Weekly Web Wrap-Up: April 27, 2016

Welcome to Sheppard Mullin’s Weekly Web Wrap-Up, a quick list of the past week’s top news in the social media, gaming, and virtual goods and currencies industries curated by Social Media & Games Team.  Here are some of the stories that we’ve been reading:

The Cayman Cup: E-Sports Racing Takes Off

CJ Wilson Racing partnered with Logitech and The Online Racing Association (TORA) to run the CJ Wilson Racing Cayman Cup—an e-racing championship.  The 10-race series got underway this week.

The World’s First Dedicated E-Sports TV Channel

ESL announced its launch of a dedicated eSports channel this week.  eSports TV will be a 24/7 eSports channel and is expected to launch in May.

A Canonical Question in Robot Law: When a Robot Kills, is it Murder or Product Liability?

An expert on robotics law responds to Paolo Bacigalupi’s short story “Mika Model.”

Amazon Posts Fourth Straight Profitable Quarter

It may come as a surprise, but despite its high visibility Amazon has only recently begun turning a profit.  The company has traditionally favored growth over profits, opting for investing in resource-heavy initiatives.  But this week, the online retailer posted the largest quarterly profit in its history.

SS7 Security: The Vulnerabilities of Mobile Networks

SS7 garnered significant public attention this week’s 60 Minutes piece, which showed two German researchers using SS7 to spy on US Congressman Ted Lieu, with his permission.  So what is SS7 and why is it so vulnerable?  Click here to find out.

Success Is Not Always Founder Friendly (Silicon Valley – Episode 19)

HBO’s Silicon Valley is back, but Richard is still out as Pied Piper’s CEO.  To recap how we got here:  in the closing moments of last season, the Pied Piper team triumphed by successfully livestreaming its condor cam video to 200,000 viewers—including Laurie, the head of Raviga Capital, one of Pied Piper’s two investors.  Laurie was so impressed with the technology that  Raviga Capital immediately bought out Pied Piper’s other investor, Russ Hanneman.  By doing so, Raviga Capital gained control of three of Pied Piper’s five board seats, and promptly used its majority control to remove Richard as CEO.

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Weekly Web Wrap-Up: April 22

Welcome to Sheppard Mullin’s Weekly Web Wrap-Up, a quick list of the past week’s top news in the social media, gaming, and virtual goods and currencies industries curated by Social Media & Games Team.  Here are some of the stories that we’ve been reading:

Watch the World’s First Mind-Controlled Drone Race

Sixteen students at the University of Florida took part in the competition, taking control of the drones using a brain-computer interface (BCI) device.  Billed as the next NASCAR, drone racing seems poised to fly into the world of mainstream sports and to bring BCI technology out of the lab and into your living room.

What to Expect From an Indie E3

With Activision, Disney, Bethesda, and EA all bowing out of E3 in an official capacity this year, the industry is abuzz with one question:  Can the biggest annual event for gamers survive its newfound independence?  June 12 is right around the corner, and the rumors have us cautiously optimistic.

How Prince Fought the Internet for Musicians

None can deny that Prince leaves behind a legacy.  But for young artists in the music industry, that legacy includes activism.  Placing blame on labels that sign lucrative content deals with streaming services but refused to share profits, Prince pulled his entire catalog from all major streaming services.  He was also at the forefront of the piracy fight, suing the infamous The Pirate Bay for rampant online piracy.

The Latest on Sony’s PS4.5

Sony is poised to drop a new console only three years after the launch of the PS4—the most powerful game console on the market today—to support 4K Ultra HD gaming and VR experiences.  Check out all the updates, rumors, and news on the update.

The XTech Conference Returns to San Francisco

The Neurotechnology Industry Organization (NIO), the leading neuroscience trade association, in conjunction with JAZZ Venture Partners return this year for the 2016 Experiential Technology and NeuroGaming Conference & Expo—or “XTech.”  The conference focuses on the convergence of emerging digital platforms—such as VR, AR, MR, deep learning, and robotics—and advances in neuroscience.  The event illuminates the impact of new experiential technologies on health, wellness, learning, training, sports and entertainment.

