News of the Week; March 14, 2018


  1. The Case Against the Bell Coalition’s Website Blocking Plan, The Finale (Michael Geist) 
  2. Why Canadians oppose blacklisting “pirate” websites
  3. FCC must defend net neutrality repeal in court against dozens of litigants: Lawsuits filed by tech firms, states, and advocates were merged into one suit.
  4. States Take Sides on Net Neutrality
  5. Calif. weighs toughest net neutrality law in US—with ban on paid zero-rating: Bill would recreate core FCC net neutrality rules and be tougher on zero-rating. 
  6. Telecom Lobbyists Whine About State Net Neutrality Efforts They Helped Create 
  7. Terrified Of Losing In Court, ISPs (With Senator John Kennedy’s Help) Push Hard For A Fake Net Neutrality Law
  8. When slow downloads hit an app developer, only Comcast customers suffered: Comcast and Cogent fight again, and customers lose with slow Internet service.
  9. Comcast gets FCC’s help in $3.5 million battle against small cable company: Wave Broadband paid Comcast millions and won’t get refund; FCC rejects complaint.
  10. Verizon Forced To Briefly Give A Damn About Its Neglected Broadband Networks
  11. Verizon agrees to fix failing broadband networks to settle investigation: Verizon will fix NY copper lines and potentially upgrade more than 30,000 homes.
  12. AT&T/Time Warner merger will raise TV bills $436 million a year, US says: AT&T scoffs at “insubstantial 45-cent monthly increase, all of 0.4% per bill.”
  13. ‘Intense distress’: Lawsuit from Seth Rich’s parents details trauma from Fox News hatchet job
  14. Cable’s Top Lobbyist Again Calls For Hyper Regulation Of Silicon Valley
  15. When Monsters Exaggerate 
  16. Broadcasting: A Key Brexit Priority
  17. Pakistan Court Declares Mobile Data Disconnections By The Government Illegal


  1. Back to B.C.: Court Re-examines Google Takedown Order In Light of U.S. Ruling (Michael Geist)
  2. College Athletes Appeal to Seventh Circuit Against FanDuel’s and DraftKings’ Use of Images 
  3. How Isis And Russia Won Friends And Manufactured Crowds: The Islamic State built a global brand using the power of social media. Now, Russia is following a similar playbook—and it’s all too easy.
  4. Russian Propaganda Remains On Reddit
  5. House Committee Report Highlights Russian Use of Social Media to Disrupt Pipeline Projects
  6. Russia Censors News Reports About Anti-Putin Ice Graffiti, Leaving Its Contents Entirely Up To Our Collective Imagination
  7. Rian Johnson: Russian Bots Targeted Star Wars: The Last Jedi to Save General Hux
  8. If The US Government Can’t Figure Out Who’s A Russian Troll, Why Should It Expect Internet Companies To Do So? 
  9. Egypt sets up hotline for complaints against ‘fake news’: Egypt’s government press centre has called BBC report on human rights abuses ‘fake news’
  10. Bad Actors Are Using Social Media Exactly As Designed
  11. The spread of true and false news online (Soroush Vosoughi, Deb Roy, & Sinan Aral)
  12. The science of fake news (David M. J. Lazer, Matthew A. Baum, Yochai Benkler, Adam J. Berinsky, Kelly M. Greenhill, Filippo Menczer, Miriam J. Metzger, Brendan Nyhan, Gordon Pennycook, David Rothschild, Michael Schudson, Steven A. Sloman, Cass R. Sunstein, Emily A. Thorson, Duncan J. Watts, Jonathan L. Zittrain)
  13. When WhatsApp’s Fake News Problem Threatens Public Health
  14. Be The (Online) Change You Want To See 
  15. Trump Issues Order to Block Broadcom’s Takeover of Qualcomm
  16. Trump issues order blocking Broadcom takeover of Qualcomm, citing national security 
  17. President Trump blocks $117 billion Qualcomm takeover: Singaporean rival Broadcom prevented from buying US chip firm over “national security” concerns
  18. President Trump blocks Broadcom takeover of Qualcomm despite re-domiciliation efforts
  19. President Trump halts Broadcom’s bid for Qualcomm, citing “national security”: Last week, Treasury official argued deal would let China dominate 5G development.
  20. Is China Discriminating against U.S. Firms Related to Technology Transfer, IP, Trade Secrets, and Innovation? 
  21. Court documents reveal 238 gender discrimination and harassment complaints filed against Microsoft: Microsoft facing lawsuit over “unchecked gender bias that pervades its corporate culture”
  22. “Women at Microsoft are sexualized by their male managers,” lawsuit alleges: Of 108 gender discrimination complaints, Microsoft concluded just one was legit.
