Christmas Toys, Then & Now

Christmas Toys, Then & Now

It looks like all the kids of today really need is internet connectivity.

Growing up, the toys were simple and quite plain. We loved unwrapping Barbie Dolls and Legos and action figures, drawing pads, Little People play sets, and toy race cars. Now, in 2017, toys are far more advanced. Almost every toy has some kind of electronic part, can connect to the internet, or requires batteries.

I remember watching my little brother, six years younger than me, unwrapping an Xbox one Christmas, and thinking to myself, "when did Christmas get so advanced?"

Here are some of the top 10 Christmas gifts for the 90's kids versus the some of the top 10 Christmas gifts for the kids of today. Bear with me as we see how things have changed from then to now.

1. Hot Wheels play sets.

A favorite among car enthusiasts everywhere. I remember one of the kids in my neighborhood had it, and his cars changed color with the water temperature. Probably one of the coolest toys of our childhood.

2. Cabbage Patch dolls.

Cabbage Patch dolls came with their own birth certificates and really cute little grins. My mom got one for her 16th birthday and swore it was the best gift ever. They're still popular today, but much more with an older crowd getting in touch with their youth.

3. Nintendo Game Boy.

From the classic Game Boy in the top middle to all the add-ons to make your game play even better, Nintendo really provided kids with the best childhood. I had the Game Boy Advanced and I still think it's one of the best handheld games in the history of handheld games.

4. Barbie Jeep Power Wheels.

Yes, I totally had a Barbie Jeep, and yes, I was a menace on the road. Power Wheels came out with Jeeps for boys and girls, then they started making Cadillacs and Corvettes for the later generations.

5. Furby.

The toy that defied logic, the Furby. You could take its batteries out, and it'd still be chirping. Late at night, you could faintly hear its calls from the depth and darkness of your closet... "Furby...". Probably my least favorite toy.

6. Rockin' Robot Cassette Player/Recorder.

This cute little toy gained its popularity with the help of the Toy Story movies that made their debut 1995. You could talk into the attached microphone and record your voice, or play back some homemade cassette tapes.

7. Easy-Bake Oven.

Couldn't tell if mine was broken or if I was just really bad at baking. My older sister had the Easy-Bake Oven and I can't remember a time that it actually worked.

8. Troll Dolls.

No one knows what it was about these little dolls that made them so popular, but they gathered on window sills and sat in the toy boxes of many 90s kids. Pretty sure I had at least five, all with different shades of orange hair.

9. View-Master.

The View Master came with reels to view scenes from popular Disney movies, fun facts about animals and landscapes, and many other cool reels that could be purchased separately and added to your collection.

10. Hit Clips.

Hit Clips were the start of my music obsession. My sisters and I all had the little boombox, and we would trade clips, and sing the only five lines we knew from the song because they were featured on the clip.

And now, for the kids of today.

1. Selfie Mic Music Set.

As if we aren't already self-obsessed, here's an attachment to help us seem way more talented than we are. It's a selfie stick with a mic and headphones so we can record ourselves singing. Fascinating.

2. Sky Viper V2400 HD Streaming Drone.

Drones are all the rage, even though most sporting arenas won't let you fly drones anywhere near them, and you can't take them to concerts either, but hey, at least you get to spy on your neighbors.

3. Cozmo the Toy Robot.

I think kids should stop playing with robots, especially with the rise of Sophia, the first robot citizen. But this cute little guy doesn't look capable of world domination.

4. Shopkins play sets.

I had never heard of Shopkins until I worked at Claire's. Little girls would run up to me and ask where the Shopkins were. To this day, I still don't know exactly what they are, but they're kind of cute little toys.

5. Play-Doh Touch Shape to Life Studio.

Instead of just squashing your Play-Doh and forgetting to put the lid on it again properly and letting it dry out, you can now bring your Play-Doh to life with -surprise- the internet. Just another excuse for kids to want tablets or iPhones.

