News of the Week; December 12, 2018


  1. Time Warner Center, including CNN, evacuated due to bomb threat
  2. AT&T and Justice Department continue battle over $85.4 billion Time Warner acquisition – “Bottom line: We see AT&T prevailing,” one analyst declared, citing some pointed questions directed at the DOJ by a D.C. Circuit judge.
  3. AT&T Finds Yet Another Way To Nickel-And-Dime Its Broadband, TV Customers
  4. AT&T/Verizon lobby misunderstands arrow of time, makes impossible claim 
  5. If You’re Surprised By Verizon’s AOL, Yahoo Face Plant, You Don’t Know Verizon
  6. Oath (f/k/a AOL) Agrees to Pay Record Settlement over COPPA Violations 
  7. Report: FBI opens criminal investigation into net neutrality comment fraud
  8. The FBI Is Now Looking Into Those Bogus Net Neutrality Comments
  9. Net neutrality bill 38 votes short in Congress, and time has almost run out
  10. Telecom’s Top Lobbying Arm Oddly Keeps Undermining The Industry’s Own Claims About Net Neutrality
  11. At least one major carrier lied about its 4G coverage, FCC review finds
  12. FCC Tries to Bury Report Showing Many Broadband Users Still Don’t Get The Speeds They Pay For
  13. FCC panel wants to tax Internet-using businesses and give the money to ISPs
  14. FCC chairman acknowledges Russians interfered in net neutrality debate: About half a million comments sent to the agency about the net neutrality repeal were from Russian email addresses, Ajit Pai says in a memo.
  15. Ajit Pai admits Russia interfered in net neutrality process amid lawsuit
  16. FCC chairman acknowledges Russia interfered in net neutrality public comments
  17. FCC Chairman Pai Calls for “Regulatory Humility” as Agency Explores the Impact of AI and Machine Learning on Communications Technology and Marketplace 
  18. FCC’s robotext crackdown could block legal messages, critics say [Updated]
  19. Why 5G Hype Is Out of Control This Week
  20. Comcast rejected by small town—residents vote for municipal fiber instead
  21. The TV Sector’s Latest Bad Idea: Ads That Play When You Press Pause


  1. Capitol Records, LLC v. ReDigi, Inc.
  2. You Should Have the Right to Sue Apple: In Apple v. Pepper, the Supreme Court will decide whether iPhone App Store customers are entitled to make their case against the tech giant.
  3. Qualcomm says a Chinese court has banned sales of older iPhones nationwide
  4. Apps You Use Every Day Are Tracking Your Every Move, According to Very Creepy Report
  5. Three Sentenced For Placing Advertising on Pirate Sites
  6. Online ads spoil Christmas surprises, raising privacy concerns
  7. How Facebook Schemed Against Its Users
  8. Facebook Was Fully Aware That Tracking Who People Call and Text Is Creepy But Did It Anyway
  9. The Empress Of Facebook: My Befuddling Dinner With Sheryl Sandberg
  10. Documents Reveal How Facebook Sought To Undermine Competitor Vine
  11. Facebook’s Dirty Tricks Are Nothing New For Tech
  12. After Getting FOSTA Turned Into Law, Facebook Tells Its Users To Stop Using Naughty Words
  13. Insights: Facebook, YouTube Take A Tumbl On Premium Video
  14. Bikini app maker draws another disgruntled developer to its Facebook fight
  15. Viral publisher First Media joins Snapchat with repurposed Facebook video
  16. Mobile Location Scandals Keep Making Facebook’s Privacy Flubs Look Like Child’s Play
  17. Your Apps Know Where You Were Last Night, and They’re Not Keeping It Secret: Dozens of companies use smartphone locations to help advertisers and even hedge funds. They say it’s anonymous, but the data shows how personal it is.
  18. While Everyone’s Busy, Hollywood & Record Labels Suggest Congress Bring Back SOPA 
  19. The Internet Is Getting Small And Boring. Long Live Tumblr.: Tumblr has been a safe harbor of delightful, weird, and deeply human stuff, free of the algorithms that have made social media dull and conformist.
