Jim’s WebLetter for 10/29/16

Hi-ya Web connected friends!

Well, Jacksonville and Northeast Florida got the word this week … Google Fiber, which launched a few years ago with the promise of bringing 1Gbps Internet access to cities across the US, has decided to curtail its expansion plans. The company announced this week that even though it will continue to operate the Fiber Internet and TV service in the cities that already have it, or are in the middle of construction, it will “pause our operations and offices” in the remaining cities that were being considered for the service.

With that pause comes word that some of its employees will be laid off as well. Google’s blog post did not offer a specific number, but it did say that Craig Barratt, the CEO of Access (the Alphabet company in charge of Google Fiber) will also be departing, although he will remain as an advisor to Alphabet CEO Larry Page.

The blog post, written by Barratt, adds that Google Fiber will be looking at “new technology and deployment methods to make superfast Internet more abundant than it is today.” This could be a reference to using a high-speed wireless technology from WebPass, which Google purchased earlier this year. It could give Google Fiber the same 1Gbps speeds at a fraction of the cost of its current wired setup.

All this means is Google will put further plans on hold in at least eight metropolitan areas where it’s been holding talks with local officials. Those include Dallas; Tampa and Jacksonville, Florida; Los Angeles; Oklahoma City; Phoenix; Portland, Oregon; and San Jose, California. http://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2016/10/google-fiber-laying-off-9-of-staff-will-pause-plans-for-10-cities/

In a blog post on Tuesday morning, Aine Kerr, Manager of Journalism Partnerships for Facebook announced that the social network is launching a series of online training courses for journalists.

What will the courses focus on? Well, as Facebook continues to make inroads in the media industry, the company is offering users a crash course in how to perfect their social media skills to survive online journalism in 2016. 

While the courses may seem completely unnecessary to many millennial users who live and breathe Facebook, if you’re wondering how to achieve that beautiful, blue verification check mark on your account or looking to ensure no one from work sees those embarrassing pictures from your weekend in Vegas, you might consider giving them a try.

The courses, which will be updated regularly based on feedback, will be available through Facebook’s global training program, Blueprint. They range from a “Getting Started” course — intended for new users (and perfect for technologically-inept parents), to more advanced courses that enlighten people on the site’s lesser known features.

When launched, the course called, “How Journalists Can Best Utilize Facebook and Instagram” will be available, along with other various courses such as Facebook Live, 360 videos & photos, and Instant Articles.

In the next few months, Facebook plans to translate the site into more than eight languages, in an effort to connect with more journalists around the world. The company hopes that the social media e-learning courses will inspire thousands of other journalists to learn and create. https://media.fb.com/2016/10/25/introducing-online-courses-for-journalists-on-facebook/

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iTab Magazine, for tablet owners and users. http://iTab.jimonline.com

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Have a great weekend and may God bless you and keep you safe.

c-ya!
Jim

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