Just in Time for Back to School, Parents Know When Their Latchkey Kids Get Home From School With Iconosys’ New …

LAGUNA NIGUEL, Calif., Aug. 31, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — Today, Iconosys, Inc., a leader in mobile safety communication and life-style Smartphone applications is proud to announce the next in its series of PunkBlocker™ Smartphone Apps.  LatchKey Kid™ notifies parents when their children get home from school with text message to phone or instant messenger service like Skype, Yahoo Instant Messenger, and others.

A 1944 NBC documentary gave the title “Latchkey Kid” to the children that had to return home from school alone while one parent was enlisted in the armed forces and the other had to work to support the family during World War II.  Of course, there have been generations of latchkey kids in the modern era as family survival often requires that children – perhaps as young as 9 or 10 years of age – make their way home from school or otherwise fend for themselves while their parents or parent finish the workday.  This circumstance is well depicted in the much acclaimed movie, “The Changeling” (based on a true story), where a single working mother in late 1920s Los Angeles must trust that her son will return home safely from school, and must deal with the tragic results that follow from his abduction and disappearance.  While these children vary across the age spectrum(1), what they all share is the fact that must fend for themselves, both on the way home from school and at home until their parents come home from work.

While leaving children unsupervised is a risk that millions of parents choose to take each day, usually driven by economic realities that require parents to be away from home earning a living and supporting the household, the problem of unaccompanied children becoming unaccounted for – for short or long stretches of time – remains a series issue, whether the latchkey kid is at home alone or is in unsupervised transit from school to home. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, 797,500 children are reported missing annually, averaging 2,185 reported missing each day.

LatchKey Kid™ is an App that runs on the monitored user’s (child’s) Smartphone, and utilizes the built-in GPS technology and onboard TetherTogether™ technology provided by Iconosys to enable parents, guardians, spouses, and even siblings to track the travel patterns and whereabouts of the monitored child. Iconosys’ LatchKey™ technology takes a step in the right direction to help track, and provide extended security for, children.

LatchKey Kid™ Features:

  • Password protected Settable Point (i.e.: front door, driveway, family members, or other)
  • Settable trigger point perimeter 15-100 Meters (i.e.: front door or front yard)
  • Triggers and sends clickable GPS or physical location when the child crosses Settable Point
  • Set notification intervals once child has reached the trigger point
  • Available on Android OS phones
  • LatchKey Notice compatible with iPhone, Symbian, Windows Phone, Android mobile phones, as well as Skype, Yahoo IM, Google Voice and other SMS Enabled utilities and devices

“I remember being a Latchkey Kid when I was seven or eight years old, in the second grade,” said Wayne Irving II, CEO of Iconosys. “While my parents were pretty vigilant most of the time as to our whereabouts, I remember certain situations where mom and dad had no idea when we made it home, or even if we made it home by the time they had themselves gotten home from work. Since many children nowadays have their cell phones, so why not utilize those devices as beacons to parents, so that they can keep tabs on where their kids are and do not worry whether their child actually arrived home safely.”  

LatchKey Kid™ is added to an already impressive group of Smartphone safety apps protecting children, seniors, and loved-ones, including Guards Up!™, My Max Speed™, DriveReply™ and Trick or Tracker,™ which has been covered on Saturday Night Live’s Weekend Update with Seth Meyers, Good Morning America and The Today Show. See the entire portfolio of Iconosys safety apps at www.iconosys.com.

LatchKey Kid™ is available for free download for back-to-school from the Android Market and Iconosys.com until September 7, after which time it will be available for $1.99.

About Iconosys, Inc.

Iconosys, a member of the National Organization for Youth Safety and the maker of the widely used and well publicized DriveReply™, SMSW!sh™, Trick or Tracker™, and Tell My Geo™ Smartphone apps, is developing technologies and technology driven products for its clients with a goal toward designing apps that enrich, enhance, ultimately make safer, our day to day lives.

Iconosys also develops both client-side and server-side applications that, it believes, will be unique and trendsetting and are designed to fit the time-sensitive, constantly evolving needs of today’s and tomorrow’s consumers.  Iconosys and its client-side app development team are specialists in developing Smartphone and tablet optimized solutions.

See a cross section of some of Iconosys’ catalog of Smart device apps, from your Smartphone browser: http://apps.iconosys.com, and from your computer browser: http://iconosys.com/product.php

(1) Some states do have laws providing guidance for the minimum age at which a child may be left at home unsupervised by an adult; for example, in Georgia the minimum legal age requirement for leaving a child at home unsupervised is 8 years old. (Georgia Department Human Services, 7/2/07)

News pledges new standards at British papers

LONDON: Rupert Murdoch’s scandal-ridden British media company will review journalistic standards across all its mastheads, which include The Times, The Sunday Times and The Sun, News International has said.

