Lookout Local Santa Cruz: Free broadband service is available to many Californians. Here’s how to apply

Lookout Local Santa Cruz: Free broadband service is available to many Californians. Here’s how to apply. “As of Sunday, 732,201 households in the state had enrolled in the program, according to the FCC. As large as that number may seem, it’s only about 20% of the households that are likely to be eligible. And Sunne Wright McPeak, chief executive of the California Emerging Technology Fund, said the bulk of the Californians who have signed up appear to be people who already had broadband through the internet service providers’ discount programs for low-income residents — not people with no access to the internet. The problem, McPeak said, is that eligible Californians don’t know about the program, “and nobody is telling them.”

Wired: Apple and Google Go Further Than Ever to Appease Russia

Wired: Apple and Google Go Further Than Ever to Appease Russia. “As the tech industry grapples with how to address a host of complicated human rights and safety issues, the incident underscored the uncomfortable compromises that many tech companies strike in order to operate in certain regions, as well as the increasingly brazen demands of authoritarian governments.” I know I’m mentioning this a lot but I’m worried about where it leads. Google and Apple fold to Russia. What’s next? Turkey? Vietnam? India? Iran? China?

Freedom House: The Global Drive to Control Big Tech

Freedom House: The Global Drive to Control Big Tech. “Global internet freedom declined for the 11th consecutive year. The greatest deteriorations were documented in Myanmar, Belarus, and Uganda, where state forces cracked down amid electoral and constitutional crises. Myanmar’s 14-point score decline is the largest registered since the Freedom on the Net project began.”

SiliconRepublic: Alphabet’s high-speed internet project Taara is making waves in Africa

SiliconRepublic: Alphabet’s high-speed internet project Taara is making waves in Africa. “Project Taara is Alphabet’s attempt to harness wireless optical tech to make fast internet accessible and affordable. In a blog post yesterday (16 September), the project’s director of engineering, Baris Erkmen, said that its wireless optical communications links are now beaming light-speed connectivity across the Congo River…. Erkmen said that after installing links on both sides of the river, Taara’s technology was able to beam across nearly 700TB of data in 20 days with almost 100pc availability.”

CNET: The FCC’s broadband map won’t be ready for a year. This data company has already built one

CNET: The FCC’s broadband map won’t be ready for a year. This data company has already built one. “LightBox, which helped the state of Georgia build what some experts call the most detailed broadband map in the country, published its own US map late Wednesday that combines its precise address data with information from about 2 billion Wi-Fi access points across the country.”

Error 403: Syrians Blocked From Online Learning Platforms (Techdirt)

Techdirt: Error 403: Syrians Blocked From Online Learning Platforms. “Individuals in dictatorships need more freedom not less. Syrians have for years been unable to work remotely or pay for remote services, even educational ones. Do we want to do the same now to Afghans, who are already in fear of the Taliban? Examining in detail the experiences of Syrians, can maybe lead us to a better solution.”

Techdirt: FCC Bungled Broadband Mapping And Subsidies So Badly, It Got Boxed Out Of Broadband Infrastructure Plan

Techdirt: FCC Bungled Broadband Mapping And Subsidies So Badly, It Got Boxed Out Of Broadband Infrastructure Plan. “While the agency has been taking steps to remedy some of the problems under interim boss Jessica Rosenworcel, the agency’s mapping and subsidy dysfunction seems to have resulted in it being boxed out of managing the $65 billion in new broadband funding included in the infrastructure bill.”

Ars Technica: A bad solar storm could cause an “Internet apocalypse”

Ars Technica: A bad solar storm could cause an “Internet apocalypse”. “Scientists have known for decades that an extreme solar storm, or coronal mass ejection, could damage electrical grids and potentially cause prolonged blackouts. The repercussions would be felt everywhere from global supply chains and transportation to Internet and GPS access. Less examined until now, though, is the impact such a solar emission could have on Internet infrastructure specifically. New research shows that the failures could be catastrophic, particularly for the undersea cables that underpin the global Internet.”

Indian Country Today: $517K Grant awarded to team addressing digital inclusion in tribal libraries

Indian Country Today: $517K Grant awarded to team addressing digital inclusion in tribal libraries. “The Association of Tribal Archives, Libraries, and Museums (ATALM) and the Simmons University Community Informatics (CI) Lab have been awarded $517,078 through the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) 2021 National Leadership Grants for Libraries Program. This year, just 22.7% of applicants saw their projects get approved.”

Wash and Learn: Libraries Without Borders uses laundromats to expand internet access in San Antonio (San Antonio Express-News)

San Antonio Express-News: Wash and Learn: Libraries Without Borders uses laundromats to expand internet access in San Antonio. “When Lisa Alvarenga was a child, she spent weekends lugging plastic bags filled with clothes to and from the laundromat with her mother….Alvarenga, the San Antonio project coordinator for Libraries Without Borders, is now a part of the Wash and Learn Initiative. Through the program, laundromats are equipped with tablets and pre-loaded computers with educational portals and curated databases for all ages.”

Associated Press: Following protests, Cuba lays out laws on social media use

Associated Press: Following protests, Cuba lays out laws on social media use. “Cuba’s government on Tuesday spelled out its laws against using social media or the internet to stir up protests or insult the state — and offered people a form to report offenders. The decrees published in the Official Gazette follow the largest protests Cuba has seen in years, which broke out last month and apparently were fed in part by messages on social media applications.”