Living: Those Beeping, Thinking Toys

Clever new playmates can be found in a child's garden of microchips

Well before noon on Christmas Day, horror-stricken adults will issue forth from every child-equipped house in the nation. They will be dismayed because they have seen the future. The future works, as it turns out, but only if they make a run for more batteries. Not, as in the good old days, a couple of 10¢ Evereadys, but bushels of expensive nine-volts, pecks of Penlites, and Cs and Ds in numbers beyond counting.

This desperate foraging for batteries will symbolize the fact that...

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