Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Making a Child Locating System

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 5 years ago | from the just-contact-a-local-fish-and-wildlife-officer-for-radio-tagging dept.

Hardware Hacking 1092

celtic_hackr writes "Well, I never thought I'd be an advocate for placing GPS devices on people. However, since it took less than three days for my local school district to misplace my daughter, I have decided that something needs to be done. By the school district's own admission it has a recurring problem of placing children on the wrong buses. Fortunately, my daughter was located, with no thanks to the local school district. Therefore, I would like input on a way to be able to keep track of my child. I know there are personal tracking devices out there. I have nothing against these systems. But I want more than this. My specification are: 1) a small unobtrusive device I can place on my daughter, 2) an application to pull up on any computer, a map with a dot indicating the real-time position of my child, 3) a handheld device with the equivalent information, 4) [optional] a secure web application/plug-in I can install on my own domain allowing me to track her from anyplace in the world, 5) a means of turning it all off, 6) a Linux based solution of the above. I believe all the pieces for making such a system are out there. Has anyone built anything like this? Is there an open source solution? How would I go about building my own? Has anyone hacked any of these personal trackers before, to serve their own purposes? How does a tinfoil hat wearer engineer such a device to make sure Big-Brother isn't watching too? Can these devices be locked down so only certain devices can pick up the GPS location of an individual locator? What other recommendations do you have?"

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Holy Crap! Calm down (5, Insightful)

FredFredrickson (1177871) | more than 5 years ago | (#28170773)

Holy crap- you are, what we in the biz call, an over-reacting parent. Calm down and take it easy before you destroy your daughter's life.

That being said- verizon has an application for cell phones that lets you track your children- it's on get it now. I'm sure other carriers have something similar.

Re:Holy Crap! Calm down (5, Insightful)

tekiegreg (674773) | more than 5 years ago | (#28170817)

Duh-boy, cue debates on how much surveillance for your child is really necessary.

I'd say just let him be a parent and decide what's necessary. He knows his daughter better than we all do.

Re:Holy Crap! Calm down (-1, Flamebait)

asdfwerasd (1567189) | more than 5 years ago | (#28170851)

Linux just isn't ready for the child locating system yet. It may be ready for the web servers that you nerds use to distribute your TRON fanzines and personal Dungeons and Dragons web-sights across the world wide web, but the average computer user isn't going to spend months learning how to use a CLI and then hours compiling packages so that they can get a workable graphic interface to check where their children are located, especially not when they already have a Windows machine that does its job perfectly well and is backed by a major corporation, as opposed to Linux which is only supported by a few unemployed nerds living in their mother's basement somewhere. The last thing I want is a level 5 dwarf (haha) providing me my OS.

Re:Holy Crap! Calm down (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28170893)

Your comment isn't relevant.

Re:Holy Crap! Calm down (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28171007)

Lol status: Loled

Re:Holy Crap! Calm down (0, Offtopic)

The Yuckinator (898499) | more than 5 years ago | (#28171051)

Funny, I learned to start using Linux in an afternoon. While drinking. --Enough to get started anyway. I had my first Samba server up and running perfectly (compiled from source) that *same* afternoon and Apache was running the next day. I'm sure that it didn't hurt that I was already used to a Unix-style command line from high school and I used Dos on a regular basis on my PC at the time, but I'd never touched Linux before.

I know I shouldn't have answered you, but when you start throwing in all the extra stereotype "nerd" garbage you really sound like a fucking lunatic who clearly hasn't got the slightest clue of what he's talking about. I suppose you're just a shill.

Re:Holy Crap! Calm down (-1, Offtopic)

spiffydudex (1458363) | more than 5 years ago | (#28171107)

mod +1 Funny

Re:Holy Crap! Calm down (2, Informative)

ammit (1485755) | more than 5 years ago | (#28170943)

You only have to read about the Mcanns case to realise this definitely is not over-reacting.

Re:Holy Crap! Calm down (4, Informative)

harryandthehenderson (1559721) | more than 5 years ago | (#28170993)

Except in the McCann's case the parents willfully left their children all alone in an unlocked apartment room so they could go out with their friends. Their child was kidnapped out of their own bad parenting and selfishness. That's hardly an analogous situation to the one described in the summary.

