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Let Goofy Track Your Children

samzenpus posted more than 8 years ago | from the parenting-is-hard dept.


Rio writes "The Walt Disney Company unveiled a new wireless phone service that allows parents to track their children on a map using Global Positioning System technology, according to Local 6 News. The new "family friendly" service, called Disney Mobile, allows parents to decide who their children can call and when, the report said. The phone service will launch in June and has not been priced yet."

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HA! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15072944)

I think Goofy should keep his muffs to himself.

coming next (4, Funny)

caffeinemessiah (918089) | more than 8 years ago | (#15072955)

implants based on GPRS/GPS to control where your kids go. if they leave their "safe zone", a tiny electric shock is delivered straight to their brain!! 1 year contract required.

Re:coming next (0, Redundant)

jrockway (229604) | more than 8 years ago | (#15072971)

What this ammounts to is a huge invasion of privacy. Won't someone please think of the children!? :)

Re:coming next (0, Redundant)

koweja (922288) | more than 8 years ago | (#15073035)

The real question is can the phones be turned into shock collars that zap the little bastards when they go out of bounds?

Re:coming next (5, Funny)

Flower (31351) | more than 8 years ago | (#15073172)

We have. Upon reconsideration we're increasing the voltage.

Re:coming next (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15073278)

What this ammounts to is a huge invasion of privacy.

Insightful ?? are you kidding me ?? Are you telling me, that as a parent I do not have the right to track who and what my children do. ? I am paying for the cellphone, but have no right to track usage.

You obviously have no children. Not only is it my right, it is my OBLIGATION as a parent to know what my children are doing. Did you see any of the child porn hearings this week ? Did you see that kid who testified that his parents let him go to some 40 year old guys "computer camp" after talking to him online for 6 months. Is anyone surpirsed that this 40 year old guy was interested more in the 13 year olds body than his computer skills ? You see kids doing all kinds opf crazy crap on webcams, and the parents always have the same response "I had no idea what he was doing". Well I do. No computers behind locked dooors in my house. Cell bills gone over closely with my sons in my house. Three honor students in my house.

Re:coming next (1, Insightful)

voice_of_all_reason (926702) | more than 8 years ago | (#15073344)

Unfortunately, your children will probably be turning tricks for crack once the shock of finally entering the real world passes by them. Every action has an equal and opposite reaction.

Re:coming next (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15073401)

I'd say "You were obviously never a child.", but I don't believe that's physically possible.
Do you remember what it was like being a child? Children live for the moments they have away from their parents - it's what helps them become independant people later in life, not having to depend on your salary for the rest of their lives.

Agreed, there are some people who are completely insane, looking to do unthinkable things with children. But does it reflect well on the parent, who does not know where their child is by parental knowledge. Do you know who your child hangs out with? I'm assuming you do, going over their cell phone bills - hey, while it may not be arguably teaching them the "right" lessons regarding independance, at least you're taking the initiative as a parent. I have no respect for a parent that would use this as a crutch, to let their own parental intuitiveness slip.

Ever notice how as a kid, mommy always knew? Well, I don't know about everyone, but that was usually the case in my house. I am positive she doesn't have to digitally stalk me, because she trusts me; by getting a third party to track your child, you're showing a lot of trust in them.

The next (logical?) step? (2, Funny)

skayell (921119) | more than 8 years ago | (#15073230)

Ah-ha! But can the kids tell where their parents are?

Re:The next (logical?) step? (2, Funny)

Flower (31351) | more than 8 years ago | (#15073364)

Explaining why to this day the Beaver still needs therapy.

Wally? How come everytime we go to Larry's house mom and pop head straight to the bedroom?

Geez Beav, I don't know. But I bet Eddie might.

Re:coming next (2, Interesting)

jftitan (736933) | more than 8 years ago | (#15073389)

But what prevents them from being shocked to death if they are kidnapped?

Really, if I had this so called 'implant', and I were kidnapped, then leave the safe zone... would this shocking stick keep shocking me if I stayed out of the 'safe zone'?

But then, if I were kidnapped then I would rather be dead.

(mind you I am drunk at this hour)

Re:coming next (1)

caffeinemessiah (918089) | more than 8 years ago | (#15073399)

um....why are you getting drunk and reading slashdot?

Re:coming next (1)

chicagotypewriter (933271) | more than 8 years ago | (#15073500)

It makes grammatical errors and dupes easier to get through.

Re:coming next (1)

binarybum (468664) | more than 8 years ago | (#15073518)

where in the brain? what kind of response are you looking for?

