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Sonic the Hedgehog sports new look in spin-offSega redesigns the iconic blue hero for a new game and TV series, California pushes for a smartphone kill switch, and Amazon adds new tricks to its shopping app.
California is pushing for kill switches, and Sonic has a new look. I'm Bridget Carey, and this is your CNET update. Lawmakers in California are pushing for a new law that requires all smartphones and tablets sold in the state to have software that would completely disable the device if it's stolen. It's what many call a kill switch. Regulators are doing this to crack down on the growing number of stolen smartphones because if the device cannot be used when it's stolen, well, there's less motivation for thieves. Carriers say they are reluctant to provide kill switch software because it could be abused by hackers. Critics say carriers don't want to put a kill switch on because they'll make less money on insurance plans. We'll hear more about this bill when the hearings begin in the spring. Amazon has integrated a new product scanning feature into its main iOS app. You could always scan for bar codes to see the price or something on Amazon, but now, the app can use the iPhone camera to scan what the product looks like and then it pulls up the product on Amazon for you to quickly purchase it with the tap of a button. This technology is called Flow. It used to be a separate app, but now Amazon folded it into the search tool of its main iPhone app. Amazon wants to make it easy for you to quickly restock your kitchen cupboard by just pointing your camera at the products, but right now, it's more of a cool tool than a useful one because many household products are usually sold in bulk when you do this on the app. I don't think many folks would want to buy $146 worth of tissues. There's something different about Sonic the Hedgehog and his friends. Sega has redesigned the blue hero to go along with a new video game and cartoon series, Erin on Cartoon Network, both called Sonic Boom, and there's a toiling to go with it. Not only did Sonic just get taller, but he's sporting a scarf and bandages like a lot of bandages, bandages on his hands and his ankles, bandages all over the place. Does he sprain easily in this new universe? But the most drastic change is with his friend Knuckles who was the same size as Sonic and he went from this to this. I think Knuckles has been taking performance-enhancing supplements, but you know what? Back to Sonic Boom. Here's a look at the game trailer Sega released. Sega is hoping the blending of a CGI TV cartoon series that shares the same narrative and style as the new games for Wii U and Nintendo 3DS will spark a whole new generation to get into the Sonic craze. That's your tech news update, but you could find more details at CNET.com/update. And be sure to follow along on Twitter. From our studios in New York, I'm Bridget Carey.