Gigabit cities: Federal Communications Chairman Julius Genachowski Friday challenged each state to create a “gigabit city,” one with high-speed Internet, by 2015.
“American economic history teaches a clear lesson about infrastructure,” said Genachowski in a statement. “If we build it, innovation will come. The U.S. needs a critical mass of gigabit communities nationwide so that innovators can develop next-generation applications and services that will drive economic growth and global competitiveness.”
Genachowski said that he plans to hold workshops on gigabit communities and create an online source of best practices for broadband deployment to help communities reach these goals.
Internet freedom day: One year ago, Web activists were celebrating the end of two Internet piracy bills. Now, Friday, Jan. 18, is known as “Internet Freedom Day,” organized by the groups that rallied an unexpected force of Internet users to support the concept of the open Web.
As part of Internet Freedom Day, Web advocacy groups are asking for people to take that momentum to a variety of causes, including demanding updates to the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, sending letters to the House and Senate Judiciary committees to ask them to support an open Web and participating in a University of California study about Internet activism.
Batteries: A pair of incidents related to rechargeable lithium-ion batteries in Boeing 787 Dreamliners has called attention to the safety concerns that surround the popular technology, The Washington Post reported.
More than 4 billion rechargeable batteries were produced last year, the report said, and fires are far from common. When fires do happen, however, they are powerful and dramatic, and point to a need for further evaluation about the risks and benefits of the batteries.
Instagram releases user stats: Instagram has released new user statistics -- perhaps in an attempt to head off speculation that the photo-sharing service is suffering in the wake of its terms of service controversy.
According to new statistics posted on the company’s press page, its active membership has grown 10 percent month-over-month between December and January, to 90 million monthly active users. Instagram says its users post 40 million photos to the service every day.
There have been scattered reports that Instagram’s user base has seen a dramatic drop since the company proposed — and then retreated from — changes to its terms of service that dealt with advertising.