CHICAGO – Comcast’s unhappy customers finally have gotten through to the nation’s largest cable television company.
Comcast Corp. said Tuesday that it would hire 5,500 additional customer-service workers in the United States and hundreds of new service technicians, as part of a broad plan to improve its poorly rated service operations. The company has been bashed nationwide by cable and Internet subscribers as unresponsive and rude.
CEO Brian Roberts told reporters that the customer backlash had served as a “rallying cry to rethink how we do business.”
The cost to execute its “aggressive” customer service improvements will be on top of $300 million Comcast has invested in recent years in service upgrades, company officials said.
In the anonymous world of the Internet, people in the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton area and surrounding counties use the n-word in Google searches more often than most areas of the United States, according to statistics compiled by a top data scientist.
The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton media market — which includes Northeastern and Central Pennsylvania along with some counties in New York and New Jersey bordering the region — ranked 16th out of 196 nationwide for frequency of computer users searching the word, the data reveals.
Residents of the media market used the racial slur in online searches more than anywhere else in Pennsylvania except the Johnstown-Altoona media market, according to a study by a data scientist who gathered the information for a 2013 report about how racial animus affected the presidential elections of Barack Obama.
Plum Borough School District administrators and borough police walked back assertions they made last week suggesting students could be arrested for “irresponsible” talk or social media postings about investigations into teacher sex abuse allegations.
“The district will not prevent or inhibit any individuals from engaging in constitutionally protected speech,” said Superintendent Timothy Glasspool in a letter the district released Monday. Glasspool did not respond to requests for comment.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania said the district’s statement was “more cryptic than we would have liked,” but the group said it accepted the clarification of the issue, according to ACLU-PA legal director Witold Walczak.
The ACLU became involved when local police and high school administrators held an assembly and cautioned students against discussing the investigation publicly, telling them they could be arrested for “irresponsible” and “immature” talk, tweets, texts, emails, or posts to Facebook.
WEST NORRITON TOWNSHIP, PA – More than 100 Norristown Area High School students staged a walkout Tuesday morning in protest of what they said were racist comments posted to the Internet by a school employee.
The peaceful protest was organized via Twitter following the employee’s two-day suspension, which the students and some parents said was too light a punishment.
“Basically, we’re protesting, standing up for what we believe,” said student protestor Imani Meade.
An employee “posted a racist statement that went viral for Norristown High School,” Meade said.
Editor’s note: We hope this leadership change will usher in a new era of reduced crime and economic prosperity for Pottstown. The taxpayers have waited long enough to see their tax burden lessened and to feel safe in their homes.
POTTSTOWN, PA – Borough Council President Stephen Toroney announced Monday night that he will not seek election to a fifth term in the November election.
Toroney read from a prepared statement, saying “the decision not to run was easy.”
He did not elaborate.
However, he did choke up slightly when he said “what will be difficult is not serving this borough which I love.”
Way back in the 1990s, I started going to the South by Southwest music festival in Austin, Texas.
Every March, I’d go back to find not only that the festival had gotten bigger and bigger – too big, it became clear this year, when four people were killed by a runaway drunken driver – but also that the city was mushrooming along with it.
In Austin, the livability factor is high – warm temperatures, live music, BBQ – and the stream of transplants so steady it doesn’t take long for new residents to start moaning about how everything was better before people who arrived after them came to town.
Which brings me to the latest indicator that everybody has figured out Philadelphia is a cool place to live. It’s the modeled-after-SXSW Forbes Under 30 Summit, the money magazine’s inaugural gathering of boldface billionaires and tech titans (and upstart entrepreneurs who wish to emulate them) that will take place in its planned-to-be permanent home from today until Wednesday.
Blue Bell, Pa.— Registration is going on now for Montgomery County Community College’s 20th Annual Technology and Learning Conference, scheduled for Friday, Oct. 24 from 8 a.m.-3 p.m. at the College’s Central Campus, 340 DeKalb Pike, in Blue Bell, Pa.
The cost of attending the conference is $25 and includes all conference materials, parking, continental breakfast and lunch. For registration information, including step-by-step directions to guide you through the registration process, visit http://www.mc3.edu/campus-life/techconf.
