Comcast, AT&T U-Verse rates to increase

CHAMPAIGN — Area Comcast customers can expect a boost in their monthly bills beginning Jan. 18, and subscribers to some AT&T U-Verse services will see rates go up Feb. 1.

Comcast customers with expanded basic service (channels 2 to 69, plus additional three-digit channels) will see rates rise from $48.09 to $50.76 a month, an increase of 5.6 percent.

Welcome to Champaign!

I thank the gentleman from the other side of the Birkenstock Curtain for his report.

But I respectfully suggest that if his desire is truly to illuminate the high points of the temporary home of our neighbors to the east, he has left out a few items.

Mediacom rates to increase in December

RANTOUL – Mediacom customers can expect to see rate increases in their December cable bills.

Monthly rates for basic service will rise by $2, while rates for family service will go up $3, said Phyllis Peters, the company's communications director.

Redesigned N-G Web site ready to launch Monday

Starting Monday, The News-Gazette will begin a transformation of its Web site.

The site,, was redesigned in-house with a new appearance and revised menus that are intended to make navigating easier.

New Web site compares local prices to help you save

It's time to buy milk, eggs and bread again. It's a few days until payday, and you'd like to save a buck or two. Which store in town has the lowest prices?, a new Web site launched last week, promises to help you figure that out.

Consultant says fiber-optic Web network project too big

URBANA – Local officials are waiting for word on a federal grant application to help build a high-speed fiber-optic Internet network, but a consultant hired to advise Champaign and Urbana councils thinks the proposed project here is designed too large and will have big problems with capital replacement in 10 years.

At a meeting of the Champaign-Urbana Cable Commission Wednesday, project organizers said there has been extensive questioning by federal officials about a local $28 million big broadband project. Mike Smeltzer, director of networking for the University of Illinois Campus Information Technologies and Educational Services, told commission members, "We've been getting a going-over ... and we see this as hopeful."

Gadget gifts: Your best holiday bets to please gamers

Once again, it's the time of year when many people's thoughts turn to gifts.

But while video games do make fantastic presents, the huge variety of options can be confusing. So here's a few suggestions (besides cash) of what to get the gamer on your shopping list:

Gadget Gifts: Your best holiday bets to please techies

In a town full of really smart people, offering advice on cool tech gadgets is a little scary. But if you'll understand this is coming from a boomer/photographer/Macintosh geek, here are some things I've either played with or think would be interesting.

Compute this: Work on new UI facility ahead of schedule

CHAMPAIGN – One of these days, fifth-graders will be trooping through the big building at the corner of Oak Street and St. Mary's Road.

Maybe they'll tap the bulletproof glass at the reception window as they wait their turn to go through the "man trap," the rotating door that will get you if you don't really have authorization to be there. Or maybe they'll get to blink at the iris reader instead.

Tokyo Game Show 2009: Great things are coming our way

From Sept. 24 through 27, I was at the Tokyo Game Show 2009, held at the Makuhari Messe convention center just outside Tokyo, experiencing some of the many games that will be coming our way in future. The following are my impressions of just a few of the games I saw, and more is on the way.