YouTube under fire for adult content in kids app

Consumer groups have dug up these adult-themed videos buried among the cartoons, silly songs and science explainers in the YouTube Kids mobile app.

Concerned that the videos could be dangerous or disturbing to children, the groups have updated a complaint asking big tits shemale webcams the FTC to investigate the app for unfair and deceptive business practices. The original complaint, filed in April, went after Google-owned YouTube for including ads mixed with content. The groups also object to the inclusion of unboxing videos, which show people opening new toys or gadgets.

The videos have not led to a rash of noose tying, wine-swilling, profanity-spewing toddlers. A handful of parents did leave negative reviews of the YouTube app after their children found inappropriate videos. However, the most egregious examples were first compiled by adults -- specifically by a company that makes a competing product called KidKam.

Google criticized for YouTube Kids app

"It's clear that Google is engaged in deceptive marketing when it tells parents that YouTube Kids is a safe place to explore," said Josh Golin, who works for the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood, one of the watchdog groups behind the complaint.

"Particularly concerning are videos that present adult content in cartoons or using familiar children's characters such as an expletive-laced parody of the film Casino using Bert and Ernie," said Golin.

Other videos the groups managed to dig up include a talk show host mentioning marijuana, a TED talk on suicide, Sarah Jessica Parker in a revealing skirt, and a dance lesson that includes a crotch grab.

YouTube has a new app just for kids

Google (GOOG) released the Android and iOS app in February. It has a simplified design with big, kid-friendly buttons and no comments. Popular kid channels and content are highlighted on the main screen. Finding edgier clips requires using the app's search tool for terms that aren't blocked.

Instead of handpicking what videos show up in the app, YouTube relies on a combination of automated filtering and user flagging to remove inappropriate content.

"We work to make the videos in YouTube Kids as family-friendly as possible and take feedback very seriously," said a Google spokesperson in a statement. "We appreciate people drawing problematic content to our attention, and make it possible for anyone to flag a video. Flagged videos are manually reviewed 24/7 and any videos that don't belong in the app are removed."

Google is blocking the inappropriate videos that are flagged, but the CCFC wants YouTube to switch to a pre-filtered approach, where each video is approved before it can appear in the app. That approach is typical for TV channels, but would be a huge undertaking for YouTube, which is working with a vast library of videos.

Google says concerned parents can turn off the search feature in the app's settings.

CNNMoney (New York) First published May 19, 2015: 3:50 PM ET






Why I Am Madly In Love With Danielle of "American Pickers"

PlushDanielle Colby

Iowa--or "I-oh-way" as the ignorant might pronounce it--doesn't have too many claims to fame. 

Oh, sure there's that little statistic that it literally has the most miles of improved roads of any state in the US, but that's because of the sheer miles of gravel roads there (technically qualifies, and they still have the most: "Believe It, or Stuff It!" ®).

But Iowa, in its corn-belt crowning glory, has produced a natural resource to rival its agricultural output.  And that resource is a curvaceous, brilliantly goofy, sardonic, gorgeous, mouth-watering  MILF named Danielle Colby. 

This truly statuesque bad grrrl (as in "good-bad-but-not-evil"), this inked Isis, this wrecking-ball of womanliness, this . . . oh, you know the drill. 

I'm bustin' at the zipper to tell you why I am madly in love with Danielle of American Pickers.

Resident Reality

"Reality" TV blows and wipes.  You know it; I know it. 

The only people who don't seem to know it are programming directors, developers, networks, and people in Louisiana. [Cousin-Luvin' Gator Hand-Fishin' Bayou-Crawlin' Millionaire Swampbillies: how's that for a reality show concept?]  However, there is a stand-out: the only ones who seem to have gotten reality TV right is the state of Iowa.

