Biggest ISPs paid for 8.5 million fake FCC comments opposing net neutrality

The largest Internet providers in the US funded a campaign that generated “8.5 million fake comments” to the Federal Communications Commission as part of the ISPs’ fight against net neutrality rules during the Trump administration, according to a report issued today [May 6, 2021] by New York State Attorney General Letitia James.

Nearly 18 million out of 22 million comments were fabricated, including both pro- and anti-net neutrality submissions, the report said. One 19-year-old submitted 7.7 million pro-net neutrality comments under fake, randomly generated names. But the astroturfing effort funded by the broadband industry stood out because it used real people’s names without their consent, with third-party firms hired by the industry faking consent records, the report said.

The NY AG’s office began its investigation in 2017 and said it faced stonewalling  from then-FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, who refused requests for evidence. But after a years-long process of obtaining and analyzing “tens of thousands of internal emails, planning documents, bank records, invoices, and data comprising hundreds of millions of records,” the NY AG said it “found that millions of fake comments were submitted through a secret campaign, funded by the country’s largest broadband companies, to manufacture support for the repeal of existing net neutrality rules using lead generators.”

It was clear before Pai completed the repeal in December 2017 that millions of people—including dead people—were impersonated in net neutrality comments. Even industry-funded research found that 98.5 percent of genuine comments opposed Pai’s deregulatory plan. But today’s report reveals more details about how many comments were fake and how the broadband industry was involved. . . . full story at Ars Technica here


Top 20 Engineering Schools That Produce the Best-Paid Graduates

According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers, those graduating with engineering degrees are the highest paid new grads in the US. The average starting salary for an engineer with a bachelor’s degree was $66,521 in 2019. For the Class of 2020, starting salaries were 4% higher — $69,188 on average.

With the help of PayScale, we’ve compiled a list of those engineering schools whose graduates are paid well when they graduate and during their mid-career years. We’ve ranked the schools by the highest mid-career salaries of their graduate . . . . full story and slide show here


Glendale Tech on Tap: First Party Data – The Future of Advertising, April 28, 2021

With various global and local privacy laws (GDPR & CCPA) and standards in collecting personal data such as email, phone number, cookie or mobile ID, it is going to be more and more important for businesses who plan to advertise to do it in such a way they are more efficient.

Glendale businesses that engage in any type of digital marketing will need to understand what is happening so they can prepare themselves as they engage in any type of digital advertising in the future including working with the big platforms like Facebook and Google.This will be an online event, April 28, 2021 from 2-3pm. Click here for more information about event


6 Devices & Ideas Set to Change Healthcare

DoorDash Reimagining Healthcare Delivery: Imagine a world where you can order diagnostics on the go – much like you would fast-food. The convenience would be off the charts, would it not? Well, Vault Health and Everlywell’s collaboration with DoorDash, an online food ordering, and food delivery service, is aiming to give people that convenience. The two companies will enlist DoorDash to distribute COVID-19 The Vault Health COVID-19 Saliva Test Kit and Everlywell COVID-19 Test Home Collection Kit DTC. This is a pretty big idea because it opens the door for more home delivery of potential tests and medical products. We expect to see this model parroted heavily in the future.

J&J Pushes the Innovation Limit in the Contact Lens Market: Johnson & Johnson just might go down in 2021 medtech history as being the first company to go beyond the traditional limits of what contact lens can do. Last week, the company won approval from the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare for a contact lens that provides vision correction and Ketotifen, an antihistamine drug to help relieve symptoms for people experiencing itchy allergy eyes.

Why is this important? For one it kind of/sort of – reimagines contact lenses. The New Brunswick, NJ-based company is also able to see some success where others have not. . . . . read about more healthcare innovators here


CAN RESTAURANTS BECOME DRIVERS OF OPPORTUNITY—NOT INEQUALITY?

To Prosper in a New Era, Eateries Will Have to Reckon With Issues Left to Simmer on the Back Burner

Thousands of restaurants have closed for good across America since WHO declared COVID-19 a pandemic last March. Many others remain temporarily shuttered; the remainder limp by with sales a fraction of what they were. Even with the arrival of a new administration and new vaccines, millions of restaurant workers continue to be out of work today, as the pandemic rounds its second year.

