Digital Daily Dozen: 3/30/16

Snapchat’s New Voice and Video Chatting Features Should Get Wireless Providers’ Attention (Ad Week)    

In under two years, people have gone from asking what Snapchat is to asking what it can’t do. The company released an update that lets its 100 million daily users make video and audio calls, among other things. During video or audio calls, Snapchatters can simultaneously send photos that appear as an overlay in the chat window.   

Google Fiber Now Has a Landline Phone Service in Its Fight Against Telcos (Recode) 

Many on the coasts have largely ditched landlines. But plenty of people in middle America have not. And middle America is where Google Fiber — the broadband, cable and now phone business — is and would like to grow. The Alphabet unit introduced its first landline service, called Fiber Phone, a $10-a-month unlimited calling option.   

Instagram’s New Algorithm Means the Free Ride May Be Over for Brands (Recode) 

Instagram is testing a new algorithm, which means the company is (or soon will be) choosing which posts users see in their feed and in what order. That could be a good thing for users. It means that, if the algorithm works, you should see the best photos and videos every time you open the app. 

1,000 locked devices in limbo after FBI quits iPhone case (USA Today) 

The government’s surprise decision to withdraw its case against Apple over the San Bernardino killer’s iPhone  adds uncertainty to criminal cases where state and local authorities have been confronted with more than 1,000 locked smartphones and other devices, blocking access to potential evidence, according to a survey.   

Netflix throttling shows net neutrality on life support (USA Today- Commentary)   

Netflix has handed those same telecom giants AT&T and Verizon a potent weapon in their legal fight against Net Neutrality. Whether the decision helps or hurts Netflix in the market for online media ultimately will depend on how much value mobile-video consumers place on the quality of their content in relation to its download speed.    

FCC’s complex incentive auction could net more than $30 billion (USA Today)    

The most sophisticated and complex spectrum auction ever conducted by the FCC is officially underway. When the entire process comes to an end more than three years from now, big wireless carriers that provide most of our smartphone access should have more bandwidth to delivery services to mobile-hungry consumers.   


China is considering new Internet rules that would pressure service providers to cut off access to foreign websites, adding to the government’s growing legal framework bolstering its control of cyberspace. The proposed rules would prohibit the country’s ISPs from allowing connections to websites with domains registered outside China.   


The federal government dropped its bid to force Apple to help unlock an iPhone used by a shooter in 2015’s terrorist attack in San Bernardino (CA) saying the FBI has succeeded in accessing the data on the device. The development scuttles — for now — what was shaping up as a momentous court fight.   

Information security is IT security (Brookings)  

Government cannot survive without consuming, digesting, and generating masses of information on a routine basis. Much of this information is sensitive and must be actively protected from an increasingly sophisticated security threat landscape. The profiles of attackers within this modern threat landscape vary considerably.   

How Mobile is Magnifying the Local News Landscape  (Media Shift Commentary)   

Ten years ago, a traditional TV set was the primary source of video news for most of us; today, many people watch the same events on their smartphone, or on their connected TV device. Mobility is the new revolution. The Internet is no longer the exclusive domain of computers. Similarly, TV is no longer living in a box.   

Younger Viewers Watch 2.5 Times More Internet Video Than TV (Variety- Study)   

Teens and young adults still tune in to TV — but they watch considerably more video on YouTube, Netflix and other Internet sources, according to a new study. And even more alarming for the traditional TV biz, most say they can live without cable or satellite television.  

Sony to Debut New 4K Streaming Service April 4 (Broadcasting & Cable)   

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment and Sony Electronics will launch their new 4K streaming service — Ultra — on April 4, offering Ultra High-Def films for download for $30 each. Ultra will be available initially on Sony 4K Ultra HD TVs with Android TV, with SPHE bundling in four movies for consumers who buy a new Sony UHD set.   

 FCC Commissioner Says Netflix Throttling ‘Deeply Disturbing,’ Calls for Investigation (Inside Sources) 

One of two FCC Commissioners to vote against the agency’s net neutrality regulations last year said it was “disturbing” to learn Netflix, one of the rules’ chief advocates, has been throttling traffic to customers for years. “There is no way to sugarcoat it,” Republican FCC Commissioner Michael O’Rielly said during a speech.