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House investigates YouTube Kids, calling it ‘a wasteland of vague, consumerist content’

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House investigates YouTube Kids, calling it 'a wasteland of vague, consumerist content'

A House subcommittee is investigating YouTube Kids, saying Google’s video service is feeding children inappropriate material in “a wasteland of vague, consumerist content” so it can show them ads.

Despite Google agrees to pay $170 million in 2019 to settle allegations that YouTube has collected personal information about children without their parents’ consent.

In a letter sent tuesday YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki told the US House Oversight and Reform Subcommittee on Economic and Consumer Policy that YouTube is not doing enough to protect children from material that could harm them. Instead, it relies on artificial intelligence and creators’ self-regulation to decide which videos get on the platform, according to the letter from the committee chair, Illinois Democrat Raja Krishnamoorthi.

And despite changes in the wake of the 2019 settlement, the letter notes, YouTube Kids is still showing ads to children. But instead of basing it on kids’ online activities, it now focuses on the videos they watch.

YouTube said it has tried to provide children and families with protections and controls so they can watch age-appropriate content. It also stressed that the 2019 settlement was about the mainstream YouTube platform, not the children’s version.

“We’ve invested significantly in the YouTube Kids app to make it more secure and to provide more educational and enriching content for kids, based on principles developed with experts and parents,” the company said.

The congressional inquiry comes a year into the pandemic that has closed schools and left work-from-home parents increasingly dependent on services like YouTube to keep kids entertained. This has led to a rethink of “screen time” rules and guilt over the amount of time children spend in front of screens, with some experts recommending that parents focus on quality, not quantity.

But lawmakers say YouTube Kids is anything but quality.

“YouTube Kids does not spend time or effort determining the eligibility of content before it becomes available for children to view,” the letter reads. “YouTube Kids empowers content creators to self-regulate. YouTube only asks if they consider factors such as the subject of the video, whether the video emphasizes children’s characters, themes, toys or games, and more.”

Children under 13 are protected by a 1998 federal law that requires parental consent before companies can collect and share their personal information.

According to the 2019 settlement, GOOGL of Alphabet,
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GOOG,
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Google agreed to partner with creators to label material aimed at children. It said it would limit data collection when users watch such videos, regardless of their age.

But lawmakers say that even after the settlement, YouTube Kids, which launched in 2015, continued to exploit loopholes and advertise to children. While it doesn’t target ads based on viewer interests like the main YouTube service does, it tracks information about what kids watch to recommend videos. It also collects personally identifiable device information.

There are also other sneaky ways ads reach children. A “large number” of children’s videos, the letter says, smuggles covert marketing and product placement ads by “child influencers”, who are often children themselves.

“YouTube does not appear to prevent such problematic marketing,” the letter reads. The House’s research team found that only 4% of the videos it watched had “high educational value” and provided appropriate material for development.

The kids app has helped make YouTube an increasingly attractive outlet for the ad sales that generate the bulk of the profits for Google and its parent company, Alphabet, which is based in Mountain View, California.

YouTube brought in nearly $20 billion in ad revenue last year, more than doubling its total just three years ago. The video site now accounts for about 13% of Google’s total ad sales, up from just over 8% in 2017.

The House Subcommittee recommends YouTube completely disable ads for children 7 years and under. It also asks to give parents the option to disable the “autoplay” feature, which is currently not possible (although parents can set a timer to limit their kids’ watching videos).

The lawmakers are asking YouTube to provide them with information about YouTube Kids’ top videos, channels, and earnings, as well as average time spent and number of videos viewed per user, among other information.

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Why do tires deflate in cold weather?

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Why do tires deflate in cold weather?

It has happened to many of us. As soon as you start the engine, the “low tire pressure” light will come on. But have you ever noticed that it happens more in the winter?

As the temperature drops, especially with arctic air, the pressure in the tire decreases. About 1-2 PSI per 10 degree drop. PSI stands for pounds per square inch. As the temperature outside gets warmer, you have more pressure on your tires.

When it comes to cold weather, individual gas molecules in the enclosed tired can have less energy at lower temperatures. Less energy means that the molecules move less. This means less pressure on the tire walls. The tire may therefore deflate slightly.

