Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania discovered that Mattel's pre-teen texting toy, the IM-Me, can be altered to disrupt the digital radios that most law enforcement agencies use. That's right, a $30 toy has the potential to disrupt crucial communications between, say, F.B.I. agents. The researchers, who are going to reveal their study today, say right now your common criminal isn't going to be able to figure this out, but it'll happen soon thanks to your not-so-common criminals, downloadable code on the Internet, and oh yeah, the paper they're releasing today.

“I think the best compliment I can give is not to say how much your programs have taught me (a ton), but how much Marketplace has motivated me to go out and teach myself.” – Michael in Arlington, VA

As a nonprofit news organization, what matters to us is the same thing that matters to you: being a source for trustworthy, independent news that makes people smarter about business and the economy. So if Marketplace has helped you understand the economy better, make more informed financial decisions or just encouraged you to think differently, we’re asking you to give a little something back.

Become a Marketplace Investor today – in whatever amount is right for you – and keep public service journalism strong. We’re grateful for your support.

Follow John Moe at @johnmoe