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.
Target's computerized cash registers went down yesterday, leaving customers left holding the literal bag with no real way to pay for them. Some employees got around the problem by using their personal phones to check out using the online interface. Target assures it wasn't a data breach, but Leo isn't so sure about that. It has happened before.
Known as Project Libra, Facebook will launch its own cryptocurrency through partnerships with Visa and other companies. Leo says that while interesting, the problem is it requires users to connect all their financial information with their Facebook profile. Hmmmm. That's not going to fly
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.
68% of Facebook investors want CEO Mark Zuckerberg removed. But the problem is, that Zuckerberg controls 61% of Facebook stock. Zuckerberg is a class A investor, and as such, he controls ten times more votes than Class B investors. Really, what's the point of giving them a vote?
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.
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.
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.
Google has agreed to a settlement that will pay original Google Pixel or Pixel XL owners up to five hundred dollars for a defective microphone in the phone that caused issues while calling. Other users may be eligible for up to $20.
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.