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  1. #41  
    Quote Originally Posted by Orion Antares View Post
    Then Verizon has apparently increased their services by a lot since you last looked into that.

    I'm looking at their content control options right now under Safe Guards > Parental Controls. They have a free Content Filters service described, "Protect your family with age appropriate content filters for music, videos, and the internet." The View/Edit link shows each line and the filter settings for each with a description of each filter option and a link to change the filter settings. The options are Ages C7+, Ages T13+, Ages YA17+, Filter Off. None of that requires an additional service fee.

    They also have a Usage Control option that requires and additional fee per line that allows you to control Voice & Messaging Allowances, Restrict usage based on time of day for voice, msg, and data, set specific number blocks for voice and text, and set trusted numbers that will bypass time of day usage restrictions.
    wow, thanks. I don't think they offered content control when I looked. The fee-based phone restriction service was pretty lame, but I will look at it again to see if it more robust now.
  2. ugriffin's Avatar
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    Simply uninstall the web browser application. Closest to true censoring you'll get: YouTube app for youtube, Facebook for facebook... All social media stuff can be replaced with apps. Which, let's face it, is what teens usually do on their smartphones should they have one. is the broswer's name in the terminal, simply:

    Install Teminus from Preware.

    Run the following commands (one by one!)

    mount -o remount,rw /
    cd /usr/palm/applications
    ipkg remove
    mount -o remount,ro /

    run those commands (one by one!) and the browser should be gone, the only way (yet) to access pr0n on a Palm device (unless it is sideloaded in USB mode. :/)

    Tested using Palm emulator. 100% stable (for me, I'm not responsible if you have to visit the webOS doctor because you blasted some critical Mojo APIs).

    EDIT: After running those commands, reboot!
  3. anifan's Avatar
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    I might want to mention that if your son is really determined he could set up the content to work through the email client (you'll have to decide where the line between reasonable restriction and "why do you even have a smartphone?" lies), photo app, or video app.
  4.    #44  
    G Rock, Yes, that's what he has now. But it is like using a granade to kill a fly. Yes, it kills the fly, but also the dog, the kitchen, and the house too. I am just looking for a fly swatter. The technology is there. Why buy a "smart" phone, turn off ALL DATA, and make it a dumb phone?
    BBooDad likes this.
  5.    #45  
    Thanks a lot! I'll try that. He has a Pixi, so no WiFi.
  6.    #46  
    Right. thanks. But, it is not really the issue. Most teenagers, like I believe my son is, would be deterred enough with a good app that only allows them to go certain places. The idea is to prevent unwanted, un asked adult content to be displayed and viewed which is the case with these websites. When we were growing up we usually ended up getting LESS than what our curious brains wanted. Today, teenage curiosity is the same, the problem is that they get a whole lot more than what they are looking for. It is poisonous, and extreme content even for young adults, and I want to prevent it as much as I can for my kid. I am not looking for a 100% solution; there isn't one. But, one similar to those available already for most computers.
    Last edited by ryleyinstl; 10/11/2010 at 09:11 AM.
    BBooDad likes this.
  7.    #47  
    Thanks a lot to all those with supportive ideas and comments. I will look into SF Basilix DNS solutions as it seems if may offer the closest solution: prevention yet it has all the functionalities. If not, the 2 ideas of removing the browser should be second best. This and periodic spot checks on the kid will do.

    I still think someone could make a lot of money coming up with an app for this, even one that would simply automate what one has to do by hand step by step.
  8. #48  
    Quote Originally Posted by rkeithg View Post
    Parental Control checklist:
    1) Whitelist for Internet sites (blacklists don't work, there are too many)
    2) Whitelist for Phone numbers to call and text (basic feature phones do this)
    3) Record text messages both to and from for parental review (smobilesystems does this for the other smartphones and has for years) Its an incredible deterrent.
    4) block/allow data by app
    5) MMS monitoring

    Thanks for listening.
    Keith, just a few comments on your suggestions:

    1) Whitelists tend to also be difficult to maintain since many times you'll end up adding so much that the child can access web sites through portals. There are multiple sites where you can load a web-page within a web-page. I truly believe filtering is the better solution, but this is certainly debatable.

    2) I agree phones should be able to do this, but the cell phone companies will have you pay $5-$10 more a month for parental controls. I have Verizon and their parental controls can prohibit numbers from calling/texting with your child's phone. It can also set time restrictions so they can only text/call during certain hours. They have both whitelists and blacklists for this offering. I do not know what other providers offer.

