Daily 30: Thu 10.30.2014

Snoop To Iggy: Back at ya Bitch!
After T.I. famously squashed their initial Instagram war, first Iggy Azalea and now Snoop have made it clear they want nothing to do with one another.
 The Triangle Offense Explained
Phil Jackson has brought his famous triangle offense to New York, and the Knicks. Now everyone — including both players and fans — has to learn it.
Suge Knight & Katt Williams Arrested
Hip-hop mogul Marion "Suge" Knight and comedian Micah "Katt" Williams have been arrested for allegedly stealing a camera from a celebrity photographer. The Los Angeles County district attorney's office charged both men on Wednesday with one count of robbery for allegedly taking a camera from a woman outside a Beverly Hills studio on September 5. Knight, the co-founder of Death Row Records, faces life in prison because of a previous conviction for assault with a deadly weapon, KVVU reports. The Associated Press reports that the charge carries a possible 30-year sentence for Knight. Williams was busted when he showed up for court, according to TMZ. He was appearing in Inglewood on an unrelated assault charge and could be locked up for seven years. Bail was set for Knight at $1 million and $75,000 for Williams, according to NBC Southern California.
Lenny Cooke
Professional sports is known as a true meritocracy, a field in which the cream really does rise to the top, as there's simply too much money at stake to operate in any other fashion. In uncommon instances, however, inefficiencies can occur and gifted players may fall through the cracks. Such is the story of Lenny Cooke. In 2001, Cooke was the number-one ranked high school basketball player in America, with future NBA greats LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony listed beneath him. Yet after declaring himself eligible for the 2002 NBA draft, Cooke, shockingly, ended up going undrafted, and became a journeyman playing in little-known leagues across the world. Today he lives in southern Virginia, a should-have-been-great who simply did not quite make it. The first documentary feature from American independent film scene fixtures Josh & Benny Safdie (Daddy Longlegs, The Pleasure of Being Robbed), LENNY COOKE explores the fascinating question of how, exactly, Cooke's seemingly assured future could go so awry.
Gives viewers a behind-the-scenes look at Rihanna's unprecedented globetrotting concert tour that hit seven countries in seven days with seven shows to promote her seventh album.
2 Hours
A nameless survivor is bitten and infected with the virus, a beautiful gift to the world. With only 2 HOURS to find the missing survivors, he must move quickly before the virus spreads too far.
Amsterdam's War on Weed
The Netherlands — and in particular its capital, Amsterdam — has long been thought to have some of the world's most liberal marijuana policies. But today, the country's government is clamping down on the weed industry. Police are raiding growers far more often, authorities are requiring "weed passes" to discourage marijuana tourism, and unprecedented numbers of so-called “coffeeshops” — where the sale of small amounts of marijuana is tolerated — are being forced to shut down.
A.B.: I Want to Fight Pacquiao
Adrien Broner sat down for an exclusive interview with VladTV, and revealed that he would be down to fight Manny Pacquiao. His only stipulation was that he fight the Filipino boxer before he's out of his prime and just fighting to make money.
The Age of Human Augmentation
An Iron Man-like solider suit is in development in Ekso Bionic’s workshop, the birthplace of the robotic exoskeleton that helps paraplegics walk. Forbes Managing Editor Bruce Upbin gets the first look at what Ekso is building as part of the government’s Warrior Web project and tries out the experimental wearable robot for himself.
