Friday, June 17, 2016

GUEST BLOG: KIDMIX APP -- Kids Social Network and Playdate Planner LAUNCHES:

McKendall Communications 

New Kids Social Network & Playdate Planner Launches Go to link for features.  (Safe, Secure and Free.)

Rockville, MD (June 16, 2016) – The first social network designed by parents for kids ages 5-12, KidMix, launched today.  KidMix provides a new way for kids to connect with friends and to plan their own playdates all within a private, secure, monitored environment.  KidMix is COPPA compliant and membership is free.   

“We created KidMix because we were looking for a way for our children to schedule their own playdates online and to be able to communicate with their friends in a safe, kid-friendly way,” said Clay Goldberg, Co-Founder of KidMix along with his wife, Lisa.  “KidMix is a first step in helping kids become more independent and for parents to become comfortable with kids’ online communication.”

Children can use KidMix to connect with their classmates, sports teams, neighbors, camp friends, relatives and many more.  KidMix allows kids to share their thoughts and photos, and message friends while parents monitor all activity using the integrated parent dashboard.  Children will learn how to use social media in a safe positive way and will gain independence by planning some of their own activities while parents are able to simply accept, deny, or change them.  By using KidMix, parents are no longer burdened with the task of coordinating a playdate for their kids, they just have to approve the request!

Since KidMix is kidSAFE COPPA + Certified, all members are verified according to the FTC’s compliancy law for child online privacy protection.  The robust parental ID verification process requires parents to verify their ID before they are allowed to create an account. KidMix is able to ensure that all members are not only who they say they are, but are using the platform with both parental awareness and permission.  The registration process is simple, quick, and free.  The KidMix App is available on iOS, Android, and Amazon.

KidMix includes a proprietary Parent Dashboard that enables parents to oversee all activity and allows them to set parameters of how they want their children to use the network. As a social network, KidMix not only enables younger children to communicate and socialize with each other but they can also learn about a variety of subjects in KidMix’s SmartZone.  The SmartZone includes thousands of curated videos kids can view and share with friends.

KidMix membership is free and parents oversee all communication from friends, groups, photos, and invitations allowing for appropriate communication at all times. KidMix can be found at

Monday, June 6, 2016

Book Review: THE COMPLETE GUIDE TO DRONES - Build - Choose - Fly - Photograph

The Complete Guide to Drones: Whatever Your Budget
     by Adam Juniper

 $19.95 US/$23.95 Canada
Publisher: Quattro Publishing Group, USA Inc.
Produced in London, England
144 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1-57715-132-6
Produced in London, England

Book Reviewed by
 Carolyn Rhodes
 CES Reporter  

Adam Juniper’s The Complete Guide to Drones:  Whatever Your Budget answered many questions I would never have thought to ask.   Whether you are a beginner, a professional photographer,  a seasoned aficionado, even a curious consumer, you won’t be disappointed.

 Juniper, a skilled pilot from the United Kingdom demonstrates the “how-to” on drones with expert instructions and diagrams throughout the chapters. His talents don’t fall short of “worldly” as author and an expert on anything drone related.  Adam is a photographer and videographer as well as a descriptive writer on the subject of flight.  In an ever changing 21st century technology of things – this Guide will help you reach a wise decision before purchasing.     

 I gave it a chapter-by-chapter, page-by-page perusal.  I don’t own a drone but I found this Guide easy to understand and educationally entertaining with fun trivia in the mix. 
For example, the Introduction of Marilyn Monroe, a movie star beauty from the 1940s, helped assemble drones during World War II.  She was first spotted at a munitions factory in California and she models in the photo. That caught my attention – drones from the 1940s.  Who knew?
In the chock full of history chapter, Adam makes reference to the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) and attendees’ favorite exhibition in the 2010 show in Vegas.   Parrot, then a little known company from Paris, attracted crowds to their “dancing drones.” I attended as a reporter and it is one of the favorite crowd pleasers.    Year after year, Parrot brings drones to life with even more precise and complex moves. However, while Parrot remains on top of the world,   others have joined the competition. You will be able to read about the many choices – some drone companies are ones you may have already heard of.

  From the exhibition floors to marketing into the homes of millions, drones are flying all around us.  According to CES 2016 Daily Magazine -- sales reached over $105 Million in 2015.  One year later, Vegas CES 2016 Unmanned Systems Marketplace featured 29 exhibitors with sales up 208% from CES 2015 stats.  Drones are now in the homes of hobbyists and in the hands of professionals.
 Juniper has hit the market with impeccable timing. Buy or build a drone or just figure out what they are all about.  There’s one for every budget and lots to consider. Juniper opens up the wide eye view lens so a consumer can see the whole picture from charts to community drone groups for all levels of drone enthusiasts.

From Chapter 1: Drone Basics, you’ll get a detailed history lesson from military to prosumer drones to toy drones and more.  The history section details information with visuals to connect to  explanations . This format is consistent in every section.  You can go back in time or into real time  “what to expect”.  It’s an eye catching layout too throughout all chapters.

 In Chapter 2: Powertrain explains, again in detail, each and every component from motor to the landing gear. Even a professional can learn something new.   Chapter 3:  Ace Pilot takes to the skies. Once take-off is mastered, the reader can enjoy the scenery.   Chapter 4: Videos and Photos, will take you to spectacular views and by the time you reach Chapter 5 – Build Your Own, you can take a look at precision diagrams and instructions on just how one can build a model, even in addition to your store bought drone.     

This Guide can be referenced as needed. You’ll want to get familiar with choices in cameras, like Go-Pro and other accessories such as Oculus Rift’s 360 virtual reality glasses. Options are endless.  When it comes to a decision on budget, buying and or even building your own, Adam Juniper has a well written and much needed Guide which I intend to keep on my bookshelf.

Last but not least, the world may be your oyster, but, the skies are governed by laws for the safety of all.  This author gives you all the details and few other international laws in a sideline.  You will learn regulations before flying in foreign countries and in the USA.   Know the laws before your flight into the wild blue yonder.  You might pay a hefty fine if ignored.

Adam Juniper (and his team)  have laid out all the tips and trips you’ll ever need to become a well-informed pilot and drone owner.  He has a channel on YouTube and maintains a website, so you’re never too far from the latest additions.   I recommend this book without reservation to anyone and just about everyone. It’s a keeper.  (Drone website)  
Purchase from Amazon. com