    3) This is one of those things that irritates me about phone companies. At work, they have every right to record your voicemail/text messages/emails/IM, etc. However, companies will not offer this to parents of children. Instead they say it's illegal as this is snooping. I say if I'm paying for the service and it's my child and they're under 18 years old, I should have full control. Again, this is debatable.
  9. #49  
    Just lie to him and tell him you are paying for a service to have his browser history sent to your email.
    Last edited by ryleyinstl; 09/02/2010 at 11:12 AM. Reason: Edited for OT rant
  10. nullr's Avatar
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    Find dns to site you want to block and add it to your /etc/hosts file with a redirection to local host. All you need is terminal im sure copying /etc/hosts file to /media/internal/ and editing it in your media partition (open with notepad, edit then save) and copy it back to /etc/hosts


    When he tries to go to it will redirect to the Pre itself since its not running a webserver he will get a 404 error.

    The problem its that its tedious work. Much easier if he does not erase history to pindown what dns to redirect. Black listing IP addresses should work but also a pain.
  11. Kaihmeyer's Avatar
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    My favorite linux-based solution to internet filtering is Squid + Dansguardian. Both of which are available from opt-ware.

    If I weren't a full-time college student, father of 3, and holding down a job inbetween so my wife can be a full-time mom, I would have a full solution for you already I have the ability, but unfortunately not the time to develop and deploy it. But, since WebOS will still be around when I graduate (next spring, knock on wood), I hope to make it a high priority very shortly thereafter.

    I've replaced my router with a linux box that uses iptables to redirect all port 80 outbound traffic to Dansguardian, which then asks Squid to the proxying for the request, then Dansguardian filters the page based on content, and passes the page, or a "you've been blocked" page on to the browser. All of this can be setup via command-line if you can find somebody with the time and know-how to help you set it up properly. I could do it fairly quickly on a CentOS linux server, but there's enough different about the way Linux runs underneath WebOS, that I wouldn't be doing it in a standardized or clean way.

    If you can follow the previously posted instructions on , you are 80% of the way. Slipping Dansguardian into the mix is a matter of following a few more steps on installing dansguardian, and configuring iptables to redirect to dansguardian instead of squid Good luck!
    Last edited by ryleyinstl; 09/02/2010 at 11:11 AM. Reason: Personal rant is OT
  12. #52  
    AGAIN....The OP isn't looking for parenting advice, he is looking for ways to restrict web traffic on webOS devices, your take on the benefits or disadvantages of adult content are irrelevant.

    Please keep things on topic or take it to the Off Topic forum.

    Thanks all

    <<Threads Edited>>
    Sprint|Samsung Epic
  13. #53  
    Quote Originally Posted by sf_basilix View Post
    Yes, it is possible to not only block/control sites on the web, but also view statistics. You can do this with OpenDNS. It's a publicly available service (free for minimal options but they charge for additional options - although they're nice enough to offer the basic blocking features for free). How it works is you'll need to change the DNS servers on the Pre to query the OpenDNS servers instead of the ones that come configured on your phone. Now, instead of the phone looking up a p*rn server's IP from the standard DNS servers, it will look it up on OpenDNS' DNS servers and reply back with an IP that directs them to a blocked site. Please note, that although these steps are not terribly difficult, it does involve some knowledge with linux and you will need to root your phone. What you would need to do and know are a few things:

    - Configure Dynamic DNS for your Pre

    To configure Dynamic DNS on your Pre, I found this website:

    Just start at the topic which states "Step by Steps to Setup Dynamic DNS for your Palm Pre":

    How to SSH into Your Palm Pre! | Palm Pre Hacks Blog!

    - Go to the OpenDNS site and register for the free service.
    - Once registered, you can select the type of websites to block and/or add specific ones. Please note, that OpenDNS works great for static IPs, but since the Pre gets a new IP address every so often, you'll need to configure Dynamic DNS (another free service) on your phone so OpenDNS can know what phone it is.

    To do that, go to the OpenDNS site here:

    OpenDNS > Support > Dynamic IP Info > Dynamic IP: General Info

    and follow the links on how to configure OpenDNS with Dynamic DNS.

    Just another note: if your son goes wifi on a network not registered with OpenDNS, he will gain access to some sites which you may have blocked, since the wifi IP address will be different from the one you register with OpenDNS. Although the OpenDNS servers will block most p*rn sites as a default config (if anyone points their DNS servers to theirs), however, if you block anything else, they will now have access to it again.
    Thanks for this info. I have read thru it and understand it mostly. THe only problem I see is where I have to create the new file in vi. I am a windows user. Any alternate instructions for creating this file in Windows and putting it on my son's Pre without using vi?
    i-phone, shmy-phone... I have a Pre!
  14. #54  
    Quote Originally Posted by long_tall_texan View Post
    Thanks for this info. I have read thru it and understand it mostly. THe only problem I see is where I have to create the new file in vi. I am a windows user. Any alternate instructions for creating this file in Windows and putting it on my son's Pre without using vi?
    Yes, you can use a vi text editor for windows (grab it here: WinVi) Even though it's VI for Windows, you don't have to know the keystrokes. It also works just like notepad (arrow keys). The only reason why I suggest this program over notepad is because notepad places an unseen control character at the end of each line (denoted by a ^M). Vi won't do that, so the operating system won't get confused.

