Gas Station TV Conquering -- and Pestering -- America One Pump at a Time

Categories: Technology

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Photo courtesy of Smith & Wesson Forum
Gas Station TV doesn't leave motorists alone at 2,600 locations nationwide and counting.

On a lonely lonesome roadway east of Chisago City, a motorist plunks down a twenty inside Marathon Gas to top off the tank of his Chrysler 200.

Back at the pump with the wind tearing out of the northwest, he lifts on the nozzle and all of a sudden -- DING! -- the gas pump comes to life and starts yakking.

See also:
How far are you willing to go for cheap gas?


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Everyone Wants Net Neutrality, But How Do We Get It Done?

Categories: Technology

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Photo by Free Press

As the long debate over net neutrality closes in on a watershed decision, Republicans and Democrats are scrambling to compromise on how to protect the open internet.

Net neutrality is the idea that the Internet should be a free-for-all informational playground that provides same-speed access to all users, where Exxon and Joe the Plumber have an equal shot at reaching consumers. Without it, internet service providers like Comcast and AT&T could sell priority listings to the highest bidder or block those who don't pay, effectively squeezing out the basement start-up businessman in favor of wealthy corporations.

In countries with questionable free speech, net neutrality overlaps with human rights -- for example China banning Google in order to keep its citizens in the dark about the Tiananmen Square Massacre or Egypt pulling Twitter in the Arab Spring. At home, the regulation of internet companies has embroiled politicians in a finer struggle over how to maintain fair access for all without giving government too much control.

See also:
The fall of net neutrality: Cable's plot to destroy the internet


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US Internet Rolls Out World's Fastest Household Internet in Minneapolis

Categories: Technology

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pixabay
If you have the cash, US Internet will hook you up with the fastest consumer internet available in the world
Just before Christmas, US Internet announced that Minneapolis now has access to the fastest household internet connection in the world. Or at least in certain neighborhoods.

The new 10 gigabyte fiber optic connection is roughly 400 times faster than the typical high-speed connection in the Twin Cities. But at $400 a month, it doesn't come cheap.

See also:
The Fall of Net Neutrality: Cable's Plot to Destroy the Internet

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Iowa Planning New Digital Driver's License; Minnesota Isn't Interested

Categories: Iowa, Technology

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Tatiana Crane
This is not happening any time soon in Minnesota

Earlier this week the Iowa Department of Transportation announced it's creating an app that would allow people to pull up their driver's license on their smartphone, instead of having to physically carry around a little card everywhere.

The app, which is due to be released sometime next year, would be the first of its kind in the nation. The Minnesota Department of Transportation said yesterday it's not interested in piggybacking on this cutting-edge technology.

See also:
Controversial Bill Allowing Illegal Immigrants to get Minnesota Driver's Licenses Advances

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Sen. Branden Petersen sets his sights on Bitcoin

Categories: Technology

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Sen. Branden Petersen

After spending the last legislative session pushing medical marijuana and a cell phone tracking bill, Sen. Brandon Petersen (R-Andover) is now looking toward a totally different cause: Bitcoin, the semi-controversial digital currency.

This week, Petersen announced that he's founding a new nonprofit, yesbitcoin, with a mission to communicate to people and organizations how Bitcoin works and the ideas and infrastructure behind it. Petersen will serve as the executive director of the organization, but his role as senator will stay separate.

See More:
Photo of Bitcoin beggar outside Dinkytown McDonald's goes viral

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Sen. Branden Petersen's cell phone tracking bill becomes law

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Sen. Branden Petersen
Late last week, Gov. Mark Dayton signed a bill written by Sen. Branden Petersen (R-Andover) that makes it slightly harder for law enforcement agencies to track cell phones and the court process more transparent.

Though he initially testified against it, James Franklin, executive director of the Minnesota Sheriffs' Association, says his organization is fine with Petersen's bill and pleased with the opportunity to clear up several public misconceptions in the post-Snowden era of surveillance.

See also:
MNGOP Sen. Branden Petersen to introduce "nation leading" electronic data privacy law



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MNGOP Sen. Branden Petersen to introduce "nation leading" electronic data privacy law

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Sen. Branden Petersen
Last winter, news broke that the Hennepin County Sheriff's Office and Bureau of Criminal Apprehension owned "cellular exploitation devices" called KingFish or StingRay. They basically function like cell phone towers, allowing officers to gather data from nearby phones.

Law enforcement agencies can use those devices without a warrant and without notifying people whose information is gathered. But a bill written by Sen. Branden Petersen, R-Andover, and approved by a 56-1 vote yesterday would change that.

See also:
Andy Driscoll, KFAI host, duped by The Onion's "Drone Flyover" inauguration photo


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Kickstarter for amazing aerial drone photos of Minneapolis

Categories: Technology
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(Drone photo courtesy of Tony Koop)
Drones aren't just a terrifying military technology, they're also allowing amateur tinkerers to take amazing photos of the city we love.

One of them is Tony Koop. But he recently suffered a potentially career-ending loss when his expensive Phantom drone experienced a "flyaway" when he was showing it off to friends near the intersection of Highways 169 and 62.

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Drones

Lawmaker proposes smart phone "kill switch" to deter violent thefts

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Phil Roeder
Forget pick-pocketing. The street crime of today is "apple picking" -- thefts that target smartphones like Apple's iPhone.

It hit at the University of Minnesota campus, which has seen a high-profile wave of violent robberies targeting students' phones and laptops. And last week, it hit at the Mall of America, where thieves snatched recent mayoral contender Mark Andrew's iPhone off of a table, and then beat him over the head when he tried to chase after them.

Cue the lawmakers.

See Also:
- Here's what Mark Andrew looked like after he was beaten bloody by robbers at MOA [PHOTO]
- U of M crime: Students threaten to "take matters into our own hands," demand more cops


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GiveMN.org lost gobs of cash thanks to website crash

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Screengrab via Star Tribune
This page greeted some of the folks who tried to access GiveMN.org today and donate.
What do the Obamacare website and GiveMN.org have in common today? They both work about as well as e-pulltabs have in funding the Vikings stadium.

About two-thirds of the way though today's "Give to the Max Day," heavy traffic caused the Razoo-powered GiveMN site to give out. And while the coincidence of the crash happening around the same time Barack offered up his mea culpa about the Affordable Care Act's balky website may have caused some to chuckle, it's certainly no laughing matter for Minnesota's nonprofits.

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