ???
3. PROFIT!!!

Look after your kids (1)

future assassin (639396) | more than 6 years ago | (#21278431)

and you wont need some third party parental controls to keep an eye on your kids activities. You need to have parental leadership skills, this will make your kid respect you and follow your directions. Having said that kids are kids and they will try to break your authority but if you have tought them properly they'll only take this rebellion up to a certain point and then give up.

You are not that busy to not look after your kids and if you think you are then you're a POS for having kids and making them live your lifestyle.

Re:Look after your kids (1)

sapphire wyvern (1153271) | more than 6 years ago | (#21278607)

Do you think this strategy would work well for managing IT environments at work? After all, employees are responsible adults and wouldn't disobey the directions of IT, would they? No need to use user accounts to control access to files either, after all if you set firm boundaries people won't want to look at payroll to find out what the bosses earn!

Oh wait, /. says that a third of employees regularly violate IT policy. Guess that whole "limited user" account security model has a point after all!

This just in: using tools to *enforce* policies is not the same thing as lacking parental leadership. In fact, using features like this to set policies the kids can't get around constitutes at least some kind of leadership in my book.

TV That does this (4, Funny)

Joebert (946227) | more than 6 years ago | (#21278475)

Must have been 5 years ago now my buddys' stepdad had a TV that did this.
It would just show a message on the screen that said you watch too much TV & no matter what you did you couldn't get it to go away untill the off timer was over.

I just so happened to discover this on the day his stepdad wanted to watch a big football game, & somehow I managed to set it for the time the game was on while playing with it.

Needless to say I didn't go over my buddys house for a few days after that.

Re:TV That does this (1)

rossz (67331) | more than 6 years ago | (#21278761)

I have to ask. It was worth it, wasn't it? LOL

Re:TV That does this (1)

Joebert (946227) | more than 6 years ago | (#21278779)

I was pretty popular with his mom for awhile.

Re:TV That does this (1)

speaker of the truth (1112181) | more than 6 years ago | (#21278773)

Your father punished you for an honest mistake? Damn glad I didn't have him as a father.

Re:TV That does this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21278781)

Needless to say I didn't go over my buddys house for a few days after that.
Not strange considering you are a pussy.

Re:TV That does this (1)

Joebert (946227) | more than 6 years ago | (#21278801)

by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 08, @03:24AM (#21278781) Needless to say I didn't go over my buddys house for a few days after that. Not strange considering you are a pussy.


LOL Thanks.

Incentive vs Punish (1, Insightful)

SoopahMan (706062) | more than 6 years ago | (#21278487)

It takes creativity to incentivize good things - like Nintendo does with so many creative games, encouraging families to play together.

It takes little thought and plenty of self-congratulation and bluster to punish things you dislike - like Microsoft's approach here. What a crappy "feature."

Re:Incentive vs Punish (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21278543)

...only on slashdot would the complete LACK of a feature by the godly Nintendo be better than a completely customer selectable feature by Evil Micrsoft. Microsoft isn't forcing you to use the feature. They aren't punishing you. They're just giving people the ability to control how much time their children play video games, since it is impossible for a parent to physically monitor their entertainment center at all times. Geez, it has nothing to do with how fun the games are, how much families play together with certain gametypes, or how "omg it's about the controls not the graphics."

Re:Incentive vs Punish (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21278605)

This new feature is nothing more than a tool. It's neither punishment on Microsoft's part. I liken this to a lock. Parents have plenty of legitimate reasons to use locks within the household, and using them is neither punishment nor uncreative. The option has been given by Microsoft, and it's up to parents whether or not they want to use it.

Nintendo's games have literally nothing to do with this. I have no idea how making "family style" games has anything to do with a parent wanting to limit gameplay when they can't be physically at the TV 24/7 to monitor usage.

To all the holier than though types... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21278507)

Umm... I don't see why people are complaining about this feature. Is Microsoft preventing anyone from doing something in this case? No - if you want to use the feature do. If not, don't. I don't understand why others have to start complaining about the parenting habits of others when a company attempts to add a parenting feature to a product - don't you think they got feature requests first from parents before they got the idea to implement it?

