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The Obama s Striking Deal With Netflix


Image result for michelle and barack obama

Netflix is in talks with former President Barack Obama for a new series.

 The New York Times reports that the deal would have Obama and his wife, Michelle Obama, provide content that would only be available on Netflix. Sources close to the deal indicate that the series might focus on inspirational stories or feature moderated discussions of the topics that were highlights of the Obamas’ time in the White House.

The report indicates that some episodes could feature conversations on health care or voting rights moderated by Barack Obama, while Michelle Obama might moderate a show focusing on nutrition, for example. Other potential show ideas rumored for the deal include documentaries or other projects endorsed by and possibly introduced by the Obamas.

Executives from Apple and Amazon have also reportedly been in talks with the former president and first lady.

Terms of the Netflix deal are unknown at this point.


NYPD Gets iPhone 7 & 7 Plus

The New York Police Department is moving away from Windows Phones after two years with the platform and replacing some 36,000 Windows phones with iPhones, which are now being rolled out to police officers…

The Officers get to choose between an iPhone 7 and an iPhone 7 Plus. Currently, officers in Manhattan are taking part in the transition, but once that is complete, the rollout moves to Brooklyn and then Queens.

The iPhones also improve functionality that smartphones bring to officers in general. For instance, smartphone use by police officers can respond to scenes much quicker than relying on the traditional radio:


The New York Daily News reports that the NYPD has been rolling out about 600 phones per day to its officers, who get to choose between an iPhone 7 and an iPhone 7 Plus. Currently, officers in Manhattan are taking part in the transition, but once that is complete, the rollout moves to Brooklyn and then Queens.

The move to iPhone is already being heralded as a major success by some officers. “I truly feel like it’s the ultimate tool to have as a patrol cop,” said Police Officer Christopher Clampitt.

The iPhones also improve functionality that smartphones bring to officers in general. For instance, smartphone use by police officers can respond to scenes much quicker than relying on the traditional radio:

Department of Justice sues To Block At&T /Time Warner Merger

All that Power

The Justice Department sued to block the company’s AT&T’s $85.4 billion bid to buy Time Warner Inc.

 A judge will determine whether the combination of AT&T and Time Warner would give the new entity too much power in the fast-changing media landscape.

 It is assume that AT&T will surely press for a decision before April 22, the date before which the two companies can walk away without penalty.

The first major antitrust enforcement action to be brought by the Trump administration — dealt a blow to a tie-up that appeared to be sailing toward approval as recently as a month ago. That was before Makan Delrahim, was appointed to head the Justice Department’s antitrust division.

Delrahim contents that the merger would  harm American consumers enormously. Resulting in higher monthly television bills and fewer of the new, emerging innovative options that consumers are beginning to enjoy. 

The White House has traditionally stayed at arm’s length from merger reviews. Trump told reporters during his recent trip to Asia that the deal might be challenged in court.

 Time Warner and AT&T combined, could use its control over programming like CNN and HBO to harm rivals by forcing them to pay hundreds of millions of dollars more per year for the right to distribute the content, according to the 23-page complaint. The deal also would enable AT&T to impede competition from online video distributors, which would reduce choices for consumers, according to the complaint.

The government is open to dropping the lawsuit if the companies offer a proposal to fix the competitive harm from the deal, a Justice Department official said.

Currently there have been accusations that the Justice Department, driven by political meddling from the Trump White House, is pursuing a risky case that it’s bound to lose.

The Complaint

Verizon pledges 10 Million To Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund



In addition to the $10 million donation, Verizon is waiving South Texas customers’ data, talk, and text charges, and giving prepaid customers an extra 3GB from August 26th to September 15th – a one-week extension over what had previously been announced. The company is also deploying Cells on Wheels (COWs) and Cells on Light Trucks (COLTS) to supplement mobile coverage, working with government agencies to help first responders with communications services, staffing shelters with Verizon employees to assist responders and residents alike, matching employees’ donations, and offering emergency financial assistance to employees. Plus, employees will receive up to a week of paid volunteer time to volunteer for the Harvey recovery effort in the coming months.

  • Amazon: matching cash donations up to $1 million
  • Apple: $2 million donation to the Red Cross, matching employee donations 2 to 1
  • AT&T: $350,000 to various organizations, matching employee donations up to $50,000 each
  • Facebook: matching up to $1 million in donations made on its platform
  • Google: matching campaign for consumers up to $1 million, $250,000 donation to the Red Cross, matching employee donations up to $250,000
  • Microsoft: $100,000 grant to the Red Cross

Disney Breaks Up With netflix


Disney will be launching a new, stand-alone ESPN streaming service in 2018. This is wonderful news to those who have left cable behind but still yearn to watch sports. It is also big for ESPN, which has had a rough couple of years. The sports media empire lost 12 million subscribers since its peak in 2011, and the company fired a number of high-profile employees in 2017, including NBA reporters Marc Stein and Chad Ford. Former ESPN writer Bill Simmons claimed that the company was too slow to recognize the importance of digital infrastructure. 

The new ESPN service will offer “approximately 10,000 live regional, national, and international games and events a year, including Major League Baseball, National Hockey League, Major League Soccer, Grand Slam tennis, and college sports. Individual sport packages will also be available for purchase, including MLB.TVNHL.TV and MLS Live.”

Internet Privacy & The Senate


In a party-line 50-48 vote Thursday, senators approved a resolution to undo sweeping privacy rules adopted by the Obama-era Federal Communications Commission. If it becomes law, it would also prevent the FCC from setting similar rules again.

The rules have not gone into effect, however ISPs must tell consumers what information is being collected and how it is being used or shared. The rules require ISPs in some cases to get users’ explicit consent, for example to sell information such as geo location or browsing history for advertising.

Republicans in Congress and at the FCC have objected to these rules, passed by the Democratic majority at the FCC in October. They have argued with major cable and telcom companies,that the rules put ISPs on unequal footing with other major data-collecting companies like Google or Facebook, which are overseen instead by the Federal Trade Commission.

Vizio TV Manufacturer Agreed To Pay $2.2 million


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The California-based TV manufacturer agreed to pay $2.2 million to settle the charges and  disclose when and how it collects user information. Since February 2014, software installed on the televisions allowed Vizio to continuously collect customer’s viewing history through software called “ACR,” or automated content recognition. This software captures a selection of pixels displayed on Vizio smart TV screens and sends that data to the company’s servers, where those pixels are compared to a database of different TV shows, movies, and commercials. ACR can also collect information like your Wi-Fi signal strength, nearby Wi-Fi access points, and IP addresses.

The complaint alleges that over 100 billion data points per day (information like what content you’re watching and how long you’re watching it) from more than 10 million Vizio televisions have been collected, and the company planned to store this data on their servers indefinitely. A stipulated federal court order requires that Vizio delete all data collected before March 1, 2016. An anonymized version of the data omitting customers’ name or contact information was sold to third parties for advertising and audience measurement purposes.

 FTC’s complaint said Vizio did not make it clear to customers that they intended to collect their TV viewing history, and the collection was turned on by default, which did not give customers a chance to opt out. A key part of the complaint is that Vizio promised customers recommendations based on the data collected, but never provided them to owners of older Vizio TVs

If you own a Vizio TV, you can disable data collection by going to your TV’s Menu > Settings > Smart Interactivity, or any option with Automated Content Recognition, and turning it off.

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