News of the Week; August 9, 2017

GAMES

  1. Stephen K. Bannon once guided a global firm that made millions helping gamers cheat
  2. EA and Take-Two say Trump administration is harming the games industry: “There is a constant shortage of qualified, high-skilled labour within our industry”
  3. EA’s upcoming NBA Live will mark the video game debut of the WNBA
  4. Alleged misuse of children’s data lands Subway Surfers studio in court: New York and California lawsuits filed against Sybo and Kiloo
  5. Worldwide interactive media market tops $100 billion – Superdata: Research firm says global spend on games, eSports, game-related video content and VR/AR will be $104.6 billion this year, $168.8 billion by 2020
  6. eSports Could Be A Part Of The 2024 Olympics
  7. There’s a chance eSports could make an appearance at the 2024 Olympic Games
  8. Esports – one step closer to Olympic medal status? 
  9. Esports platform Smash.gg raises $11m: Spark Capital, Accel and Horizon Ventures backs pro gaming venture
  10. How Rocket League is looking to shape the future of esports: Psyonix details its ambitious efforts to turn its car football game into a mainstream sport
  11. New ban system implemented as Rocket League surpasses 34m players: Abusive language and racial slurs will result in automatic ban, Psyonix asks players to report, mute and leave the rest to them
  12. It’s Dota 2 time: Y‘all should watch The International: The greatest tournament of all time for the greatest game of all time.
  13. The International 2017 starts with $24 million prize pool: Dota 2 tournament prize money is 16% up over last year, fourth consecutive year of setting a new record for esports
  14. Valve announces Artifact, a Dota-themed digital card game: Lay cards in three lanes (or however exactly the game works) sometime in 2018.
  15. PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds peak player count surpasses all non-Valve titles – Update: PUBG hits 500k concurrent users, behind only Dota 2 at the time the figure was recorded
  16. Titanfall 2 didn’t sell as well as it should have – Zampella: Despite that, Respawn CEO says studio is heavily invested in the franchise and has more on the way
  17. Rainbow Six Siege reaches 20m players, 2.3m DAUs: Ubisoft’s plan to “make a shooter that is here to stay” achieved through post-launch support
  18. With AI research in mind, Blizzard and DeepMind release StarCraft II API
  19. Digital sales dominate Activision Blizzard’s better-than-expected earnings
  20. Activision Blizzard posts gains for second quarter: Console sales dip despite strong launch for Crash Bandicoot collection; revenue from retail channels recedes
  21. Mobile revenue swing helps NCsoft offset tumbling profits
  22. Rising digital sales offsets physical decline at Square Enix
  23. Google’s AI Declares Galactic War On Starcraft
  24. Consumer scepticism drives Kickstarter decline: Videogames’ complex nature makes them perhaps the worst possible medium for crowdfunding – and consumers seem to be catching on
  25. Bandai Namco sees game revenue fall by 28%
  26. Over 200 games launched on Steam in the first week of August alone
  27. Steam attracts an average of 1.5M new customers a month
  28. Steam has attracted 27m new paying users in 18 months: Monthly active players now up to 67m, with daily average of 14m concurrent users
  29. The Nintendo Switch Is The Future Of Gadget Design
  30. Final Fantasy XV’s Multiplayer Has A Ridiculously Detailed Character Creator
  31. Final Fantasy XIV surpasses 10 million lifetime players
  32. Final Fantasy VII Retrospective: Great Because It’s Weird
  33. Jeff Minter and Atari reconcile for Tempest revival: Tempest 4000 in the works, just two years after designer and publisher were in dispute
  34. Bungie’s 13-year battle with crunch culture: At Casual Connect USA, Bungie’s Luke Timmins detailed how Halo 2’s “brutal” crunch led to a new way of thinking about people management
  35. Q&A: CEO Guillemot on Ubisoft’s origins, China expansion
  36. Devs reflect on 8 years spent making an episodic game meant to take 12 months
  37. The rise and fall of Flash games — A postmortem
  38. Video game remasters are a win-win for publishers: With low costs and strong interest from players, it’s easy to see why the remastering trend is catching on
  39. Hinterland: “There’s something a little bit broken about our internet culture” – Raphael van Lierop talks about a low point in dealing with The Long Dark’s Early Access community, and why he won’t go to Reddit any more
  40. New study sheds light on how playing games literally shapes the brain

