Isn't It Ironic? 'Unplug Day' Gets Smartphone App

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"Our first iPhone app will bring the benefits of our successful Flying Without Fear course to millions of people around the world who are now using mobile technology to make their lives better," Sir Richard Branson, Virgin Atlantic's president, said in a statement. "The app will put many travelers at ease and enable them to prepare for their first Virgin Atlantic flight."

At $4.99, the it's on the pricier side for iPhone applications. But as proof that the app is based on a sound program, Virgin Atlantic said its Flying Without Fear course recently helped Whoopi Goldberg overcome her fear of flying.

"The program works, I was a skeptic. I hadn't flown in 13 years but after doing their program, I understood that while my fear was real, there were many things I didn't know or had misinformation about, which they were able to clear up," the actress said in a statement. "So what happened? I now fly. It's that simple."

Hollaback: iPhone App Curbs Catcalls

Next time you're walking down the street and someone throws a lewd comment your way, you don't have to just take it, you can "hollaback."

A new mobile application for iPhones and Android phones takes on curbside catcallers and lets victims of street harassment report verbal abuse, flashing, groping and other kinds of assaults on the go.

"We have addressed workplace harassment, right? And workplace harassment isn't any different from street harassment. It's still harassment and it certainly doesn't hurt any less," said Emily May, 29, the executive director of the Brooklyn, N.Y.-based Hollaback, which launched the application this week. "(We) addressed workplace harassment 20 years ago and the reason was that we could sue the pants off these companies. But when it comes to street harassment, we can't sue the pants off the sidewalks."

So to tackle street harassment, she said, activists need to bring the latest technology to bear.

The application, which costs 99 cents in Apple's App Store and $1.00 in the Android Marketplace, lets women (and men) immediately report street harassment incidents. It then maps the geo-tagged reports in real-time.

It also sends a follow-up e-mail to the user asking for more information about the event so that a more detailed account can be added to the database.

Application Remotely Unlocks, Starts Cars

Viper SmartStart promises to remotely unlock, start and warm your car from almost anywhere in the world.

Launched by Directed Electronics, a vehicle security and remote start systems designer, the app can be downloaded for free from Apple's App store.

Using an existing remote car starting system from Viper, with a tap of a few buttons on your iPhone, your car can be started, warmed up and humming, just waiting for you to hit the road.

Although remote starting systems for cars usually have a limited line-of-sight range, Viper says its system has "virtually unlimited range" since your iPhone, not the original remote, communicates over cell networks with your car.

"We think customers will find all sorts of unique and personal value in Viper SmartStart," Mike Simmons, EVP of Directed Electronics' parent company, DEI Holdings, said in a statement. "Whether helping out her husband, who's locked his keys in the car, or securely locking her keys and purse in the car while she takes a jog with some music on her iPhone, we expect to hear about some uses we never anticipated."

Once the Viper SmartStart hardware is professionally installed in the car, the iPhone can also be used to defrost windows, cool down the vehicle in warmer weather, unlock the trunk or activate a panic alarm.

But though the app is free, the hardware that will actually make it work with your car is quite pricey.

The system will only work if paired with one of two Viper SmartStart systems that go for $499 (for those who don't already have a remote start system) and $299 (for those who do have remote start). The first year of service is free but, subsequently, service is $29.99 a year.

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