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+ - "Hello Barbie" Listens To Children Via Cloud

Submitted by jones_supa
jones_supa (887896) 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."

Comment: Re:Precious Snowflake (Score 4, Insightful) 323

by robinsonne (#48652463) Attached to: Putting Time Out In Time Out: The Science of Discipline
Exactly. Far too many children are coddled and protected far too much growing up. Kids need to learn that not every day is happy sunshine fun land while they're kids. Yeah, it's no fun being punished/disciplined for screwing up, or failing at something, but when you're a kid the stakes are low. I see far too many young people where I work (college) that are on their own for the first time and have never worked at anything in their whole life, never had someone not holding their hand and wiping their nose. What happens? They fall flat on their face and then howl that it's not fair. Better to learn early how to struggle and persevere and succeed than to coast into failure later.

Comment: Re:Pleasant? (Score 2) 174

by robinsonne (#47946705) Attached to: The Minecraft Parent
1) Who said anything about micromanaging? Find a server that's pleasant, has some of the same values that you're hoping for (friendly, non-adult language, etc) and point your kid there. If he/she likes it, they'll stay there. 2) If you don't want your kid killing anything at all, there's always creative mode where nothing ever tries to kill you either. If breeding cattle, chickens, sheep, etc and then eating them is "sex & violence" then I don't know what to say. You can only shield your child from so many things. Bottom line: If you can't go through the bother of finding somewhere nice, and just plop down wherever you find first, you get what you get. Throw a dart at a map of a major city and live where it lands, see how well things turn out.

Comment: To be fair... (Score 5, Funny) 405

To be fair, have you listened to some of what NFL announcers say these days? Most of it is pretty damn stupid, even when they're keeping their remarks to football. I consider it lucky if they can tell the difference between a run play and a pass play...telling the difference between 2 gadgets? Nope.

Comment: Fleeing abusive companies? (Score 5, Insightful) 257

by robinsonne (#47732113) Attached to: When Customer Dissatisfaction Is a Tech Business Model
Where are customers supposed to flee to? Many of these companies are de facto monopolies in many areas or at the very least in lock-step with their "competitors." There aren't very many choices for tech companies unless you want to do without, which is unpalatable for many.

Comment: Re:About that.... (Score 1) 223

by robinsonne (#47418077) Attached to: Meet the Muslim-American Leaders the FBI and NSA Have Been Spying On
I don't know who modded you up +5, but buy a clue. When a corporation is being sued/indicted it's that organization that is being taken to court, not it's individual employees, agents, or officers (unless some serious misconduct is happening individually). Therefore the legal entity (i.e. the Corporation) gains some of the legal benefits (4th Amendment) and responsibilities because that is the purpose of a corporation: to create a legal entity that stands apart from the individual members on it's own behalf.

Look up the meaning of the phrase "corporate veil."

Time-sharing is the junk-mail part of the computer business. -- H.R.J. Grosch (attributed)