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UI Extension program offering seminars on computers

DANVILLE – The Vermilion County Internet Masters of the University of Illinois Extension program will present a series of seminars aimed at helping people become more familiar with computer and digital equipment use.

All classes are from 9 a.m. to noon on designated dates. The following classes are scheduled to begin in February:


Video Game Gift Guide, Part Two: Top-notch titles

Stumped about what to get the video-game player on your gift list? I've got some simple gift suggestions to help you put a smile on their face. It's time for Part Two of The News-Gazette's Video Game Gift Guide.

Please remember, though, that video games are platform-specific. If you don't know what kind of system your intended recipient plays with, you'd be better off buying them a gift card or giving them cash. It's no fun to open a present only to find that it is incompatible with your console.


Video Game Gift Guide, Part One: Achieving console clarity

Video games – and video game consoles – are a great gift for the holidays, but the many choices on the market can make buying them a little confusing for the uninitiated.

In Part One of The News-Gazette's Video Game Gift Guide, we'll look at the ins and outs of the major systems – and the basic accessories you need to buy as well.


American Legion launches Web site to explain new GI Bill

INDIANAPOLIS – The American Legion has launched a new Web site to help veterans and their families understand the Post 9/11 GI Bill, which takes effect Aug. 1, 2009, and how it compares with other federal education benefits for veterans.

The site, www.mygibill.org, includes explanations of the different GI Bill benefits, news alerts and updates, frequently asked questions, state-by-state benefits and online application opportunities.


UI breaks ground on Blue Waters Data Processing Center

CHAMPAIGN – With excavators scooping dirt and dust flying a few feet away, University of Illinois officials and researchers on Wednesday celebrated the building of a facility that will eventually house the world's fastest computer.

"This is where, in many ways, supercomputing was born with the birth of ILLIAC IV," said Thom Dunning, director of the National Center for Supercomputing at the University of Illinois, referring to a previous supercomputer developed at the UI. "The circle's closing with the facility that we're building," he said.

The 95,000-square-foot Blue Waters Data Processing Center is being built at the northwest corner of Oak Street and St. Mary's Road in Champaign.


Danville Library signing up students for technology program

DANVILLE – The Danville Public Library's children's department is currently signing up fifth-grade students for this semester's Project Next Generation Program.

The technology mentoring program offers digital photography classes from 4 to 6 p.m. Tuesdays or Wednesdays and homework help sessions from 1 to 3 p.m. on Saturdays. Sessions will run through Nov. 22.


BoingBoing.net editors to speak on UI through Wednesday

URBANA – BoingBoing.net editors and technology writers Mark Frauenfelder and David Pescovitz will be guests-in-residence at Unit One/Allen Hall today through Wednesday. They will speak each night. All events are open to the public and take place in the South Rec Room of Allen Hall, 1005 W. Gregory St., U. Here is the schedule.


University High teen covers Democratic National Convention

URBANA – During the Democratic National Convention in Denver last month, Will Fernandez, 14, interviewed politicians and delegates. He saw Gov. Rod Blagojevich and House Speaker Michael Madigan exchange an awkward hug, prompted by U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. at a morning Illinois delegation meeting.

He had some celebrity sightings, like Chevy Chase getting his picture taken with Denver police officers and "House" actor Kal Penn helping in the convention center.


Apple's iPhone offers plenty of options for gamers on the go

If you think Apple's iPhone is just a telephone, Web browser, PDA, camera, GPS and mp3 player, you've got some more thinking to do.

According to video game developers, it – and the iPod Touch (an iPhone without the phone and camera) – is the newest major platform, with more than 400 games already released for the system. Of course, a large number of those are variations on casino games, crossword puzzles and Sudoku.