Re:coming next (1)

SeeMyNuts! (955740) | more than 8 years ago | (#15073629)

How about a Disney Vault for your kids. Disney lets you see them once every 15 years.

Copyright enforcement? (-1, Flamebait)

tepples (727027) | more than 8 years ago | (#15072957)

Disney is in on this service. Disney is also a global leader in lobbying for restrictive changes to copyright law. Will this include copyright enforcement? If a copyrighted song is played on the radio, will the connection cut out?

Re:Copyright enforcement? (1)

mnemonic_ (164550) | more than 8 years ago | (#15072980)

It's a cellphone, not a radio.

Re:Copyright enforcement? (1)

creimer (824291) | more than 8 years ago | (#15073007)

Wasn't it an iPod?

Re:Copyright enforcement? (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 8 years ago | (#15073076)

It's a cellphone, not a radio.

I knew that. I was talking about using this cellphone to place a phone call in the same room as a radio that had been turned on.

Re:Copyright enforcement? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15073139)

That's the stupidest thing I've ever heard.

This is a great idea... for something else (5, Insightful)

tajgenie (932485) | more than 8 years ago | (#15072965)

I would LOVE to have a gps reciever that I can track remotely! I would put it in my car and if someone steals it, screw lojack; I'll wait till they cross the border and deliver my own brand of goofy-the-cop justice!

Re:This is a great idea... for something else (2, Insightful)

stephenisu (580105) | more than 8 years ago | (#15073563)

I wouldn't wait quite that long... Odds are if its stolen its staying in the states, and multiple states at the same time depending on who is buying the parts..

Q: Why did Mickey split up with Minnie? (-1, Offtopic)

Gojira Shipi-Taro (465802) | more than 8 years ago | (#15072968)

A: She was fucking Goofy.

That is all.

Re:Q: Why did Mickey split up with Minnie? (-1, Troll)

Gojira Shipi-Taro (465802) | more than 8 years ago | (#15073234)

To the dipshits that modded me down: Eat Shit and Die.

Re:Q: Why did Mickey split up with Minnie? (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15073297)

Actually, I believe the joke goes something like this....

Mickey & Minnie are in divorce court. The judge looks at Mickey and asks him, "You want to divorce Minnie, because she is insane?"

Mickey replies, "I never said she was insane, I said she's fucking Goofy!"

Good ol' Steve (4, Funny)

xwipeoutx (964832) | more than 8 years ago | (#15072969)

Already innovating for his new pet company :o)

Just waiting for the rants about people should be looking after their children...not technology.

People should be looking after technology (1)

LiftOp (637065) | more than 8 years ago | (#15073164)

...not their children.

Re:Good ol' Steve (2, Funny)

hhawk (26580) | more than 8 years ago | (#15073350)

It's for Teens.. i guess, like hmm I didn't know there was a branch of the Library at the shopping Mall!!

Oh great.... (4, Funny)

DwarfGoanna (447841) | more than 8 years ago | (#15072970)

Queue the "queue the 'why the hell can't people parent their kids anymore'" here.

Forget the queue, get one of those "later" passes (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15073062)

Return between 2:00AM and 2:20AM on August 21, 2012 to get on this ride.

Re:Oh great.... (2, Insightful)

ben0207 (845105) | more than 8 years ago | (#15073077)

Damnit! Its "Cue"! Not "Queue"!

Sorry, I don't know why it makes me so angry, it just does.

Re:Oh great.... (0)

Mr. Picklesworth (931427) | more than 8 years ago | (#15073154)

This Dictionary begs to differ []
As does this one []
And Google [] (yep, even with all those people who mispell the word).

Cue is usually a stick used to play Pool/Billiards. A Queue [] is a line.


Re:Oh great.... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15073192)

Both of the real dictionaries agree. A cue is not only a stick used to play snooker, but also "A signal, such as a word or action, used to prompt another event in a performance, such as an actor's speech or entrance, a change in lighting, or a sound effect." The whole "cue the people saying x" thing is taken from plays and film directors. Queue makes a bit of sense in the role as well, but cue was the original and best working word.


Re:Oh great.... (2, Informative)

ben0207 (845105) | more than 8 years ago | (#15073203)

Ah yes, but this is an example of cue as in the way a stage director might cue someone in. "cue Romeo", etc.

To use one of the very links you posted:
"To give a cue to; signal or prompt."

British people... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15073612)

Don't you silly Spectrum-using twits know shit about anything [] ?