Re:Holy Crap! Calm down (4, Insightful)

Etrias (1121031) | more than 5 years ago | (#28171073)

Because we should all live our lives in fear and worry, right?

I'm not trying to make light of that situation, but I picked up the phrase "fear fuels the economy" from somewhere and if you look around, it does. Watch the news? How many times are they telling you about something dangerous or about how so-and-so is horrible and bad for you. For every fear, there's a market to be sold to. Yes, bad things happen, but in terms of history, we are living in one of the most safest times ever.

Re:Holy Crap! Calm down (-1, Redundant)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 5 years ago | (#28170857)

you are, what we in the biz call

And what business is that? The child location system business? Because if so I would think you would call him something else: paycheck.

Judging by how long it takes my GPS time to find enough signals to situate itself, I'm kind of afraid this is going to be standard for middle to upper class families and it's only going to get harder for me to figure out where I am when I'm lost. Maybe because some helicopter parent is F5-ing the hell out of their browser on their child sitting in class? Oh well, just means more demand for more GPS satellites.

Errr, what? (5, Informative)

whiledo (1515553) | more than 5 years ago | (#28170957)

Was this supposed to be some sort of abstract attempt at humor? Your GPS device does not send data back to the satellites. It's just a passive receiver. It doesn't matter one bit how many other people have GPSes. Might as well claim you're getting poor FM radio reception due to too many people listening to their stereos.

You would have had a point if you talked about your MOBILE not getting a signal or something due to devices that use that network had you said that.

Re:Errr, what? (1)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 5 years ago | (#28171039)

Was this supposed to be some sort of abstract attempt at humor?

Nope, not at all, merely just misinformed. I was under the impression that they worked by acquiring signals and then periodically requesting information. I had thought there was a limited number of receivers a single satellite could service at a time to update their data about how far they were from that satellite and triangulate their point on the map. Didn't know they were completely passive units. My mistake! Sure does take forever for my receiver to get signals in heavier traffic areas--must just be a poor receiver!

Re:Holy Crap! Calm down (1)

MadnessASAP (1052274) | more than 5 years ago | (#28170999)

A GOS receiver is as the title imples a receiving only device it does not transmit any data to the GPS satelite or anywhere else for that matter, therefore an increase in the number of GPS receivers certainly does not place any additional load on the GPS satellites.

Re:Holy Crap! Calm down (4, Funny)

Etrias (1121031) | more than 5 years ago | (#28170889)

Won't somebody think of the children!

Y'know, I got lost all the time as a kid. I threatened to run away and I think my parents reaction was "go ahead". It's almost as if they didn't want me around.

....uhmmm.

Hang on, I have a phone call to make.

Re:Holy Crap! Calm down (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28170929)

Fred you obviously didn't read the mans requirements!

Math is hard

Re:Holy Crap! Calm down (2, Insightful)

TinBromide (921574) | more than 5 years ago | (#28170955)

Here's the idea: A pay as you go phone. Pay for a small amount of minutes that you put in her backpack and keep the phone off. Make sure it is off and nobody knows about it (Don't want it stolen or confiscated). Then, when she gets "misplaced", she can call you or somebody she knows.

Re:Holy Crap! Calm down (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28170973)

you're assuming the guy in the article is honestly trying to track his daughter. one of the clients i work for is a bettered womens advocacy group and shelter. they have horror stories all the time of guys who do the same thing to their wives, ex wives girlfriends etc. its easy enough to rig a cellphone thats GPS enabled to create a tracking device and discreet survailence tool. if you ask me, the whole thing is shady. perhaps its my paranoia light flashing because of my client, i can understand your concern, but 10s of thousands, nay 10s of millions of kids make it thought the school system every year without their parents needing to freak out like that.

Re:Holy Crap! Calm down (5, Insightful)

blueZ3 (744446) | more than 5 years ago | (#28170981)

This isn't mean to be a flame, because as a fellow parent (of toddlers, no less) I understand that it can be an extremely stressful and fear-inducing thing to lose track of your child. But I agree with the parent: get some perspective on things by waiting for a bit before subjecting your daughter to Big-Brother-like monitoring.

