TWC is putting out press releases talking about their sweet new service:
“With ‘TWC Maxx,’ we’re essentially reinventing the TWC experience,” said Darrel Hegar, regional vice president of operations, Time Warner Cable. “We will boost Internet speeds for customers up to six times faster, add to our robust TWC WiFi©, dramatically improve the TV product and set a high bar in our industry for differentiated, exceptional customer service.”
Ooooh I’m so excited! Give me the deets!
TWC noted that customers now receiving standard Internet service (15 Mbps) will receive up to 50 Mbps.
“Extreme” service customers (30 Mbps) will receive up to 200 Mbps.
“Ultimate” customers (100 Mbps) will receive up to 300 Mbps.
Wait, now I’m not excited at all. The service you call “ultimate” is 300 Mbps? That’s a mere 30% of the bandwidth provided by Google Fiber.
TWC had actually announced its intention to upgrade service already, but the news media is giving it some play now. Note that TWC’s upgrade is planned for “later this year,” so it’s not like you can go out there and buy it right now. I suspect they’ll scramble and beat Google Fiber to market, offering some pretty attractive lock-in contract prices to early adopters to slow the bleeding as much as possible.
While TWC clearly can’t compete on service, they may still be relevant for budget conscious consumers.
Oh hey, in other ISP news: do you guys remember RST Fiber, which made grand promises for providing gigabit to residential customers in the summer of 2014? How’s that working out, then?
I’ve mentioned the new DPD HQ site near Golden Belt a few times now, and as that plan moves forward the existing tenants will need to move on. One such tenant, Bull City Ciderworks, has launched a kickstarter project to fund its own move away from the site.
The Ciderworks has developed a solid following, and prior to the DPD HQ site decision they appeared well positioned to anchor a general revitalization of the area. It’s not clear where they intend to relocate, only noting on the Kickstarter project page that they’ve already targeted several locations.
Again, I’ve got to give a wag of the finger to the city for the selection of this site for the DPD HQ. There was a lot of potential for creative reuse here, and businesses like the Ciderworks could have just been the tip of the iceberg.
In more DPD HQ news, councilman Don Moffitt is encouraging consideration of the project’s impact on the streetscape as the city prepares to hire an architectural firm. Faceless government facilities tend to really stifle surrounding development, and given that the DPD HQ is coming, it’s at least somewhat reassuring that the council is thinking of ways to integrate it into the site in a minimally disruptive way.
I’ve lived near the triangle my entire life, and the worst snow I’ve ever seen was back in 2000 when I lived in Raleigh. 20 inches in one day according to that thing (although I don’t remember it being that much).
Anyway, now we’re staring down 8 inches overnight. That’s a lot of snow in such a small period of time, maybe even more per hour than the snow in 2000. So it’s pretty much safe to say that schools (which close when the roads are wet) will be closed, like, forever.
For a long time I laughed at how unprepared the state was to deal with snow and how quickly everything shut down. The last couple of weeks, though, have stopped being funny. Let’s hope that spring decides to show up soon.
I think I’m going to order some Heavenly Buffaloes tonight, because god knows when the snow will melt and I’ll get another chance.
… is cold.
Mayor Bell gave his own “State of the City” speech last night, and there isn’t really much for me to discuss from its contents since they’re mostly things I’ve written about before. There was one minor surprise, though: the mayor’s ability to drop thirty year old cultural references.
Accolades that show that Durham’s future is bright…so bright, in fact, that we just might need shades.
Way to keep it hip with the youths, Mister Mayor. Mitt Romney would be impressed.
That’s right, the DPS Magnet lottery is back! Registration runs through January 30th, and you can do it all on that there web site.
This is my first time actually playing the lottery, although I did write a bit about it last year. The long and short of it is that Durham has a number of pretty well regarded magnet schools with limited space, and for most people the only way to get in is via a lottery process (the most notable exception to this is for students who live in a “walk zone” near certain schools, who get either priority or automatic enrollment depending on the school).