Re:Oh great.... (1)

SirSlud (67381) | more than 8 years ago | (#15073221)

Its pretty much both in this context. Cue meaning alert or tip, Queue meaning line up or start a line of people ... given that cue is derived from queue, this is an abiguous use where both modern day definitions are suitable to the context.

Re:Oh great.... (1)

ben0207 (845105) | more than 8 years ago | (#15073240)

Fair enough.

*hangs up Grammar Nazi uniform and heads to nearest pub*

Don't forget... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15073127)

Don't forget to queue the "queue the 'If parents can track children, so can pedophiles'" um... queues too :-)

Insightful (1)

thepotoo (829391) | more than 8 years ago | (#15073523)

I hate it when insightful gets modded funny.
While I don't think we need another 200 comment discussion about it, the parent is fucking right.

End of story.

not sure about this... (4, Interesting)

zuki (845560) | more than 8 years ago | (#15072972)

I don't know why, but reading this gives me a funny feeling that this type of technology could be easily perverted for some nasty stuff it wasn't meant for at all.

Nothing in particular, but the concept of this thing sounds a bit....twisted.

Time will tell.


Re:not sure about this... (2, Interesting)

Kangburra (911213) | more than 8 years ago | (#15072998)

Yep, parents PC is stolen and Mr Perv can track the kids until someone changes the password.

I hope the GPS can be turned off at the handset, like parental override.

This isn't particularly technically innovative (4, Insightful)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 8 years ago | (#15072973)

Since 9/11, the government has mandated that all mobile phones be able to pinpoint their location. This is simply Disney extending their capability to see where you/their phones are to you.

From _gps_track_cellphones.htm []

A Government Mandate

In 2001, the Federal Communications Commission ordered mobile telephone carriers to add technology to handsets that pinpoint their location. The idea was to make it easier to track 911 calls.

Some carriers adopted technology that used signals from cell phone towers to determine location. Others, including national carriers Verizon Wireless, Sprint and Nextel, went with GPS.

Although Nextel is the only national carrier to offer GPS services, all new phones sold by these carriers are GPS- equipped. By the end of 2005, companies that chose GPS are supposed to have converted at least 95 percent of their subscribers to the phones, although some carriers have indicated they will ask the FCC for an extension.

Re:This isn't particularly technically innovative (3, Insightful)

complete loony (663508) | more than 8 years ago | (#15073131)

So the idea behind this product is: The government is tracking your kids, why don't you?

Re:This isn't particularly technically innovative (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15073246)

I don't think the Enhanced 911 service you are writing about had much to do with the 9/11 terrorist attacks; wasn't the mandate in place before the attacks? For example, there is an article [] from 1999 speaking of the fact that Enhanced 911 will lead to GPS in mobile phones.

Re:This isn't particularly technically innovative (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15073472)

I know someone who still uses a old(and very small for its age) cell phone that is hard to get an exact location :-)

Re:This isn't particularly technically innovative (1)

ECELonghorn (921091) | more than 8 years ago | (#15073479)

RE: Since 9/11, the government has mandated that all mobile phones be able to pinpoint their location. First, this has nothing to do with 9/11. The issues of E911 has been around long before 9/11 happened, here's a wired news article from 1998 for instance:,1282,9502,0 0.html [] . RE: This is simply Disney extending their capability to see where you/their phones are to you. Second, IIRC most cell phones right now are not GPS equipped. I recently bought a Samsung D600, which many people this is one of the best cell phones, and needless it does not have GPS built it. I heard a technical presentation about it from SwRI before, and it is cheaper to use GPRS or simialar technology and trianglate a cell phone users location relative to cell phone towers the phone can detect. To comply with the E911 directive, the accuracy is much less precise that can be provided by GPS. The new Disney phones will use GPS, which is much more precise than what is legally mandated by the article you reference. Third, I don't think this article really is even all that much about technological innovation. The alarming part of this article is that precise GPS tracking is being marketed. It's about privacy. I don't think discussing technological capabilities is all that insightful.

This will be GREAT! (5, Funny)

TheRealMindChild (743925) | more than 8 years ago | (#15072981)

.... I can buy one for my daughter. While she is away for a day, just throw it into my shady islamic looking neighbors(the ones who let their dog shit in my lawn) no-windowed van. Call 911. Tell them I think I saw him take her... she has a DISNEY CELL PHONE! They find him. Mow him down without question. Everyone scratches their head in confusion. I have a shit free lawn.

The End

In summary... (4, Insightful)

bradbeattie (908320) | more than 8 years ago | (#15072985)

Get the next generation comfortable with being tracked 24/7?

