Courtesy of Andrew Gurudata comes a listing of the ten most dangerous toys of all time. Among the nominees are carnivorous Cabbage Patch dolls:
“Feed Me!” begged the packaging for 1996’s Cabbage Patch Snacktime Kid. And much like the carnivorous Audrey II from Little Shop of Horrors, the adorable lineup of Cabbage Patch snack-dolls appeared at first to be harmless. They merely wanted a nibble—a carrot perhaps, or maybe some yummy pudding. They would stop chewing when snack time was done—they promised. Then they chomped your child’s finger off.
In creating this innovative new toy, the great minds at Mattel devised a motorized mouth that sensed neither pleasure nor pain. It chewed for chewing’s sake. With no mechanism to turn off the munching should trouble arise, it was only a matter of time before some cherub’s long blond hair got caught in the doll’s rabid jaws. After 35 fingers and ponytails fell victim, the Snacktime Kids were removed from retail shelves forever, and 500,000 customers were offered a full $40 refund.
I especially liked the nuclear physics set with samples of Uranium 238.
Find Your Indiscretion on Google Maps
I mean, picture it: Google has the (admittedly compelling) idea of mounting a 360’ camera on the roof of a car and snapping pictures at regular intervals, and using GPS to code the location of each picture, allowing people using Google Maps in certain cities to not only look at maps, get directions, or see satellite photos, but also a ground-floor view of the surroundings. It’s probably as close to virtual reality that one has gotten so far on the browser.
But the car takes hundreds of photographs. And there are dozens of cars on the road. It was only a matter of time before these cameras caught some… intriguing activities. Wired Magazine has a selection of some of the best reader submissions. These include people caught kissing or stripping or answering the call of nature, and some strange distortion effects from putting together the 360 photograph view.
Intriguingly, now that Wired readers have discovered some photographs of people in embarrassing situations, Google appears to have replaced those photographs. But is that enough to protect privacy? Or is privacy a cherished but quaint ideal that we may have to relinquish outside of our own homes?
Spacing has this to say:
As Toronto patiently waits for our own version of Street View, it is worth noting that Canada, like many European cities and unlike the USA, has strict laws concerning an individual’s right to privacy. Although pictures are not the focus of the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Document Act, these rules stipulate that consent is required before a private company can distribute personal information. In response to a letter from the Privacy Commissioner Jennifer Stoddart and growing public apprehension about the service, Google announced in September 2007 that identifiable faces and licence plates appearing in any Street View of a Canadian city will be blurred.
These cases raise compelling questions about our right to privacy in public spaces. Do you believe that Street View compromises people’s privacy? Or do the benefits of the service outweigh the possible costs?
Check out the discussion here.
Vivian is still down with the flu. No fever, no throwing up, a bit of diarrhoea, but she is taking in her fluids, at least. The big fear is that she’s still quite lethargic. I suspect she has joint pain. Mostly because it’s my turn.
After going out to breakfast with my father, I came under the weather quite quickly, with a bout of nausea, and aches and pains in my joints. This passed quickly and I didn’t even throw up, but I’m still not 100%. Hopefully, Vivian and I will both be on the mend, and Erin will manage to avoid the worst of it.
In better news, my parents were able to access twelve-year-old WordPerfect files containing the documents for old issues of Myth Makers, and my first professional submission, In Tua Nua. Previously, I’d relied on them to copy the floppy disks onto a CD ROM, but the changeover seemed to wipe out the formatting. On the other hand, the text could be accessed if we accessed the files directly from the floppy disks. We suspect that the file FAT structure in OsX and Windows XP/Vista may have been the culprit. Weird, huh?
Now, to sleep.