Not only do I think you are overreacting, you are sending the wrong message to your school-age daughter. She doesn't need 24-7 tracking, she needs lessons in dealing with unexpected situations. Instead of jumping directly to an electronic device, teach her what to do if she gets lost... the same strategy that's been used successfully by parents for many, many years: find a "safe" adult (police officer, female adult with kids) and tell them that she's lost. If she's old enough to attend school, she's old enough to learn her phone number and address.

Besides, if she's anything like most kids, anything you "attach" to her (short of a steel shackle) she is going to remove and leave behind or lose. :-)

Again, I understand your reaction (on one level) but I think you're overreacting.

Cell phone (4, Insightful)

Spazztastic (814296) | more than 5 years ago | (#28170779)

Buy your daughter a cellphone and have her use Google Latitude? Set up speed dial to call you, your wife, etc.? Just kicking ideas around...

Re:Cell phone (2, Insightful)

vix86 (592763) | more than 5 years ago | (#28170891)

Exactly. You don't even need Google Latitude. Just get her a small cheap phone and teach her how to use it. If she gets lost due to the school or her own demise, she can call and say where she is.

It seems more beneficial to a child to be able to learn how to read street signs and give directions to themselves, instead of relying on technology and parents to find them.

Re:Cell phone (5, Funny)

Thornburg (264444) | more than 5 years ago | (#28171013)

Just get her a small cheap phone and teach her how to use it. If she gets lost due to the school or her own demise, she can call and say where she is.

Wow, which carriers have coverage in Purgatory?

Re:Cell phone (5, Funny)

Minwee (522556) | more than 5 years ago | (#28171033)

If she gets lost due to the school or her own demise, she can call and say where she is.

I don't think that word means what you think it means.

Either that or your phone company has a much better roaming agreement than mine does.

Re:Cell phone (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28171091)

But the support is hell. Helldesk operators...

Re:Cell phone (1)

coolgrafix (526099) | more than 5 years ago | (#28170897)

I don't think the OP mentioned a power supply criteria, but the cellphone solutions mentioned here all require a frequently-charged battery. What low-power options exist?

Re:Cell phone (1)

gnasher719 (869701) | more than 5 years ago | (#28170971)

I don't think the OP mentioned a power supply criteria, but the cellphone solutions mentioned here all require a frequently-charged battery. What low-power options exist?

A cellphone that is only turned on for emergency calls. The phone in the glove compartment of my car works easily for three months, probably more, without a charge. Of course that is because I only turn it on when I want to make a call. But if they child only uses the phone when the teachers put her on the wrong bus, the battery should last quite long.

Re:Cell phone (1)

filesiteguy (695431) | more than 5 years ago | (#28170953)

I tend to agree. Cheap insurance. You can even get a pre-paid plan so that said daughter isn't spending way too many hours talking to girlfriends. I have a buddy who utilizes the cell phone for his (17YO) daughter. He's had occasion to need to locate her after she's driven off with friends.

"You are at the store with Denise? Then how come your cell phone puts you across town near Roger's house?"

Re:Cell phone (1)

Spazztastic (814296) | more than 5 years ago | (#28171061)

I doubt even chatting with her friends will be a problem. Judging by the original poster, she sounds rather young, before the chatting with your friends into the evening type.

Re:Cell phone (1)

Xanthvar (1046980) | more than 5 years ago | (#28171097)

This is probably your most feasible solution. A cell phone is going to be able to accomplish most of these items, without being a giant brick.

Sprint ( I do not work for them, but do use them), has a service that works like this:
http://www.nextel.com/en/services/gps/family_locator.shtml [nextel.com]

And I am sure that others do as well. I think the one saving grace about this, is that it sends a text message when it "locates" a person, so they know, that you know, where they are.

I am probably going to start using a service like this once my son gets older, just because of the peace of mind of "yes, I do know where my kid is at 2 in the morning".

The thing that I am having issues with is:

A. What age to I get it for him?

B. Will this conflict with school policy? Ideally, the phone will be in silent mode during the school day, and my son will have enough discipline to not get himself in trouble with it, and have it confiscated as a result.

Good luck

Overprotective git (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28170793)

Submitter: you are a moron. Your daughter will grow up to have unhealthy relationships with men because she will be incapable of loving any man other than yourself.

She will eventually tire of her love-hate relationship with you and become a lesbian out of spite.

WILL SOMEBODY PLEASE THINK OF THE CHILDREN?!