Facebook's Content Takeover Plot
Earlier this week, New York Times media reporter David Carr dropped a bombshell in a story about the ever-evolving relationship between Facebook and virtually every other Internet content creator. Recounting a conversation with an executive working on the social network's mobile team, Carr wrote, "one possibility... mentioned was for publishers to simply send pages to Facebook that would live inside the social network’s mobile app and be hosted by its servers; that way, they would load quickly with ads that Facebook sells. The revenue would be shared." At first blush, this idea makes a lot of sense. Virtually every aspect of online media has spent recent years shifting toward a mobile environment. Well over two-thirds of the traffic of Buzzfeed, easily the most successful online publisher in the business, comes from mobile. The number is closer to three-quarters for millennial trolling hub Thought Catalog. The Daily Dot's own ratio is right in that same neighborhood. Facebook's mobile platform is great. It moves fast, loads perfectly on pretty much every phone every single time, and the company has spent a mind-boggling amount of resources perfecting its algorithm to ensure that the only pointless junk its users see is precisely the type of pointless junk they secretly love. Publishers hosting their own content on Facebook would allow them to ensure that every single person who went to that article through Facebook had the best experience. And yet, this suggestion should be enough to absolutely terrify every single Web publisher. Sometime last year, Facebook began making a concerted effort to change the type of content that was appearing in its users News Feeds from parade of user-created memes, instead favoring "higher quality" content like news and opinion articles. Facebook has 1.3 billion active users—roughly the population of China. When the site decides it wants to push traffic to news, opinion, and entertainment sites that are professionally creating this content, the traffic spigot is enormous. At the Daily Dot, for example, more than half of the site's traffic on any give day comes from Facebook. For similar online publishers, it would be shocking if the numbers were considerably different. Facebook's ability to drive massive amounts of traffic to online publishers has created a situation where everyone is doing whatever they can to get a piece of that traffic. Since Facebook is constantly tweaking it algorithm in a way to maximize engagement, content producers are forced into a position of constantly making adjustments in order to please the algorithm. It's how Facebook's introduction of trending topics—a feature where the site determines news stories that people on the network are talking about and then boots articles on that topic so they appear in more users' News Feeds—has created a system that rewards hastily-produced articles on topics everyone else is already talk about. It's also why everything on the Internet has kind of started to look the same. If you were curious why Playboy recently decided to revamp its Web presence such that it's now a leading purveyor of feminist listicles, the answer is that sharable feminist listicles is what Playboy thinks will do the best on Facebook. This system is one that works pretty well for Facebook, which wants users to engage with content on the site over pretty much everything else. Engagement means clicks, clicks mean people spending more time on the site, people spending more time on the site means more people looking at and maybe even clicking on some ads, and more people looking at and clicking on ads means profit. Facebook has done a great job of training online publishers to optimize their content in a way that works best for its means. However this situation could easily be improved if there were a way for Facebook to get the online publishers to give them money directly. Sure, it's possible for media outlets to pay to promote posts so they're seen by a larger number of users who signed up to follow that content in the first place—but media brands that already have a solid number of followers don't actually need to do that unless they're in a concerted growth stage. What Facebook needs is a way to directly convert the traffic it drives to content producers directly into profit—something that incentivizes the content producer to give Facebook a cut of its advertising revenue in exchange for favorable placement on the News Feed. The idea for hosting outside content on its internal network would give it precisely that opportunity, one that comes with an implicit threat: Give us a cut of your ad dollars or the traffic spigot will constrict. A Facebook spokesperson told the Daily Dot that, as of yet, nothing is set in stone. "We’re in the early stages of conversations with publishers to explore various content strategies but nothing has been established," the company representative explained. "We’re investing in this area and are working with news organizations to create partnerships that are beneficial to their overall publishing goals." To be fair, even in Carr's New York Times article, it doesn't specifically say that boosting spots in users' News Feeds would even be a perk for publishers electing to host their content on Facebook. However, it would be absolutely insane for Facebook not to do precisely that. Why would the company drive traffic to a site that doesn't give the company a cut of its advertising dollars when it could monetize each user both before and after they click a link? The issue for pretty much everyone making content on the Internet is that Facebook's offer of taking a cut of ad revenue in exchange for getting that content in front of more of its users' eyes is one that seriously outweighs the alternative. Sites are used to playing Facebook's game for pulling in traffic; but, if the network changed those rules to some form of pay-to-play, the equation might not change all that much. Honestly, at this point, Facebook could pretty much do whatever it wants when it comes to online publishers. If Facebook wanted to direct less traffic to news sites that write articles directly criticizing the company, it's a safe bet that a significant number of outlets would play ball. Not to say that Facebook would necessarily do any of this. Rather, it should be a wake-up call to publishers that the social network has the ability to exert monopoly powers around the distribution of online content and that investing in finding other places to drive traffic is time well-spent—not because of anything specifically evil about Mark Zuckerberg's creation, but because taking more control over their methods of distribution is essential to their survival. "Facebook is a business. It has a huge user base. It has innovative engineers. These are two things the journalism business wishes it had," explained Columbia Journalism School Digital Media Professor Duy Ling Tu in the email to the Daily Dot. " So, yes, publishers will have to play ball with Facebook until they come up with... [their] own innovations and strategies that don't rely solely on piggy-backing off of social platforms." If that doesn't happen quickly, Facebook may come around demanding it's pound of flesh and there will be nothing anyone can do about it.
