New Game Hot Wheels Infinite Loop is Out

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Mattel has released its newest game, Hot Wheels Infinite Loop. Experience the insane challenges of real-time 8-player PVP racing while you smash, crash, and stunt your way to victory. Collect legendary Hot Wheels® cars like Bone Shaker™, Twin Mill™, Shark Bite™, Rodger Dodger™ and more while upgrading your fleet to compete in the ultimate racing league. The year is 2068. Hot Wheels® has unveiled the most amazing car racing experience: The Infinite Loop – an all-new racing sport where extreme stunting, crashing, smashing, loops, and tricks make legends and dreams come true. You can watch the YouTube trailer here. App Store: Free (Offers In-App Purchases)

New Game Hot Wheels Infinite Loop is Out

Apple's Privacy Rule for Kids Apps Delayed

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Kids lining up against the wall with smartphones

At WWDC 2019, Apple announced stricter rules for kids apps. Developers of these apps aren’t allowed to use analytics within them. Ads would also be limited. Apple is now delaying the rule to give developers more time.

Apple says it is making the move in part to better protect users’ privacy by shielding children from data trackers, a move that has been lauded by some privacy advocates. But some developers say they fear that the new rules won’t protect kids — possibly exposing them to more adult apps — and could pointlessly reduce their businesses.

Maybe don’t make preying on kids your business model?

That Study Showing Kids Sprouting Horns is Probably Bogus

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Beth Mole reminds us that scientific studies are more nuanced than a sensationalized news story. The Washington Post wrote about a study showing kids sprouting horns because of bad posture, and phones were to blame. But it’s probably bogus.

Perhaps the most striking problems are that the study makes no mention of horns and does not include any data whatsoever on mobile devices usage by its participants who, according to the Post, are growing alleged horns. Also troubling is that the study authors don’t report much of the data, and some of the results blatantly conflict with each other.

YouTube Under Federal Investigation Over Children’s Privacy

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The U.S. government is investigating YouTube for allegedly violating children’s privacy.

The complaints contended that YouTube, which is owned by Google, failed to protect kids who used the streaming-video service and improperly collected their data in violation of the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, a 1998 law known as COPPA that forbids the tracking and targeting of users younger than age 13.

Mattel’s New Hot Wheels Smart Track Kit in Apple Stores

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Mattel’s new Hot Wheels Smart Track Kit is available exclusively in Apple Stores. Vehicles cost US$6.99, the Race Portal is US$39.99, and the Smart Track Kit is US$179.99.

With the Hot Wheels Smart Track Kit, Hot Wheels id vehicles can be raced on a track that incorporates digital tracking elements through an app on the iPhone or iPad. The system allows users to keep track of speed, count laps, build a digital garage, and more, providing a mix of physical and digital play.

YouTube Bans Minors From Streaming Unless an Adult is Present

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In a blog post today, YouTube announced new policies when it comes to minors. YouTube bans minors from live streaming without an adult present, and comments on videos featuring minors have been disabled.

The vast majority of videos featuring minors on YouTube, including those referenced in recent news reports, do not violate our policies and are innocently posted — a family creator providing educational tips, or a parent sharing a proud moment. But when it comes to kids, we take an extra cautious approach towards our enforcement and we’re always making improvements to our protections.

Google Assistant Can Read Your Kids a Bedtime Story

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If you have Google Assistant and the latest version of Google Play Books on your iOS device, it can now read your kids a bedtime story.

Ahead of National Tell a Story Day taking place on Saturday, youngsters now have more ways to hear a bedtime tale. As of today, the feature will be available on iOS and Android phones in English in the US, UK, Canada, Australia and India.

Sounds like a great feature. When I asked Siri to read me a bedtime story, she said: “Next you’ll be asking me for a glass of milk. And a dark matter cookie.” Damnit Siri, that doesn’t even make sense.

TikTok Fined 5.7M Over Illegal Data Collection of Kids

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TikTok is being fined US$5.7 million over allegations that it “illegally collected images, voice recordings, and geolocation of children, some younger than 13.”

The amount, part of an agreement with the Federal Trade Commission announced Wednesday, is the largest civil penalty ever issued by the agency in a child privacy case. FTC commissioners Rohit Chopra and Rebecca Kelly Slaughter also filed a separate statement calling for TikTok executives to be held accountable in any future cases. “In our view, these practices reflected the company’s willingness to pursue growth even at the expense of endangering children,” the statement read.

Pinna Gets Your Kids into Podcasts and Audiobooks

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Meghan Moravcik Walbert writes how she introduced her son to podcasts and audiobooks with a streaming service called Pinna.

I’ve been wanting to introduce him to podcasts for some time. He’s the sort of kid who plays while he watches TV, so he tends to listen to a show more than fully watch the show. Plus, he loves to read and create his own comic books, so storytelling in general is something that he, like most kids, is very much into.