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New User
HomeschoolPa
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎04-30-2011

NookColor NOT parent friendly...

[ Edited ]

I purchased each one of my kids a NC last week. My kids are both UN-schooled (Homeschooled) and I thought it would be a great tool to add to their studying…especially when traveling.  But it looks like B&N has given ZERO forethought to parents when they designed these things..

 

 

-- How about adding a feature so the parent can LOCK the WiFi into the OFF position so it can only be turned on with the correct password?

 

 

--  How about allowing parents to remove choices from the dropdown list when browsing for books?....like being able to REMOVE the Gay and Lesbian section from my 5 year old's list?

 

 

-- How about creating an educational section for downloading certain curriculums for kids?  Math, History, etc....

  

-- How about having a kid friendly browser available in the "choose your default browser" list?  Like www . kidrex . org ? Instead of Bing, Yahoo or Google....

 

 

Wake up B&N...MANY of your NC users are smaller children.

 

Contributor
Mondayn
Posts: 21
Registered: ‎02-16-2011

Re: NookColor NOT parent friendly...

There are a few functions within the Nook Color that you can currently utilize that may help you maintain some of the control you desire. You can always set a passcode to unlock the device prior to use, as well as protect purchases by requiring an authorization before a purchase. Most of the control that you desire to exhibit would be done through your wireless router, not the Nook Color itself.

 

You can easily restrict access to the internet via limiting MAC addresses through the router, as well as the type of sites visited. All of this can be explained by calling your routers manufacturers customer service line, or looking it up on the internet for yourself.

 

As for the limitations and restrictions to browsing subjects within the Barnes and Noble store: Barnes and Noble has always held a fierce policy when it comes to censorship, and believe it to be the responsibility of the parents to maintain control over their children if they desire to restrict certain materials from their grasp. I'm sure you wouldn't let your child run through a Barnes and Noble store by themselves as your shopping, just to find out that they would run straight to the Gay and Lesbian section with your disapproval. Considering that it's a 5 year-old in question I can safely make the assumption that an innocent stumble upon the section would do little to no damage (as it shouldn't regardless of age) to the child.

 

The creation of an educational section is a fantastic idea and should be passed up along the line for the developers to consider! Barnes and Noble is well aware that they have a large customer base that's devoted to children; and it shows by the amount of childrens content that is currently avaliable throughout the Barnes and Noble store. We must remember that it's not other peoples responsibility to raise our children for us, but our own responsibility to personally oversee the way we wish to raise our children. Close and diligent monitoring and being active in all aspects of a child's life to positive development.

New User
HomeschoolPa
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎04-30-2011

Re: NookColor NOT parent friendly...

[ Edited ]

Your suggestions do not address the issue.  Because the ISSUE is the desire on the part of the CUSTOMER to control the function of his/her product. What about public WiFi?  And BOTH of us are home all day....we monitor and approve ALL of their TV, books, video games and internet usage.  But you can't duck tape the side of your head to theirs all day.  All of your suggestions are a pain in the crack.  A simple password protect (just like the one used to make purchases) would solve the problem.  Period.

 

And there is nothing wrong with asking for a kid friendly browser choice.  How much money did Bing, Google and Yahoo pay to be the only choices listed?

 

 

Distinguished Correspondent
DaveAvl
Posts: 93
Registered: ‎04-20-2011

Re: NookColor NOT parent friendly...

 


HomeschoolPa wrote:

Your suggestions do not address the issue... All of your suggestions are a pain in the crack.

 


 

What you seem to be asking for is a customized version of the NC software for a limited market.  Perhaps if enough parents feel as you do, then businesses such as B&N would make the investment in its development... or some Android developers might be able to create apps which could accomplish what you wish.

 

Either of these things would take time and money.  Perhaps you could contact some entity whose philosophy matches yours and see if they would fund such a project.  My guess is that the development costs would be much smaller than the costs of, say, a massive TV ad campaign for or against some referendum, proposition or amendment...