The most coveted prize of all is free preschool, which is available at Watts and Morehead. If you happen to get into one of these schools, your preschooler wins taxpayer subsidized child care for 9 months (a prize which, I can tell you from personal experience, is valued at upwards of $10k).
Some people are interested in changing this, and personally I’d like to see some kind of needs based test to determine how much (if any) subsidy kids should be getting. The current system effectively creates incentives for parents to move into the “walk zones” near these magnet schools, and I’d argue that many e.g. Trinity Park residents aren’t so hard up for cash that they need taxpayers to foot their day care bills.
So, hey, it’s 2015! Congratulations everybody, another successful orbit in the bag!
After a much needed break, durham.io is back and better than ever [read: basically the same as ever], and we’re resuming normal business hours this week. First, though, I want to quickly mention a couple of noteworthy stories that happened while I was off the clock:
- It looks like the protesters took a vacation too. Obviously the grand jury decisions are still on peoples’ minds throughout the country, but Durham has been fairly calm; whether or not that’s just due to the holidays is unclear.
- Although the protesters stayed home, there were still some troubling developments related to the DPD. Two officers were shot at, although neither was injured. One officer was off duty and somebody shot into his home, while the other was on duty in the projects near NCCU. Although Lopez claims one of the attacks was “an attempted assassination,” I haven’t seen any evidence to back up that claim yet.
- Councilman Steve Schewel wrote a lengthy and well considered response to the recent protests, and I’d urge everybody to give it a read.
Also: I’m looking for ideas on whether to do another podcast and what it should be. I’ve got a couple ideas I’m kicking around for longer, single topics rather than the odds and ends, which I’m not sure worked so well. Just hit me up with a reply on the blog or shoot me a tweet if you’ve got any thoughts.
OK gang, this is a very special DNO&E: it includes the durham.io podcast episode one!
If you want to subscribe to the podcast, you can put this URL into your telephone.
This happens to be the last DNO&E of 2014, and possibly my last post period until after the holidays, so I hope you guys have a good Christmas or whatever.
- ATC-based Appia has been acquired.
- Even though the sex assault claim that spurred their acquisition was later refuted, fancy pants cameras are now on Durham school buses.
- /u/texnation, who had been undergoing treatment in Duke hospital for over two months, finally had enough hospital cuisine and reached out for help in acquiring some tacos. /u/BullDurham27701 came to the rescue.
- A Duke employee was arrested for embezzling a mere $8,000, ending a 16 year career with the University.
- Our US House representative GK Butterfield will head up the congressional black caucus.
- I can’t really improve upon what WRAL has to say about this one: “A vehicle pursuit by a homeowner – resulting from the theft of a pair of sneakers – ended with a crash, a vehicle fire, two suspects in custody and a third on the run”
- Here’s a headline from the Herald: “Thieves take bite of Apple.” I know what you’re thinking, right? This must be like Student burglar damages cheese or something? Turns out, they just stole Apple products, which is much less interesting.
- Local cycling advocates are responding to recent incidents with calls for action from the city.
- Duke is renovating Wallace Wade stadium. It’s amazing what a few bowl games (and presumably a few good years for the endowment…) can do. The project will run right through graduation, and the 2015 commencement will be held in the DBAP instead
- There’s still time to go ice skating at the ATC if you’re so inclined.
- Despite efforts to agree upon a compromise, the future of petition projects to improve sidewalks is still uncertain.
- Michael Page is once again County Commissioner Chairman.
- Gonza Tacos y Tequila is replacing 604 West in West Village. It’s a neat location, just not much visibility unless you know it’s there.
- An engine fire totaled a DATA bus.
- The Chronicle has an article on Heavenly Buffaloes, my favorite wing shack in the world.
- Apparently there’s something called a slick stick. And you still need regulatory approval to have one.
- Work for GSK? Well maybe not for long.
- The Art of Cool festival has announced the lineup for the 2015 event.
- We’re number one! We’re number one! We’re number one… at creating budget presentations.
