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Microsoft Waves Goodbye to Windows Live and Zune in Windows 8

posted Sunday Feb 26, 2012 by Nicholas DiMeo

Microsoft Waves Goodbye to Windows Live and Zune in Windows 8

Ever since the //build/windows conference, Microsoft has been showing off all the cool new features you get with Windows 8. We saw things not only from the Developer Preview, but even directly from Ballmer during Dell World. Since December, rumors were flying around that we would see the public beta drop as soon as this month and we now know Leap Day will be the bearer of the riches.

We know Windows 8 will be full of big changes for the better, with things as simple as a logo redesign. However, unfortunately we will also see some things possibly change that I personally do not like. The Zune and Windows Live brands will end their existence upon the release of Windows 8.

What's going on? We have the full story after the break.

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Violent Videogames and The Law

posted Saturday Feb 25, 2012 by Scott Ertz

Violent Videogames and The Law

The state of Oklahoma, or more their House Revenue and Tax Subcommittee, tried to pass a law adding a 1% sales tax to videogames sold within the state that are rated T (Teen) or higher. The bill was defeated in committee, but the fact that they thought about this is concerning. There was some discussion from Representative Pat Owenby (R) which made the committee seem less crazy:

Why just video games? Why not French fries or rap music or movies? We could have a task force on a multitude of reasons children are obese.

The idea that one of the members found it ridiculous that they were singling out videogames is a positive sign. The fact that the law would have affected Mass Effect and Zumba Fitness the same is still a little odd. It is still surprising that the law got even this far considering the now famous California battle that led to a major public defeat in the Supreme Court.

Oklahoma's not the only gaming law in the news. Hit the break to find out what is new in California's battle.

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T-Mobile to Use AT&T's Money to Build 4G LTE

posted Saturday Feb 25, 2012 by Scott Ertz

T-Mobile to Use AT&T's Money to Build 4G LTE

The past 16 months have been interesting for T-Mobile USA. The wireless industry has changed around them and they have fought back with deceptive advertising instead of improvements. In October of 2010, T-Mobile's USA Chief Network Officer Neville Ray said that 4G Networks weren't important, which has certainly explained the company's direction of the last year or so.

At the time, Sprint had launched its Clearwire-powered WiMax 4G service nationwide and Verizon was building out its own LTE network for a tiered launch starting just 2 months in the future. T-Mobile, on the other hand, had just launched its own 3G+ network, the same technology AT&T was running almost its entire network on and was looking to replace. How was T-Mobile, the smallest nationwide carrier, going to compete with the big boys who were all working to abandon the technology they had just switched to? By calling HSPA+ (3G+) 4G, of course. That decision, which helped them for a while, might turn out to be the biggest mistake the company has made to date.

How is this all going to work for T-Mobile USA? Hit the break to find out my thoughts.

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Sprint Almost Bought MetroPCS [Rumor]

posted Saturday Feb 25, 2012 by Scott Ertz

Sprint Almost Bought MetroPCS [Rumor]

We all know that the wireless industry is a cut-throat business, and with everyone competing on who will get to a wide-spread LTE network first, it is no surprise that national carriers are considering purchasing regional carriers, or even smaller national carriers. We've seen AT&T purchase regional carriers like Dobson Cellular and, of course, Verizon's purchase of Alltel. Most recently, there was the failed attempt at an AT&T/T-Mobile merger, but there are always smaller deals in the works.

This week, one of those deals we didn't even know about fell through. Apparently Sprint Nextel and and MetroPCS have been in talks for months about MetroPCS, a smaller regional carrier, becoming part of the Sprint Nextel family. While the deal did not go through, it took right up to the last minute for it to fail. Apparently, within hours of the final signing, the Sprint board of directors decided to veto the buyout.

The decision, against CEO Dan Hesse's already signing off, seems to be surprising. Sprint has made the commitment to transition to LTE, but their original LTE partner, LightSquared has been hit with FCC issues political and their existing WiMax partner, Clearwire, has had nothing but trouble lately. The addition of MetroPCS to its network would have added MetroPCS's existing LTE footprint, as well as their spectrum, into the fold, giving Sprint their first big win in the LTE process.

Of course, Sprint's response to the rumor was, as always, "we never comment on rumors or speculation."

What do you think? Was killing off the deal a good or a bad move for Sprint Nextel and for MetroPCS? Let us know in the comments section.

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Clearwire Needs More Than the $1 Billion in Cash to Operate

posted Sunday Feb 19, 2012 by Nicholas DiMeo

Clearwire Needs More Than the $1 Billion in Cash to Operate

For those who haven't been following along through the Clearwire story, the wireless company has been going through a bit of turmoil as of late. Uncertainty, some changes and some money issues have been troubling the company for more than a year. Let's quickly recap to catch you up to speed.

You should be all caught up now. So this week, more financial issues came up for Clearwire. We have more on that after the break.

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The VCR is Dead in Japan

posted Sunday Feb 19, 2012 by Nicholas DiMeo

The VCR is Dead in Japan

This week, we learned of an interesting story that is on the same strange level as that of Brazil arriving late to the PS2 party. Panasonic has announced that it has stopped producing VCRs in Japan. I had no clue they were still making them, but it is assuring to hear they have halted production of their antiquated effort. I suppose the realization of video content being streamed over the Internet or being stored on a DVR device has finally hit them. There aren't many places that even source the blank tapes anymore.

It should be noted that they have stopped production on the tape-playing machines in the domestic market at the end of 2011. Until inventory depletes, sales will continue on VCRs in Japan. However, Panasonic still does manufacture VCRs in China and Slovakia and they do still have plans to sell VCRs in other smaller countries, depending on the market environment.

This now puts the VCR to rest just like the Walkman and the 8-track. JVC had stopped production of the VCR back in 2006 and stopped selling them altogether shortly thereafter. Panasonic has not released sales numbers for their VCRs, and the Japan Electronics and Information Technology Industries Association (JEITIA) doesn't even track shipments of the devices, although it does track the car stereo cassette deck sales.

In the end, though, the VCR is now deceased. Rewind In Peace 1977-2012.

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