Re:Overprotective git (1)

bigjuantehfurby (1124307) | more than 5 years ago | (#28171139)

I'll be in my bunk.

Easiest solution is to go with Lojack (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28170797)

Police and insurance companies are familiar with the operation of these units. And a few brackets will easily and securely mount the unit to your daughter's undercarriage.

Re:Easiest solution is to go with Lojack (1)

Itninja (937614) | more than 5 years ago | (#28171055)

But the GPS needs a view of the sky to get a consistent signal. Best place to discreetly mount would be inside the car, near the rear window.

Lojack for Kids (-1, Troll)

Cornwallis (1188489) | more than 5 years ago | (#28170815)

1. Take her to the doctor and have an implant embedded in her skull. 2. Go whining to the school board & city council that they should raise taxes to fund a monitoring system for the entire city so youy cna keep track of your precious.

FWIW, searching Google for "subcutaneous GPS"... (3, Funny)

kclittle (625128) | more than 5 years ago | (#28170831)

... yields 36,9000 hits.

Great online service (5, Funny)

PIPBoy3000 (619296) | more than 5 years ago | (#28170835)

This one [themobiletracker.com] seemed to work pretty well at finding my wife, anyway.

Re:Great online service (-1, Troll)

Farmer Tim (530755) | more than 5 years ago | (#28171035)

Just as well you didn't find her using this online service [milfrealm.com] ...

Buy her a cellphone (5, Interesting)

shitzu (931108) | more than 5 years ago | (#28170837)

At least in my country (Estonia) you can track any GSM cellphone's (belonging to you) location from the provider's webpage or similar.

Placing children on the wrong bus? (5, Insightful)

rob1980 (941751) | more than 5 years ago | (#28170839)

When I was in middle school they gave all the kids a laminated bus pass with the bus number in big block type, and had the bus numbers spray painted on the sidewalk so everyone who had to ride the bus knew exactly where to line up. Nobody ever got on the wrong bus because nobody ever got in the wrong line. So why is this a recurring problem for your daughter's school district?

I say make them fix the problem instead of forcing you to shell out money to cover it up for them.

Re:Placing children on the wrong bus? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28170969)

This is the first sane answer I've seen. Part of growing up is being able to make decisions on your own without a helicopter parent trying to save you with some whiz-bang technology. Kids aren't little adults, but they aren't inanimate objects either. I think it's definitely possible to teach a kid how to get on the right bus themselves.

Re:Placing children on the wrong bus? (2, Funny)

dedazo (737510) | more than 5 years ago | (#28170975)

Bah, when I was a kid they painted the bus number and route with magic marker on our foreheads. No one ever got on the wrong bus. Ever.

Re:Placing children on the wrong bus? (2, Informative)

DaveV1.0 (203135) | more than 5 years ago | (#28171105)

From the time I was in grade school until I started driving, I and all my bus-riding classmates had to remember our bus number. No "bus passes", no boarding stations, etc. We would get out of class, go out to where the buses were, find the bus, and get on it.

Outsource the Problem (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28170841)

1. Hack an iPhone or other smart phone to act as a torrent server over 3G
2. Fill the drive with Metallica tracks
3. Duct tape the phone to your daughter
4. If you need to know where she is, just ask the RIIA

here, lmgtfy (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28170843)

http://lmgtfy.com/?q=child+gps

Drive her (2, Insightful)

MBCook (132727) | more than 5 years ago | (#28170855)

Why not just drive her to and from school yourself? That would provide additional time with your daughter as well.

You wouldn't have to trust the school to not lose her on the bus system

You don't need a subcutaneous lo-jack.

Re:Drive her (5, Insightful)

starglider29a (719559) | more than 5 years ago | (#28171003)

True. Why use a public, already-funded, low MPG-per-rider system when EACH parent can drive their SUVs to drop the kids off? In fact, why don't you just home-school your child and save lots of resources. And if you all buy hybrids, you can save the auto industry.

I hope I broke the needle on your sarcasm meter.

Re:Drive her (5, Insightful)

that IT girl (864406) | more than 5 years ago | (#28171019)

You do realize this is impossible for an increasing percentage of the population, right? Hence the existence of buses to begin with.

Re:Drive her (1)

nmrtian (984245) | more than 5 years ago | (#28171075)

Ah yes, contribute to the swirling mass of minivans in front of the school. The daughter will more likely squashed than lost!

