Advertisers squeeze Google over ads running ahead of extremist YouTube content

Buy our stuff, then enjoy this rant

Google is scrambling to find a solution to a problem that could end up costing it millions in revenue. The issue? Big companies are pulling their ads from YouTube after reports that some of their marketing efforts were running ahead of videos espousing extremism and hate. A growing list of companies has joined AT&T, Verizon, Johnson & Johnson, and even the British government in hitting pause on YouTube ads.

AT&T, which spends a billion dollars a year alone on marketing, said in a statement Wednesday that “until Google can ensure this won’t happen again, we are removing our ads from Google’s non-search platforms,” which, of course, includes YouTube. Google has made changes to ad placement policies and introduced new tools to avoid running squeaky-clean ads ahead of content uploaded by haters, but even they say that, so far, the system is not perfect.

And basically, advertisers are saying that until it IS perfect, they’re gonna hold back on YouTube placements, which means less cash for Google, but, for viewers, it also means fewer commercial breaks. So there’s that.

Scary names, scarier purposes

Users of Apple’s Mac computers and iPhones may have to take a few deep breaths after a data dump from Wikileaks indicates the CIA had snooping tools for both all the way back in 2008.

Forbes says the fresh load of documents, known as the Dark Matter release, shows the CIA developed a spy tool called “NightSkies” that lived at root and kernel levels in Apple’s Mac and iPhones. NightSkies reportedly would allow the CIA to completely control the devices, and that it would “beacon” on occasion to let operatives know it was functioning and ready for use.

Another tool the agency developed was something called the “Sonic Screwdriver,” a bit of snoopware that ran on the firmware in a Thunderbolt to Ethernet adapter and could also infect a Mac with malware. Wikileaks says they are working with tech companies to blunt the effects of the spy tech revealed in its latest cache of secrets, but some tech companies say the demands Wikileaks is making are not reasonable.

For what it’s worth, it appears the CIA would have to have physical access to your Mac or iPhone to install the NightSkies spyware, limiting the installation base. Still, you may want to wipe and reinstall just to be sure.

So simple, yet still so addictive

Ah, Pong, great-great-grandpappy of today’s video game empire. Yeah, we don’t really remember it either, but now a team that does has put an “in-real-life” spin on the classic game.

That’s right, they’ve made a “physical” version of pong, called the Table Pong Project, and no, they didn’t reinvent ping-pong to do it. The physical game, which they are still working on but should look and work like this when it comes out, is the same as the video version (it uses magnets), with a few twists. It’s table-style, rather than a stand-up machine like the original, and when you’re not ponging, it works as, well, a normal coffee table…with a cool clock, LED lights and graphics.

During gametime, you can charge your phone up and listen to music through built-in speakers via Bluetooth. Pretty clever. Even Pong creator Allan Alcorn gave his approval. The project is on Kickstarter right now and you’ll need to pony up $1,100 to get an early bird release. Hit this link for more info on getting your Pong on.

Mobile

AT&T jumps the gun with deliberately misleading 5GE launch

As excitement about 5G networks continues to build, AT&T jumps the gun with a ridiculous and deliberate attempt to deceive the public with 5G Evolution – a speed bump that’s based on improvements to 4G tech.
Gaming

The hottest Nintendo Switch games you can get right now

The Nintendo Switch's lineup started off small, but games have steadily released as the console continues through its second year. Here are the best Nintendo Switch games available now.
Home Theater

Want to mirror your smartphone or tablet onto your TV? Here's how

A vast arsenal of devices exists to allow sending anything on your mobile device to your TV. Our in-depth guide shows you how to mirror content from your smartphone or tablet to the big screen from virtually any device available.
Mobile

We tried all the latest and greatest smartphones to find the best of 2019

Smartphones are perhaps the most important and personal piece of tech on the planet. That’s why it’s important to pick the best phone for your individual needs. Here are the best smartphones you can buy.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: Netflix news, visions of CES, and more

On episode 45 of Digital Trends Live, hosts Greg Nibler and Drew Prindle looked at the most exciting news stories from the world of tech, including the runaway success of Netflix's Bird Box, what to look forward to at CES, and more.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live – CES 2019 – Day 1

On today's episode: While we are for sure going to run down all the hottest and most innovative tech announcements of CES 2019, we're also hosting some amazing guests and panels. From the Impossible Burger and the future of food, to full…
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: CES 2019, Chromecast security flaws, and more

We talk about a Chromecast hack and FCC approval of radar controls in smart devices on this episode of Digital Trends Live. CEO of Affect Change Jason Neubauer also joined the show and Jeff Barrett talked about new tech trends.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: Everything to expect from CES 2019

On the latest episode of Digital Trends Live, Greg Nibler, Caleb Denison, and Jeremy Kaplan explore the many gadgets to look forward to at CES 2019, including 8K TVs, 5G-capable phones, and artificial intelligence.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live – CES 2019 – Day 2

On today's episode: While we are for sure going to run down all the hottest and most innovative tech announcements of CES 2019, we're also hosting some amazing guests and panels. From the latest VTOL taxi from Bell Helicopters and the…
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: Exciting revelations from day one of CES 2019

Broadcasting live from CES, the annual tech conference in Las Vegas, the hosts of Digital Trends Live covered anti-poaching cameras, Samsung's foldable phone, the new-and-improved Impossible Burger, and more.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live – CES 2019 – Day 3

On today's episode: While we are for sure going to run down all the hottest and most innovative tech announcements of CES 2019, we're also hosting some amazing guests and panels and announcing our Top Tech of CES award winners. We're joined…
Digital Trends Live

Original ‘Shark Tank’ star Kevin Harrington on what he loves about CES

Broadcasting from CES, the hosts of Digital Trends Live had a chance to talk to entrepreneur and original Shark Tank star Kevin Harrington about his love of trade shows and how he invests.