Apple Paygate Battle
Apple has run into a major hurdle in its battle to get retailers on board with Apple Pay. The primary issue is that Apple won’t back down from data privacy policy, which prevents retailers from obtaining transaction data from its technology. And this firm position has started a social media campaign rife with boycotting threats from fanboys who are refusing their patronage to retailers that won’t accept Apple Pay. Wal-Mart leads the group of big box stores, which includes The Gap, Rite Aid, CVS, and Best Buy. These outlets instead are adopting MCX’s CurrentC application, which uses QR Code scans (Apple Pay is NFC-based). At issue is MCX’s restrictions; the system forbids its the retailers that use it from implementing competing technology, so it’s a rather all-or-nothing option. (However, MCX disputes this and says it will work with Apple Pay partners, using Subway as an example.) And of course, the fact that Apple is unwilling to share data with merchants will push some to said restrictive system. In short, it’s a mess. Apple Pay links a user’s credit cards to his or her phone and uses the Touch ID fingerprint system to make payments in-stores using a token-based approach which protects the consumer’s private data even if the system is hacked. CurrentC ties an individual's checking account to an app on the smartphone to be scanned at checkout. CurrentC allows the merchant access to the consumer’s data to offer discounts as well as personalized in-store experiences that use specialized tracking technology. As the digital payment war unfolds, MCX suffered a major PR blow this week thanks to a data breach during a beta test of its system. Emails of mobile app testers have been stolen but no personal information such as payment data, home addresses and phone numbers. Of course, Twitter reacted dutifully to the security issues. Security problems aside, the crux of this battle comes down to data. Data privacy and sharing of information with third-parties has become a sticking point for Apple in the past several years. Most recently, the Celebgate dustup revealed a weakness in Apple’s iCloud service which forced the company to add security alerts to its system. But Apple’s unwillingness to share personal transaction and in-app data related to consumers’ application downloads proved to be a non-starter for newspaper and magazine publishers. Publishing companies remain somewhat hesitant to sell subscriptions and individual periodical copies via iTunes. These media providers are used to collecting data on subscribers for advertising sales purposes, as well as for upsell and cross-sell marketing efforts. The “no data” policy is a no-go for many; first publishers, now retailers. A number of issues add complexity to the battle between Apple Pay and competing systems, not the least of which is Apple’s domination of the U.S. smartphone market. That alone may force the hand of the current holdouts. And while Wal-Mart, the leader of the anti-Apple Pay brigade, currently refuses to use Apple Pay, MCX’s CurrentC is, for the foreseeable future, a U.S.-only-based transaction service. Wal-Mart has stores in 26 countries outside the country. Paygate may be short-lived, but if Twitter is the court of public opinion, the verdict is in, and Apple has won: The legion of those who will boycott retailers who refuse to use Apple Pay is growing. Seems like plenty of people are OK without those Wal-Mart rollbacks.
Uptown Saturday Night
Sidney Poitier ("Guess Who's Coming to Dinner," "Sneakers") directs and stars with the legendary Bill Cosby and Richard Pryor and an all-star cast in this hilariously broad comedy about two pals who try to retrieve a stolen winning lottery ticket, and become involved with an underworld kingpin.
A veteran grifter takes a young, attractive woman under his wing, but things get complicated when they become romantically involved.
Dumb and Dumber To
20 years after the dimwits set out on their first adventure, they head out in search of one of their long lost children in the hope of gaining a new kidney.
I Am Ali
An intimate and heart-warming look at the man behind the legend - as we've never seen Ali before. I AM ALI is told through exclusive, unprecedented access to Ali's personal archive of 'audio journals' combined with touching interviews and testimonials from his inner circle of family and friends, including his daughters, sons, ex-wife and brother, plus legends of the boxing community including Mike Tyson, George Foreman and Gene Kilroy. Experience Ali's extrodinary story, as a fighter, lover, brother, and father - told from the inside for the very first time.