Re:In summary... (2, Interesting)

noidentity (188756) | more than 8 years ago | (#15073320)

Or get the previous generation comfortable with thinking they're tracking the next generation, all the while the next generation is laughing at how idiotic the previous generation is, both for attempting to track them and making it so easy to avoid.

Re:In summary... (2, Insightful)

westlake (615356) | more than 8 years ago | (#15073371)

Get the next generation comfortable with being tracked 24/7?

and how many generations of kids past do you think were used to being tracked 24/7? assuming they had any significant mobility at all.

anoymnity is a late twentieth century conceit.

it doesn't exist in a rural society or small town. it didn't exist in a traditional inner city neighborhood. where territories were, if anything, even more rigidly defined.

Re:In summary... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15073469)

God I wish I had points to mod you up right now.

So I guess... (3, Insightful)

Lord_Slepnir (585350) | more than 8 years ago | (#15072989)

So I guess that kids will come to think of goofy as a big brother

Another false layer of security for parents that can't be bothered to actually raise thier children. All the kid has to do is to:

  1. Tell parents that they'll be over at billy's house for a while
  2. Parents see child over at billys house on thier GPS system.
  3. Kid leaves phone on doorstep of Billy's house, proceeds to go to the overpass to drop rocks on cars.
That's the problem: its an easily defeatable system that makes it too easy to lull parents into a false sense of security.

Re:So I guess... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15073014)

That's why they need to be implantable.

Re:So I guess... (3, Funny)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 8 years ago | (#15073032)

and if you try to remove them they explode!

Re:So I guess... (2, Funny)

c_forq (924234) | more than 8 years ago | (#15073119)

No no no, that may get blood on the carpet and walls, they need to IMPLODE.

Re:So I guess... (2, Insightful)

Reality Master 101 (179095) | more than 8 years ago | (#15073040)

And he knows that if I try to call him and he doesn't answer, and I check up on him and he did what you outline, he's grounded for three months. Think he wants to take the risk?

I'm always amused by people like you. If any sort of tool isn't perfect, then the tool must be worthless. It's one more tool in the parenting arsenal.

Re:So I guess... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15073512)

So, are you going to ground him every time his phone battery runs out? Goes to a movie theater? Can't get a signal? Listens to music and can't hear his phone ring? You can't answer a phone in every situation. There's a lot of places where cell phone use is rude, and frankly, I'd rather you teach your kid that than threaten to ground him when he doesn't answer. Or, hey, maybe you could just not treat him like a criminal to begin with.

Re:So I guess... (1)

RickPartin (892479) | more than 8 years ago | (#15073088)

That's why you don't tell them you can track it. If murders and bank robbers don't realize cell phones can be tracked I doubt a child will either.

Re:So I guess... (4, Funny)

tgrigsby (164308) | more than 8 years ago | (#15073122)

      1. Tell parents that they'll be over at billy's house for a while
      2. Parents see child over at billys house on thier GPS system.
      3. Kid leaves phone on doorstep of Billy's house, proceeds to go to the overpass to drop rocks on cars.

4. Cops show up at door with child.
5. Child spends the next week in the bathroom trying trying to crap out my shoe.
6. Child never pulls that stunt again.
7. Child tells the story to his grandkids of the time he tried to pull a fast one on his Dad and ended up passing a size 11 Nike Field General...

Works for me.

Re:So I guess... (4, Insightful)

MrNougat (927651) | more than 8 years ago | (#15073128)

And without a GPS track:

      1. Tell parents that they'll be over at Billy's house for a while.
      2. Kid proceeds to go to the overpass to drop rocks on cars.

No system at all is more easily defeatable than a simple system.

I'm going to take a wild guess and say you don't have children. When parents want to use a tool to enhance the safety of their children, it's not because they can't be bothered to raise them; it's because they love them more than anything, and will try every avenue to make sure their kids are okay. Parents who can't be bothered to raise their children don't care whether the kids are dropping rocks off of overpasses or not.

For those of you keeping score at home, another way to tell when someone doesn't have kids - when the server at the restaurant puts the silverware, full adult-sized water glass and piping hot plate of food immediately in front of the two year old in the booster seat; it's safe to assume that person doesn't have children.

Re:So I guess... (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 8 years ago | (#15073141)

"That's the problem: its an easily defeatable system that makes it too easy to lull parents into a false sense of security."

Any system is 'easily defeatable', especially by an out-of-sight kid. "You're not allowed to watch this show." "Okay! Can I go over to Billy's where you cannot see what I'm watching there?" "Sure, have fun." Parents still have to be parents. If they call their kid once in a while, then the Billy's doorstep approach isn't as useful.

