Updated: UC2B makes deal to widen fiber network

CHAMPAIGN — After more than a year in waiting, residents who committed hundreds of thousands of dollars toward the expansion of Urbana-Champaign Big Broadband finally have an answer about its future.

Rich Warren: Can't 'Beats' the latest move by Apple

Apple, in a rare move, grabbed a hardware company. It plans to buy Beats Electronics by Dr. Dre, the maker of popular headphones and other portable digital accessories.

Beats, owned by Dre and music industry impresario Jimmy Iovine, earned great success for its good sounding, albeit bass heavy, headphones.

Danville considers almost $600,000 in computer expenses

DANVILLE — School officials today could take a step to replace outdated computer equipment in the Danville district.

Board members will vote on whether to approve two lease agreements — totaling $595,806, including interest — with HP Financial Services.

DACC board to vote on new computers

DANVILLE — Some students at Danville Area Community College could be getting a new computer lab.

Updated directory shows growth in local tech firms

The 2014 Advanced Technology Directory recently issued by the Champaign County Economic Development Corp. lists about 150 companies, up from 87 companies in 2010, the previous time the directory was revised.

If there's any doubt about the demand for computer programming skills, look at the number of companies that fall into the software/information technology sector: 64 this year.

Rich Warren: Sounding off about television shows

Did you miss the punch line? Some TV viewers aren't laughing because they don't hear ear-to-ear with broadcasters. This reader email defines the issue:

"It seems for the last year or more that sound engineers/producers/directors/editors are trying to sabotage their shows with tone poems that are supposed to set the mood/drama.

Illinois Ancestors: Researchers need to evaluate progress

Genealogical researchers, whether beginners or more advanced, need to "take stock" or evaluate their research notes from time to time in order to decide the next course of action. Perhaps a "dead end" needs to be re-studied, or a missing link needs to be identified.

Tom Kacich: Arcola aims to be a role model for education

If you were scouring Illinois for the community that best represented the future of education, you'd probably start in a wealthy north suburb like Highland Park or Lake Forest, not in Arcola.

Text-to-911 not yet available in Champaign County

URBANA — Officials with the county's emergency dispatch center want to remind residents that a text-to-911 service is not yet available in Champaign County. Anyone with an emergency should place a voice call to 911.

Rich Warren: The dish on cable contracts

Readers of this column resourcefully maximize their access to and enjoyment of technology without descending into penury to afford it.

Here's an e-mail from a regular reader: