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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 PLuGHiTz Corporation is best served when he is behind the mixing board every Sunday night to produce the audio side of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology, Piltch Point and PLuGHiTz Live Night Cap. 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 One Will Also Benefit from Microsoft's DirectX 12 Announcement

posted Sunday Jan 25, 2015 by Nicholas DiMeo

Xbox One Will Also Benefit from Microsoft's DirectX 12 Announcement

This week's Microsoft Windows 10 event showed off a lot of what Windows 10 can bring to the Xbox. One of the big announcements was how the new DirectX 12 would benefit gaming on the Xbox One. Xbox head Phil Spencer took the stage to explain all of the pros behind DX12 coming to not only the PC, but to the Xbox One.

For those unaware, DirectX 12 is a Microsoft programming interface that handles video activities on the computer, namely for gaming. It's had many names in the past but they now all live under the DirectX name. With each iteration, improvements and enhancements always come with it, giving developers more tools and capabilities, which can then be passed down to gamers in terms of graphical additions and gameplay benefits.

Spencer focused a portion of the event to talk about DX12 and how it would relate to the PC, but also made mention that the API would be open for Xbox One games, too, since Windows 10 is making its way to the console. How? Well, it first starts with the developers. Marketing head Aaron Greenberg took to Twitter about DirectX 12 after the event concluded. When asked if DX12 would affect the Xbox One substantially or would the PC benefit more, he replied, "both, but devs have to make use of it."

It will help developers on Xbox One. It's not going to be a massive change but will unlock more capability for devs.

Simply put, the devs will have the tools and will just need to take advantage of them for gamers to experience the benefit. DirectX 12 will allow better performance by giving developers the ability to send the GPU tasks to perform on the numerous threads available on the chip. In the past, this was not possible, as most of the task management is CPU-bound. The essence behind DX12 is that it changes this process by allowing many CPU cores to communicate with many GPU cores. Plus, with the Xbox One just recently unlocking its 7th core for gaming, although it will take some development time for us to see the benefit directly, it gives devs more power than they previously had on the Xbox One. This is key for the One's lifespan and usage, and will be especially powerful with exclusives.

What does that all mean for the average person? We should expect to see graphic performance increase by almost 50% and CPU usage drop by 20%. Current games will also see a slight boost to performance just by the firmware upgrade. An oversimplified comparison of DX11 vs DX12 breaks it all down in extremely fine detail, but in the end, this is good news for gamers on Microsoft's latest console.

We'll see more information about this at the upcoming GDC as well. If there's one thing to take away from all of this tech talk, it's that there are great things in store for gamers. And those things are coming very soon, so we should all be excited about them.

read more...

YouTube to Broadcast Own Halftime Show During the Large Container Game

posted Sunday Jan 25, 2015 by Nicholas DiMeo

YouTube to Broadcast Own Halftime Show During the Large Container Game

Tired of the same boring halftime show at the Super Bowl? Is "lights turned off because drama" just another played out scenario to you? Well, if you're looking for an alternative during the excruciatingly long halftime show, then you may want to look towards YouTube to fill those 45 minutes.

YouTube, in an attempt to maintain relevancy and market share, has decided to spin up a halftime show of its own in order to show off some of the website's offerings. Harley Morenstein from the crazy popular EpicMealTime channel on YouTube will be heading up the event as emcee, and the program will contain musical guests, skits, stunts and fake Super Bowl advertisements.

YouTube Space LA will play home to the video-streaming performance, where Morenstein will be joined by the likes of Freddie Wong, Toby Turner and others. In total, all of the creators' channels total more than 60 million subscribers, which YouTube is hoping will help them make this show a success. The site is banking so heavily on this being a hit that it has even thrown up billboards in major metropolitan areas in order to bring more attention to the event.

Google's managing director of brand solutions, Suzie Reider, said that she thinks it'll be interesting to compare the stats of YouTube's show with the ratings from NBC's halftime show.

It's a really good place to showcase our celebrities, our talent and our creator. It will be fun afterwards to see what was Freddie Wong's draw compared to Katy Perry and Lenny Kravitz.

Reider also added that the show will be more geared towards those who will be watching the Super Bowl for the ads, rather than the game. So if you're in that group, then this might be something you'll want to bring up on your mobile device while the rest of us see how deflated the Seahawks can get.

I'm curious myself to see how well this does against NBC's star-studded performance. Do enough people still care about YouTube to visit an appointment-based show on an on-demand site? YouTube Live hasn't seen too much success in total viewer count, and that may end up trickling down into the YouTubeapalooza on February 1st.

read more...

Minecraft: Pocket Edition Breaks 30 Million Downloads

posted Sunday Jan 18, 2015 by Nicholas DiMeo

<i>Minecraft: Pocket Edition</i> Breaks 30 Million Downloads

Microsoft acquiring Minecraft has definitely caused a small rift in the gaming community. Some thought this meant the Mojang studio was selling out, while others believed this could mean bigger and better things for the game. Luckily, Microsoft is fully committed to Minecraft and has been pushing it towards mobile devices with full force. The game has still grown since the purchase, too, with Minecraft breaking yet another record.

