News of the Week; September 12, 2018

MEDIA, COMMUNICATIONS & NET NEUTRALITY

  1. Ajit Pai does ISPs’ bidding, pushes for tighter rules on Google and Facebook
  2. Ajit Pai Again (Falsely) Claims States Are Powerless To Protect Broadband Consumers
  3. Ajit Pai helped Charter kill consumer-protection rules in Minnesota
  4. Verizon throttling firefighters may have violated FCC rule, Democrats say
  5. Verizon’s Pivot From Stodgy Old Telco To Sexy Millennial Ad Brand Isn’t Going So Well
  6. Verizon Says It’s Not Backing Down From Digital Ad Push
  7. ISPs Push Employees To Urge Governor Brown Veto New California Net Neutrality Bill 
  8. With The Death Of Net Neutrality & NBC Merger Conditions, Comcast Is Free To Misbehave
  9. Net neutrality gives “free” Internet to Netflix and Google, ISP claims
  10. FCC data exaggerates broadband access on tribal lands
  11. Fullscreen Founder George Strompolos Steps Down As CEO Following AT&T’s Acquisition Of Otter Media
  12. After Nabbing Billions In Tax Breaks, AT&T’s Promised Job Growth Magically Evaporates
  13. Special Report – Everything we know about 5G

DIGITAL

  1. An EU copyright bill could force YouTube-style filtering across the Web
  2. What’s in the sweeping copyright bill just passed by the European Parliament
  3. Creators Supporting Link Taxes And Mandatory Filters Are Handing The Internet Over To The Companies They Hate
  4. The dangers hidden in the proposed Copyright Directive (Andres Guadamuz)
  5. The Intellectual Dishonesty Of Those Supporting The Existing Text Of The EU Copyright Directive
  6. EU Gives Up On The Open Web Experiment, Decides It Will Be The Licensed Web Going Forward
  7. DOJ And State Attorneys General Threatening Social Media Companies Over Moderation Practices Is A First Amendment Issue
  8. Facebook, Twitter, and the Senate Hearings: It’s The Business Model, Period.
  9. Twitter’s latest (and final) punishment for Alex Jones: A permanent ban
  10. Alex Jones Permanently Suspended From Twitter
  11. Apple’s iPhone event will be live streamed on Twitter for the first time
  12. Twitter Announces 50 New Video Content Deals To Complement Local TV Programming
  13. Progressive Web Apps moving mainstream as Twitter makes its mobile site the main one
  14. Microsoft Wants Confirmation That Helping Politicians Not Get Hacked Isn’t An Illegal Campaign Contribution
  15. Reddit Ignored A Year’s Worth Of User Warnings About Iranian Propaganda
  16. Hollywood Studios, Big Fans Of Automated DMCAs, Also Very Busy DMCAing IMDB For Some Reason
  17. No News Is Good News: Campbell Brown vs. the publishers
  18. Amazon Takes Down Nine Books Self-Published on Kindle by Virulent Sexist ‘Roosh’
  19. Facebook Is Not The Internet: Philippines Propaganda Highlights Perils Of Company’s ‘Free Basics’ Walled Garden
  20. Facebook Responds To Blackberry’s Silly 117 Page Patent Lawsuit With Its Own Silly 118 Page Lawsuit
  21. Facebook punishes liberal news site after fact check by right-wing site
  22. The cure for Facebook’s fake news infection? It might be these women: At Facebook, where men outnumber women almost two to one, the future of news is female.
  23. German Court Tells Facebook It Can’t Delete Comments, Even Though German Law Says It Must Delete Comments
  24. Court Denies Politician’s Attempt To Dismiss Lawsuit Over Banning Critics From His Facebook Page
  25. Social media makes us angry and unfocused. Is email the answer?: Subtack CEO Chris Best makes the case for electronic mail
  26. After many opsec fails, Russia seeks to ban soldier social media spoilers
  27. An Avalanche of Speech Can Bury Democracy: For the longest time, we thought that as speech became more democratized, democracy itself would flourish. But in 2018, it is increasingly clear that more speech can in fact threaten democracy.
  28. YouTube Removed Russian Ads In Compliance With Election Law, Google Says
  29. Google Moderation Team Decides My Piece About The Impossible Nature Of Content Moderation Is ‘Dangerous Or Derogatory’
  30. Google kills Google Inbox
  31. You Can Now Pause Your YouTube TV Subscription — And Keep All Stored Programming — For Up To 6 Months