The opposite is true at warmer temperatures. There is more energy in the gas molecules. They move freely and exert pressure on the walls of the tire.

Knowing this, it’s no surprise that you may have noticed the low air pressure light in your car in this latest arctic air outbreak. It doesn’t always mean you need more air, just that your tires may need to be checked.

Here are some more winter tips that might help you: If your locks are frozen, cover your key with a little hand sanitizer, the alcohol will help melt the ice in the lock. Keep cat litter in your trunk. It can be used as traction for your tires if you get stuck. Putting some kitty litter in a pair of socks and leaving it in your car can help absorb the moisture in the air that can fog up your windows. Speaking of fog, a great way to get rid of it is to use a chalkboard eraser. Also, do not leave liquids in your car overnight. It can aid in the development of fog.

We must not forget the winter survival kit. No matter how new or running well your car is, you can still get stuck. Provide batteries and a flashlight, cell phone charger, blankets, water, and non-perishable snacks. If you are traveling in the winter, it is best to let someone know where you are going and how long it will take to get there. Sometimes friendly phone tracking apps can also provide peace of mind.

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Australia vs England 1st Day of Testing 2 Live Scores

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Australia vs England 1st Day of Testing 2 Live Scores

Ashes, Australia – England live scores© AFP

Australia vs England, Ashes 1st day of testing 2 Live:After Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood and Mitchell Starc raced through the England batting lineup, knocking them out on Day 1 for a paltry 147 in just 50.1 overs, all eyes will be on David Warner, Marnus Labuschagne and Steve Smith on Day 2 in Brisbane. Can the Australian batters drive home the advantage and beat England in the first Test game? Chris Woakes, Ollie Robinson and Ben Stokes will probably have different ideas. They would hope the Gabba field comes to their rescue, just as it did when Australia was bowling. England must strike early on the second day and not allow Australia to start. After the final session of Day 1 was washed away by rain, both teams hoped for clear weather to get things started. (FULL SCORED CARD)

play XIs

England: Rory Burns, Haseeb Hameed, Dawid Malan, Joe Root (c), Ben Stokes, Ollie Pope, Jos Buttler (wk), Chris Woakes, Ollie Robinson, Mark Wood, Jack Leach

Australia: David Warner, Marcus Harris, Marnus Labuschagne, Steven Smith, Travis Head, Cameron Green, Alex Carey(wk), Pat Cummins(c), Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon, Josh Hazlewood

Follow Aus vs Eng 1st Test Day 2 live here

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Should You Add McDonald’s Corp (MCD) Stocks to Your Portfolio on Wednesday?

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Should You Add McDonald's Corp (MCD) Stock to Your Portfolio Wednesday?

A rating of 92 places McDonald’s Corp (MCD) near the top of the Consumer Cyclical sector according to: Investor Observer. McDonald’s Corp’s score of 92 means it ranks above 92% of the industry’s stock. In addition, its overall score of 72 ranks it higher than 72% of all stocks.

Overall Score - 72
MCD has an overall score of 72. Find out what this means for you and get the rest of the rankings on MCD!

What do these ratings mean?

Finding the best stocks can be tricky. It is not easy to compare companies from different sectors. Even companies in the cyclical consumer sector can sometimes be difficult to compare. Investor Observer‘s tools enable a top-down approach that allows you to pick a metric, find the top sector and industry, and then find the best stocks in that sector. Our proprietary scoring system captures technical factors, fundamental analysis and the opinions of analysts on Wall Street. This makes InvestorsObserver’s overall rating a great way to start, regardless of your investing style. Percentile-ranked scores are also easy to understand. A score of 100 is the top and a 0 is the bottom. No need to try to remember what is “good” for a lot of complicated ratios, just pay attention to which numbers are the highest.

What will happen to McDonald’s Corp stock today?

Shares of McDonald’s Corp (MCD) traded at $260.52 on Wednesday, December 8 at 1:33 PM, up $0.61, or 0.23% from its previous closing price of $259.91. Volume today is light. So far, 1,401,123 shares have been traded compared to an average volume of 2,782,222 shares. The stock has traded between $259.19 and $262.81 so far today. Click here for the full stock report for the stock of McDonald’s Corp.

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