Weekly Digital News Roundup: Jan 28 – Feb 2
Silicon Valley’s High-Tech Super Bowl Stadium Could Be a Target for Hackers
- According to The Atlantic, as many as some 70 thousand fans will be lucky enough to sit in one of the most well connected NFL stadiums in the nation this Sunday. Completed in 2014, Levi’s Stadium lives up to the reputation of its Silicon Valley home. Crammed full of networking equipment and 400 miles of fiber-optic cable, it was built with an outsize capacity for supporting Internet-connected devices. Underneath the stadium seats, 13,000 wi-fi access points broadcast a free wireless network to the assembled fans, who are never more than 10 feet from a node. The entire arena can handle a traffic load that’s four times higher than NFL’s minimum standard for football stadiums.
- Whenever tens of thousands of devices are crammed onto one public Wi-Fi network, there will always be security risks. Add to the mix the high-profile nature of the Super Bowl and there is a real cause for worry. The stadium is likely to be packed with wealthy corporate executives and sponsors, politicians, and celebrities, many of whom carry around mobile devices brimming with sensitive information and valuable contacts.
- Law enforcement hasn’t shared the specific cyber security precautions in place in Santa Clara, and the NFL would not comment on its security plan. But the area is preparing for every eventuality: To secure the stadium from attacks, the NFL is collaborating with the Department of Homeland Security, which has designated every Super Bowl since 2001 a “national-security special event,” unlocking extra resources, personnel, and surveillance equipment.
Alphabet Passes Apple as World’s Most Valuable Public Company
- According to the Wall Street Journal, the title of the world’s most valuable public company now goes to: Alphabet Inc. With an after-hours pop, Alphabet (the parent company of Google) has surpassedApple as the most valuable publicly-traded company in the world. The Internet search giant now has a market capitalization of just shy of $565 billion based on its recent post-market movement. That’s above the $539 billion Apple boasts.
- Alphabet’s rise to claim the mantle comes even as its shares have struggled in the new year, along with the broad market. But the company has still outpaced Apple since Alphabet reported second-quarter profits in the middle of July, surging 28% through Monday’s close while Apple shares have fallen 25% amid concerns about slowing sales of its flagship product, the iPhone.
How scared is Hollywood of Netflix and Amazon?
- According to the The Washington Post, for years, streaming giants like Amazon and Netflix have fought unsuccessfully for a place at the table of one of the film world’s most lucrative events, aiming to compete with traditional distributors who buy and advertise the movies in hopes of pocketing box-office profits. But now, the streaming giants are starting to win, the latest sign that the tech giants’ deep pockets and fast-growing ambitions are making them real players in the movie business — and raising fresh questions over how the industry hopes to compete with Big Stream.
- A few years ago, the streaming services were seen solely as bargain-bin buyers of other companies’ franchises, posing little threat to big studios and, often, offering up rewards through licensing deals in which the streamers paid to put the studios’ leftovers online. But a lot has changed since Netflix first premiered original hits like “House of Cards.” Netflix said it plans to spend a jaw-dropping $6 billion this year on content, including more than 600 hours of original films and TV.
- As they’ve grown, the streaming giants have shown big differences in how they hope to win over movie and TV’s creative corps. Where Netflix has preached a fast-to-Web model, Amazon has promised some films a traditional big-screen run before they’re viewable online. Amazon also makes its originals in-house, contrasting with Netflix, which buys most from traditional media firms.