The company was forced to close its Sunday tabloid, News of the World, in July after public revulsion following revelations it had hacked the voicemails of a murdered teenager.

News International said its internal review was being carried out with the help of the law firm Linklaters. The review was under the control of the News Corp independent director Viet Dinh and the Murdoch adviser Joel Klein, both of whom have served as US assistant attorneys-general.

In Australia, News Ltd has announced that a review of editorial spending to ensure all money went on ”legitimate” activities will be overseen by two retired judges of the Victorian Supreme Court – Frank Vincent and the head of the bushfires royal commission, Bernard Teague.

The question of when the News heir apparent James Murdoch discovered the practice of hacking was not limited to a single rogue reporter will be re-examined next week when a parliamentary committee grills two former News executives.

James Murdoch told a hearing of the media select committee in July that he had not known of an email marked ”for Neville”. The email contained transcriptions of hacked voicemails of football union chief Gordon Taylor. Mr Murdoch said he did not know of it when he signed a £700,000 ($1.07 million) payout to Mr Taylor.

The email is believed to have been addressed to Neville Thurlbeck, the paper’s investigations editor, apparently implicating him as second reporter who might have known of hacking.

Colin Myler, the former editor of the News of the World, and Tom Crone, the former legal manager for News Group newspapers, challenged Mr Murdoch’s account. Both men are now scheduled to give evidence before the committee on Tuesday.

It will also question News’s former director of legal affairs, Jonathan Chapman, and Daniel Cloke, the company’s former group human resources director.

with Tim Dick and agencies

A.M. Entertainment News Links: ‘Dancing with the Stars’ lineup has list of ailments, issues

david-arquette.JPGDavid Arquette.

The morning’s top entertainment news and links from The Plain Dealer and cleveland.com.

‘Dancing with the Stars’ lineup has list of ailments (ABC News)

The Flaming Lips are working on a six-hour song (MTV News)

DC Comics prepares for a ‘sea-change’ digital moment (USA Today)

Bret Michaels wants Stevie Nicks for next album (Billboard)

Steven Seagal accused of killing a puppy and hundreds of chickens (AV Club)

The Most Wanted Out-of-Print Books in the US (Flavorwire)

Matt Damon and Gwyneth Paltrow meet again, as grown-ups (Los Angeles Times)

Shia LaBeouf’s dummy spit

Shia LeBeouf and date at Los Angeles pop-up night club The Box.

Bad night … Shia LeBeouf and date at Los Angeles pop-up night club The Box.

A night out at the weekend turned nasty when Shia LaBeouf spat water all over Marilyn Manson and tablemates at a nightclub, it has been reported.

The 25-year-old Transformers actor was at Los Angeles nightclub The Box with friends on Friday night. According to an onlooker when LaBeouf arrived to sit at a reserved area with his date he “seemed wasted”.

Manson was among the guests at the table. The party atmosphere quickly turned tense as LaBeouf became increasingly agitated.

“All of a sudden, Shia started shouting at his date and getting visibly angry,” a witness told US celebrity magazine Life Style.

Shouting escalated to action very quickly. LaBeouf allegedly began spitting his drink at people.

“Shia picked up a water bottle and shot a mouthful of water all over his date’s legs,” the eyewitness said.

“Then he put more water in his mouth and started spitting it all over his tablemates, including Marilyn Manson.”

After the outburst the actor attempted to leave the club. He forced his way through a dense crowd.

“Shia had to climb over people and tear himself out of the grasp of various strangers who were trying to keep him from going crazy,” the witness explained.

The actor and his date eventually exited. Manson remained at the table.

“Marilyn looked shocked and annoyed, but stayed seated,” the witness described.

“It was so insane – [Shia] just had a total meltdown right in front of everyone. It was completely out of control. He was so angry and physical.”

LaBeouf’s representatives assure that nothing out of the ordinary occurred that evening. It was just a simple night out for the actor.

“Shia actually left early as planned,” Shia’s representatives told Life Style.

“He went to see one of the bands performing in the showcase and left after they finished. Exiting through a crowded room was apparently misinterpreted. No altercation occurred.”

In 2007 intoxicated LaBeouf was arrested in Chicago for verbally assaulting a security guard at a drugstore. The charges against him were dropped.

