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Xbox Decision Deferred to Next Year

posted Sunday Jul 1, 2012 by Scott Ertz

Xbox Decision Deferred to Next Year

Last week, the fear of an Xbox import ban was strong. Motorola's patent dispute had been validated by an International Trade Commission judge, with a recommendation of blocking all new imports. It all came down to the 6-member ITC panel to either approve of deny the judge's recommendation and, in grand government tradition, they managed to do neither.

Instead of making a decision, they pushed it back to the judge to look again and reconsider his findings. It appears that one of two things is happening here. The first possibility is that the commission is made entirely of cowards. They might not want to be on the bad side of either Microsoft of Motorola's parent company, Google. While the ITC is, theoretically, in charge, Obama's Chief Technology Officer is a former Microsoft exec and Google's products are slowly taking over the federal government. Getting on the bad side of these companies could end up making their own lives harder.

On the other hand, the ITC is currently investigating Google's Motorola division for fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory (FRAND) licensing terms. Microsoft accused Motorola of using their patents to bully other companies, like in the licensing agreement that they pitched to Microsoft. The ITC has taken this claim seriously, launching an investigation into Motorola's licensing terms across the board to look for bullying. This investigation could certainly change the outcome of the judge's finding, so pushing the decision back on him might be a good decision.

We are expecting to not hear back from the judge until almost the end of the year, meaning for at least the holiday season, the Xbox 360 will be safe in the US market.

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The Office Team to Tackle Third Series

posted Saturday Jun 30, 2012 by Scott Ertz

<i>The Office</i> Team to Tackle Third Series

The word "spin-off" has been surrounding The Office for almost as long as it has been on the air, but it has never happened. The last time major talks were had, it resulted in Karen leaving to run her own branch and, instead of a spin-off, we were given Parks & Rec, which is a more viable show than a Karen Filippelli-centric Dunder Mifflin show. This time the producers are looking at an original to leave and take the reigns of his own series: Dwight Schrute.

It is a compelling prospect, for sure. Dwight has always excelled at, but never really fit into, the office life. While winning sales competition after competition, he has always focused on his beet farm/bed and breakfast. Whether hosting a garden party for Andy, a romantic weekend away for Jim & Pam or a creepy setting for "sales training" for Ryan, Dwight always manages to get back to the farm. That is where the new series, or at least the pilot, will take place.

For more details on Dwight's possible new career, hit the break.

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Amazon's Lack of Experience Leads to Massive Outages

posted Saturday Jun 30, 2012 by Scott Ertz

Amazon's Lack of Experience Leads to Massive Outages

The allure of new technology and existing companies dabbling in new technology can be too much for some companies to resist. That has been the case with Amazon's Web Services, known as AWS. A large number of companies, some that should really know better, have come to rely on the AWS EC2, Amazon's server system for data storage. Companies like Foursquare, Pinterest and even Netflix have switched their data storage to the EC2 platform.

One of the problems with new technology is a lack of preparation from the companies that buy into it. This has been the realization of many of Amazon's cloud-server customers. Over the past few months, AWS has experienced a series of failures leaving customers in the dark. Last weekend's failure left all three of the mentioned major companies entirely down. Netflix losing service costs them money each and every time, so this is a pretty massive deal for everyone involved.

So, what caused the problem that took down the largest user of Internet bandwidth on the planet? Hit the break to find out.

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Sprint's First 4G LTE Markets to Launch in July

posted Saturday Jun 30, 2012 by Scott Ertz

Sprint's First 4G LTE Markets to Launch in July

Sprint's 4G woes are legendary. With a failing WiMax partner and a government-bullied LTE partner, resulting in a terminated relationship, it has not been good for them. Their future seemed clear when they announced their roadmap, but then a series of important handset shipment delays has once again raised suspicion that LTE may never arrive for Sprint.

This week, however, Sprint has confirmed that they will be turning on the first of their 4G LTE towers, just after the launch of their first LTE handsets. Some of the markets are surprising, others are expected. The cities receiving the first round of LTE deployment are Atlanta, Dallas, Houston, Kansas City and San Antonio, and they will be switched on to the public on July 15th. This means the wait is almost over... for some of us.

Sprint believes that their lineup of devices and pricing structure is enough to offset the slow deployment. Hit the break to see what they have to say.

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SimCity Social - First Impressions

posted Saturday Jun 30, 2012 by Scott Ertz

<i>SimCity Social</i> - First Impressions

While I am not usually a fan of social games, especially Zynga-style "villes", I am a huge fan of the SimCity franchise, and this time the name won out. I have spent the past few days playing the newest game in the franchise and, while the game probably doesn't exactly deserve the moniker, I can certainly enjoy the Maxis humor that is spread within.

The game is very much built in the standard social construct: annoy your friends enough until they start playing or pay us for the ability to not lose your friends. Certain goals are impossible to accomplish without asking your friends for things, like materials or work assistance. Despite what it sounds like, however, it does not affect the friend's own inventory. So, if you ask a friend for, say, a land permit and they agree, they do not lose one of their own, one seems to be created out of nowhere.

One aspect of the game that makes the game engaging is the fact that, without your interaction, you will not receive the resources or money that your businesses and factories produce. You must regularly interact with your city to collect, which means the more often you open the game, the more resources you can receive. However, the more you collect, the less energy you have, which is also required for building new buildings, and just about every other action in the game.

Pestering your friends for energy and permits isn't the only social integration in the game. Hit the break for a photo of our current city as well as a rundown of some of the negatives and positives of the social sim.

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Karl Kovacs and Chris Wahl: ExpertOne - Success Story

posted Friday Jun 29, 2012 by Guest Blogger

Karl Kovacs and Chris Wahl: ExpertOne - Success Story

A first time attendee at HP Discovery, IT professional Chris Wahl was able to use the ExpertOne process to extend his professional certification.

Karl Kovacs is Social Media Manager, HP. Karl recently completed a number of years with HP as a Learning Solution Architect - Enterprise Servers, Storage and Networking. He has a certification and learning architect with experience in HP Networking, Enterprise servers (ProLiant and Integrity) and HP Storage.

Chris Wahl is the "Virtualization Whisperer," with over 13 years of IT experience in enterprise infrastructure design, implementation, and administration within a diverse set of business and regulatory requirements such as HIPPA, SOX, PCI-DSS, ITIL and ePHI.

Chris is recognized by VMware as a vExpert and holds an active "Expert" rank on the VMware Technology Network (VMTN) community forums assisting users in solving technical challenges. Co-Leader of the Chicago VMware User Group (VMUG) to help spread knowledge and encourage collaboration among virtualization professionals.

The video interview from the HP Discover 2012 event by the SDR News team is available after the break.

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