Here’s the perfect toy to freak out your kid this Christmas. Kota the Triceratops from Playskool/Hasbro is a life-size baby dinosaur that’s made to interact with your kids.

Kindle your child’s curiosity for prehistoric creatures and make-believe adventures with his very own life-sized baby dinosaur. You may have seen “talking” and “moving” toys before, but chances are your dino-loving toddler has never seen a prehistoric “pet” that comes to “life” with realistic electronic sounds and motion. It’s fossil-sized fun standing just over 2.5 feet tall. A hidden handle helps kids hold on once they climb onto the dinosaur’s back. Realistic stomping sounds add to the make-believe fun as kids bounce in place on the spring seat. Talk to KOTA the Triceratops and he roars back with expressive tail, head, eye, mouth and horn movements. Touch his nose with your hand and KOTA “sniffs” it! In fact, it’s easy to trigger all of his sensitive spots – try tickling his belly or chin to make KOTA “laugh”. And when you think this pretend dinosaur has worked up an appetite, be sure to “feed” KOTA his leafy snack – it really sounds like he’s munching on it! Four different adventure-themed tunes set the mood for your child’s wild imagination as he embarks on a dino-filled rides. But don’t worry! A convenient volume control switch lets you adjust the level or turn it off. KOTA the Triceratops may look thick-skinned, but just one stroke on his scaly-like fabric “hide” will prove he’s really a soft and snuggable playmate who’s ready for all of your child’s dino-roarin’ escapades.

Is this the new wave in kid’s toys, a quick way to blow $300, or just another step toward the pending robot revolution? I’m not sure, but I would have dug that as a kid.

This – Not so much.

That’s at the Los Angeles Museum of Natural History. Imagine turning the corner and running into that as a kid. We saw something similar to this at the Walking with Dinosaurs Live show and it was very realistic looking. Thanks to Yewknee for that video.


No, that image isn’t from a redesign or another blog, it’s from Swurl.

Swurl is a site that’s similar in functionality to FriendFeed, but up’s the ante on dsiplaying the data. You can aggregate all your services into a blog-like page display. Check out my allaboutduncan.Swurl page to see what I mean.

I like the way everything is displayed. Flickr photos are automatically displayed as slideshows, Twitter posts are formatted to look like “comments”. Each type of content is unique looking. It’s easy to tell what is coming from where.


Also, Swurl has a nice timeline feature that shows all your activity per year. It’s a little large when you have a lot of photos. Ideally, you should be able to drill down by month as well. Maybe that will be added in the future.

I can see myself using this a lot if more of my friends/people I follow signed up. It’s nicer looking (and easier to follow) than FriendFeed. You can comment on anything. Overall, it’s very nice looking and worth checking out.


This morning I had an email from Microsoft, announcing the Microsoft Office Live Workspace Beta. I’ve tried Google Docs and while it’s good, I do like a desktop application for word processing. The promised integration with Word, Excel and Power Point seemed promising, so I signed up.

There’s only one major issue.

It doesn’t work unless you have MS Office. Now I have it at home and at work, but the promise of “Access them from almost any computer with a Web browser” only means you can save and email them – not edit.

You can add notes and view them on the web, but not edit.

You can share them and several users can edit (in Word) and save it to your shared space, but only from their computers – not the web.

So, for Microsoft Office Live Workspace Beta – I give it a big thumbs down. I know I just said I like a desktop word processor, but what’s the point in it being web accessible, if it’s truly not?

Why, Microsoft, why? That’s all I ask. Why must you continue to introduce proprietary technology in Internet Explorer?

Internet Explorer 8 Beta is now available for download and one of the new features is WebSlices. By adding a few specific class names to content blocks, IE will essentially syndicate the content.

<code><div class=”hslice” id=”1”>
  <p class=”entry-title”>item – $66.00</p>
  <div class=”entry-content”>high bidder:buyer1

Using the above classes will generate content the user (or IE8 user) can subscribe too. Why not RSS? Is it because that’s compatible with other software, browsers, and readers. Microsoft wanted something that would just work for Internet Explorer.

Do they honestly thing any developer will support or use this? Hmm… let’s see… I can create a RSS feed for my content that anyone can use (even IE7 and IE8 users) or I can create the WebSlice just for IE8 users. The only use this will get will be from FrontPage/Expression users who do not know any better.

Even Microsoft says it’s just like RSS on their site:

WebSlices behave just like feeds where clients can subscribe to get updates and notify the user of changes.

Please Microsoft, just make a good, fast browser for people to use. I was willing to admit IE7 was a step in the right direction. It’s fast and renders content relatively well and has good CSS support. It was only a matter of time before they had to go and ruin it.