Distinguished Scribe
Ya_Ya
Posts: 3,334
Registered: ‎09-29-2010

Re: NookColor NOT parent friendly...


HomeschoolPa wrote:

Your suggestions do not address the issue.  Because the ISSUE is the desire on the part of the CUSTOMER to control the function of his/her product.  

 


It would seem if said concerns were so important to said customer, said customer would have done some research before purchasing, rather than throwing a temper tantrum because the device does not have them.  :smileywink:
Mark_OB1
Posts: 1,586
Topics: 23
Kudos: 1,259
Registered: ‎12-14-2010

Re: NookColor NOT parent friendly...

Wow.  Rough crowd.

 

Personally, I didn't see anything wrong with any of the OP's suggestions.  They make sense, from the standpoint of a concerned and responsible parent, and would likely be welcomed by many as useful options.

 

And I disagree that any of these would be costly for B&N to implement.

 

- Mark

 

Oh, and where's the "temper tantrum"?  Because I didn't see it.

 

Inspired Correspondent
Niteryder
Posts: 258
Registered: ‎03-17-2011

Re: NookColor NOT parent friendly...

I did not see any whinning or tantrums on the OP's part as well. I did see a conerned parent who is looking for some assistance keeping questionable content from their children's eyes. I would assume, but don't know for certain, some of the respondants are not parents. As a parent I know how difficult it is to keep up with all the things kids have access to. No matter how hard we try, it seems that somewhere there is another place for a kid to find something they should not be subjected to. The suggestion that kids should just not get the NC is silly and simple-minded. The NC is a terrific tool for children, and can be an asset to their growth and  knowledge. Why should children not have access to this device? They should, we as parents are just asking for some assistance keeping inappropriate material form their curious eyes. Personally i do not think this is asking alot. Seriously, is anyone going to put a price on keeping our children protected?

 

There are those out there who prey on out kids and wish them harm and access to their sick world. Yes we get to fight that as well as every other battle that goes on daily to keep our children safe. A good caring parent will take any measure to keep their child safe, even if that means doing something out of character. A good parent is like a mother bear and will react with a vengance to anyone or anything who may or would like to bring harm to their children. And yes, to some it may look or sound like a temper tantrum, I would be more concerned if the parent just sat back and did nothing.

 

We have an uphill battle, we are trying to raise children who will one day be productive members of society, there are many roadblocks on that path, we have to go around, over, or bust through them each and every day, we do it for the love we have for our kids. If you do not have kids, you have no idea, no matter what you think you know. the love we have for our kids is deeper and more powerful than those without kids know. We will do ANYTHING to love, protect, and keep them from harm, whether anyone likes it or not.

 

Just remember those kids, whether they are yours or not, will, you hope, be taking care of you when you cannot take care of yourself. I would recommend educating and preparing them for that day. We all get old and feeble, todays kids are the ones who will treat you the way you hope to be treated. Hopefully they will be more compassionate to your plight than you are to theirs.

"Keep me, Protect me, Share me, and I Will Live Forever"
From the Kodak Gallery, A powerful & Moving Commercial:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WdWwqAI6x9A
Distinguished Correspondent
DaveAvl
Posts: 93
Registered: ‎04-20-2011

Re: NookColor NOT parent friendly...

Let me give some background about my situation, then I'll try expanding a little on what I posted earlier.

 

I am a parent.  My son is now 26.  He was a special needs student, and it took years of struggle before we were able to obtain the best placement for him.  We tried pushing - sometimes, out of frustration and the "mother bear" instinct Niteryder spoke of, quite hard - with the result that some in the system, out of their own frustration and limited resources, pushed back equally hard or harder.

 

When the appropriate placement eventually became available, the difference was remarkable.  I won't go into everything which it took for things to finally fall into place, but please believe me when I say that I know about "being willing to go to any length" for one's child.

 

The OP has been willing to go to the length of homeschooling, which unquestionably takes a great deal of dedication and sacrifice.  S/he sees an opportunity for the NC to be a part of the "roll your own" educational process, and has specific suggestions which would help that become possible.