Then there's the matter of kidnapping. We recently had a case here in LA where a woman left her child in the car and somebody stole it. Sprint refused to hand over information about where the GPS locator was blipping until they recieved a court order. I'm sorry, I don't know how that turned out (other than the child is safely at home) but people were PISSED at Sprint for not lending a hand when they could have. Anyway, the point here isn't that Sprint sucks. The point is that there is one solid case where a missing child could have been located with a phone like this. The car thief would only needed have thrown the phone out the window. Easily defeatable. Yet, it didn't happen.

I agree with you to an extent about the false sense of security, but I don't see 'easily defeatable' as a strong reason to avoid it.


Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15073266)

Actually, dude, Sprint does suck, and so does Nextel (former customer of the former and was forced to use the latter by my employer)...

So what do you get when you combine 2 cellular companies that suck, one giant cellular company that Totally Sucks Hard.

At least they didn't take down T-Mobile with them.

Re:So I guess... (2, Insightful)

DerGeist (956018) | more than 8 years ago | (#15073303)

This is really a recurring problem. Do we hand over our privacy for increased security? Or by handing over our privacy do we lose both?

It's a tough question. I have no doubt whatsoever that the story you describe happened, I also don't doubt there are numerous other potential benefits of a US-wide tracking system. But it's a bit creepy to think your cell phone, that lovable device that you're hopelessly addicted to, is silently phoning home (no pun intended) all the time. It has a little microphone in it, you know. And it has speakerphone, so it's a sensitive little bugger.

Wouldn't take much to silently start recording...I mean, maybe you're being robbed! We should be able to find out so we can help you. Maybe you're minding your own business, maybe you're stealing music or dealing drugs. If you're not doing anything wrong, you have nothing to hide (yes, I hate this awful line as much as you do).

The whole concept of people not being able to make decisions for themselves is what is so scary.

Re:So I guess... (2, Insightful)

Yartrebo (690383) | more than 8 years ago | (#15073212)

It's not very hard to control kids ... a leash works well as a low tech device and I have read of them being used on kids (on slashdot no less) ... the issue is that these things are a major violation of privacy.

To make matters worse, the kind of control-freak parents who tend use these kinds of tracking devices tend to be overly punitive. I wouldn't be surprised if the kid gets 3 weeks grounding for leaving the cell phone on the floor. I also wouldn't be surprised if the kid gets 3 weeks every time the school calls home about anything (even when the kid is in the right ... schools make even more mistakes than our justice system as the kid doesn't even get a fair trial).

Punishing kids inappropriately or excessively, aside from violating the golden rule, generally shows up either with a rebellious attitude -> defeatism once punished enough or it shows up in the kid becoming a selfish person who looks out only for themselves.

Morally, I wouldn't find it so bad if it were consentual and reciprocal - if the kids could track wherever their parents went ... including one parent cheating on another or visits to strip joints. After all, if you have nothing to hide ...

Re:So I guess... (1)

Flower (31351) | more than 8 years ago | (#15073222)

  1. Call child on phone and have them not answer because they left phone at Billy's.
  2. Child gets caught vandalizing cars on freeway. Cops heavily fine parent.
  3. Child gets old school justice and stands at attention for next week and a half.
  4. Child learns to call forward to Billy's cell which has no GPS tracking because Billy has good parents who trust him.

Re:So I guess... (1)

snjwyatt (966466) | more than 8 years ago | (#15073409)

So what your saying is billys GOOD parents trust him while he lets his friend forward his phone to billys so that they can go drop bricks on cars. Sounds to me like billy has GREAT parents.

Re:So I guess... (1)

rk (6314) | more than 8 years ago | (#15073481)

s/good parents/fucking stoopid parents/

Re:So I guess... (1)

Flower (31351) | more than 8 years ago | (#15073561)

I apologize. I forgot to renew my subscription for sarcasm tags and ran out. Paying for a new batch as we speak.

Also I forgot 5. Call Billy's mom and ask to speak with my son (Oh ALL RIGHT! I was chatting her up. Like you wouldn't :P) "What? He's not there?" Goto 3. This is AKA "OMG. Dad's going old school."

Defense-in-depth kids. Get used to it.

Re:So I guess... (2, Insightful)

jftitan (736933) | more than 8 years ago | (#15073468)

Well I'll put this comment on the layer of good parenting.