  23. Microsoft Helps Get A Computer Recycler Sentenced To 15 Months In Prison For Offering Unapproved Recovery Disks
  24. YouTube Shows Dennis Prager’s Claim Of Discrimination Against Conservatives Is Laughable
  25. YouTube Will Link Directly To Wikipedia To Fight Conspiracy Theories
  26. YouTube To Clamp Down On Conspiracy Theories With Wikipedia-Sourced Text Boxes
  27. Wikimedia’s Transparency Report: Guys, We’re A Wiki, Don’t Demand We Take Stuff Down
  28. It’s Not Just The US — The Indian YouTube Community Has a Fake News Problem, Too
  29. Twitter’s Attempt To Clean Up Spammers Meant That People Sarcastically Tweeting ‘Kill Me’ Were Suspended 
  30. Rage against the Machine! CMA sets up a new on data unit to investigate online anti-competitive behaviour
  31. Five Senators Agree: Search Engines Should Censor Drug Information 
  32. Cannabis website to California: Section 230 protects us from your demands – Prof: “It is difficult to see how Weedmaps could be held liable for these ads.”
  33. More People Realizing That SESTA Will Do A Lot More Harm Than Good
  34. Just As Everyone’s Starting To Worry About ‘Deepfake’ Porn Videos, SESTA Will Make The Problem Worse
  35. If You Think SESTA Will Help Victims Of Sex Trafficking, Read This Now
  36. Sex Workers And Survivors Raising The Alarm About SESTA: It Will Literally Put Their Lives In Danger
  37. Sri Lanka Blocked Facebook This Week for Allegedly Spreading Hate Speech and Violence
  38. News Publishers Ask For Monopoly Powers To Fight Back Against Google/Facebook Monopoly
  39. Facebook Didn’t Kill Online Sketch Comedy—The Entire Internet Did
  40. Facebook has signed a deal to stream 25 afternoon MLB games
  41. Facebook Watch Will Exclusively Air 25 Weekday MLB Games In 2018
  42. Facebook Reportedly Pays At Least $30 Million For Rights For 25 Weekday Afternoon MLB Games
  43. MLS, Twitter Announce Three-Year Live Streaming Deal
  44. YouTube TV Wants To Woo Sports Fans, So It Will Sponsor Two More World Series
  45. Judge Rules In YouTube’s Favor In Zombie Go Boom’s Adpocalypse Lawsuit
  46. YouTube Reptile Vlogger Charged With 23 Counts of Illegally Possessing Venomous Snakes
  47. YouTube’s Robert Kyncl On Logan Paul Controversy: “We Should Have Done Better”
  48. YouTube Star Jake Paul Talks To Marco Rubio, Pledges $25,000 In Quest To Stop School Shootings
  49. YouTube’s Human Moderators Will See Limited Four-Hour Shifts To Preserve Their Sanity
  50. The Price Of YouTube TV Is Officially Up To $40 Per Month, With Existing Customers Grandfathered In
  51. Penny’s Notes on the Rising Influence of Influencers
  52. Vice CEO Shane Smith To Be Replaced By Former A&E Chief Nancy Dubuc (Report)
  53. How To Make A Clean Break With The Clingiest Social Networks
  54. Today’s Debate Over Online Porn Started Decades Ago
  55. Ad-Blocker Ghostery Just Went Open Source – And Has A New Business Model
  56. AI Has A Hallucination Problem That’s Proving Tough To Fix
  57. The Quest To Make A Robotic Cat Walk With Artificial Neurons
  58. It’s Really Hard to Give AI “Common Sense”
  59. Four AI composition tools easy enough to soundtrack your film masterpiece: AI creativity now extends to music composition tools that anyone can access.
  60. Come Harvest Time, Who Owns the Fruits of Machine Learning? 
  61. Sierra Leone Just Held the World’s First Blockchain-Powered Election 
  62. Bitcoin Is Ridiculous. Blockchain Is Dangerous
  63. Is The Blockchain Hype Over? (Andres Guadamuz)
  64. Beware the use of crypto-currencies
  65. Cryptocurrencies fall as Google announces ad ban: Facebook banned ads for cryptocurrency from its ad networks in January.
  66. There’s a currency miner in the Mac App Store, and Apple seems OK with it: Popular Calendar 2 app mines Monero by default, but at least it discloses it. 
