Some of these "toys" defy the limits of the definition of that term. I don't know if childhood is merely implied or explicitly denoted in the usage of the term "toy," but each of these gadgets and gizmos has an appeal beyond functionality. Or it could be that once something is functional beyond being merely a source of idle pleasure, it loses its toy-ness. Kids are known for appreciating things that have no real use.
@caleb, i hear you. These Parrot's guys are amazing. This year, they had a big booth inside the convention center (last year, they did it outdoors). At the booth there was this huge netted cage, in which several mini drones were flying around in lock step, in a choreagraphed manner, against the background of booming music. It sure was a crowd pleaser.
My first thought when I saw the DropCam item in this list was "what do they do to secure your video?" I looked over the company website and found no answer. I did find that the software for the system was open source, which left me feeling less secure. Hackers get a leg up when the source code is available (although white hatters also get a leg up and so could beat the black hatters to any vulnerability).
Given what happened with the FTC last year, I would think that the security of information would be something the company would want to make customers understand, but I didn't see anything on it during my look-see. Perhaps the less on will have to be repeated several times before companies offering such intimate monitoring systems learn to make data security a priority.
The Parrot drones could be turned into flying botnets based on their slack wireless security. On the other hand, since these are just "toys" it could be excused, at least until someone takes advantage of them.
Recently I fixed my 12 year-old nephew's xbox with kinect, which is in his bedroom. My parting comment was "Now we can keep an eye on you again". He got a strange look on his face. and then half-smiled, like he wasn't quite sure whether I was kidding or not...
Yeah, I can be a jerk (trust me, he gives as good as he gets) but it is closer to the truth than I am sometimes comfortable with. Read the recent set of leaks about NSA surveillance ( http://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2013/12/inside-the-nsas-leaked-catalog-of-surveillance-magic/ ) devices if you doubt that. Devices do what they can do whether we consider them to be toys, diagnostic devices, or doorstops. I don't think that I am overly paranoid, but I do tend to think about what technology around me might know about me and who can access that information.
I do tend to think about what technology around me might know about me and who can access that information.
That sure is a great habit to keep. I read in a recent report by Accenture that young people have already gotten over the privacy issues. That may be so. But I suspect that such an attitude come sfrom the lack of knowledge or the lack of education -- rather than these kids having thought about this long and hard and decided that these are minor details.
I agree. I like it too. I think this so-called "dipole speaker" is inteteresting. I did have a chance to listen to it on the show floor where everything was so noisy...it held up on its own, but of course, I wouldn't know how it really sounds in my quiet living room...
@betajet, yeah, that's a good question. I should have stopped and asked those bed companies -- but I was in a hurry to go from one appointment and another! (but the sight of all those beds on the show floor just shocked me!)
NASA's Orion Flight Software Production Systems Manager Darrel G. Raines joins Planet Analog Editor Steve Taranovich and Embedded.com Editor Max Maxfield to talk about embedded flight software used in Orion Spacecraft, part of NASA's Mars mission. Live radio show and live chat. Get your questions ready.
Brought to you by