Consortium works on ultra-fast Web

Michigan State University and the East Lansing-based Prima Civitas Foundation are joining a project to spread ultra-fast Internet access to communities around the country.

They’re taking part in a consortium called “Gig. U,” which is housed at Colorado’s Aspen Institute and includes 29 university communities nationwide.

“If successful, this would ensure that our community has access to the best broadband of any community in the world,” said David Gift, a Michigan State vice provost.

Prima Civitas chief executive Steve Webster said the goal is to advance innovation and economic growth by upgrading the communities to very fast broadband services from providers. Ultra high speed is defined as 1 gigabit-per-second connectivity, which is hundreds of times faster than common cable download speeds.

Zynga introduces its games to China

Zynga, the company behind popular Facebook games like “CityVille,” is taking that game to China. Since Facebook is blocked in the country, it’s partnering instead with local Internet portal Tencent.

“CityVille,” which has players tending to virtual cities, is the most popular game on Facebook according to AppData, which tracks apps on the social network. It is played by more than 80 million people a month.

San Francisco-based Zynga makes most of its money by charging small amounts of money for virtual items in its games. In 2010 this earned the company a profit of $90.6 million. It filed for an initial public offering this month.

LinkedIn job button spreads on Web

Professional networking service LinkedIn Corp. has launched a Web button that lets job applicants submit their profiles on the site to jobs that interest them.

The blue button, “Apply with LinkedIn,” appears on company and jobs websites alongside more general buttons such as “Apply Now” that recruiters use.

It’s LinkedIn’s version of efforts by other online networks, such as Facebook, to spread beyond their own sites across the broader Web. LinkedIn said thousands of companies, including Netflix and LivingSocial, have made the “Apply with LinkedIn” button available on their websites.

Companies can customize the LinkedIn plug-in to include application questions or ask for a cover letter. Applicants, meanwhile, can see if any of their LinkedIn connections work for the company they are applying to and send them a message. 

Brazil: Tablet deals are just the start

Brazil says plans to produce tablet computers will help spur technological innovation in Latin America’s biggest country.

Brazil has signed agreements with at least 10 companies that make tablets. One of them is with Taiwanese manufacturer Foxconn, which is expected to start producing Apple Inc.’s iPads later this year in Brazil.

Science and Technology Minister Aloizio Mercadante said government tax breaks will attract semiconductor manufacturers to Brazil and make it the first nation in the Western Hemisphere to produce touch-screen monitors.

— From news service reports