But the current disruption in the restaurant industry, for all the pain and economic loss it’s caused, provides an opening to disrupt the established models, and reckon with both the decline of hospitality and the reality of restaurant inequality. To recover and thrive in the years ahead, this essential American business will need to bring its time-honored cultural traditions into greater alignment with the social movements that define our times.

To start with, consider the slew of new options to purchase commercially prepared food that have flooded the marketplace in the last year. These options include delivery platforms, meal subscriptions, and online storefronts with offsite “ghost kitchens.” Takeout and delivery sales have skyrocketed, as have lines at the local drive-thru. Clearly, those who can afford to eat out occasionally are still buying and consuming food that they do not make themselves.

A shadowy army of workers has sprung up to staff these operations. Many are precariously employed, armed with some combination of a vehicle, a mobile app, a mask, and hand sanitizer. By connecting people to food through wordless hand-offs or drop-offs of plastic-wrapped edibles, these people are doing the human labor that Silicon Valley would rather automate than improve. It’s paying work, but we should be alarmed by this trend, which represents the decline of hospitality . . . . full article at Zocola Public Square


LAEDC Economic Implications Briefing – Zoom – March 29, 2021

The next monthly installment of the LAEDC’s Economic Briefing will be on Monday, March 29th at 11:00 AM PDT. Bill Allen, LAEDC CEO, and the LAEDC Institute for Applied Economics (IAE) Director, Shannon Sedgwick, will be offering insights into the ongoing ramifications and slowing recovery from the COVID-19-induced recession with an update on jobs, unemployment and industry performance. 

Join us for this update to gather insight on your local economy. Space is limited, and registration is required.


Why U.S. Startup Rules Don’t Work in Africa & What We Can Learn From Them – Webinar February 25, 2021, sponsored by Glendale Tech on Tap

Glendale Tech on Tap will sponsor this Zoom event with speaker Maggie Shih, who is a technology veteran and co-founder, executive, advisor, and product leader. Maggie has over 20 years of software and mobile product development and business management experiences with companies ranging from start-ups to multi billion dollars.

Thursday, February 25, 2021 from 3:00 to 4:00pm. The event will take place virtually via zoom. Please sign up for the event via Eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/why-us-startup-rules-dont-work-in-africa-and-what-can-we-learn-from-them-tickets-141206581687


The Future of Medical Research and Treatment: Impacts of the Pandemic

Join Via Zoom for a Virtual Conference: Thursday, March 18, 2021; 11:00am–12:15pm

From initial research, to testing potential cures and preventions, and now revolutionizing supply chains and distribution, the industry made front page news weekly while both experts and the general public followed developments like their lives depended on it – and they did.  

The past year’s innovations have accelerated the growth of an already burgeoning industry, with bioscience activity in Los Angeles County on the rise long before the pandemic. Medical research is constantly being impacted by new technology, and the typical process of FDA approval and access progress more rapidly each day. We’ll analyze how the events of the past year sped up growth of the industry and what long-term impacts the pandemic will have on medical treatment development, approval, and distribution.

During these unprecedented times, the future can be intimidating, but the bioscience industry provides a progressive pathway to developing treatments and cures across the disease spectrum. The LAEDC is focusing on timely research to provide updated regional insights to inform the bioscience stakeholders and decisionmakers about the state of the industry including challenges, opportunities, and how a year with the pandemic will affect future growth. Register for Event Here


LAEDC Economic Forecast Forum – February 17, 2021 8:30am – 11:30am

Register Here

The LAEDC Annual Economic Forecast has been a catalyst for progress for the past two decade. As L.A.’s most iconic and highly anticipated forecast event, it offers attendees valuable insights on upcoming opportunities and challenges for the region.

 
The events of the past year have laid bare the inequities of both the national and local economies. The lived experiences of the millions of Americans who have found themselves unemployed during the pandemic are a stark contrast to the “record setting” levels of Wall Street. The 2021 Economic Forecast will focus on “A Tale of Two Recoveries.” — Go to website to register and learn about keynote speakers, break-out sessions, etc.