News of the Week; June 27, 2018


  1. Net Neutrality and NAFTA: Canadian Government Says It Will Address U.S. Policy Should Harms Arise (Michael Geist)
  2. AT&T Successfully Derails California’s Tough New Net Neutrality Law
  3. California net neutrality bill gutted as lawmakers cave to AT&T lobbyists
  4. California’s Quest For Tough Net Neutrality Not Dead Yet
  5. Bill to save net neutrality is 46 votes short in US House
  6. AT&T buying company that delivers targeted ads based on your Web browsing
  7. New Report Details AT&T’s Role in NSA Spying Initiatives
  8. Meet the 8 spooky AT&T buildings that almost certainly also serve the NSA
  9. Investigation Shows AT&T Really Likes Being In The Surveillance Business
  10. AT&T Will Launch Skinny OTT TV Bundle, WatchTV, Next Week
  11. AT&T Employees Reportedly Encouraged to Use Unethical Sales Tactics to Drive Up DirecTV Now Subscriptions
  12. Judge In AT&T Merger Ruling Had Zero Understanding Of The Markets AT&T Now Dominates
  13. Charter’s gigabit cable with no data caps is ready for 27 million homes
  14. Considerations for media and telco vertical mergers in the rise of the digital media age 
  15. Disney gets DOJ approval to buy Fox but must divest sports networks
  16. 21st Century Fox Accepts Amended Disney Offer
  17. Fox desperately trying to avoid selling to Comcast
  18. Two Titans’ Rocky Relationship Stands Between Comcast and Fox: Tensions between Comcast CEO Brian Roberts and 21st Century Fox’s Rupert Murdoch have complicated Comcast’s pursuit of the biggest media deal in years
  19. Ajit Pai Rushes To Weaken Media Ownership Cap To Aid Sinclair… While Under Investigation For Being Too Cozy With Sinclair
  20. Why Network Effects Matter Less Than They Used To
  21. Broadcasters Hope To Counter Ad Skipping By Replacing Ads With Short ‘Inspirational Videos’


  1. Get ready for more sales taxes on online purchases
  2. The Supreme Court Makes A Federal Case Out Of South Dakota’s Inability To Collect Taxes From Its Residents And Thus A Big Mess
  3. Internet Retailers Subject to State, Local Sales/Use Taxes in Historic Supreme Court Decision
  4. Supreme Court’s Online Tax Decision Will Impact Cloud Computing and Software Industries 
  5. Supreme Court Overturns Quill: Remote Sellers Will have to Collect More Taxes
  6. Supreme Court Overturns Quill, Holds States Can Tax Online Retailers Without Physical Presence
  7. Microsoft’s facial recognition service now less bad for nonwhites
  8. Judge deals blow to women suing Microsoft over gender discrimination
  9. People Set To Spend More Time Online Than Watching TV In 2019
  10. Internet Freedom Without Imperialism
  11. American media keeps falling for Russian trolls
  12. Purchased by Pranksters to Promote America’s Concentration Camps
  13. Report: Trump officials planning escalation of US-China tech trade war
  14. China Censors John Oliver Because President Xi Looks A Bit Like Winnie The Pooh
  15. Watch the John Oliver segment that got Oliver’s name banned in China
  16. Apple just launched a ‘fact-based’ election feature in Apple News with coverage from Fox News and The Washington Post
  17. Apple launches service program to address MacBook keyboard woes
  18. Apple’s AirPower charging mat delayed until fall due to “technical hurdles”
  19. Samsung and Apple have had enough of the court battles, finally settle
  20. Amazon Needs to Stop Providing Facial Recognition Tech for the Government: The benefits do not outweigh its privacy risks and dangers
  21. Amazon Workers Demand Jeff Bezos Cancel Face Recognition Contracts With Law Enforcement
  22. Amazon staff to Bezos: Stop selling tech to law enforcement, Palantir
  23. Amazon Unveils Plans to Provide Blockchain-as-a-Service 
  24. Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited, ‘book stuffing,’ and the darker side of being a digital content consumer
