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How to Use Family Sharing to Monitor Your Child’s iPhone

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You might not realize it, but there are lots of parental control options on an iPhone or iPad. They make it easy to keep your children safe and monitor how they use their devices. Most of these controls link with Family Sharing, which means you can use your own iPhone or iPad to edit restrictions or allow purchases for your child.

Here’s a complete guide to setting up and monitoring parental controls on your child’s iPhone or iPad using Family Sharing from your own device.

Create a Family Sharing Group

Before you set up any parental controls, it’s best to create a Family Sharing group with you and your children in it. Family Sharing lets you share iTunes and App Store purchases, iCloud storage, and Apple Music or TV channel subscriptions.

But you can also use Family Sharing to approve or deny your children’s purchases, monitor their screen time, restrict adult content, or track their location. What’s particularly great about Family Sharing is that you can do all of this remotely from your own iPhone, iPad, or Mac.

To create a Family Sharing group:

  1. Open the Settings app on your iPhone or iPad and tap [Your Name] at the top of the screen. Choose to Set Up Family Sharing if you haven’t already.
  2. Follow the onscreen prompts to add a payment method, invite family members, and enable Family Sharing features.
  3. After creating the group, tap Add Family Member to invite more people to your Family Sharing group, up to a total of six people.
  4. Alternatively, ask the Family Organizer of an existing Family Sharing group to add you to their group.

Creating a Child Account

Family members can only join your Family Sharing group if they have an Apple ID. If your child is under 13 years old, you will need to create a Child account for them to use, since Apple doesn’t let them make their own.

A Child account must be linked to a Family Sharing group until the child reaches 13 years old, at which point they can choose to leave the group.

To create a Child account for Family Sharing:

  1. Open the Settings app on your iPhone or iPad and go to [Your Name] > Family Sharing.
  2. Tap Add Family Member and choose to Create a Child Account. Then follow the onscreen prompts to create an Apple ID for your child.
  3. After creating the account, use the email address and password you created to sign in to that account on your child’s iPhone or iPad.

Create a Child Account for Family Sharing on iPhone

Assigning Parents or Guardians

If there are multiple adults (over 18 years old) in your Family Sharing group, you may want to assign some of them to act as Parents/Guardians for any children in the group.

A Parent/Guardian can monitor Screen Time, adjust Content & Privacy Restrictions, and approve or deny App Store and iTunes purchases for your child’s device.

To make someone a Parent/Guardian in your Family Sharing group:

  1. Open the Settings app on your iPhone or iPad and go to [Your Name] > Family Sharing.
  2. Tap an adult family member’s name and turn on the Parent/Guardian option.

Parent:Guardian toggle in Family Sharing settings

Approve Downloads With Ask to Buy

Ask to Buy sends a notification to all your Apple devices whenever your child tries to download content from iTunes or the App Store. You can then tap Get or Decline in this notification to choose whether to let them download the media or not.

This is a good way to avoid unexpected iTunes bills—since any purchases they do make come off the Family Organizer’s payment method. It’s also an easy way to avoid letting your children download apps, songs, movies, TV shows, or books you don’t want them to have, since they need to request permission first.

Ask to Buy applies to free downloads as well as paid purchases. So your child always needs your permission before grabbing a new app.

Apple enables Ask to Buy automatically when you create a Child account. But you can also turn it on or off for anyone under 18 in your Family Sharing settings:

  1. Open the Settings app and go to [Your Name] > Family Sharing.
  2. Tap a family member’s name and toggle the Ask to Buy option.
  3. When you receive a request notification, tap it to view the app or media your child wants to download.

Add Gift Card Balance to Your Child’s Account

When you approve purchases for your child, Apple takes payment from the Family Organizer’s primary payment method. If you don’t want this to be the case, you should buy an iTunes or App Store gift card and add that balance to your child’s account.

Any future purchases you approve will come off your child’s Apple ID balance. When it’s all used up, payment reverts to the Family Organizer’s payment method again.

Monitor Your Child’s Screen Time

Screen Time collects a range of data to show how much someone has used their Apple device, along with which apps they spend their time on. With Family Sharing, you can remotely monitor your children’s Screen Time and impose limits to keep them from spending too long on their iPhone or iPad.

To enable Screen Time for your child’s device:

  1. Open Settings on your iPhone or iPad and go to [Your Name] > Family Sharing.
  2. Tap Screen Time, then tap your child’s name and choose to Turn On Screen Time.

