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9 great reads from CNET this week

Trying out T-Mobile's $50 unlimited home internet service, surviving the Texas deep freeze, finding joy in the animal-first internet and more.

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Rick Broida, our Cheapskate blogger, is always looking for a bargain. That's not always as simple as typing a coupon code into a window on the payment page of a shopping site. Sometimes it takes some effort and experimentation.

That's how it went down when Rick decided to try out T-Mobile Home Internet, which is in a limited-availability pilot phase and had just arrived in his area. It promises unlimited high-speed service for $50 a month, less than half what he was paying Comcast for cable internet. Here, he recounts his experience, from dealing with T-Mobile to setting up the gear and checking speeds to, ultimately, using the service day to day for work and play.

That's just one of the many in-depth features and thought-provoking commentaries that appeared on CNET this week. So here you go. These are the stories you don't want to miss:

I signed up for T-Mobile's $50 unlimited home internet service. Here's what happened

Finally, a low-cost alternative to cable. But would it be fast and reliable? I decided to find out.

T-Mobile Home Internet
Rick Broida/CNET

How Nextdoor saved my family during the Texas deep freeze

Commentary: My family members were stranded without power amid 6 inches of snow and freezing temperatures -- until Nextdoor and a stranger came to the rescue.

Snow in Austin, Texas, February 15, 2021
Natalie Weinstein / CNET

'Animals are amazing': How happy content finds its way to you

The Dodo and We Rate Dogs are some of the friendliest spaces online, but videos and tweets about dogs, cats, cows and piglets aren't just about spreading good cheer.

Rescue dog
Screenshot by Kent German/CNET

Thanks to US laws, sex workers are fighting to stay online

In 2021 escorts aren't just fighting against the stigma of sex work, they're fighting for their right to be on the internet.

Robert Rodriguez/CNET

States couldn't afford to wait for the FCC's broadband maps to improve. So they didn't

Georgia, Maine, Pennsylvania and others took mapping into their own hands, building their own granular data to pinpoint gaps in internet coverage and apply for federal funding.

Georgia's broadband map
Screenshot by Shara Tibken/CNET

How coronavirus stimulus funds helped one state create a 'broadband miracle'

Mississippi could become a broadband giant.

Shacks in Sunflower County, Mississippi
Michael S. Williamson/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Re-creating San Francisco's Chinatown block by block in Minecraft

The oldest Chinatown in North America was re-created in the video game by a group of students and recent grads to preserve the neighborhood's rich history.

Chinatown street scene in Minecraft
Mitchell Chang

How speech to text, password managers and other tech helped me work with a broken collarbone

Accessibility tech is steadily improving.

X-ray of collarbone with the stainless steel plate and screws
Stephen Shankland/CNET

2020 Subaru Outback long-term wrap-up: Our do-it-all wagon lived up to the hype

From grocery-getter to road-tripper to snow-blaster to campsite friend, over 12 months of testing, there wasn't anything our Outback couldn't do -- and do well.

2020 Subaru Outback
Seyth Miersma
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