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VERIZON'S FIOS NOW MORE OF A PINELLAS PLAYER

Like their counterparts in neighboring counties, many households in Pinellas can now indulge in "triple play" service. Telecommunication giant Verizon announced Wednesday that it has expanded its fiber optic network availability in more than 17,000 households in northern Pinellas County. Verizon customers in that area can now have super-fast Internet, FiOS television and voice services. The company said it's pushing South. Already, large parts of Hillsborough, Pasco, Sarasota and Manatee counties are FiOS equipped. To date, Verizon has deployed nearly 1.4-million feet of fiber in Pinellas County. The company plans to continue spreading its reach in the county and beyond through 2008.

Sarasota recovery could spread north

Sarasota, last year's hard-knocks story in the real estate industry, seems to be showing signs of life. For several months running, the community to the south has reported stronger housing sales measured against those of a year earlier. In the latest report, home sales were up 7 percent. Two years ago, Sarasota fell into a housing slump months ahead of the Tampa Bay area. If it's now pulling out of its tailspin, Tampa and St. Petersburg might follow in relatively short order. At least that's the optimists' view.

Powerful PC comes in a small package

Want to buy one of the world's smallest computers? Clearwater-based Tech Data Corp. said Wednesday it will start offering its resellers the ultramobile PCs from OQO. The Windows Vista PCs come embedded with 3G mobile broadband capabilities, all in a pocket-sized device weighing 1 pound.

Delta offers treats at 35,000 feet

Delta Air Lines customers soon won't have to travel on snack mix alone. The airline will begin selling sandwiches, salads and brand-name snacks on cross-country flights next month and expand the program to all routes of more than 750 miles by spring. The menu developed by celebrity chef Todd English includes breakfast wraps, a California salad and Asian chicken breast sandwich, with prices from $2 to $10. Delta scrapped its 2-year-old food-for-sale program in 2005, shortly before filing for bankruptcy. Now out of bankruptcy court, the airline is restoring in-flight amenities, including pillows. But only in first class.

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