When you turn on Screen Time for your child, it prompts you to set Downtime, App Limits, and a Screen Time passcode straight away. You can edit these settings at any time using the Screen Time passcode you create; keep this passcode secret from your child so they can’t edit the settings themselves.

To view your child’s Screen Time usage or edit their settings, open the Settings and go to Screen Time. Then tap your child’s name beneath the Family heading.

You should see a usage report at the top of the screen. Tap See All Activity for a breakdown of how long your child spent on each app or each category of apps. If you enable Include Website Data, you can also see how long they spent on particular websites in Safari.

Take a look at our breakdown of all Screen Time features to see how you can limit your child’s device usage. Your child can also send requests to you for more time when they reach their limits, which you can approve or deny from your own device.

Enable Content & Privacy Restrictions

The best parental controls on an iPhone or iPad are in the Content & Privacy Restrictions, which you can find within the Screen Time settings. Thanks to Family Sharing, you can edit the restrictions on your child’s device remotely.

  1. Go to Settings > Screen Time on your iPhone or iPad.
  2. Beneath the Family section, tap your child’s name to view their Screen Time settings.
  3. Then go to Content & Privacy Restrictions and turn them on using the toggle at the top of the screen.

Most of the Content & Privacy Restrictions are fairly self-explanatory, but we’ve detailed each of the sections below for full clarity.

iTunes & App Store Purchases

Choose whether you want to allow your child to install or delete apps on their device, and if you want to allow them to make in-app purchases. If Ask to Buy is turned on, your child still needs your permission before they can install or purchase anything.

If you allow your child to install apps without using Ask to Buy, you should make sure iTunes and App Store purchases Always Require an Apple ID password. Otherwise, your child can download media themselves for a short period after you enter the password.

iTunes & App Store purchases snippet

Allowed Apps

With this setting, you can choose to make iPhone or iPad apps disappear from your child’s device entirely. To do so, turn off the button next to the app you don’t want to allow. This is a great way to avoid all temptation and protect your child from potentially harmful apps.

Allowed apps snippet in Content & Privacy Restrictions

Content Restrictions

Regardless of your child’s actual age, you can choose the age ratings and content restrictions for iTunes, the App Store, web content, Siri, and Game Center. It might take a while to work through each of these options, but you can configure them however you feel comfortable.

Content Restrictions snippet

Privacy

This option can be misleading. Choosing to allow Share My Location lets your child make changes to their location settings. If you choose not to allow Share My Location, then your child can’t make changes to their location settings.

Keep in mind that choosing not to allow Share My Location doesn’t turn off Location Sharing on your child’s device. It only stops your child from being able to change those settings on their own.

Privacy Share My Location option in Content & Privacy Restrictions

Allow Changes

The Allow Changes section lets you lock particular settings on your child’s device, such as the passcode, accounts, and mobile data settings. You might want to set these options to Don’t Allow to keep your child from logging out of their Child account and creating an adult’s account to use instead.

Allow Changes settings in Content & Privacy Restrictions

Track Your Child’s Location

Keep tabs on your children’s whereabouts with the Location Sharing option in Family Sharing. If your child’s device is set up to share its location with you, then you can always find out where they are using the Find My app.

This time, it’s easiest to set up Location Sharing directly on your child’s device:

  1. Open the Find My app on your child’s iPhone or iPad and go to the People tab.
  2. Tap Share My Location and enter your Apple ID account to send an invitation to yourself. Choose to Share Indefinitely.
  3. You should now be able to see your child’s location in the Find My app on your own device. You can choose to share your location with them if you wish to.

To keep your child from hiding their location in the future, return to the Content & Privacy Restrictions above and choose Don’t Allow for the Share My Location option. This stops your child from editing the Location Sharing settings on their device.

Set Up Parental Controls on All Your Children’s Devices

Apple makes it particularly easy to edit your child’s parental controls using Family Sharing from your own device. But every company offers its own way of managing these settings, and they aren’t always easy to find.

Take a look at our complete guide to parental controls to find out how to enforce necessary restrictions across all your children’s devices.

Read the full article: How to Use Family Sharing to Monitor Your Child’s iPhone



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UK loses out on lucrative EU satellite contracts because Brexit

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Sentinel-1, the first in the family of Copernicus satellites, is used to monitor many aspects of our environment (ESA)

The UK has missed out on a potentially lucrative contract to build satellites for the EU’s Copernicus Earth programme.