  32. United Airlines Made Its App Stop Working On My Phone, And What This Says About How Broken The Mobile Tech Space Is
  33. New App Popbase Will Let YouTube Creators Make Virtual Avatars To Host Game Shows For Fans
  34. Paul McCartney Will Play a Free Concert on YouTube Friday
  35. Hank Green Has Been Making YouTube Videos For 12 Years — Here’s Why He’s Never Experienced Burnout
  36. ‘The Joe Rogan Experience’ Subscriber Count Soars After Lit Musk Interview
  37. Late Vlogger Claire Wineland To Be Subject Of Documentary By Oscar-Winning Director
  38. Nascent Digital Sports Network ‘Overtime’ Inks Content Deal With Basketball Creator Rachel DeMita
  39. Influencer marketing, endorsements, testimonials: food for thought in light of the most recent initiatives by the Italian authorities
  40. WorldStarHipHop Launches Snapchat Channel With Studio71
  41. Viral Aggregator ‘WorldStarHipHop’ Links Up With Studio71 For Snapchat Channel
  42. Meet SelfieCircus and 8 more in Snapchat’s new startup accelerator
  43. Former MTV Chief Sean Atkins Named CEO Of StyleHaul, Will Oversee New MCN Group At RTL
  44. Ex-MTV President Sean Atkins Named StyleHaul CEO
  45. China’s Biggest Streaming Service Eliminates View Counts To Combat Rampant Click Farms
  46. This Video Uses the Power of Deepfakes to Re-Capture This Character’s Cameo Appearance in Rogue One
  47. Here’s How Brands Can Be Proactive Against Influencer Fraud, Per Fullscreen And CreatorIQ Study
  48. Op-Ed: We Gave Corporations Our Data. Now They’re Deciding How AI Will Affect Our Future.
  49. If Artificial Intelligence Only Benefits a Select Few, Everyone Loses
  50. Artificial intelligence in the Gambling Industry
  51. Rise of the Robots: How AI Is Changing the Music World
  52. Doctors said the coma patients would never wake. AI said they would – and they did: Artificial intelligence system developed in Beijing ‘will never replace doctors’ but it can trace brain activity invisible to the human eye
  53. Left Unchecked, Artificial Intelligence Can Become Prejudiced All On Its Own
  54. Countdown to The Singularity
  55. Sim ethics: Say you could make a thousand digital replicas of yourself – should you? What happens when you want to get rid of them?
  56. Drone Racing: The Next Battleground For AI to Try to Dominate Human
  57. Netflix, Hulu and Amazon win numerous creative Emmy awards
  58. Analysis: Netflix Trails Hulu, Amazon, and Several Cable Networks in Quality of Original Shows
  59. EU Officially OKs Apple’s Shazam Acquisition
  60. Big Data? No antitrust problem for Apple/Shazam
  61. You Don’t Own What You’ve Bought: Apple Disappears Purchased Movies
  62. Your new $1,000+ iPhone won’t come with a headphone dongle in the box
  63. Hands-on with the iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR
  64. Apple Watch Series 4 hands-on: Sparking envy in current Apple Watch owners
  65. Hello eSIM: Apple moves the iPhone away from physical SIMs
  66. The former Apple engineer who designed the iPhone keyboard reveals what it was like to work under Steve Jobs’ strict requirements for secrecy
  67. Crypto-pocalypse Soon-ish? Judge Rules ICOs Are a Security
  68. Cryptocurrency taxation: what business leaders need to know

CREATIVITY

  1. Saudi Government Outlaws Satire; Violators To Face Five-Year Prison Sentences
  2. Judge Roy Moore Sues Sacha Baron Cohen For Ruining His Immaculate Reputation
  3. US indicts North Korean agent for WannaCry, Sony attacks [Updated]
  4. Bonkers Attorney’s Fees Ruling Results In SDCC Getting $4 Million Out Of SLCC AFter $20k Jury Award
  5. More Comic Conventions Change Their Names After Crazy SDCC Attorney’s Fees And Injunction Ruling
  6. Success! Roanoke ‘Harry Potter Festival’ Changes Name To ‘Generic Magic Festival’ Due To WB’s Bullying
  7. Are Black Movies Being Shut Out by Global Theaters?
  8. McQueen Family Crashes Ferrari’s Limited-Edition Car
  9. Pop’s Biggest Stars Can Control Their Own Narratives Like Never Before. Is That a Good Thing?
  10. Who hates Star Wars for its newfound diversity? Here are the numbers.

