In The News 02-26-16

Mattel Brings 3D Printing To Kids

If you’re of a certain age, you probably remember Mattel’s Electric Thingmaker that allowed you to make your own plastic toys from molds. I always wanted one, but my mother didn’t like the idea of heating up and melting, so it got the same “no” as the Easy-Bake Oven. Now Mattel is bringing back the Thingmaker as a 3D printer aimed at kids.


Kids won’t be confined to just creating with a set of molds. They can build everything from moveable action figures to jewelry and dinosaurs. All printed out in the 3D printer using special plastic filament.

Kids use the ThingMaker app to design the toys. At around $300, it’s pricier than the Thingmaker of my youth, but a heck of a lot more versatile.

Linux Mint Hacked

A warning for users of Linux Mint.  The popular operating system has been hacked! If you downloaded and installed the 17.3 Cinnamon edition last weekend, your version has been compromised by hackers who installed a backdoor into the distribution that resulted in a malware infection.


Users of the Linux Mint Forum are advised to change their passwords on all of their accounts, since it’s not known what types of information hackers were able to get from users PCs. Linux Mint users can click here for more information.

A person claiming to be behind the backdoor gave an interview to ZDnet, saying that hundreds of Linux Mint installations were under their control and that this wasn’t the first time they’d taken control of the Linux Mint Forum and taken personal information from users. So it’s probably a good idea for all Mint users to change their passwords.

That information has now apparently been put up for sale on the dark web. If you think your account is affected, you can search the “have i been pwned” database by clicking here.

While Linux systems have a reputation for being safe, this only goes to show that no system is safe.

Apple Music Is Growing Fast

Apple Music has hit 11 million paying subscribers. Company executives announced the figure during a talk show appearance.


Apple Music is late to the streaming party, which is dominated by Spotify and Pandora. In comparison Pandora had more than 80 million subscribers, while Spotify has nearly 100 million subscribers, but only 20 million of them are paid. Amazon also added streaming music to the benefits of a Prime membership.

The service costs $10 a month

~ Cynthia

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