“The Pentagon Is Sitting on a Chunk of Valuable Airwaves. Why?“ – Politico. This comprehensive primer on U.S. spectrum issues points to a major stumbling block in trying to beat China in the 5G race: the Department of Defense currently controls the valuable mid-band spectrum that experts and private sector stakeholders argue is best suited for next generation communications. Worse still, China and the rest of the world are moving forward into these mid-band frequencies, meaning that unless the Pentagon develops alternatives, its ability to operate in other parts of the world may be compromised by having to share these spectrums. Finally, the Trump Administration does not have a coherent approach even as the DOD is trying to reach agreement with private sector companies like telecommunications companies.
“Digital Edits, a Paid Army: Bloomberg Is ‘Destroying Norms’ on Social Media“ – The New York Times. Mike Bloomberg’s campaign pushed the limits of what social media platforms allow influencers and users to say about political matters without explicitly revealing their allegiance to or payment from a presidential campaign. Bloomberg has poured millions into recruiting and activating social media users to advocate for his campaign, far outpacing rivals for the Democratic nomination and possibly suggesting a playbook for the eventual Democratic nomination. Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram struggled to keep up with a number of the Bloomberg campaigns moves.
“Suckers List: How Allstate’s Secret Auto Insurance Algorithm Squeezes Big Spenders” – The Markup. One insurer tried to convince a state regulator to increase supposedly outdated car insurance premiums and was required to submit voluminous additional information. Maryland ultimately turned down Allstate, in large part because the analysis of the underlying algorithm showed it was designed to inflict the largest increases on those willing to pay much more. This is not the first instance of differential pricing and with algorithms and big data, more is almost certainly on the way.