9 great reads from CNET this week

Getting broadband to more people won't be easy -- we take a look at some of the big challenges. Plus: A coronavirus origin story that doesn't quite add up.

CNET staff
2 min read

If you're reading this, chances are you've got a pretty good internet connection. Fast, dependable, constant. Consider yourself fortunate -- there are millions of people who don't. And in a world where so much of work, school, health care, shopping and entertainment take place online, that's a big problem.

The question, as it has been for a long time, is what businesses, government and individuals can do to fix that. This week at CNET, we kicked off a new series of features examining the hard realities of the digital divide, that gaping swath of America and other parts of the world that can't count on getting access to vital internet resources at all, or if they can, unreliably and at, for them, an exorbitant cost.

You can read the first two of those stories here, among the 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:

How faster internet is being blocked by politics and poverty throughout the eastern US

Biden's broadband plan faces a good test case in Appalachia's digital divide, where a potent mix of extreme poverty, lack of infrastructure and poor data present tremendous hurdles to the president's dream of closing the broadband gap.


Millions of Americans can't get broadband because of a faulty FCC map. There's a fix

A fundamental flaw in closing the digital divide is not knowing where the problems actually are. We're finally about to see changes.

Illustration showing disruption to broadband internet access
Robert Rodriguez/CNET

A frozen food fallacy? The coronavirus origin story that doesn't stack up

Scant evidence exists to suggest frozen food can lead to COVID-19 infections, but the WHO researchers digging into the origins of the virus say it warrants further investigation.

frozen fish
Getty/Kevin Schafer

Facebook pulled news in Australia. Here's why that matters everywhere

Commentary: Australia has succeeded in getting big tech to pay for news, but the costs could be enormous.

Facebook news feed on a smartphone screen
Brendon Thorne/Stringer

Don't turn your nose up at the TikTok feta pasta, it's gone viral for a reason

The recipe is more than just an internet trend -- it's the closest thing to communal dining in the age of COVID-19.

Feta cheese, cherry tomatoes, herbs and oil
Katie Collins/CNET

3 reasons NASA's Perseverance rover and going to Mars should matter to you

Commentary: Our world is a mess, why bother with another? CNET's Eric Mack makes the case.

Artist's rendering of the Perseverance rover being lowered to Mars by a "skycrane."

Netflix's Cecil Hotel is a bloated, irresponsible mess

It's dull, drawn out and potentially dangerous.

Crime Scene: The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel

Nintendo games are too expensive but everyone keeps buying them

Commentary: Zelda: Skyward Sword HD costs $10 more on the Nintendo Switch than it did on the Wii. And it's our own fault.

Scene from Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword for Nintendo Switch

Marvel legend Stan Lee's complex life: 'Neither saint nor Satan'

Abraham Riesman talks about writing True Believer: The Rise and Fall of Stan Lee, which explores the man behind the myth -- and sometimes is uncomfortable to read.

Stan Lee reading a Marvel comics collection in 1991
David Pokress/Newsday RM via Getty Images
Watch this: Why millions of Americans still lack broadband at a time when it's no longer optional