The UpStream

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Spotify and Coca-Cola Working Together in Music-Streaming Harmony

posted Thursday Apr 26, 2012 by Nicholas DiMeo

Spotify and Coca-Cola Working Together in Music-Streaming Harmony

It's been a while since we've talked about Spotify. Since the arrival onshore in July, there's been a lot of activity for the company, both good and bad. For the good, we've seen them work with numerous companies like Ford and their SYNC capabilities, their move to the Windows Phone platform and the company has even welcomed developers to make the successful apps we have on Spotify today. For the bad, a lack of subscription traction, outages that can last up to five hours and artists pulling out over royalty disputes has the company reeling a bit.

This week, Spotify has some news that is going to bring them back into the positive light. The music streaming service will be teaming up with Coca-Cola and its Internet marketing team to bring more users and awareness to the platform.

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Qi Wireless Charging Enhanced

posted Sunday Apr 22, 2012 by Scott Ertz

Qi Wireless Charging Enhanced

Since our interview at CES 2012, The Wireless Power Consortium has announced a major update to the Qi standard for wireless charging. The standard, which originally allowed for charging over a 5mm distance, has now been rewritten to allow for a charging distance of 40mm.

This will help create the Utopian charging world that Fulton Innovation and others have hoped for - the ability to charge any device on any surface. This is accomplished by having these charging plates built-in to things like nightstands, desks and tables. Pushing the power more than 5mm is a major component in making that happen.

Qi is currently backed by over 100 major label tech companies and growing at a remarkable rate. Not only do they see this as a replacement for charging cables, or device specific charging, such as with the HP/Palm handsets, but as a replacement for all power.

Hit the break to see our interview with Fulton Innovation at CES 2012 and some of the other creative uses they see for this exciting technology.

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Google Responsible for Uploaded Content in Germany

posted Sunday Apr 22, 2012 by Scott Ertz

Google Responsible for Uploaded Content in Germany

Google has had a lot of trouble with YouTube since it was first purchased in 2006. It started with a lawsuit from Viacom and has progressed to RIAA and other content owners, all upset about their protected media being uploaded to the service without their permission. Google has made agreements with nearly everyone, allowing them to follow standard US Internet law, saying that they are not responsible for the content uploaded to their site, but are required to pull anything that is infringement.

Unfortunately for the company, that law does not exist everywhere. In Germany, for instance, a recent court loss states that Google is responsible for the content uploaded to their service, not the users. The royalty collection group, Gema, similar to our RIAA, is obviously very happy about this win. They believe that Google has never done enough to protect copyrighted material.

How did Google respond? Hit the break to find out.

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Class Action Against Facebook Credits

posted Sunday Apr 22, 2012 by Scott Ertz

Class Action Against Facebook Credits

Facebook Credits have been a topic of discussion many times in our past, whether it be for their 30% profit margin for Facebook, Facebook's insistence that everyone use only their credits or their plan to get into mobile payments. Never before have we really covered the legal ramifications of this payment system, however; probably because there never was any, until now.

An Arizona mother, Glynnis Bohannon, has filed a class action lawsuit against Facebook because her 13-year-old child purchased Facebook Credits with her credit card without her permission. She is encouraging every parent who has had a similar situation to join her in her crusade. She, and anyone who joins her, will have two major stumbling blocks in winning this case. First, Facebook's policy, which you must agree to before registering for their service, states,

If you are under the age of 18, you may make payments only with the involvement of a parent or guardian. You should review these Payments Terms with a parent or guardian to make sure that you both understand them.

That alone seems like a statement that will lose her the case, but that is not all. Hit the break to find out why else she will undoubtedly lose.

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Verizon FiOS to Ramp Up Installs Again

posted Sunday Apr 22, 2012 by Scott Ertz

Verizon FiOS to Ramp Up Installs Again

Two years ago we heard from Verizon that they were going to slow installs of FiOS nationwide, followed by the announcement last year that any installs not currently active would not be continued. This week, Verizon has decided that their marketing might actually be doing the trick, and has decided to reactive a dark market - Tampa, Florida.

They will be adding an additional 17,700 new households to the availability footprint for the fiber optic Internet and television service. This will bring the market total accessibility to more than 1.1 million households. Considering this is one of the original Road Runner cable Internet test markets, it is a little more than surprising that the service isn't already available in the entire market.

Want to know who will be affected? Hit the break for the full breakdown.

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A 7-Year-Old's Wish Come True... With Batman

posted Sunday Apr 22, 2012 by Scott Ertz

A 7-Year-Old's Wish Come True... With Batman

This has been a tough week in the cosplay space with a lot of negative attention brought in from a particularly negative individual. Because I do not want to give him any more press, however, I have a positive story from the cosplay world this week, and it involves the police and Batman.

7-year-old Kye, who lives in Arlington, Virginia, is living with leukemia, and his one wish is to have an adventure with Batman. Well, thanks to the help of the organization "A Wish with Wings," the Arlington Police Department and the Arlington Fire Department, he had just that. Arlington police setup a series of fake crimes, perpetrated by Batman villains, including The Joker and The Riddler, all to be foiled by Batman and his little assistant, dressed as a mini-Batman.

First, the pair got to stop a bank robbery in which The Joker trips and falls and, in proper character, tells some pretty terrible jokes. Eventually the pair wins and takes him to jail. Then The Riddler plants a car bomb, again to be foiled by the pair of Bats. It is really cool that the police and fire departments got together and were willing to put this on. It is a great way to make a kid's dream come true.

I know you just have to see the video, so I have good news. It is available after the break!

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