    Anyway, download vi for windows and run it. After you make your file, save it as you normally would. Then just copy it to the USB drive on your phone. Now, ssh into your phone and copy it to where it needs to be (unix uses the cp command as opposed to copy in dos). The files on the usb drive are located somewhere under /media I believe. If you don't find it there, let me know and I will ssh back into mine and see.
  15.    #55  
    Thanks Ugriffin. That worked like a charm. I had to do a restart for the web browser icon itself to disappear. Also, I hit return for each line of code, and I ended up using "Terminal" as the other one you mentioned is not available for the Pixi.

    Note, I tried Universal search and I wasn't able to go anywhere with it. So, awesome.

    HOWEVER, just when I thought I was victorious, I discovered that he had an app called "Google Search", a free app one can download using the App Catalog or Preware. This thing does exactly what Google search does on your computer, searches anything you type and it can take you to any website you pick. So, this app is actually worse (or better depending on your point of view) than Web Browser for accessing adult content.

    I thought I could use Sprint's block to download media, but this feature only works for paid apps.

    So, the only solution is to delete the App Catalog too (and Preware and also Google Search off course. Now, Preware and Google Search, I simply delete by pressing the gray button and clicking on the app). So, what is the command or code to delete App Catalog using Terminal?

    I plan to re-install Preware from time to time to allow him to update his old apps and download new ones (except Google Search of course).

    This should work !!
    Last edited by ryleyinstl; 10/11/2010 at 09:12 AM.
  16. #56  
    To the OP...I was faced with this problem recently...a way to effectively filter internet use. I have come up with one of the only ways to do this successfully on the Pixi.
    The link (from webos internals) to how to set up manually enforced DNS servers on any sprint device is pretty much no longer useful.
    I have successfully setup OpenDNS content filtering on my device and use it to shield myself from "bad" things on the internet.
    The Problem:
    Sprint( I believe most carriers do nowadays) intercepts all standard DNS traffic and redirects them to their DNS servers NO MATTER WHAT DNS you specify in the /etc/resolv.conf file.

    Note, I said "standard DNS" traffic. The trick I discovered is they dont intercept mDNS protocol which works on port 5353 instead of port 53(which they intercept).

    So, I discovered, luckily, OpenDNS listens for DNS traffic on port 5353 on their services as well.
    Now I just needed to figure out how to convert the phones standard port 53 DNS traffic to port 5353 and send it out to the servers I specified.

    Then, I discovered the program "delegate" and luckily its in the optware repository for our phones.

    Backtrack a bit here...
    Another thing I figured out before the above is sending DDNS updates to opendns so that every time our evdo interface comes up it updates my ip registered at

    Another member on the forums told me how to do this pretty easily..
    here is the info he gave me:

    To use ifup/ifdown scripts like you normally would, add the following to the bottom of /etc/pmnetconfig/{if-up,if-down}:
    #goes into /etc/pmnetconfig/if-up:
    mount -o rw,remount /
    run-parts /etc/network/if-up.d
    mount -o ro,remount /

    #goes into /etc/pmnetconfig/if-down:
    mount -o rw,remount /
    run-parts /etc/network/if-down.d
    mount -o ro,remount /

    Now the script you have to create in the appropriate if-up.d location would have these contents:
    curl -m 20 -s --anyauth --retry 3 -u USERNAME:PASSWORD ""


    Now with the above setup, your phone will correctly send its ip updates to opendns servers.

    If your phone has wifi, you may have to figure out where to create a seperate script for a different host at as well, since your phone has 2 internet interfaces if it has wifi.


    Now to setup delegate as stated above.
    You have to edit /etc/resolv.conf and basically only put one entry in there

    Download delegate from optware repository via command:
    ipkg-opt install delegate (it might be delegated)
    once installed.....
    I created this script:

    start on stopped finish

    exec /opt/sbin/delegated -P53 "SERVER=udprelay://" "SERVER=udprelay://" CONNECT=tcp OWNER="root/root"

    The above basically tells delegated to start once the phone has finished inializing after a reboot then the fun part is....
    Since all your DNS requests are going to your local interface via the entry in /etc/resolv.conf delegated interceps standard DNS requets on port 53...converts them to outbound port of 5353 tcp protocol and shoots them off the opendns servers =)

    Now... I would recommend uninstalling any file browsing apps or terminal apps on the phone ( so he cant go in and change the file) will have to decide whether to leave preware installer on the phone or not, because if so...he will eventually figure out how to install terminal and if hes any good w/ linux he will easily be able to undo what we have set up.