CM

twitterFollow LifeStyle on Twitter @Life_Style_News

World News: Irene death toll at 44 as clear-up starts

From North Carolina to Maine, communities cleaned up and took stock of the uneven and hard-to-predict costs of a storm that spared New York City a nightmare scenario, only to batter towns well inland.

Gaddafi loyalists ‘used children as human shields’

LIBYAN troops loyal to Colonel Gaddafi forced civilians to act as human shields, perching children on tanks to deter Nato attacks, human rights investigators said today.

It was part of a pattern of rapes, killings, “disappearances” and other war crimes, said Physicians for Human Rights, which was able to get a team of interviewers into the embattled city of Misrata from June 5-12, just after Libyan rebel forces expelled Gaddafi loyalists.

Interviewing dozens of survivors of the two-month siege, the Boston, Massachusetts-based PHR says it found widespread evidence of crimes against humanity and war crimes, including summary killings, hostage-taking, rapes and beatings.

PHR obtained copies of military orders as evidence Gaddafi ordered his troops to starve civilians in Misrata.

Rape was also “a weapon of war”, Richard Sollom, the lead author of PHR’s report, said. While he said no one had evidence to prove that rape was widespread, the fear of it certainly was.

Gaddafi’s close family has fled Libya as the hunt for the ousted dictator continues.His wife Safiya, daughter Aisha and sons Hannibal and Mohammed arrived in neighbouring Algeria yesterday morning.

Ban calls for nuke-free world
Un secretary general Ban Ki-moon has called for urgent progress to rid the world of nuclear tests and weapons.

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New Website for Veterinarian in Suffolk Takes Animal Hospital Virtual

SUFFOLK, VA–(Marketwire – Aug 30, 2011) – North Suffolk Animal Clinic announces the launch of their new website, http://northsuffolkanimalclinic.com/. With educational materials pertaining to pet care and animals this newly redesigned website offers online veterinary hospital customer service and Internet tools for pet owners in the Chesapeake area. New website features include an online library of pet health information, the ability to request an appointment online, access to ePetRecords, as well as a new veterinary blog feature.

North Suffolk Animal Clinic is a full service veterinary hospital located in Suffolk. The animal vet clinic serves Portsmouth, Newport News, Hampton, Tidewater and Norfolk. The launch of their new website http://northsuffolkanimalclinic.com is the veterinarian‘s latest contribution to helping pet owners become more educated about pet health and wellness. According to clinic veterinarian, Dr. Matt Browning, “We are excited to share our newly refurbished website with pet owners. Pet owners need 24 hour online access to reliable information about pet health, and our website is that resource for them.”

This new website provides pet owners with a selection of textual and video educational materials that deal with a wide range of pet issues. Under Veterinary Resources can be found a series of vetted links to animal information and resources for pet owners interested in learning more about pet health care. Diagnostic Imaging Atlas (DIA) videos are available to help pet owners learn about many of the most common health problems that can affect domestic animals. Under Veterinary Topics can be found Vetopedia, a Video Newsroom and a variety of articles that deal with everything from how to choose the right pet to bringing a pet home for the first time.

The Animal Clinic’s website is also an online portal to ePetRecords. Pet owners can access a copy of a pet’s health record’s using ePetRecords or even request an appointment online. The website also contains information about the clinic’s wellness plans, the history of the hospital, a virtual tour of the animal vet clinic and a variety of links and tabs that describe their services. The virtual tour includes photos and provides pet owners to virtually meet the staff and find out more about the services they offer.

The new website incorporates social networking capabilities including Facebook, a Member’s Topics section and a blog. According to Dr. Browning, the website will be regularly updated so pet owners should check back on a consistent basis. Established in 1968 the animal hospital is one of the oldest businesses in the region. The Churchland Animal Vet Clinic located in Portsmouth, VA was the first location, followed by the North Suffolk office that was established to service the Hampton Roads community in 1998.

The veterinary hospital’s services include: dentistry, dermatology, internal medicine, ophthalmology, boarding, spay and neuter, vaccinations, dental, mobile vet, primary care, surgery, pain management, laboratory, pharmacy and radiology/imaging. The animal hospital also donates to many of the local causes in the community. They describe themselves as: “committed to caring for your companions.” More information about finding a veterinarian in Suffolk or Portsmouth can be found by contacting the North Suffolk Animal Clinic or by visiting them online at http://northsuffolkanimalclinic.com.

Syrian-American acquires stake in As-safir

BEIRUT: A prominent Syrian-American businessman acquired 20 percent of the Arabic language daily newspaper As-safir, a move that would give the paper more leverage to improve and expand its publication.

