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.
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.
SCRANTON, PA — The Mall at Steamtown hasn’t exactly been running at full power lately.
But a couple of brothers have gone to social media to pitch an idea to put more firepower in the ailing mall, and the public is starting to take notice.
Scranton natives Michael Boyd and his brother George think creating a marketplace similar to the long-standing Reading Terminal Market in Philadelphia could be the key to the city’s revitalization.
The downward spiral of the once-vibrant downtown mall has been apparent in recent years. A walk through the two-story structure on Lackawanna Avenue last week showed 47 active store fronts and 23 shuttered ones.
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.”
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.
Luzerne County authorities last winter charged three school district employees with having sex with students.
A county jury last Wednesday acquitted one of them — suspended Hanover Area School District teacher Edward Evans. The other two face trial on charges they had sex with students.
After the Evans trial concluded, jury foreman Jeffrey Lotz said the jury couldn’t definitively determine if Evans had sex with an 18-year-old student, but he said Evans put himself in a bad position by taking the student into his bedroom. Evans admitted he picked the student up and took him back to his house to go over pamphlets on sexually transmitted diseases.
School districts can set their own policies on contact and communication between teachers and students outside of school. With no official state oversight of out-of-class communication, policies vary by school district.
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
PHOENIXVILLE — In a split vote at Tuesday night’s meeting, borough council appointed a current planning commission member to fill the East Ward seat Mike Speck vacated by his election to mayor in November.
Shai Perednik, who also serves on the borough’s historic architecture review board, joined council in a 4-3 vote divided along party lines Tuesday night.
“It’s an exciting opportunity to get involved in the borough,” Perednik said, adding he’d like to see his family grow up alongside the borough.
One of three candidates interviewed, Perednik received approval votes from Council President Jim Kovaleski, Council Vice President Dana Dugan, Jenn Mayo and Jeremy Dalton.
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.
Bryn Davis ate his way to entrepreneurship.
Davis, who lives in Horsham, says he entered college a “lean-as-you-can-imagine” 170 pounds. By his junior year, he was stressing the scales at 240.
A doctor scared him into committing to a healthier lifestyle. Davis took it one step further: He started a business featuring only healthy fast food.
“When I opened up with smoothies and popcorn, people thought I was insane,” said the founder of Bryn & Dane’s, a low-calorie, low-fat, high-fiber fast-food company in Horsham with a freestanding restaurant – and a recently added catering arm – that expects to exceed $2 million in sales this year.
“Now, people say, ‘Holy crap! I t’s probably going to happen.’ ”
Editor’s note: The social media aspect doesn’t really strike me an a great crime fighting tool; however, crime mapping and focused patrols in problem areas are certainly a good start. We can only hope things move in a positive direction with the police department. Unless crime can be brought under control, revitalization and economic development cannot happen on a large enough scale to truly have a transformative impact on the Borough of Pottstown.
POTTSTOWN — Even before taking the oath Wednesday night as the borough’s new police chief, Richard Drumheller had some ideas to help make the community safer, even if it means using unconventional tactics.
Drumheller plans on using Facebook and Twitter to create a better connection with residents, increase patrols in high-crime areas and streamline the way police calls are dispatched.
One of the first changes he wants to make as the new chief is creating a department presence on social media as a way to engage with the residents of Pottstown.
He said people want to know what is going on in the borough and he wants to use Facebook and Twitter as a way to keep them informed.
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.
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.
For those of you who enjoy all things social media, here is a list of some of 2011’s most memorable celebrity tweets:
After Christina Aguilera was arrested for public intoxication early this year, P!nk rejoiced in not being the one to get into trouble.
@pink: Out of Myself, Britney, and Christina – didn’t everyone think I was gonna be the troublemaker? LOOK MA!!! No CUFFS!!!
A new digitally based record label has been formed in Harrisburg by three friends with a passion for music and a desire to help local talent succeed. Rock Paper Records will use the most current technology, including social media, to help their artists achieve notoriety and success.
Rock Paper Records offers management, development and viral/standard marketing strategies for their clients. The trio brings 15 years of marketing, band management, operations, branding and tour management to the table. This twenty something group, Jay Tran, Logan Betz and Sean Kunkle, are self-professed “music nerds” who love music and want to help “the little guy/gal” find success in the music industry.
Providing the best results at the lowest cost, having fun, helping the community and being environmentally conscious is the mantra for Rock Paper Records.
If you are a musician who would like to take your career to the next level, Rock Paper Records wants to help you get there. Their goal is to get you to your musical goals!
Rock Paper Records is located at:
106 Calder Street, Harrisburg, PA 17012
This is a great list if you are interested in learning more about the internet, social media/marketing, tech stuff, finance, gossip, entertainment etc…. These are people who are not necessarily well known to many people but are making a big name for themselves and $$$ using the internet:
- Perez Hilton – perezhilton.com
- Michael Arrington – techcrunch.com
- Pete Cashmore – mashable.com
- Evan Williams & Biz Stone – twitter.com
- Kevin Rose – digg.com
- Guy Kawasaki – guykawaski.com
- Heather “Dooce” Armstrong – dooce.com
- Tila “Tequila” Nguyen – tilashotspot.buzznet.com
- Gary Vaynerchuk – garyvaynerchuk.com
10. Corey Doctorow – carphound.com
11. Om Malik – gigaom.com
12. Leo Laporte – leoville.com
13. Frank Warren – postsecret.blogsport.com
14. Robert Scoble – scobleizer.com
15. Chris Brogan – chrisbrogan.com
16. Wil Wheaton – wilwheaton.typepad.com
17. Matt Drudge – drudgereport.com
18. Danny Sullivan – daggle.com
19. Jeff Jarvis – buzzmachine.com
20. John Dvorak – channeldvorak.com
21. Ana Marie Cox – anamariecox.typepad.com
22. Ree Drummond – thepioneerwoman.com
23. Jason Calacanis – calacanis.com & mahalo.com (search engine)
24. Seth Godin – sethgodin.com
25. Shane Dawson – shanedawsontv.com