First, the record. Minecraft already owns a number of Guinness World Records, including the largest indie game convention, the first country modeled at full-scale in a video game, the most popular beta game and the most-played Xbox Live game. Now, sales have been so big for the game that it's earned the right to be called the best-selling indie game at over 16 million units. Pretty impressive stuff, and I only see more records in Minecraft's future.

Switching over to mobile, as Microsoft promised, there is no change on the commitment to getting more people on board with Minecraft: Pocket Edition. At only $7 on iOS, Android, Kindle Fire and Windows Phone, the title has now eclipsed 30 million downloads, which is a remarkable number for a paid mobile game.

Mojang's blog post included some humor, mentioning that 30 million is bigger than Texas, 23 times hotter than the sun in summer time and is more than the observable universe, because science and math and stuff. More importantly, the 30 million downloads more than justifies Microsoft $2.5 billion purchase for the franchise. Clearly, the Minecraft machine is showing no signs of slowing down, and with full support being passed down to the mobile version of the game, the money train won't be stopping any time soon.

It should be noted here that these sales now place Minecraft: Pocket Edition as the second highest-grossing iOS game worldwide, well ahead of popular titles like Game of War and Candy Crush Saga. For comparison, 18 million copies of Minecraft have been sold for the PC, over 12 million for the Xbox 360, 1 million for the PS3 and 100,000 for the Vita. Mojang did not create the console edition themselves, and instead, licensed the title out to 4J Studios.

read more...

Facebook to Launch Social Media Service for Internal Company Connections

posted Sunday Jan 18, 2015 by Nicholas DiMeo

Facebook to Launch Social Media Service for Internal Company Connections

Are you so into the world of Facebook that you need to have it in your life at all times, even at work? Well lucky for you Facebook is hoping to make that a reality and will be bringing the water cooler and social media - your two favorite places - together for the daily nine-to-five.

Dubbed "Facebook@Work," the platform will be more focused towards productivity instead of procrastination. An employer can use the program and connect all of the employees together to connect and discuss news, join groups, message each other and create events. The kicker here is that you won't be able to sync up your friends and connections into Facebook@Work, and instead it will be a separate site that users will be interacting with.

Think of it like a weird cross between Microsoft Lync and Skype. The service will essentially be competing with Chatter from Salesforce and Microsoft's recent $1.2 billion acquisition, Yammer, among others. Facebook spokesperson Elisabeth Diana said that F@W has been working beautifully, at least internally, and that Facebook employees have had success using it.

We have internally used Facebook at Work for many years now, it works pretty effectively and efficiently for collaboration. We think we can bring this insight to other companies.

Currently, the talks are that Facebook will be considering a subscription model for the service, but will also likely offer an ad-supported lite version for free. Considering how much of a beast the Facebook snooping advertising platform is, I'm unsure if I'd want employees for my company using Facebook@Work for internal communication and file-sharing. I just get this weird feeling that someone will be sharing some documentation on a new idea through the service, and somehow Facebook would end up launching an identical feature set the very next day.

read more...

After Leaked Emails Suggest Otherwise, Sony Entertainment CEO Says Business Not for Sale

posted Sunday Jan 18, 2015 by Nicholas DiMeo

After Leaked Emails Suggest Otherwise, Sony Entertainment CEO Says Business Not for Sale

After Sony's rejection of spinning off the media division in order to possibly save the company, CEO Kaz Hirai then had to cut $250 million from the media budget, which meant a reduction in movie releases for the year. Now, the company has to fight off rumors that it will be spinning off its music publishing business.

One could imagine that after having to deal with the gigantic data breach by the hands of the Guardians of Peace, Sony might have to make some drastic changes to its company structure. However, in the middle of the aftermath, and after several shareholders begging for it to happen, Sony Entertainment's CEO Michael Lynton said there are no current plans to sell off the division.

This comes after several of the leaked emails by the GOP had indicated that Lynton was considering offers as recent as November. For Sony Entertainment, its catalog contains over 2 million songs, which is currently the biggest collection in the world. This includes EMI, formerly the largest independent recording distribution label that was purchased by Sony for over $2 billion in 2012. A sell-off of this nature would surely inject much needed cash into Sony proper, allowing the company to invest more in its security measures to prevent another massive breach in the wall.

So now that Lynton has pretty much dissolved the rumors that came out of the email leak, what can Sony do to save itself? We've talked in the past that the PlayStation brand seems to be Sony's saving grace up until now, but how long can they rely on that small portion of their business in order to sustain the entire company? At what point does that water-tight compartment eventually get ripped open by an iceberg? Who, for that matter, might step in and pick up the profitable pieces after the ship sinks?

Of course, all of this is speculation right now, but considering the company's current state, none of it is too far from a possible reality. What do you think is going to happen? What parts of Sony stick around? Let us know in the comments section below.

read more...

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