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.

Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Write music with your voice, make homemade cheese

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Deals

Here are 20 portable tech gadgets you’ll want to use every day

If you're looking for portable tech to keep you charged up while on the go (or for some great small gift ideas), we've rounded up 20 must-have gadgets. You'll find everything from a mini gaming controller to a folding Bluetooth keyboard.
Mobile

Here are 15 of our favorite iPad Mini cases, covers to protect your tiny tablet

We take a look at the best iPad Mini cases and covers on the market. We have cases in a range of styles and prices, with all sorts of distinguishing features. If you have an Apple iPad Mini 4 or iPad Mini 5 then get a case now.
Gaming

Your PlayStation 4 game library isn't complete without these games

Looking for the best PS4 games out there? Out of the massive crop of titles available, we selected the best you should buy. No matter what your genre of choice may be, there's something here for you.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: Amazon Scout, Soraya Darabi, and Joey Ricard

On episode 53 of Digital Trends Live, DT's live morning show, hosts Greg Nibler and Drew Prindle discussed the latest in tech news, including Amazon's new delivery drone, CRISPR babies, and more.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: Facebook, flying taxis, and Tesla police car

On episode 54 of Digital Trends Live, DT's live morning show, hosts Greg Nibler and Caleb Denison discussed Facebook's plan to integrate Instagram, Boeing's experimental flying taxi, and more.
Digital Trends Live

DT Live: Super Bowl hangover, crypto disaster, and an electric plane

On episode 58 of Digital Trends Live, DT's live morning show, hosts Greg Nibler and Drew Prindle examined the tech news of the day, including the 2019 Super Bowl commercials, Chip Yates' incredible electric plane, and more.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: Facebook Messenger change, GoNation, and more

From new Facebook Messenger features to 5Ge coming to select smartphones, we discussed the latest in tech news on this episode of Digital Trends Live. We also welcomed Chaz Tanase of GoNation and Dan Ferguson of Groove Jones to the show.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: Apple versus news industry, Alexa Skills, and the OGarden

On Episode 65 of Digital Trends Live, hosts Greg Nibler and Luke Larsen broke down the biggest new stories from the world of tech, including Apple's feud with news publishers, the OGarden, and more.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: Amazon HQ, Guy Kawasaki, and when to buy a streaming stick

On Thursday's episode of Digital Trends Live, we discussed trending headlines like the latest news surrounding Amazon's new HQ plans to the Mars rover Opportunity. We also sat down with author and entrepreneur Guy Kawasaki to talk about his…
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: Oscar visual effects, digital distractions, and more

On episode 72 of Digital Trends Live, we discussed news including the discovery that Google's Nest Secure has a hidden microphone, and welcomed author Brian Solis to the show to talk about his latest book.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: MWC 2019, ezCater, and an Apple streaming service

On this episode of Digital Trends Live, we sat down with John Hall of Calendar.com and Briscoe Rodgers of EzCater. We were also joined by DT's Caleb Denison to discuss how Apple is looking to revolutionize TV streaming.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: New Twitter features, Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, and more

On episode 77 of Digital Trends Live, hosts Greg Nibler and Luke Larsen explored the biggest news stories from the world of tech, including the new Star Wars attraction, Twitter's experimental moderation tools, and more.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: Save the Internet Act, T. rexes in VR, and more

On this episode of Digital Trends Live, we were joined by Joel Comm of Bad Crypto and Jason Horton of Ghost Town. Later in the show, we joined Jeremy Kaplan on location at the American Museum of Natural History.