Daily Digest: Smart phones, Romney, Netflix

by Taryn Wobbema

Good morning! Here is your Daily Digest for Tuesday, Jan. 31.

In Daily news, be sure to check out part I of a series on high school students who want to attend the University of Minnesota. Included is a mini-documentary. Pogemiller returned to the Legislature last week, but this time as the head of the state’s Dept. of Education. And researchers in a 99-year-old building on campus are looking ahead to the 2014 bonding bill to fund renovations.

Hold onto your smart phone. The Star Tribune reported this morning that the theft of these devices is occurring at a “troubling pace” and in a “brazen manner.” Police especially noted reports’ frequency in southwest Minneapolis – near Uptown. In the evenings. In coffee shops. Sounds like a recipe for a late night study session gone horribly wrong. Some thieves have been so bold as to snatch them from owners’ hands as they walk down the street or off of tables while victims are distracted. Also, maybe don’t leave it sitting it when you walk away for a coffee refill.

In the race for the Republican presidential nomination: The Florida primary is today. The AP reports that Romney sounds/seems much more confident after losing to Newt Gingrich in South Carolina. He spent Monday campaigning around the state. He used the opportunity to attack Gingrich, continuing to link him to mortgage giant Freddie Mac in a state hit hard by the foreclosure crisis. After Florida, Romney will head to Nevada and Minnesota. Minnesotans will vote next Tuesday, Feb. 7.

A Senate committee is discussing whether or not sites like Netflix should be allowed to automatically post a viewer’s recently watched list on social media. Current federal law says that’s a privacy issue, but the House passed a bill in December relaxing the Video Privacy Protection Act so that Netflix customers could simply check and box to share with their friends what they’ve watched online. Senators seem to want to strike a balance – give users the opportunity to “play and share” as they go, MinnPost reported. But Netflix wants users to agree one time and share all titles.