Archive

Amazon Video Direct Could Become Another Prime Mover

Amazon on Tuesday announced the launch of Amazon Direct Video, a service that will let content creators not only reach tens of millions of potential viewers with self-generated video uploads, but also participate in revenue sharing. Amazon will use the new service as an additional incentive to boost...

GADGET DREAMS AND NIGHTMARES

Gadget Ogling: Gaming Revivals, Clever Cameras, and Smartphones for All

Sir Clive Sinclair helped popularize video games as a viable home entertainment option with the ZX Spectrum. After reviving the brand a little over a year ago with the introduction of the Vega microcontroller, which plugs into televisions, Sinclair and Retro Computers now have launched a handheld ve...

Mattel’s 3D Printer Will Let Kids Do More Than Play With Toys

Mattel last week announced that it is giving its ThingMaker a high-tech makeover by equipping it with 3D capabilities. Using the original 1960s iteration, children could create small toys, such as dragons and flowers, by pouring liquid plastic into molds, which were heated and cooled. The updated Th...

Hello Barbie, Can We Talk About Your Security Issues?

New security issues that surfaced last week in connection with Mattel's Hello Barbie doll, which talks back to kids, have heightened fears that hackers could use the toy to steal information about its owners and their families. The Hello Barbie app, which is available for iOS and Android, uses an au...

VTech Hires Mandiant to Shore Up Security for Kids

VTech on Thursday revealed it has hired FireEye's Mandiant to help improve security after reaction from parents around the world over news that its servers were hacked. It also is cooperating with law enforcement agencies worldwide to investigate the incident and has temporarily shut down several we...

Talking Barbie Says Hello, Parents Say Goodbye

Barbie, who turns 56 this year, finally may get a voice of her own -- but opponents are working hard to keep the talking version of the iconic doll out of children's hands -- and homes. Mattel plans to bring out Hello Barbie in time for Christmas. However, child advocacy group Campaign for a Commerc...

GADGET DREAMS AND NIGHTMARES

Gadget Ogling: Jewelry Gets Inky, Toys Get Brilliant, Remotes Get Beautiful

L!ber8's Tago Arc is aimed at the fashion conscious or those who like to use their jewelry to tell the world a little more about themselves. It has an e-ink screen, which is controlled using an NFC-enabled smartphone -- sorry, iPhone owners -- to let wearers switch up the design on the fly. Ordinary...

Revived View-Master Is a Virtual Reality

Google and Mattel now are teaming up to revive and modernize the View-Master. Mattel on Friday announced a new version that works with Google Cardboard and Android smartphones. Mattel will offer the new View-Master and a sample experience reel this fall, for US$30. Additional experience reel packs, ...

The Strange Resurrection of Atari’s Long-Buried E.T.

The National Museum of American History, part of the Smithsonian, has added a vintage copy of the Atari 2600 video game E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial to its collection. This particular game is meant to fill a void in the museum's collection, namely the unrepresented dark days of the 1980s when the Unit...

Dolling Up for High-Tech Child’s Play

Barbie's gone digital. She's wearing a new dress outfitted with programmable LED lights that let her change her look on a whim. "Today's girl is tech-savvy, and we created a Barbie doll that utilizes technology to provide a new way to play with Barbie," said Mattel. "Girls will like this doll becaus...

Toy Tech: In Search of the Light App-tastic

The tablet computer craze that has users of all ages launching Angry Birds and making Temple Runs is profoundly influencing toy makers as well. "We are moving into a new realm of toys that the industry finds quite exciting," said Jackie Breyer, editor-in-chief of The Toy Book. "We've seen a big push...

WEEKLY RECAP

Choosers Can Be Beggars; Bloodied Hands Applaud Amazon

Yahoo was quite the chooser last spring when Microsoft offered to buy it -- the Yahoo board held out for a higher price. Now it's looking more and more like the beggar. Its relationship with Google is pretty much finished before it even had a chance to begin, and it appears Yahoo is reaching the end...

Amazon to Save Consumer Fingernails, Tempers With Simpler Wrappings

Consumers will get a break from having to wrestle with tough-to-open parcels this holiday season with the advent of "frustration-free" packaging from Amazon.com. The online retail giant will try to cut down on the sheer volume of packaging materials used to ship purchases from the site. The effort b...

Quick Change Artists Resurrect Facebook’s ‘Scrabulous’ as ‘Wordscraper’

Hope springs anew for the more than 500,000 "Scrabulous" fans mourning the demise of their beloved Facebook game. Jayant and Rajat Agarwalla have launched a "new" word game, "Wordscraper." The new game, which bears a striking resemblance to its banned predecessor, made its Facebook debut as early as...

Elon Musk's Dec. 2 action to release The Twitter Files: Approve or Disapprove?
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