Downtown Minneapolis' Cell Service Is About to Get a Lot Better

Categories: Technology

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Startupstockphotos.com
City Council is about to allow phone companies to install antennas on city-owned poles and street lights

We have some good news for those who have struggled with a spotty connection while relying on Google Maps to navigate downtown Minneapolis.

Wireless companies want to install a network of antennas around downtown to provide better data (3G and 4G) service in tough spots or during events with heavy use.

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Keith Ellison Is Pushing to Add Mobile Internet to Net Neutrality


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New App Helps Starving College Kids Find the Free Food

Categories: Technology

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Free Food Finder screenshot
There's a problem on our nation's campuses when the squirrels are fatter than our kids.

As earnest contributors to Minnesota's mushrooming student debt, college students can't afford to add shame on top of routine expenses like coin laundry and library late fees.

When every quarter counts, the promise of free food poses an irrefutable selling point.

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Chipotle Offers Free Burritos, Bowls, and Tacos on January 26

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Parking Meter App Initially Approved by Minneapolis, Trial Planned For Spring

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Ben Johnson
Just look at those people, lined up waiting to pay for parking like savages

Yesterday a Minneapolis City Council committee raised no objections to using a new app to pay for street parking in Minneapolis, paving the way for a trial run involving about 500 of the city's 7,500 metered parking spaces later this spring.

If the trial run goes well, by the time summer's over people in Minneapolis will no longer have to deal with the city's mildly irritating rectangular payment boxes.

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Soon You May Be Able to Pay For Street Parking From Your Phone in Minneapolis

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Cheap Internet in Minneapolis? US Internet Testing Upgrade to Citywide Wireless Network

Categories: Technology

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Public domain via Pixabay
Soon USI may offer wireless broadband internet for $25/month

Today US Internet begins testing an upgrade to its spotty municipal wireless internet network in Minneapolis. If the upgrades work, the northern part of the city currently missing the roll out of fiber internet will be able to buy broadband-level, 25 MB wireless internet for $25/month.

That's good enough to stream Netflix, according to USI co-founder Travis Carter.

For comparison, Comcast's website currently offers standalone 50 MB internet for $40/month (for one year) and CenturyLink's website offers 40 MB for $30/month, but that's through the dreaded bundle.

See also:
US Internet Rolls Out World's Fastest Household Internet in Minneapolis


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Keith Ellison Is Pushing to Add Mobile Internet to Net Neutrality

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Keith Ellison's Flickr
So far only Democrats have signed on to the effort
Rep. Keith Ellison thinks mobile broadband like the 3G and 4G you get on your phone deserves the same net neutrality protection the FCC is considering granting traditional wired broadband.

If the FCC approves net neutrality, internet providers would be barred from charging companies extra for an exclusive high-speed internet connection. Net neutrality aims to keep the playing field level between the Googles and Netflixes and basement start-up companies.

See also:
Everyone Want Net Neutrality, But How Do We Get It Done?


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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.

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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.

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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.

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Photo of Bitcoin beggar outside Dinkytown McDonald's goes viral

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