  First thing is, I have kids that I have taught to listen to their parents. (Even if I'm drunk, but the lesson is they will never know unless I tell them.) They have learned that whatever they do, I have already done it in the past. So either they tell me ahead of time, or I figure it out, and shit hits the fan.
  My kiddo' learned that if she goes to a club (she's 14), as club that I know is not suitable for a 14 year old, she is not allowed to goto because I've been there so I know what it is like. Then she is in deep shits!. Well the other day, she went over to a friends place to spend the night. Well as bright as she is, she didn't think about NOT giving out her telephone number to guys at the club. While we thought she would be spending the safe night at her friends house, she went out to this so said club.
  We found out about this night out, because she gave here HOME phone number to a guy who was trying to get lucky. (she didn't think about telling this guy to only call during the day... either he was really trying, or he was just nutts. I dunno, but he learned a lesson as well) We found out!
  The first lesson our kids learned (as good parents we are) is to NEVER EVER LIE to your parents. "Because whatever you do, we did it first!" When she came home, the first question we asked was, "who is this Joe guy?", and she shit herself.
We saw she was going to lie, but it immediately clicked in, and she told us the truth.
  Mind you, if only parents where in the search for Osama, he would have been found years ago. She knew that if she lied, we could find enough people to tell us otherwise. She talked, and we didn't disipline her like we did in the past when she would try to lie to us.
  I just wish parents would teach their kids that it is always better to tell us the truth in the first place, even though they did something wrong. It is always better to tell us what 'your' (synomoyous with kids) plans are so we can tell you what or what not allowed to do, than to do it, and lie to us. Parents would be in better knowledge about their kids.
  We possibly wouldn't have as many problems as we do with our youth as we do now.
I'm not saying, lets be FRIENDS with our kids rather than be parents, but I'm trying to portray that parents should teach our kids values to trusting their parents. If they do something wrong they should know they did something wrong, but knowingly understand it. Of course they will be punished, but you have to accept the punishment for the cause.
  These days parents leave it up to the automated electronics, or government, or even others to do their job. Only parents can teach thier own children values and understandings of what is expected of them.
  I would rather have my kids grow up, understanding that no matter what happens to them or what they do, We will always be there. Than to have them think they should go somewhere else to get the respect, or acknowledgement that they wish to have.

(I'm drunk, but this doesn't mean I'm a bad parent... I know where my kids are!)

Typical ignorant response. (4, Insightful)

nobodyman (90587) | more than 8 years ago | (#15073501)

Another false layer of security for parents that can't be bothered to actually raise thier children.
Let me guess - you aren't a parent. Perhaps this service is worthless for parents that have poor relationship with their children. But don't you think that this phone could be a valuable tool for good parents, too? How about this:

  1. Billy starts walking home from bus stop
  2. Stranger grabs Billy and forces him into The Van With No Doors and No Windows
  3. Stranger drives off.

So, is being able to track your kid's GPS-enabled phone still worthless?

There are actually some very good arguments in favor of giving your kid a cell phone. However, there are downsides such as
  • kids can easily exceed alotted minutes (usually inadvertantly).
  • too easy to sign up for costly services (ringtones, screensavers, whatnot) by pressing 4 numbers but often very difficult to cancel/unsubscribe
  • not as much control over who your child is talking to than the home phone

So, a phone w/ parental controls and GPS goes a long way to addressing these concerns. I myself would have loved this phone back when I was a kid. When I was 15, my parents were pretty lenient about what I could do so long as I a) told them where I'd be b) who I'd be with and c) prove it (usually a phone call from me to check in). Not having a cell phone made it kindof a pain sometimes. Now parents can maintain the same rules but also give their kids a greater sense of freedom.

Okay... (3, Insightful)

gameforge (965493) | more than 8 years ago | (#15072995)

I assume the kid would have to want their parents to see wherver they go, otherwise they could just turn the phone off? I know I always used to tell my mom that my battery died, when she couldn't get ahold of me (and I was up to no good =])

Are there other phones with GPS capabilities? I could see a lot of useful applications for that - if they make it tiny & easy enough, it would eliminate the need for GPS receivers (obviously) - if I am in a large parking lot, at a sports event or something, it would make for a pretty easy way to meet up with friends & whatnot, if I can just get my phone to send their phone my GPS coordinates.

It would sure make losing your phone a less painful experience...

Re:Okay... (1)

ECELonghorn (921091) | more than 8 years ago | (#15073524)

IIRC There are other phones with GPS receivers. I think all of Nextel's new phones have them. However, GPS is a feature most people don't need, and consequently to the average user it just results in a lower battery life. Also, the cell phone has to be larger to contain the GPS receiver, which again your average consumer doesn't want. Lastly, adding GPS functionality makes the phone cost more (cost of receiver), which again, has undermined the market for GPS phones.