  67. Taxation of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies
  68. The Obamas Are In “Advanced Negotiations” With Netflix For Political Series Slate
  69. Netflix may sign the Obamas in exclusive content deal: Apple and Amazon are reportedly also interested in working with the former president.
  70. Netflix Piloting Feature That Lets Kids Earn Virtual Rewards For Streaming
  71. Spotify Enlists Its Users to Add Music Metadata
  72. Killing The Golden Goose (Again); How The Copyright Stranglehold Dooms Spotify
  73. Apple is acquiring the Netflix of magazines: The service had “hundreds of thousands” of subscribers as of 2016.
  74. Apple Buys Texture, the Netflix for Magazines
  75. Eddy Cue On Apple’s Video Vision: Unlike Netflix, “We’re Not After Quantity”
  76. Operation Bayonet: Inside The Sting That Hijacked An Entire Dark Web Drug Market 
  77. The Long-Awaited Interactive Adaptation Of ‘WarGames’ Has Premiered 
  78. Inside The Vatican’s First-Ever Hackathon


  1. The Supreme Court’s Decision in Livent: a Framework for Deciding Auditor’s Negligence Cases 
  2. Can Mattel be prevented from making its own Frida Kahlo Barbie doll?
  3. Playboy Decides Not To Appeal Silly Boing Boing Lawsuit In The Most Petulant Manner Possible
  4. Copyright, Censorship, Pepe & Infowars
  5. Pay attention to the “moral rights” of visual artists  
  6. Research Shows That Published Versions Of Papers In Costly Academic Titles Add Almost Nothing To The Freely-Available Preprints They Are Based On 
  7. Court Orders Copyright Troll To Post $10,000 Bond After He Lied About His Client’s Licensing Agreement
  8. Domain names: getting real 
  9. Federal Judge Says Business Names Provided By Reviewers At A Review Site Are Contributory Trademark Infringement
  10. Nevada Supreme Court Overturns Lower Court’s Abysmal Ruling On Las Vegas Shooting Coroner’s Reports
  11. Iowa Town Threatens Critical Resident With A Lawsuit, Gets Sued By The ACLU Instead
  12. Trump’s Lawyers Apparently Unfamiliar With Streisand Effect Or 1st Amendment’s Limits On Prior Restraint
  13. Is Jediism a recognized religion in Canada?


  1. California district court rules social media company cannot dismiss non-users’ facial scan privacy claims 
  2. TSA accused of searching domestic travelers’ devices with no warrant: TSA has failed to fully respond to FOIA requests from the ACLU.
  3. FBI Documents Show More Evidence Of Agency’s Sketchy Relationship With Best Buy’s Geek Squad
  4. FBI Director Says It’s ‘Not Impossible’ To Create Compromised Encryption That’s Still Secure
  5. Yahoo’s ToS limitations of liabilities challenged in Cyberbreach of 3 billion users! 
  6. Judge Says Yahoo Still On The Hook For Multiple Claims Related To Three Billion Compromised Email Accounts
  7. There Are No Guardrails on Our Privacy Dystopia: If tech is going to infiltrate, influence, and shape all of society, it is unacceptable for tech and pure market forces to decide the limits of the surveillance state.
  8. Potent malware that hid for six years spread through routers: Nation-sponsored Slingshot is one of the most advanced attack platforms ever.
  9. Senior ex-Equifax executive charged with insider trading: CIO allegedly sold $1 million worth of stock 10 days before public learned of breach.
  10. Router-Hacking ‘Slingshot’ Spy Operation Compromised More Than 100 Targets
  11. Weighing Privacy vs. Security For The Internet’s Address Book
  12. Keeper Security Reminds Everyone Why You Shouldn’t Use It; Doubles Down On Suing Journalist


  1. White House meeting over violent video games accomplished little, say attendees 
  2. Opinion: Trump’s video game ‘summit’ reminds us who the enemy is
  3. Trump’s Video Game Summit: Developers On One Side, Partisan Hack Puritan Cosplayers On The Other
  4. After industry meeting, Trump highlights alleged game violence effects: Democrats accuse president of using games to “change the subject” from gun control.
  5. IGDA: Blaming gun violence on games is a distraction, but a chance to educate  
  6. Yelling at “scumbags” – inside the White House’s last gaming violence summit: When gaming executives meet the executive branch, the discussion can get a bit bumpy.
  7. What to expect from Trump’s game industry summit today: Attendee list suggests a vigorous debate between pro- and anti-gaming voices.
