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.
Tom is watching TV and he gets pixelation while streaming. When he switches to an antenna, he gets the same problem. What gives? Leo says that's due to the digital broadcast. Digital signals don't degrade gracefully. It just gets bad. And it could be a host of things from the antenna, to bandwidth, to the streaming box. Leo has a hunch it's the service that's streaming the programming to him.
How is YouTube getting such a clean signal? Leo says they may be using fiber directly from a network.
Google has released details for their Stadia Streaming gaming service, and Leo says it's like renting a game console in the cloud for $10 a month. That's only the service though, as you still need to pay for each game separately. But it also provides high quality 60fps HDR and Dolby Stereo. But Leo says he really doesn't get the advantage here. Serious gamers have a gaming PC or game console. So who is this aimed at? But for those who are just getting into gaming and don't want to invest just yet in hardware, Stadia may be ideal.
Frank's grandkids are coming over for Father's Day and he's worried that his internet is too slow. What does he need for on-demand streaming? Leo says that Netflix has a standard of 25MB down. But Leo says its best to have twice that.
Mike watches YouTube off his laptop and he keeps getting popups requiring him to log into his Google account to watch videos. What gives? Leo says that Google is starting to get restrictive on some content, and it may be that you have to log into YouTube in order to view sensitive or explicit videos. That doesn't mean anything other than topics that aren't advertiser-friendly. Leo also says it enables Google to collect data on you, so they can monetize it. Get ready, that's the future.
Doug has a podcast called Headline Minute on Anchor.FM. He wants to know if it will play using SIRI. Leo says that SIRI is as dumb as a box of rocks, but the Amazon Echo would likely play it, as will Google Assistant. More people have Echos and Google Assistants anyway.
Patti listens to the Tech Guy with her Amazon Echo and noticed that she gets commercials from San Diego, not LA. What gives? Leo says that when listening to the stream, the radio station sometimes uses specially sold ads for the internet stream that are more regional, or national in design. So that's likely why she heard ads from San Diego. Her device may also not really know your location, so if she can go into the app, she can add the location and get more accurate ads and weather forecasts.
Michelle wants to know of a secure way to listen to podcasts and live audio streams. Leo says that if you're listening to TWiT, you can go to twit.tv/live. It's secure from every source. Leo says to check to be sure your browser is up to date. That could be the issue. But streaming should be very secure. In fact, Google is pushing for all sites to be https compliant. So if the site isn't https compliant, that could be an issue. Those certificates are based on dates, and if your computer's date is off, that could indicate a certificate is out of date when it really isn't.
Len listens to his podcasts through Amazon Echo. Leo says that Echo and other home assistants are a boon for podcasters and streaming radio from all over the world. He says the problem though is that it'll completely play live, but if he listens to it pre-recorded, he only gets about 20 minutes. Leo says it all comes down to advertising. If you're listening to a podcast in Cleveland, but you're in San Diego, ads are no benefit to you or the advertiser. And they probably don't pay to have an ad on the download. It's all about economics. Podcasts are like magazines.
Vic says that Google Voice has a setting to turn off Caller ID. But you have to do it from your web browser. Spectrum also has a special Roku app to get local channels through the internet.