Mobile Broadband, CBP Encounters, Robocalls, More: Saturday Afternoon ResearchBuzz, August 7, 2021


Route Fifty: FCC Releases First U.S. Mobile Broadband Map “The Federal Communications Commission released a new map Friday detailing where the nation’s four largest mobile carriers provide voice and data service, part of a broader effort to improve broadband and internet service across the United States. The map shows where Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile US and UScellular offer LTE voice and data coverage, providing a way for consumers to search coverage by a specific address or geographic area.”

CBS News: ACLU arm publishes database tracking fatal encounters with Customs and Border Protection. “The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Texas has identified 177 fatal encounters with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) personnel dating back to January 2010 – including 34 deaths in custody. A new database launched Friday by the non-profit organization tracks fatal encounters with CBP officials, including U.S. Border Patrol agents.”


PR Newswire: Total Robocalls Decrease by 3% in the First Month of STIR/SHAKEN Release (PRESS RELEASE). “RoboKiller, the app that eliminates 99% of spam calls and text messages, reveals Americans received an estimated 5.74 billion spam calls in July 2021—a 3% decrease from June. Spam text volume also increased to 7.1 billion spam texts for July, a 5% increase from June.”

TechRadar: Google just got a mystery wireless streaming device approved by regulators. “It looks like there’s yet more new hardware on the way from Google: following the unveiling of its revamped Nest smart home gadgets, another ‘wireless streaming device’ has passed through the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in the US.”


The Conversation: Secret history: the release of the Mountbatten archives and the fight to access royal diaries. “An immense trove of the most important royal historical material for decades has quietly been released in the United Kingdom. These are the diaries of Lord Louis Mountbatten and his wife Lady Edwina, from the 1920s until 1968…. But the release of this material doesn’t just shed light on the royal family. It again highlights the significant barriers to accessing our history; specifically, the claimed ‘convention of royal secrecy’ that imposes strict secrecy over royal communications across the Commonwealth nations.”

Cornell Chronicle: History, music, physics harmonize in keyboard project. “Closely allied with the Cornell-based Westfield Center for Historical Keyboard Studies, the leading international organization for historical keyboard studies, the [Cornell Center for Historical Keyboards] brings together scholars and musicians from across the globe for its programs on the long history of keyboard music and instruments, technologies, repertoires and aesthetics – from the baroque organ to the player piano to the Moog synthesizer.”

CNN: Nigeria’s social media comedians are making laughter pay. “In Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country, an emerging crop of young comics are leveraging social media to create video content that makes people laugh — and makes money. What started as a hobby is now turning into a lucrative business opportunity. By leaning on the growing internet access across the continent, these comics are creating characters and skits on TikTok, Instagram, and Twitter that can be sold to brands.”


Reporters Without Borders: NSO/Pegasus: 17 journalists from 7 countries join RSF’s complaint in Paris and before the UN. “Seventeen journalists from seven countries who were listed as potential or actual victims of Pegasus spyware have filed complaints with prosecutors in Paris, against NSO Group and all other persons the investigation will identify. Their complaints complement the one Reporters Without Borders (RSF) and two journalists with French and Moroccan dual nationality already filed on 20 July. RSF has also referred their cases to the United Nations.”

Bleeping Computer: Google expects delays in enforcing 2FA for Chrome extension devs. “Google says that enforcing two-step verification on Google accounts of Chrome Web Store developers will take longer than expected. As first announced in June, Google will require all Chrome extension developers to enable 2-Step Verification (aka 2FA, dual-factor authentication, or 2SV) to publish or update their extensions after August 2nd.”


Inside Higher Ed: Colleges and Universities Need More Rappers. “The fact is that, although learning another language was not a requirement for my program, it would be useful to require a class on critical composing or listening practices like Writing Rap, The Black Voice or Composing Mixtapes, which I currently teach at the University of Virginia. If more students were exposed to the critical practices that rappers utilize, I know from experience it would foster a more thoroughly engaged student body that is equipped to think through pressing conversations about race, identity, culture, class, art, aesthetics and so on.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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