Iowa's current celebrity comes from a fun and fascinating "reality" show called American Pickers.  Part treasure hunt, part antiques collectibles show (à la PBS' outstanding Antiques Roadshow), and part educational (in that fun, spanky way), this is a program designed for geeks but--because of the presence of a certain glorious goddess in its cast--can appeal to any man with a pulse, from the snooty aficionado to the stank-coated biker.

The History Channel's American Pickers (debuted in 2010, and quickly became a #1 non-fiction television program) follows two regular guys who happen to be collectors of obscure items and things for resale (either as restored interior décor pieces or as repurposed items).  Their focus is on finding the diamonds-in-the-rough, the big-ticket cultural artifacts, which might be rusting away in someone's back yard. 

In essence, they collect garbage.  But not just any garbage - they roam their quad-state area of Iowa, Illinois, Missouri, and Kentucky (and sometimes beyond) in search of abandoned gold.

The two main players are "pickers" Mike Wolfe and Frank Fritz. 

Mike owns an antiques' shop called Antique Archaeology in Le Claire, Iowa (in Scott County, on the west shore of the Mississippi River).  Mike Wolfe, for anyone who's seen him, is a wiry, hyperkinetic guy who obviously has the same ADHD malfunction as home-improvement carpenter guy, Ty Pennington, on that extreme home makeover show.  Mike's attention span is gnat-sized, he's obviously easily distracted, but he's personable and hilarious in his manic fidgeting. 

Frank, his picking partner, is a short, dumpy guy built along the lines of the Pillsbury Doughboy, minus the chef's hat.  He also has a personality like congealed poi.  But, he knows his stuff, specifically when it comes to any automotive or motorcycle parts that might be collectible (he also has a freaky fetish for old oil cans).

The two travel around in a cargo van, knocking on doors where they see crap piled up, and they start digging through the rubble.  Some of their finds are amazing--vintage bicycles, turn-of-the-20th Century motorcycles and toys, service station signs, you name it.  They also meet some bizarre characters, many of whom suffer from the psychological disorder of hoarding.  [It happens many times the pair will arrive at a junk spot, having been told the owner wanted to sell some things, only to find this person will not part with any of his or her "treasures", not for any amount of money.]

Cute, Chubby Girl from Iowa

For me, though, the real action of American Pickers is back at the shop while the guys are on the road.  The woman who finds leads on picking locations, handles customer service, and manages the Antique Archaeology shop is a stunning specimen named Danielle Colby.

She was born in Davenport, Iowa, on December 3, 1975.  She has a sister (I'll get to her later).  The household was very strict, following the religious predilections of Jehovah's Witnesses.

A young Danielle had no chance to rebel, and she grew up as a straight arrow.  She developed an interest in the old art of burlesque (the vaudeville/cabaret style of "strip tease" from the earlier half of the 20th Century) when she was between 10 and 12 years old.  The campy glitz held the attraction.

However, this morsel-in-waiting had to do just that: wait.  She went through school, and although things get a little jumbly (as a rising star, the early details of her life haven't yet solidified into a coherent biography), she met antiques' collector Mike Wolfe around the year 2000.  She and Mike became friends.

Somewhere in this period, she and her younger sister (along with some other Irish lasses) started a roller-derby team that Danielle also owned.  They called themselves The Big Mouth Mickies (a play on two words, the ethnic slur "Mick" as applied to Irish people and the "Mickey", the knock-out compound used in many of film noir's finest).

Danielle adopted the roller-derby stage name of "Dannie Diesel".  Her sister was "Carbomb Bettie". 

For anyone who's ever watched the "sport" of roller derby it is basically punching, elbowing, and scrapping on roller skates--I'm not even sure how the thing is scored or how you know who the winners are.  In any event, it's been a goofy spectator event for decades (and one of early television's first hits), and Danielle, who is no shy and retiring lily-of-the-valley, elbowed and steamrollered her way through opponents with the best of them.  The result was, after four years of abuse, her body was torn up and she had to quit.

