In sleepy Ocean Springs, Miss., reserve police officers got Tasers. The sewer department in nearby Gulfport bought a $300,000 vacuum truck that never sucked up a drop of oil. Biloxi, Miss., bought a dozen SUVS. A parish president in Louisiana got herself a top-of-the-line iPad, her spokesman a $3,100 laptop. And a county in Florida spent $560,000 on rock concerts to promote its oil-free beaches…
Some officials also lavished campaign donors and others with lucrative contracts. A Florida county commissioner’s girlfriend, for instance, opened up a public relations firm a few weeks after the spill and soon landed more than $14,000 of the tiny county’s $236,000 cut of BP cash for a month’s work.
SO WHERE ARE THOSE BP OIL SPILL PAYMENTS GOING? LOCAL GOV’TS GET MILLIONS FOR IPADS, CONCERTS, & CARS
In the grand scheme of moving pictures, cutting the cord isn’t a practical option — yet. Trying to find something to watch online (other than Netflix’s streaming service) is like hunting for a good read at the dentist’s office. But broadcasters and cable companies are sweating about the future. Viewers increasingly want video wherever and whenever, according to Dixon — meaning away from the TV set in the living room.
So Cablevision, Time Warner and Comcast have jumped on the magic tablet ride, producing apps to deliver their programming, control their DVRs and conduct sundry other tasks. The apps are all free, too — the catch is that viewers still have to pay a traditional cable TV subscription to gain access to the wireless streaming feeds.