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Amazon Secures Four Major Music Labels for Their Revamped Cloud Music Player

posted Saturday Aug 4, 2012 by Nicholas DiMeo

Amazon Secures Four Major Music Labels for Their Revamped Cloud Music Player

We knew Amazon has been bringing more and more value to its Amazon Prime Instant Video service for some time now, however we've known for a while that they also wanted to start up a "better than Google" music service. Until this week, not much has been heard of the new project, as they were working on securing the music labels, similar to how Spotify had to go through its motions. Sure, the Cloud Drive was up and running, letting you load up 5GB of music, but there wasn't a diverse enough list of songs to choose from and you had to buy their music to get their 20GB service. Plus, it launched without consent from the music labels, which meant the app couldn't have lasted very long if they didn't take action fast.

What labels are on board and what will it cost you, you ask? Luckily we have the answers for you after the break.

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An Olympic Gold Medal for Konami Employee

posted Saturday Aug 4, 2012 by Scott Ertz

An Olympic Gold Medal for Konami Employee

This is probably the last Olympic story I thought I would ever write. The gold medalist in the men's individual all-around gymnastics competition in London, Kohei Uchimura, works for Konami. Yes, you read that right: an Olympic gold winner works for a videogame company. Uchimura, however, is not alone. He is actually one of three Konami employees to be competing in London: Koji Yamamuro, Yusuke Tanaka and Kohei Uchimura, all representing the company's home country, Japan.

Konami Sports & Life Co., the division of Konami that Uchimura works for, aims at "providing you an enjoyable and valuable time within your daily life through health and fitness." It would appear that having a gold medalist working for the division they will be closer to being able to accomplishing that lofty goal.

Konami posted on their website,

Konami Sports & Life Co., Ltd. would like to congratulate Uchimura on this great accomplishment, and extend appreciation to his many supporters and fans. Konami will continue to aid in the further development and popularization of sports.

We, too, congratulate him on something seemingly no gamer would have ever expected: an Olympic medal. Thank you for proving to the world that not all gamers are fat and live in the parents' basement. You can see all of his gold medal performances after the break.

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Jon M. Chu in Talks to Helm He-Man

posted Saturday Aug 4, 2012 by Scott Ertz

Jon M. Chu in Talks to Helm He-Man

File this under the heading of WTF. Jon M. Chu, who is currently overseeing Justin Bieber's concert tour, "directed" the documentary Justin Bieber: Never Say Never, as well as directing Step Up 2 and Step Up 3D, is currently in talks to direct a live-action Masters of the Universe movie.

Now, the beginning of this article was a little bit of a misdirection. In addition to Bieber-fever, Chu is also currently working on the second G.I. Joe movie, G.I. Joe: Retaliation, meaning he has experience manning a movie adaptation of an action figure line. The only problem is the movie has been delayed almost a year and, of course, has still not been released. This means that there is no way of knowing if his movie is going to be as successful as the first, or become another adaptation movie that is lost to history (see the first Hulk movie as a reference).

On the side of failure is the fact that this will be the second attempt at a live-action He-Man film. The first was done at the height of the He-Man craze, in 1987, and it still didn't make it. That was before the revival generation of films, however. With the success of G.I. Joe and Michael Bay's Transformers titles, there is still hope for a successful adaptation. And think, even The Incredible Hulk was able to succeed on the heals of the first massive failure.

I guess Chu has a lot to fight against, and a lot to prove if he is chosen to head this project. So, the question is, with or without Chu at the helm, do you want to see a live-action He-Man movie, or do you prefer the character that Seth Green has created for Prince Adam on Robot Chicken? Fight it out in the comments.

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Illinois Bans Employer Social Snooping

posted Saturday Aug 4, 2012 by Scott Ertz

Illinois Bans Employer Social Snooping

Since the trend of employers asking for Facebook passwords became widely known, a bill was defeated and then resurrected to prevent the practice once and for all. Not wanting to wait on the federal government, however, Illinois has become the second state to pass the bill on their own.

The law was signed into law on August 1st, banning employers from asking their employees or perspective employees for their social networking passwords. This law is intended to protect the privacy of employees and job candidates from employers finding out private information about people. It also prevents an employer from reprimanding employees based on information on social sites that would normally be private. If you say it publicly, however, I would imagine that is not covered.

What do people think of this law so far? Hit the break for reactions.

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Sprint to Offer Office 365 Through Its Business Solutions

posted Saturday Aug 4, 2012 by Scott Ertz

Sprint to Offer Office 365 Through Its Business Solutions

Microsoft is in the process of reinventing its productivity tools, namely Office. In addition to the next generation of the full installed version of the apps, they have been enhancing their online, cloud-based solution, Office 365. Part of this enhancement is teaming with the 3rd largest wireless provider, Sprint, to deliver the service to small and mid-size business customers.

The goal for Sprint is to bundle the Office 365 service with value-added services from the company to enhance the service and add enterprise-level features that a small business could never afford on their own. They believe that, by offering this bundled enterprise-style solution at a lower cost, small businesses will have a greater ability to grow without worrying about infrastructural cost. Sprint will combine this with their existing Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) offerings, such as support and field productivity services.

Hit the break to find out what both companies have to say about the new partnership.

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Apple vs Samsung: The Big Reveals

posted Saturday Aug 4, 2012 by Scott Ertz

Apple vs Samsung: The Big Reveals

We knew that when the judge said hundreds of thousands of documents would have to be made public during the Apple vs Samsung mutual patent suit that we would get the opportunity to learn a lot about how both companies work. We also knew that we would get to learn about a lot of products that both companies had abandoned before market. What we didn't know was that we would be talking about cars and a purple building this week.

The "Purple Building" was the top-secret location of the top-secret "Project Purple," which became the primary object of this case, the iPhone. The reason for the ridiculous title was because no one within the company was allowed to know this was going on right under their noses. In fact, even people being hired into the company were not allowed to know why they were being hired. In fact, the only information they received was that they would be giving up nights and weekends for a few years. That was made more comfortable by the dorm-like construction of the "Purple Building."

Scott Forstall, software engineer for Apple, said about the project,

I never directed anyone to go and copy anything from Samsung. We wanted to build something great... and so there was no reason to look at something they'd done.

Of course, the original iPhone looked strikingly similar to a series of handsets from HTC, the PPC series, and the operating system, now known as iOS, looks amazingly identical to that of an early Sony MP3 player. I guess that does indicate they were never directed to steal from Samsung. To be fair, however, both of those operating systems look almost identical to Windows 3.0, but it's because it was a decent design, made more appropriate on the smaller screen. Also, how many ways can you differentiate a black rectangle with a button and a speaker?

The object of the case was not the only interesting information, however. Hit the break to find out how cars factor into this trial.

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