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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

AT&T-DirecTV $48.5B Merger Should Clear Approval Process This Week

posted Sunday Jul 5, 2015 by Nicholas DiMeo

AT&T-DirecTV $48.5B Merger Should Clear Approval Process This Week

While T-Mobile might still be trying to merge with Dish Network, an approval for AT&T and DirecTV to join forces might come through as early as next week. The rapid progress behind the $48.5 billion merger will result in an OK from the FCC as by Friday according to sources inside the negotiation room.

If it seemed like this came out of nowhere to you, don't worry, because it sort of did. While the world was talking about T-Mobile-Dish and Charter-Time Warner in 2015, last May AT&T and DirecTV landed the deal and have been quietly hammering out the details. So far, nobody has really batted an eye to the deal like they did with both the T-Mobile-AT&T and the Comcast-Time Warner attempts. The Department of Justice has already cleared the deal, so now it just rests on the Federal Communications Commission to finalize everything.

The merger has been slowly moving through the FCC approval process, with the Commission collecting the necessary documents along the way. The FCC has also delayed their "timer" on the merger while awaiting to receive contracts and other information. AT&T went ahead and filed an extension with the SEC to push the break-up trigger back from two months ago to August, which still gives the companies a month to nail down an approval.

The DoJ's approval process took almost no time at all, with the Department closing the investigation without any stipulation or complaint. Aside from the FCC's go-ahead, both AT&T and DirecTV still require the DoJ's antitrust committee to analyze the deal and OK it as well. This should come during the same time of the FCC approval, so long as everything passes over there.

What does this mean for consumers? Right now, a whole lot of nothing. That is, until all the transitional logistics take place over the next year or so. From there, it could mean that a lot of different things, but AT&T has a roadmap in place for its ideas. In a statement, AT&T said that, "AT&T will use the merger synergies to expand its plans to build and enhance high-speed broadband service to 15 million customer locations, mostly in rural areas where AT&T does not provide high-speed broadband service today."

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Details Emerge About Minecraft: Story Mode at Minecon 2015

posted Sunday Jul 5, 2015 by Nicholas DiMeo

Details Emerge About <i>Minecraft: Story Mode</i> at Minecon 2015

Microsoft's acquisition of Mojang and Minecraft for $2.5 billion finally made sense to me this week at Minecon. At the game's convention in London, details were finally announced about how Microsoft will completely change the way you look at Minecraft with Minecraft: Story Mode, expected to be released later this year. Using the power of Microsoft, the Mojang team rang up Telltale Games to produce this new title.

Until this weekend, there was no other information other than a new storyline surrounding the popular block building game. Telltale Games told us that there will be one new story, launched in five episodes. You will play the protagonist Jesse - who is not the beloved Steve - in an effort to save the world. No word on if Herobrine makes an appearance.

Players will control protagonist Jesse throughout the season, as portrayed by actor Patton Oswalt. Jesse and his group of friends revere the legendary Order of the Stone; four adventurers who slayed an Ender Dragon. The Order are the very best at what they do: Warrior, Redstone Engineer, Griefer, and Architect. While at EnderCon, Jesse and his friends discover that something is wrong... something dreadful. Terror is unleashed, and they must set out on a journey to find The Order of the Stone if they are to save their world from oblivion.

So having Patton Oswalt lead this new game with his incredible voice acting is pretty great. However there's definite bonus points that need to be awarded as well, and it's to Billy West for also taking on a role in the game. I can't see a way that this combination won't be a totally good thing.

As far as the game itself, Telltale says it is working closely with Mojang to make sure this Minecraft experience is as good as it can be. The game can be played many different ways, as the scenarios are completely choice-based. This means you can change the story based on the decisions you make as you play. Sometimes, those decisions may not have the best results.

Telltale said that each episode of the game will take around two hours to complete, and that a Season Pass of sorts will be available for purchase that should save you money over buying each of the five individually. The game will be launched on the 360, Xbox One, PS3, PS4, PC, Mac, compatible iOS devices, Android and the Amazon Fire TV.

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GameStop Launches Old School Game Retail Site

posted Sunday Jun 28, 2015 by Nicholas DiMeo

GameStop Launches Old School Game Retail Site

GameStop is taking it back to the old school with a new online website dedicated to the games and consoles of yesteryear. Titled Retro Classics, the online shop features the expected array of popular 90s and early 2000s consoles, along with your favorite games that take you on a trip of pure nostalgia.