  20. The Problem With Banning Pornography on Tumblr: The decision has taken away an essential platform for some women and members of the L.G.B.T.Q. community. 
  21. New Research: Screen Time Is Literally Changing Children’s Brains – But we don’t know if that’s a bad thing yet.
  22. Copyrights, Bad Reviews and Social Media Smears: An Update on Internet Law
  23. How to Purge Social Media ‘Friends’ So You Can Have Fun Online Again
  24. For News, Americans Now Officially Prefer Social Media to Newspapers: Or at least this is the first time they’re admitting it.
  25. Otto v. Hearst Communications, Inc.
  26. AG Szpunar advises CJEU to rule that unlicensed sampling MAY be a copyright infringement and German free use may be contrary to EU law 
  27. Latest EU Copyright Proposal: Block Everything, Never Make Mistakes, But Don’t Use Upload Filters 
  28. Legacy Copyright Industries Lobbying Hard For EU Copyright Directive… While Pretending That Only Google Is Lobbying
  29. TV, Sports & Movie Companies Still Freaking Out That EU Copyright Directive Might Include A Safe Harbor For Internet Platforms
  30. Fair Use for “Meme” Can’t Be Decided on Motion to Dismiss—Philpot v. Alternet Media (Guest Blog Post)
  31. Malware Purveyors Targeting Pirate Sites With Bogus DMCA Takedown Notices
  32. Federal Courts Aren’t ATMs, Angry Judge Reminds Copyright Troll 
  33. Google Walkout Organizers Demand an End to Forced Arbitration Industry-Wide
  34. Google will shut down Google+ four months early after second data leak
  35. Steve King Demands List of Google Staff So He Can Check If They’re God-Fearing Patriots
  36. Two years after #Pizzagate showed the dangers of hateful conspiracies, they’re still rampant on YouTube
  37. Republicans are mad at Google for search bias—will they do anything about it?
  38. Google CEO Sundar Pichai Probed Over YouTube’s Conspiracy Problem At Congressional Hearing
  39. Google+ bug exposes non-public profile data for 52 million users 
  40. YouTube bans Proud Boys founder Gavin McInnes for copyright infringement 
  41. YouTube Gives $760,000 To Combat Gang Violence In London, Which It Has Been Accused Of Fueling 
  42. The disinformation factory, or why YouTube loves the Flat Earth (Andres Guadamuz)
  43. YouTube tells impersonation victim: No, you’re not being impersonated
  44. Top 50 Most Viewed YouTube Channels Worldwide • Week Of 12/9/2018
  45. YouTube Rewind 2018 Puts Storyline In The Hands Of Creators (Watch)
  46. ‘YouTube Rewind 2018’ Becomes Second Most-Disliked Video In YouTube History
  47. Naomi Campbell, Jason Momoa Latest Celebs To Launch Vlog Channels With YouTube
  48. Lilly Singh Mounts YouTube Comeback With Ambitious Christmas Collab Series
  49. YouTube Top 10 Music Videos of 2018 Dominated by Spanish-Language Tracks
  50. YouTube Unveils 2018 Top-Trending Videos: Kylie Jenner’s Baby, Liza Koshy and David Dobrik Breakup Top the List
  51. These Are The Brands That Had The Most-Subscribed YouTube Channels In 2018 (Study)
  52. YouTube Is Hard. So Creators Are Starting To Do ‘Vlogmas’ On Their Instagram Stories. 
  53. Instagram Is Testing ‘Creator Accounts’ That Are Specifically Tailored For Influencers
  54. David Dobrik Nabs 10 Million Subscribers In Three Years
  55. After Reorg, Fullscreen Signs 4 Creators To Fully-Managed Talent Unit (Exclusive) 
  56. David Dobrik Wanted To Stop Vlogging After 420th Video, But Forged On After Rejected Netflix Show