To help celebrate Montgomery County Community College’s 50th anniversary, this year’s keynote address will be given by MCCC alumnus Kwan Morrow. Morrow has been involved with Internet marketing and communication since 2001. He currently owns KM Digital Relations, which provides consulting, training and other services to businesses and educators who wish to engage their digital communities and achieve specific objectives.
During the keynote, Morrow will address the impact that digital and social technologies have on students and education. He’ll discuss best practices for using digital technology to promote student success and preparing students to thrive in the quickly evolving digital world.
MCCC’s Technology and Learning Conference provides a forum for participants to share state-of-the-art information technologies, to contribute to a vision of the future of information technology in the academic enterprise, and to exchange ideas and best practices for incorporating technology, security and learning.
Designed for higher education and K-12 faculty and administrators, the conference is divided into several threads, which include Teaching and Learning; Metrics and Measurement; Technologies to Leverage Student Success; Security and Identity Management; Emerging Technologies; Sharing Resources; and e-Learning. Session types include forums, hands-on labs, poster sessions and panel discussions.
The video Philadelphia police posted online represented a major break in a horrific case – capturing images of a group suspected in a vicious Center City attack on a gay couple.
The suspects in the video – a group of young men and women, laughing, smiling and dressed for a night out – had allegedly mocked two men walking near Rittenhouse Square before beating them badly, sending both to the hospital. One of the men was also robbed, police said.
Word spread, and within hours, people took to Twitter and the Internet, trawling through social media in an attempt to identify the men and women in the video and forwarding their findings to police.
As detectives in the case zeroed in on the suspects and fielded tips, the online effort to identify them became something of a crowdsourced investigation.
Math: It’s hard, especially if you’re a convenience store like, say, Wawa. But don’t worry—best friend to the Internet, George Takei, is here to clear everything up.
Takei recently posted up an image of none other than a Wawa coffee cup to his massively popular Facebook page (7.4 million likes and counting) with a few sections underlined.
Yes, because math, indeed. Takei apparently took this perceived error to heart, calling the labels “rather misleading.” As you can imagine, the comments section of the post has gone into full-fervor mode, with Wawa’s endless line of zealots (AKA us) kindly—and not so kindly—explaining why, in fact, Wawa is never wrong. Like, ever.
Lehigh Valley Arts Council’s Professional Development Series offers a technology seminar for arts professionals, “#Arts: Mobile Technology for Dummies,” on Wednesday, April 30, 2014, from 5:30 to 8:00 p.m. at the Butz Corporate Center, Ninth and Hamilton streets, Allentown.
Hit the ground running! Attendees are encouraged to bring their laptop, tablet, and smartphone to this hands-on seminar. Presenters will demonstrate how mobile technology acts as a driver for events, products, art sales and website traffic. Arts entrepreneurs and arts administrators will learn how to:
- Enhance your marketing efforts through social media websites
- Set up and use an Instagram account
- Ensure your website is mobile device friendly
- Adopt e-commerce solutions such as Etsy, Big Cartel and Amazon Marketplace and Mobile Technology point-of-sale devices such as Square, Intuit and Paypal to boost your sales.
Featured presenters, Matt McKernan, President of Mosaic Interactive, an award–winning, interactive and traditional marketing agency, and Steven Leibensperger, graphic and exhibit designer for Crayola, fine artist, and musician will provide both the developer and artist perspective.
The member fee is $25; nonmembers pay $45. Light refreshments will be provided.
Buy Tickets Today! www.LVArtsBoxOffice.org
For more information: www.LVArtsCouncil.org/ArtsMobile.html
NORRISTOWN, PA — The alleged “Swiss cheese pervert,” Christopher Pagano, 41, of Norristown, was arrested Thursday morning as part of a joint investigation between Philadelphia and Norristown police, according to NBC10.
Pagano is suspected of being the “Swiss cheese pervert,” infamous throughout the area for his penchant for propositioning women to perform lewd acts on him using Swiss cheese.
According to NBC10, the suspect was described as a heavy-set male between the ages of 40 and 50 with a goatee. Police also said he was driving a newer model silver sedan but has also been spotted in a black colored sedan.
From a giant rubber duck to cutting-edge restaurants to a yarn-bombed bridge, our city had the world buzzing this year.
By anyone’s standards, 2012 was a landmark year for Pittsburgh, capped off by “The Dark Knight Rises” hitting theaters and unveiling the ’Burgh as the fabled Gotham, not to mention National Geographic imploring the world’s travelers to train new eyes on our formerly smoky city.
