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Nicholas DiMeo

Nicholas DiMeo

Former Segment Host

Current Host

Current UpStream Contributor

Current Product Reviewer

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With over ten years of audio engineering experience, Nick's addition to the PLuGHiTz Corporation is best served when he is behind the mixing board every Sunday night to produce the audio side of their PLuGHiTz Live! Radio show. While mixing live every week, his previous radio show hosting experience gives him the ability to co-host as well, giving each show a unique flare with his slightly off-center, yet still realistic take on all things tech. An integral part of the show, you can find Nick always enveloped in coming up with new (and sometimes crazy) ideas and content for the show and you can always expect the most direct opinion on the stories that he feels need to be shared with the world. During the few hours where Nick isn't sleeping or working on ways to improve the company, he spends his free time going to hockey and football games and playing the latest titles on Xbox 360. Email him for his gamertag and add him today for a fun escape from the normal monotony and annoyance that the Xbox LIVE gaming community can sometimes be!

Recent UpStream Articles

Xbox Almost Ready to Launch Digital Preloading of Games

posted Sunday Jul 27, 2014 by Nicholas DiMeo

Xbox Almost Ready to Launch Digital Preloading of Games

Phil Spencer, head of Xbox, has taken to the media again to announce that the company is still committed to the Xbox One and that the Xbox hasn't completely lost its vision. With that in mind, Spencer said we'll see some of the true "next-gen" promised additions in the coming months.

We've talked about rounds of updates for the Xbox One in the past, and we harp on it because of the fact that the updates were merely things we were promised at launch before Microsoft backtracked on everything. So it is with great pleasure that I can say that Mr. Phil Spencer himself promised the gaming community that we'll see digital pre-orders making their way to the console. This means that you'll soon be able to pre-purchase a game before it's launched and will be able to play it as soon as it releases, without having to go to the store or wait for a download to finish after midnight. Instead, the Xbox One, just like a PC, will be able to download the full game ahead of time, and will be ready for 12:01 AM.

Of course, this is a big deal and something that I've wanted to see on these current generation consoles since November, and the PlayStation 4 already had this feature. How do we know this is coming to the Xbox One? Well, a Twitter user asked Spencer,

Will the digital preorder system become available on the next xbox preview update or anytime soon would love to start preordering!

And succinctly, @XboxP3 (Phil Spencer's account) responded with, "Stay tuned on this. Not long."

We probably won't see this in the August update though. Last week, Major Nelson pretty much laid out those expectations, however Microsoft is known to throw in a few surprises from time to time. It would be nice to see digital pre-ordering made available before this fall's sports titles hit stores. The ability to play NHL or FIFA right at midnight would be something I'd personally appreciate.

read more...

Verizon Wireless to Start Throttling Heavy Users of 4G LTE Data on Old Unlimited Plans

posted Sunday Jul 27, 2014 by Nicholas DiMeo

Verizon Wireless to Start Throttling Heavy Users of 4G LTE Data on Old Unlimited Plans

Verizon seems to be in a throttling mood when it comes to your Internet. There's the infamous Watching Netflix on FiOS through VPN video floating around, which affects the majority of FiOS users in the country. Now, Verizon Wireless will be throttling 4G LTE data on your smartphones. The good news is that for this instance, it's only for the heavy users on an old plan.

About one-fifth of all Verizon Wireless customers are still on a grandfathered plan that contains unlimited data. And until now, those customers have been lucky little ducks, able to stream and download to their heart's content without a care in the world. In sticking with the theme for the company's 3G data in 2011, beginning October 1st, VZW will now be throttling back the speed on the network's heavy users of 4G LTE data.

For now, only the top five percent of users will experience this slowdown, and to be affected by it, you'll have to use about 4.7GB of data a month. Plus, you'll only be throttled if you're on a tower that is undergoing heavy demand. While that doesn't seem like too bad of a deal, you really don't get a choice of which tower you connect to. So if you're in, say, New York City, you might have a better chance of being slowed down than if you were in a city like Topeka.

It should be noted that you must hit all three of those criteria before Verizon puts pressure on you. And it's also important to point out that this is only for those on the unlimited plans from back in the day. Those who are on a MORE Everything or other usage-based plan are not subject to what Verizon is calling (in a very Aperture Science way) Network Optimization.

Lastly, if you do experience Network Optimization, you will undergo that duress for the remainder of the current month, plus the following month, which is kind of a downer. Verizon also won't be nice enough to inform you on which towers or areas will have high demand.

There are many variables that can contribute to a cell site experiencing high demand including, but not limited to, the number of active users and the type of applications being used on that site. While we work to ensure we have the most reliable network for every location, these variables combined with other environmental factors determine whether or not a particular cell site experiences high demand at any particular time.

Does this affect you? Will it convince you to change your plan or will you just deal with it? As a reminder, always keep tabs on your data usage with Verizon's built-in monitoring tools.

read more...

