Digital Daily Dozen: 9/25/15

Apple Music Highlights the Challenge of Algorithmic Creativity  (Technology Review- Commentary) 

Just as computers cannot yet create powerful and imaginative art or prose, they cannot truly appreciate music. And arranging a poignant or compelling music playlist takes a type of insight they don’t have—the ability to find similarities in musical elements and to get the emotional resonance and cultural context of songs.   

 ACA Fires Back at NAB Over Exclusivity (Broadcasting & Cable)

The war of words between cable operators and broadcasters (and the government) over carriage and exclusivity issues continued apace Thursday, with the American Cable Association responding to the National Association of Broadcasters, which invoked ACA in its response to an FCC blog on exclusivity rules. 

Turner Plans to Televise Video Game Competitions (Broadcasting & Cable)

Turner Broadcasting said it is teaming up with WME/IMG to create a video game league whose contests will be aired live on TBS and digital platforms. Turner is trying to capitalize on the fast growing world of e-gaming, which attracts young viewers and live programming, which attracts advertisers.    

Netizen Report: China Joins Russia in Crusade to Access User Data (Media Shift)

Ahead of a meeting between China’s Internet czar and several U.S. tech companies, Human Rights Watch published a letter asking the invited companies to publicly commit “not to enable government abuses of freedom of expression and privacy in China.”   

Rogers: New Phone Metadata Program Will Make NSA Slower, Less Effective (Inside Sources)

National Security Agency Director Michael Rogers told Congress Thursday terrorist groups have rapidly changed their communications behavior since the Snowden leaks in 2013, and the new program replacing the agency’s bulk phone records collection will severely affect NSA’s ability to respond to imminent terrorist threats. 

 Google Said to Be Under U.S. Antitrust Scrutiny Over Android (Bloomberg)

Google is back under U.S. antitrust scrutiny as officials ask whether the tech giant stifled competitors’ access to its Android mobile-operating system, said two people familiar with the matter. The Federal Trade Commission reached an agreement with the Justice Department to spearhead an investigation of Google’s Android business.   

The NCAA Doesn’t Approve of DraftKings or FanDuel, Still Takes Their Money (Recode)

Thanks to prime-time advertising, most of the sports world is now familiar with daily fantasy sports companies like DraftKings and FanDuel. What’s still unknown — or at least up for debate — is whether or not these sites, which allow people to win real money playing fantasy contests online, offer a form of gambling or a game of skill. 

Millennials Not Big On Paying For News (Poynter) 

The latest report on consumption patterns of millennials finds news is often “not especially relevant” to them and isn’t really something they want to pay for. The new study is from the Media Insight Project, which is a joint effort between The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research and the American Press Institute.   

Is Over-The-Top Over? Oculus/Netflix Deal To Bypass Screens Altogether (Media Post)

As part of a broader rollout of Facebook’s Oculus initiative, Netflix just debuted a simulated living room where users can virtually select movies, TV shows, and the like. Users can currently enter Netflix’s new artificial environment using Samsung’s Gear VR headset.  


Lobbyists for major phone and Internet providers are telling the FCC that its proposal to curtail the price of high-grade network lines will temper large companies’ willingness to invest. In August, the agency voted 3-2 along party lines for a proposal to regulate telecom companies’ transition from old copper lines to higher quality fiber.   


Verizon has fired back at the Communications Workers of America’s claims that it has turned its back on its existing copper networks in its wireline region. In an FCC filing, Verizon said that the CWA misinterpreted a statement it made in a July letter to the FCC about how much it invests on its copper network.     

RESPONDING TO THE HOMEWORK GAP (Christian Science Monitor) 

As schools increasingly use online resources and other technology in the classroom, the burden for students without high-speed Internet access at home is particularly intense, often leaving them unable to complete the required assignments.      

São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro Are Expected to Ban Uber (NY Times)

Brazil’s two largest cities may be on the verge of banning Uber’s service, adding to the ride-hailing service’s growing list of regulatory problems. City Councils In Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro recently passed bills that would prohibit Uber and other ride-hailing services like it.