Little did we know, that was just the beginning. As we get ready to tuck this year away, let’s take a look back at how Pittsburgh owned 2013.
Brace yourself, Portland.
“I can’t even … Oh, my God … Three years.”
For three years, Candice Glover traveled from her South Carolina home to try out for American Idol. Thursday night, her efforts paid off. She became the 12th winner of the Fox singing competition, beating out Kree Harrison to become the show’s first female winner in six years.
Glover, 23, not only had the night’s final big moment, she was involved in some of the other highlights of the two-hour-plus finale, singingInseparable with Jennifer Hudson, then getting a shout-out from Aretha Franklin, who told her, “Candice, you’re a winner — win or lose, you’re a winner.”
The South Korean electronics giant, which has been closing the gap between itself and Apple, is rolling out hundreds of mini-shops across the U.S. inside Best Buy big-box locations as well as its smaller mobile-specific retail shops. The stores are formally called Samsung Experience Shops and will showcase Samsung products.
A couple of shops opened in March and more have opened since. Samsung hopes to have 900 of them up and running by the end of this month with another 500 opening throughout “late spring and early summer.”
One of the primary purposes of the shops is to provide Samsung customers with assistance on their devices. That’s no surprise considering Samsung credits its social media fans for sparking its decision to build out the shops.
ELVERSON — It’s not often that a high school student can brag to others that a famous person graduated from their school.
But the students at Twin Valley High School can, and on Thursday night, the new inductees to the National Honors Society got to meet one of their famed alumni.
Brent Hurley graduated from Twin Valley in 1997, nine years before Google purchased the company that Hurely helped found. That company is a little video sharing website called YouTube.
To some, they are former diamonds in the rough, locales that a decade or so of change has polished into something now truly unique.
And many have made the cut as city neighborhoods that the Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corp. will be showcasing in a new, two-year campaign.
The 14 areas, to be unveiled Friday as part of the campaign’s launch, are: Fairmount, Spring Garden, Graduate Hospital, Callowhill, Bella Vista, East Passyunk, Fishtown, Northern Liberties, Queen Village, Pennsport, Cedar Park, Spruce Hill, University City, and Powelton Village.
“Philly is a city of neighborhoods. What does that really mean?” GPTMC president and chief executive Meryl Levitz said of the impetus behind the campaign. “We want people to go one block farther. People haven’t felt this good about Philly as they do now.”
STEUBENVILLE, Ohio — Two teens accused of sending threatening messages on social media following the Steubenville rape trial will appear in court on the charges later this month.
Steubenville police were notified about the posts, both on Twitter, and on Monday arrested the 16-year-old girl, a relative of Ma’lik Richmond. The 15-year-old turned herself in the same day, Jefferson County Sheriff Fred Abdalla said.
Ma’lik and another Steubenville High School football player, Trent Mays, were found guilty Sunday of raping a 16-year-old girl after a drunken party in August.
The girls appeared at a detention preceding this morning in Jefferson County Juvenile Court. They are charged with intimidation of a victim, a felony, aggravated menacing and telecommunications harassment, both misdemeanors.
Facebook announced a revamp of its news feed Thursday, unveiling a minimalist design that puts a central focus on photos, graphics and video and that the company hopes will attract new advertisers.
The news feed, which provides a running list of updates from a user’s network, will serve as a “personalized newspaper” for Facebook’s 1 billion users, chief executive Mark Zuckerberg said at a news conference at the company’s California headquarters.
The redesign is critical in Facebook’s effort to convince advertisers of the value of working with the social network. The company already allows users to pay to promote posts, buy goods through its network and buy gift cards directly from the site.
Editor’s note: Given recent events, can you blame parents for keeping their children home!
Despite assurances from the school district there was nothing to be concerned about, 40 percent of Brandywine Heights High School students stayed home Wednesday in light of rumors a student was planning to bring a gun to school.
Dr. Martin D. Handler, superintendent, said rumors began circulating through Facebook, email and other venues over winter break that a student planned to bring a gun to school Wednesday.
District officials alerted state police, who interviewed the student and his mother and determined there was no threat.
Just to be on the safe side, Handler said, state police were on hand at the start of school Wednesday.