Weekly Web Wrap-Up: April 15, 2016

Welcome to Sheppard Mullin’s Weekly Web Wrap-Up, a quick list of the past week’s top news in the social media, gaming, and virtual goods and currencies industries curated by the Social Media & Games Team.  Here are some of the stories that we’ve been reading:

Friend a Bot on Facebook?  Messenger Launches Business Chatbots

At Facebook’s annual developers conference F8 this week, Facebook confirmed that Messenger will allow brands and companies to build bots that interact with Messenger users.  To ensure users don’t get overwhelmed by spammy bots, Facebook is adding user controls that include the ability to block bots from which users don’t want to hear.

Data Protection Reform in the Digital Era

The European Parliament approved the General Data Protection Regulation rules this week.  The regulations apply to any company with customers in the EU and violators may be fined up to 4 percent of worldwide revenue.  In brief, the new rules include the right to data deletion, the right to be alerted if data is compromised, and require companies to obtain “affirmative consent” before collecting and storing customer data.

VR Films Showcase Limitless Possibilities for Storytelling

The Kaleidoscope Virtual Reality Film Fest 2016 wrapped up in Melbourne this week after its 10-day world tour.  You can view all six award-winning films here.

DIY Mind Control

The new UltraCortex headset allows users to use their mind to control mechanical devices or computers with brain waves or facial movement using the open-source brain-computer interface OpenBCI.  After a successful crowdfunding campaign in 2014, the developers have refined the initial prototype which is available for preorder, or you can 3D-print your own.

Congress Rolls Out the Most Anti-Crypto Bill of Anti-Crypto Bills

On Thursday evening, the draft text of a bill called the “Compliance with Court Orders Act of 2016,” was published online.  The bill would force companies to provide technical assistance to government investigators seeking encrypted data “as is necessary” and require all license distributors to ensure all products, services, applications or software to backdoor any encryption to provide for law enforcement access.

Amazon’s ‘Aggressive’ Marketing Assurances are Music to Theater Owners’ Ears

At the national theater-owners’ convention “CinemaCon” this week, Amazon Studios sharply diverged from Netflix’s movie streaming model.  Unlike Netflix, which thus far has released movies in theaters concurrently with streaming, Amazon assured theaters all Amazon-released films would be released “theatrically,” with an “aggressive marketing campaign” to encourage theater attendance.

Weekly Web Wrap-Up: April 8, 2016

Welcome to Sheppard Mullin’s Weekly Web Wrap-Up, a quick list of the past week’s top news in the social media, gaming, and virtual goods and currencies industries curated by Social Media & Games Team. Here are some of the stories that we’ve been reading:

GPU Technology Conference 2016 Highlights

Robotic motorsports, AI, VR, and Jen-Hsun Huang’s leather jacket. Check out all the cool stuff.

Olympic E-Sports?

E-sports is heading to the Rio 2016 Olympics—kinda. The International eGames Committee (IEGC) announced the new eGames International gaming tournament will run parallel to the Olympics.  Hosts Brazil, the USA, UK, and Canada have confirmed their involvement.  Pack your virtual bags, gamers—it’s a brave new world.

Virtual Reality—Without the Sick

VR-associated motion sickness may soon be a thing of the past. Computing company Nvidia unveiled a prototype display at the GPU Technology Conference that aims to reduce latency and persistence—two thorns in the side of VR—to zero.

Samsung’s Smart Lenses

In the ever-expanding world of wearables, Samsung aims to bypass clunkier wearables in favor of “smart” contact lenses that overlay internet-connected services directly into the user’s line of sight. The South Korean patent application touts the benefit of more immersive and natural augmented reality experiences.

The New Face of eSports Venues?

As eSports continues its meteoric growth, its ecosystem continues to evolve. The new arena where the Sacramento Kings will play professional basketball when the 2016-17 season begins was designed to be “the most technologically advanced arena in the world, so it’s perfect for eSports,” said the teams co-owner Andy Miller.  The $507 million Golden 1 Center will have 1,000 Wi-Fi access points, 17,500 seats, and an 84-foot-long 4K video board.  Continue Reading

DraftKings and FanDuel to Suspend Activity in New York, Effective Immediately

There has been a new development in the ongoing legal battle between New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and daily fantasy sports (DFS) operators DraftKings and FanDuel, as the two largest DFS operators agreed earlier this week to stop taking bets in the state of New York. In exchange, the state’s attorney general’s office agreed to wait until the September appeals hearing is held to pursue additional litigation seeking restitution for participants who lost money in contests provided by the two DFS operators. Also as a part of the agreement, both sides agreed to abide by the appellate court’s decision on the legality of the games, foregoing potential appeals. Continue Reading