Concisely, imagine taping your existing bluetooth GPS to your cell phone. If you want, you can remove battery for the GPS before taping, but just realize the space saved means the phone bettery will die that much quicker. The final result will cost about as much as your cell phone + the bluetooth GPS; if you want it much smaller, the price goes up more.

Hate to be the bearer of bad news... (2, Interesting)

dooms13 (954485) | more than 8 years ago | (#15073013)

How long until the government ruins this and starts tracking all of us based on our cell phones?

Oh wait, they probably already do...

Re:Hate to be the bearer of bad news... (1)

Rod Beauvex (832040) | more than 8 years ago | (#15073054)

The do now, actually. Well, they can if they (feel they) need to. I recently tried to have an old Verizon phone tunred back on, and they would not do it becasue it was not able to be tracked by a GPS system. Quite unnerving, really.

Disney Mobile phones in Iraq? (1)

theurge14 (820596) | more than 8 years ago | (#15073022)

This should make it easy for the US Army to detect IUDs set off by Disney Mobile phones.

Re:Disney Mobile phones in Iraq? (5, Funny)

thevoice (54067) | more than 8 years ago | (#15073079)

IUD's? Intra Uterine Devices?

I wouldn't like to see one of them blow...

Re:Disney Mobile phones in Iraq? (1)

ECELonghorn (921091) | more than 8 years ago | (#15073572)

Just to clarrify, I think what is really meant is IUD = IED = Improvised Explosive Devices
Second, I think you are trying to be funny, but seriouslt if the Army is standing around and sees an IED is detonated, and they have to go through the disney network to realize the explosion occured right where the rubble is, I think we as a country have bigger concerns than a loss of privacy.

This changes the meaning of the acronym entirely. (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15073026)

So...GPS is the "Goofy(tm) Positioning System" now?

I for one... (3, Funny)

B11 (894359) | more than 8 years ago | (#15073033)

Welcome our new Disney overlords.

fu3k a cum (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15073069)

at times. Fro8 gawker At most that comprise

bad parents! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15073082)

arn't you a bad parent if you give your kid a cell phone.
you know cause it causes brain cancer?!?!?!

If only... (2, Insightful)

garyr_h (955473) | more than 8 years ago | (#15073091)

Now if only the government can install GPS under our skin when we are born we will be all set.

This will be fun (2, Informative)

nickgrieve (87668) | more than 8 years ago | (#15073109)

Sources of GPS signal errors

Factors that can degrade the GPS signal and thus affect accuracy include the following:

  The more satellites a GPS receiver can "see," the better the accuracy. Buildings, terrain, electronic interference, or sometimes even dense foliage can block signal reception, causing position errors or possibly no position reading at all.

GPS units typically will not work indoors, underwater or underground.

All I can see coming out of this is a bunch of already paranoid parents having panic attacks when Little Jimmy goes in his friends house, or jumps on a bus.

Re:This will be fun (1)

bhalter80 (916317) | more than 8 years ago | (#15073328)

I think you forgot one factor to degrade GPS accuracy...dead batteries. While I can certainly see the fun in lojacking teenagers I don't see some 15 year old running arround yelling "dude I got my new Goofy phone". This seems like its just an extension of Nextel's GPS features which btw Sprint/NEXTEL is the servcie provider for Disney.

This doesn't solve the problem of parents not parenting as kids can/will turn the phone off or detach the battery if they don't want to be tracked. Also the parents who can't be bothered to talk to their kids at dinner and think this is the solution would have to be interested enough to check where their kid is. I think you need to either trust that they are where they say they are in which case they deserve to be left alone or they aren't trustworthy enough and they deserve to be grounded until they learn that you aren't screwing around and they will be caught if they misbehave. Not necessarily every time but often enough to make the risk of getting caught too high for the reward if you get away with it.

Re:This will be fun (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15073352)

Isn't the concept of "GPS" vs cell phone GPS completely different?

Isn't cell phone GPS the distance of the phone, from X number of towers + "triangulation" (see any episode of 24 for reference), used for the location?

So, if it is concept number two, it will roughly be able to tell the location of said user, as long as said user had signal, and was registered on the cell network.

The Do'gooder plan (1)

threedognit3 (854836) | more than 8 years ago | (#15073123)

Wal-Mart along with Disney have hired PC consultants. Wal-Mart is going urban...with grants. Disney is going extremely parent the Bush/NSA sort'a way.

