Restrictions

Spotify lifts time limits -- letting users listen on and on

Spotify upped the ante in the music streaming game on Wednesday by getting rid of all time restrictions on Web listening. Now, users in all countries where Spotify operates can stream music for free on the Web endlessly.

"In the past, we had to restrict your listening time to some hours a month once a 6-month unlimited grace period had passed," Spotify spokesman Diego Planas Rego wrote in a blog post. "But now, if you haven't noticed, there's no more time limit if you are using Spotify for free. We have removed these caps completely … Read more

Setting up parental controls on the PlayStation 4

Picking up a PlayStation 4? You won't be disappointed; Sony's latest console has a great lineup of launch titles. Games like Killzone Shadow Fall, Call of Duty: Ghosts, Battlefield 4, and many others, will ensure that you're entertained for hours.

Some of these games, however, may not be appropriate for young kids. To make things easier for parents, Sony has included numerous parental controls that can prevent kids from accessing certain content, features, and games.

From the PlayStation 4's main menu, hit the up arrow and scroll over to the system settings. Next, select Parental Controls … Read more

Apple ties CEO bonus to stock performance

Apple on Friday modified its CEO compensation policy, potentially trimming how much Tim Cook will earn in bonuses over the next few years based on Apple's stock price.

This measure was approved by Apple's board on Friday, the company said, while noting that CEO Tim Cook was applying it to his existing and future stock awards.

In Cook's case, he's got serious incentive to stick around with some 800,000 restricted stock units that are set to finish vesting in annual chunks of 80,000 through the fall of 2021. That reward was previously time-based, meaning … Read more

Restrict volume on iPhone, iPod, and iPad

If your kid is using an iPhone, iPod, or iPad to blast music at unsafe levels, you should consider setting a limit on their maximum volume. I mean, they'll hate you for it -- but they'll also hate having tinnitus in their 20s, right?

In the above video, I'll walk you through the steps of lowering the maximum volume limit on any iOS device, as well as locking that setting in place using a password of your choosing.

If the video doesn't appear above, try going directly to the video on CNET TV or pay a … Read more

Apple's latest top executives get $50M stock perks

Apple's newly-minted top executives will have good reason to stick around in the form of a hefty stock bonus that finishes vesting in four years.

New filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission show that Craig Federighi, Apple's senior vice president of Mac Software Engineering, and Dan Riccio, Apple's senior vice president of Hardware Engineering, were both given 75,000 shares of company stock as part of their promotions last week.

Those grants, currently worth $50.62 million, vest at three separate points over the next four years. The first batch of 25,000 vests … Read more

China's government takes on microblogs, blogs, online forums

Last month it was blog users, this month it's blog owners. The Chinese government announced today that it will tighten restrictions on all Internet service providers for blogs, microblogs, and online forums -- forcing them to act as Web police, according to the Associated Press.

This is just the latest in a long list of restrictions that the government is enforcing on its citizens. According to the Associated Press, China began requiring real-name registration on all microblogs in December. However, people still seem to be sneaking under the radar.

The new restrictions entail making the Internet providers act as … Read more

Google Voice update helps users screen nameless callers

Google announced today that it's aiming to help users control their settings to more easily avoid answering those pesky anonymous callers on Google Voice. Be it an unknown, restricted, or blocked number, the Web giant says users can now fit those callers into one specified group.

"Many users have asked us for controls aimed at people who are NOT in their address book," Google software engineer Tom Ford wrote in a blog post. "So today, we're adding two groups of callers for Google Voice users."

Besides grouping anonymous callers into one group so users … Read more

Microsoft bolsters parental controls with Windows 8

Microsoft aims to give parents more control over their children's computer use on Windows 8 with a new feature announced this week.

"With Windows 8, you can monitor what your kids are doing, no matter where they use their PC," Microsoft's senior program manager for Family Safety Phil Sohn wrote in a blog post. "All you have to do is create a Windows user account for each child, check the box to turn on Family Safety, and then review weekly reports that describe your children's PC use."

With these controls and weekly reports, … Read more

How to disable explicit language for Siri

Siri Dictation on the new iPad, as well as the iPhone 4S, is fairly accurate a majority of the time. But, as with anything software-based (let alone in beta), sometimes mistakes are made. However, when those mistakes throw out some choice four-letter words, especially when kids are present, it's not going to make people happy.

Yesterday I was asked by a reader if it was possible to disable explicit language for Siri Dictation on the new iPad. So, I decided to make a video showing how easy it is to disable explicit language for Siri on both the iPad, … Read more

Get Web-based iPhone tethering for just $30 yearly

Despite the overwhelming appeal of being able to tether your iPhone to your laptop via the Personal Hotspot feature included in iOS, the cost of doing so keeps many iPhone owners from getting the most out of their device. Tether, however, has a solution.

Back in November, Tether was able to briefly get an app approved on Apple's App Store. The $14.99 app allowed users to bypass the Personal Hotspot method of setting up a tether for their laptops and instead use a USB cable and Tether's software. The app, iTether, was quickly pulled.… Read more