6. Merge Virtual Reality Headset.

Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality are becoming more and more popular among movie buffs and video game fanatics. They allow you to immerse yourself in a virtual world, without the risk of injury, unless you walk into a wall.

7. BB-9E App-Enabled Droid.

Another toy that needs to be connected to the internet, this app-enabled BB-9E Droid has all the bells and whistles of a remote-controlled droid. It's just missing the bluetooth connection.

8. Star Wars Landspeeder 12V Ride-On.

9. Robotic Neft guns

Another drone-themed toy, this Nerf gun is a blaster gun, on a set of tracks, controlled via a remote. It's a cool concept, but I'd rather have seen a flying Nerf gun blaster.

10. Laser-X Laser Tag.

Instead of paying ridiculous amounts of money to play laser tag with a bunch of random people, now you can play it in the comfort of your own home with this Laser-X game. Looks simple enough.

Cover Image Credit: Zifiliu

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Is the Deep Web Safe for Teenagers?

The internet, together with modern technologies, is taking over virtually every aspect of everyday life for human beings.

Our kids are getting introduced to web platforms at tender ages and continue to explore their extensive benefits as they grow up. With the internet, they have been able to quickly go through their education systems, develop their communication and even spark up their leisure.

And while this is advantageous, the unfortunate thing is that the internet is not entirely safe. In recent times, it has gradually become more vulnerable to threats that specifically target teenagers.

With this in mind, one significant internet peril—although massively underestimated—is the deep web. Unfortunately, only a few parents and guardians are informed about it compared to their kids, particularly teenagers whose curiosity for going against norms leads to them trying various experimental projects.

This excerpt seeks to provide a broader understating of the problem at hand. Here, you will get to understand “the deep web mystery” and its implications for internet users below 18 years of age.

What is the Deep Web?

There are numerous definitions and phrases surrounding the mysterious non-visible internet, and if you are to understand how it could be dangerous, then it is crucial that you know what it means.

In one of the simplest definitions, the deep web represents every web page which is unidentifiable by standard search engines such as Google, Bing, Yahoo, and the likes. To give you an idea of this concept, you can find a comprehensive, categorized list of deep web links here.

Another commonly-used term associated with the deep web is “the dark web,” which mostly represents sites with illegal content of criminal nature. The dark web, which exists within the deep web, is also the home of various trading platforms that allow users to buy and sell illegal items and services.

In summary, the term “deep” represents online content that is not identifiable using standard search engines. Many sites on the deep web are not nefarious or illegal in nature—in fact, many deep web platforms (outside of the dark web) are meant for legitimate purposes like peer-to-peer communication using various forums or even academic research using databases such as WWW Virtual Library.

But within the deep web is the dark web, which tends to be a comfortable venue for criminal activity. Though many of the sites on the deep web can be visited using standard web browsers such as Chrome and Firefox, they’re also accessible with the software tools inclusive of those used for the dark web.

The Danger in Complete Anonymity

To access the dark web, you need a special software program, namely the Tor Browser. The software allows you to remain anonymous online. Tor prevents a third party from being able to know your identity or online behaviors, including your location, the sites you visit and even the messages you send. And while this sounds remarkable, it is the reason why kids want to access the deep web.

Unknown to them is the looming danger that they’ll be exposed to malicious users on the other end looking to exploit unsuspecting visitors. This danger is particularly rampant on the dark web.

The aspect of anonymity attracts all forms of illegal and illegitimate activities including hacking, cyber-bullying, drug dealing, fraud, among others. In reality, it is impossible to quantify the degree and types of threats underage kids can get lured into when they’re browsing the dark web.

Illegal Access to Drugs

Imagine being able to go online, buy drugs (even illegal) and have them directly delivered to your doorstep. This is not some fancy joke, but a blatant reality on the deep web. Sites on the dark web in particular, such as the infamous Silk Road market, allow users to access and purchase all sorts of illegal drugs and have them delivered while maintaining their anonymity.

