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Toy Threatens To Kill Fla. Boy After Battery Change, Say Parents (Sesame Street's Elmo; VIDEO )
Local 6 (Florida) ^ | February 21, 2008

Posted on 02/22/2008 11:55:27 AM PST by Stoat

Toy Threatens To Kill Fla. Boy After Battery Change, Say Parents

Mom: Toy Now Says 'Kill James'

 

POSTED: 12:07 pm EST February 22, 2008
UPDATED: 1:22 pm EST February 22, 2008

 

A child's Sesame Street Elmo doll programmed to learn phrases from owners' computers started making "kill James" death threats to its 2-year-old owner after its batteries were changed, according to the boy's parents.

 

Melissa Bowman of Lithia said she replaced the batteries on the Elmo Knows Your Name doll for her son James. Soon after, the toy began to say, "Kill James," Bowman said.
Kill James" can be heard when the doll's belly is squeezed, the woman said.

"I noticed exactly what it was saying and my son was repeating exactly what it was saying," Bowman said. "It is not something you would think would ever come out of a toy but once I heard it, I was kind of distraught." The doll is programmed to learn the child's name and phrases after being hooked to a computer.

Bowman called Fisher Price, the toy's maker, and told them about the phrase she continually hears from the doll. "My son repeating it has really upset me and they didn't even sound concerned about it really when I spoke with them," Bowman said.

Bowman said she took the doll away from her son but he is continuing to seek it out because it is his favorite toy. The company said there have been no other complaints about the toy.

Fisher Price is offering the family a free replacement doll, Local 6 reported. Watch Local 6 News for more on this story.



TOPICS: Weird Stuff
KEYWORDS: elmo; florida; technology; ticklemeelmo; whentoysattack
Please see the Local 6 article link to view a video report
 

Toy Threatens To Kill Fla. Boy After Battery Change, Say Parents - Orlando News Story - WKMG Orlando

1 posted on 02/22/2008 11:55:30 AM PST by Stoat
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To: ShadowAce; Slings and Arrows

“When tech toys attack” ping


2 posted on 02/22/2008 11:56:11 AM PST by Stoat (Rice / Coulter 2012: Smart Ladies for a Strong America)
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To: Stoat

The mortgage ad on that page is...disturbing.


3 posted on 02/22/2008 11:57:22 AM PST by day10 (Rules cannot substitute for character.)
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To: Stoat; martin_fierro; Tijeras_Slim
Hopefully Elmo won't join forces with Chucky.


4 posted on 02/22/2008 11:58:47 AM PST by Constitution Day
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To: Stoat

5 posted on 02/22/2008 11:58:48 AM PST by TornadoAlley3 (Everytime McCain reaches out to conservatives, conservatives get poked in the eye.)
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To: Stoat

Redrum! Redrum!


6 posted on 02/22/2008 12:00:49 PM PST by Richard Kimball (Sure, they'd love to kill me, as long as they can do it without admitting I exist)
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To: Stoat
Fisher Price is offering the family a free replacement doll, Local 6 reported.

Whaddya wanna bet they'll prefer to sue the company for a retirement-sized bundle?

7 posted on 02/22/2008 12:01:15 PM PST by Turret Gunner A20 (If global warming gets any worse we'll all freeze to death.)
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To: Stoat

My brothers were scared to death of my sisters Chatty Cathy doll, especially after that episode on Twighlight Zone.


8 posted on 02/22/2008 12:02:04 PM PST by mware (Americans in arm chairs doing the job that the media refuses to do.)
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To: Stoat; rdb3; Calvinist_Dark_Lord; GodGunsandGuts; CyberCowboy777; Salo; Bobsat; JosephW; ...

9 posted on 02/22/2008 12:04:27 PM PST by ShadowAce (Linux -- The Ultimate Windows Service Pack)
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To: Stoat

All the makings of a Stephen King (liberal slimebag) novel.


10 posted on 02/22/2008 12:08:18 PM PST by Allegra (Posting without being logged on since 2001)
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To: ShadowAce

I wonder how it learns the name. If you can enter or a say a milti-syllabled name the parents could have chosen “kill-james” as the name that the doll would say.


