4cast #82: SAFE Act, Broadband, Search Trends, Beyond Google

This week’s 4cast:

1. Good Guys, Bad Guys & Wi-Fi

When the U.S. House of Representatives passed the SAFE Act last week, it sent a shudder through coffee shops, hotels, libraries, and anyone else offering open Wi-Fi access to the Internet. While the new bill doesn’t appear to require that these entities actively police their wireless users for illegal online activities, it does up the pressure for them to report any such known or suspected activity.

2. It Sure is Slow Out in the Sticks

According to a recent Pew Internet study, 50% of all Americans now have broadband Internet access at home, but this number still lags far behind in rural areas. As the link between broadband penetration and economic health becomes more apparent, the FCC is coming under increasing fire for their inability to address the problem.

3. The Year in Guilty Pleasures

Google, Yahoo, and Ask have all released their 2007 reports outlining the top search trends, with interesting variations between the three engines. Social networking was huge across the board, and of course… troubled celebrities are always on our minds.

4. I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Googling For

Google got your (or your patron’s) goat? There are always more – and in some cases, better – search options out there.

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