Tech news

YouTube Is Under Federal Investigation for Violation of Child Privacy Act

YouTube

Episode 1603

The latest news about YouTube is that the federal government is investigating the streaming video portal for violation of provisions of the Child Online Privacy Act. The problems are in the recommendation engine, which veers to strange videos, even in the YouTube Kids channel. Numerous complaints to the Federal Trade Commission questions if YouTube is collecting data on kids under 13. 

FedEX Caters to Major Companies like WalMart

FedEx

Episode 1599

FedEx delivers for Walmart. Amazon delivers to UPS.  Are major companies taking sides? Amazon says that customers don't really want choice because there are too many choices out there. So they offer "Amazon's choice" to make it easier for shoppers to buy what they want. The technique is called Dark Patterns and it causes changes in the algorithm. Once you order Amazon's choice, you start getting more results like that.

DOJ and FTC to Investigate Google and Amazon

FTC

Episode 1597

After Google was slapped with a $5 Billion fine from the EU, the US Department of Justice has said it will open an anti-trust investigation on Google. Meanwhile, the FTC may be signalling the same for Amazon. But Leo says that it could do more harm economically than good, and maybe the best thing would be to break up both companies into smaller concerns that can compete.

Huawei's reputation for Chinese Spying Causes Google to Suspend business

Huawei

Episode 1593

Recently, after the US banned sales of Huawei cell phones due to spying, Google has suspended all business with the Chinese telephone manufacturer over genuine concerns that Huawei phones have spying issues. Google will not be updating Huaweii phones, give access to the app store, or any other product support. Huawei has also been added to the US Department of Commerce trade blacklist. Leo says it's a shame because Huawei makes some great hardware. 

Are Google Ad Algorithms racist?

Google Ads

Episode 1593

Talya O'Shea has done some research, and she's found that African Americans are more likely to see clickbait with the term "arrested" next to it than whites. And what the bias is from, is Google's Algorithm, which the advertising is based on. Leo says that O'Shea wrote a book about it, concluding that Google needs to improve that algorithm to be accurate, because it can cause a lot of harm to people's online reputation. 

RIP Google+ and other Services

 Google+

Episode 1581

A Sad Week in Google, as Google killed off a ton of services this week. Google+ closed down. Google Chromecast Audio was discontinued. The InBox in Gmail is now gone. Leo was really sad that Google+ never really grabbed the kind of attention from users that Facebook has. The sad part is that Google+ was very popular with photographers since images posted weren't as compressed as other social media sites do. They could upload uncompressed, or hi-resolution versions. But no more.