Comcast’s Low-Income Net, Groupon’s Accounts, New York Times Social Experiment, Tech In London Riots, Coder Hiring Made Easy

This and more important news from your Fast Company editors, with updates all day.

Comcast’s $10 Low-Income Net Access. Comcast is launching a super-cheap Net service for U.S. families whose kids are eligible for free school meals. It’s dubbed Internet Essentials, and its 1.5 Mbps speed won’t be setting any records–but $9.95 plus tax is pretty damn cheap, particularly when it comes with an introductory offer of a netbook for just $150. –KE


–Updated 09:30 a.m. EST

Groupon’s Accounting Tricks. Groupon, reacting to pressure from the SEC, is filing a new S1 form that ditches a controversial Adjusted Consolidated Segment Operating Income accounting trick. The ACSOI had allowed Groupon to report its cost of sales without including marketing expenses, which artificially inflated the success of the company because its marketing expenses are enormous. Accountancy is an art, not a science, just like pulling off a tech startup, but a maneuver like this was obvious even to non-accountants. –KE

New York Times Crowdsourcing Experiments. The New York Times has just launched its Beta620 site, in an attempt to chart the news website’s future. The site plays hosts to a number of technological experiments (such as “The Buzz,” which shows how much social medai traction stories are getting, and TimesInstant, which is a Google Instant, only for the paper) and asks visitors to try them out and report on how well they work and how useful they are. The Times is trying to crowdsource future improvements to its website, possibly to improve the services it offers behind its mildly successful paywall. –KE

Technology’s Role In London’s Riots. Violence hit parts of North London this weekend, as a minority of protestors among an otherwise peaceful vigil (for a man killed by police during an arrest) organized civil unrest. British and European media have become focused on how technology aided the violent uprising, alleging that Twitter and BlackBerrys had a big role in aiding the groups as they looted and burned. This same tech, facilitating free speech, is that which is championed for aiding protests in Egypt, Iran and Syria. –KE 

Interview Street Launches For Coder Hiring. Interview Street is a Y-Combinator company that’s been in beta for some while, and this weekend it’s emerged properly: Its mission is to aid technology companies in hiring smart and suitably qualified programmers, by setting them tricky problem-solving tasks using a neat, swift online testing environment that should speed up the entire process. With beta-test clients like Facebook and DropBox, it’s a name coders may have to learn as they look for new jobs. –KE

Anonymous Hacks Syria, Cops. Over 10GB of confidential police data, mainly from rural U.S. police forces, has been hacked and leaked online by hacktivism group Anonymous as revenge for police actions resulting in the arrest of Anonymous members–and it’s also a sign that the distributed nature of the group can frustrate the authorities’ measures. And Anonymous has also hacked the Syrian Ministry of Defense website, an attack against the “brutal regime of Bashar Al-Assad” that includes links to images and video of the ongoing violence that are otherwise suppressed in the nation. –KE


–Updated 06:00 a.m. EST

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