The programme is one of two big space projects happening in Europe and aims to map all elements of planet Earth – from atmospheric conditions to ocean and land monitoring.

And now the European Space Agency’s industrial policy committee has given contracts for six new satellites to various firms in Germany, France, Italy and Spain.

In total, the contracts are worth more than 2.5 billion euros and the UK space industry was very much hoping to get a piece of the pie. Especially considering the UK is the fourth largest contributor to the European Space Agency.

Airbus Defence and Space Germany will lead the development with a contract value of €300 million.

‘While UK organisations will play important roles in five out of the six Copernicus High Priority Candidate missions, we are disappointed overall with the contract proposals and abstained on the vote to approve them,’ a spokesperson for the UK Space Agency (UKSA) said.

‘We are committed to working closely with ESA to ensure our investments deliver industrial returns that align with our national ambitions for space.’

The reason for the snub? Part of it is due to Brexit.

Undated handout photo issued by the ESA of representatives from the agency's member states gathered for a ministerial council. The UK Space Agency has committed ??374 million a year to the European space programme. PA Photo. Issue date: Thursday November 28, 2019. The funding will contribute towards international space initiatives to address climate change, deliver high-speed mobile technology and return the first samples from Mars. See PA story SCIENCE ESA. Photo credit should read: Stephane Corvaja/ESA/PA Wire NOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may only be used in for editorial reporting purposes for the contemporaneous illustration of events, things or the people in the image or facts mentioned in the caption. Reuse of the picture may require further permission from the copyright holder.

Representatives from the ESA’s member states (Stephane Corvaja/ESA)

Although Britain is a member of the ESA and can contribute to the R&D elements of Sentinel (the missions that make up Copernicus) we can’t participate in the manufacturing because that’s funded by EU member states. Which the UK is no longer a part of.

The government is currently trying to negotiate ‘third country’ membership of Copernicus to try and become an industry partner of the missions – but the future is uncertain.

And Copernicus is only one of the EU’s big space projects – the other is called Galileo and is a navigation network of satellites that will rival the USA’s Global Positioning Satellite (GPS) system.

The European Space Agency's ExoMars rover is being prepared to leave Airbus in Stevenage. The ExoMars 2020 rover Rosalind Franklin is Europe?s first planetary rover it will search for signs of past or present life on Mars. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday August 27, 2019. See PA story SCIENCE Mars. Photo credit should read: Aaron Chown/PA Wire

The European Space Agency’s ExoMars rover was built at Airbus in Stevenage. (Aaron Chown/PA Wire)

Speaking to the BBC, the ESA’s director of Earth observation, Josef Aschbacher, said there was no bias in awarding the contracts.

‘We can only evaluate what we get in terms of offers,’ he said.

‘If industry shies away from some work packages or activities located in the UK, there is nothing we can do on our side. We have to take what comes to our table.’

The UK space industry is no slouch, it helped build the ESA’s Solar Orbiter space probe which is tasked with getting ridiculously close to the sun in order to better understand our parent star.



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Binary vs. Source Packages: Which Should You Use?

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Regardless of the package manager you use, there are two broad ways of installing programs on Linux. You either use a pre-built package, or you compile the program yourself. These days, the former usually wins out by default, but there are times when you may want to consider compiling from the source coude.

What Are Binary Packages?

deb package format

Installing programs on Linux is usually quite different from the traditional way of installing software on Windows. Rather than downloading an installer off a vendor’s website, the files come from a repository of programs that is usually tailored to your Linux distribution. You access this repository using a Linux package manager or a Linux app store.

The files that make up the programs in these repositories come in an archive format. This bundles everything into a single file for easy access and distribution. Debian, for example, uses the DEB format to store and distribute programs. These bundles are called binary packages.

You need a special program to extract these files and install them onto your computer, typically your package manager or app store. These tools also perform other useful functions, such as keeping track of what files you have installed, and managing software updates.

Where Do Packages Come From?

All software consists of lines of text known as source code, written in specific programming languages, such as C or C++. You generally can’t just bundle this source code into an archive and call it a package. These lines need to be translated into a language your computer can understand and execute.

This process is called compiling, the end result creating binaries that your computer can run. The difference between packages and software is that software binaries are stored together inside a package, along with other things such as configuration files.