DIGITAL

  1. Voltage Picture’s Lawyer Sues Copyright Trolling Participants, Calls Lawsuits Unethical
  2. “Podcasting patent” is totally dead, appeals court rules: Federal Circuit stands by 2015 ruling that knocked out Personal Audio’s patent.
  3. Five Ways NAFTA Talks Can Level the Innovation Playing Field: After years of ceding to US demands for tough anti-piracy rules, it’s time for Canada to fight for its interests (Michael Geist)
  4. Canada Can Stand Its Ground on Copyright in NAFTA Renegotiations: It’s all about knowing when to say no (Howard Knopf)
  5. Appeals Court Agrees: Awful Patent Used To Shake Down Podcasters Is Invalid
  6. Section 230 Helps Yahoo Defeat Lawsuit Over Online Harassment Campaign–Hall v. Yahoo (Eric Goldman)
  7. Section 230 Helps VRBO Defeat Claim Over Fraudulent Listing – Hiam v. Homeaway (Eric Goldman)
  8. Sen. Portman Says SESTA Doesn’t Affect the Good Samaritan Defense. He’s Wrong (Eric Goldman)
  9. Judge Rules Kickass Torrents Founder Properly Charged With Criminal Copyright Conspiracy
  10. Kickass Torrents Creator Can’t Get Criminal Case Tossed Out
  11. Douez v. Facebook: Are courts finally tuning into the reality of consumer contracts?
  12. ‘Blatant Sales Pitch’ on LinkedIn Likely Violates Non-solicitation Clause–Mobile Mini v. Vevea
  13. Why Apple and other tech companies are fighting to keep devices hard to repair: A new report says the tech industry is using its outsized influence to combat environmental product standards
  14. How Apple Is Putting Voices In Users’ Heads – Literally
  15. Have Smartphones Destroyed a Generation?: More comfortable online than out partying, post-Millennials are safer, physically, than adolescents have ever been. But they’re on the brink of a mental-health crisis.
  16. Turkish regime jails IT trainers in encryption clampdown: We discuss alarming move to target techies who help activists stay safe online.
  17. Facebook’s top global hires remain overwhelmingly white and male
  18. Inside The Partisan Fight For Your News Feed: How ideologues, opportunists, growth hackers, and internet marketers built a massive new universe of partisan news on the web and on Facebook.
  19. Facebook’s Latest Move to Fight Fake News Might Finally Be the Right One
  20. How Instagram Stories Have Changed Dating Forever
  21. Google Fires Engineer Who Wrote Memo Questioning Women in Tech
  22. Google fires engineer who “crossed the line” with diversity memo: Google says the post “advanced incorrect assumptions about gender.”
  23. Internal Messages Show Some Googlers Supported Fired Engineer’s Manifesto
  24. A Meme Shared on an Internal Google Meme Network Depicted a Leaker Being Beaten
  25. So, about this Googler’s manifesto.
  26. Memo to the Google memo writer: Women were foundational to the field of computing
  27. Susan Wojcicki Calls Google Anti-Diversity Memo A “Tragic” Display Of “Unfounded Bias”
  28. Segregated Valley: the ugly truth about Google and diversity in tech – Silicon Valley says it is committed to racial diversity in its workforce. But the numbers tell a different story
  29. How to End Google’s Monopoly
  30. Women Engineers On The Rampant Sexism Of Silicon Valley
  31. Elon Musk Once Fired His Assistant Of 12 Years For Wanting A Raise
  32. Inside the world of Silicon Valley’s ‘coasters’ — the millionaire engineers who get paid gobs of money and barely work
  33. After phishing attacks, Chrome extensions push adware to millions: Compromised accounts push fraudulent extension updates to unsuspecting users.
  34. The Mystery Of Nicole Mincey
  35. Microsoft Chatbot Trolls Shoppers For Online Sex
  36. London Mayor Urges YouTube To Remove Videos Espousing Gang Violence
  37. Google Preferred Advertisers Return To YouTube Months After ‘Adpocalypse’ (Study)
  38. New icons are YouTube’s latest way to alert creators of video demonetization: Plus, there’s now a quicker way to ask for a review of demonetized videos.
  39. YouTube Expands Appeals To Cover Videos That Lost Revenue After The Adpocalypse
  40. Native Video-Sharing And Chat Feature Rolls Out To YouTube App Globally