SURVEILLANCE & PRIVACY

  1. DOJ Charges North Korean Spy Over Sony Hack and WannaCry Ransomware [Updated]
  2. Court Shuts Down Feds’ Attempt To Expand The ‘Border Search’ Exception To Cover Inland GPS Monitoring
  3. Florida Appeals Court Tells Law Enforcement It Needs Warrants To Deploy Stingrays 
  4. Documents Show IBM Pitched The NYPD Facial Recognition Software With Built-In Racial Profiling Options
  5. Vizio, sued for making creepy smart TVs, will notify customers via the TVs
  6. Apple takes down Trend Micro Mac apps that collected, stored user data
  7. Dozens of iOS apps surreptitiously share user location data with tracking firms
  8. The Super-Private Tor Browser Gets a Huge Update, But Should You Switch From Chrome?
  9. NSA metadata program “consistent” with Fourth Amendment, Kavanaugh once argued

GAMES

  1. EA defies Belgian loot box decision, setting up potential “gambling” lawsuit
  2. Report: EA risking prosecution after refusing to comply with Belgian loot box laws
  3. EA may go to court over loot boxes in Belgium: FIFA publisher has kept loot boxes in its games despite Belgian Gaming Commission warning
  4. Tencent to verify Chinese Honor of Kings players against public security records: New measures required to ensure minors keep within play-time restrictions
  5. Chinese hold on new video game licenses may last another 4-6 months: Industry slowdown in the country could continue as China centralizes its approval process for new titles
  6. China’s video game licensing freeze could last another six months
  7. Blog: Assessing the impact of China’s changing game regulations
  8. Honour of Kings to require players use real names to comply with new Chinese policies
  9. German org calls on Sony to fix ‘customer-hostile’ terms & conditions
  10. German consumer association warns Sony over “customer-hostile” PSN terms and conditions: Sony could face legal action if it fails to heed complaints
  11. The first “100% uncensored” adult game has been approved for Steam release
  12. Valve’s new Steam content filters have finally arrived
  13. Valve approves uncensored adult game for release on Steam
  14. Steam adds “Adults Only” filter for games with “explicit sexual content”: New filter among a host of changes to make it easier for users to avoid certain kinds of content
  15. Brianna Wu’s Congress bid fails, vows to run again in 2020: “America needs better leadership more than we need another video game. So, I am here for good.”
  16. Two Riot employees depart after defending controversial PAX panel
  17. Two Riot employees exit following PAX session controversy: One confirmed fired after criticizing those upset by PAX West panel focused on uplifting women and non-binary individuals
  18. Riot brings on former Uber culture fixer to fix up culture
  19. The 16 surprising new games that made PAX West an absolute blast
  20. Is the Olympics relevant for esports?: IOC president Thomas Bach dismissed games as “contradictory to Olympic values” – but his approval is less important than what esports is building elsewhere
  21. Overwatch League adds six more teams: Activision Blizzard raises team roster to 20, with new teams in China, Canada, France and the US
  22. The Overwatch League Signs Six More Teams: New franchises include Chengdu, Hangzhou, Paris, Toronto, Vancouver, and Washington, D.C.All six teams will join the Overwatch League for the start of the 2019 season
  23. New LA Times owner makes big esports investment into Daybreak Games
  24. Overwolf and Intel launch $7 million mod fund: Money is available to developers of apps and services for existing games, to be distributed on Overwolf’s app store
  25. Blog: Understanding my approach to modding in Reset Hard
  26. Xbox: “I can’t think of a holiday that has more AAA games in such a tight time period” – Microsoft on a blockbuster Christmas for console games, and retailer views on Game Pass
  27. NPD survey: 34% of players exclusively play mobile games
  28. Games expected to account for 76% of global mobile revenue in 2018: Number of smartphone users to reach three billion by end of year as consumer spending exceeds $92 billion
  29. Analyst: ‘Whale’ spenders aren’t as crucial to F2P mobile games as they once were
  30. DeltaDNA: Increase in casual spenders for F2P games resulting in more balanced revenue sources – Strategy and casino games lead player spending, while action game spending is down overall in spite of Fortnite
  31. Blog: How free-to-play design runs out of steam