  25. I’m Starting to Have Serious Doubts About Amazon Prime
  26. Tech Employees Revolting Over Government Contracts Reminds Us That Government Needs Tech More than Tech Needs Government 
  27. Artificial Consciousness: How To Give A Robot A Soul
  28. Morality in the Machines: Researchers at Harvard’s Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society are collaborating with MIT scholars to study driverless cars, social media feeds, and criminal justice algorithms
  29. Silos, Centralization And Censorship: Losing The Promise Of The Internet
  30. Thermostats, Locks and Lights: Digital Tools of Domestic Abuse
  31. Domestic Abusers Are Increasingly Weaponizing Smart Home Tech
  32. Why the Future will Require Mesh Governance
  33. Why gesture-based interfaces haven’t lived up to the hype
  34. Google Gives Its Human-Like Phone Chatbot A Demo Redo
  35. Talking to Google Duplex: Google’s human-like phone AI feels revolutionary
  36. Yes, Google’s Phone-Calling AI Is Cool. But Why Does It Exist?
  37. Google Killing Off DoubleClick, AdWords Names in Rebranding of Ad Products
  38. YouTube Debuts Premieres To Let Creators Launch New Videos Within Live Streams
  39. YouTube launches paid subscription membership, merch shelves: More ways to get paid.
  40. YouTube introduces new monetization methods for its creators
  41. Top Influencers Post The Most, Get Watched Less Often On YouTube
  42. YouTube challenges Twitch by expanding $5 channel memberships: Platform rolls out service to wider group, adds built-in merchandising tools 
  43. IFPI Nuking Twitch Streamers Accounts For Playing Background Music
  44. YouTube now lets you pay $4.99 per month to support your favorite creators
  45. ASMR Creators Rustle Up Some Revenue On YouTube And Beyond 
  46. India Beyond Bollywood: How YouTube & Other Streaming Services Are Rewiring the Local Music Industry
  47. The UK’s Singles Chart Will Incorporate YouTube Streams For The First Time
  48. YouTube’s VidCon Keynote Is All About How It Can Help Creators Make (A Lot) More Money
  49. YouTube Orders George Clooney-Produced Dark Comedy Series Starring Kirsten Dunst 
  50. VidCon Will Distribute $2,000 Grants To Emerging Creators Every Week For The Next Year 
  51. After Thousands Of Unticketed Guests Show Up, Tana Mongeau’s TanaCon Is Cancelled
  52. Rapper Juice WRLD Apologizes to Twitch Streamers Banned for Playing His Music on Stream 
  53. Mobcrush’s Mobcam Tool Lets Users Stream To Multiple Live Video Platforms At Once
  54. Activism & Doxing: Stephen Miller, ICE And How Internet Platforms Have No Good Options
  55. Twitter punishes users for doxing White House advisor Stephen Miller
  56. Australian Parliament Sends Ethics Committee After A Citizen For Mocking Gov’t Official On Twitter
  57. Twitter’s Creator Ads Are Working, Study Finds Users’ Purchase Intent Rises By 88%
  58. How Twitter Made The Tech World’s Most Unlikely Comeback
  59. Court Refuses to Dismiss Lawsuit Over Kanye’s Tweet 
  60. Instagram Exec Says Monetization Will Arrive On Just-Launched IGTV Platform By Year’s End
  61. Instagram Rolls Out Video Chat, New Camera Effects And Topic Channels
  62. L.A. Mural Requires At Least 20,000 Followers To Take An Instagram Photo
  63. Instagram Users Spent 53 Minutes Per Day In The Android App This Month (Study) 
  64. Instagram Is 100 Times More Valuable Than It Was When Facebook Bought It
  65. Facebook mistakenly leaked developer analytics reports to testers
  66. Facebook Updates Policy on Marketing Weapon Accessories
  67. Facebook Expanding Fact-Checking Project to Combat Fake News
  68. The Great Facebook Crash: The social giant is retreating from the news business. It’s been a painful transition for publications that had come to depend on it—including Slate.