Not to mention, if you're talking about responsible parenting - why even buy the XBOX in the first place?
There are people who would argue that responsible parenting would mean that you don't get them an XBOX (or TV for that matter). Or for that matter, have the child work part-time on their own so they can buy their own XBOX. The thing is, every parent has their own ideas on parenting, and as far as I know there have been no real studies evaluating the efficacy of various parenting techniques (not to mention that there probably are none - it depends on the child). So stop talking as if your ideas on parenting are the only correct ones.

I personally don't have kids, but if I did, I'd probably be happy that this feature existed. Additionally, I'd probably want the same option for the PC & TV.

Shutdown mechanism? (5, Interesting)

grantek (979387) | more than 6 years ago | (#21278513)

Actual software quality aside, I'd hope Microsoft is using its experience with OSes to implement this sudden shutdown has a suspend-to-disk type operation (or suspend to RAM if all else fails) - many games aren't designed around constant save points, and if these things are going to throw away hours of hard-earned work, I can see tons more kids going postal in the future :/

Re:Shutdown mechanism? (3, Interesting)

TiggsPanther (611974) | more than 6 years ago | (#21279009)

Oddly, that's exactly why I think this is something best implemented in the console. Many times (past and present), I've found that the pause function has been essential when a mealtime or sudden bout of winter tiredness hits nowhere near a save-point. Just going to prove that current games (and consoles) are not geared around stopping at an arbitrary time. Not unless you want to lose any progress you've made.

I've seen devices on sale here in the UK that basically sit between the console and the power socket, and shut off after a set time. Forget whether the person is near a save-point, it would have no concept of if a save was in-progress at the time. Say hello to potential memory-card corruption.

Actually, I think the best thing would be if all consoles could support a (reliable) hibernate/sleep/standby/whatever mode like that.
I've seen many an point in this discussion about monitoring or trusting your own kids, rather than having to use the console itself to enforce it. Well if more ocnsoles would support some sort of state-saving to allow a nowhere-near-a-savepoint quicksave mode, it would peobably help a fair bit. Especially in those games that tend to put unskippable story-modes after a really difficult Boss fight but before the next save-point. And usually right around mealtime/bedtime/visit from relative. Allow gamers (of any age) to save and switch off at any time regardless of where they are and you're more likely to get cooperation when asking someone stop gaming for the day.

Teachers should (1)

vincevincevince (639366) | more than 6 years ago | (#21278615)

have access to these controls because in many cases they care much more about what their students do than the parents of those students. Johnny, I'm going to set your X-box to just an hour a week as your Theoretical Physics essay has still not been submitted.

Ostensibly? (2, Insightful)

Phroggy (441) | more than 6 years ago | (#21278641)

Would this word have been added if we were talking about anybody other than Microsoft? Is there any evidence to suggest that this feature won't work as advertised, or are we just making that assumption because Windows sucks?

Word of the Day (1)

mrjb (547783) | more than 6 years ago | (#21278749)

I guess it came in the email as Word of the Day. ostensible (-stn's-bl) adj. Represented or appearing as such; ostensive: His ostensible purpose was charity, but his real goal was popularity.

Yeah, that's going to end well... (3, Interesting)

nick_davison (217681) | more than 6 years ago | (#21278685)

The parents told deputies their son was playing Halo 3, and it was getting late and he needed to shut it off. When the son refused to turn off the game, the parents reportedly took the air card out of his machine so he couldn't play anymore.

Reports show the son became enraged, went through the house looking for the air card, and then punched his mother, prompting the parents to call the Sheriff's Office.

After the boy retreated to his bedroom and locked it, the mother knocked on the door and told him he needed to come out and talk to the deputies, the report stated. But the juvenile allegedly responded with profanity.

Harnage and another deputy entered the room using a key from the parents to arrest the son, according to the report. The son fought the deputies - at one time punching Harnage on the lip - until they handcuffed him.
www.sun-sentinel.com [sun-sentinel.com]

The ironic thing is that any parent that's self-excusing enough to want to use parental controls rather than take responsibility for what Junior can and can't do will be just as likely to consider it Microsoft's fault that they got punched in the face by their own child for activating one of Microsoft's features. Rather than take the blame for raising a brat, why not just sue? It's the American way.