  41. Twitter Suspends Popehat For Writing About Violent Threats He Received From Another Twitter User
  42. Facebook, Twitter Consistently Fail At Distinguishing Abuse From Calling Out Abuse
  43. In Protest, Artist in Germany Re-Purposes Hate Speech From Twitter
  44. Exploring the Role of Algorithms in Online Harmful Speech
  45. Defendant who texted teen to commit suicide sentenced to 15 months in jail: Punishment stayed to allow appeals in a novel prosecution testing 1st Amendment.
  46. Facing libel lawsuit, Techdirt takes large donations to broaden coverage: Charles Koch Foundation and a charity from the Craigslist founder are among the donors.
  47. Psychiatrist Files Lawsuit Over Wordless One-Star Review
  48. China to Start Using Blockchain to Collect Taxes and Send Invoices
  49. Media scholar on Trump TV: “This is Orwellian, and it’s happening right now, right here” – The president has launched an online TV network. He’s calling it “real news.”
  50. Australian Public Servants Warned Against Liking Social Media Posts That Are Critical Of Government Policies
  51. Russia Wants Innovation, but It’s Arresting Its Innovators
  52. Stumbling “Blocks”: When Is Social Media Moderation a First Amendment Violation? 
  53. The Long, Hot Summer Of Netflix’s Ever-Accelerating Expansion
  54. Netflix Buys Comics Publisher Behind Kingsman, Kick-Ass
  55. Disney Will Cease Distribution Deal With Netflix To Launch Its Own Streaming Service
  56. Disney Pulls Content From Netflix As Users Face An Annoying, Confusing Rise In Streaming Exclusivity Silos
  57. Inside Patreon, The Economic Engine Of Internet Culture
  58. Game of Thrones Star Says She Got Acting Role Because She Has Millions of Social Media Followers
  59. HBO Hackers Release Ransom Note And New Trove Of Stolen Data
  60. Game of Thrones script for “Spoils of War” leaks after HBO hack: No spoilers: Leak contains GoT info, unaired episodes of other shows, and internal docs.
  61. Augmented Reality Apps Could Pollute The Skies With Advertising
  62. Risks of Artificial Intelligence
  63. AI and music: will we be slaves to the algorithm? – Tech firms have developed AI that can learn how to write music. So will machines soon be composing symphonies, hit singles and bespoke soundtracks?
  64. New administrative notice-and-takedown procedure in Greece
  65. Inception Raises $15 Million Series A Funding Led By EU Media Conglomerate RTL Group
  66. VR-based Treatment for Vision Disorders Shows Positive Results in Peer-reviewed Study
  67. Researchers Induce Artificial Movement Sensation in VR Using Four-Pole Galvanic Vestibular Stimulation: Creators believe system could be “easily adapted to conventional VR systems”
  68. CBS is launching a streaming sports channel this year: It’s headed to internet-only TV providers.
  69. Radio navigation set to make global return as GPS backup, because cyber: GPS killed the radio nav in 2010, but a high-def version is set to return
  70. Mozilla’s new file-transfer service isn’t perfect, but it’s drop-dead easy: For less high-stakes uses, Send offers reasonable security and privacy assurances.
  71. Uber’s search for a female CEO has been narrowed down to 3 men
  72. Uber’s ex-CEO: Given reason for alleged Waymo data heist is “dumb”: Kalanick also said that Levandowski “should say what happened” rather than clam up.
  73. How one hot sauce seller hauled Uber into small-claims court and won $4,000: A driver took off with Dane Wilcox’s laptop, and Uber refused to pay him back.
  74. Amazon Halts Blu Phone Sales Amid Spyware Concerns 
  75. SEC Warns That Digital Tokens May Be Securities
  76. An Oral History Of The DARPA Grand Challenge, The Grueling Robot Race That Launched The Self-Driving Car
  77. You’d Have To Click A Mouse 10 Million Times To Burn One Calorie
  78. From blockchain to drones, we need to stop obsessing about tech megatrends: If more men did the laundry, washing machines would be as hyped and alluring as drones
  79. The Guy Who Invented Those Annoying Password Rules Now Regrets Wasting Your Time
  80. 1H 2017 Quick Links, Part 9: Justice System, Social Media, Miscellaneous (Eric Goldman)

