Tech 2.0 for Wednesday, February 19, 2014
Google is planning to offer high-speed Internet service in 34 more cities scattered across eight states in an ambitious expansion aimed at providing formidable competition to cable and telecommunication providers. The cities on Google's list include: Atlanta; San Jose, Calif.; Phoenix; Portland, Ore. and Salt Lake City. The blueprint unveiled Wednesday is tentative because Google Inc. needs to work out logistics with government leaders in the communities where it hopes to build the networks needed to deliver its service. The company promises that people will be able to use its Google Fiber service to surf the Internet at 100 times the speeds of existing broadband services. Google Fiber currently is available in three cities: Kansas City, Kan.; Kansas City, Mo. and Provo, Utah. It's coming to Austin, Texas this year.
iTunes is putting its stamp on South by Southwest, piggybacking on the annual event hosted by the city of Austin, Texas, with its own music festival. The company said Wednesday it will debut its popular iTunes Festival, a free concert series held in London for the past seven years. While the London version is a 30-day event, the U.S. festival will feature five nights of rock, country, pop and hip-hop. iTunes said the festival will feature a mix of new and established artists, including Coldplay, Keith Urban and Imagine Dragons. South by Southwest, an international showcase for music, film and interactive projects, will be held next month.
A new survey finds Netflix customer satisfaction is at a three-year high, as the sting of a price hike wears off. In fact, according to the American Customer Satisfaction Index, Netflix scored a bigger year-over-year increase than any other online retailer last year. The numbers come on the heels of other good news for the company, with an independent management firm saying its release last week of season two of House of Cards was a hit.
Sellers go for the "gold," cashing in on Olympic memorabilia. Team USA's sweaters from the opening ceremonies are going for big bucks on ebay, selling for hundreds, even thousands of dollars, according to ESPN, which reports designer Ralph Lauren released 324 limited-edition sweaters two weeks before the Sochi games began. They sold out quickly, with a price tag of $595.