Digital Daily Dozen: 5/2/16

Charter to drop data caps, but other companies still use them (USA Today)    

With approval by the FCC and the Department of Justice for its $55.1 billion acquisition of Time Warner Cable and its $10.4 billion purchase of Bright House Networks, Charter Communications is clear to become the USA’s second-biggest Internet provider. But before okaying these deals, the government proposes to impose a few conditions.  

Fox and Disney want to sell their own web TV bundle, via Hulu for $40 a month (Recode)  

The TV industry has been waiting — and waiting — for big, deep-pocketed tech giants like Apple and Amazon to start competing with the likes of Comcast and Time Warner Cable by selling their own “over the top” bundles of TV channels. Turns out the TV networks — the ones who sell their programming — think that’s a good idea, too.   

Chuck Townsend Has an Answer for the Ad-Blocking Conundrum (Ad Age)   

If magazine publishers removed advertising from their print editions, there would be an “uproar,” but if they took away digital advertising, no one would miss it, contends Chuck Townsend, chairman of Condé Nast. So Chuck doesn’t fault consumers for blocking digital ads.   

New for the Olympics, highlights on Snapchat (Media Life)  

NBCUniversal really, really wants Millennials to get into the Olympics. With less than 100 days to go before the Summer Games begin in Rio, NBCU has made another deal to hawk the Games to those young people, who’ve been drifting away from television for years. 

CROSSING THE NEW DIGITAL DIVIDE (Mobile Future) 

A new nationwide poll, “Crossing the New Digital Divide: Connecting to Mobile Economic Empowerment,” identifies a significant gap between African-Americans’ enthusiastic embrace of mobile technology as consumers and the community’s ability to recognize and capitalize on mobile technology as a vital tool for economic empowerment.   

Roaming fees in Europe get cheaper on April 30th before vanishing next year (The Verge) 

Europe is putting an end to the roaming fees that can quickly add up on a consumer’s wireless bill, but before that happens, the charges will first be capped. Roaming charges across the European Union can be no higher than €0.05 per minute for outgoing voice calls, €0.02 for texts, and €0.05 per megabyte for data usage (VAT excluded).    

Consumer Voices Speak Up for FCC’s Set-Top Proposal (Broadcasting & Cable)                                              

The Consumer Video Choice Coalition says that more than 100,000 “consumer voices” have contacted the FCC in support of its set-top box proposal. That proposal is to give third-parties, which are represented in the coalition, access to MVPD set-top content and data so they can wed it with over-the-top offerings in a gateway device.   

Oculus Rift Delays Flatten VR Fan Fervor (TV News Check)                                                                  

It’s too soon to say how the four-week delays will affect Oculus, much less the overall acceptance of virtual reality, a technology that submerges users in realistic artificial worlds. The delay, naturally, has sparked online grousing and even some data-based activism.   

How FCC’s Wheeler Became Cable’s Foe (Bloomberg)    

If the cable industry were Hollywood boxer Rocky Balboa, it would be getting pummeled by its former trainer.

Or so suggests Rich Greenfield, a telecom analyst with BTIG LLC in New York. He tweeted a clip showing a sweat-spraying punch slamming into Rocky, standing in for an industry taking a beating from FCC Chair Tom Wheeler.   

Google Wants to Enter the Set-Top Box Market Free of ‘Unnecessary’ Privacy Rules (Inside Sources) 

Google is putting its support behind an FCC proposal for access to the TV set-top box market, but doesn’t want to play by potential new privacy rules that could span industry wide. Google encouraged the commission to move forward with a rulemaking compelling pay-TV providers to offer their services on third-party navigation devices.   

Ding Dong, The Witch Is Looking Somewhat Less Wicked   (Media Post- Commentary)            

Satan. Hitler. [Your cable provider.]  The three great evils, although not necessarily in that order. Surely most people, including the devoutly religious and quinoa-munching pacifists, have fantasized about unspeakable acts of violence at the expiration of the four-hour window.    

Gannett Must Face Video Privacy Lawsuit (Media Post)                                                          

Gannett may have violated a video privacy law by allegedly sending Adobe information about people who downloaded USA Today’s app, a federal appellate court has ruled. The court’s ruling reinstates a potential class-action lawsuit filed by Massachusetts resident Alexander Yershov.   

Michigan utility shuts down systems, phone lines, email after ransomware attack (Network World)    

Last week was a busy week when it comes to ransomware. New victims included a utility company, visitors to a toymaker’s website, pirates sailing The Pirate Bay and many more. Some cyber crooks are now demanding gift cards for ransom instead of bitcoin.