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This is Fred Ball for Zions Bank, speaking on business.

It seems like video games and cruising the Internet are quickly replacing great activities such as reading or playing in tree houses, the things I did as a child. Fortunately, Card Access, a high-tech communications and networking company in American Fork, has recognized this problem, too.

Card Access President Kent Hansen told me that when it came to his kids' use of the video game console, he felt trapped as the parental "bad guy." Some mornings Kent was frustrated enough that he would leave for work and put the game console in the back seat of his car, over the objections of his children, of course. Inevitably, video game conflict entered Kent's home.

After searching the stores without success for a contraption to solve his problem, Kent and his colleagues decided to make one themselves and so Time-Scout Monitor was born.

Card Access engineers devised a simple, "no-programming" solution. Parents plug game consoles, TVs, or other electronic devices into Time-Scout, and then plug Time-Scout into any standard household power outlet. Kent said parents can simply add or subtract time from their children's "time" accounts by swiping ATM-like cards on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. Time-Scout simply becomes an on or off switch for the device. Children use their own, individual cards to operate Time-Scout. When the child's time is up, Time-Scout shuts the device off, giving parents control without becoming the "bad guy."

Kent told me that this "allowance of time" teaches children time management skills at an early age. Parents have told Kent that Time-Scout Monitor is improving their children's reading skills, grades and attitudes. He says that relationships between parents and children improve, because like Card Access's tag line says, "It's hard to argue with a box." More information about Time-Scout Monitor is available on the Internet or by calling Card Access in American Fork.

For Zions Bank, I'm Fred Ball. I'm speaking on business.

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