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AT&T Wants to Spend $39 Billion on Insignificance

posted Sunday Sep 11, 2011 by Jon Wurm

AT&T Wants to Spend $39 Billion on Insignificance

Back in March AT&T told the world they wanted to acquire T-Mobile for $39 billion. Then in August AT&T had to do some damage control when a letter stating the real reasons AT&T wants the merger to happen was posted on the FCC's website by someone at a law firm who is working with AT&T on the merger. This evidence, that was so conveniently delivered to the FCC's virtual door step, by a currently unemployed paralegal or lawyer, prompted the Department of Justice to open an investigation.

Last week the DoJ made a statement about their lawsuit to block the AT&T - T-Mobile merger,

AT&T's elimination of T-Mobile as an independent, low-priced rival would remove a significant competitive force from the market.

AT&T's argument against the merger block takes a very different stance,

The new network will be more than the sum of its parts: as a result of engineering efficiencies enabled by the transaction, the combined capacity of the new firm will be significantly greater than what the two companies could do separately. That means increased output, higher quality service, fewer dropped calls, and lower prices to consumers than without the merger. Rather than substantially reducing competition, the combined firm will usher in more intense competition to an already vibrantly competitive market.

Despite their optimistic tenor with regards to this merger, AT&T's take on T-Mobile and it's own LTE network is polar opposite. Will acquiring T-Mobile help AT&T to deliver your world in a better way? Find out after the break.

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Control All of Your Computers With a Single Mouse, From the Garage

posted Sunday Sep 11, 2011 by Scott Ertz

Control All of Your Computers With a Single Mouse, From the Garage

We've never talked about The Garage from Microsoft here at The UpStream, but it is something worth mentioning. The Garage is an initiative at Microsoft, similar to Google Labs, where employees are encouraged to work in innovative projects. Unlike Google Labs, however, some pretty impressive stuff has come out of The Garage. Most of the projects are eventually integrated into an existing Microsoft project or are used internally to speed development or deployment of said projects. From time to time, however, a project is so unique and so useful that it deserves to stand on its own, and today we have one such project.

The product is called Mouse without Borders. The simple, descriptive name succinctly encapsulates what it started out as but hides a lot of its true awesomeness. MwB, as the name suggests, allows you to use a single mouse across the border of your average viewport. In essence, a mouse on one computer in your office or home can move to another computer and control your interactions without having to actually connect the mouse to that computer. Reading that description was all I needed to try it out. What I didn't know was all of the other great features that are hidden behind the name.

To find out what all Mouse without Borders can do for you, see a video about the product and get the download link to try it yourself, hit the break.

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Google Goes Zagat

posted Thursday Sep 8, 2011 by Scott Ertz

Google Goes Zagat

Ever since Google discontinued using third party reviews on Places, we all knew it was only a matter of time before they bought their way back to relevance and this week they did just that. After an unsuccessful attempt to initiate a buyout a few years back, Zagat has officially been purchased by Google. This will most certainly change the social review landscape as we know it.

This purchase can certainly bring Google Places back to a relevant service as soon as Google reintegrates Zagat reviews into the service. The problem, however, comes with the credibility of Zagat. For years they have been the independant, unbiased review site and publication for restaraunts. That will all change once Google puts themselves in charge of the brand.

How might this change the way many people find new places to eat? Hit the break to find out.

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GoDaddy Blacks Out... Selective DNS

posted Thursday Sep 8, 2011 by Scott Ertz

GoDaddy Blacks Out... Selective DNS

Before we get into what has changed, let's start by discussing what DNS is. DNS is the Domain Name Service, the protocol that translates domain names into IP addresses. Basically, when you type in www.plughitzlive.com, DNS is what translates it into 64.202.163.78. Obviously you would rather remember the name, not the number - thanks, DNS!

Now, to the news. GoDaddy, now under new management, has implemented a new policy restricting who can access their DNS servers. Now, they're not going to black out service providers like Time Warner or Comcast, but they might block services like Alexa, who shows domain traffic for the top websites on the Internet, from accessing their servers. This could significantly damage the way companies and individuals find out how well their sites are doing. Rich Merdinger, Director, Domain Services, released this statement,

Go Daddy monitors DNS queries to ensure our customers' information is being accessed properly and not being harvested for unintended uses.

If we suspect that any service is gathering DNS data, we will limit access to that specific source. This is done to maintain our high level of system integrity.

If a company or service has questions about accessing Go Daddy DNS, they can email dns (at) jomax.net.

To find out exactly what this means for you and how it could affect the rest of the Internet, hit the break.

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GameStop Adding Apple Products to Its Lineup

posted Thursday Sep 8, 2011 by Scott Ertz

GameStop Adding Apple Products to Its Lineup

In one of the strangest moves we have seen out of GameStop in a while, they will soon be carrying Apple products in-store. In addition to selling products like the iPod Touch and iPad, the company will also begin offering iPhones. The idea of carrying iPhones now, as Apple is rumored to expand its US wireless offerings to all 4 carriers, adding Sprint and T-Mobile USA at iPhone 5 launch, sure seems like a good idea on paper. Over 20 million iPhones were sold this past quarter, and that can only increase if the rumors of Sprint and T-Mobile are true.

In addition to a large user-base for the iPhone and iPad, it also seems like a semi-natural fit for GameStop, seeing as more and more games are written to accommodate the platform. The problem with adding this new product category is that it will bring GameStop into a new world that they are not used to - wireless plans and activations. It's not an easy world, as any employee of a wireless carrier store, kiosk or third-party can tell you.

What else has GameStop got up their sleeves with Apple and how might they handle this shift? Hit the break to find out.

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Nintendo's 3DS Ambassador Program Goes Live

posted Sunday Sep 4, 2011 by Nicholas DiMeo

Nintendo's 3DS Ambassador Program Goes Live

I have another update coming at you this week, this time regarding Nintendo. We now have final details on the company's Ambassador Program, which is Nintendo's way of saying, "Sorry that we dropped the price on the 3DS so quickly."

We have details on the games after the break.

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