CREATIVITY

  1. Canadian Government Puts Copyright Board Overhaul on Fast Track With Consultation Launching Tomorrow (Michael Geist)
  2. Why fears about ‘fair use’ copyright law are unfounded
  3. Canada’s intellectual property strategy must play to the country’s strengths
  4. Canadian Man Somehow Gets Trademark On His Own County’s Name, Govt. Says Legal Action Is The Only Remedy
  5. Post-Axanar, CBS unveils first official fan filmmaking initiative in Trek history: Star Trek Film Academy grants fan filmmakers access to training, New Voyages facilities.
  6. Judge Rules MGM Must Face Lawsuit Over James Bond Box Set Missing Two Bond Films
  7. Citing Free Speech, A.C.L.U. Sues Washington Metro Over Rejected Ads
  8. Monkey selfie animal rights brouhaha devolves into a settlement: Every conceivable joke has been made of this Planet of the Apes-styled litigation.
  9. Monkey Selfie Case May Settle: PETA Knows It’ll Lose, And The Photographer Is Broke
  10. “Thinking Out Loud” About Copyright Infringement (Again)
  11. Word on the street: McDonald’s has been accused of cultural appropriation, using without permission the work of street artists in an advertising campaign in Europe.
  12. Film Director’s Op-Ed Ignores Reality To Push Hollywood Lobbying Talking Points
  13. The Grinch that stole fair use? 
  14. Copyright Suit Requires Fair Use Analysis: A fair use analysis is required before a copyright suit against “appropriation artist” Richard Prince can be dismissed, a New York federal court judge decided this week, declining to grant a quick win.
  15. Commercial Photography in Public Parks–Is Police Presence Required?
  16. Commercial Brochure not Protected by Copyright in Spain
  17. Lookalike Case: Max Verstappen’s Management Unsuccessful for Now
  18. Peter and the Test Tube Babies singer refused entry to the USA for mocking Donald Tump
  19. How Hulk Hogan & Peter Thiel Almost Made Sure That The Story Of R. Kelly’s ‘Cult’ Stayed Unpublished
  20. How Peter Thiel’s Secretive Data Company Pushed Into Policing
  21. Jeff Sessions Suggests He’s Steering The DOJ Towards Prosecuting More Journalists
  22. Deputy Attorney General Walks Back Attorney General’s Threat To Journalists
  23. Professors as Targets of Internet Outrage: Death threats and protests as statements about race and politics go viral.
  24. North Carolina Passes An Entirely Misguided Restore Campus Free Speech Act
  25. Inside NFL Cheerleaders’ Legal Fight for Better Pay
  26. NY Mets Oppose Trademark For Medical Exam Tracking System (METS) Claiming Potential Customer Confusion
  27. Inside Trump’s Global Trademark Trove
  28. Former Professional Wrestler Sues Van Morrison for Using his Likeness without Authorization
  29. Billy Two Rivers, former pro wrestler, to settle lawsuit against Van Morrison: Settlement details are still being finalized, according to lawyer Michael Graif
  30. We’re in the early stages of a visual revolution in journalism: It’s more than a pivot to video — it’s an evolution of text.
  31. Peter Bart: Will Time Warner’s Creative Energy Survive AT&T Takeover?
  32. Is There A Right Way To Put Slavery Onscreen? 