Danielle, meanwhile, got a job as a traveling makeup artist for Lancôme and Estée Lauder.  By 2004, she was married with two children and based in Chicago.  Margaret Cho, the stand-up comedienne, performed at a burlesque affair that Danielle attended.  The show was inspiring, especially the burlesque part of it.  Danielle recalled her childhood interest in the art of tease:

"Growing up in a strict household, I think I went into that evening thinking that burlesque was taboo and wrong and bad.  But what I realized after I left that event was how absolutely liberating it was, to be in a room with women on stage who were ranging from a size zero to a size of, easily, 28 - all different types of women, with all different strengths.  I left thinking, 'Who cares if I have stretch marks? Who cares if I'm a size 14 or 12 or 10?  It doesn't matter.  What matters is that I like myself.'  That's the feeling I left with, and it was life-changing, and at that point I knew I wanted to do it."

Danielle Colby knows of what she speaks. 

She is not a fragile flower.  She is one of the cave wimmen, those overflowing cornucopias of curvaceous, fluffy goodness like you would see in classic pin-up art, or doing a strip tease in the 1940s, or featured in Playboy in the 1950s.  She is archetypal burlesque material: busty, with fleshy thighs and full hips. 

On her Facebook page, she described herself at one time as a "cute, chubby girl from Iowa". 

She is definitely beyond merely "cute". 

And, she may be "chubby", but I don't see it as a handicap--her brand of "chubby" gives me one.

Pasties and a G-String

"I knew I had to figure out a way to do the burlesque thing. It had to happen. I think it just got to the point . . . I'm getting older, I've got to do the stuff that I want to do now, or my kids are gonna think they don't have opportunities to do what they want to do."

Back in Iowa from Chicago, and using her roller-derby stage name (Dannie Diesel), Danielle again suckered her younger sister (Carbomb Bettie) into yet another business venture.  This time, clothing was optional. 

She formed a burlesque troupe whose focus was on the campy side of cabaret but deadly serious about the dancing seduction associated with strip tease.  She coaxed several of her former derby teammates to join her. 

The troupe was named Burlesque Le' Moustache.  Before formally adopting the troupe concept, the wimmen worked at taking classes and teaching each other, even engaging in classic burlesque house routines such as knife-throwing, aerial acrobatics, and the pure-corn of vaudeville comedy.  Although close friends were skeptical, she and her ragtag rowdies quickly made a name for themselves locally.  [The region is known colloquially as "The Quad Cities", but oxymoronically has five cities included: Davenport and Bettendorf, Iowa, and Moline, East Moline, and Rock Island all in Illinois.  I figger folks in I-oh-way can't cipher none too good!]

Danielle's physicality is imposing--she is a raven-haired beauty with bright blue-grey eyes, she is alternately perky, seductive, or mirthful, all expressed readily on her face.  She clearly can purr or growl as needed.  She can also look naaaassssty, and that's what makes her special: she has a lot of body art on her, most gloriously splashed across her upper chest, and this tattoo work seems to add something to her appeal rather than detract or distract.

When Mike Wolfe was developing the show based on his scavenging/antique-hunting he purposefully approached his friend Danielle to assume the job as the office manager of the store.  It was a brilliant move on his part; it definitely adds to the show's appeal:

". . . when we sold the show to History [Channel] I needed to hire somebody that did what I did, that did what we did with the research and dissecting things as far as where we were gonna go and I asked her to do it, and she's like, 'Are you guys nuts?!?' . . . I saw what she was capable of, and she's got the edge, she's got the look. One thing I wanted when I hired her and I knew she was going to be on camera, I wanted someone that did not look like they would work in any antique shop because I wanted our show to be looked at in a different way.  I wanted people to look at antiques like they're fun, they're rad, they're killer, they're awesome. I wanted people to know that they didn't have to have a blue blazer and ten cats to be an antique dealer."

Mike Wolfe recognizes her business acumen, and she does run a tight ship.  He claims Danielle is the glue that holds them all together.

