Watch a Microsoft engineer use Kinect and a Sphero to simulate telekinesis

Telekinesis, defined as the psychic ability allowing one to influence a physical system without physical interaction, lives largely in the world of science fiction. Yet as we continue to see time and time again, technology is quickly helping drop the second word of that phrase and bring what we see on the big screen to the real world.

Kids Disney Thunder Mountain Serena Flickr

Big data, little kids, and the parents in between

Perhaps parents ought to be the final arbiters of all data collection on our kids. The more informed we are of what’s being tracked, the better we can make choices to keep our kids safe in this big data world.

Top gaming technologies of 2012

This year saw the continued evolution of three consumer technologies — autostereoscopy, touch sensing, and motion sense – with direct application in the gaming world.

Microsoft demos long-awaited Star Wars Kinect game (video)

It isn’t trapped in a galaxy far, far away any more. Microsoft finally unveiled a Star Wars game powered by its motion controller, the Kinect, at the Electronic Entertainment Expo today in Los Angeles, Calif.

Week in review: Skype outage affects tens of millions

Here’s our roundup of the of the week’s tech business news. (It’s shorter than usual, owing to the fact that there’s less going on during the holidays.) First, here are the most popular stories VentureBeat published in the last seven days:

Who is Cisco fooling? Launches Umi living room webcam for $600

Would you pay $600 (and an extra $25 a month) to have a video conferencing option for your living room television? Cisco, traditionally a supplier of enterprise video conferencing and networking hardware, is hoping you’ll say yes and pick up its newest toy.

Microsoft turns bullish on sales of its Kinect game controller

Microsoft’s XBox 360 finally claimed the top sales spot for August, and now the company has high hopes for its Kinect motion-sensing controller for the console. It’s estimating it will sell 3 million Kinect controllers by the end of this year.