11 posted on 02/22/2008 12:10:12 PM PST by gondramB (Preach the Gospel at all times, and when necessary, use words.)
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To: Allegra
There was a movie about a killer ventriloquist dummy called "Magic" this story reminded me of.

L

12 posted on 02/22/2008 12:12:00 PM PST by Lurker (Pimping my blog: http://lurkerslair-lurker.blogspot.com/)
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To: Stoat

Watch, when she gets the replacement doll, it’ll say...”kill mommy, kill mommy”. LOL

Then she’ll get another “15 seconds of fame.”


13 posted on 02/22/2008 12:12:41 PM PST by papasmurf (I'm not worried anymore. I read Obama's "Blueprint for Change".)
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To: Stoat
I just looked on the Fisher-Price website, and "Know Your Name Elmo" needs to be programmed by your own computer and a USB cable before it will say your child's name.

Stop whining and simply download the kid's name again. Sheesh.

14 posted on 02/22/2008 12:13:11 PM PST by Yo-Yo (USAF, TAC, 12th AF, 366 TFW, 366 MG, 366 CRS, Mtn Home AFB, 1978-81)
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To: Stoat

Jihad-me Elmo?


15 posted on 02/22/2008 12:17:40 PM PST by KosmicKitty (WARNING: Hormonally crazed woman ahead!!)
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To: TornadoAlley3

16 posted on 02/22/2008 12:20:00 PM PST by Tribune7 (How is inflicting pain and death on an innocent, helpless human being for profit, moral?)
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To: Stoat
The really sad part about this story is that nobody seems to be listening to Elmo. I assume James is still alive. Elmo doesn’t just talk to him himself talk, people. He likes to be worshiped. And by God, when you speaks you should listen.
17 posted on 02/22/2008 12:25:19 PM PST by Jaysun (It's outlandishly inappropriate to suggest that I'm wrong.)
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To: Jaysun

LOL! Try the “Preview” button next time.


18 posted on 02/22/2008 12:26:55 PM PST by ShadowAce (Linux -- The Ultimate Windows Service Pack)
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To: Stoat

All Your Phrases Are Belong To Elmo


19 posted on 02/22/2008 12:29:14 PM PST by Lucky9teen (Where are we going? And why are we in this handbasket?)
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To: ShadowAce
LOL! Try the “Preview” button next time.

How humiliation, or whatever.
20 posted on 02/22/2008 12:30:49 PM PST by Jaysun (It's outlandishly inappropriate to suggest that I'm wrong.)
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To: Stoat

“To-Kill-Me Elmo”?


21 posted on 02/22/2008 12:31:34 PM PST by PBRSTREETGANG
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To: PBRSTREETGANG; All
“To-Kill-Me Elmo”?

At least the family didn't buy the 'tickle' me Bert doll....that could have had far-reaching consequences....

img46/3562/bertandpamelahw8.jpg

22 posted on 02/22/2008 12:52:11 PM PST by Stoat (Rice / Coulter 2012: Smart Ladies for a Strong America)
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To: gondramB; Yo-Yo
I wonder how it learns the name.

Thanks to the excellent research by Yo-Yo in finding the toy's web page (post 14), you can see how it's done by going to the name-download page.  The names are saved as .rbf files, which I'm unfamiliar with in the context of a conventional  sound file.

File Extension .RBF Details

Perhaps this is a proprietary format, and is so in order to prevent tampering?

I'm also noticing that "James" is no longer listed as being an available name for download....

(fade in sinister music)

23 posted on 02/22/2008 1:08:59 PM PST by Stoat (Rice / Coulter 2012: Smart Ladies for a Strong America)
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To: Stoat

Here how to fix it. Just put the original batteries back in it. Problem solved. The doll won’t talk at all.


24 posted on 02/22/2008 1:17:44 PM PST by w1andsodidwe (Jimmy Carter allowed radical Islam to get a foothold in Iran.)
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To: Stoat
If you look at that link on post 14, there is a box near the bottom of the page titled "Hear how Elmo will say your child's name!" James is on that list, and when you click "Play" there is no "Kill" in front of it.