Minors with the ability to bypass the typical barriers to the deep web have unlimited access to a flurry of potential destructive and illegal drugs. And considering the number of scammers and malicious individuals also using the network, it is unimaginable what would happen if such cases went undetected.

Child Exploitative Content

Possibly the most unsettling thing about the deep web is the numerous cases of child abuse. Although the contraband and drug activities make up for most of the events within the dark web scene, it is horrifying to what extent the deep web also promotes despicable acts of child abuse.

And what’s even more worrying, one study found that more than 80 percent of the users accessing dark websites using Tor visited websites associated with the pedophilic content.

Summary: What’s the Prognosis?

As awareness of the deep and dark web continues to grow, its popularity is also following a similar trend. Unfortunately, this may subsequently push more kids to search for ways to access and explore it.

And while the deep web can also be beneficial for anyone looking for information that isn’t available on standard internet platforms, it should only be accessed by users who can completely discern their actions.

It is advised that parents and guardians take an active role in finding out what their kids are doing online and set boundaries on what they are accessing. Even so, there is a need to create awareness about the dark web and its impact—this serves a purpose to educate teenagers about its existence while also minimizing the mystery and anonymity behind it.

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Disruptive technology to benefit health & wellness app users

health & wellness


Health and wellness sector stares at touching $233.3 billion mark by the end of 2020. This is well illustrated by the rise in the awareness of the people who turn to using mobile applications focussing on particular sports like cycling, boxing, football or simple routine fitness exercises like jogging and running. 2016 witnessed as many as 3.2 million downloads for the mhealth apps. 

Insurance sector has joined in to motivate users for wellness and offer incentives to adopt healthy choices as it directly benefits them. For example- Vitality, a UK based insurance company among many others have started this new trend, Lympo does that for you and so much more in terms of removing middlemen, owning and sharing the data and getting paid in its own cryptocurrency, LYM tokens,ryptocurrencies like for maintaining your health.

Until now, your data would be locked with one provider without allowing you to integrate it, aggregate it and use it for your own benefits. Furthermore, you are most probably only able to share your fitness achievements with your friends on social media, but not with your physical therapist or even a doctor. The promise that the whole healthcare sector will benefit from the user-generated data did not come true yet.

Now, this calls for a change! Lympo will allow you to store your data from a wide range of health and fitness apps and wearables and use the latest Blockchain technology to reward users for the achieved healthy lifestyle goals. These tokens that represent a digital asset like Bitcoin, can be further used to get other services in the Lympo ecosystem and from its partners, for example, healthy food or sports clothes.

Through the features of the Lympo app you can have a complete control over who can access your data and for how much. This not only provides you with security for the sensitive health related issues but also offers you to feel motivated to take part in the promotional events like running 5 km race and get paid in the form of Lympo tokens.These token can be used anytime to pay for gym trainer on the platform or a session with a physical therapist. 

The one major benefit of using the Lympo app technology is that you can collect and share all your data at any place and to any one you like and have a complete picture for your body fitness unlike the apps which separately monitor different aspects of your health and do not bother giving you a full picture and have no data sharing facilities as well which even successful apps like Sweatcoin were not able to do. Sweatcoin has an app of its own while Lympo provides you with the facility to store and control the data flow from the apps and wearables you already use. Also, Lympo offers you money for a whole lot of fitness and running exercises unlike many specific apps like Sweatcoin which only measure steps. 

Thus, the Lympo app provides you with a lot of additional facilities and the motivation to get healthier is the biggest of them all. As the user size for the platform increases, Lympo CEO Ada Jonuse feels that the health brands will be joining the platform to sell their health and sports products and services using the Lympo tokens. That will be a great motivator for the Lympo users as they would be directly able to trade their wellness achievements for getting health supplements or fitness advises. 

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