March 10th, 2006, 09:53 PM
Process to restrict games on a computer
Talks have been going on in my school among the heads about some sort of application which will be installed via the standard network update system onto every student's computer - and depending on which year they are in denotes how much time they can spend playing games (or if they can play them at all). Note that these are just talks and there are currently no plans to implement this, but it's an idea which is lingering with hostility around the place.
So, I have a few questions. I know that you may not be able to answer them as I cannot give you any more details (because I don't know them), but I'll give it a shot anyway.
Firstly, how would this application know when a game has been started? Possibly an increase in CPU usage, but then running an application like Photoshop would have the same effects so this probably isn't the method the app would use..
Also, let's say I don't have my network cable plugged in, and I start up a game (like Battlefield 2). Presumably, the application would log my access to a game in a log file, which would be somewhere remoteon my filesystem and with an unsuspicious name if the developers know what they're doing. But, if I found this log file then I could just delete the entry - so no information would be sent to their servers. This must be a functionality lapse in the application? Unless there is another way to get around this (like storing the data within the program itself - although I have not had experience with storing data in a Windows app to survive a restart).
My third question is - would HJThis detect this? The process would either be hidden or be 'non-closable' (as I have experienced in the past with Symantec Anti-virus), so my assumption is that it would be seen as malware and be dealt with accordingly? If I had an application like RegistryProt then I could stop any entries being added to the registry, which could corrupt or expose the program. Correct?
And if an entry was created in Add or Remove Programs and I tried uninstalling it, but a password was required (this happened to me with Symantec as well), how would that be resolved?
There are so many things about this proposed application that I do not understand, but I would like to have an inkling of what may happen in the future - I am not one who enjoys being kept in the dark
I am not looking for a way to get around it in the future if it does come into place (I already know of one and I won't be using it), but I'd like to know more about the topic. It sounds too much like malware to me..
And I've heard that the laptops would then be rendered useless for gaming even at home If I could uninstall it at least when I got home, then it wouldn't be so much of a problem - although I do not like my privacy being invaded, not matter where I am.
Again, there are currently no plans to make this active - but I want to discuss the (possible) facts about it to become more aware of the situation.
March 10th, 2006, 10:29 PM
There is one thing that I don't understand about what you are asking there. Are these computers your own or are they on lease from the school? From their idea to force the restrictive software onto you they sound like the school's but from the ability to install pretty much what you like they sound like yours. If they are yours then I would suggest reading everything that they ask you to sign carefully until well after they have implemented it. But if you are realy curious, then why don't you go and talk to the school IT Support people. They will probably be able to tell you what it is and how it works.
If everything looks perfect, then there is something you don\'t know
March 10th, 2006, 10:40 PM
The computers are all ours - but according to the AUP we had to agree to, IIRC it involved not stopping the updates coming in. And I doubt the IT support specialists would help me at all - if they were unwilling to give reasons why they refuse to support Linux on the network, then I doubt they will release information on this..
Plus - I think I can learn more from what the people here have to say than from them
At least here I have a chance of delving deeper into the topic - with one of their superficial responses, I have about as much of a chance as a catfish killing a shark
March 11th, 2006, 01:30 AM
Sorry : but if it's MY laptop, then they do not install anything unless I agree......
if they want to restrict laptops, then they should provide them......
that way you get a school laptop to do the study bit, and a personal laptop to play the good stuff on
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March 11th, 2006, 01:43 AM
Wow, I'm not sure how they would expect to be able to monitor all game usage. I know through Windows WMI service they can monitor processes remotely. But they would need to have some sort of login with rights to view those processes that are running and they'd also have to know what processes to target. Seems like it would be pretty tough to do it from that angle, but I only know a little about WMI.
March 11th, 2006, 03:09 AM
School's and teachers should be concerned about ' grades ' not gaming...as long as a kid has good grades who cares how often he plays games...if the kid has bad grades then restrict his use of the computer in question and supervise his activities until he improves his grade.
To penalize an entire school because a percentage of them are goofing-off is ridiculous...goofing-off is not new...failing grades is not new...we had that before there even was computers...gaming is not responsible for either...restricting gaming will not solve the problem...the problem existed long before the invention of computers or gaming.
March 11th, 2006, 06:22 AM
I'll bet some student started this rumor just to stir up trouble.
It sounds technically difficult, and probably prone to bugs,
and students with any know-how would defeat it anyway.
It will never happen. Everyone would riot.
I came in to the world with nothing. I still have most of it.
March 11th, 2006, 08:55 AM
foxy - Precisely. This would be a BIG pain in the backside, but according to the terms we had to agree to they have the rights to do so (at least on our domain account - not sure about system-wide). But it's not like I could not have accepted their policy - how else would I go on the internet to research?
waytallgel - Thanks. We had to setup alternative accounts for the domain, and we are (according to the guidelines) meant to give it admin rights - so that could be how they would have access to whatever they needed. (They wouldn't have access to my other 'System Debugger' account though )
Eg - Correct, but I think this is part of their ploy to make people work more (like we don't work enough?). By doing this they would be punishing the majority for the faults of the minority which, as you said, is not right.. and I will definitely argue against it if it is confirmed.
rcgreen - Nope, no rumour - I heard it from the heads of house. It seemed quite difficult to do to me, and no doubt there would be ways to get around it. Heck, even if they did decide to do it, you're only a few clicks away from stopping it being installed. There would be a riot though - there was one about fox hunting, so this would cause quite a stir too.
Just wondering if it was possible (they seemed quite confident it could be done, so I was curoius). Thanks for the tips.
March 11th, 2006, 10:21 AM
It was actaully proved recently that games can increase intellegence.
Given the correct game then I think people can learn something from it. Also our world has evolved from when the teachers were at school, they might of gone and messed about in a stream when they were supposed to be work, now kids spend time online and on games, I think both provide vital skills, but one had to consider the way the world is going.
March 11th, 2006, 11:24 AM
I would be fascinated to know what the software is called/who the developers are.
I have seen parental control software that manages the times that a PC and the internet are used, and security software that only allows users on between set times, but nothing that would specifically block games, unless they were online, or on the network.
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