German parents told to destroy Cayla dolls over hacking fears

An official watchdog in Germany has told parents to destroy a talking doll called Cayla because its smart technology can reveal personal data. The warning was issued by the Federal Network Agency (Bundesnetzagentur), which oversees telecommunications. Researchers say hackers can use an unsecure bluetooth device embedded in the toy to listen and talk to the child playing with it. But the UK Toy Retailers Association said Cayla “offers no special risk”. In a statement sent to the BBC, the TRA also said “there is no reason for alarm”. The Vivid…

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A Brief History of Fashion, Told Via the Fashion Plate

Fashion plates are a classic, even stereotypical angle image from the Victorian era, featuring duos and trios of women modeling the latest looks circa 1877. But how did consumers of the time actually use these images? What did you actually do with a fashion plate, anyway? Recently released in lavish paperback, Fashion Plates: 150 Years of Style is a beautiful chronicle of the form in its heyday. It’s the work of April Calahan, a fashion historian who works in special collections at New York’s Fashion Institute of Technology, whose holdings…

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