Winner: Provo residents started getting a full taste of Google Fiber this week, as non-Veracity customers in areas formerly served by iProvo were allowed to sign up. Taxpayers in the city should be grateful to the Internet giant for bailing them out of the disastrous iProvo venture that quickly demonstrated why governments should not be in the business of competing with private Internet companies.
Loser: It can’t be good for the retail industry when criminals keep stealing credit card numbers. Neiman Marcus said this week a security breach at its stores may have compromised as many as 1.1 million customers’ private information. Add that to the up to 110 million cards stolen from transactions at Target. These breaches raise all sorts of question about whether retailers are doing enough to protect their customers from wily crooks who seem to always be a step ahead of safeguards. They also once again point up the need for credit card companies to begin installing digital chips in cards distributed in the United States, similar to what exist in Europe and many other parts of the world. The chips are much harder to duplicate than the magnetic strips that are common in this country.
Lastly, the breaches ought to cause consumers to pay with cash, rather than credit. That has the added benefit of keeping them from overspending.
Winner: Comedian Bill Cosby has signed a deal with NBC to create a new family friendly half-hour sitcom. He told Yahoo! TV he promises to bring warmth and love and clever humor “without going into the party attitude.” That sounds like cool water to the parched senses of television viewers who have wandered for years in the deserts of sex jokes and anti-family premises during prime time.