Bose Files Lawsuit Against Beats on Copyright Infringement

posted Sunday Jul 27, 2014 by Nicholas DiMeo

Bose Files Lawsuit Against Beats on Copyright Infringement

Beats Electronics, the company Beats Audio, Beats Music and a $3 billion acquisition by Apple, is under fire by Bose for copyright infringement. Bose claims that the technology used in noise-canceling Beats headphones is infringing on patents owned by the company.

A lawsuit would probably not affect the Apple acquisition but it still is worth noting that these two companies have not come to legal blows until now. The headphones in question are the Beats Studio, Beats Studio Wireless and Beats pro, which all contain noise-canceling technology. In the filing of the lawsuit, Bose goes on to outline the long history of the company from 1978 and the use of the exact same technology it has patented and implemented in its headphones. The document even mentions a stint in 1991 where the US Air Force hires Bose to create in-flight headsets for military pilots. Bose specifically points out the QuietComfort array of headphones as a specific reference of identical technology.

In total, 27 US patents, 13 of them pending, are claimed to be infringed upon. Two of the patents include one for a "Method and

Apparatus for Minimizing Latency in Digital Signal Processing Systems" and one for a "Dynamically Configurable ANR Signal Processing Topology." Since the suit was filed late on Friday, we've not heard a response from Beats nor a retort from Bose on the matter. However the document does outline expectations from Bose. First, Bose wants the court to file an injunction to prevent all sales of Beats headphones that fall under their claimed infringement. Bose also is going after monetary damages for said infringement.

We'll have to see if this case has any merit and if the court finds Beats guilty of any type of copyright violation. If they do, injunctions and damages could be in order for the company. At any rate, considering the sound quality on most Beats headphones, it might not be a bad thing to see some models be pulled off the shelves.

read more...

Google Lays Out $1 Billion for Twitch

posted Sunday Jul 20, 2014 by Nicholas DiMeo

Google Lays Out $1 Billion for Twitch

Back in May, Variety reported that Google was in talks to buy Twitch for $1 billion. Well, as it would turn out, the rumors and reports are shaping up to be true. Google and YouTube are lining up to shell out over $1 billion for the up-and-coming video game streaming service.

As we've talked about in the past, Twitch has been doing exceptionally well as of late. Awards, records and overall success has come to the Justin.tv subsidiary and the company has been growing at a rapid pace. Google, on the other hand, really hasn't done much in the past couple of years and restrictions placed upon content creators have become more and more frustrating.

As of right now, we don't know very much about the deal or when it will all go down except that the contract signing in imminent. What is clear though is that initial Twitch investors will be making back a lot more than they put in, which should put smiles on many faces at the top of the ladder. No company has commented on the matter.

If you really think about it, the deal makes sense for both parties. YouTube has faced severe pressure from competitors like Twitch, Vimeo and DailyMotion, so simply acquiring one of the most successful brands shows that Twitch is obviously doing well, and that Google respected the brand enough to pick it up. YouTube's Live streaming service has not picked up enough steam to merit any threat to those offering live options either.

For Twitch, a lot of good can come out of this, too. Twitch has had less than stellar streaming and content requirements, with the most recent mishap being the PS4 Playroom debacle. But content creators have been able to use copyrighted music, in-game cut-scenes and other material all without punishment. YouTube Content ID system being implemented on Twitch streams could cure that problem.

Of course, there are those who are completely opposed to this acquisition, and their concerns are understandable. YouTube has been notorious for terrible buffering issues, false copyright claims and unwelcome changes. No amount of acquisitions would change those outstanding issues.

What do you think of all this? Is Twitch going to lose its luster and focus? We want to know in the comments section below.

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NVIDIA Lines Up Another Android Gaming Machine

posted Sunday Jul 20, 2014 by Nicholas DiMeo

NVIDIA Lines Up Another Android Gaming Machine

NVIDIA is slated to launch another gaming device based around Android. Luckily, it is nothing like its previous endeavor, SHIELD. Instead, the gaming company looks to create a machine that can connect to a computer's graphics card to juice up the device to be used with a TV or other monitor.

The Android-based gaming box will be able to broadcast PC games to a television or any other output with its built-in HDMI port. NVIDIA will also be offering an inexpensive controller to go along with the machine that has yet to be named.

A lot of analysts are skeptical about NVIDIA jumping into yet another gaming venture, considering how terrible the SHIELD did in the wild. Ed Barton, analyst for Ovum, a gaming industry consulting firm, said,

I think it's fair to say that Shield sold reasonably poorly. And if the new device requires your PC to have a relatively new NVIDIA GPU to make use of its abilities, that will really limit its addressable market.

As mentioned earlier, the new tiny PC-to-TV device will require a NVIDIA GeForce card, and a pretty high-end one at that. The computer will also require GeForce Experience System to be installed on the machine, which is pretty resource-intensive. For the device itself, the NVIDIA built Tegra K1 processor will be used as the brain inside the little beast.

I only question two things. First, can this new gaming machine really take off with consumers? Considering the bit of hurdle you have to jump through to get it going, I doubt it. Second, aren't we already saturated with Android gaming machines? From Ouya to the SHIELD, I don't think all of the devices combined even come close to the big three in the space today. Will this unnamed project just be another notch on the "failed to make Android a gaming system" list? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

read more...

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