The UpStream

Facebook Upgrades Its Messaging, Again

posted Saturday Jul 9, 2011 by Scott Ertz

Facebook Upgrades Its Messaging, Again

Facebook, in an attempt to mitigate the damage done by Google+, made a big integration announcement this week. Starting now, if you install Skype version 5.0 for Windows, you will be able to use Skype from within Facebook.

Most of the "usefulness" is hokum, such as being able to read your news feed from within the Skype client, but there are some legitimate features as well. The integration of video chatting into Facebook is something that is needed, if for no other reason than Google Chat already includes video, and Google Chat is integrated into Google+.

What else has Facebook got planned for new features? Hit the break to find out.

Zune Video Pass Coming Soon to Xbox LIVE?

posted Saturday Jul 9, 2011 by Nicholas DiMeo

Zune Video Pass Coming Soon to Xbox LIVE?

We know Xbox LIVE has been very much into the video scene. No matter where you live and what you like to stream, there's options for you. You have Netflix, Hulu Plus, AT&T U-Verse and even Sky Player for my people in UK, and that's just the third-party stuff. There's a whole catalog of video goodness within LIVE's Video Marketplace, too. However, if you are like most people, we blow by the Video Marketplace on our way to Netflix or Hulu Plus, knowing our options are a little more extensive over there. There's that, and the fact that we've already paid a monthly subscription for one if not both of those services and don't want to shell out another 400-800 Microsoft Points to rent out an HD movie.

Wouldn't it be nice if just like the beloved and awesome Zune Music Pass there was a Zune Video Pass that allowed an all-you-can-stream package for a low monthly option? I know I would be onboard for that, and Microsoft knows that people have been asking for it. So this week, rumors have been flying around about a video streaming service to launch, complete with Zune branding. It makes sense, too, as they'd make more money if they kept the video streaming inside their own services and didn't have to link out to a third-party. Don't fret, though, I'm sure Microsoft will keep all of their external options on LIVE, too, as they do still want the Xbox to be the center of all of your entertainment, no matter where you may want it to come from.

We have more on what this package might be after the break.

Hulu's Facebook Connect Quickly Disconnected

posted Saturday Jul 9, 2011 by Nicholas DiMeo

Hulu's Facebook Connect Quickly Disconnected

So any notion that Hulu might be finally moving in the right direction, even after they put themselves up for sale can just be tossed out the window. The video-streaming service hit another roadblock this week, as their Facebook integration launch ended in failure, at least for now. Logging into your Facebook account to connect your Hulu account to it would sometimes result in you seeing some other users' information, like profile photo and email address. I guess if you're into the whole live someone else's life kind of thing, it's not such a bad feature, but for everyone else, we'd prefer to see our own information.

The good news here is that Hulu says it was not the doing of a hack attempt, instead it was simply a coding error.

Richard Tom, VP of platform technology spoke on this in a blog post this week.

When we launched our Facebook Connect feature early this morning, we discovered that a small number of users weren't seeing their own Hulu account information upon login. We're still drilling down on the precise nature of the issue, but we know that it was a coding and configuration error on Hulu's side, and not the result of hacking, or other third party actions, or a vulnerability in Facebook Connect.

For more on what happens now for Hulu and to see if the problem has been resolved, click the break.

Web DVR Allows You to PlayLater

posted Sunday Jul 3, 2011 by Jon Wurm

Web DVR Allows You to PlayLater

A service called PlayLater has recently been brought to my attention and while it's not the first service to act like a web DVR, it is the first one I've seen to encompass such a wide array of content and function fairly well.

As anyone who consumes video content from several different places is aware of, navigating several websites and then locating and playing video content can be annoying when repeated consistently. I mean, your goal is to watch the content not waste time tracking down the contents of your desire right? Right. Let's say you want to keep up with the extended interviews Jon Stewart posts on The Daily Show website, some of the Syfy web series and online original movies as well as Aqua Teen Hunger Force on adult swim. PlayLater seems like a viable solution so hit the break to get the good and the bad.

MySpace sold for $35 Million to Specific Media

posted Sunday Jul 3, 2011 by Nicholas DiMeo

MySpace sold for $35 Million to Specific Media

From $1 billion, to $580 million to this week's $35 million, my_____ (Myspace) has been sold again. News Corp. has sold the once-famous social networking site to Specific Media, an advertising network, for below what they wanted to, and well below what they paid for it. This isn't exactly the death that 24/7 Wall St predicted would happen, but the fat lady hasn't quite sung her last note yet.

The deal will also cut my_____'s staff in half from 400 to 200 employees, along with other obvious cuts. CEO Mike Jones (who?) will stay with the company temporarily through the transition.

For press releases and more, check after the break.

Create HTML5 in a Flash

posted Sunday Jul 3, 2011 by Scott Ertz

Create HTML5 in a Flash

We know that Google is very interested in the future of HTML5 and to prove it, they launched a new product in Google Labs this week called Swiffy. The service, as it stands, allows you to upload an Adobe Flash file and convert it into HTML5.

The positive of the service is that it allows you to take an existing Flash application and create something that can be used on an iPhone without having to recode everything from scratch. The downfall, however is that the code only works in webkit browsers. For most mobile phones, that is no problem, but it does create a major problem for most of the users of computers.

How does this affect regular computer users? Hit the break to find out.

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