Now you want truly un-American thinking? Release a treadmill or other exercise equipment that can be set to automatically give the little tubs o' lard more game time in exchange for actually exercising.

In my day, we had to run ten miles up hill before we were allowed to call the other kids "teh gey" on Halo. And we were grateful!

Re:Yeah, that's going to end well... (1)

notamisfit (995619) | more than 6 years ago | (#21278787)

That's just a kid who needed a good dose of the strap. Although, if he was tough enough and ballsy enough to punch out a cop, it might be too late. Chris Rock said it best, whip your kid's ass before the government whips it for him.

Exactly this family had problems long before Halo (1)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 6 years ago | (#21278931)

Although I have little problem with halo players calling each other "the gey", takes one to know one, I do have a slight suspicion that this family was not exactly a model household before the day of the air-card incident.

Dealing with kids is difficult, you finally somehow managed to become and adult, and now only have to deal with adults, who are in general mature in their relations with you. And bam, you are landed with a tiny critter whose entire goal is to drive you nuts.

It is alright for the first couple of years, they just cry a lot and stink, but then the little blighter discovers the concept of lying and will be very very bad at it. Yet what to do, beat the snot out of the brat for insulting your intelligence? Attempt to reason with someone who eats boogers? Ignore it like you ignore the lies of the guy you voted for?

What do you do when you child goes through the hurting other people phase? Usually kicking them? Hit them back so hard they know for their rest of their lives Pain results in Pain so never cause it to anyone bigger then you? Try to reason with a person kicking you in the shins or ignore it and watch Idol?

The sad fact is that too many parents simply don't want the responsibility, they either just don't want to spend the time (Congrats, you have a kid, say goodbye to your life) or want to be their kids best friend, not their parent.

The problem with this is that the problems won't start to show until years later, when all of a sudden parents find themselves with kids from hell. The proble doesn't get any better when these kids then go on to have kids themselves.

It really isn't anything new, disfunctional families have been around forever. Just that the media loves these kinds of stories so we get to hear about them constantly.

This would be a good idea for the wii not the Xbox (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21278719)

Back when I was a kid, I remember a few games that had parental controls in them (Duke Numken 3D is probably the most popular example).

The idea wasn't very popular. Mainly because the parental units didn't know about them.

However, when my parental units got cluey about them. I cleared all the settings and reset the passcode to "R^*OCip_jh" (the equivalent to me hitting the keyboard thrice), so they believed that they forgot the passcode.

Secondly, unless the child is under 12. The parental units are more than happy letting their children plug the machiene into their own TV/monitor and set it up themselves.

This feature is more designed for the pre-teen kids, the ones who get their parents to set up their digital entertainment kits for them. However I never did see the xbox360 is a pre-teen console.

(I still live in la-la land, where pre-teens do not derive entertainment from voilence)

Just a matter of time (1)

hyades1 (1149581) | more than 6 years ago | (#21278743)

How long 'til some little Einstein writes a crack for this or makes a mod chip on daddy's workbench and Microsoft winds up dragging a five-year-old into court?

New XBox 261 feature.... (1)

killmofasta (460565) | more than 6 years ago | (#21278767)

Of course the next version of the XBox 360, the XBox 361, is going to have a Parental Unit shutdown feature.

Parents are piss poor parents.... (0, Redundant)

adatepej (1154117) | more than 6 years ago | (#21278769)

How about this idea? Parents could actually make sure their kids didn't play too much by -- get this -- being somewhere near their kids when their kids are out of school or at least knowing what they're doing!

And, once the kids are older and away from parents outside of school, parents could pay enough attention to their kids to make sure they are healthy. If the kids are healthy, they aren't playing too many video games -- and they are unlikely to begin playing too many games. And, if the kid isn't healthy, the parents could intervene by making sure he engages in enough healthy behaviors (social, intellectual, and physical) so that his video game playing couldn't possibly reach unhealthy proportions. That will make a lasting difference.