  57. Netflix’s Original Programming Viewership Climbs, But 63% Of Streams Still Come From Licensed Content (Study) 
  58. Netflix Orders First African Original, Spy Dramedy ‘Queen Sono’
  59. Here’s Why Netflix’s Mobile Apps Pulled In Record Revenues Last Month
  60. Netflix Original Series Viewing Climbs, but Licensed Content Remains Majority of Total U.S. Streams
  61. Viacom To Be Victorious As Netflix And Other Streamers Battle For Content 
  62. Streaming-Sports Player DAZN Launches Original Series
  63. Hulu Becomes First Streaming Service To Accept Venmo Payments
  64. The Totally Free Streaming Service You Didn’t Know You Have
  65. CollegeHumor Launches Native iOS, Android Apps For ‘Dropout’ Subscription Service
  66. Apple’s anticipated ECG app rolls out today in watchOS 5.1.2
  67. A look at the Apple Watch’s ECG, from someone who needs it
  68. Amazon looks to airports to expand its checkout-free store footprint
  69. Amazon “automated machine” punctures bear spray can, 24 employees hospitalized
  70. After a Year of Tech Scandals, Our 10 Recommendations for AI: Let’s begin with better regulation, protecting workers, and applying “truth in advertising” rules to AI
  71. How “Weird Events” Can Trick AI Into Hallucinating
  72. Predictim Claims Its AI Can Flag ‘Risky’ Babysitters. So I Tried It on the People Who Watch My Kids.
  73. Ethics by design: Canada adopts AI ethics and data protection declaration
  74. Challenges of Future Intellectual Property Issues for Artificial Intelligence
  75. AI in the Travel Industry – Legal Friend or Foe?
  76. All hail the AI overlord: Smart cities and the AI Internet of Things
  77. Move over AlphaGo: AlphaZero taught itself to play three different games
  78. Why driving is hard—even for AIs
  79. This artist is using AI to paint with his mind 
  80. The Seductive Diversion of ‘Solving’ Bias in Artificial Intelligence: Trying to “fix” A.I. distracts from the more urgent questions about the technology
  81. Build first and ask questions later?: Three hidden vulnerabilities of artificial intelligence
  82. Artificial Intelligence and the coming of the self-designing machine
  83. NASA’s next Mars rover will use AI to be a better science partner
  84. Consumer Robots Had a Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Year 
  85. Whistleblower: Uber Could Have Prevented Self-Driving Fatality – Uber execs reportedly ignored his emailed warnings.
  86. These Full-Body Deepfakes are Like Nothing We’ve Ever Seen: The simulations are still clearly fake, but better versions are on the way. 
  87. The Ancient Origins of Automation
  88. Disparate Interactions: An Algorithm-in-the-Loop Analysis of Fairness in Risk Assessments (Ben Green & Yiling Chen)
  89. Bitcoin Firm Alleges Manipulation of the Bitcoin Cash Network that is Alleged to Have Resulted in a $4 Billion Industry Meltdown 
  90. Ethereum falls below $100—down 93 percent from its January high
  91. SEC KOs Mayweather and DJ Khaled for Promoting Cryptocurrency Without Disclosures  
  92. I Bought This Custom 18-Million Pixel Workstation on Craigslist, and It Very Nearly Ruined Me
  93. 50 years on, we’re living the reality first shown at the “Mother of All Demos”
  94. It’s Been 50 Years: Take Some Time This Weekend To Watch Doug Engelbart’s Mother Of All Demos 
  95. “Why Are You Recommending Notice and Takedown?”: The Canadian Bar Association’s Puzzling Position at the Copyright Review (Michael Geist)