  69. Facebook’s quest for fleet of solar-powered Internet drones grounded forever
  70. Wikipedia Makes The Case For Google & Facebook To Give Back To The Commons, Rather Than Just Take 
  71. Snapchat To Place Renewed Emphasis On Creator Community, Unveils Second Series With Patrick Starrr
  72. Sony Shuts Down Crackle in Canada
  73. Sony’s Crackle Will Cease Service In Canada On June 28
  74. Insights: The Big Schmear – Soon Every Social Media Platform Will Look Like Every Other One
  75. Digital Media Company Whistle Sports Announces $28 Million Funding Round
  76. Here’s The Conspiracy Tearing Bitcoin Crypto Communities Apart
  77. Bit by Bitcoin mining
  78. Are Digital Asset Transactions Always Securities Offerings?
  79. A Summary of the SEC’s Speech on Cryptocurrencies 
  80. How Pixar’s Open Sexism Ruined My Dream Job
  81. Disney Partners With Cisco for Its StudioLAB
  82. Intel CEO Brian Krzanich Quits After Investigation Into Total Boner Move
  83. Intel CEO Brian Krzanich resigns over workplace relationship
  84. Intel CEO resigns over breach of “non-fraternisation” policy: Brian Krzanich steps down after five years with tech giant
  85. Uber wins back its right to operate in London
  86. Police: Uber driver was streaming Hulu just before fatal self-driving car crash
  87. Hulu CEO Says Streaming Service Likely To Make “20 Or 25” Original Shows Next Year
  88. Is the “Netflix of podcasts” moment finally here?
  89. Academics Gathered To Share Emoji Research, And It Was…
  90. FTC Publishes Guidance on Online Giving Portals
  91. Slack Is Down and I’ve Never Felt Less Alive 
  92. How Can We Make Technology Healthier for Humans?


  1. Judge won’t dismiss defamation case on anti-SLAPP grounds, citing hate speech: Hate speech ‘raises no subject matter that is related to the public interest,’ judge says
  2. Supposed ‘Free Speech’ Warrior Jordan Peterson Sues University Because Silly Professor Said Some Mean Things About Him
  3. Education Fair Dealing Update: All Eyes on York as Copibec and Université Laval Reach Tentative Settlement
  4. How One Man Is Using Hip-Hop to Diversify Architecture: Armed with a master’s degree in architecture, decades of hip-hop fandom and rapper teachers, Mike Ford is quickly getting kids into building
  5. Site Blocking, The Sequel: After Telling Courts They Can Issue De-Indexing or Blocking Orders, Movie Industry Calls for More in Copyright Act (Michael Geist)
  6. One step closer to approval of new controversial EU copyright law
  7. Copyright in the United States
  8. The marvellous world of superhero licensing 
  9. Distilling the Essence of the Fair Use Defense 
  10. Why a 40-year-old SCOTUS ruling against software patents still matters today
  11. 2018 World Cup: FIFA’s determined to keep ambush marketing on the bench
  12. Inclusion riders: Can they work in the Canadian music industry?
  13. The Fred Rogers We Know: With his unconventional take on children’s television, Mr. Rogers helped redefine the male role model.
