Can Monster force open the door to legal online gambling in the U.S.?

A cast of characters roll the dice

You’ve probably heard of Monster, also known as Monster Cable, and now, you’re about to hear a lot more about it for reasons totally unrelated to wires, headphones and the other tech it sells, because they’re about to make a big push into online gambling. In the United States. Good luck you say, since online gambling is illegal? Remember PokerStars? They do. But, there’s a catch.

In cooperation with Monster CEO Noel Lee and his new COO, Fred Khalilian, Digital Trends got an exclusive look behind of the scenes at their push to open a legal online gambling business by using what could be called an “exception” in American gambling laws: they teamed up with a Native American tribe, which are technically sovereign nations and are therefore allowed to operate gambling facilities under the landmark 1988 Indian Gaming Regulatory Act. But could that also be used to launch an online gambling site?

COO Khalilian, who has wrestled with and lost a couple bouts with the Federal Trade Commission in the past, says he and his team have done their due diligence and have navigated what he says are six national and international tiers of regulation, and are ready to launch PokerTribe.com, a legal domestic online gambling portal that could make Monster billions of dollars. Will it happen? We’ll see, but until then, check out this fascinating story.

OK Google, stop listening to me

Google has been pushing hard on their smarthome hub products lately, just like Amazon has been and Apple will be soon. Except Google just had a significant stumble, which they responded to with an equally significant remedy. According to Android Police writer Artem Russakovski, his new Google Home Mini malfunctioned and recorded everything he said in his home 24/7, including what was on his TV, and so on.

How did he figure that out? He looked up his My Activity log on google and saw thousands of entries, all ready to be played back. This meant all the stuff his Mini heard was sent to Google. Russakovski immediately contacted Google, whom he said initially replied in about 10 minutes, and then sent an actual engineer to his home to check out the device. The culprit? A fault in what’s known as the “long press” activation of the Google Home assistant.

And then, via an automatically implemented software update, Google essentially locked out the ability for the Home Mini to do such a thing again, while still preserving its ability to function using the usual “OK Google” voice command. But, for conspiracy theorists and pundits complaining about smart home hubs listening in on our every word and sending that information to a company, or a government, or aliens or the Illuminati, well, you can imagine their glee.

Google has put up a page detailing the issue and their fix, and check out the original post over at Android Police, it’s a good read.

It’s getting hot in here, so take off your all your parkas

Ok, some pretty heavy stuff there. How about some lighter, warmer news? We couldn’t pass this up: Pizza Hut is once again getting into the clothing business (remember these shoes) with a “Pizza Parka” made from – you guessed it – the same materials as their keep-warm pizza delivery bags.

Packing layer after layer of insulation, the Pizza Parka would probably be a great fit for a polar cross country skiing expedition, or any typical Minnesota winter. The jacket also features a pop-open sleeve pocket for your smart phone (which should have the quick-order Pizza Hut app installed of course), and a pizza-shaped interior pocket for a snack for later on. There are also spaces for parmesan cheese and red pepper packets, as well as a napkin-like hood flap.

So, how can you get one and become a walking billboard for Pizza Hut? You’ll have to get lucky by entering a drawing for the limited number of jackets The Hut is giving away. How to enter? Order a pizza, or course, or hit them up on social media.

We’ve got more news on our Facebook page and YouTube channel, and be sure to tune in to this week’s DT podcasts: Close to the Metal (computers and such) on Tuesday, Trends with Benefits (general tech shenanigans)  on Thursdays, and Between the Streams (movie and TV topics) every Friday.

Giveaways

Enter our giveaway to get a free, limited-edition Star Wars-inspired parka

It's giveaway time! This week we're giving away a limited-edition Star Wars Empire Crew Parka. The jacket is an exact replica of what Lucas and his team wore while filming on the Hardangerjokulen Glacier in Norway back in 1979.
Smart Home

Which is better, the Amazon Echo or the Google Home? We took a look at both

What happens when you compare the Google Home vs the Amazon Echo? Both smart speakers have good qualities, but what happens when you compare they're features side-by-side? We think one of these smart gadgets wins over the other.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: YouTube Premium and drones that fly forever

On this episode of Digital Trends Live, Greg Nibler welcomed Laura Major from CyPhy and Ben Lee from Rootstrap to the show. Plus, the future of YouTube Premium after news that the streaming giant will be offering exclusive content for free.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: HyperloopTT’s Dirk Ahlborn discusses the future of travel

We chatted with HyperloopTT's Dirk Ahlborn about the newest way to travel. The Hyperloop travels at nearly the speed of sound and has already been commercially approved in China and the UAE.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: A runaway Tesla, new Airpods, and Hyperloop updates

On episode 28 of Digital Trends Live, host Greg Nibler and guest Adrien Warner explored the biggest tech news of the day, including rumors of new Airpods, a police chase involving a Tesla, and more.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: Alexa-enabled Billy Bass, ‘Gear.Club Unlimited 2,’ and more

Alexa-enabled fish and Boring Company lawsuits highlighted this episode of Digital Trends Live. We also welcomed Chris Rosario to talk about Gear.Club Unlimited 2 and Ian Williams of Deadstock Coffee joined the show from Tokyo, Japan.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: Harlem Globetrotter Big Easy talks new app, favorite gadget

We welcomed Harlem Globetrotter Nathaniel Lofton to talk about how he became a Globetrotter 14 years ago. Big Easy also told us about the brand-new Harlem Globetrotters app that is now available on Android and Apple.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: First 5G phone, Batcole Foundation, and a new data breach

Tuesday on Digital Trends Live, Greg Nibler discussed trending topics such as the Quora data breach, and Jeremy Kaplan was joined by Katie Linendoll from the Batcole Foundation to discuss the benefits of AR and VR in hospital rooms.
Digital Trends Live

Filmmaker Justin Ching talks about empowering underrepresented voices

Justin Ching, filmmaker and founder of production studio J-school, believes it is important to empower underrepresented communities to tell their own stories. He appeared on Digital Trends Live to talk about his journey and J-school's…
Digital Trends Live

Pro4Ma CEO Liz Dunn explains the retail trends of Black Friday, Cyber Monday

Black Friday is a day of sales, but also of chaos. Pro4MA CEO Liz Dunn appeared on Digital Trends Live to discuss the shifts she has seen in Black Friday weekend, and what they mean for consumers.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: Self-driving cars, ocean exploration, and holiday shopping

Today on Digital Trends Live, we discussed the first self-driving car service in Phoenix, an expedition heading to the bottom of the world's oceans, and talked to Liz Dunn from Pro4ma about holiday shopping trends.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: Alexa updates, Uber’s self-driving cars, and more

On this episode of Digital Trends Live, Senior Editor Caleb Denison discussed the best streaming devices and we welcomed Danny Pyell and Felia Mano, the Nintendo Power Couple, and Kelly Dachtler from OBVS to the show.
Digital Trends Live

CEO of shoe startup OB/VS talks about exploration-focused footwear

Today we had the founder of OB/VS Kelly Dachtler to talk about why he wanted to start a footwear company, what makes the shoes his firm manufactures unique, and what future products are in store.
Digital Trends Live

HouseSpecial animation team brings DT’s Holiday Gift Guide to life with miniatures

Digital Trends partnered with animation company HouseSpecial to create this year's Holiday Gift Guide. We sat down with art director Gee Staughton to discuss how HouseSpecial brought life to the project.