  8. These are the people attending the White House’s game violence meeting
  9. ZeniMax, Take Two CEOs to meet with President Trump: White House sources have confirmed two attendees of today’s meeting on gun violence
  10. Trump meeting with game execs yields “significant progress” – Legislator: Missouri Representative Vicky Hartzler gives her assessment as ESA thanks president for “receptive and comprehensive approach”
  11. Trump White House’s Horribly Violent Video-Game Reel Goes Viral
  12. This alternate montage challenges the White House’s violent games reel 
  13. Watch the industry’s response to Trump’s violent video games reel: Games For Change compiles montage of beautiful and emotional moments from The Last of Us, Zelda, Minecraft, Abzu and more
  14. Devs of violent games in White House reel “should be ashamed” – Spector: Warren Spector calls supercut of gory titles “simply disgusting,” says those titles hurt the industry
  15. ‘The American Dream’ Parodies US Gun Culture, Launching This Week at a Key Moment in Gun Rights Debate
  16. What would Trump’s trade war mean for the games business?: The high-profile summit on game violence is a paper tiger; the industry should take the opportunity to persuade the President on trade issues instead
  17. Super Seducer blocked from release on PlayStation 4: The BBC has claimed that Sony “banned” the controversial seduction game
  18. “Dating coach” game Super Seducer barred from PlayStation 4: Available on Steam, game using live-action video to “teach” pick-up techniques.
  19. Voice-acting rights halt effort to put Fallout 3 inside Fallout 4: Converting licensed vocal files falls into a legal gray area.
  20. Fortnite Players Are Getting Fraudulent Charges For Hundreds Of Dollars
  21. Fortnite players receiving refunds after accounts were hacked  
  22. Fortnite’s cross-platform play will not work between Xbox and PlayStation: Sony appears to be the holdout again as Epic’s multiplayer hit adds cross-play between PC, Mac, console and new mobile versions
  23. Fortnite Battle Royale will have the “same gameplay” on mobile devices: PS4 and Xbox One can play with PC/mobile, but not with each other.
  24. Blog: Making a multiplayer PC game playable cross-platform on PS4
  25. Microsoft claims Sony is stopping Xbox One and PS4 cross-play
  26. ModDB has restored and relaunched GameFront
  27. Fully restored GameFront relaunches: Modding hub is back online after two years, with completely restored content and new features
  28. Game Developer Embraces Modding Community So Much They Made Their Work An Official Release
  29. PUBG Corp acquires MadGlory to enable community developer tools: New subsidiary will launch online portal for custom-made APIs, matchmaking engines and esports systems
  30. PUBG is third highest-earning Steam game of all time, according to Gabe Newell: Valve boss points to Bluehole’s phenomenon as proof of how Steam benefits the industry
  31. Op-Ed: Australia’s gambling crackdown signals choppy waters for loot boxes
  32. Happy Wars shutting down Xbox 360 and PC servers this year
  33. Devs celebrate women game devs on International Women’s Day
  34. Here’s how the games industry is honouring International Women’s Day: We round up all the events and other activities video games firms are hosting to celebrate women everywhere
  35. Ubisoft and Microsoft Women in Gaming panel pushes for clarity on how feminism fits into gaming
  36. Female Overwatch League host receives death threats over Women’s Day tweet: Soe ‘Soembie’ Gschwind-Penski besieged on social media for thanking supportive men
  37. Overwatch League team releases twice-banned player: Dallas Fuel cuts ties with Félix “xQc” Lengyel after he follows up suspension for homophobia with suspension for racism
  38. Red Bull announces UK’s largest public esports studio: Studio launches later this month in partnership with ASUS Republic of Gamers, Noblechairs, and Newegg
  39. This Stadium In China Is Built Exclusively For Esports
  40. Violent video games not welcome for Olympic esports consideration: Overwatch and Call of Duty won’t be Olympic sports any time soon.
  41. Alibaba backs non-violent esports for Olympic inclusion
  42. Alibaba to focus on non-violent games for Olympic esports bid: First-party publishers of violent games will be “suspected of only pushing your games for your own benefit”
  43. NHL Announces First Esports Draw With EA Sports Game
  44. EA adds 6 Warner Bros. published games to Origin Access
  45. EA adds WBIE to Origin Access: Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment becomes first major external publisher added to subscription game service
  46. Twitch is getting into the ‘free games for subscribers’ business 
  47. Kixeye raises $20M to blend machine learning and game marketing
  48. Facebook opens up its Instant Games platform to all devs
  49. Dotemu opens new publishing label to support small creative devs
  50. Valve adds optional ‘Plus’ paid subscription to free-to-playDota 2
  51. Jason Rohrer’s “off-Steam” gamble paid off: The indie designer released his new game outside of Valve’s platform, and it eclipsed sales of his last Steam release in one week