What Is Installing “From Source”?

emacs makefile

Installing a program “from source” means installing a program without using a package manager. You compile the source code and copy the binaries to your computer instead.

Most of the time, you can download a project’s source code from hosting services such as GitHub, GitLab, or Bitbucket. Larger programs might even host source code on a personal website. The code will usually be zipped up in an archive format (also known as a source package).

A special set of tools help automate the building process. On Linux desktops, this often comes in the form of a command line program called make. Source code written in different languages need specific compilers and commands to change them into binaries. The make program automates this process.

For this automation to work, programs provide make with a makefile that tells it what to do and compile. These days, it’s usually automatically generated by special software such as CMake. This is where you come in. From here, you can specify exactly what features you want compiled into your software.

Building “From Source” Example

For example, the command below generates a configuration file for the Calligra Office Suite using CMake. The file created tells the make program to only compile the Writer component of Calligra.

cmake -DPRODUCTSET=WORDS -DCMAKE_INSTALL_PREFIX=$HOME/kde/inst5 $HOME/kde/src/calligra

Having done this, all a person has to do is run the make tool to compile and copy the results onto their computer. This is done in the following way:

make
make install

While this is the general pattern for compiling programs, there are many other ways to install source packages. Gentoo Linux, for example, has a built-in way of handling this, making the process much faster and easier. But building binary packages takes a few more steps than just the above commands.

Benefits of Using Binary Packages

If you’re using Linux, someone more than likely pre-compiled the software you have installed. This has become much more common than using source packages. But why?

Binary Versions are Easier to Manage

deb package format

Binary packages contain much more than just compiled installation files. They also store information that makes it easy for your package manager to keep track of all your programs. For example, DEB files (the package format for Debian and Debian derivatives) also contain important information such as what other software the program needs to run, and its current version.

This makes packages much easier to install, as you don’t need to worry about what other files you need to successfully make a program run. Your package manager can read that information from the package itself and downloads all the necessary dependencies automatically.

When installing programs from source, unless you compile the code into a binary package of its own, you will be in charge of managing that software. You will need to keep in mind what other programs you need to make it work, and install them yourself.

Binary Versions Have Improved Stability

The people who maintain repositories for your package manager tend to test binaries for problems and do their best to fix those that appear. This can lead to improved stability of programs, something a person who installed from source might miss out on.

Plus packages usually must adhere to a strict set of rules to help ensure they will run on your system. Both Debian and Ubuntu have a policy manual for example, as do many other Linux distributions.

Some programs also rely on different versions of the same software dependency to run. Package repositories do their best to resolve these conflicts so you don’t have to worry about this.

Benefits of Compiling Source Packages

Installing programs from source isn’t something that everyone needs to do, as it’s generally easier to maintain your PC if you stick with binary packages. Even so, there are still some advantages to using this slightly more involved way of installing programs.

Source Code Offers Latest Software

One disadvantage of making programs more reliable is that it takes time to improve and fix. As a result, this can lead to you using older versions of software. For people who want the latest and greatest, they might even prefer a bit of instability in exchange for it.

While there are Linux operating systems which cater for this need without compiling programs, they do have a few drawbacks. For example, software that doesn’t frequently release set package versions is harder to keep up to date in a repository, than installing from source.

This is because binary packages are usually made from official releases of programs. As such, changes between these versions are usually not taken into account. By compiling your own software from source, you can benefit immediately from these changes.

It’s also possible that your Linux operating system doesn’t have the software you want pre-made for you. If that’s the case, installing it from source is your only option.

You Can Pick and Choose

ffmpeg features

Another benefit to using source packages is that you gain more control over the programs that you install. When installing from a binary repository, you’re restricted in the ways you can customize your packages.

For example, look at FFmpeg, the command-line-based audio and video converter. By default, it comes with a huge number of features, some of which you might never even touch. For instance, JACK audio support is available in FFmpeg, even though this software is usually used in production environments only.

Compiling FFmpeg allows you to remove the things you don’t want from it, leaving it lighter and tailored to your needs. And the same applies to other heavyweight programs.

When resources are scarce, removing features can be a great way of lightening the load. It’s no wonder that Chrome OS, found on many low-end computers, is based off Gentoo Linux. Gentoo, being source-based, compiles a lot of its software, potentially making these systems run much lighter.

Why Not Install With Both?

