Thoughtful, detailed coverage of the Mac, iPhone, and iPad, plus the best-selling Take Control ebooks.

 

 

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Smarter Parental Controls

If you've been using the parental controls options in Mac OS X to lock your child out of using a particular computer late at night, but would like to employ a more clever technique to limit Internet access, turn to MAC address filtering on an Apple base station.

To do this, launch AirPort Utility, select your base station, and click Manual Setup. In the Access Control view, choose Time Access to turn on MAC filtering. You'll need to enter the MAC address of the particular computer, which (in 10.5 Leopard and 10.6 Snow Leopard) you can find in the Network System Preferences pane: click AirPort in the adapter list, and click Advanced. The AirPort ID is the MAC address.

 

 

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TidBITS Podcast Now in iTunes Store

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At long last we've worked through all the picky little details so the audio versions of our articles are now listed in the podcast directory of the iTunes Store. Nothing much changes otherwise - we've been producing audio versions of our articles for quite a few months, but subscribing to them in iTunes is now merely a matter of following this link and clicking the Subscribe button in iTunes. Clicking the Podcast link on our site's navigation bar will also take you to iTunes, and you can of course also search for TidBITS in the iTunes Store; we hope being listed will bring more people to our podcast.

Because these are audio versions of individual articles (so they can be listened to directly on our Web site as well), they're generally quite short, with most lasting between 3 and 5 minutes and one paragraph news items around 1 minute. Longer articles generally top out at 10 to 15 minutes. I mention this because if you have a 30 minute commute, you might find it awkward to keep fiddling with your iPod to move to the next article after one finishes.

To work around this problem (making it possible to drive more safely - see "Use iPods Cautiously While Driving," 2007-04-09), simply create a smart playlist in iTunes that selects all the tracks whose album matches "TidBITS". Then sync that smart playlist to the iPod and access it via the Playlists menu rather than the Podcasts menu. You could also do this on the fly: select the TidBITS podcast in the Podcasts menu and press and hold the center button for a second to create an On-The-Go playlist, from which you can play all the articles in the order listed. You may wish to turn off the shuffle setting on your iPod as well.

We're not trying to do a fancy-pants podcast with snazzy music and professional-level editing that would require time and money we'd rather spend elsewhere, but I hope you enjoy being able to get your TidBITS fix audibly while you're driving, doing yard work, or at the gym.

 

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