Already up and running, Retro Classics shows off the NES, Sega Genesis, SNES, N64, PlayStation and even the Dreamcast box. Pricing seems to be matching eBay's prices, with the highly sought after DuckTales fetching around $20. GameStop said these prices will change as often as needed to properly meet demand.

A good example of that is the price of Mario Party which has already risen $5 to $40 for the cartridge on the N64. Nintendo's console that needed three hands to use its controller has been re-popularized in the past two years, with old school and new gamers alike both wanting to play the array of hit Mario titles.

An interesting point is not all games come with an original box and/or receipt. In true GameStop fashion, you may end up just getting a disc with a hand-drawn box art along with it. For the hard-to-find Power Stone 2, that may affect its going rate of $70 by about twenty bucks in some cases. The good news is that I can still pick up a second Duck Hunt gun for $13.

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Dallas Cowboys Use Virtual Reality to Train Quarterbacks

posted Sunday Jun 28, 2015 by Nicholas DiMeo

Dallas Cowboys Use Virtual Reality to Train Quarterbacks

It's pretty cool when the sports world and the tech world combine. Usually it means we see great strides in progression for sports and see new ways to integrate tech into that. The Dallas Cowboys, along with their monstrous new stadium, has now brought virtual reality to the gridiron with a new VR training regimen.

Quarterback Tony Romo and his offensive line have already started using virtual reality to better review their play on the field. Behind the QB who throws more interceptions than touchdowns is a 360-degree camera mounted onto a drone that records the action around it. The team can then put on VR headsets and see the plays they just ran in a first-person view.

The coaches will also gain benefit from this new gear. Coaches can actually use headsets to watch the plays as the linebackers and safeties on the field - the defensive players - so that they can properly adjust their schemes and see the plays develop like never before. They'll be able to identify gaps, flaws and open players on the field that could be otherwise overlooked.

A video about the new technology is after the break. Will all of this tech lift the curse on the Cowboys over the last 20 years? Probably not. Is it cool? Definitely yes. Tony Romo may throw less interceptions but it certainly won't change how distracted he gets by pretty girls in the stands.

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SoundCloud Squares Off Against Sony and Universal in Infringement Dispute

posted Sunday Jun 28, 2015 by Nicholas DiMeo

SoundCloud Squares Off Against Sony and Universal in Infringement Dispute

SoundCloud has proven useful for a lot of unknown artists to get their music out there and seen by the world. It's also been a place for podcast storage and a venue for commercial artists to release music that may or may not appear on their albums. SoundCloud is so popular that even music labels are putting music on the site, accompanied with ads, of course. The success has been so high for SoundCloud that the company has been exploring offering a paid service on the site to compete with Spotify, Apple Music and the like. Cue the expected infringement lawsuit, this time from Universal Music Group and Sony Music Entertainment.

SoundCloud has been busy working on deals with different companies and record labels, including UMG and Sony. Things looked to be going well until SoundCloud said that it would be leaving the free, ad-supported service up and running, and just offer a premium service on top of that. This was back in October and that's when Universal pulled out of negotiations entirely. In March, Sony then pulled a good portion of its music from the site. Now, the two labels have banded together to serve SoundCloud with a "massive copyright infringement" lawsuit.

An executive who wished to remain anonymous said that the labels don't like SoundCloud's "attitude" during negotiations, which led to the brash decisions. The labels believe no service should be free and that SoundCloud should have moved to a strictly premium platform. For SoundCloud, that would've been sure to kill a lot of the site's momentum, considering that there are 175 million active users per month, with over 10 million accounts uploading content to the site.

A leak at the beginning of this month showed some internal documents about SoundCloud's business models moving forward, with users being able to opt for limited service that would include no ads and additional features for a small monthly fee, or paying a bit more for SoundCloud's full catalog. The documentation also showed that there was no intention in departing from an ad-supported free tier.

We'll have to see if SoundCloud will choose to settle with UMG and Sony, or if they will fight this thing in court. It seems that the lawsuit could be construed as a little unfounded, as it appears to have come to fruition because of a disagreement in business models. Either way, I wouldn't expect SoundCloud to move away from offering a free service, since that is what made the site.

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