government

FCC $50/month internet relief check process starts: How to get your money

FCC $50/month internet relief check process starts: How to get your money

The FCC started their Emergency Broadband Benefit Program this week as administered by USAC (with FCC oversight). This Emergency Broadband Benefit Program will deliver up to $50/month discount for broadband service and associated equipment rentals for qualifying low-income households. This program also aims to deliver up to $75/month discount for households on qualifying Tribal lands, and a one-time discount of $100 for the purchase of a laptop, tablet, or desktop computer for some households.

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US government warns: Stop filling plastic bags with gasoline

US government warns: Stop filling plastic bags with gasoline

The United States Consumer Product Safety Commission was put in a position this week where they needed to issue a warning to citizens. May 12, 2021, at 9AM, the USCPSC released a warning: "Do not fill plastic bags with gasoline." The followed up with another warning: "Use only containers approved for fuel." Why, you might wonder, would anyone EVER fill a plastic bag full of gasoline?

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US joins call to waive COVID-19 vaccine patent protections

US joins call to waive COVID-19 vaccine patent protections

The Biden administration has officially backed calls to waive COVID-19 vaccine intellectual property protections for the sake of the public, saying the pandemic represents 'extraordinary circumstances' that require similarly extraordinary measures. Waiving the patent protections would boost production in developing countries.

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USGS brings earthquake mobile alerts to the full US West Coast

USGS brings earthquake mobile alerts to the full US West Coast

If you live in any of the states along the US West Coast, you're now covered by the US Geological Survey's ShakeAlert earthquake early warning system. The USGS announced the expansion today, explaining that the three states in the US most prone to earthquakes -- Washington, Oregon, and California -- can now deliver mobile alerts when an earthquake is about to strike.

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PSA: Fake COVID-19 vaccination cards could be a crime

PSA: Fake COVID-19 vaccination cards could be a crime

An FBI announcement made clear this late winter/early spring that fake COVID-19 vaccination record cards are illegal. If you make or buy a fake COVID-19 vaccination record card, wrote an FBI representative, "you endanger yourself and those around you, and you are breaking the law." Further, the FBI and HHS-OIG recommend that you do NOT post photos of your legitimate vaccine card to social media - people are using said photos to fake their own cards and commit fraud.

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DARPA’s latest program seeks a new type of PPE made for soldiers

DARPA’s latest program seeks a new type of PPE made for soldiers

The term 'PPE' is something we're all familiar with due to the important role this protective equipment has played during the pandemic. There is a downside to this personal equipment, however -- it is typically bulky, uncomfortable, and slows down your ability to work. That's why DARPA has announced a new project that seeks to revolution PPE for the battlefield with the development of 'PPB.'

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FCC approves SpaceX Starlink agreement to expand for Alaska

FCC approves SpaceX Starlink agreement to expand for Alaska

An approval was revealed this week by the FCC for SpaceX and their next wave of Starlink satellites. The approval was for a modification to the license SpaceX holds for deploying satellites to an altitude of 550 kilometers. Per the release, the FCC suggests that "Based on our review, we agree with SpaceX that the modification will improve the experience for users of the SpaceX service, including in often-underserved polar regions."

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USAF Reaper drones will get a big update to deal with new type of threat

USAF Reaper drones will get a big update to deal with new type of threat

The United States Air Force (USAF) has announced plans to update its Reaper drones in a way that makes them more capable against 'near-peer' threats. The plan comes from the USAF's Life Cycle Management Center, specifically its MQ-9 Program Office, which explains that the mission behind the drone platform is 'shifting' from one aimed at addressing extremist groups to one that may need to address near-peer threats.

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State Department ‘Do Not Travel’ list adds 80% of countries over pandemic

State Department ‘Do Not Travel’ list adds 80% of countries over pandemic

In a travel advisory update published today, the US Department of State 'strongly' recommended that all citizens 'reconsider' any international travel they have planned. The reason, according to a release from the agency, is the continued presence of SARS-CoV-2 and the risks related to COVID-19. With this update, the State Department will label around 80-percent of countries at 'Level 4: Do Not Travel' risk.

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DARPA awards contracts for major spacecraft nuclear propulsion system

DARPA awards contracts for major spacecraft nuclear propulsion system

DARPA has announced the recipients of its phase-one Demonstration Rocket for Agile Cislunar Operations (DRACO) contracts, an initiative that paves the way for future nuclear thermal propulsion spacecraft systems. In explaining the purpose of its DRACO program, DARPA says that current space propulsion systems aren't able to offer the 'rapid maneuver' capabilities it needs.

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FCC asks public to help map US Internet speeds using mobile app

FCC asks public to help map US Internet speeds using mobile app

It's no secret that Internet speeds vary wildly across the US and that 'high-speed' Internet access in some places isn't anywhere near actual high speeds. The FCC is working to collect 'comprehensive data' on broadband Internet availability across the United States and it needs the public's help to collect this information. How can you participate? All it takes is a mobile app.

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CDC’s latest COVID-19 update: Vaccines and variants take center stage

CDC’s latest COVID-19 update: Vaccines and variants take center stage

The CDC published its COVID-19 weekly review on Friday, revealing that as of the end of the week, more than 174 million vaccine doses have been administered in the US, including more than 66 million people who are now fully vaccinated. As well, the agency discusses the SARS-CoV-2 variants circulating in the US and explains why it is important to 'remain vigilant.'

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