This Week in Tech – 10/22/2017

Colorado Political Candidate Promises to Give His Seat to an App

If Camilo Casas is elected to city council in Boulder, Colorado, this November, he doesn’t plan to make any decisions himself. If he wins, Casas will instead give up his vote to Parti.Vote, a “liquid democracy” app he built to change how government functions


Comcast and CenturyLink Spent $50K in Seattle to Support a Mayoral Candidate Who Opposes Community-Owned Internet

Like dozens of other cities across the country, Seattle is currently in the midst of a mayoral race. But unlike some others, this election has drawn the attention of Big Telecom, with CenturyLink and Comcast forking over more than $50,000 combined to a political action committee that’s campaigning for one candidate: former US Attorney Jenny Durkan


The US Government Keeps Spectacularly Underestimating Solar Energy Installation

Every two years, the US Energy Information Administration (EIA), America’s official source for energy statistics, issues 10-year projections about how much solar, wind and conventional energy the future holds for the US. Every two years, since the mid-1990s, the EIA’s projections turn out to be wrong. Last year, they proved spectacularly wrong


Google’s Parent Company Has Made Internet Balloons Available in Puerto Rico, the First Time It’s Offered Project Loon in the US

Google’s parent Alphabet says its stratospheric balloons are now delivering the internet to remote areas of Puerto Rico where cellphone towers were knocked out by Hurricane Maria. Two of the search giant’s “Project Loon” balloons are already over the country enabling texts, emails and basic web access to AT&T customers with handsets that use its 4G LTE network


Verizon and AT&T Accused of Selling Your Phone Number and Location to Almost Anyone

Last year, you might remember that Verizon was in the news for reaching an agreement with the FCC. The issue centered around the tracking of its customers without consent. In reality, carriers have been doing this for years, but privacy advocates like the Electronic Frontier Foundation asked Verizon and the FCC to put a stop to it. In the end, Verizon agreed to stop tracking customers unless they expressly agreed to opt-in to the program. The agreement between Verizon and the FCC was roundly seen as a win by privacy advocates and consumer rights groups


Netflix Plans to Use Its Recent Price Hikes to Invest $8 Billion in Original Films and Anime

Netflix has said it will be increasing its yearly spend to a cheek-slapping $8 billion (£6.2 billion) in 2018, as part of a larger push to have 50% of its library be originally produced content


FCC Chief Is ‘Complicit’ in Trump’s NBC Threat, Ex-Chairman Says

U.S. Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai is “complicit” in Donald Trump’s threat to revoke broadcast licenses of news stations by not speaking out against the president, the former chairman of the agency said

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