All Technology Content

All Technology Content

Urbana company explores new twists in refrigeration, air conditioning

URBANA – Creative Thermal Solutions has been around only seven years, but already the Urbana-based company has made a mark.

The firm, which works on dozens of air-conditioning and refrigeration projects, employs 30 people, many of them highly educated researchers.

Champaign council accepts Big Broadband grant

Updated at 9 p.m. CHAMPAIGN -- Look out, Comcast. The city of Champaign says it's ready to get into the broadband business.

In an anticipated vote, the Champaign City Council voted 7-1 to accept a $22.5 million federal grant to lay the infrastructure for a high-speed Internet network. The only dissenting vote came from Mayor Jerry Schweighart.

Champaign council to have say before final vote in Urbana on broadband grant

URBANA – Officials in Urbana Monday were anxious to hear whether council members across Wright Street in Champaign will accept a $22.5 million federal grant to build a Big Broadband fiber optic Internet network.

The National Telecommunications and Information Agency awarded the grant for the below-ground fiber optic network to a consortium consisting of Champaign, Urbana and the University of Illinois.

Champaign City Council to vote on Big Broadband this week

CHAMPAIGN – The city council on Tuesday is expected to make a final decision on "Big Broadband," and the vote could determine whether the Champaign-Urbana high-speed Internet network will continue or be buried.

The council is schedule to vote on the project during its regular meeting Tuesday night at 7 in the City Building, 102 N. Neil St.

Maryland consultant Doug Dawson will travel to Champaign for the meeting to answer questions council members have about the project.

Comcast customers, watch your mail for digital equipment information

Comcast customers in East Central Illinois with "standard" cable service can begin ordering digital equipment from the cable company this week.

Without the equipment, customers with standard service will lose access to Comcast's "expanded basic" lineup (mostly on channels 23 to 70) when it goes digital Nov. 30.

Comcast customers will receive letters this week regarding the change, company spokesman Rich Ruggiero said. The letters include a "unique digital ID number" they'll need.

Broadband proposal gains support in Urbana City Council

URBANA – Council members in Urbana appeared Monday night to want a $22.5 milion federal grant for construction of a Big Broadband fiber optic network and $3 million for additional public computer center and sustainability grants.

Council members agreed without dissent to authorize the mayor to reaffirm support for the broadband project.

However, Mayor Laurel Prussing said the council will need more time to study the grants and will not vote on the issue next week.

More information can be found in Tuesday's News-Gazette.

Celebrities get creative for Danville library's Doodle for Literacy

DANVILLE – The fundraising committee of the Danville Library Foundation wanted to create an event that would be a first for the Danville community without reinventing the wheel.

In the process, the committee came up with the Doodle for Literacy Auction Gala event, which will be held April 10 at the Danville Country Club.

Uni High grad's lighting technology has many fans in Hollywood

When you see realistic digital human or alien characters like the blue Na'vi in "Avatar," Superman in "Superman Returns" and a reverse-aging Brad Pitt in "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button," you have University High School alumnus Paul Debevec to thank, in large part.

Debevec developed the groundbreaking light-stage technology that helps make digital actors trick viewers into believing they're seeing the real thing. For his contributions, the 1988 Uni grad recently received the Scientific and Engineering Academy Award.

UI junior wins Lemelson-MIT prize for prosthetic arm

URBANA – University of Illinois junior Jonathan Naber has won the $30,000 Lemelson-MIT Illinois Student Prize for innovation, for developing an affordable prosthetic arm for people in developing countries.

Naber, who majors in materials science and engineering, has been working with the Illini Prosthetics Team on campus to create an arm that is functional, durable and easily made.

He plans to travel to Guatemala this summer to field-test the prototype at a prosthetics clinic.

Cities have 30 days to decide whether to accept Big Broadband grant

CHAMPAIGN – The clock begins ticking Tuesday for local governments to decide whether they are willing to accept a $22.5 million grant to fund the Big Broadband proposal after officials received word this afternoon that the project will be funded by the federal government.

The announcement ends months of anticipation and gives public bodies 30 days to decide if they are willing to accept the grant.