  1. Marvel Seeks to Shutdown the “Wakanda Wine Fest”
  2. Playing Music in Bars and Restaurants – Cautions When Allowing Broadcast Stations to Play in Retail Outlets 
  3. School Boots Professor Off Campus After He Exposes Its Complicity In Predatory Publishing Schemes
  4. Does the legal profession have a moral duty to innovate?
  5. Cubs, Nationals Launch Another Trademark Opposition Over A ‘W’ Logo
  6. The Emmys People Are Opposing A Pet Products Company Named After A Dog Named ‘Emmy’
  7. June 17, 2019: Key changes to trademark laws come into force
  8. What Do Pot And Software Have In Common? Stupid Patent Thickets Based On A Lack Of Patented Prior Art
  9. The State of Canadian Copyright: My Copyright Review Appearance Before the Industry Committee (Michael Geist)
  10. In Support of Evidence-Based Copyright Reform: My Industry Committee Copyright Review Submission (Michael Geist)


  1. How Bike-Sharing Services And Electric Vehicles Are Sending Personal Data To The Chinese Government
  2. China Demands Release of Huawei Executive Arrested in Canada on Behalf of the U.S.
  3. Everything That Happened With Huawei While You Were Sleeping
  4. Huawei exec Meng Wanzhou granted $10M bail in Vancouver
  5. Head of MI6 warns of Huawei security concerns
  6. FBI Says Chinese Espionage Poses ‘Most Severe’ Threat to American Security: The agency’s disclosures to Senate come ahead of expected charges against hackers linked to Chinese government; China suspected in Marriott hack
  7. The US is worried about China spying via Huawei because it did the same in the past
  8. UK Spies Say They’re Dropping Bulk Data Collection For Bulk Equipment Interference
  9. Tencent Music Climbs in Trading Debut After $1.1 Billion IPO
  10. Super Micro Says It Found No Secret Spy Chips on Motherboards, Contradicting Bombshell Report
  11. Time to comply with the GDPR. No but really.
  12. What Are the Limits of the GDPR? European Data Protection Board Issues New Guidance on Territorial Scope of the GDPR
  13. 22 apps with 2 million+ Google Play downloads had a malicious backdoor
  14. Big Brother is watching: Australia’s `snooper’s charter’ is now law
  15. Was your phone imaged by border agents? They may still have the data
  16. Facial recognition: It’s time for action
  17. Microsoft Posts List Of Facial Recognition Tech Guidelines It Thinks The Government Should Make Mandatory
  18. What do AI, blockchain and GDPR mean for cybersecurity?
  19. Australia passes new law to thwart strong encryption
  20. Australian Government Passes Law Forcing Tech Companies To Break Encryption
  21. A Failure of Enforcement: Why Changing the Law Won’t Fix All That Ails Canadian Privacy (Michael Geist)
  22. When Not Hiding Cameras In Traffic Barrels And Streetlights, The DEA Is Shoving Them Into… Vacuums?


  1. China has established an ethics committee to vet online games
  2. China forms new ethics committee to review video games: 20 titles already processed, but 11 rejected until they “eliminate moral hazard”
  3. China’s new Ethics Committee has been reviewing existing titles: Waiting list for bringing games to China “likely to be longer than expected”, analyst IHS Markit warns
  4. Analysts claim China’s new ethics committee could spark game licensing restart
  5. ‘Loot boxes’ in video games could be giving kids a gambling problem­­
  6. Loot boxes: An industry at war with itself over a technicality – 2018 in Review – The evidence says loot boxes are gambling, but the law is still catching up
  7. BioWare says Anthem won’t rely on big-spending ‘whales’ for success
  8. Another Gambling Case Over Online Virtual Coins Proceeds–Wilson v. Playtika
  9. Parliament launches “addictive” technologies inquiry: Committee investigates how to “keep pace with the increasing digitisation and ‘gamification’ of people’s lives”
  10. Enabling ads in Street Fighter V boosts in-game currency rewards
  11. Using a ‘real entity as enemies’ got Afghanistan ’11 pulled from the App Store
  12. Denuvo-Protected Just Cause 4 Cracked In A Day, Suffering From S___ty Reviews
  13. The South Korean government just made boosting a criminal offense
  14. Boosting now a criminal offence in South Korea: Anyone artificially inflating a player’s skill ranking could face $18,000 fine and two years in prison
  15. Talk of eSports as Olympic event premature – IOC: eSports will not feature as a medal event at the Olympic Games any time soon, according to the IOC.