“It’s true. Twenty percent of our paper has been bought by Jamal Daniel after one year of talks between the two sides,” Talal Salman, the publisher and editor-in-chief of As-safir, told The Daily Star Thursday.

Salman, who founded As-safir 37 years ago, declined to disclose the amount of money paid for the 20 percent stake in the paper.

But some media reports speculated on the sum Daniel injected into As-safir, a newspaper which boasts about its staunch defense of the Palestinian and Arab causes, was in the millions.

Salman insisted that the policy of the newspaper will not change after the acquisition.

“Daniel is an Arab patriot who believes in the Arab causes. He did not put any condition on the newspaper. In the contrary, Daniel is in our same line of political thinking,” the publisher of the newspaper stressed.

But Salman admitted that the financial conditions of most if not all the newspapers and magazines in Lebanon are not sound due to the difficult economic conditions and for this reason most papers are keen to find investors.

Advertising revenues shrunk dramatically few years ago, prompting some publications to either close down or cut expenses.

Experts say that television and Internet news websites have taken their toll on all publications as the number of readers reached an all-time low in the past few years.

As-safir has 150 part-time and full-time employees. It also owns the building which houses the newspaper, its printing press and the Arab Research Center.

Salman said the newspaper is looking for potential investors, provided that there are no political conditions attached to the partnership.

“We seek more investors in the future to enhance the capabilities of the newspaper,” he said.

But the publisher did not comment on whether there are talks with other investors to buy stakes in the paper.

“Daniel loves his home country Syria and has close relations with several parties in that country. His relation with the Syrian government is also good,” Salman said.

The businessman, who also has a Lebanese nationality, is said to have been a close friend of Syria’s Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem when the latter was Syria’s envoy to the U.S.

Daniel was born in Tartous, Syria, and lived there until he was 5 before moving to Lebanon. After completing his high school education in a Jesuit school, Daniel and his family moved to Geneva, Switzerland, where he attended the University of Geneva.

He obtained his BA in Business from Pepperdine University in 1980. Daniel in 1982 graduated with an MBA from the University of Texas in Austin Business School and presently resides in Houston, Texas, where he is president and chairman of Crest Investment Company.

Daniel has 30 years experience managing investments in oil and gas, high technology, manufacturing and real estate. He also founded The Levant Foundation in Houston, Texas, which is a private, non-profit organization committed to the furthering of knowledge about the Levant culture and history in the Middle East as well as the interrelations of the three monotheistic religions: Judaism, Islam and Christianity.

He also has connections with U.S. congressional and senate leaders and some reports suggest that Daniel used his ties in Washington to close the gap between the U.S. administration and Damascus before the outbreak of demonstrations against Syrian President Bashar Assad.

A.M. Entertainment News Links: Dr. Conrad Murray’s lawyers hint they will claim Michael Jackson killed himself

michael-jackson-doctor-conrad-murray.JPGDr. Conrad Murray.

The morning’s top entertainment news and links from The Plain Dealer and cleveland.com.

Dr. Conrad Murray’s lawyers hint they will claim Michael Jackson killed himself (CBS News)

Playboy to resurrect its famous club in Chicago (NPR)

Steven Soderbergh retiring: Director confirms career shift after three films (Huffington Post)

Nevada’s Burning Man festival celebrates 25th year (Reuters)

George Clooney pulls out of ‘The Man from U.N.C.L.E.’ (NME)

Fans line up to get Madden 12 featuring Browns running back Peyton Hillis (News Net 5)

Rhapsody strikes deal with MetroPCS for bundled music (New York Times)

LeeAnn Rimes struts Malibu in a string bikini (Huffington Post)

Publicist plays down reports of LaBeouf’s party tantrum

Guests told Life Style magazine that the actor spat water over his date and rocker Marilyn Manson, who was also at the event at The Box nightclub, and that he appeared to be having “a public meltdown”.

But LaBeouf’s representative Melissa Kates insists there was no incident and the whole thing has been taken out of proportion.

She tells WENN, “Shia actually left early… He went to see one of the bands performing in the showcase and left after they finished.

“Exiting through a crowded room was apparently misinterpreted. No altercation occurred.”

Onlookers had told Life Style that LaBeouf “lunged through the very thick seated crowd, and the crowd pleaded with him and encouraged him to sit down”.

One audience member told the publication, “Shia had to climb over people and tear himself out of the grasp of various strangers who were trying to keep him from going crazy. His date panicked and ran out after him.

“It was so insane. He just had a total meltdown right in front of everyone. It was completely out of control. He was so angry and physical. He was determined to get out of there.”