It seems that "James" is one of the stock names that comes with the Know My Name Elmo's CD-ROM. The Download New Names box are for names not on the original CD, I presume.

25 posted on 02/22/2008 1:26:30 PM PST by Yo-Yo (USAF, TAC, 12th AF, 366 TFW, 366 MG, 366 CRS, Mtn Home AFB, 1978-81)
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To: Yo-Yo

I appreciate that clarification, thank you. I had been thinking that perhaps somebody had discovered how to modify the downloadable .rbf name files, hacked the Fisher-Price website and altered one or more of the names. If James is included on the CD-ROM, then the plot thickens even further......

Considering how popular the name ‘James’ is as well as how popular this toy presumably is, one would think that a problem like this would be widespread if there had been an alteration of the CD-ROM.

Perhaps this is nothing more than an isolated software glitch, but if so it’s amazing that it’s manifested itself in this particular way, and that it’s grammatically-correct as well.

I haven’t known very many random software errors to follow the rules of English grammar :-)


26 posted on 02/22/2008 1:40:07 PM PST by Stoat (Rice / Coulter 2012: Smart Ladies for a Strong America)
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To: Stoat
Deep down, it’s a computer. Changing batteries, power glitch, corrupted file. I can see it.

The Elmo says hundreds of phrases, adding in the child’s name like those insidious form letters we get proclaiming “Yo-Yo! You’ve just won...”

So if it originally said “Hello James” when you squeezed its hand, I can see how it got corrupted and said “ell James” which in Elmo’s voice could sound like “Kill James.”

Or something like that. As I said, there’s probably a little recessed master reset button in the battery compartment, the kind you need a straightened paperclip to hit, then just reload the software and be done with it.

Oh yeah, that’s not as financially rewarding as suing Fisher-Price can be.

27 posted on 02/22/2008 1:46:52 PM PST by Yo-Yo (USAF, TAC, 12th AF, 366 TFW, 366 MG, 366 CRS, Mtn Home AFB, 1978-81)
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To: Stoat; Yo-Yo
Thank you - that was the clue I needed.

I think...

James is not on the Download site because James is already included on the CD. The download site appears to generate custom names. I'm betting the parents went to the site and entered KillJames as a custom name and the site generated the sounds for it. Fisher-Price probably removed KillJames to keep others from getting the same idea.

For example...

elmo knows your name

You can even make Elmo say sensible political things.
28 posted on 02/22/2008 2:01:58 PM PST by gondramB (Preach the Gospel at all times, and when necessary, use words.)
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To: Stoat

The title of this thread is incorrect...a toy can’t threaten anyone. Someone has been watching too many horror flicks.


29 posted on 02/22/2008 2:02:12 PM PST by oneamericanvoice (Support freedom! Support the troops! Surrender is not an option!)
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To: Turret Gunner A20

I know. How silly. Take the replacement doll and be done. They probably think, as I do, that someone must’ve said it for the doll to repeat it.


30 posted on 02/22/2008 2:49:38 PM PST by DeLaine
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To: Stoat

Reminds me a little of a twilight episode about a bad doll.


31 posted on 02/22/2008 9:33:42 PM PST by Peace Is Coming
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To: AdmSmith; Berosus; Convert from ECUSA; dervish; Ernest_at_the_Beach; Fred Nerks; george76; ...

“My name is Talking Tina, and you’d better be nice to me.”


32 posted on 02/23/2008 4:50:55 PM PST by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/___________________Profile updated Tuesday, February 19, 2008)
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To: Yo-Yo

It’s because the Elmo toys are made in China. Bloody ChiComs.


33 posted on 02/14/2009 2:20:18 AM PST by myknowledge (Nothing beats Australia's F-22EMA Raptor)
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To: gondramB

Like “Kill Muzzies”. That’ll be Islamophobic.


34 posted on 02/14/2009 2:23:13 AM PST by myknowledge (Nothing beats Australia's F-22EMA Raptor)
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