She has two children (one of each kind), and she's always working on something creative.  She's artistic, and she has started her own clothing line that she sells as well.  She owns a boutique called "4 Miles 2 Memphis" in Le Claire, Iowa (it's really much more than a mere 4 miles to Memphis from there, more like over 400 hundred miles--danged if'n those I-oh-way people can't handle numbers too good).  [The boutique was moved to Chicago, then closed in 2014, moving her retail efforts to etsy.] 

I don't know jack about her first husband except to know he was one lucky shlub, albeit a really stupid one.  Danielle Colby became Danielle Colby-Cushman.  This guy was married to a goddess.  However, he could apparently not handle her newfound fame and the attention it brought, and the pair divorced (with her losing the "Cushman" part of her handle).  She made the announcement the relationship was over in May 2012.

She didn't give us slavering men out here who adore her much of a chance, though.  She remarried pretty quickly.  Her new hubby is a Frenchie (from the French Alps) named Alexandre De Meyer.  She met him in late 2011 when he did some work for her Iowa store, 4 Miles 2 Memphis (he had since been listed as a co-owner and had designed the store's logo). 

He later set up in Chicago, one of Danielle's favorite cities.  He's an artsy-fartsy type, and while he may look like a scruffy hispter d-bag (complete with scroungy beard and hispter hat) he must be an okay guy, because I'm sure this goddess would put up with nothing less.  He runs a print shop and does artwork for local bands. 

The couple now live in Chicago with her kids; she commutes the two hours or so back to Le Claire, Iowa, to work at Antique Archaeology as required from the Second City.  She still maintains a residence in Iowa, but now also has a French villa (thanks to the new old man) to vacay in.  [And this guy really is no slouch: he did the blueprints for France's Michelin Museum as well as design work on some other buildings there.]

Danielle's casual fashion sense ranges between cowpunk and rock-a-billy.  She is a sizzler, steaming sensuality without much effort.  Her body image is healthy without being narcissistic or unrealistic.  She knows her flaws, but plays to her strengths, instead.  

The next time you watch American Pickers, pay attention to busty ebony webcams the sexy tattooed woman behind the counter in the shop.  She's hard to miss: she's the hottest thing on the show.

And that's why I am madly in love with Danielle Colby.


Danielle & some of the troupe feature in this video for psychobilly tune by The Dirt Daubers

How cool is this?A Danielle bobblehead!

by Vic Dillinger






McDonald’s ‘Minions’ toy: YouTube Adult Content?

Several accounts on YouTube are questioning the sayings of a McDonald's Happy Meal toy from the children's movie, "Minions," that was released today in theaters. The most popular video entitled, "Is this Mcdonald's Minion toy swearing?" has just under 2 million views at time of press. The aforementioned shows the caveman version of the toy (number five in a series of twelve) being bumped and uttering three, distinctly different, but, also, unintelligible phrases.

Such verbal nonsense depicted in the video seems to fit with the Minions' dialect previously spoken in "Despicable Me" and "Despicable Me 2." In fact, after watching this YouTube video several times, I had difficulty deciphering what curse words these utterances were being confused for being.

After contacting McDonalds representatives, I was emailed by their Director of Media Relations, Lisa McComb, who described such claims as "exaggerated and inaccurate" such that there are no plans to remove the toy from McDonald's Happy Meals.

So, I visited my local McDonalds and ordered their kid-friendly fare, specifically asking for the Minion Caveman. McComb wrote that this http://asian-shemale-cams.easyxblogs.com figure plays the following three sounds: "para la bukay, hahaha, and eh eh."

The toy's wording is clearer in-person than it had been on YouTube; yet, I still had difficulty making sense of them. In fact, if I had to guess, two of the phrases sounded like a chicken clucking and a possibly knocking on a door.

Thus, I believe some individuals are trying to make sense of unclear audio and developing the wrong conclusion of what is being said. For example, as described in this article from BBC News, pareidolia is the term for the cognitive phenomenon of perceiving an image in a randomly generated visual stimulus (e.g., seeing a man's face in the moon). Moreover, misinterpretation of this "Minions" toy's utterances appears to be a similar circumstance to pareidolia just with audio stimuli.