GPS + SMS. (4, Insightful)

0100010001010011 (652467) | more than 5 years ago | (#28170861)

You probably don't want it continually transmitting. Easiest way would be to it respond to a 'ping'. http://www.mightygps.com/smsgps.htm [mightygps.com] looks to fit the bill perfectly. There are probably cheaper Chinese clones. [chinavasion.com]

Get it a SIM card and you'll be able to track her anywhere there's AT&T Signal (so you're equally fucked anyway). Google Maps API kicks ass. It's not hard to write some code to take that SMS and turn it into a dot on a map.
-
However I agree with the other posters. Your kid's fine. How many kids have they PERMANENTLY lost? So the kid gets on the wrong bus. Teach your daughter English and she should be able to find out where she is at any time.

Reminds me of the mother who caught a ton of flack for letting her young son find his own way home (he asked to) from a big store in NYC.

The people that want to rape and molest your daughter statistically are yourself or one of your brothers(-in-law)

My 6 Cents worth (1)

arizwebfoot (1228544) | more than 5 years ago | (#28170865)

Having two daughters my self - the last one graduating from HS this Friday, I understand the OP's concern, especially if the child is still in Grade School. The Cell phone with GPS is your best bet, unless the school is banning cell phones (which my daughter's school tried to do). Another option is car pooling where a parent picks up several kids at once and then the next parent the next day - etc. Put your tin foil hat away, or your daughter will begin to see boogey men around every corner.

Whoa.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28170869)

Your attitude is extremely unhealthy for your child, honestly.

However, most of the major carriers have child oriented cell phones that can be located in an emergency. Most of them will also allow the child to call you or 911, and be restricted otherwise. Real time monitoring is going to be pricey, however, and somewhat psychotic.

Not to mention, you would need to put a live transmitter on your kid.. Personally, I don't want to expose my child to 24/7 RF.

Simple Solution (5, Insightful)

Dr. Evil (3501) | more than 5 years ago | (#28170871)

Teach them their phone number and give them a bracelet or something with their address on it.

You should also probably stop watching television. Give up on the news especially. It's just scare mongering crap.

Oh and watch Finding Nemo. It's got some lesson in there about being an overprotective parent.

Re:Simple Solution (1)

adnd74 (1022357) | more than 5 years ago | (#28171015)

the message I got from Finding Nemo was that sometimes overprotective parenting pays off...

Re:Simple Solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28171141)

The message I got from Finding Nemo is that we should all eat more fish to prevent them making a sequel.

Re:Simple Solution (1)

Minwee (522556) | more than 5 years ago | (#28171079)

Oh and watch Finding Nemo. It's got some lesson in there about being an overprotective parent.

Is that lesson that you and all but one of your children are going to die within the first five minutes of the film no matter what you do?

Or have you been watching different Disney films than I have?

Do you really want to do this? (1)

Albanach (527650) | more than 5 years ago | (#28170881)

You could make something with a smartphone I'm sure. The problems I see with that are, firstly that GPS wants line of sight to the satellites so the phone has to be obvious and secondly smartphones are desireable and expensive. Your child may now become a target for thieves.

You could hide the phone, or use a small computer like a nokia n series and use a small bluetooth GPS unit. It could be placed unobtrusively on top of a backpack with the phone/computer inside. Trouble is the battery life on my bluetooth GPS is only a few hours. Much less than a school day. Your daughter probably doesn't want to be lugging a big battery pack around all day.

Why not buy your daughter a cheap cell phone on a pay as you go plan and show her how to answer it. Next time you don't know where she is, you can call and ask her?

I'm curious though. Were you ever out as a child and your parents didn't know exactly where you were?

Young parent? First kid off to school? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28170883)

FP has it right. Calm down.

I pity the poor boy who brings her home 15 minutes late from a date 12+ years from now.

Get a car-tracker (1)

cycler (31440) | more than 5 years ago | (#28170885)

Not sure about size and power though.

Anyways, a SMS to the phone will let it reply with it's position. Wouldn't be hard to get this into Google Maps or something similar.