While you probably won’t want to compile packages on a daily basis, it’s something useful to keep in mind. That said, with new universal package formats available from sites such as the Snap Store and Flathub, you’re less likely to need to build from source to get the latest software.

Read the full article: Binary vs. Source Packages: Which Should You Use?



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If you’re over 75, catching covid-19 can be like playing Russian roulette

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Are you hiding from covid-19? I am. The reason is simple: the high chance of death from the virus. 

I was reminded of the risk last week by this report from the New York City health department and Columbia University which estimated that on average, between March and May, the chance of dying if you get infected by SARS-CoV-2 was 1.45%.

That’s higher than your lifetime chance of getting killed in a car wreck. That’s every driver cutting you off, every corner taken too fast, every time you nearly dozed off on the highway, all crammed into one. That’s not a disease I want to get. For someone my mother’s age, the chance of death came to 13.83% but ranged as high as 17%. That’s roughly 1 in 6, or the chance you’ll lose at Russian roulette. That’s not a game I want my mother to play.

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The rate at which people are dying from the coronavirus has been estimated many times and is calculated in different ways. For example, if you become an official covid-19 “case” on the government’s books, your death chance is more like 5%, because you’re sick enough to have sought out help and to have been tested. 

But this study instead calculated the “infection fatality ratio,” or IFR. That’s the chance you die if infected at all. This is the real risk to keep in view. It includes people who are asymptomatic, get only a sniffle, or tough it out at home and never get tested. 

Because we don’t know who those people who never got tested are, IFR figures are always an estimate, and the 1.45% figure calculated for New York is higher than most others, many of which fluctuate around 1%. That could be due to higher rates of diabetes and heart disease in the city, or to estimates used in the study. 

It’s also true that your personal odds of dying from covid-19 will differ from the average. Location matters—cruise ship or city—and so do your sex, your age, and whether you have preexisting health conditions. If you’re in college, your death odds are probably lower by a factor of a hundred, though if you’re morbidly obese, they go back up. Poor health—cancer, clogged arteries—also steeply increase what scientists call the “odds ratio” of dying. 

The biggest factor, though, is age.  I looked at the actuarial tables, and the chance of death for a man in my age group (I’m 51) is around 0.4% per year from all causes. So if I get covid-19, my death chance is probably three times my annual all-cause annual risk (since I am a man, my covid-19 risk is higher than the average). Is that a chance I can live with? Maybe, but the problem is that I have to take that extra risk right now, all up front, not spread out over time where I can’t see or worry about it. 

On Twitter, some readers complained that average risks don’t tell them much about how to think or act. They have a point. What’s a real-life risk that’s similar to a 1.45% chance of dying? It wasn’t easy to think of one, since mathematically, you can’t encounter such a big risk very often. Skydiving, maybe?  According to the US Parachute Association, there’s just one fatality for every 220,301 jumps. It would take 3,200 jumps to equal the average risk of death from covid. 

Risk perceptions differ, but it’s the immense difference in IFR risk for the young (under 25) and the elderly (over 75) that really should complicate the reopening discussion. Judging from the New York data, Grandpa’s death chances from infection are 1,000 times that of Junior. So yes, we need schools to keep kids occupied, learning, and healthy. And for them, thank goodness, the chances of death are very low. But reopening schools and colleges has the ugly side effect that those with the lowest risk could be, in effect,  putting a gun to the head of those with the highest (although there is still much we do not know about how transmissible the virus is among children).

Decent odds

The virus is now spreading fast again in the US, after the country failed to settle on a strong mitigation plan. At the current rate of spread—40,000 confirmed cases a day (and maybe five to 10 times that in reality)—it’s only two years until most people in the US have been infected. It means we’re pointed toward what, since the outset, has been seen as the worst-case scenario: a couple of hundred million infected and a quarter-million deaths. 

By now you might be wondering what your own death risk is. Online, you can find apps that will calculate it, like one at covid19survivalcalculator.com, which employs odds ratios from the World Health Organization.  I gave it my age, gender, body mass index, and underlying conditions and learned that my overall death risk was a bit higher than the average. But the site also wanted to account for my chance of getting infected in the first place. After I told it I was social distancing and mostly wearing a mask, and my rural zip code, the gadget thought I had only a 5% of getting infected. 

I clicked, the page paused, and the final answer appeared: “Survival Probability: 99.975%”. 

Those are odds I can live with. And that’s why I am not leaving the house.



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