After a long hiatus, it may have seemed a little kooky eating a Happy Meal as an adult, but I am fine with the previously described dinner, as the food was delicious and brought back some nostalgic feelings.

Don't take my word for it; you be the judge if the Talking Minion Caveman is as despicable as in the past movies in which it has co-stared (audio from my Happy Meal toy is embedded in the video above).






Harman to Collaborate with Pono and Neil Young to Bring Pono HD Music into the Car

LAS VEGAS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--HARMAN, the premium global audio, visual, infotainment and enterprise

automation group (NYSE:HAR), and Pono Music shared with attendees at the

Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas their vision for offering the

highest quality music to the automobile market. Legendary recording

artist Neil Young and HARMAN Chairman and CEO Dinesh Paliwal discussed

solutions to offer the PonoMusic catalog and supreme, lossless HD

quality playback in vehicles.

"We are excited to collaborate with Mr. Young and the team at Pono Music

to expand their reach into the car and let people hear music as the

artist intended, a mission of ours at HARMAN," said Dinesh Paliwal,

Chairman and CEO, HARMAN. "HARMAN is a company of musicians and

engineers bonded together through our legacy of innovations developed

with one goal - to make music sound amazing from the studio to the stage

to the street and the car. By joining forces with Pono, we will leverage

our collective talents and assets to deliver the best in audio to those

who love music as much as we do."

On display at CES is HARMAN's new Harman Kardon® Omni HD-enabled

multi-room wireless http://big-cock-free-tranny-cams.easyxblogs.com speaker system, launched in Europe this fall and set

to ship in the U.S. in January 2015. Last year at CES, HARMAN revealed a

software-based solution called Clari-FiTM to enhance

digitally compressed music. This HARMAN technology today can be found in

a variety of automobiles, consumer electronics and mobile devices,

including the LexusTM NX, Hyundai ASLAN, JBL® Authentics and

the HTC One® (M8) Harman Kardon edition smartphone. Also announced at

CES, Clari-Fi has been ported to the Cirrus Logic Smart Codec platform.

"The PonoPlayer is not for audiophiles, it's for music lovers, who come

in all shapes and sizes. We want all of them to feel the power of true

HD quality sound," said Neil Young. "Our collaboration with HARMAN, the

leader in branded car audio, is an exciting step forward in our journey

to bring HD-quality music to people wherever they want to listen to it.

As the company that brought us Studer, Soundcraft and Mark Levinson,

HARMAN is the ideal partner for us."

"Music is about the feeling you get when you listen to it. Up to 90

percent of a song's nuances are lost in the digital compression

process," added Young. "I speak for many songwriters, performers,

producers, engineers and fans, including myself, when I say, we all

deserve better."


HARMAN (www.harman.com)

designs, manufactures and markets premier audio, visual, infotainment

and enterprise automation solutions for the automotive, consumer and

professional markets. With leading brands including AKG®, Harman

Kardon®, Infinity®, JBL®, Lexicon®, Mark Levinson ® and Revel®, the

Company is admired by audiophiles, musicians and the entertainment

venues where they perform. More than 25 million automobiles on the road

today are equipped with HARMAN audio and infotainment systems. HARMAN

has a workforce of approximately 16,600 people across the Americas,

Europe, and Asia and reported sales of $5.6 billion for the 12 months

ended September 30, 2014. The Company's shares are traded on the New

York Stock Exchange under the symbol NYSE:HAR.

About Pono Music

PonoMusic (www.ponomusic.com)

was founded in 2012 by Neil Young, the legendary musician who has been

on a quest to revive the magic that has been squeezed out of digital

music due to the popularity of compressed formats. Today you no longer

have to choose between quality and convenience when listening to music -

you can have both with PonoMusic.

