Biden's campaign promised he'd see to it that the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program was "fixed, simplified, and actually helps teachers."
If you're a service member and you defer student loans while deployed, the government still extends your repayment time. Senators want to change that.
Tanzanian President Magufuli was one of the world's most prominent Covid-deniers. His death was announced on state TV.
Sen. Sinema was widely criticized by progressives for siding with Republicans and voting thumbs-down against raising the minimum wage.
The proposal by Sen. Bernie Sanders was abandoned in the Senate on Friday after eight Democrats voted against raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour.
At least seven of the eight Senate Democrats who rejected a proposal to raise the minimum wage are millionaires.
President Joe Biden’s top pick for head of the US Treasury Department Janet Yellen responded to questioning this week by the US Senate Finance Committee. Questioning from Senator Maggie Hassan prompted Yellen to speak about cryptocurrency and the use of said digital currency by the public. Hassan asked Yellen about cryptocurrency and its use “for terrorist financing.” “Cryptocurrencies are a … Continue reading
During her confirmation hearing, the Treasury nominee said that blockchain-based financial networks are “a particular concern.”
Yellen argues many cryptocurrencies are used "mainly for illicit financing."
Treasury secretary nominee Janet Yellen suggested the Joe Biden administration could be tough on Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies after huge price rises.
Kamala Harris has made it clear she loves being “Momala” to her stepkids.The Democratic vice presidential nominee is stepmother to her husband Doug Emhoff’s son Cole and daughter Ella. Since marrying Emhoff in 2014, Harris has shared glimpses of her blended family experience.In honor of her birthday, we’ve rounded up nine quotes about being a stepparent from Harris. On Treading Carefully“As a child of divorce, I knew how hard it could be when your parents start to date other people. And I was determined not to insert myself in their lives until Doug and I had established we were in this for the long haul. Children need consistency; I didn’t want to insert myself into their lives as a temporary fixture because I didn’t want to disappoint them. There’s nothing worse than disappointing a child.”On Becoming “Momala”“A few years later, when Doug and I got married, Cole, Ella, and I agreed that we didn’t like the term ‘stepmom.’ Instead they came up with the name ‘Momala.’” On The Power Of Family“My family means everything to me. I’ve had a lot of titles over my career and vice president will be great, but ‘Momala’ will always be the one that means the most.”On Her First Time Meeting Cole And Ella“When the day finally came, I had butterflies in my stomach. The plan was to go to a seafood hut off the Pacific Coast Highway called the Reel Inn, a favorite of the kids. On my way to meet Doug, I picked up a tin of cookies and tied a ribbon in a bow around them. I took a few deep breaths. I was excited, and I was nervous. I rehearsed what I would say. Would the kids think the cookies were really nice or really weird? Was the ribbon too much?” View this post on InstagramGrateful every day to be Momala to Ella and Cole.A post shared by Kamala Harris (@kamalaharris) on May 12, 2019 at 4:13pm PDTOn Her Relationship With Doug’s Ex-Wife“To know Cole and Ella is to know that their mother Kerstin is an incredible mother. Kerstin and I hit it off ourselves and are dear friends. She and I became a duo of cheerleaders in the bleachers at Ella’s swim meets and basketball games, often to Ella’s embarrassment. We sometimes joke that our modern family is almost a little too functional.”On Making Blended Family Life Work“One of the keys to my relationship with Cole and Ella is their mom. We are friends. We have a very modern family ... The thing about blended families — if everyone approaches it in the way that there’s plenty of love to share, then it works. And we have plenty of love to share within our extended family.” On Her Stepkids“They are brilliant, talented, funny kids who have grown to be remarkable adults. I was already hooked on Doug, but I believe it was Cole and Ella who reeled me in.”On Balancing Work And Family“I sought the advice of my female colleagues in the Senate. And it was Maggie Hassan, the senator from New Hampshire, who offered me some sage wisdom. ‘Our kids love us for who we are and the sacrifices we make,’ she said. ‘They get it.’ I believe you don’t have to be a U.S. senator or a candidate for president of the United States for that to ring true. Time is precious, and so many of us understand the struggle to seek balance.”On Supporting All Families“That’s one of the things [Joe Biden and I] have in common. My children don’t call me stepmom, they call me Momala. We’re a very modern family. Their mom is a close friend of mine. ... Joe and I have a similar feeling that really is how we approach leadership: family in every version that it comes.”Related...
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The three big console makers have just pledged to put an end to the “gambling” aspect of lootboxes, meaning the gaming industry might finally put this whole shady moneymaking operation behind us — and not a moment too soon.The Federal Trade Commission’s August workshop on lootboxes appears to have made some serious waves in the industry — within days, the Electronic Software Association (ESA) reports the three console manufacturers are “committing to new platform policies that will require paid loot boxes in games developed for their platforms to disclose information on the relative rarity or probability of obtaining randomized virtual items.”That means Sony, Nintendo, and Microsoft won’t allow games on their consoles if they have what we currently recognize as lootboxes: the mystery crates you purchase which can either give you rare items or common rubbish.That would excise the main complaint against lootboxes: namely, that they somehow coax children into gambling habits by dint of being… well, gambling.If you know ahead of time what you’re going to get, you’ll at least be informed on how you’re spending your money.Still, if I may play devil’s advocate, I think all of us deep down know we’re more likely to get common garbage in a lootbox.
The Google Play Store has updated its policies to make the digital platform more family-friendly.Apps designed for children will now have to specify their target age range.Games that sell randomized digital items (also known as loot boxes) will need to disclose the odds of winning a particular item.This includes new rules for apps designed for children and apps depicting sexual content, hate speech, drug use, and alcohol.Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.The Google Play Store has introduced new rules to police apps and content designed for children and families.
