Mayor Kenney to Sign Pay Equity Bill

(AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

(AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Mayor Kenney’s support for the pay equity bill hasn’t wavered over the last week. He’s expected to sign the bill into law on Monday, the Inquirer reports.

Kenney made it clear that he will not veto the bill, which will ban employers from asking job candidates what they earned in the past. And he’s made it clear that he’ll sign the bill in the face of opposition. Comcast threatened to lob a lawsuit at the city over First Amendment claims, and the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce has argued that the bill would create a bureaucratic hassle for businesses that rely on wage history to make decisions about job candidates.

“We just wanted to make sure that all the legal aspects of it were tight before we signed it,” Kenney said. “We may get sued, we may not. But Council passed this measure by a unanimous vote, and I see no reason why I shouldn’t sign it.” Read more »

Comcast Has a Point on Pay Equity Bill

comcastcityhall

In early December, City Council unanimously approved a pay equity bill sponsored by Councilman Bill Greenlee that would prevent employers from asking prospective employees what they’ve earned in the past.

The bill’s objective is to curb discrimination during the hiring process, particularly for women and minorities. The bill cites women in Pennsylvania as earning 79 cents for every dollar a man makes, with women of color being paid even less. And herein lies the heart of the bill: An employer’s reliance on an applicant’s wage history to determine future payment may perpetuate discrimination. Read more »

Coming Soon from Comcast: The Wireless Remote For Your Whole House

Comcast announced its new Advanced Wireless Gateway at CES 2017 | Image via Comcast

Comcast announced its new Advanced Wireless Gateway at CES 2017. | Photos: Comcast

If you’re one of the 10 million current Xfinity Wireless Gateway users, your whole household is about to experience a change – and for the better.

At the 2017 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Comcast demoed a brand new cloud-based platform that will provide users with an easier way to manage all of their digital devices in the home.

A Comcast news release says in the first half of 2017, the platform will be enabled automatically for the 10 million current Xfinity Internet users in possession of a Wireless Gateway. That number is expected to grow to 15 million when the Advanced Wireless Gateway becomes available to all customers in the second half of the year.

This new cloud-based program, along with the Advanced Wireless Gateway, is a whole-home networking solution that will deliver faster and more reliable connectivity in the home, allow users to easily add devices, and have voice control capabilities when paired with an Xfinity X1 remote. Other features include parental control, monitoring, scheduling, pause, and more.

These parental control features are anything but ordinary, though, thanks to Comcast’s new mobile app. From your smartphone device, you can customize your own household rules and schedules (like no Wi-Fi for the kids on weeknights) and put your house in “bedtime mode” to block certain devices from internet access after a certain time.

You can even enjoy an interruption-free dinnertime, as the app allows you to pause all devices at any time.

Image via Comcast

Image via Comcast

That’s not all the app does, either. It also makes setting up your new Gateway system easy (and who doesn’t love a stress-free setup?). All you have to do is download the mobile app, scan the QR code on your Gateway device, and create a simple username and password. Then, the device will automatically connect to all Wi-Fi devices in that home.

The Advanced Gateway is based on the Intel Puma 7 system on a chip. Both companies are collaborating to make the digital home even more innovative for the modern household.

The average household currently has ten connected devices, but this number is expected to skyrocket to 50 by 2020, according to Navin Shenoy, corporate vice president and general manager for the client computing group (CCG) at Intel.

“I believe we are at the beginning of a new cycle of growth – a virtuous cycle between devices and the data center,” Shenoy said at Computex 2016. “The question we ask at Intel is, how do we accelerate this virtuous cycle. One fundamental way is to make devices smarter and more connected.”

Intel believes that the increase in number of connected devices per household will also lead to an increase in the demand for gateway devices.

Comcast Cable Executive Vice President and Chief Product Officer Chris Satchell said in Comcast’s news release, “People want to connect and control the products and devices in their home, quickly and easily. By creating this new home solution and offering it to millions of people as part of their existing internet subscription, our combination of speed, personalized controls, features and devices has the potential to make the Internet of Things and the Digital Home more of a reality than ever.”

Comcast plans to make the platform available to its syndication partners later in the year.

Comcast Inks Last-Minute Fox News Deal

Photo | Jeff Fusco

Photo | Jeff Fusco

Comcast customers who are Fox News loyalists won’t have to worry about missing out on episodes of The O’Reilly Factor or The Kelly File: The cable giant recently reached a last-minute agreement with 21st Century Fox to continue carrying the network, avoiding a blackout of the channel for millions of viewers.

The deal, reached right before the New Year, also laid out terms for a new distribution agreement for Fox’s YES regional sports network, which Comcast stopped carrying in late 2015 because of a contract dispute, according to the Wall Street Journal, which first reported the deal. Read more »

How the Sharing Economy Is Changing Office Space

Coworking space provider Benjamin's Desk is one of the major forces reviving the Center City office space market.

Coworking space provider Benjamin’s Desk is one of the major forces reviving the Center City office space market.

Two booms taken together turned Center City Philadelphia from a somewhat sleepy place at night with a buzz-cut of a skyline to a vibrant, round-the-clock environment with a true big-city downtown profile.

The first was the office construction boom that was touched off by Liberty Place, the building that broke the buzz cut. The second was a wave of new residents that first began to stream into the city center around that same time.

But as that wave turned into a flood, the two booms ended up canceling out the city’s office-sector growth. Older office buildings were turned into residences even as new office buildings went up, thus keeping the office market (and the rough number of office workers) flat. The culmination of this canceling-out was the conversion of Two Liberty Place’s upper floors into condominiums in the early 2000s. Read more »

Is Your Comcast X1 Still Worth It?

Comcast’s X1 setup

On Wednesday, AT&T officially launched DirecTV Now, its highly anticipated internet streaming service that will give customers access to more than 100 channels for just $35. No wonky cable box or satellite dish needed, just internet access coupled with your smartphone, tablet, or PC.

This seems like Comcast’s biggest nightmare — the cable giant’s X1 set-top box is essentially the hallmark of cable TV, and now AT&T, which is progressively moving into Comcast territory, may get customers to ditch those pricey cable packages stocked with channels they never watch for cheaper bundles better tailored to their interests. Read more »

Netflix to Officially Launch on Comcast X1 Next Week

comcastnetflix

The wait is finally over. Comcast announced today that Netflix will launch on millions of X1 devices across the country next week.

X1 customers with Netflix subscriptions will be able to browse and access Netflix shows and movies right on the X1 platform. Talk about a true cable box upgrade.

Customers will just have to say “Netflix” into the X1 voice remote to browse Netflix content alongside On Demand movies and shows.

Read more »

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