  16. Esports: International Olympic Committee says further study needed over Olympic bid
  17. IOC says talk of esports at Olympics premature
  18. Olympic esports discussion “premature” says IOC: Olympic Summit encourages “accelerated cooperation” with simulation games, however
  19. Hasbro & Wizards of the Coast invest in Magic: The Gathering esports with $10M prize pool
  20. 84% of teen girls in the UK play video games in their spare time: In addition, more girls ages 13-15 are watching and taking part in esports than boys of the same age
  21. UK government to invest $25M into creative industries
  22. Steam Is Banning Sex Games With Young-Looking Characters [Update]
  23. Valve banning “child exploitation” games from Steam: Despite developer claims that characters are of legal age, Valve bans sexual games with young-looking characters
  24. Blog: An IKEA guide to Steam product pages that simply work
  25. Dauntless to provide cross-platform play across all devices  
  26. Rapper sues Epic Games over “unauthorized” Fortnite dance use
  27. Rapper sues makers of video game Fortnite over dance moves: 2 Milly’s lawsuit claims wildly popular game used his moves without compensation or credit
  28. Rapper Sues the Makers of Fortnite Claiming Copyright Infringement of Dance Moves
  29. 2 Milly Sues Epic Games Over Fortnite Dance Moves – What In The Wide, Wide World Of Copyright Is Going On Here?
  30. Epic opens Fortnite’s cross-platform services for free to other devs
  31. Epic Games Store launches with handful of games
  32. What’s the deal with Epic Games Store refunds?: Skin-t.
  33. Epic Game Store will give devs as much information as legally possible
  34. Former SteamSpy promises Epic Games Store will share “as much info as legally possible”: Epic’s Sergey Galyonkin says new marketplace will “eventually give developers way more information than SteamSpy ever could”
  35. Epic Games Store launches with extremely limited selection of games
  36. Epic Store to launch cross-platform games services suite
  37. Three studios delay – or cancel – their Steam launches in favour of Epic Games Store: Coffee Stain’s Satisfactory no longer coming to Valve’s marketplace, while Team17 and Double Damage delay their titles
  38. Epic pulls Infinity Blade series from the App Store: Fans assured that the pioneering mobile franchise will be “popping up in places you wouldn’t expect”
  39. Mobile app demo platform AppOnboard raises extra $15M in funding 
  40. Black Ops 4’s ‘Battle Edition’ offers only classic multiplayer and Blackout for $30
  41. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive adds battle royale mode, goes free-to-play
  42. Counter-Strike GO becomes F2P, adds a shrunken battle royale mode
  43. Bethesda’s support ticket system leaked personal information: Publisher issues statement after some users claim to be able to see submitted Fallout 76 support tickets
  44. Obsidian Entertainment finally announces its Fallout: New Vegas successor
  45. Apple pulls mobile strategy game for including Taliban as enemies: But Slitherine development director hopes mobile platform holder will reverse its decision
  46. Farming Simulator 19 sells over 1M units 10 days after launch
  47. John Romero plans Doom spiritual successor in the form of a free Doom Megawad
  48. Doom’s next expansion pack, made by John Romero, will be free—or cost up to $166
  49. StarVR Developer Program Paused “until further notice” as Company Goes Private
  50. StarVR puts dev program on hold as company shifts from public to private
  51. Daybreak Games lays off estimated 70 employees 
  52. Minecraft YouTuber Logdotzip Launches ‘Big Block Island’ Game, His Own Gaming Studio ‘Dotzip Developments’
  53. Gaming Just Had Its Biggest Year On YouTube — Here’s What Comes Next
  54. 50 billion hours of gaming watched on YouTube in the last year: Video service has its biggest year to date in terms of gaming content; Fortnite accounts for five of top 10 trending videos
  55. ZeniMax Media agrees to settle lawsuit against Facebook VR
  56. ZeniMax, Facebook settle VR lawsuit: Mediation program results in undisclosed agreement between companies, dismissal of appeals
  57. Starbreeze suggests it will dump VR business: Company pledges to focus resources on core businesses of game development and publishing going forward
