Arik Hesseldahl

Recent Posts by Arik Hesseldahl

Google Jazzes Up Kansas City's Broadband

Google’s goin’ to Kansas City. Well, Kansas City, Kansas. Having promised last year to provide a community with Internet access that’s 100 times faster than most people in the U.S. have today, the company named Kansas City–part of the greater metropolitan area that gave us Charlie Parker, the first Walt Disney cartoons, and where they make some pretty good barbecue–as the first place it will do it. It plans to start offering service there next year. The plan is to deliver 1 gigabit per second service over fiber optic lines to the homes of as many as 500,000 people.

More than 1,100 communities applied. One can only wonder how neighboring Topeka, Kansas, feels after briefly renaming itself Google, Kansas last year.

Kansas City is by no means a technical backwater. I visited the place in 2003 to write a profile of Garmin for Forbes Magazine. Sprint is based in the suburb of Overland Park, though I confess I’m having a hard time thinking of other examples. Google’s video on the announcement is below Little Richard’s rendition of the R&B standard written for the city.


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Another gadget you don’t really need. Will not work once you get it home. New model out in 4 weeks. Battery life is too short to be of any use.

— From the fact sheet for a fake product entitled Useless Plasticbox 1.2 (an actual empty plastic box) placed in L.A.-area Best Buy stores by an artist called Plastic Jesus