  14. Lawsuit Argues Honking Your Car Horn Is Protected By The First Amendment


  1. Canada’s Access to Information Open Data Fail: Departments Months Behind Posting Summaries of Completed Requests (Michael Geist)
  2. Revealed: Canada uses massive US anti-terrorist database at borders
  3. The NSA’s Hidden Spy Hubs in Eight U.S. Cities
  4. Supreme Court Says Warrants Are Needed For Cell Site Location Info
  5. Supreme Court rules: Yes, gov’t needs warrant to get cellphone location data
  6. U.S. Supreme Court Holds that Historical Cell Site Location Data Is Subject to a Reasonable Expectation of Privacy
  7. Supreme Court surveillance opinion nudges us to think nationally, act locally
  8. Senator to FCC: How much do police stingrays drain a cell phone battery?
  9. Anthony Kennedy’s Retirement May Have Huge Consequences For Privacy
  10. Court Dismisses Privacy Claims Against Email Subscription Management Tool–Cooper v. UnrollMe
  11. Illinois Prosecutor Brings Felony Eavesdropping Charges Against 13-Year-Old Who Recorded His Conversation With School Administrators
  12. A Privacy Bomb Is About to Be Dropped on the California Economy and the Global Internet (Eric Goldman)
  13. In A Surprising Decision, European Court Of Human Rights Says Sweden’s Mass Surveillance Is Fine
  14. Social sharing and the US Video Privacy Protection Act: Perilous for online video content providers
  15. After subpoenaing Apple in trade secrets case, Tesla goes after Facebook
  16. Voluntary Compliance: The Business Case for Adopting the GDPR in the US
  17. Why personal agency matters more than personal data


  1. PUBG Corp. drops lawsuit against Fortnite creator Epic Games
  2. PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds dev drops lawsuit against Fortnite: No word on whether a settlement has been reached, but PUBG Crop has withdrawn from the legal battle
  3. Epic is suing former employee for leaking Fortnite spoilers 
  4. Epic Games sues former QA contractor over Fortnite leak: Thomas Hannah admits breaching NDA but files defence against lawsuit as he claims leak was out of his control
  5. 69% of Fortnite players have bought in-game purchases, average spend is $85: But one in five spenders unaware that paying for items does not given them an advantage
  6. Players paying up to $450 for disc-based copies of Fortnite
  7. ‘Free’ Game Making $300 Million Per Month? But I Thought You Can’t Make Money On Free…
  8. Westworld bug outs stolen Fallout Shelter code, alleges Bethesda lawsuit
  9. Bethesda sues over Westworld mobile game: Publisher alleges that Fallout Shelter developer Behaviour Interactive re-used copyrighted code when it created “blatant rip-off” for Warner Bros.
  10. Star Control creators raising $2M to defend against Stardock lawsuit
  11. Star Control II developers crowdfund legal fight for IP control: Paul Reiche III, Fredrick Ford estimate $2m in legal costs in escalating disagreement with Stardock
  12. Donut County dev speaks out about F2P clone on App Store
  13. PayPal blocks school shooting simulator dev from making sales online: “We work to ensure that our services are not used to accept payments for activities that promote violence,” says payment platform
  14. Omega Labyrinth Z will no longer release in the West
  15. Australian classification board to reconsider We Happy Few ban: Appeal made for Compulsion Games’ upcoming title after incentivised drug use denied it a rating
  16. Which game companies could be using slave labor?: Conflict mineral disclosures show Sony is lax about where/how it gets its materials, while Apple sets the standard for maintaining an ethical supply chain
  17. Studios Remove ‘Spyware’ From Several Games As Gaming Public Revolts
  18. For EA and loot boxes, “Fair is the number one thing”: Chief design officer Patrick Söderlund discusses EA’s current thinking around monetization and its future ambitions for streaming
  19. “People make the mistake of saying, ‘This is what you really want'”: EA chief design officer Patrick Söderlund talks about bringing back Command & Conquer as a mobile game and what the publisher really gets out of EA Originals
  20. EA Sports creates 24 jobs with new division in Madrid
  21. WHO expert defends gaming disorder listing: “This moral panic lives its own life” – speaks with the World Health Organisation and its critics on the subject of gaming disorder
  22. Prickly denial is the wrong response to WHO’s “gaming disorder”: The proposed definition is careful and cautious; more research is needed and the industry should be cooperating, not stonewalling