American government officials have finally taken their shot at video game lootboxes.Specifically, Senator Josh Hawley of Missouri announced his intention to introduce the “The Protecting Children from Abusive Games Act” to the US Senate.This is the culmination of slow-burning anti-lootbox sentiment that’s bubbled up from the gaming community over the course of the last year-and-a-half.Ever since games like Battlefront II and Middle Earth: Shadow of War took lootboxes and in-game purchases from just “occasionally-overpriced bling” to “pay-to-win garbage,” those who regulate fair trade have begun to sit up and take notice.Since then, the issue has been studied in numerous countries, from the perspective of whether lootboxes constituted gambling, or were a means of giving players an unfair advantage.The US federal government became involved last November when the Federal Trade Commission agreed to investigate the practice at the request of New Hampshire Senator Maggie Hassan.
The man who edited Wikipedia with several senators’ private phone numbers and addresses has pleaded guilty to computer fraud and other offenses.Jackson Cosko, a former employee of Senator Maggie Hassan, was arrested last year on suspicion of doxxing five members of Congress.He’s now admitted to breaking into Hassan’s office after being fired, stealing data that included personal contact information, then posting that information online during Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearing.Cosko worked as a computer system administrator for Hassan, but he was fired in May of 2018.According to a plea agreement, he retaliated by using another employee’s key to break into his old workplace at least four times, installing keyloggers on computers and using stolen login credentials to download gigabytes of data.While watching the Supreme Court confirmation hearing in September, Cosko “became angry” at Republican senators questioning Kavanaugh — so he posted contact information for Senators Lindsey Graham, Mike Lee, and Orrin Hatch on Wikipedia.
The U.S. Congress is turning its attention to the Internet of Things (IoT), meaning all those nifty networked devices like door locks, security cameras, nanny cams and kitchen appliances — in other words, all those shiny gizmos that we write about here in the Smart Home section and that many of you already have in your house.There are currently no security standards whatsoever that manufacturers are mandated to follow.Congress is looking to change that by introducing a bill next week called The Internet of Things Cybersecurity Improvement Act.It was stewarded into the Senate by Senators Mark Warner, Cory Gardner, Maggie Hassan and Steve Daines; Representatives Robin Kelly and Will Hurd introduced the legislation in the House.“While I’m excited about their life-changing potential, I’m also concerned that many IoT devices are being sold without appropriate safeguards and protections in place, with the device market prioritizing convenience and price over security,” Warner, who represents the state of Virginia, said in a statement.Before you get all excited that Congress is finally going to save us from our toasters, the federal IoT security bill is not only pretty limited and technically unsophisticated, it would also only apply to tech companies and other manufacturers that want to sell their products to the U.S. government.
US Senator demands review of loot box policies, citing potential harm [Updated]In response to a request from Sen. Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.), the Federal Trade Commission now says it will be convening a "public workshop on loot boxes" later this year.The FTC said it hopes to attract "consumer advocacy organizations, parent groups, and industry members" to take part in the workshop, according to a letter from FTC Chairman Joseph Simons provided to Hassan.The short note suggests such a gathering could "help elicit information to guide subsequent consumer outreach, which could include a consumer alert."FTC: kids thwarted 87% of the time on M-rated game purchasesElsewhere in the letter, Simons notes the FTC's previous efforts to gauge the marketing and accessibility of violent video games (and other media) to children.
The Federal Trade Commission is planning to hold a public workshop later this year to analyze the video game industry’s sale of loot boxes, according to an agency letter obtained by The Verge.The workshop would bring together the video game industry and consumer advocates to discuss concerns and possible outreach around the controversial practice.The letter came as a response to a request from Sen. Maggie Hassan (D-NH) last month, which asked agency officials for an update into their investigation into loot boxes.In today’s letter, FTC chairman Joe Simons declines to comment on the alleged investigation, but he says that the agency will open up a public forum on the video game industry’s sale of loot boxes in the next few months.A preliminary effort, the move could indicate that the regulatory body wants to gather perspectives from both the gaming industry and consumer advocates before pursuing legal action.“We are currently planning a public workshop on loot boxes for later this year as a one non-law enforcement option,” Simons said.
Why don’t Facebook and Google?This bill, proposed today by Senator Brian Schatz (D-HI) and co-sponsored by 14 more Democrats in the Senate, would essentially establish a set of consumer protection duties, defined and enforced by the Federal Trade Commission, preventing tech companies from knowingly doing harm to their users.It’s inspired by, though very different from, what is called a “fiduciary,” a concept that encompasses doctors and lawyers, among others, whom people really have no choice but to trust.Senator Schatz and his co-sponsors feel that a company like Facebook is now in a similar position, in which consent isn’t meaningful: the balance of power has tilted too far to the companies’ side.And to me that ‘s a more important and consequential problem.”The idea has been brought up before, notably by Yale’s Jack Bardin and Harvard’s Jonathan Zittrain, whom Sen. Schatz has previously cited.
The American Federal Trade Commission (FTC) yesterday joined the ongoing battle of attrition between regulators and game developers over the thorny topic of loot boxes.Last we heard about loot box legislation, a collection of European regulators were teaming up to investigate loot boxes and other maybe-kinda-sorta gambling practices, with one American entity joining in: the Washington State Gaming Commission.Now the cause is being taken up by the FTC, at the request of New Hampshire Senator Maggie Hassan.She specifically points out a report from the UK Gambling Commission which, she says, found there may be a correlation between loot boxes and the rise of young people taking to gambling.FTC Chairman Joseph Simons responded to the request with a simple, “Yes.”Up to now, loot boxes were a reliable, if not a little shady, form of income for game developers.