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Faster residential Internet service (finally) coming to Twin Cities

Target misses quarterly projection; underwater speakers to blare out racket to scare off invasive carp; Strib endorses Otto; a cool summer; and more.

Sign me up. Julio Ojeda-Zapata of the PiPress reports, “CenturyLink intends to overtake top residential-broadband provider Comcast with a new fiber-optic service it said will provide the Twin Cities’ fastest-ever home-Internet speed of 1 gigabit per second. The service would smoke cable company Comcast’s home Internet speeds, which top out at about 100 megabits per second in the Twin Cities. CenturyLink is announcing the service Tuesday and intends to roll it out gradually across the Twin Cities in the coming months. The company has confirmed that the inner cities of St. Paul and Minneapolis will be part of the effort but would not specify which other metro-area municipalities might get the service.” Someday we may even catch up to South Korea.

That giant data breach is still battering Target’s financial numbers. Renee Dudley of Bloomberg reports, “Profit per share in the quarter ended Aug. 2 was 78 cents, excluding some items, less than the company’s projection of 85 cents to $1, Minneapolis-based Target said today in a preliminary earnings statement. Target has been struggling to boost U.S. traffic, rescue its botched expansion into Canada and regain shoppers’ trust after hackers stole millions of customers’ data last year. … The company also said today it had $148 million in breach-related expenses in the quarter, including money set aside to cover existing and potential claims related to the data theft.”

Gov. Dayton says he wants to increase school funding in a second term. Tim Pugmire’s MPR story says, “DFL Gov. Mark Dayton says he wants to continue giving annual funding increases to public schools if he’s re-elected this fall to a second term. Dayton campaigned on a similar pledge in 2010. He told a gathering of school district superintendents today in Brooklyn Park that he was proud that he was able to accomplish that goal. But Dayton said despite new school spending of $895 million over four years, Minnesota is only slightly above the national average in per-student spending.”

That meeting to discuss plans for the (godawful) Hennepin-Lyndale intersection by the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis? Eric Roper of the Strib says, “The most significant change in two proposals — unveiled at an open house Monday — is the elimination of one vehicle lane heading downtown. That would allow for the separation of bicycles and pedestrians on a heavily trafficked path near St. Mark’s Episcopal Cathedral. … Officials also envision improvements for drivers by reducing weaving, simplifying signage and ensuring there is more balanced lane use.”

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A young guy with some serious issues: Paul Walsh of the Strib says, “A Twin Cities man whose back-to-back crashes along a Brooklyn Park highway two weeks ago killed a 16-year-old driver has yet to be charged in those wrecks, but is now jailed for violating terms of his probation from a 2013 felony conviction. … Abstaining from alcohol and remaining law-abiding are among the many conditions of Vanwagner’s probation stemming from his June 2013 conviction for knife-wielding terroristic threats he made against a romantic rival in Champlin Park.”

The story of Team Prenda, the company frequently accused of filing bogus lawsuits, is one of the more convoluted tales of Internet scamming. The website TechDirt reports that the Minnesota Court of Appeals handed the company yet another defeat. “Almost exactly a year ago, we wrote about Team Prenda being ordered to pay another $64k in attorneys’ fees in one of its many cases. This one involved Prenda, along with Paul Hansmeier’s ‘Alpha Law Firm’ and local Minnesota lawyer Michael Dugas supposedly representing a company named Guava, suing a bunch of folks in Minnesota state court. The case had taken quite a twist when defendant Spencer Merkel revealed how he’d made a deal to take a dive in the case. That is, he’d been hit with a standard Prenda threat letter concerning ‘Hard Drive Productions’ content, and when he told them he couldn’t pay, someone from Prenda made a ‘deal’ with him in which he’d get sued, and would agree to give up hit Bittorrent logs during discovery and then have the case dismissed. Team Prenda needed the logs to find more people to shake down, and most likely wanted to use the case as an ‘example’ that it was okay for them to get logs through these very, very questionable lawsuits.”

The GleanSort of what they did to Manuel Noriega … . Dave Orrick of the PiPress reports, “Any invasive carp trying to swim up the Mississippi River through the shipping lock here will get an earful. Five underwater speakers blare out a racket equivalent to about 20 outboard motors — a sound unpleasant to humans, unnoticed by native fish and super-annoying to invasive bighead and silver carp, so much so that they turn tail and swim back downstream, researchers hope.” At last, an audience for Nickelback’s greatest hits.

Apparently you can’t buy a Strib endorsement. “Because of her accomplishments and competence, [Rebecca] Otto is the right choice for DFL voters in the Aug. 12 primary. … The differences between Otto and [Matt] Entenza are not only in their understanding of the office, but are stylistic, too. If Entenza is accused of eyeing another office, Otto seems content with the office she holds. But she should not be so content that she does not challenge herself to use the office to better inform Minnesotans about the extensive data the auditor collects … .”

It has been cool … . MPR’s Paul Huttner says, “Our abbreviated Summer of 2014 has given us plenty to remember. Flooded basements. Overflowing lakes and rivers. Plenty of free AC to go around. One number that stands out as we move through early August?


“That’s just 2 days at or above 90 degrees so far this summer in the Twin Cities. If that number holds, it will be the fewest number of 90 degree days in 21 years. The summer of 1993 went by without a single 90 degree days.” It’s the “most April-May days below 35” that annoys me more.