PonoMusic is the world's first end-to-end high-resolution music

ecosystem, including the highly anticipated hi-res online music store

officially launching at CES, the highly acclaimed and magical

PonoPlayer, and the PonoMusic World desktop software used to purchase,

download, and manage your music. The PonoPlayer is available for

preorders now on PonoMusic.com, and is on sale at a number of high-end

audio and record stores throughout the United States (http://retail.ponomusic.com).

PonoMusic is also proud to announce that the PonoPlayer will soon be on

sale at Fry's Electronics and other high-end retail chains.

HARMAN at CES 2015

The HARMAN showcase during CES 2015 offers demonstrations of the

company's full portfolio of infotainment and lifestyle audio systems

that enable the connected life. The HARMAN showcase is located at the

Hard Rock Hotel. Follow HARMAN online during CES 2015:






2014 GMC Sierra SLT Z71 Crew Cab: A truck for all seasons

For the GMC faithful, the new 2014 GMC Sierra 1500 full-size pickup truck pretty much hits the bulls-eye for a subtle yet sophisticatedly rugged truck with a bed load of capability, amenities and technology that meet their needs - plus styling, both inside and out, that looks really good and rides even better with competitive fuel economy.

New 2014 Sierra SLT Z71 4x4 does off-road with no sweat


The new Sierra has been a long time coming and GMC truck enthusiasts have been patient year after year as the 'other guys' brought new trucks to market leaving the Sierra brand getting a bit longer in the tooth year after year.

But no more. The new 2014 Sierra is here - the faithful are delighted and, more importantly for the brand, others are now giving the GMC Sierra a serious look.

Where we consider the new companion 2014 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 as a city truck that can do country nicely (based on a recent first drive) - we see the 2014 GMC Sierra 1500 as a serious country truck that also does city with subtle sophisticated style.

Last week, GMC delivered us a brand new - from the factory with just 350 miles on the odometer - 2014 GMC Sierra 1500 SLT Crew Cab Z71 4x4 to test for a week.

There are lots of things to like besides just being 'new' in styling, with soft touch materials, aluminum accents and amenities.

Sierra has new engines including a strong 4.3L V-6 , a solid 5.3L V8 and a robust 6.2L V8 (which will be available later this year).

With optional towing packages available, the new Sierra - in 4WD - has tow capacity of 9,600 pounds with the 3.42 rear end and up to 11,200 pounds with the 3.73 rear end. Though we have not seen the 6.2L power train yet, it has been said that its tow capacity may well exceed 12,000 pounds making it the strongest in the segment.

Our test Sierra SLT Crew Cab came in a really sophisticated Stealth Gray Metallic with a Jet Black /Dark Ash interior. It rode - almost arrogantly - high on the optional 20-inch Chrome Aluminum Wheels and was absolutely loaded with features, comfort and capability - all for a total delivered price of $51,185.

An increasing share of pickup trucks sold by all manufacturers each year are crew cab models that are being purchased to be used for work and play interchangeably by families - making the crew cab pickup truck the new family vehicle of choice.

As the new family vehicle of choice, they want it to have all the whistles and bells they formerly got on a very well equipped full-size SUV which is resulting in a large share of this segment now having delivered prices from $45,000 to $55,000.

Our GMC Sierra 1500 SLT Crew Cab Z71 4x4 had a base price of $43,125 with the new 5.3L EcoTec3 V8 engine with Active Fuel Management (standard on all EcoTec3 engines) that enables cylinder deactivation for the engine to shift from V8 to V4 to improve fuel economy when the engine is not under load.

Standard on all Sierra 1500 trucks is the Hydra-Matic 6L80 six-speed automatic transmission with Driver Shift Control (tap shifting) that is mated up very nicely to this power plant and delivers very smooth performance.

The 5.3L power train puts out 355 horsepower and 383 lb.-ft. of torque with an EPA fuel economy rating of 16/22 MPG city/highway for the 4WD with slightly more in the 2WD configuration.

