Content Rating

I would like to put "content rating" tags on all of my web pages. But there seems to be no good system for doing this.

Various online content-rating systems

  • PICS: superseded by POWDER, and very complicated.
    W3C's "Platform for Internet Content Selection (PICS)"
    Gray's "How To Label Your Pages With PICS Meta Tag"

  • POWDER: very complicated, and not yet an approved standard. Has two forms: very complex version POWDER-S, and complex version POWDER.
    W3C's "Protocol for Web Description Resources (POWDER)"
    Relevant example (ICRA)"

  • ICRA RDF: looks complicated. Used to be a "label generator" web form to generate tags, but ICRA says it's discontinued.
    w3's "RDF Content Labels: Use Cases"

  • <meta name="rating" content="value">: not widely used, limited definition.
    "Value" is one of: general, mature, restricted, 14 years, safe for kids.
    From "Meta Tags Explained" by Jerry West:
    "There is not a set form of this tag, nor is there any official statement from the W3C. Some sites recommend using this tag. However, these recommendations have no basis in fact as the governing body of HTML has no reference to it. According to our testing, this tag has no merit."

  • <meta name="robots" content="rating">: supposedly means "page has adult content".

  • Voluntary Content Rating (VCR): not widely used, maybe limited to one vendor, very limited definition.
    <meta name="voluntary content rating" content="rating" />
    "Rating" is one of: mature, adult.
    Wikipedia's "Voluntary Content Rating"

  • What I want:
    <meta name="content rating" content="ratingstring" />
    where "ratingstring" specifies levels of violence, nudity, sex, gore, badlanguage, etc in 0-10 levels. For example:
    <meta name="content rating" content="violence:0;nudity:5;sex:0;gore:0" />
    Then in the browser and search engine and other clients, each user could select the levels they will tolerate.

    As a webmaster, I'd like a tool that scans all of my web pages and suggests ratings for each, and generates the corresponding tags. Then I can tweak the settings to fix anything the tool got wrong.

Various off-line content-rating systems


Some people want a "Google Kids"

They want a search engine or rating service that will provide only content safe for kids.

That is completely the wrong strategy. There is no one definition of a "kid" or what is appropriate for a "kid". No corporation or product or government should make choices for you, the parent. And many adults could use content-rating to improve their own internet experiences.

Instead, YOU should be the one who decides what is appropriate for each of your kids and for yourself. The web pages and search engines and browsers should give you info and tools to enable this. Web pages and rating services should tell you "this web page contains X amount of violence and Y amount of nudity". YOU should choose, in your kid's browser and search engine, that "this user is allowed to see M amount of violence and N amount of nudity".

Microsoft Windows

Why is there no way to report Windows bugs to Microsoft ? There is an automatic mechanism for reporting system and application crashes, but no way to report feature bugs or suggest tweaks to features. I guess they want you to pay for support before they'll let you report bugs.

New features I want in Windows

  • One button to push to check for updates to all drivers.

  • Some common application-update mechanism. If not one button to push to update all applications, at least one button to poll all applications to see which have updates available. This should work for all applications, not just Microsoft applications.

  • Ability to restrict disk access and application access for an account, even in Windows Home. I want to set up a honey-trap account (for the Prey Project) which can not run Windows Explorer or Internet Explorer or any other application, and can not access various folders on disk.

  • Better UI for connecting to a flaky Wi-Fi signal. A "Retry" button in the "Connect to a Network / Windows was unable to connect to (NETNAME)" dialog would be a start.

  • A "What the heck did I just do ?" feature. Sometimes your finger slips while clicking or dragging, and something happens in a flash, and you don't know what it was. You want to know what you just did, so you can undo it. You may not know what application you did it in, or it may cross applications, or be on the desktop or tray, or maybe you launched an application, or clicked OK in a dialog. A system-wide list of the last few things you did, with ability to undo them, would be great.

  • A "What system updates did I do ?" feature. Not just Windows Updates, but also application installs and uninstalls, and changes to driver and Service settings. When the system starts having some error, I want to look back and see what changes I made recently.


Appliances for Senior Citizens

[Not really "computer" issues. Things I'd like to get for my vision-impaired elderly Mom.]

Senior-friendly phone and answering machine

  • Separate phone and answering machine; combining them is too confusing.

  • Simple phone with NO extra features; just pick up to answer, pick up and dial to originate a call. Big number buttons, and NO feature buttons. No screen, no menus. Cordless (handset and base station). Not a cellphone. Maybe a volume-control on the base station.

