Monticello looks to fiber optic 'net

MONTICELLO — The laying of fiber optic cable for faster Internet in the next two years is expected to be an economic boon for Monticello, and Piatt County government could be one of the first recipients.

Rich Warren: On Samsung, Windows 8, more

Choose your cliche: Don't bite the hand that feeds you, or don't shoot yourself in the foot.

UI Engineering institute to work with firms, government

CHAMPAIGN — The University of Illinois College of Engineering has launched a new research institute that aims to partner with companies and federal agencies to conduct applied research such as designing and testing products.

Some question site for proposed UI solar farm

CHAMPAIGN — While pleased about the prospect of a solar farm at the University of Illinois, some sustainability advocates and community residents are questioning the UI's choice of a site.

UI plans solar farm near research park

CHAMPAIGN — The University of Illinois plans to build a solar farm along Windsor Road west of First Street that could supply about 2 percent of campus energy needs.

$30 million research center will be based at UI

URBANA — A proposal for a research center based at the University of Illinois has been awarded $30 million over the next five years, with $12.5 million of that expected to flow to the local campus.

The new SONIC center — short for Systems on Nanoscale Information fabriCs — will be directed by Naresh Shanbhag, a UI professor of electrical and computer engineering.

Ex-CEO of Argus takes helm of Silicon Valley firm

SAVOY — The former president of Argus Systems Group in Savoy has taken a new job as president and chief executive officer of a company based in Silicon Valley.

Andrew Jones has taken the helm of Orchestral Networks, a Redwood City, Calif.-based company that develops software for wireless network providers.

Rich Warren: Sound bars allow you to drink in better clarity from TVs

Belly up to the sound bar boys (and girls). A reader asked if the sound bars being marketed for TVs would improve upon the interior speakers:

Busey warns of reported phone scam

The following is from Busey:

CHAMPAIGN — Scammers looking to steal information from unsuspecting telephone users have begun contacting residents of central Illinois. Busey has received numerous reports from customers and non-customers of recent attempts to get personal or financial information from consumers using telephones.

Presentation on aliens scheduled for Nov. 2 at Staerkel Planetarium

CHAMPAIGN — How likely is it that aliens have visited Earth? Join University of Illinois physicist Kevin Pitts for a discussion of the possibilities in the next William M. Staerkel Planetarium "World of Science" lecture.

His presentation, "The Physics of UFOs," will be given at 7 p.m. Nov. 2 at the planetarium at Parkland College.