Digital Daily Dozen: 1/18/16

China’s Baidu hit by false ads, porn and medical advice scandal (Financial Times) 

Chinese internet search engine Baidu has come under attack from the country’s technology regulator after a flood of complaints over false advertisements, pornography and leaks of personal information.   

Senior bitcoin developer says currency ‘failed experiment’ (The Guardian)  A senior bitcoin developer has declared the cryptocurrency a failed experiment, blaming the end of the currency on the refusal of the community to adopt new standards which would allow it to grow consistently while maintaining stability.   

The On-Off Switches Of The Internet Of Things (MediaPost)    

As simple as it sounds, much of the activity within The Internet of Things in homes just involves turning things on and off. The idea of smart appliances often means turning something on to coincide with consumer activity.  

MasterCard Chief Raises Barbie Privacy Issues (NY Post) 

The new Wi-Fi enabled Barbie is making news again — and for all the wrong reasons. The chief executive of MasterCard singled out the $75 Mattel doll as a security threat — the second time the tech-smart Barbie has run into trouble. Ajay Banga said hackers can gain control of Barbie’s voice and then “talk” to a child.    

Privacy Issues Stay On Top Of Agenda (LA Times) 

It’s called the Internet of Things and, judging by all the connected gadgets and appliances unveiled at last week’s Consumer Electronics Show, it’s about to strip you of what little privacy you have left. Taken piecemeal, there’s much to recommend about the idea of controlling household devices via voice control or smartphone apps.  

Horizon Media ‘Summit’ Tackles The Ad-Blocking Conundrum (MediaPost) 

The overall message emanating from the gathering was that the industry needs to be proactive in developing best practice solutions and recognizing consumers’ legitimate desire to block ads versus planning to side-step ad blockers with technology on the publisher side.   

Local Ads To See Big Growth In 2016, Digital To Soar (MediaPost) 

Local advertising will soar by over 15% this year — due to growing digital platforms with a rush of political advertising dollars. A new study predicts local advertising will climb 16.4% to $132 billion in 2016 from $113 billion in 2015. This study is much strong than other single-digit growth expectations. 

Netflix’s growth elicits fear in Hollywood (LA Times)    

Time Warner Chief Executive Jeff Bewkes once likened Netflix to the “Albanian army.” That army now has more than 70 million subscribers in nearly 200 countries — and may well be the most feared force in Hollywood. The company has moved from its foundation as a video rental business to become an entertainment juggernaut.   

FX Chief: Industry Hasn’t Reached ‘Peak TV’ (Ad Week) 

Five months after he coined the term “peak TV” to describe the overwhelming amount of video content available to audiences, FX Networks CEO John Landgraf said we’re not yet at the peak, but will be soon. Landgraf also renewed his calls for Netflix to release data so it can be on a level playing field with the other TV networks.   

HBO: Charter-TWC Poses Online Video Risk  (Fierce Cable)    

Executives of  Time Warner and its HBO programming division met with officials of the FCC’s Media and Wireline Competition Bureaus last week, warning them that Charter’s purchases of Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks could threaten the deployment of over-the-top services.   

Netflix’s Ted Sarandos Reacts to NBC Outing His Ratings: “Remarkably Inaccurate Data” (Hollywood Reporter) 

Whatever Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos planned to push during Sunday’s meeting with the Television Critics Association was at least slightly derailed by the press tour’s big story: the apparent outing of the streamer’s “ratings”. Wednesday NBCU research guru Alan Wurtzel made headlines by citing audience projections.   

 Why that Fitbit might not be so good for you (USA Today) 

Duke professor Jordan Etkin recently finished a study called “The Hidden Cost of Personal Quantification.” Etkin discovered the “unintended consequences of personal quantification,” which she says may decrease our enjoyment in an activity (like walking), which then leads us to do less of it — which is certainly not healthier.   

Aaron Sorkin, John Fithian Outspoken at Media Law Conference  (Hollywood Reporter)  

“I simply don’t care about the law,” declared Sorkin, arguing that ethics demanded that the media should not have published the leaked materials and thereby supported the hackers who terrorized Sony in 2015 as retaliation for the studio’s Seth Rogen comedy, The Interview.