MEDIA, COMMUNICATIONS & NET NEUTRALITY

  1. Canadian Telcos Take Aim At Kodi Addon Site With Shocking Search: True Purpose to “Destroy Livelihood of the Defendant” (Michael Geist)
  2. Canadian Telcos Lose Their Minds Over TVAddons
  3. Canadian Telcos Want To Play Police In War On Piracy: They’ve already raided a Montreal man’s home.
  4. Secret court order that let telcos search a Montrealer’s home a growing trend
  5. The Diminishing Value of Simsub: CBS Streaming Service Coming to Canada Next Year (Michael Geist)
  6. CRTC and UK Agency to Fight Spam and Unwanted Telemarketing Calls
  7. Cable’s New Brilliant Idea: Charging You More Money To Skip Ads
  8. Charter has moved millions of customers to new – and often higher – pricing: Pricing changes accelerate as Charter tries to boost revenue per customer.
  9. Data cap analysis found almost 200 ISPs imposing data limits in the US: Examination of 2,500 home Internet providers finds sizable minority with caps.
  10. Journalist Sues FCC For Hiding Details About Its Alleged, Phantom DDOS Attack
  11. Ajit Pai’s anti-net neutrality plan gets the facts and law wrong, lawmakers say: FCC accused of prioritizing “raw dollars” over small businesses and consumers.
  12. Congress Gives The FCC An Earful On Its Despised Plan To Kill Net Neutrality
  13. As net neutrality dies, one man wants to make Verizon pay for its sins: Alex Nguyen filed the only formal net neutrality complaint, and he’s still waiting for an answer
  14. The Ghostly Radio Station That No One Claims To Run: “Mdzhb” Has Been Broadcasting Since 1982. No One Knows Why.
  15. These Lawmakers Are Speaking out Against the FCC’s Plan to Dismantle Net Neutrality
  16. The FCC is full again, with three Republicans and two Democrats: 3-2 Republican majority likely to overturn net neutrality rules.
  17. Maybe Americans don’t need fast home Internet service, FCC suggests: By saying mobile is good enough, FCC could find that deployment problem is solved.
  18. FCC Proposes $82 Million Fine for Illegally “Spoofed” Robocalls 
  19. FCC To Hold Hearing to Determine Whether to Deny License Renewal of Radio Station that was Silent for Most of its License Term 
  20. $17,500 Settlement by TV Broadcaster for Not Identifying Educational and Informational Children’s Programming – Reminder that the FCC is Still in the Enforcement Business 
  21. AT&T Lies Again, Insists Net Neutrality Rules Will Hurt First Responders
  22. Comcast Tries, Fails To Kill Lawsuit Over Its Hidden, Bogus Fees
  23. We analyzed 17 months of Fox & Friends transcripts. It’s far weirder than state-run media.: How the Fox morning show evolved into Donald Trump’s posse.
  24. Fox Exec Says She Won’t Make Excuses for Lack of Diversity, Proceeds to Make Tons of Excuses

SURVEILLANCE & PRIVACY

  1. Salesforce fires red team staffers who gave Defcon talk: “As soon as they got off the stage, they were fired.”
  2. Body Cam Footage Of A Cop Planting Evidence Leads To Dozens Of Dismissed Cases
  3. House Oversight Head Still Concerned Surveillance He Approves Of Is Being Used Against His Party
  4. US Senators Unveil Their Attempt To Secure The Internet Of Very Broken Things
  5. Man used DDoS attacks on media to extort them to remove stories, FBI says: “If you do not remove it immediately, more severe attacks will hit your website.”
  6. Suspected sextortionist hiding behind Tor is outed by booby-trapped video: “Brian Kil” terrorized minors for years. Last month, a hack gave agents a big break.
  7. Convicted Fraudster Uses DDoS Attack To Clean Up Search Results, Fails Spectacularly
  8. Slayer of WCry worm charged with creating unrelated banking malware: Marcus Hutchins was hailed as a hero. Federal prosecutors say he was a criminal.
  9. Hacker Who Stopped Wannacry Charged With Writing Banking Malware
  10. The Indictment Against Malware Researcher Marcus Hutchines Is Really Weird
  11. Security researcher who neutralized WCry to be released on $30,000 bond: Prosecutors say Marcus Hutchins admitted he wrote alleged malware. Defense disagrees.
  12. WannaCry operator empties Bitcoin wallets connected to ransomware: Bot set up by Quartz reporter Keith Collins catches linked wallets being emptied.
  13. Researchers say WannaCry operator moved bitcoins to “untraceable” Monero: Wallets’ BTC exchanged for XMR, anonymous cryptocash favored by Shadowbrokers.
  14. Meet Alex, The Russian Casino Hacker Who Makes Millions Targeting Slot Machines
  15. Federal prosecutor struggles to describe stingray use in attempted murder case: Questions remain as to how Oakland cops, FBI used stingrays after a 2013 shooting.
  16. ACLU: Absent warrant standard, police could monitor anyone via location data – Opening brief filed in Carpenter, an important privacy case pending at Supreme Court.
  17. Protect The White Hat Hackers Who Are Just Doing Their Jobs
  18. Once Again With Feeling: ‘Anonymized’ Data Isn’t Really Anonymous
  19. The Attack On Global Privacy Leaves Few Places To Turn
  20. FTC Asked to Investigate Google’s Matching of “Bricks to Clicks” 
  21. The FTC’s Latest Bid to Blacklist Telemarketers
  22. FTC must scrutinize Hotspot Shield over alleged traffic interception, group says: VPN service “can intercept and redirect HTTP requests to partner websites.”
  23. Complaint Filed Over Sketchy VPN Service
  24. FTC Schools “Smart” Toys with Updated COPPA Compliance Guidance 
  25. FTC Increases Focus on Smart Toys with COPPA Update
  26. FTC Regulation of Cybersecurity and Surveillance (Chris Jay Hoofnagle)

Jon

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