Digital Daily Dozen: 3/25/26


As Technology Defeats Ad Blocking, Online Ads Must Improve (Ad Age)  

the user must have immediate tools to reject and complain about advertising; only a limited number of premium advertising slots should be displayed; use of contextual targeting should be increased to end over reliance on behavioral tracking; and better metrics of advertising success are needed to improve online advertising.   

Microsoft yanks A.I. chatbot after racial slurs (USA Today)

Microsoft’s A.I. chatbot started out as an innocent, interesting experiment. Then the rest of the Internet showed up. After Twitter users were able to convince Tay, the name of Microsoft’s chatbot available via text, Twitter and Kik, to spit out offensive and racist comments, it appears Microsoft is giving it a break. 

Nielsen: Pay-TV Households Dip Below 100M (Broadcasting & Cable)

The number of pay-TV households experienced a small decline in the fourth quarter, dropping below the 100 million mark. Penetration of subscription video-on-demand services including Netflix increased. According to Nielsen, there were 99.44 million cable plus households, which includes wired cable, telco and satellite.      

TVB’s Lanzano: Nielsen Report Confirms TV as Dominant Medium (Broadcasting & Cable)  

teve Lanzano, president and CEO of TVB, was pleased with the results of Nielsen’s fourth quarter 2015 Total Audience Report. Although the number of pay-TV households decreased a little in Q4 below the 100 million mark, the report confirmed that Americans do in fact choose TV over all other media.     

Set-Top Diversity Debate Rages On (Broadcasting & Cable) 

The diversity debate over FCC chair Tom Wheeler’s set-top box ‘unlocking” proposal continued to heat up with the latest volley coming from supporters of the proposal. A group of diverse programmers asked the commission to reject calls to delay the proceeding to study its impact on program diversity.    

U.S. Indicts 7 Iranians in Cyberattacks on Banks and a Dam (NY Times) 

The indictment is the first time that the Obama administration has sought action against Iranians for a wave of computer attacks that began in 2011.    


On March 29, the FCC will take its latest step toward using multimillion-dollar payoffs to urge broadcasters to give up their airwaves, which in many cases would force them off the air. The spectrum then would be auctioned to telecom companies to deliver broadband and Wi-Fi services for America’s fast-growing wireless appetite.      

After Verizon breach, 1.5 million customer records put up for sale (ARS Technica) 

After a data breach at Verizon Enterprise Solutions, a customer database and information about Verizon security flaws were reportedly put up for sale by criminals. According to KrebsOnSecurity, “a prominent member of a closely guarded underground cybercrime forum posted a new thread advertising the sale of a database.”   

Apple and Google among firms calling for changes to snooper’s charter (The Guardian) 

Six of the biggest American technology firms have combined forces to call for major changes to the UK’s Investigatory Powers bill, commonly known as the snooper’s charter. The firms warn that “important amendments are required” to create a bill that will not set dangerous precedents “which may be copied elsewhere.”   

Netizen Report: Congo Shuts Down All Communication on Election Day (Media Shift) 

The government of the Republic of Congo instituted a blackout of Internet, phone networks and SMS services as Congolese voters went to the polls, citing “reasons of security and national safety.” The 48-hour shutdown, reportedly was intended to stop any “illegal” publication of election results before a total count was tallied.   

Two Years Later: Facebook’s Oculus Acquisition Has Changed Virtual Reality Forever (Recode)   

42 game developers partnered with Oculus for demo day. Last year, Oculus demoed just three games. That jump is an important one for the company, which is about to ship its first wave of consumer headsets, the Oculus Rift. What good is a $1,500 VR system without any decent games? But the jump is also indicative of a budding industry.  

Providers, White House, FCC Commissioners Voice Concerns on ‘ObamaPhone’ Changes (Inside Sources)   

Mounting concerns about the FCC’s proposal to update the Lifeline program and include Internet could mean last minute changes to the subsidy for low-income Americans ahead of next week’s vote. During a congressional oversight hearing FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn said her “office has been inundated with concerns.”   

Netflix Is Throttling Speed On AT&T, Verizon (Washington Post) 

The service admitted that for the last five years it has been capping the speed of its video streams on the AT&T and Verizon cell networks to keep customers from going over their monthly data allowance. By doing so, Netflix keeps viewers from paying stiff penalties, keeping the binge-watching behavior Netflix relies on in check.