The UpStream

Verizon's New $200 Internet Plan

posted Sunday Jun 3, 2012 by Scott Ertz

Verizon's New $200 Internet Plan

It looks like Verizon is about to put their upgraded fiber backbone to good use as the company has announced plans to start offering 300Mbps FiOS speeds. This seems to confims their new found commitment to FiOS when combined with the new markets announced in April. The best, and most surprising, part of the new plan is the price.

Apparently Verizon will charge only $205 per month for the new 300Mbps speeds. We currently pay $55 for only 20Mbps speeds on our provider. So four times the price for 15 times the speed? Totally acceptable. The high-end plan isn't the only one with a price announcement, though. All of the FiOS plans seem to be about to undergo a price change. The company's base plan on 15Mbps will increase $10 to $64.99 with a $5 surcharge for month-to-month. In fact, all plans will have a $5 surcharge for a no contract option or if you do not have Verizon landline phone service.

We have got the whole price lineup and hardware requirements after the break.

Sprint to End-of-Life iDEN Network Next Year

posted Sunday Jun 3, 2012 by Scott Ertz

Sprint to End-of-Life iDEN Network Next Year

It has been a long time coming, but Sprint has announced that they will end-of-life their iDEN network as soon as June 30, 2013. The Sprint iDEN network is the only major operating 2G network left in the country, and possibly the last one in the world. As a recap, Sprint acquired this network when they purchased Nextel several years back and has been operating it as an independent network ever since because of its incompatibility with their existing network. The interest in the network comes from the push-to-talk capability, a feature still used on construction sites and in the government.

Sprint believes that it will be able to transition their existing PTT customers to their Sprint Direct Connect, which operates on their 3G CDMA network instead of the 2G iDEN. They will start notifying customers soon about the future shut downs, and keep reminding them as the date approaches. This is similar to the strategy Cingular used as it phased out its TDMA network several years ago. Some customers will be able to use standard voice services on their existing handsets but lose the ability for PTT, as Sprint has made several iDEN/CDMA hybrid phones, but most customers will have to replace their phones entirely to continue to receive service after the transition.

How does the new PTT stack up to the old one? Hit the break for more.

Pepsi Signs One-Year Deal with Twitter to Further Music Awareness Campaign

posted Sunday Jun 3, 2012 by Nicholas DiMeo

Pepsi Signs One-Year Deal with Twitter to Further Music Awareness Campaign

This story is a case of monkey see, monkey do. We mentioned a few weeks ago that Spotify, in an attempt to gain more traction with its relatively new music-streaming service, teamed up with Coca-Cola to bring more attention to the platform as a whole. Now, Pepsi thinks it can further capitalize on the music industry and has looked beyond Young Money Cash Money Billionaires to the social world.

PepsiCo has partnered with Twitter for a year-long plan to use the social site to get more followers involved in music.

Sony Chooses Not to Go Download-Only for New PlayStation

posted Sunday Jun 3, 2012 by Nicholas DiMeo

Sony Chooses Not to Go Download-Only for New PlayStation

Sony's new PlayStation, codenamed Orbis, may not be releasing until next year, however the company has been very vocal about some of the things we may or may not see on the new console.

Sony continued that effort just days before their annual gaming press event and said that while it considered a download-only option for the upcoming next-gen platform, the company will stick with the disc drive that stays true to the customary industry standard. This is opposite of both previous reports of the new hardware and of Microsoft's new potential plan with the Xbox 3.

Koss Creates the STRIVA Line of Wi-Fi Headphones and Earbuds

posted Sunday Jun 3, 2012 by Nicholas DiMeo

Koss Creates the STRIVA Line of Wi-Fi Headphones and Earbuds

I know everybody is in the gaming and entertainment mindset, however until Tuesday, those industries will be quieter until the big day comes. In the meantime, we can talk about some gadget products that will provide countless hours of entertainment. Close enough, right?

This week, Koss Corporation released something we didn't see at CES. Their STRIVA headphones are an over-the-ear design that will stream music to the headset via Wi-Fi by accessing the Internet and sites like Pandora and Last.fm.

How does this all work? The details are after the break.

Microsoft to Launch Smart Glass, Possibly Tomorrow

posted Sunday Jun 3, 2012 by Scott Ertz

Microsoft to Launch Smart Glass, Possibly Tomorrow

This is one of the two times of year when every time you turn around, there's another rumor, and it is so much fun for us to sift through the muck to find what might actually be truth. This rumor comes to us care of Microsoft and a number of domain registrations. Recently, Microsoft has registered MicrosoftSmartGlass.com. The site does not currently have content, but instead redirects to a Bing search for "microsoftsmartglass." Certainly a clever way to have a website about a product that is unannounced that is full of content.

So, what is Smart Glass? By all rumored accounts, it is an application suite that will allow people to stream content from their mobile phones and tablets directly to any television, using their Xbox 360. It is expected to be unveiled tomorrow at their E3 press conference in Los Angeles. Rumors of a pre-event meeting suggest that the app will be available for iOS, Android and, of course, Windows Phone. The obvious missing platform is BlackBerry, but with the trouble that company is in, that is not all that much of a surprise. If RIM can make their BlackBerry 10 platform successful, maybe it will be added in the future.

Clearly this is direct response to Apple's livingroom strategy, currently involving iPhones, AirPlay-compatible devices and the current Apple TV. With the pending launch of an actual television from Apple as well, their livingroom strategy will be complete. Microsoft has a large install-base of Xbox 360s, though, and with the ability to use it from iOS and Android, this will give Redmond a huge advantage over Cupertino. Everything Apple does works with Apple, meaning you will have to own an iPhone and an Apple Television. With Smart Glass, you will be able to use any television and almost any phone, the only qualifier is that you own an Xbox 360. Honestly, who doesn't, right?

So, is this a product you are excited to see? Would you use it if it becomes a reality tomorrow? Does it bother you that BlackBerry is not included? We want to know in the comments section. Also, don't miss our liveblog from the Microsoft event tomorrow, available right here!

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