    The filtering is then done on opendns side in your account, you select the categories you want him to see and not see =)

    Now, it would be awesome if someone could write a patch to the things Ive done above to make things easier on people. I wonder if writing a patch for the above things is even possible, would help automate it a lot!

    Oh, and from preware install nano too, makes editing the config files I mentioned, much easier!
  17.    #57  
    GenTarkin, thank you for the suggestion. In the end, would I be able to create a file with a list of only the sites he can go into it, which are maybe 20, and block ALL others, without specifying exactly those websites I don't want him to see, which are as bast as the universe?

    Wouldn't be more efficient and effective if I simply removed the "Google Search" app (since I already removed the "Web Browser" app), and then remove the App Catalog App and Preware so he is not able to re-install Google Search? Then all I have to do is install from time to time Preware to allow him to update and install new apps, then removing it again, which it is a snap using my laptop, the only computer at home with WebOSQuickInstall (his computer is restricted, can't download anything without my password). Note, I am a Mortgage Consultant, your DNS, ipk, ifdown, up etc language is foreign to me.

    (For those of you that feel that instructions like these are easy, please keep it to yourself, I am tired to hear it. Let's just say that even if you are a genius doing making an app, and creating patches etc you still couldn't follow the instructions of a Brain Surgeon telling you how to start operating into someone's head, regardless of how easy it would be for a trained surgeon, right? And regardless of how easy you think it is to set up a DNS server or whatever, for you, you couldn't make a dress like my grandmother did for Royalty orders in a week, even if you saw her do it, never mind just by following her written instructions. Yet, as great as she was making dresses, she couldn't even turn a computer on. A Carpenter who is good at building a house can easily follow instructions in making a say a Russian chair, but he couldn't make Ice Cream, or write a poem, in general with simple or thorough instructions. So, let's just let it be.

    I just need to know how to now remove the App Catalog app, using Terminal. I just need one line of code. I figure I can use the same format Ugriffin used to remove the Web Browser app, and I am home. Done. No way my son will stumble into anything the DNS servers did or didn't filter (whatever that means) because he doesn't have access to the internet, period, the end. Other checks and balances I do at the personal level should do the trick, like spontaneous inspections.

    If your solution would allow him to ONLY see what I write on that DNS server then it would be a better solution in that he would have access to all that wonderful information the web provides, which I could add one by one as I see fit. Still, I would have to wait until someone like you or others in this field can put the whole thing in one tight app or patch. Until then, the practical solution for me is to block access to all internet, good and bad, by removing those buttons in the Pixi that can get him there. No buttons, no Internet. And still, allow the rest of the apps that need the internet to function correctly to access it. Makes sense?

    Do you see it differently?
  18. #58  
    Yeahp, I totally understand, sorry for some reason I mistook that you wanted to do it even if it meant a bit of effort. Sorry for the huge tutorial =) hope it helps someone who is seeking what I discovered. I bet you could do the same for app catalog and any other program you want too, I dont know the exact filenames they go by, I believe that information is somewhere on webos internals website. I also, dont know how it would affect the functionality of the phone.

    I would start here:
    do a ls on the directory and see what all applications are insalled.
    then try the ipkg line he listed above on applications you see fit =)

    I hunted around in there for ya and if I had to guess, it looks like app catalog would be:

    GL to ya =)
    Last edited by GenTarkin; 10/10/2010 at 09:12 PM.
  19.    #59  
    Please don't apologize. THANK YOU. I am sure someone else will find your information useful and applicable to them. I am a loan guy, I don't understand 3/4 of what you wrote, that's all. It is not lack of effort on my part, it is knowledge of what I am capable of and what I am not, and choosing to use my limited time wisely, seek advice and take what I can do, and leave out what I know I don't understand. But, again, thank you, your time won't be wasted, it will be useful for someone else, I am sure of it.

    So, GenTarkin, from what UGriffin wrote to remove the Web Browser app, copied it here:

    mount -o remount,rw /
    cd /usr/palm/applications
    ipkg remove
    mount -o remount,ro /

    Should I then replace the 3rd codeline with
    ipkg remove com.palm.apps.findapps

  20. #60  
    Thats what I think would work, but please understand upon removing this application, I dont know if there is any way to get it back without doctoring the device.
    So like I said, its only my guess this is the correct app to remove, I would be more comfortable if someone more knowledgeable about this particular item could confirm if Im correct or not =)
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