Digital Daily Dozen 2/1/16

 U of Big Brother? (Inside Higher Ed) 

U of California professors object to new system — installed secretly — to monitor emails and use of computer networks. University cites security needs and pledges to protect privacy.   

New Technologies Give Government Ample Means to Track Suspects, Study Finds (NY Times)   

Fears that encrypted communication will prevent agencies from tracking terrorists are overstated, according to a study that included current and former intelligence officials.   

FCC Allows Further Testing of LTE Service in Unlicensed Spectrum Used by Wi-Fi (Recode) 

Cellphones often have the ability to grab data over Wi-Fi or over LTE, but if Verizon and Qualcomm have their way, phones may soon use the same LTE technology even when they are operating over the airwaves typically occupied by Wi-Fi. The FCC approved further testing of the approach, known as LTE-U (U for unlicensed). 


Kansas City sits on the wrong side of the digital divide. A quarter of the Kansas City metropolitan area’s 2 million residents lack an Internet connection at home. An astonishing 70 percent of students in KC public schools lack Web access at home. Ironically, the city has also developed a reputation as a base for tech-friendly companies.   


Comcast customers used to be able to binge on all the Netflix and YouTube videos they wanted without repercussions. Now many are being put on a diet. In a growing number of cities, the nation’s largest cable company has begun imposing extra fees on Internet customers who use what it considers excessive amounts.    


The debate over the potential harm of T-Mobile’s Binge On continues, with a new study from Stanford University claiming that the perk violates key network neutrality principles and is “likely illegal.” Binge On lets T-Mobile subscribers watch videos from streaming services such as Netflix and Hulu without eating into their data plan.   

Hollywood Studios Leading $50M Investment in Mobile Movie Ticketing App (Hollywood Reporter)   

A trio of Hollywood studios are leading a $50 million investment in startup Atom Tickets, an online movie ticketing app that’s set to launch this summer, The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed. Atom is designed to increase moviegoing among friends and groups by polling preferences and suggesting times that are good for everyone.   

Fandango Gets Into the Streaming Business With Acquisition of M-GO (Hollywood Reporter)    

Fandango, the ticket-selling website owned by NBCUniversal, said it has acquired M-GO, a provider of movies and TV shows for streaming that was founded as a joint venture between DreamWorks Animation and Technicolor. Fandango said it will incorporate M-GO into its “super ticket” strategy, whereby moviegoers pay extra for perks.    

TV Industry Group Hints Google Has Inside Access at the FCC (Hollywood Reporter) 

A fight over the future of television is quickly becoming nasty with the industry establishment summoning the involvement of a tech colossus in an effort to stop government interference in the delivery of programming. A coalition formed by the MPAA and telecoms speaks of “Top Secret meetings” and “hoodwinked” viewers.  

64% Look To Internet Of Things To Create Better Customer Experiences (MediaPost) 

Businesses expect The Internet of Things will improve customer experiences but that’s far from where their IoT initiatives are today. And when it comes to how they plan to address IoT needs, most companies are looking to do it with internal resources, though fewer than four in 10 rate their level of preparedness as excellent or very good. 

Harvard study refutes ‘going dark’ argument against encryption (Network World) 

A study from Harvard released Monday largely refutes claims that wider use of encryption in software products will hamper investigations into terrorism and crime.   

Let Them Eat Code – The Corporate Battle That Is Killing Internet for the Poor (Inside Sources) 

If you haven’t been closely following the net neutrality wars, you may be surprised by the sudden uprising against “zero-rating” – the practice of mobile providers, ISPs or content sites to make specific applications or services available to users either for free or without counting against the user’s data cap.   

Nexstar Stations Go Dark On Cox Cable Systems In Retransmission Dispute (Deadline) 

Retransmission disputes usually end up with an 11th hour deal — but not this time for Cox Communications and Nexstar. Cox customers in nine markets lost access to Nexstar stations’ programming last night as their five year old carriage agreement expired with negotiators still at odds over terms to extend it.