/C

You're solving the wrong problem (5, Insightful)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 5 years ago | (#28170887)

However, since it took less than three days for my local school district to misplace my daughter, I have decided that something needs to be done. By the school district's own admission it is a recurring problem of placing children on the wrong buses. Fortunately, my daughter was located, with no thanks to the local school district.

The problem isn't that you don't have a tracking device for your daughter. The problem is that your local school district isn't doing its job correctly and regularly putting kids on the wrong bus. Instead of posting on Slashdot for a technical solution, a far better solution would be a call to your local news organizations about how the school district is getting kids lost on their bus system and admits to doing that regularly. Raise a stink at school board meetings, PTA meetings, and so forth. Get other parents involved. You're talking about a school district's incompetence endangering not only your own child but all the children in the district.

Pretend, for instance, that you get a perfect tracking device for your daughter. That sorta solves your problem, in that you can go and pick up your daughter from wherever she was left, but doesn't solve your neighbor's problem, and doesn't solve the problem of what happens to your daughter when she's standing around in a strange neighborhood.

Re:You're solving the wrong problem (5, Funny)

canajin56 (660655) | more than 5 years ago | (#28170961)

a far better solution would be a call to your local news organizations about how the school district is getting kids lost on their bus system and admits to doing that regularly. Raise a stink at school board meetings, PTA meetings, and so forth. Get other parents involved. You're talking about a school district's incompetence endangering not only your own child but all the children in the district.

Two problems with this. First, it's a lot of work. Second, he wanted a solution that runs on Linux.

Re:You're solving the wrong problem (2, Insightful)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 5 years ago | (#28171065)

My point (which a lot of other posters are making) is that OP's biggest mistake is thinking that the correct thing to do here is come up with a technical solution to figuring out where his daughter is. It's one of those instances where the engineer's "find a technical solution" instincts are not what's really needed: what's really needed is working the levers of politics to make the school district do their friggin' jobs.

Re:You're solving the wrong problem (1)

DaveV1.0 (203135) | more than 5 years ago | (#28171017)

But, but, that might actually solve the problem for everyone! We can't have that. Besides, he wouldn't get to play with his computers.

This is why Home Schooling is better (2, Insightful)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | more than 5 years ago | (#28170895)

I have an easy solution, take your child out of the care of these incompetents and educate her yourself.
This is not entirely facetious. If the school can't even pay enough attention to your child to make sure that she gets on the correct bus, what makes you think they are paying enough attention to make sure that she is learning anything?

Re:This is why Home Schooling is better (3, Funny)

91degrees (207121) | more than 5 years ago | (#28170935)

Well, she's probably learning independence.

Wrong Solution (4, Insightful)

causality (777677) | more than 5 years ago | (#28170899)

If this question came up a generation ago, before GPS trackers and similar devices were available, you would be looking for ways to better plan school events and to hold the schoolteachers and other school staff accountable for these kinds of mishaps. I think that's the right way to deal with this, though it's not the easy band-aid solution that installing a tracking device would be. In other words, the technological development of a wrong solution doesn't change what the right solution was all along.

I just don't believe in this widespread approach of dealing only with the symptoms of problems. I might consider it (though wouldn't like it one bit) if it were a material object, but the fact that this is a human being should be all the more reason to address the actual problem. The irresponsibility of the school system and the fact that it has taken its obligations lightly is the actual core problem here. A tracking device only provides an incentive for letting them off the hook when they should have to answer for their failures. Yes, that would be much harder to arrange and would probably require political pressure from other like-minded parents, but it would be so much more worthwhile in the end.

put a chip in her (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28170905)

Anyone who finds her can scan her and then send her home. An entrepreneurial person can scan her and know where to send the ransom note and where to also send the pieces afterwards.

Or you can just give your kid a fucking cellphone with a GPS in it.

It's amazing really (4, Insightful)

0racle (667029) | more than 5 years ago | (#28170909)

It's really amazing how any of us, and humanity in general, ever lived past their 10th birthday without all the 'safety' gear that is available now. What a truly wonderful time to be alive, we now finally have the tools to live on past childhood.

These are already commercially available. (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 5 years ago | (#28170917)

I suggest you spend some time on Google or eBay.

Here we go again... (1)

SebaSOFT (859957) | more than 5 years ago | (#28170919)

and what about trowing such device in the back side of a truck and track your wife while is "going shopping"?

privacy concern people...

