CHAMPAIGN – AT&T expects to begin offering its U-verse suite of television, telephone and broadband internet services this summer to selected areas in Champaign, Urbana, Savoy and Danville.
AT&T officials Marc Blakeman and John Quinn explained the new service – which they tout as a price-competitive alternative to cable television – Wednesday afternoon to the Champaign-Urbana Cable Television and Telecommunications Commission.
CHAMPAIGN – Wolfram Research is getting ready to launch its most ambitious project since Mathematica.
Called WolframAlpha, the new "computational knowledge engine" is scheduled to be released in May. With it, folks will be able to get answers they can't get from search engines.
Last time Roberto Carrasco sang at the University of Illinois, he performed as a grad student at Krannert Center for the Performing Arts.
CHAMPAIGN – Tonia Kirby relies on a computer specialist to help her and her second-grade students learn about new technology, get technology such as SMART Boards set up in her classroom at Robeson Elementary School and troubleshoot problems.
"She has great lesson plans," Kirby said of the specialist. "She teaches my kids why it's important not to share their passwords. She has a whole other perspective than I do as a classroom teacher."
Champaign and Danville both figure into AT&T's wireless network expansion plans this year. The company said this week it plans to expand the footprint of its third-generation wireless broadband network to new cities, including Champaign, Kankakee, LaSalle, Ottawa and Peru, during 2009. It also plans to add more than 40 new cell sites in Illinois, including one in Danville, the company said.
AT&T's third-generation, or "3G," network delivers LaptopConnect users typical downlink speeds of 700 kilobits per second to 1.7 megabits per second and faster uplink speeds of 500 kilobits per second to 1.2 megabits per second. The company's 3G network is now available in nearly 350 metropolitan areas across the United States.
URBANA – WILL-TV will stop analog broadcasting March 31, but WCIA-TV plans to continue broadcasting in analog through June 12, station managers said.
WILL-TV's analog signal will cease as of 6 a.m. March 31, station manager Carl Caldwell said. At that point, viewers relying on over-the-air signals will need to get a digital TV or a digital converter box to receive PBS programming on WILL. They can also choose to switch to cable or satellite.
DANVILLE – Danville Area Community College, in partnership with the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center, is providing a series of workshops on organizations becoming more "green."
The workshops will teach participants how to protect the environment and save money. The center is in the process of attaining continuing education units for these workshops, which will be open to large and small businesses, organizations, municipalities and others.
URBANA – An organization born out of the deaths of two Ogden sisters killed by a drunken driver has donated another $17,100 to two area police departments to help in the fight against driving after drinking to excess.
On behalf of the Journey Foundation, Jim and Barb Esworthy of Ogden on Wednesday presented $12,600 to Champaign County Sheriff Dan Walsh and $4,500 to Assistant University of Illinois Police Chief Jeff Christensen to buy cameras to put in squad cars at their departments.
URBANA – For a group of high school students, a history assignment has become a case of lights, camera, flashback.
Beyond textbooks, this group of Urbana High School juniors has begun turning the pages of history, studying primary documents and conducting interviews with locals to find out just what motivated people to protest during the Vietnam era – and specifically after Kent State and what it was like on both sides of the barricade.
CHAMPAIGN – Local officials were encouraged Thursday by news that the Department of Energy may revive the FutureGen project in Mattoon.
If built, FutureGen would be the world's first clean-coal power plant. The $1.8 billion experimental plant would store its carbon dioxide emissions 7,500 feet below the surface.