Digital Daily Dozen: 9/30/15

What @Snowden Told Me About the NSA’s Cyberweapons  (Foreign Policy- Commentary)

As the Internet turns into a battlefield with dangerous real-world implications, there’s an urgent need for the US to begin thinking of ways to de-escalate this new kind of warfare. But that requires extensive dialogue and debate, both of which are impossible without cyber-transparency.   

Adblock Plus Wants Advertisers and Publishers to Oversee Which Ads It Lets Through (Ad Age)

Adblock Plus, one of the most popular pieces of software that consumers use to hide ads while they surf the web, has come under fire from ad industry leaders for letting publishers serve only certain “acceptable” ad formats, often accompanied by a processing fee. Now it says it will assemble an independent board to review. 

ComScore, Rentrak to Merge (Broadcasting & Cable) 

TV measurement firm comScore said it will merge with Rentrak in an all-stock deal that will create a formidable No. 2 to industry giant Nielsen. According to the deal, Rentrak shareholders will receive 1.15 shares of comScore for every Rentrak share they own.   

Hopkins: Hulu’s Ad-Free Option Expands Sub Pool (Broadcasting & Cable) 

Hulu’s ad-free subscription offering is off to a good start, said CEO Mike Hopkins, while the online programming platform’s ad strategy is rapidly getting more relevant to users. Hopkins shared that Hulu data showed that a “big chunk” of potential users would not subscribe to Hulu due to its ad support.   

Viacom’s ‘Attention Study’ Finds Consumers Aren’t Overwhelmed (Broadcasting & Cable) 

Viacom released the findings of its first Attention Study. The study led by Viacom’s Scratch unit found that contrary to popular belief, consumers are not overwhelmed by choices, platforms and content. “It’s not consumers who are in crisis—it’s marketers,” said Anne Hubert, senior VP and head of Scratch. 

Why Turner and WME Are Betting on E-Sports (Hollywood Reporter) 

In 2014, the competitive video gaming industry scored more than $110 million in corporate sponsorships, while Hollywood largely watched from the sideline. That could all change, thanks to a flurry of dealmaking in the fast-growing field of e-sports. WME-IMG is leading the wave of activity with its reveal that it is partnering with TBS.     

Lena Dunham Quits Twitter and Gawker Over “Verbal Abuse” (Hollywood Reporter) 

Lena Dunham has called it quits with Twitter. The Girls co-creator revealed that she has freed herself of social media hate and now has someone else tweet messages on her personal account. “I don’t look at Twitter anymore. I tweet, but I do it through someone else,” adding that she doesn’t even know her account password.   

CINCINNATI BELL PANS MINIMUM BROADBAND SPEED REQUIREMENTS FOR LIFELINE ELIGIBILTY (Fierce Telecom) 

Cincinnati Bell may be a broadband advocate for lower income families, but it says that the FCC should not impose a minimum speed level on the Lifeline support program. CB said if the regulator applies the 10/1 Mbps speed it set for the second phase of the Connect America Fund program, it could create negative effects.   

COMPETITION, COMPETITION, COMPETITION  (AT&T Public Policy Blog- Commentary)  

“Competition, competition, competition” has been FCC Chair Tom Wheeler’s rallying cry. As the FCC embarks on its review of the Special Access marketplace, it must take these words to heart and avoid imposing harmful and unnecessary regulation on this highly competitive telecom sector.   

STUDY: RACIALLY CHARGED HATE CRIMES GO UP AS BROADBAND EXPANDS (ARS Technica)

Does online hate speech ripple into the real world in the form of offline hate crimes? A study in the next issue of MIS Quarterly sought to answer this question. Its authors say that their results show a strong correlation between increased rates of racially motivated hate crimes and areas that saw significant increases in broadband access. 

If Twitter Goes Beyond 140 Characters, Brands Will Follow With More Customer Service (Ad Week) 

If you enjoy the back-and-forth Twitter exchanges between brands like Target or Delta and their querying customers, you’ll like what could be coming soon. Twitter is planning to increase the maximum length of tweets beyond the current 140 characters. The microblogging site declined to comment on the report.   

New TiVo DVR Skips Entire Commercial Break (TV News Check) 

With one press of a button on the remote, TiVo’s new digital video recorder will skip the entire commercial break. That’s quicker than the 30-second forward feature found on previous TiVos. On the new TiVo Bolt, TiVo will tag the start and end of commercial breaks so that viewers can skip that section when watching on their recordings. 

Clapper Not ‘Optimistic’ China Will Uphold Hacking Deal with White House (Inside Sources)

The nation’s top spy told Congress Tuesday he’s skeptical China will uphold its end of a deal minted Friday by Chinese President Xi Jinping and President Barack Obama not to engage in economic espionage against each other. “Well, hope springs eternal,” Clapper told the Senate Armed Services Committee Tuesday.