  58. AR/VR spending to jump 69% in 2019 – IDC: PSVR continues to lead VR market with 463,000 units shipped last quarter; firm says AR software will overtake VR before 2022
  59. Audi Has Deployed 1,000 VR Showrooms in Dealerships Worldwide
  60. A New VC Fund Is Bankrolling Virtual Products in a Simulated World
  61. Phil Spencer: Xbox Game Pass will eventually be available on ‘every device’
  62. Phil Spencer: Xbox Game Pass “will come to every device” – Xbox boss hints at bold cross-platform strategy for subscription service
  63. Brian Fargo: “I spent 50% of my time raising money”: InXile on Game Pass and why becoming a part of Microsoft is the ‘holy grail’ for ambitious games developers
  64. UK Charts: Super Smash Bros Ultimate is the fastest-selling Smash Bros of all time – Just Cause 4 debuts at No.6
  65. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate breaks the series’ launch sales record in Japan
  66. Super Smash Bros Ultimate sold 1.24m in three days in Japan: Switch exclusive posts record week one numbers for both the platform and the franchise
  67. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate: The Kotaku Review
  68. Smash Bros. Ultimate review: The best fighting game on any Nintendo system
  69. First-party Switch games are setting new attach rate records for Nintendo
  70. Nintendo Attempts To Bottle The Leak Genie With Copyright Strikes
  71. How we ported X-Morph: Defense to Nintendo Switch
  72. Nintendo: Switch user revenue is at historic levels in the US – Reggie Fils-Aime believes Nintendo is on course for unit sales targets, but importance is offset by strength of digital
  73. E3 still “a no-brainer” for Nintendo: Reggie Fils-Aime says trade show still generates the most engagement of any entertainment event, but stresses need for E3 to keep changing
  74. E3 and the season of hype-building – 2018 in Review: Sony, Nintendo, and Microsoft made moves this year that point to a coming shift in how they approach a general gaming audience
  75. Japanese Smash Bros. Players Show Palutena Doesn’t Get Underwear Privacy 
  76. Detroit: Become Human has sold over 2M units worldwide 
  77. Warframe downloaded one million times on    Switch: Game reaches milestone less than three weeks after launch on the platform
  78. PewDiePie Receives Backlash After Recommending Anti-Semitic, White Supremacist YouTube Channel
  79. Jade Raymond: The ecosystem has changed, and games need to catch up – At the Fun & Serious Festival, EA Motive’s former head dropped the first hint about the nature of her next project
  80. Supercell opening new coding school (without teachers or classes): Hive Helsinki welcomes first students next year, has support from Rovio, Nvidia and more
  81. The State Of The PS4 In 2018
  82. Cryptography failure leads to easy hacking for PlayStation Classic
  83. Intel promises big boost to integrated GPU, breaks teraflop barrier: The upgrade will bring a lot more games into the “playable framerate” category.
  84. Blog: Timing financing to generate success
  85. Blog: Embracing the pseudo-hallucinatory phenomena induced by games
  86. Best of 2018: The great video game exodus
  87. Best of 2018: Reversing the sunk cost fallacy – Devs recount regrettable cuts
  88. Best of 2018: A Classic Tools Retrospective on the first version of the Unreal Editor
  89. People of the Year 2018: Game Workers Unite – In a year full of game development horror stories, the pro-union group gained traction that could give creators the leverage they’ve lacked
  90. People of the Year 2018: Lars Wingefors – We speak to the CEO behind 2018’s fastest-growing publisher about its ongoing acquisition spree and honouring THQ’s legacy
  91. People of the Year: Annapurna Interactive – The acclaimed indie publisher continues to make its mark on the industry – despite its efforts to stay behind the scenes
  92. God of War and Red Dead Redemption 2 win big at The Game Awards
  93. Red Dead Redemption 2 wins Best Game at Fun & Serious Festival Awards: Rockstar’s game wins three in all, with SIE Santa Monica’s God of War picking up two
  94. Making exposition optional in Red Dead Redemption II
  95. Don’t Miss: How id Software created the original Doom
  96. Devs explore what did and didn’t work in their text-driven IF Comp games
  97. Seeing the past and future of gaming through The Game Awards
  98. All The Big Announcements At The 2018 Game Awards


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