  23. It’s time to stop running from gaming addiction: Talk to the hand.
  24. Overwatch hacker facing possible jail time for selling illegal programs
  25. Overwatch hacker jailed by South Korean court: 28-year-old man made $180,000 from illegal programme
  26. Blizzard applied for a patent on Overwatch’s Play of the Game highlight system
  27. Blizzard adds a positivity-driven ‘endorsements’ system to Overwatch
  28. Blizzard adds “endorsements” to encourage positive behavior in Overwatch: Reception of the new system so far is mixed; meanwhile, another Overwatch system may be patented
  29. Donut County developer speaks out on frustration of app store clones: Ben Esposito says learning of a F2P clone just before his game’s release “stings”
  30. Valve’s updated Knuckles VR controller brings pinpoint finger-tracking
  31. Microsoft scraps plans for VR support on Xbox 
  32. Microsoft Affirms No Plans for VR on Xbox Consoles
  33. Microsoft And Nintendo Team Up To Troll Playstation In Ads For Not Giving Gamers What They Want
  34. Sony now looking at cross-platform play possibilities
  35. Xbox and Nintendo gang up on PlayStation in cross-platform row: Could console momentum switch because of an issue most gamers don’t really care about?
  36. Microsoft teases the first-ever “stream-to-win” option built into Xbox
  37. Microsoft switches to blockchain tech for publisher royalty calculation: Xbox publishers will now receive royalty statements faster and with less process effort from Microsoft
  38. Nintendo and Microsoft partner to bring cross-play of Minecraft on Switch
  39. Nintendo and Microsoft unite against Sony with Minecraft cross-platform play: “Better together” say newfound allies in the face on Sony’s cross-platform reluctance
  40. Sony exec “confident” PS4 cross-console play “solution” is coming
  41. Sony changes tone on PS4 cross-play with Xbox One, Switch: Shawn Layden says company is hearing the backlash, looking at possibilities and “confident we’ll get to a solution” to make everyone happy
  42. Game of Thrones: Conquest players find bot exploiting user data
  43. Report: Snap looking to launch a game platform for Snapchat
  44. Blog: Weird and not-so-weird concepts that could take the fighting genre forward
  45. ‘Emergent gameplay’: RPG devs mull what the future holds for big RPGs
  46. Streaming-only RPG looks to build on Twitch Plays Pokemon model
  47. Nintendo’s Fils-Aime commits to improving Switch storefront curation
  48. New security measure from Nintendo ‘perfectly prevents’ digital piracy on the Switch: Platform holder permanently bans consoles with pirated games following reveal of unpatchable hardware exploit
  49. Switch-hacking trolls reportedly loading pornographic profile pictures
  50. Pokémon Go hits largest playerbase since launch
  51. Pokemon Quest hits 2.5M Switch downloads ahead of mobile launch
  52. The Legend of Nintendo: With the Switch, the 130-year-old gaming giant has once again turned reports of its demise into Nintendo Mania.
