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[fwd] Re: [vox] Web Browsers for Kids
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[fwd] Re: [vox] Web Browsers for Kids

Christopher posted this from a non-subscribed address...

----- Forwarded message from vox-bounces@lists.lugod.org -----

The attached message has been automatically discarded.
Date: Thu, 21 Dec 2006 10:12:36 -0800
From: Christopher James McKenzie <mckenzie@cs.ucdavis.edu>
Subject: Re: [vox] Web Browsers for Kids
To: "LUGOD's general discussion mailing list" <vox@lists.lugod.org>

Replies Below:

Micah Cowan wrote:
>I'd be interested in finding a Firefox-like browser that disables
>opening new windows and tabs, fills the entire screen (ideally), and if
>possible allows restricting access to specifically enabled sites.

This sounds like the kind of public terminals they have at Borders to 
find a specific book, or some other public access machine.  Most of 
these public kiosks run an extremely customized and restricted version 
of some operating system.

>I have a 4-year-old and 6-year-old, both of whom are starting to enjoy
>web access to sites like pbskids.org. I don't want them to be able to
>click links to get to any sites we haven't checked out; and I've noticed

This has traditionally been done through proxies.  What you can do is 
set your web browser under a certain account to go to some bogus proxy 
for everything and then set a few sites to not proxy - there is a No 
Proxy option in the preferences.  This would mean that the web browser 
would not be able to find a site that you do not specify because it 
would be attempting to access something that doesn't exist.

Of course this isn't a true solution.  If you still wish to restrict 
your children in a few years when they learn how to undo your proxy 
configuration hack, the most used method then would probably be to set 
up a real password based proxy server in between your home network and 
the internet.  There are a few out there with one password say, giving 
full internet access, and another giving a limited set.

>that at least one of them tends to end up with 8 open windows sometimes.
>I obviously don't want to edit /etc/hosts or do anything that will
>restrict other users like my wife and myself.
>I'd also be very interested in a desktop environment built for kids, so
>that they can pick their favorite apps, but can't interact with the
>desktop or delete files accidentally.

You just provided an excellent definition of "Knoppix for Kids".  I 
suggest you check it out.


----- End forwarded message -----

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