Do you really think that if your kid has a problem with playing games too much, that a simple timer will stop him? Do you think he won't play games on his other two systems (which he already has if he has an XBox), on the computer, at a friends house, or that he won't just watch TV or something else that has the same effect on a child's health? (I.e. socially isolating, intellectually retarding, and emotionally unstimulating[?])

Or, at best, if he really only has an XBox and doesn't like TV and you have Cyber Nannies of all sorts on your computer, but he has a problem with playing games too much -- do you think that if the root of the problem isn't addressed (lack of appreciation of the activities which are most essentially human outside of pure "recreation" [that often involves little or no creation])???? He'll just fulfill his full potential for playing video games for inordinate amounts of time when he's cut loose! Or, even if he outgrows the video game obsession by the time he's out from under the control of your XBox timer, what's to say that the root problem that lead to too much game play won't lead to other problems?

Imagine that! Parents being truly involved is the best solution!

But, I bet the XBox will do a better job of keeping kids healthy than parents who actually read a book or two, find some common sense, learn to truly love their kids, and spend some time with them. Sure it will...

Bottom line, parents need to be aware of their child's health as a person, not just a physical being, and need to intervene when necessary. It doesn't mean your child is "diseased" just 'cause he plays too many games, he's just not ideally healthy. And I'm not the thought police here, and I recognize the right of people (including children) to live as they wish, but children need guidance. Not so many timers, just more guidance. It doesn't need to be painful in the least, especially if you start playing an important role in molding your child into a well-rounded human being at an early age!

But, if you haven't taken any action in your kid's life yet and he plays too many games and he's already 13 or so, you might just want to turn on the timer and call it a day while they figure out their way around it instead of doing their homework or taking a walk... For your own health, that is. ;) (J/k! Deal with your kids people!)

People need to be reasonable (3, Insightful)

Photo_Nut (676334) | more than 6 years ago | (#21278825)

Speaking as a father and as someone who spends too much time staring at glowing screens, I can say that this feature is a great idea. Obvioulsy, it doesn't substitute for good parenting and spending time with your child/encouraging them to pursue better activities than video game playing. It is simply a tool.

Some will see this as a way to punish kids (and some will call it ineffective for various reasons - not all parents can operate a game console). Others will see this as a way for lazy parents to avoid parenting (this won't change that). It is partly each of these things. What it is most of all is a tool. It can be used positively, such as like an allowance - it can be increased for good behavior or decreased as a punishment.

Parenting isn't easy, and in the modern world you can't always be with your child 100% of the time. This tool helps set some boundaries. Like every tool, there is abuse potential. Like every piece of software, it will have its fair share of bugs to work out.

Technology is moving very quickly. When I was growing up (I'm nearly 30), computers had Kilobytes of RAM and phones had rotary dials. There were no mobile phones (these too appear to be going away slowly), and no cell phones. My childhood photos are in some shoeboxes on the other side of the country. My son's photos are on our website, from the day he was born. Hundreds of 4MP+ images - several each month as we go to parties or walk in the park, etc. Each picture has embedded date and time and other metadata.

We are more connected than ever before with cellphones/cameras/the net. This month people can spend $400 on 2 laptops - one for a poor child in another country and one for themselves. As time goes on, the OLPC/"$100 Laptop" will go down in price (to some extent) and the technology curve will advance. Eventually, the future generation of people will all have a minimum amount of digital technology. This will enable expression from any point in the globe to every other point regardless of income. It won't happen overnight.

The point is that the technology is coming to the masses. People on /. are generally at the cutting edge and we often worry about the worst possible cases and get stuck in hyperbole. We are the priviledged few. Parental controls on a new game console enable most people in my generation to help balance the amount of time our children are spending on one form of entertainment.

I have spent most of my nearly 30 years of life staring at glowing screens... There's some good, some bad, and some plain old that's just the way it is in that statement.

niGga (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21278933)

Development models unleesT you can work

New Parental Controls Limit XBox Time (1)

Dirk Becher (1061828) | more than 6 years ago | (#21278987)

Why do all familiy-friendly politics involve screwing at least half of the family in some way? :D
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