Neural network... (5, Funny)

n3umh (876572) | more than 5 years ago | (#28170921)

All you need to do is devise a complex computer with some decision making abilities and program it with information with destination coordinates in case it gets lost.

Program it to recognize a local authority figure like a policeman or teacher and provide them with the destination information so that they can help it find home.

I suspect the most effective hardware platform for such an application is some sort of fairly high-functioning biological organism.

Ditch the school district . . . (1)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | more than 5 years ago | (#28170923)

So you have a high tech way of locating your daughter. Do you feel like going on a wild goose chase for here once a week?

Forget the high tech, change your school, that's where the problem is.

Android is the anwer! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28170925)

Hey there,

buy an android based phone and install the application " BuddyMob" .
It geolocates your position realtime on google maps (and allso your buddies that have the same app offcourse).

Here's the best solution (1)

Microsift (223381) | more than 5 years ago | (#28170937)

Have conjoined twins, they'll be difficult for a kidnapper to conceal, and nearly everyone will know who their parents are due to rampant media coverage of every detail of their lives. Of course, there are downsides...

Two Words: Disney Phone (1)

icebike (68054) | more than 5 years ago | (#28170945)

Go get her a Disney cell phone. Parental managed GPS tracking from the web, call limiting, (you can lock it down to only being able to call home).

Google that.

Homeschool (1)

robkeeney (1061032) | more than 5 years ago | (#28170965)

Your child will not be misplaced again...

Childtracker (1)

tivoKlr (659818) | more than 5 years ago | (#28170967)

Didn't the creators of SouthPark come up with a device that is strikingly similar to your request? "Childtracker" [wikipedia.org] is an unobtrusive child GPS tracking system that fits conveniently on the child's head.

Maybe they'll sell you one.

BTW, as a parent (I know, a slashdot reader that HAS had sex) I understand your frustration with your school district...

Here's My Answer: (0, Flamebait)

dcollins (135727) | more than 5 years ago | (#28170977)

STFU

SPOT personal tracker (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28170979)

Try googling for "SPOT personal tracker". It may be what you need.

Make your kid memorize your cell phone number. (1)

Above (100351) | more than 5 years ago | (#28170987)

If she's old enough to ride a bus, she's old enough to remember a cell phone number and ask a responsible adult to call you when she's in the wrong place.

Teach her to take responsibility for herself, it will serve her better in the long run.

please don't (1)

scapermoya (769847) | more than 5 years ago | (#28170989)

this is only slightly removed from one of those horrible child leashes. No child needs GPS tracking.

if you are that worried about your child's safety, move to a nicer neighborhood. you'll make up the cost difference with years of therapy averted in the future.

Simple solution (1)

Topwiz (1470979) | more than 5 years ago | (#28170991)

Our school has a separate line inside the building for each bus. All the children know where they are supposed to go to get in line. There is an adult at the head of each line that makes sure they go to the correct bus.

Instamapper (2, Interesting)

222 (551054) | more than 5 years ago | (#28170995)

I used Instamapper on my Blackberry to provide real time / historical GPS tracking of myself. It's free, extremely easy to set up, and has Facebook integration. Be warned, GPS is a battery killer. I set all this up when I first became interested in location aware apps, and its run fine since.

http://www.instamapper.com/ [instamapper.com]

Take her to the vet and get her chipped (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28171021)

It's cheap, quick, easy, and for $10/m, you can't beat it.

You can always carve the chip out yourself, and they'll provide free room and board for her at the pound if she ever gets lost.

GPS enabled Cell phone (1)

MacColossus (932054) | more than 5 years ago | (#28171023)

As others have mentioned, a GPS enabled cell phone is the easiest option. I think some of the responses were far less rational than your request. I live in a small-ish community of 185,000 and just yesterday read of a girl that has been missing for 8 years with no leads. If you live in a large community, it is even more common. Between pedophiles and girls being forced into prostitution I think this is a reasonable thing to do. I have even read stories of forced prostitution rings in Iowa, so the problem is pretty wide spread. Only you can decide what is an appropriate trade off between safety and security for your child. You know your neighborhood and naivety of your child better than anyone blasting you on Slashdot.

glad I'm in a small district (1)

james_shoemaker (12459) | more than 5 years ago | (#28171029)

My daughter's bus driver knows all the kids on his bus and if someone is missing or extra the situation is resolved before the bus leaves the school. Another good advantage is the teachers and administrators also know each child personally and if they see something going on they can yell names across the schoolyard instead of just saying "hey you".

