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.