 

But how were these presented?  With a good deal of what, in common Internet parlance, is referred to as "yelling" - WORDS IN ALL CAPS, that is - and a tone which seemed, to me at least, as accusatory.

 

Let me suggest another approach.

 

B&N has a whole section of its website for kids, and my local store has a kids' Nook display right next to the main one.  They seem to have some awareness of the NC's potential for kids' use.  And, with certain enhancements to the software, the "B&N Kids" experience/brand/whatever could be extended onto the NC... for example, if parents had the ability to specify a kid-friendly (or, perhaps better, "kid-safe") search engine in the Web browser, and...

 

See the difference?  The same features can be suggested and requested rather than demanded in a way which very nearly says, "Since you didn't do these things, you obviously don't care about parents..."

 

Put yourself in B&N's place.  Which approach would you be more likely to respond positively to?

 

And my suggestion to engage Android developers fits right in with the "roll-your-own" homeschooling approach: leave out those things you don't want or need, restrict some features, expand others...

 

There seems a very good opportunity here for those interested to become "part of the solution", and be of great service to homeschoolers (and perhaps many others) everywhere.

 

Just sayin'... :smileyhappy:

 

- Dave, in Asheville

Inspired Correspondent
Niteryder
Posts: 258
Registered: ‎03-17-2011
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Re: NookColor NOT parent friendly...

I feel your pain Dave, my son,14, is a special needs child as well. We have fought more battles than I ever thought possible especially within the school system. Reading between the lines of your post It seems that you went through the same frustrating roller coaster we are still going through. It took us almost 7 years of non stop battling to get the proper placement, seems the schools do not volunteer the information on how, why, when, or where. We had to wade through the muck of red tape to find all the information that is at the fingertips of the local administration.

 

I could go on for days on this subject, but I'll just say I know what you went through, and I assume and hope that your son is doing better due to your hard fought battles and non stop work.

"Keep me, Protect me, Share me, and I Will Live Forever"
From the Kodak Gallery, A powerful & Moving Commercial:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WdWwqAI6x9A
Distinguished Bibliophile
deemure
Posts: 3,933
Registered: ‎12-28-2009

Re: NookColor NOT parent friendly...

I think it is hard to create an all-encompassing plan that will satisfy everyone.

 

Specific needs are just that, specific.  I agree with the poster that said that any child that comes across certain books is really unlikely to be traumatized by it.  If anything it will be the parents that are based upon any questions a child might ask.  And understand that kids learn very very early on what some of these things are. 

 

I used to be the babysitter for the neighborhood when my niece and nephews were young and I'd be watching them.  There'd be 20 kids at their house, each with parents that had differing ideas of things they let their kids be exposed to.

 

One time when the oldest was 5, a kid his age was over and talking about things.  He said he had a girlfriend and she let him touch her b@@b.  Every kid there knew what that was and giggled.  I was the only uncomfortable one.  What mattered was my reaction which is what he was looking for.  I just shook my head and moved on.  It wasn't my right to work on his behavior, but it was my responsibility not to give it legs. This was about 18 years ago.  And it is actually something my niece and nephews and I laugh about to this day.

 

My point is that you can censor this stuff and it will still seep in, because you cannot control what other parents do and your kids can't live in a bubble.  Use it to teach them and if you expose them to technology (as everyone seems to do) at a young age, then they will need to have age appropriate info given to them as the subject comes up.  It can actually be helpful, because it can make it more natural to discuss awkward things rather than having a specific "sit down" talk which puts more of a serious tone to things.

 

It is also helpful to continually stress what is allowed usage of any device.  It's hard, horribly so, but necessary, because even if you have controls on your PC, on your NC, on the tv, on whatever, kids will be exposed to all of it along the way.

 

Keep in mind also that it is issues of sex that get parents and others the most worked up in all things.  But, violence is way more pernicious and yet often overlooked.  People go crazy over sex in video games, but tend to ignore the over the top violence in the same games. 

