Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Cloud

"Hello Barbie" Listens To Children Via Cloud 163

Posted by samzenpus
from the can't-talk-now-the-doll-is-listening dept.
jones_supa writes For a long time we have had toys that talk back to their owners, but a new "smart" Barbie doll's eavesdropping and data-gathering functions have privacy advocates crying foul. Toymaker Mattel bills Hello Barbie as the world's first "interactive doll" due to its ability to record children's playtime conversations and respond to them, once the audio is transmitted over WiFi to a cloud server. In a demo video, a Mattel presenter at the 2015 Toy Fair in New York says the new doll fulfills the top request that Mattel receives from girls: to have a two-way dialogue. "They want to have a conversation with Barbie," she said, adding that the new toy will be "the very first fashion doll that has continuous learning, so that she can have a unique relationship with each girl." Susan Linn, the executive director of Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood, has written a statement in which she says how the product is seriously creepy and creates a host of dangers for children and families. She asks people to join her in a petition under the proposal of Mattel discontinuing the toy.
Transportation

Iowa Wants To Let You Carry Your Driver's License On Your Phone 232

Posted by Soulskill
from the cell-phone-and-registration-please dept.
An anonymous reader writes: The Iowa Department of Motor Vehicles is busily developing software that will allow users to store the information from their driver's license on their smartphone. It would also add features like a simple barcode to scan for information transfer, and two-factor authentication to access it. "At first thought, the idea seems rife with potential security and privacy issues. It is well known at this point that nothing is unhackable; and if a project is made on a government contracting schedule, the likelihood of a breach is only greater. ... Questions of security, however, must take into account context – and there, it can be argued that our current regimes of physical documents have been an enormous failure. Having every state choose their own approach for issuing IDs has led to patchwork regulations and glaring weak points in the system that criminals have repeatedly taken advantage of. Driver's licenses today are regularly forged, stolen, and compromised – it’s far from a secure situation."

Comment: Re:Wow - Sony are imploding (Score 5, Interesting) 65

by SIGBUS (#48997581) Attached to: MPAA Considers Major Changes After Sony Hack

I always thought that Sony's acquisition of Columbia Pictures and CBS Records were long-term colossal mistakes.

Old Sony: made cool stuff, fought tooth and nail for consumer rights (example: the Betamax case that went to the Supreme Court).
New Sony: all about DRM and lock-in, fights tooth and nail against consumer rights.

I liked the old Sony better.

Comment: B+ fixed the USB problems (Score 3, Interesting) 355

by SIGBUS (#48957567) Attached to: New Multi-Core Raspberry Pi 2 Launches

What's with all the ACs in this thread, anyway? Yes, the original A/B models had crappy USB, but the A+/B+ have much-improved circuitry, to the point that for most things you'll never need to bother with adding a hub.

I set up a B+ as a Bluetooth audio streaming box, and, while running off a 1000 mA power supply, the USB is stout enough to power a keyboard, mouse, Bluetooth dongle, and a Focusrite USB audio interface, all plugged into the onboard USB ports. That would have never worked on the older model.

Comment: Re:Car alarm symphony; real bells (Score 1) 790

by SIGBUS (#48797073) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Sounds We Don't Hear Any More?

That's still around, at least in Russia. I'd say that the Car Alarm Symphony should be Russia's official disaster anthem. A lot of the YouTube videos of the Chelyabinsk meteor and its aftermath featured it as a background soundtrack after the shock wave hit. Then, there's this gem, a wrecked truck of gas cylinders. Each time one blows up, the videographer's car alarm decides to join in. Note the SAM launch at 3:15 or so. There's a dashcam video that shows how it all started, too (with strangely appropriate music on the driver's radio).

Comment: Re:Zenith Space Command remote (Score 1) 790

by SIGBUS (#48796549) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Sounds We Don't Hear Any More?

Even the tuning fork version used the stepper-driven tuner. My grandparents had one of those sets, and just jingling your keys or coins was enough to make the TV do random things. Jingle, jingle, *thunk* HEY! *clack* *thunk*

On the other hand, my upstairs neighbor back in those days had a Heathkit with a much more elegant RF-based remote. When you pressed on one of the volume or picture controls, the corresponding knob on the set would rotate. That was seriously high-tech home entertainment back in 1969.

Comment: Good luck (Score 2) 426

by SIGBUS (#48793391) Attached to: Chevrolet Unveils 200-Mile Bolt EV At Detroit Auto Show

Hopefully, there are enough people who can think beyond the current dip in oil prices to keep interest up in electric cars. Oil just isn't a good long-term solution, and the sooner we can get cars off it the better.

If they could get the range up to 300+ miles, have a usable quick charge capability, and still keep it affordable, I'd go electric in a heartbeat.

Two can Live as Cheaply as One for Half as Long. -- Howard Kandel

Working...