Tag Archives: southwest festival

Austin Is Latest Test Bed For Google’s High-Speed Experiment

Google announced Tuesday that its Google Fiber project would be hitting Austin, Texas, next. The company says Austin, famous for its South by Southwest festival, is a “mecca for creativity and entrepreneurialism, with thriving artistic and tech communities.”


Google Fiber is the tech giant’s blazing fast Internet service, with current rates at 1 Gpbs, about 100 times faster than your typical cable broadband Internet service. It debuted in Kansas City in 2012.

So why might we want a connection that fast?

The most obvious answer, reports NPR tech correspondent Steve Henn on All Things Considered, is that services we already use will run faster — like streaming movies and online gaming.

But Google’s real argument, Henn says, is more far-reaching.

“[Google’s argument] is that if you connect American homes to the Internet at these gigabit speeds, all kinds of Internet services and business that right now are basically impossible become possible,” he says.

It’s still unclear what Google’s ultimate goal is with Google Fiber, Henn says, whether the company wants to become an Internet service provider or if this is simply an experiment.

“But one thing is clear,” he says, “unlike Comcast or Time Warner, when Google hooks up a home to fiber it’s not just going to be making money on monthly fees.

“Strategically, Google is perfectly positioned to use these high-speed connections to make all sorts of sophisticated software and services available online for free and support them with ads.”

This will put Google in direct competition with other Internet providers, so much so that AT&T also announced on Tuesday that it would be creating a 1 Gbps fiber-optic network in Austin as well.

But Google has a long way to go. TechCrunch reports that it would cost the company an estimated $11 billion to roll out the network and TV service to 20 million more homes.

Kansas City’s Year With Fiber

In March of 2011, Google announced that Kansas City, Mo., and Kansas City, Kan., had been selected as the first areas where it would install its fiber network.

After all is said and done, Google is expected to spend about $94 million for the Kansas City project to connect roughly 149,000 homes to the high-speed network. But KCUR’s Sylvia Maria Gross reports on All Things Considered that the rollout there has been slow going.

So far, only 3,000 to 4,000 people are connected, and it’s taken about a year longer than expected to get those customers up and running. Local governments and businesses are still trying to figure out how the technology could transform sectors like education, health care and the arts.

Aaron Deacon, managing director for KC Digital Drive, a community-driven effort created to think of ways to take advantage of the service, says it’s not really about the technology but defining goals for the future.

“Having the technology in place forces people to really focus, and sort of … recalibrate and say, ‘OK, the future is a little closer than maybe we thought it was,’ ” Deacon says.

Deacon says Google Fiber has attracted funding for business incubators and other digital ventures, like Code for America, which helps local governments engage with citizens online. One way Google Fiber is already making a difference is in the marketplace; other cable operators are offering all sorts of deals for conventional broadband.

Google’s pricing is currently seen as a little expensive; $70 a month for Internet or $120 a month to include the Google TV service.

Michael Liimatta, who heads the nonprofit Connecting for Good, aimed at bridging the digital divide, says he’s disappointed that Google Fiber is only coming to neighborhoods where enough residents sign up, leaving out the poorest communities. Originally, Google had said it would help bring its high-speed Internet to those who don’t have access. Still, Liimatta credits Google with starting the conversation.

“Even if Google is not necessarily the vehicle for achieving a lot of this stuff, they certainly are to be praised for getting us to be thinking about a lot of this,” he says.


Is Social Media Combined With Internet Video The Future Of Productive Online Sharing?


It has been said once before and it will be said again; social enterprise is the future of online media. Social networking websites such as Facebook, Google Plus and Twitter have given users the ability to share content in a competitive micro blogging industry but with little hope of a future beyond one hundred and forty characters.

This has lead top angel investors and internet entrepreneurs alike to beg the question: what’s next for social? Chad Hurley, the co-founder of Youtube believes online video combined with the aspect of social media sharing is the gateway toward the future.

The following is reported by Ryan Tate from Wired:

Chad Hurley is within a month of launching a collaborative online video startup, the YouTube co-founder said at the South by Southwest festival this weekend. The disclosure is one of the clearest signs yet that video distribution networks are becoming more and more like social networks.

In an on-stage conversation with Digg founder Kevin Rose, Hurley said his collaboration startup is “primarily video-based … and gives flexibility for people to work together and create content,” according to Adweek. He added that it’s about a month from launch.

Hurley’s launch comes as his prior startup YouTube itself becomes more collaborative under owner Google. YouTube this past fall opened a 41,000-square foot studio in a former Los Angeles aircraft hangar, where amateur video producers can work with one another and use professional-grade equipment. YouTube is also working to make its comment section more socially sophisticated, with more real names and higher-quality feedback.

New Look For Pinterest

This article was written by Heather Wilson. She is a senior at Chico State majoring in Public Relations with a minor in Nutrition. After graduating in the fall 2012, she hopes to pursue her career in New York City or London as a publicist. While at Chico State Heather has been an active member of the Nutrition and Food Sciences Association and volunteers as the Head Coach for Butte County’s non-profit organization Girls on the Run. Last summer, she was an intern at McEntyre Public Relations in New York City and fell in love with every aspect of life as a public relations practitioner. When she is not writing, or focusing on schoolwork, Heather enjoys running and training for marathons. Feel free to connect with her on LinkedIn or Twitter.

When scrolling on Pinterest you can’t help but notice that the website is extremely user friendly. When analyzing the layout you notice that it is very simple and clean; however, it almost gives you a monotonous feel. The print is large and red, the employees profile pictures are straightforward snapshots and the links to steer you through the site are basic. This may perhaps enlighten the reports that were released about the fact Pinterest is in the development of remodeling their look in preparation for becoming an iPad application.
According to a statement on CNN, the tactic is to produce profile pages that will be “more beautiful”, which could unquestionably boost the traffic that comes to the site. Despite the fact that they are already enormous, there is always room for growth.
The new renovated website design is going to be a remarkable change from the earlier iteration that Pinterest used. The new profile design will utilize rows, an alternative than taking its original approach that emphasized column alignment.
The new profile page will feature the user’s descriptive biography, as well as all of the links to sites they have attached to their account. The links of all the images that that person has re-pinned will be featured in the top right corner of their profile, stretched horizontally.
Ben Silbermann, CEO and co-founder of the business, alluded to the revamp the website design during an interview at the South By Southwest festival in Austin, Texas: “I’m so excited about it,” said Silbermann. “We wanted to make it more beautiful…to make your profile different in kind than the profile you have on Facebook.”