 

 

"I still believe in spite of everything that people are good at heart." Anne Frank.
Inspired Correspondent
Niteryder
Posts: 258
Registered: ‎03-17-2011
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Re: NookColor NOT parent friendly...

I agree with this 100%

 


deemure wrote:

 

  People go crazy over sex in video games, but tend to ignore the over the top violence in the same games. 

 

 


 

 

"Keep me, Protect me, Share me, and I Will Live Forever"
From the Kodak Gallery, A powerful & Moving Commercial:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WdWwqAI6x9A
Distinguished Correspondent
DaveAvl
Posts: 93
Registered: ‎04-20-2011
0 Kudos

Re: NookColor NOT parent friendly...

 


Niteryder wrote: I assume and hope that your son is doing better due to your hard fought battles and non stop work.

 

(I'll keep this short since it's getting off-topic for "NC support"  - PMs are okay if you wish)

 

Thanks - he's doing quite well, and what it took for us was therapeutic foster care.  He's been living with the same family for 16 years now, and if you'd told me in the midst of the worst of it how well things would turn out I wouldn't have dared believe you.  He and I are both owner/operators of a 299.80 DSM code - I wasn't dx'd until after he was (ages 8 and 46!).

Distinguished Bibliophile
roustabout
Posts: 3,652
Registered: ‎03-31-2011
0 Kudos

Re: NookColor NOT parent friendly...

I don't remember seeing Bing listed on my nook color.  And since MS is suing BN over the nook, I'm skeptical that Bing is one of listed engines. But, I tore out the starter bookmarks Right Away, so I don't know.  If anyone still has them, can they look to see if Bing is really listed? 

 

That said, the internet is not a place where boundaries are enforced easily or by default - whether for kids, religious folks, conservatives or liberals, as the OP has noted. 

 

Something the OP could easily do that could make home a safer place for their values would be to set up open DNS as the lookup service on your home router and then use an open DNS account to apply filters. OpenDNS has a "family shield" setting which might well assist. This would cover all devices that make DNS requests from that location.  Open DNS is the most bulletproof thing I know of in the 'free and simple' category. 

 

Their servers are at

 

208.67.222.222
208.67.220.220

 

Businesses pay a lot of money for gateway products that really enforce policy.  Getting them right is not that simple. 

 

If the OP wanted even finer control than that, the OP could look into custom filters and their own DNS server. 

 

The OP could ask around to see if there's a programmer who could

 

- modify the wireless stack to always make requests from a private DNS server

- write custom filters on that DNS server (perhaps using the list from Dansguardian as a starter set, as does the Smoothwall proxy service.)

 

If this was done well, you could offer access to others on a subscripton basis.  There may, in fact, already be commercial providers offering such, though a quick search didn't turn one up. 

 

In order to have control over public hotspots, a private DNS server answering requests is the best route.  Not all public hotspots will permit you to route DNS traffic out. 

 

For finer-grained control at what is no doubt the desired price point of free and the desired effort level of minimal, this is a list of available openDNS categories.  It doesn't include anything specifically around LGBT prohibition but one hopes that the "sexuality," "nudity," "lingerie/bikini" and "adult" categories would suffice. 

 

  Academic Fraud
  Adult Themes
  Adware
  Alcohol
  Auctions
  Automotive
  Blogs
  Business Services
  Chat
  Classifieds
  Dating
  Drugs
  Ecommerce/Shopping
  Educational Institutions
  File storage
  Financial institutions
  Forums/Message boards
  Gambling
  Games
  German Youth Protection
  Government
  Hate/Discrimination
  Health
  Humor
  Instant messaging
  Jobs/Employment
  Lingerie/Bikini
  Movies
  Music
  News/Media
  Non-profits
  Nudity
  P2P/File sharing
  Parked Domains
  Photo sharing
  Podcasts
  Politics
  Pornography
  Portals
  Proxy/Anonymizer
  Radio
  Religious
  Research/Reference
  Search engines
  Sexuality
  Social networking
  Software/Technology
  Sports
  Tasteless
  Television
  Tobacco
  Travel
  Video sharing
  Visual search engines
  Weapons
  Webmail

"no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized." Fourth Amendment to the US Constitution.
Frequent Contributor
KD67
Posts: 182
Registered: ‎10-12-2010

Re: NookColor NOT parent friendly...

