Published every weekday, the Switchboard is your morning helping of handpicked stories from the Switch team.
Problems plagued Virgin Galactic rocketship long before crash. "Engineers and subcontractors working on SpaceShipTwo spent years wrestling with difficulties," the Wall Street Journal reports, "ranging from inadequate rocket-motor thrust to problems in the flight-control system to structural deficiencies affecting the wings of the rocket’s carrier plane."
Taylor Swift’s Spotify paycheck mystery. "Taylor Swift has been paid less than $500,000 in the past 12 months for domestic streaming of her songs," Scott Borchetta, the chief executive of Taylor Swift’s record label, the independent Nashville-based Big Machine, told Time magazine on Wednesday. A Spotify spokesperson told Time that the total payout for Swift’s streaming over the past 12 months globally was $2 million.
The split between Obama and the FCC on net neutrality, in plain English. "Here's what's going on, in a nutshell," according to The Switch. "Obama wants FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler to ensure net neutrality — the principle that all Internet traffic is treated equally — by implementing a certain set of rules. Wheeler isn't completely sold on the idea. That's exposed a rift between the two men. The question now is whether that rift will grow larger or smaller in the coming weeks."
Harry Reid moves for Senate vote on NSA reform. The Senate majority leader "filed for cloture on the measure late Wednesday," National Journal reports, "a surprising move intended to address the National Security Agency's mass-surveillance practices before Republicans take over the Senate next year. To advance further, the legislation would need 60 votes to end debate, and then a majority vote to pass it through the chamber."
FTC chair wants clearer disclosures to protect privacy. Computerworld reports: "Online service providers need to do a better job telling users what information will be gathered about them and how it will be used, a top official at the U.S. Federal Trade Commission said Wednesday."