Technology

Technology

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.

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.

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.

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.

Big Broadband proposal gets $22.5 million 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.

2 federal grant requests denied in first round of Big Broadband action

Local broadband officials are hoping two federal grants to support the Big Broadband project will be redeemed in a second round of funding after they were denied in the first.

But without those two support grants, some officials say the high-speed Internet infrastructure, already being questioned by some elected representatives, could be less effective than they originally planned.

Ebert to appear on 'Oprah' on Tuesday with new 'voice'

Urbana native Roger Ebert will appear on "The Oprah Winfrey Show" on Tuesday, using a new text-to-speech computer-software generated voice based on his own.

Ebert told The News-Gazette on Friday via e-mail that he calls his new voice "Roger Jr."

"I'm writing a blog that will tell all," he added.

The Pulitzer Prize-winning film critic posted last week at Twitter that he had taped an "Oprah" segment and it was to air on Tuesday. Locally, the program airs at 4 p.m. Monday through Friday on WCIA Channel 3.

CU Tweetup at Jupiters at The Crossing

The News-Gazette hosted another Tweetup at Jupiters at the Crossing on Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2010.

C-U hopes for Big Broadband grant still alive despite 1st award elsewhere

CHAMPAIGN – Officials are still "cautiously optimistic" about the fate of their $31 million Big Broadband proposal after a federal agency announced its first Illinois award on Friday.

Gov. Pat Quinn was in Sycamore on Friday afternoon to announce that the federal government would release nearly $12 million to develop a high-speed Internet network there. Meanwhile, Champaign-Urbana officials were still wondering whether the governor would have an opportunity to make a similar trip to Champaign.