Re:glad I'm in a small district (1)

icebike (68054) | more than 5 years ago | (#28171147)

But we don't all live in tiny small towns...

Don't do it. (3, Insightful)

1u3hr (530656) | more than 5 years ago | (#28171031)

How would your device help your kid after she got on the wrong bus? Will you intercept it in your Batmobile? Worst case she spends an hour sitting on a bus till it gets back to the terminal and she gets the right one, or you pick her up. Doesn't warrant surgical implantation. School bus drivers do know how to handle kids who get the wrong bus.

Your kid will hate you for this should you ever try to do it. And I wouldn't be surprised if you had to do a lot of explaining to child welfare agencies.

Falcom Mambo (3, Interesting)

dago (25724) | more than 5 years ago | (#28171037)

For a dedicated solution, you can buy a Falcom Mambo (http://www.falcom.de/products/personal-tracker/mambo/)

Dedicated GPS tracker with an emergency button
Long battery life
Very Open

Title Ambiguity (5, Funny)

CopaceticOpus (965603) | more than 5 years ago | (#28171069)

I believe this "Making a Child" Locating System will be of interest to many Slashdotters.

LoJack Panties? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28171085)

Billy Crystal used to joke about wanting to install LoJack in his daughters panties. Its a sad day when someone in the /. crowd wants such a device for reals.

How about a cell phone? (1)

lionheart1327 (841404) | more than 5 years ago | (#28171087)

Can't you just give her a cell phone and call her if she gets lost? I'm sure she'll be able to tell you what cross streets shes on.

How about a "child lover service". (1)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 5 years ago | (#28171115)

You could simply hire one of their devices for a small fee, input the details of your child, age, hair colour, eye colour etc and a dedicated team of "child lovers" could follow the movements of your child on a web site for you 24 hours per day.

You know this is going to happen.

 

Don't do it... (1)

eainmonster (702416) | more than 5 years ago | (#28171117)

Tracking your child is a path you really don't want to start down, unless you want to drive yourself (and them) insane with constantly watching every thing they do. Threaten the school board with legal action. They'll get their act together.

Context? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28171125)

How about the age of the daughter...are we talking about an 8 y/o getting on the wrong bus, or an 18 y/o...

Don't try for a workaround. Try for a solution (3, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 5 years ago | (#28171143)

You're like someone installing a firewall when an unpatched service allows arbitrary connections, instead of patching the service.

Your school places your daughter on the wrong bus, that's the problem. Not that you can't track her. Solve the underlying problem instead. Either storm the principal's office and fire up a storm, get the PTA (if existant) to do something about the problem (since it's a "recurring problem" you're certainly not the only parent in that situation, get in touch with the other parents) and if everything fails, get another school to teach your kids (which is probably a sensible idea anyway, if they're not able to get your daughter in the right bus and didn't manage to teach her to choose the right one, it's likely they don't manage to teach her anything else either).

You're looking for the solution for the wrong problem. The problem isn't that you can't find your daughter. The problem is that she isn't where she should be in the first place. Don't cure the symptom, cure the sickness!

Educate her (4, Insightful)

blhack (921171) | more than 5 years ago | (#28171145)

This happened to me when I was a kid. The school thought that I had signed up for Hockey, but hadn't. They sent me across town to hockey practice.
Instead of freaking out, I got there and started playing hockey. Then I called my mom and told her to come and pick me up.
Why? Because I didn't have psychotic over-reacting parents. I was smart enough to go "there is a problem here, I should fix it."
And I did.

Teach your daughter this same thing. Make her memorize your phone number.

escape (4, Insightful)

Lord Ender (156273) | more than 5 years ago | (#28171155)

My specification are: 1) a small unobtrusive device I can place on my daughter, 2) an application to pull up on any computer, a map with a dot indicating the real-time position of my child, 3) a handheld device with the equivalent information, 4) [optional] a secure web application/plug-in I can install on my own domain allowing me to track her from anyplace in the world, 5) a means of turning it all off, 6) a Linux based solution of the above.

Wow. Perhaps she was trying to get away from you.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?