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Guilty daddies who know they don’t spend enough time with their children will be able to assuage their guilt – at least where their daughters (or their sons if they live in Brent) are concerned – to the tune of $125 this Christmas: Newsbytes describes her as the high priestess of high-tech talking dolls, she’s called Julie (eat your heart out, Barbie), and she’s the latest creation of Worlds of Wonder, which last season brought you Teddy Ruxpin, the empathetic bear; Julie is two foot tall and packs a custom 32-bit microprocessor from Texas Instruments’ TMS320X0 signal proc-essing family, backed with 64Kb of memory – more than most schoolkids these days; described as 25 times more powerful than an IBM PC, Julie has a motion detector, a light sensor, a heat and cold sensor, each of which generates obvious remarks like Can you see OK? It’s kind of dark, or Where are we going? She also has appropriate responses like Are you hungry? and as far as we can ascertain, doesn’t do any of those objectionable things dolls don’t need to do.

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