  32. Fortnite beta invite to download conversion rate on Android similar to iOS: In the 21 days since launch, 23m players signed up for beta, 15m installed the game
  33. Fortnite on Android reaches 15 million downloads sans Google Play 
  34. Fortnite reaches 15 million Android downloads without Google Play
  35. PUBG logs 1 million peak concurrent players for 365 days in a row, a Steam first
  36. PUBG becomes first Steam game to have one million concurrent players 365 days running: Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 beta breaks record-breaking streak for PUBG
  37. Pearl Abyss acquires EVE Online creator CCP Games for $425 million
  38. Insights: Resetting The Game Biz—Microsoft, Amazon, Samsung and Fortnite Show Where We’re Going
  39. Single-player not going anywhere – Igarashi: Bloodstained producer discusses AAA emphasis on multiplayer, the rising Japanese indie scene, and the future of ArtPlay
  40. What makes a “troll game”? Valve tries for a Steam-wide definition
  41. Valve Clears Up Nothing With Its Latest Explanation Of What Games It Will Ban As ‘Troll Games’
  42. IO Interactive focusing on serving players, not games-as-a-service: Hitman 2 studio hopes departure from episodic format will be a new starting point to build its universe
  43. Eve Online studio CCP acquired by Pearl Abyss: South Korean developer behind Black Desert Online spends $425 million on Icelandic games firm
  44. THQ Nordic has acquired the rights to Kingdoms of Amalur
  45. Devs recount the making of Golden Axe: Beast Rider, a crunch-ridden $15M flop 
  46. Unity CEO claims VR hardware hasn’t seen true consumer launch
  47. Unity boss says VR hardware still not right for consumers: “They’re not cheap enough, they don’t work well enough… there’s not a lot of content,” says John Riccitiello
  48. The Void partners with Marvel and Disney to create VR experiences
  49. Niantic touts 35 percent growth in active players forPokemon Go
  50. Google partners with Unity for open-source matchmaking tool Open Match
  51. Unity and Google Cloud unveil Open Match
  52. Hollow Knight tops EU Nintendo Switch eshop charts for August: In addition, No. 2 Dead Cells sees global success, selling four copies on Switch for every one PS4 copy
  53. Nintendo’s promised cloud saves on Switch won’t work for every game [Updated]
  54. Nintendo: Restrictions on cloud saves for certain Switch games are to curb cheaters
  55. Some Nintendo games won’t support cloud saves: Nintendo Switch Online’s cloud save feature skips games like Splatoon 2 as a move to prevent cheating
  56. No more free rides: Paid Switch Online service launches on Sept. 18
  57. Nintendo Switch Online finally has a concrete launch date
  58. Fire Emblem Heroes summer revenue up 34 per cent over 2017: Sensor Tower data shows Nintendo’s hit mobile game earning $63 million in July and August
  59. Delayed Nintendo Direct Leads To Some Oddly Delivered Switch Announcements
  60. Roblox raises $150 million and sets sights on China
  61. GameStop sales slip as retailer continues exploring a sale: Collectibles and console hardware are bright points as company posts $24.9 million loss in a second quarter where revenues dipped 2.4%
  62. Jagex profit and revenue spike in another record year: Upcoming mobile RuneScape games expected to deliver more growth
  63. Dundee’s games industry boosted by £9m InGAME R&D centre: Game developers and universities both involved in new project designed to encourage growth and innovation
  64. “Homeworld” Sideswiped by a Story – Why I Love: Snowcastle Games’ Thomas French reflects on how Relic’s deep space RTS provided a strong narrative through mechanics
  65. NCSoft shuts down WildStar dev Carbine Studios
  66. Lowering the language barrier for aspiring Arab developers: Fawzi Mesmar never had access to Arabic books on game design, so he wrote one
  67. Wedding Proposal Hidden In Spider-Man Unravels, May Be Patched Out
  68. UK charts: Spider-Man is fastest-selling game of the year – Most successful week one for a Marvel game
  69. In the name of accessibility, Spider-Man offers toggleable puzzles and QTEs
  70. Remedy’s Alan Wake is being adapted for TV
  71. ‘To stay relevant’, U.S. adds select PC games to national software registry
  72. How a CEO fiddled while beloved board game Glory to Romecrashed and burned
  73. Developing Spore: An oral (‘Sporal’?) history 10 years on
  74. Blog: The importance of games that make us think

Jon

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