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Reading the fine print
Apr 24th, 2013 by Ken Hagler

Provo doesn’t know where its fiber is, Google makes city spend $500,000 to find it.

On Tues­day, the Provo city coun­cil for­mal­ly approved the trans­fer of its iProvo fiber net­work to Google, mak­ing the city the third metro area to gain that sweet, sweet giga­bit ser­vice. Google is only pay­ing $1 for the net­work, but in return it will have to provide a “basic 5-megabit” con­nec­tion to all res­i­dents for sev­en years and provide free giga­bit ser­vice to 25 pub­lic insti­tu­tions.

As it turns out, though, it’s not such a good deal as it might seem. Accord­ing to the Salt Lake Tri­bune, Provo May­or John Cur­tis also revealed Tues­day that the city now owes a total of an addi­tion­al $1.7 mil­lion to keep those fiber-optic lights on.

The city must also pay “about $500,000 to a civil engi­neer­ing firm to deter­mine exact­ly where the fiber optic cables are buried, a require­ment by Google,” the Tri­bune report­ed. “Cur­tis admit­ted that the con­struc­tion com­pa­ny that installed the fiber cables under­ground did not keep records of where they buried all of them.”

[Ars Tech­ni­ca]

One part of this sto­ry in par­tic­u­lar grabbed my atten­tion because of Google’s recent­ly announced plans to bring fiber to Austin:

As we report­ed pre­vi­ous­ly, Provo tax­pay­ers are still on the hook to pay off the city’s $39 mil­lion bond that was used to fund the network’s construction—the city still col­lec­tive­ly owes $3.3 mil­lion in pay­ments in the next 12 years.

If Google wants to be an hon­est busi­ness and make an invest­ment in fiber infra­struc­ture here in Austin, fol­lowed by charg­ing peo­ple mon­ey to use it, great! But if they’re expect­ing the city gov­ern­ment to steal mon­ey to pay them to do busi­ness here, then thanks but no thanks.

Quote of the Day
Apr 24th, 2013 by Ken Hagler

Quote.

The ter­ror­ists don’t hate Amer­i­ca because of its free­doms. The Repub­li­cans and Democ­rats hate Amer­i­ca because of its Free­dom. The ter­ror­ists hate Amer­i­ca because of the Repub­li­cans and Democ­rats.” — John Shuey

[End the War on Free­dom]

Quote of the Day
Apr 21st, 2013 by Ken Hagler

Let’s get some­thing straight. Any­one who uses a CZ-75…in a shoot­ing com­pe­ti­tion is basi­cal­ly a cheater. This thing is sim­ply too easy to shoot.

MrCo­l­ion­Noir

I’ve only entered one shoot­ing com­pe­ti­tion, ever (I’m not at all com­pet­i­tive and was basi­cal­ly nagged into it), and I used my CZ-75B. Yes, I won.

Quote of the Day
Apr 16th, 2013 by Ken Hagler

Any time bombs are used to tar­get inno­cent civil­ians, it is an act of ter­ror.

An evil man who has used bombs to tar­get thou­sands of inno­cent civil­ians

Interesting news
Apr 9th, 2013 by Ken Hagler

It’s offi­cial: Google Fiber is com­ing to Austin “by mid-2014”.

Just days after Google sent out a sneaky lit­tle announce­ment invit­ing the press to the Tex­as cap­i­tal, the com­pa­ny has now con­firmed what we’d all long sus­pect­ed. Austin is slat­ed to receive the giga­bit speed of Google Fiber “by mid-2014,” with a “sim­i­lar choice of prod­ucts as our cus­tomers in Kansas City,” priced at “rough­ly sim­i­lar to Kansas City.”

Google has been ret­i­cent to say what its broad­er plans are for bring­ing Google Fiber to oth­er com­mu­ni­ties around the US—on Mon­day, two Wall Street ana­lysts con­clud­ed that Google like­ly wouldn’t bring it to the rest of the coun­try.

Cur­rent­ly, in the Kansas City area, the ser­vice comes in three options: a $120 per mon­th pack­age (which includes TV-over-IP and a DVR to go along with it), a $70 per mon­th pack­age (same giga­bit speed, minus the TV), and an option to get your house “Google Fiber”-ready at a one-time con­struc­tion cost of $300 (which can be split up over 12 months)—that will bring 5Mbps, for free, over sev­en years.

[Ars Tech­ni­ca]

There’s no men­tion of where, exact­ly, they’re going to be installing it. If it comes to my neigh­bor­hood I’ll cer­tain­ly pay for the $70 pack­age.

Spoilers
Apr 2nd, 2013 by Ken Hagler

Some­times hav­ing a broad gen­er­al knowl­edge of fan­ta­sy lit­er­a­ture can lead to a sto­ry you don’t know being given away far in advance. For exam­ple, there’s a scene in episode three of Game of Thrones where one of the char­ac­ters talks about the cul­tur­al sig­nif­i­cance of drag­ons and how his ances­tors came to pow­er rid­ing on their backs. Right there I can tell where a major part of the sto­ry is going, because one of the best known char­ac­ters in fan­ta­sy is Daen­erys Tar­garyen, Moth­er of Drag­ons.

Game of Thrones
Apr 2nd, 2013 by Ken Hagler

I final­ly got around to watch­ing the begin­ning of Game of Thrones. I’ve nev­er read the books it’s based on, but I get the dis­tinct impres­sion that some of the char­ac­ters were sup­posed to be much younger than they are in the series.

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