The standard Sierra equipment included Electric Power Steering, 2-speed Automatic Transfer Case, Auto Locking Rear Differential, Trailering Equipment Package, Stabilitrak with Trailer Sway Control, Hill Start Assist, 4-wheel Disc Brakes with the new high performance Duralife Rotors, Daytime Running Lamps, the new EZ Lift and Lower Locking Tailgate, Projector LED Headlamps, Power Heated Outside Mirrors with Turn Signals, Fog Lamps, Front Recovery Hooks, Chrome Bumpers Front and Rear, the new and innovative Rear Bumper Corner Step feature and LED Lighting in the Cargo Box.

Inside the new Sierra is all about comfort created nicely in premium materials and carbon-fibre inspired accents along with leather stitching and lots of feature functionality - standard.

The standard front seating is Leather-appointed 40/20/40 with a substantial storage and multi-purpose functional Console, 60/40 Rear Folding Bench Seating to allow access to a very generous flat floor cargo area, Remote Vehicle Start, Power Windows and Locks, Rear Window Defroster, Dual Zone Climate Control, Soft IP Top Pad (dash), 110-volt Power Outlets, USB Ports, Steering Wheel Audio and Info Controls, Leather Wrapped Tilt and Telescoping Steering Wheel, Rear Vision Camera, HD Radio, Sirius XM and Bluetooth for Smart Phone Integration and a Single Slot CD/MP3 Player.

Already a really well equipped truck, our Sierra SLT had these additional option packages and features:

SLT Preferred Package ($400) that included a Heated Steering Wheel and Power Sliding Rear Window.

SLT Crew Cab Value Package ($2,195) which added the 6-inch Chrome Assist Cab Steps, Bose Audio System and 20-inch Chrome Wheels.

Off-Road Suspension Package $430) includes High Capacity http://tranny-cams.easyxblogs.com Air Cleaner, Hill Descent Control, Underbody Shield, Monotube Rancho Tenneco Shocks and Z71 Badges.

Drive Alert Package ($845) adds Front and Rear Park Assist, Forward Collision Alert System, Lane Departure Warning and the new Safety Alert Seating.

The stand alone options included, Audio System ($795) with 8-inch Diagonal Touch Screen, Navigation and GMC Intellilink; Power Sunroof ($995); Heated and Cooled Seats Driver and Passenger ($650); Full-Feature Leather Appointed Front Bucket Seating ($325); Trailer Brake Controller ($230) and All-Terrain Tires ($200).

With the newly designed, noise suppression engineered using high strength steel, larger Crew Cab cabin, this Sierra is about the roomiest and quietest full-size pickup we have ever driven. Both ear noise and "body" noise are very effectively all-but silenced with the improved suspension and body design and materials.

We liked most all of what we experienced in this new GMC Sierra. It is well designed and well executed with several unique features (like the Active Fuel Management, Cargo Box Steps and EZ Lift Tailgate) included that make it stand out.

On the slightly negative side, we would like to have seen the cargo bed insert replaced with a spray-in bed liner as we think a spray-in liner performs much better over time.

Lastly, the new Sierra could be even more fuel efficient if an 8-speed transmission was available for 2014 - the word is that it will be available as part of a refresh in the next year or so.

We were able to achieve only 16.2 MPG over the course of week, but acknowledge that we drove the test Sierra in many situations including off-road using 4-wheel LO, 4-wheel HI, Automatic and 2-wheel HI mode at varying times which contributed to our lower fuel economy.

After a week, our bottom line is that the 2014 GMC Sierra SLT Crew Cab Z71 4x4 is a really serious country truck that also can do city with style and comfort.

The final verdict will come from the consumers who buy this truck and we think they will buy a lot of them.

Oh yes, the top of the line 2014 GMC Sierra Denali is still to come later this fall. The word is that it will take Denali to a new high of luxury and amenities. We are looking forward to seeing it.


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