- City Hall renovations are under way. Total price tag is expected to be $7.3M
- The light rail project looks to be on track to receive DOT funding.
- The mixed use Erwin Terrace complex across from Duke on Erwin Road will be expanding. It sounds like they’re looking to add office space.
- Southside apartments, the redevelopment of the Rolling Hills area into low income family housing, continues to be plagued by scheduling and budget issues. The city is on the hook for $3.8M.
- The play structure in Central Park known as Mount Merril is now complete.
- The council has approved a zoning request for Grandin Trace, a 54 home community off Barbee Rd.
- The Eno River Association has added 17.52 acres which will ultimately go to the state park.
- The Crescent Communities apartment complex near Harris Teeter has opened another building.
- G2B, which had closed while expanding its facility, has now reopened.
- A mother and son were hit by a car while attempting to cross University Drive. Having been by this place many times, I can tell you it’s awful for pedestrians; there’s a bus stop that’s across University from a neighborhood with no sidewalk or crosswalk nearby, and it seems likely that the pedestrians were trying to get between the bus and their home. The BPAC had already targeted this stretch of road for an overhaul to make it friendlier on pedestrians.
- The Cheddar Bo, formerly only found in locations east of Raleigh, is finally coming to town.
- Protip for new gun owners: maybe you should take your firearm to a shooting range first to learn the difference between the “shoot” and “unload” process so you don’t accidentally shoot up your own house.
- “DURM” brand inventors Runaway Clothes have opened a popup store in the former home of Intrepid Life.
- Speaking of that, Intrepid Life is coming back. Well, kind of; the business model is different this time. Victoriano’s new venture will be a members only shared space in a house on Broad Street.
- TIL that Chicken poop bingo is a thing. I guess you can go do it in Central Park on December 20.
- Startup incubator American Underground is expanding.
- Durham got a nod from Travel and Leisure as one of the world’s best places to travel in 2015.
- RDU International Airport may be on its way to becoming a bit more international.
- Tre Bella has opened a boutique on Main near Church St. It’s always encouraging to see more diversity in downtown retail.
- Need a goat? The Sheriff has one for sale.
- The Museum of Life + Science has acquired two new red wolves. Their previous wolves recently passed away.
- The Council has come out very strongly in support of the DPD’s handling of recent protests. They also want to remind protesters that there is a legal process to go through if you want to march in the street and impede traffic (the recent marches which have blocked streets have not requested permits to do so).
- DPD officers have racked up over $20k in overtime dealing with recent protests. Maybe the protesters should change that iconic chant: “No Justice, no Peace, Fund the Police.”
- Long time Durham dining mainstay Pop’s has closed its doors for good. I used to love Pop’s backdoor when they operated out of their original location (now Lily’s Pizza), but they dropped off my radar after their move to Main St. They’re survived by the spin-off, Pop’s Backdoor South (sold to new owners a while back), and sister restaurant Rue Cler (originally owned by the same people as Pop’s, but I don’t know who is involved now).
- Market Street Coffee on Ninth Street has also closed, and the owner blames the loss of subsidized parking.
- A bit of good culinary news, though, as downtown ice cream shop The Parlour is expanding into the neighboring storefront.
- If you’re thinking about donating to charity this season, you might skip the toys and focus on basics like hats and gloves.
- This just in: according to the Herald, “Christmas Eve services celebrate coming of Christ“. Let me go pack my bags for the Rapture…
- Some DPD officers are worried about their own safety when dealing with the recent protests. Rocks and other projectiles have apparently been thrown at officers in recent clashes, ultimately resulting in arrests.
- Duke tuition may be expensive, but supposedly it’s worth paying for, as Kiplinger’s rates it as the number ten best value in college education. If you can’t shell out the $63,530 per year, don’t worry; the safety school over in Chapel Hill is close behind at number 22.
- Some Jewish groups gathered peacefully on the first night of Hanukkah to protest the recent grand jury decisions. Some of these groups are also critical of how the DPD has handled recent protests.
And that’s that! Enjoy your holidays, people, the DNO&E sure will.