Ron Amadeo has Walmart's $10 smartphone, the LG Sunrise. It's shit. And yet…
The specs look like something out of 2007: a 3.8-inch 480×320 display, a dual core, 1.2GHz Snapdragon 200, 512MB of RAM, 4GB of storage, and a 3MP camera. Everything here aims to fits the most basic definition of each component rather than living up to any kind of performance standard. The camera, for instance, technically records some kind of image based on the light that enters the lens… But hey, it's $10! You've got to lower your standards appropriately. If your other option is nothing, there is actually a lot the Sunrise can offer: It can boot and show the Android desktop. If you tap the screen, something (eventually) happens
It's $20 now that Black Friday sales are over, too. One obvious use for it might be as a cheap dashcam—alas, the camera seems to be the worst thing about it.
Gus writes, "Remember carbon paper? You’re probably of a certain age if you can recall typing on a sandwich of two sheets of paper with a thin, grimy, black sheet between them to make copies." Read the rest
The Hong Kong-based toymaker/crapgadget purveyor didn't even know it had been breached until journalists from Vice asked why data from its millions of customers and their families were in the hands of a hacker, and then the company tried to downplay the breach and delayed telling its customers about it. Read the rest
Those bowtie-shaped "motorized self-balancing two-wheeled scooters" you see in the windows of strip-mall cellphone repair shops and in mall-kiosks roared out of nowhere and are now everywhere, despite being so new that we don't even know what they're called. Read the rest
Vtech is a ubiquitous Hong Kong-based electronic toy company whose kiddy tablets and other devices are designed to work with its cloud service, which requires parents to set up accounts for their kids. 4.8 million of those accounts just breached, leaking a huge amount of potentially compromising information, from kids' birthdays and home addresses to parents passwords and password hints. Read the rest
The LG Watch Urbane 2nd Edition LTE was the company's latest answer to Apple's dominating entry into the market. But it died fast, pulled off the shelves within a week due to an unspecified problem with the display.
Ron Amadeo writes that they "are not in a position to communicate the specifics of the issue that led to this decision."
LG is being as diplomatic as possible to not burn a bridge with its suppliers, but it's hard to interpret "image quality" as anything other than a finger pointed squarely at the display. The display would also fit the description of a "new advanced component" that had "never been used in an LG wearable device before." The Urbane 2 was the first smartwatch to hit a 480×480 resolution, bringing the round, 1.3-inch P-OLED display to 490 PPI.
Failed quality assurance at this level is just bizarre. What a train wreck. Read the rest
Mattel's Hello Barbie has a microphone and a wifi interface, and it transmits the phrases it hears to a central server in order to parse them and formulate a response. Mattel claims that the data isn't being retained or harvested for marketing purposes, and assures parents that they can make Barbie stopping eavesdropping on them at will. But does it work? Read the rest
I blogged the announcement of the Qwerkywriter more than a year ago, when the company was retooling from its successful kickstarter to full retail production. I've had one of the production models in my office for a couple of months now and I've been very impressed! (I wrote this review on it). Read the rest
These little LED flashlights come in handy, and are more convenient than using your phone to light up a dark area. They come with batteries, and the buttons have a small catch on them so you can keep the LED illuminated without having to keep your thumb on the button. I have one in my glove box, my tool box, my travel bag, and on keychains. Once you have them around, you will use them a lot. Amazon has 10 for $3.30, with free shipping. Read the rest
Robbo writes, "Giapetta's Workshop is a multi-faceted interactive adventure story and hand-crafting jewelry kit, all-in-one, for 8-12 year olds that teaches the fundamentals of coding. They're running a Kickstarter campaign to get everything rolling with the goal of getting 5,000 girls coding in 30 days." Read the rest
Shut up and take my money, Lumio. Just shut right up and take it. Jesus!
This is the best price I've seen on a 20000mAh USB portable charger. It's $36, but if you use the promotion code Y4DFT2KK at checkout you can buy it for $18 (at least it was $18 the last time I checked.) I bring a 20000mAh charger when I travel and it keeps my iPhone 6 Plus fully charged for a few days with heavy use. Read the rest