Silly Slashdot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15073147)

Everyone else tracks you, why not Disney?

If you allow cookies, Google (and others) track you.
If you own a cell phone, your provider tracks you.
If you do anything usefull for free on the internet, the site owner owns you.

You can't be owned by WalMart/Sainsbury/Etc. by paying in cash, but your owned
by them once you pay with credit/debit.

New world,
Get along with it or fuck with it (register as a female when your a male, change your age, say you like purple when you really like blue). Your choice. There can be no Marketing Masters.

It's really not 1984 and the government doesn't know that much about you. It's the advertisers and marketing surveys you should be worried about.They know your purchases and your salary. They sell that info so you get pestered by 'Partner 3rd Party' phone calls when your at home and at peace.

"No Child Left Alone" (1)

surfcow (169572) | more than 8 years ago | (#15073159)

Sigh. Big Bother gets a face lift, and big floppy ears. And Enjoy your Happy Meal! Damnit!

Remember those cancer thoughts? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15073232)

Doesn't Disney think it would be a bit risky to encourage parents to force small children to be using cell phones before they further explore the health risks? I smell lawsuits if those cellphone cancer people are right (Not that I really care; just saying!)...

...Of course, the chances of Disney existing by the time those people start suing seem rather slim... Come on! Disney having a cellphone service?!
I thought owning a poorly named hockey team was ridiculous, but at least that had a minor (though horrid) connection to the TV business.
Unless... I cringe to think of it... everyone's FAVOURITE Disney characters (you know, the characters from Lilo and Stitch, Cars, and those other overmarketed, souless 3d rendered things) suddenly are equipped with Disney cell phones... and they have their pictures on them!

Young Jack (3, Funny)

rlp (11898) | more than 8 years ago | (#15073244)

"Quick! Get the coordinates of the Bauer kid"

"Can't do it! He must have turned off the phone and removed the battery"

"Damn it!"

yet another service in search of a problem (1)

SirSlud (67381) | more than 8 years ago | (#15073276)

Really dont see how this is anything but commidized peace of mind. Its not 1984 as some other posters have said, but its another example of a product in search of convincing potential customers that the value proposition really solves a currently existing problem.

Honestly? Not a bad idea... (1)

grasshoppa (657393) | more than 8 years ago | (#15073290)

...were this anyone other than Disney.

They are the most soulless company I can think of. They aren't doing this because they think they can make the service turn a profit, they want survey data on our kids so they can more tailor ( ie: bastardize ) stories to grab them in.

Privacy worry (1)

denoir (960304) | more than 8 years ago | (#15073338)

The real problem isn't government agencies tracking you. In that respect you can choose not to enable the tracking service. Privacy in that area is at least to some degree protected by law.

The real implications to privacy are because there are probably people who you can't say no to. How do you explain to your girlfriend that you won't let her track your position? Of course, kids can forget about any privacy if the parents want to track them.

Still, this technology is bound to succeed big time as it is very convenient. In the end most people probably won't mind friends and family to be able to see where they are.

The execution will need to be done carefully... (2, Interesting)

wiryd (841552) | more than 8 years ago | (#15073404)

If it gets hacked so that anyone can track the kids carrying these, it would be a child molesters dream come true, wouldn't it? Sure you can argue that all phones technically could be tracked but how many of you think Paris Hilton would be waving one of these around? The target audience that will be holding them will be kids so the demographic work for the hacker has been taken care of.

I for one have a handful of very young siblings that I wouldn't want this to happen to. If my parents ever get one for them, I will smash them.

The quick flick... (1)

packetmill (955023) | more than 8 years ago | (#15073415) always more effective [] than this nonsense.

Yeah, but... (1)

BitwizeGHC (145393) | more than 8 years ago | (#15073432)

Can your kid Drive and merge with Goofy into Valour form, and then wield two cellphones?! Because that would be awesome.

Hmm, nobody's noticed.... (1)

stuartkahler (569400) | more than 8 years ago | (#15073453)

The best part of this phone is that you can limit who your kids call. Most (heck, all?) cell phone companies seem focused on making you pay for whatever absurd bill your kid can run up each month. Either pay it or resign yourself to not being able to call your kid.

If anyone can correct me on this, I really want to know.

In Soviet Russia (3, Funny)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 8 years ago | (#15073459)

Do children track Goofy in Soviet Russia?

Goofy, huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15073527)

Right. I see where this is going; right here [] .
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