  53. Nintendo stole the show during E3, at least as far as Twitter is concerned
  54. Nintendo attracts most attention on Twitter during E3: Super Smash Bros. Ultimate was the most discussed game on the platform that week
  55. Mario Tennis Aces claims top spot in the UK retail chart: Switch exclusive is one of eight games in the top 40 on Nintendo’s platform
  56. Mario Tennis Aces review: Turning tennis into a fighting game
  57. Nintendo brings Labo support to Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, with more games to come
  58. You can now play Mario Kart 8 with Labo’s cardboard motorbike controller
  59. Nintendo adds Mario Kart functionality to boost Labo sales: Platform holder also seeks ‘greatest Labo creations’ as part of summer campaign
  60. Lumines Remastered turns the Nintendo Switch into a full-body vibration party
  61. FIFA 18 remains No. 1 in Europe for third week running: World Cup fever keeps FIFA 18 on top both digitally and at retail
  62. Ubisoft CEO: Our goal is to provoke thought, not to make political statements
  63. Guillemot explains Ubisoft’s apolitical political games: CEO of publisher behind Far Cry 5 and The Division 2 says the games are impartial “to make people think”
  64. Metal Gear Rising no longer playable on Mac due to DRM 
  65. How Hitman Sniper prepared Square Enix Montreal for the switch to freemium: Why one of the biggest success stories in premium mobile is dropping its entry fee – and “making the long-term commitment to not be evil”
  66. Newzoo: Mobile most popular platform, least popular to spend money on – 95% of surveyed gamers play on mobile, but the platform has a lower player-to-payer ratio than console or PC
  67. Madmind Studio cancels Agony Unrated: Developer “struggling with financial problems” reneges on promise of unrated re-release
  68. Trion Worlds acquires assets of defunct Marvel Heroes dev Gazillion
  69. Trion Worlds acquires Gazillion Entertainment assets: Rift developer hopes to expand MMO portfolio through acquisition, third-party relationships
  70. Google launches Indie Games Accelerator in Asia
  71. Four-month program builds on Launchpad: Accelerator, dozens of expert mentors already on board
  72. Sony stops launch of explicit anime dungeon crawler: Omega Labyrinth Z won’t launch on PS4 or Vita in the West
  73. Blog: An E3 2018 media coverage analysis 
  74. Fortnite, Fallout 76, Cyberpunk 2077 lead E3 media coverage: Sony narrowly retakes leadership from Microsoft, EA dominates publishers
  75. Fortnite growth slows in May as Pokemon Go makes comeback: Superdata’s monthly digital games market report finds worldwide spending up 25% year-over-year to $9.1 billion thanks largely to mobile growth
  76. Fancensus: Fallout 76 most viewed game on YouTube of E3 2018 – Elder Scrolls VI enjoys Twitter attention; Kingdom Hearts III most often mentioned across media coverage
  77. NPD: Software sales slump in May offset by hardware and accessory spending – Accessory and game card spending at record high, growing 30 per cent year-on-year
  78. What Apptopia learned from four years of top grossing mobile games: Only six games have maintained an unbroken streak in the US App Store top 50 since 2014
  79. Avalanche Studios finds the line between AAA and independence: Following its acquisition by Nordisk Film and a fine showing at E3, the 15 year-old Swedish studio has an even brighter future ahead
  80. Dungeon Fighter Online gross lifetime revenue exceeds $10bn
  81. Friday the 13th developer scraps all future content plans 
  82. Bluehole to acquire mobile dev Delusion Studio 
  83. Bluehole to acquire Delusion Studio: PUBG owner picks up Korean developer behind Guardian Stone, Castle Burn
  84. Immortals acquire previously defunct Brazilian esports brand MIBR: Signs non-endemic sponsors Tinder and Betway as part of the deal
  85. UTA Launches Esports Division With 90 Creators Following Acquisitions Of Press X, Everyday Influencers
  86. Tencent: Chinese esports market expected to grow to $1.5 billion in 2020 – Country’s esports userbase projected to grow to 350 million, accounting for 59% of global esports users
  87. Worldwide esports to hit $2.17 billion by 2023 – Report: Research and Markets projects competitive gaming revenues to grow at 18% CAGR over next five years
  88. Twitch Beat Its All-Time Concurrent Viewer Record At E3 This Year
  89. E3 2018 audience breaks Twitch all-time concurrent viewer record: 2.9 million concurrent viewers watched Twitch on June 10, the day of Microsoft and Bethesda’s press events
  90. Inside Atari’s rise and fall
  91. Sensible Object: “Voice control will bring people closer together” – CEO Alex Fleetwood discusses how smart speakers will create entirely new types of games ahead of his “Develop Brighton” talk


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