Well I am a parent also, my son is 18 and in highschool.  Although I don't personally agree with the homeschooling concept due to the opinion that it severly limits the social aspect of growing up.... the parent has that right if that is what he/she wants to do. 

 

As for the content that the children in question are or are not allowed to access, how about as the parent simple downloading what they want the children to have and NOT allowing the children access through the NC to browse, if the parent is afraid their children will see unappropriate content (simple tell the NC to forget the WiFi code each time your done purchasing content for the child).  As my child was growing up, I was Very careful of the type of TV, Video Games and such that I would allow my child to watch or play.  His friends would come over and bring a game that I didn't approve of and then get mad because I wouldn't let them play it....."but my parents let me play it at home".....well then go home and play it there cause your not playing it here and my son isn't playing it period. 

 

Personally if the one of the children is 5 like the OP stated, then in my opinion they don't have any business browsing the internet or even B&N for that matter. 

New User
HomeschoolPa
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎04-30-2011

Re: NookColor NOT parent friendly...

[ Edited ]

KD67:  "....homeschooling limits the social aspect of growing up......?"...LOLOLOL...spoken like a parent oblivious to the "social aspects" of public school.  Hey…maybe we just love our kids enough to care about what they are absorbing.  It’s not for everyone.

 

Look, some people don't mind their kids hanging out with foul mouthed punks and over sexed pre-pubescent girls.  Some parents are OK with the public school system indoctrinating their kids with ideas of a socialist utopia where everyone is equal and all must be fair.  And there are those that are happy as clams their kids are learning ALL about how it's the government's job to take care of their every need.  Who needs that pesky Bill of Rights, you know? To each their own....we just happen to believe in raising well-read, intelligent, independently minded young adults who know how to make it on their own.

 

My HIGHLY RESPECTFUL 5 and 9 year old both speak 2 languages (working on a 3rd) and have a great time with their swim club and UN-schooled friends.  We take 2 "field trips" a year out of the country and my daughter just can't WAIT to move out when she's 18 to travel and then start her own business. She has also read at least 45 classics and is working on her own kid's book. Oh, and did I mention she can probably school your teenage kid on early American history and most of our founding documents.

 

Let's see how quick your kid moves back in when those 9 hours at the community college is just too tough for them.  Enjoy....

 

Oh yeah...we were talking about parental controls on the NC.

 

B&N....add a damn password prompt when turning on the WiFi...problem solved. It's not that complicated.

 

Distinguished Correspondent
tenagail
Posts: 161
Registered: ‎02-15-2011

Re: NookColor NOT parent friendly...

I am a mother and grandmother and I am here to tell you that children learn what the live. You can talk to children of all ages until you are blue in the face, they will learn by example. We tell our children not to lie, and then they hear us on the phone telling a so-called white lie, because it is more convenient than the truth.

When I was raising my children the big controversy was record and movie ratings. I never understood the whole thing. If you know what your children are watching and listening to, you wouldn't need to depend on someone, somewhere, to determine what is appropriate for your children in your home.

I know this takes more time and attention than letting other people do your job of raising your children.

If you are leery of the internet then supervise their use of it. Don't expect parental controls to do it the way you want it done.

My son has two girls 12 and 5. The family computer is in the family room and they are well supervised. My son and his wife have electronic devices and not all the content is suitable for children, simple solution, passwords. The cable is set for as appropriate for children. The parents DVR all their shows and watch them after the children go to bed. Again, passwords do the trick. My son and his wife both work full time but they take the time to determine and protect their girls from inappropriate content. What is deemed as appropriate for their children is decided by , you guessed it, the parents.