    Cellphone with interesting features:

  • Simple answering machine with ONLY three visible controls: LED displaying number of messages, big "Play" button, and a big "Delete" button. That's it. Hidden underneath: a big "Record Outgoing Message" button.


The only quantum computing article that's made any sense to me
"The Map of Quantum Computing" (video)

Andrew Hudson's "The IBM mainframe: How it runs and why it survives"
Here's What Happens When an 18 Year Old Buys a Mainframe (video)

Phil Agre's "How to help someone use a computer"

Being a moderator on reddit

comments section is a hive of scum and villainy

There are two ways to require better (more informative) titles on posts in your sub: prevent bad title before posting, or remove post after posting. I prefer the former. Pick one:

Enforce rules about post titles in your sub, BEFORE a post is created:
In your moderator account:
  1. Go to NEW reddit, not old reddit.
  2. Go to
  3. If there is no page already, create a new page in the Wiki, content of "test" is enough. This activates the automoderator (AutoModerator).
  4. Go to your sub.
  5. In the upper-right, click on "Mod Tools ...".
  6. In the left sidebar, click on "Content Controls".
  7. Scroll down to "Advanced post requirements".
  8. Enable "Use title text RegEx requirements".
  9. Click on "Add regex".
  10. Enter a single-line regex (see below) in the field.
  11. Click on "Save Changes".
  12. [Later you could edit the existing regex in place and click "Save Changes" again, no need to delete it and then add modified one.]
  13. In the sidebar, click on "Rules and Removal Reasons".
  14. Add a rule explaining the title requirements. I added rule "Must use good titles on posts" for posts only with reason "Title is too vague or uninformative" and full description "Post title must contain at least 2 specific, informative words. For example, 'Please help me' is not valid; 'Crashes on XXX' is valid.". Click on "Add new rule" button.
In a non-moderator account:
  1. Go to your sub.
  2. Click on "Create Post".
  3. Try titles that are valid/invalid according to your regex. In new reddit, tabbing from title to body field is enough to get the regex executed, and you will/won't see a red message "Your title does not meet the requirements for this community. See the rules for more details.". On old reddit, you have to click the "Submit" button, and then you will/won't see the red message.
A (single-line) regex (thanks to /u/001Guy001) that requires at least two "non-noise" words:

((?i:\b(?!(I|need|want|can|could|you|u|ve|have|got|an?|urgent|now|problem|issue|error|(?#Help)h+[ea]*l+p+|me|(?#Please)pl+(ease|[sz]+)|(?#Thanks)T+h*a*n*(k+((y+o+)?u+)?s*|x+|y+[sv]*m*)|in advanced?)\b)\w+\b.*)){2}

I modified it (still single-line) to be more appropriate for technical subs:

((?i:\b(?!(YOURSUBORPRODUCTNAME|I|need|want|can|could|you|u|ve|they|my|have|got|an?|(?#Urgent)urgent|asap|now|soon|(?#Problem)problem|issue|error|question|with|about|something|went|wrong|this|that|which|(?#Fix)what|should|do|steps|fix|how|to|lol|lmfao|noob|newbie|n00b|(?#Help)h+[ea]*l+p+|me|(?#Please)pl+(ease|[sz]+)|hello|friends|the|(?#Thanks)T+h*a*n*(k+((y+o+)?u+)?s*|x+|y+[sv]*m*)|in advanced?)\b)\w+\b.*)){2}

I'm not sure if full regex flexibility is available; there may be some restrictions on ordering of words that start with the same letters ? Test your regex !

A sub that uses this now (so you could try it if you wish): /r/OpenSnitch

Content Controls
Automod Regex's

Note: the rule does not get enforced against moderators of the sub.

Enforce rules about post titles, removing a post AFTER users can see it:
An automod rule (thanks to /u/001Guy001) that requires at least two "non-noise" words:

type: submission
~title (regex): '(\b(?!(I|need|want|can|could|you|u|ve|have|got|an?|urgent|now|problem|issue|error|(?#Help)h+[ea]*l+p+|me|(?#Please)pl+(ease|[sz]+)|(?#Thanks)T+h*a*n*(k+((y+o+)?u+)?s*|x+|y+[sv]*m*)|in advanced?)\b)\w+\b.*){2}' # the title doesn't contain at least 2 words that aren't listed here
message: |
    Removal explanation goes here
action: remove
action_reason: "Generic title" # This reason is visible only to mods. It appears in the mod log and on the content itself (the placement changes based on the platform you use).

Content Controls
Automod Regex's

windows, apple