  52. Indie devs weigh the pros and cons of forgoing a Steam release
  53. Analysts: Games responsible for 80% of all mobile app spending in 2017
  54. Could games development transition to a complete outsource model?
  55. FoxNext opens new studio to create story-driven titles
  56. What’s the story at Wooga?: CEO Jens Begemann explains the reasoning for the casual games studio’s plan to focus on story-driven games
  57. Call of Duty goes early to avoid Red Dead clash: Activision releasing Black Ops 4 a full month earlier than usual as Rockstar’s next is set to dominate Q4 – but will others follow?
  58. Dune II and the three rules of a good licensed game
  59. Oculus has a fix for the mass Oculus Rift outage
  60. Oculus Publishes Repair Tool to Patch Debilitating Rift Error, Offers $15 Store Credit
  61. Cities: Skylines has sold 5M copies on PC alone
  62. Nintendo rescues quiet February for UK games retail
  63. 3DS lifecycle extends to 2019 with Nintendo Direct surprise announcements: Luigi’s Mansion remake, new WarioWare and Bowser’s Inside Story bolsters handheld’s line-up for the next 12 months
  64. Nintendo announces a bunch of 2018 games, but none as big as Switch Smash Bros.: Nintendo Direct video includes lots of ports coming to Switch, 3DS, as well.
  65. Nintendo inks deal with YoYo to bring GameMaker Studio 2 games to Switch
  66. Street Fighter collection revives rare multiplayer mode for Switch
  67. Don’t Miss: How Nintendo designed the inviting mini-world of Animal Crossing
  68. Why you should (and shouldn’t) port your mobile game to the Switch: EEDAR senior analyst Matt Diener finds that Switch players are big mobile spenders – will that lead to successful mobile adaptations?
  69. Google Maps transforms into Mario Kart for Mario Day  
  70. Google announces new open source multiplayer server Agones
  71. Devs can now use Google Maps API to build their own game worlds
  72. How to Turn Google Maps Into Mario Kart
  73. Gabe Newell: Valve has always been a ‘bit jealous’ of companies like Nintendo 
  74. Dota 2 card game “the first of several games” coming from Valve: Gabe Newell’s company now has “ability to develop hardware and software simultaneously”
  75. Valve’s making games again: Hands-on with Artifact’s digital trading cards – Newell: “Artifact is to trading card games what Half-Life 2 was to single-player action.”
  76. Valve introduces subscription model to Dota 2: $3.99 a month subscription “an evolution of the Majors Battle Pass” says Valve
  77. Valve lets us loose in its new offices, unlocks the doors to a rare merch room: Valve recently moved to new offices, so we took every photo we were allowed.
  78. BitGuild announces blockchain platform for online games: “The implications of having a true gaming network built on the blockchain are nearly limitless,” says CEO
  79. Tencent invests up to $1bn into streaming services within 24 hours: Chinese giant poured $632m into Douyu and led a $461m funding round into its rival Huya
  80. Kixeye secures $20m funding for machine learning platform: Mobile firm claims tech optimises gameplay and monetisation to solve the ‘one-hit wonder problem’
  81. Looking at open world games to understand player autonomy
  82. Report: Fruit Ninja creator Halfbrick cuts workforce by 50 percent
  83. Outpost wants to mix games with reality TV: CEO Wright Bagwell says incorporating an audience and fame leaderboards into the studio’s SOS survival game “radically changes” player behavior
  84. HQ Trivia raises $15 million in funding: Growing trivia game platform offers real-money prizes, is now worth $100 million
  85. Microsoft Shows New Research in Haptics With ‘CLAW’ VR Controller Prototype
  86. Valve launches VR resolution auto-optimization tool for SteamVR
  87. Steam will now auto-scale VR resolution to max out your GPU: New feature aims to “take the headset out of the equation for [VR] developers.”
  88. Eyes-on with the HTC Vive Pro: Not a revolution, but also more than resolution – We take a closer look at a Ready Player One event during SXSW.
  89. Skyrim VR is coming to PC, and it marks a Bethesda first: Oculus approval 
  90. The First Reactions to Ready Player One Are Mostly Positive… Mostly
  91. The Princeton Review reveals the best schools in the world for game design: University of Southern California and the Southern Methodist University ranked top for the second year in a row
  92. Meet the dev who sold his house to make a 100% for-charity game


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