The UpStream

Microsoft's //build/windows Conference Delivers Windows 8 Preview

posted Friday Sep 16, 2011 by Scott Ertz

Microsoft's //build/windows Conference Delivers Windows 8 Preview

Microsoft held their //build/windows Conference this week and there was plenty of stuff to keep everyone entertained. While the event was intended to be a multi-day developer gathering in Anaheim, California, it turned into a display of cool new technology from multiple hardware partners and reveals of amazing new Microsoft technologies.

Whether you are excited about tablets or cars, there was a wide range of conversations that came out of the event, but the thing on everyone's mind was Windows 8. Ever since we got a peek at D9, everyone has wanted to see a big demonstration and many of us have wanted to get our hands on the new interface. At //build we got both of our wishes.

To start off, Microsoft gave us some high-level tutorials on how the OS works and what they have improved on in the Metro UI from the current Windows Phone 7 and the Xbox 360 Dashboard, plus how the computer can operate without the standard Windows UI. For starters, the classic desktop is still available, but through a live tile on the Start screen. This gives you the ability to still interact with applications that could never really work as a Metro app, for example Photoshop or Visual Studio.

How will Metro work for a full computer and how can you try it out? Hit the break to find out.

NBC Gives Free Shows on Zune

posted Thursday Sep 15, 2011 by Scott Ertz

NBC Gives Free Shows on Zune

Do you like free stuff? Of course you do. This week, NBC has decided to give away some free stuff, and we're not talking about old shows or canceled projects. In hopes of gaining interest for their new season of comedies, NBC is giving away the pilots for two of their new series.

The series that are available are Free Agents and Up All Night. It's not just the pilots that are available, either; you can also download behind the scenes and previews as well. Being available from the Zune Marketplace, you have the ability to watch it on your computer, a portable device or on your Xbox, and it is available in SD or HD formats.

Having watched both of them myself already, I can tell you that I am excited to see if the writers can keep up the momentum on these shows because so far they are both pretty wonderful. Want to take a look before you download the shows? Hit the break for a little sneak peak.

Nike Comes Back From the Future With Back to the Future

posted Sunday Sep 11, 2011 by Nicholas DiMeo

Nike Comes Back From the Future With Back to the Future

Leave it to Nike to come out with something that people have been clamoring to make into reality for what seems to be eons now. Nike's factories have been dialed up with some flux capacitors to bring to the world the "Back for the Future" 2011 Nike Mag. Yes, that's right, the shoes from the Back to the Future movie!

Nike is auctioning them off on eBay and all proceeds benefit the Michael J Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research. Here's the details.

1,500 pairs of the most famous shoes never made will be auctioned off to benefit the Michael J Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research. Together, we're going to help erase Parkinson's disease from the space-time continuum.

This is so cool, words can't even describe it! We have the videos after the break and the auction site in the source link. Check them out!

Sales Team Ganges Up on Groupon

posted Sunday Sep 11, 2011 by Jon Wurm

Sales Team Ganges Up on Groupon

Groupon is a company that was celebrated by investors until August of this year when their web traffic dropped by 50% from June. The company has also been trying to deflect a lot of negative publicity with regards to valuations that put them between $15 to $20 billion even thought Q2 of this year they lost $103 million and claimed revenues of $878 million. Unfortunately for them, things are getting worse with the addition of another class action lawsuit.

Employee dissatisfaction seems to be at an all time high with regards to their sales force. Former salesperson Ranita Dailey will represent hundreds of plaintiffs in the suit that cites Groupon violated state and federal labor laws. They are seeking three years of overtime, other back wages and punitive damages. Filed with the suit was a bi-monthly pay stub that has Dailey working 106 hours and receiving compensation for 19.75 hours along with $478 in commission. The lawsuit was filed last month after alleged Groupon employees were posting comments to the tune of "Immense pressure to hit unrealistic sales goals," and "Sales staff cries all the time," on Glass Door.

I think many of their problems stem from a business model that just doesn't work and businesses are finally starting to realize that offering their services at 50% then giving Groupon a cut is not such a hot idea.

Apple Wins, Adobe Concedes Defeat in the Flash (Mob) War

posted Sunday Sep 11, 2011 by Nicholas DiMeo

Apple Wins, Adobe Concedes Defeat in the Flash (Mob) War

I can't think of any other way to say this other than, Apple won. Yes, you read that correctly. In the battle that was almost destined to go on forever between Apple and Adobe, Apple won. This week, Adobe announced it would be updating its Flash Media Server to version 4.5, which would include an ability for Apple users to finally see Flash content, in a very round-a-bout way.

For more on this end of war, check after the break.

Spotify Drops in on Ford, Syncs Up Some Mad Beats

posted Sunday Sep 11, 2011 by Nicholas DiMeo

Spotify Drops in on Ford, Syncs Up Some Mad Beats

This weekend's Hackathon in San Francisco showed some really cool, new, innovative tech off to the masses. Specifically, we saw Spotify and Ford team up "unofficially" to show everyone how easy (and how cool) it is to integrate with Ford's voice-activated SYNC system. Spotify was there to explain details on how easy the API and SDK are and to encourage developers to "hack" the in-dash system to make some great apps.

We have lots more on what you can do with SYNC after the break.

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