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Consumer News


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Consumer Resources

Automotive News: JR Hildebrand calls crushing 2011 Indy 500 heartbreak 'a one-in-a-million experience'

It made him stronger as a person. A better race driver, he said. But how could a crushing loss as a rookie in the 2011 Indianapolis 500 when all one had to do was negotiate the final turn on the final lap to win the Borg-Warner Trophy help JR Hildebrand in any way?

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Automotive News: The 2017 Honda Civic Type R sounds like it's packing an aftermarket exhaust from the factory

Apparently filmed somewhere in the misty, airship-size bowels of RAF Cardington -- not all that far from where the 2017 Honda Civic Type R will be built in Swindon in the U.K. -- the above video isn’t much more than a quick intro to the upcoming hot hatch. But it’s our first chance to hear…

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Automotive News: 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon launches with a transbrake

The latest addition to the one-piece-at-a-time Dodge Challenger SRT Demon reveal is that the Demon will launch with a transbrake. Normally only found in serious drag cars, the system electronically locks the transmission. By locking the transmission, the driver can preload the car's drivetrain while staging and launch with the transmission already multiplying torque.

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Consumer News: New app from Google lets parents monitor their kid's phone

Parents can control app downloads and lock their child's phone when it's time for bed

By Sarah D. Young of ConsumerAffairs
March 23, 2017

PhotoTry as parents may, its not always easy to keep an eye on kids digital activity. Short of hovering over your child every moment they spend futzing around on their smartphone, theres no way to monitor all the details oftheir device usage.

Now, Google has released an appthat may give parents some peace of mind when it comes to kids screen time. With Family Link, parents can manage and monitor their childs smartphone from afar.

The app, which only works on devices running Android Nougat, gives parents the ability to set certain digital ground rules for their tech-savvy offspring.

Key features

After downloading Family Link onto your device and creating a Google Account for your kid, youll have the ability to:

  • Control and manage apps. Parents have to grant or deny permission to download any apps that didnt come pre-installed in the device.
  • View detailed usage. See how much time (weekly or monthly)your child is spending on apps by popping over tothe App Activity Section.
  • Set caps on screen time. Limit the amount of time kids are allowed to spend on their device each day.
  • Schedule bedtime. Parents can remotely lock their childs device at a specific time, such as when its time to study or go to bed.

Keeps you in the loop

While the app might make monitoring your childs device usage a little easier, Google stresses that it cant magically make all the apps or services on their smartphone kid-safe.

It's up to parents to choose what's right for their kid. When you make the decision to give your child their own device, Family Link can serve as a tool that keeps you in the loop as they begin to explore, Google said in a statement.

The app is still in early access, so parents will have to request an invite to the Family Link early access program. Additionally, its only available to parents with kids under 13 years old.

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Automotive News: Audi board to discuss police raids in diesel probe, report says

Members of the Audi supervisory board will meet next week to discuss the recent police raids in company offices, factories and the office of its law firm, which took place in connection with a German government investigation into the company's role in the diesel crisis, Reuters reports. The board meeting's primary purpose will be to vote…

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Consumer News: NFL proposes changes to improve the pace of games

Changes to commercials, replays, and clock management could keep the action moving

By Christopher Maynard of ConsumerAffairs
March 23, 2017

PhotoWatching a football game can be very exciting with its punishing tackles and various acrobatics, but that excitement is often punctuated by periods of inactivity and commercial breaks as teams change possession, take timeouts, and officials take extended looks at replays.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is now seeking to address these pace-of-game problems by proposing several changes, according to the Washington Post. The changes could address how video replays are conducted and introduce several clock management tweaks, cutting down on the number of commercial breaks taken and hastening the action.

I watch a lot of football as a fan and as commissioner. I see when I am watching on TV or at a stadium that there are opportunities to make the game more compelling from a fan standpoint, said Goodell in a statement to the Associated Press.

Changing the pace of games

Under Goodells proposal, video replays would no longer require a referee to examine a replay under the hood on the sidelines. Instead, the head official would have a tabletbroughton the field and they would consult with league headquarters to determine a final call.

This is a big change since final determinations have historically been left up to the head official on the field, but under the new rules the final decision would be made by league officials in New York.

The new rules would also place a time clock on PATs, ensure the game clock is properly restarted after a player has gone out of bounds, and standardize the length of halftimes. Offending teams who arent ready on time for the third quarter kickoff may even see a 5-yard delay-of-game penalty.

Fewer commercial breaks

Perhaps one of the biggest changes under the proposal would concern the number and length of commercial breaks. Currently, many fans who watch from home are shown commercials after a touchdown and again right after the ensuing kickoff.

Under the rule changes, the number of commercial breaks would be reduced to four per quarter and would last 2 minutes and 20 seconds, up from 1 minute and 50 seconds. Goodell cites league surveys that show fans wouldnt mind the extra 30 seconds if it meant fewer total commercial breaks. However, the proposal states that natural breaks that are part of the game would still be included to build drama.

In most cases, fans wont know the breaks are longer, he said. I find it unattractive when we see doubling-up on commercials. . . Were addressing interruptions and just trying to move things along.

The proposal will need to be approved by 75% of the 32 team owners at next weeks annual meetings for passage of proposals, which will take place in Phoenix.

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