 

Correspondent
retiefBD
Posts: 140
Registered: ‎04-15-2011

Re: NookColor NOT parent friendly...

OP says, after a bit of OT response:

Oh yeah...we were talking about parental controls on the NC.

 

B&N....add a damn password prompt when turning on the WiFi...problem solved. It's not that complicated.

 

--------------------

 

To begin, everyone gets your point, and many have tried to make suggestions, so bold emphasis and all caps really won't do you much good with this crowd I suspect. 

 

I want to address your seemingly cavalier "not that complicated" comment.  Having over 4 decades of software development under my belt on all sorts of systems from very large to very small, your dismissal of the complexity is quite incorrect.  For example, this simple change also requires that those of us who do not want the restriction in place need to have an option to not be prompted each time.  Given that the NC is a "small" system, all changes need to fit.  Any change that goes into the product must be thoroughly tested.  And then BN also has to make sure that any such change does not violate any licensing controls over the underlying code.  Point being, this is far from as simple as changing a light bulb.  I will even go so far as to say that fair bit of the garbage we see, and junk we get these days, in software is a direct result of the lack of foresight and testing that is done in the industry now.  And yes, Grandma, I am saying it was better in the "Olden Golden Days" :smileywink:

 

I think that were I in your shoes I would do the following:

1. Implement the "Forget the WiFi Password" bits noted in a post above

2. Implement the DNS suggestions when at home

3. Contact B&N in a polite fashion with the offer to help them understand the needs of parents such as yourself, you might just find them more receptive than you think.

 

Of course if none of this suits you, then my recommendation is to ditch the Nook and look for a more suitable solution.

Distinguished Correspondent
TNTLamb
Posts: 291
Registered: ‎03-26-2011

Re: NookColor NOT parent friendly...

 


HomeschoolPa wrote:

 

B&N....add a damn password prompt when turning on the WiFi...problem solved. It's not that complicated.

 


 

If thats ALL you want, that capability is there.......... Simply don't have the wifi rember the security settings. In order to connct the pass word must be entered, if you are the only one doing it, no problem (its we do it BTW) s far as books I may or may not want the little ones to have, I archive the ones I don't want them to have. The only content they have is on their home page.

 

Its not perfect BUT its doable............

There are 293 ways to make changes for a dollar.... No wonder we see things differently
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DaveAvl
Posts: 93
Registered: ‎04-20-2011
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Re: NookColor NOT parent friendly...

 


TNTLamb wrote:

 


HomeschoolPa wrote:

 

B&N....add a damn password prompt when turning on the WiFi...problem solved. It's not that complicated.

 


 

If thats ALL you want, that capability is there.......... Simply don't have the wifi rember the security settings. In order to connct the pass word must be entered...


The OP's concern includes public wifi hotspots where no password is required.  What they are after is the ability to password-protect wifi access itself, not just specific connections.

 

Distinguished Correspondent
TNTLamb
Posts: 291
Registered: ‎03-26-2011

Re: NookColor NOT parent friendly...

 


DaveAvl wrote:

 


The OP's concern includes public wifi hotspots where no password is required.  What they are after is the ability to password-protect wifi access itself, not just specific connections.

 


 

Oh, I see. The only thing I can say then is as a former Schooler (we did 8) and president of the HS association. One of the things home school parents need to learn is that while HS schooling gives a parent a measure of control over their physical environment, they need to learn that the measure they take there are no different than an electronic environment (and even more so) Most certainly a five year old Or even up to a middles school aged child) would not (should not) be unsupervised in public wifi sites if that is a concern. I'm not of the "supervise your kids School, that's not practical nor realistic. Even the "best kids" are curious. Exercising that curiosity prolly won't scar them for life. But in the occasion they are unsupervised, consider it a "teachable moment" and consequences for poor decision making are certain.....  If they need to take an ereader to an open wifi area, there are options that preclude problems.

 

Kids being kids though, the more effort you make to control the environment the more certain they will push the boundaries.

There are 293 ways to make changes for a dollar.... No wonder we see things differently