The UpStream

'PlayStation Certified' S1 Tablet Come At Us!

posted Wednesday Feb 16, 2011 by Jon Wurm

'PlayStation Certified' S1 Tablet Come At Us!

It seems Sony is finally coming out from behind the curve with the announcement of the PSP2 and the Xperia Play smartphone. Of course, it only seems that way because Sony never intends to be a first mover in the industry which could work to their advantage if they spent more of their time addressing some fundamental issues instead of just cramming more and more power into their devices.

In the effort of fairness, Sony is getting rid of the XCrossMediaBar user interface that has been around forever and the thumb sticks on the PSP2 have been reported to be much more user friendly. Their adoption of Android has opened up some interesting possibilities for expansion of the PSP2 and Xperia Play devices to include things like social games thanks to the PlayStation Suite. It has also opened up the possibility of a Sony tablet running Android 3.0, which has been recently confirmed by inside sources with engadget.

To find out what Sony has in store for the new tablet, hit the break.

Spotify Inches Closer to Being Spotted in the US

posted Sunday Feb 13, 2011 by Nicholas DiMeo

Spotify Inches Closer to Being Spotted in the US

Everybody should care about Spotify. Not only for the reason that it's an awesome service that's slowly creeping its way to the US very soon but also because I'm talking about it! Just a couple of weeks ago we talked about the European-based music streaming service inking a deal with Sony. It turns out that there may be more hints of the service touching down on American soil sooner than we thought.

Some Americans have been given free Premium access to Spotify early; VIPs, music industry analysts, record label heads and press. That select group of individuals received an email from Spotify this week hinting at a launch of the service in the "coming months" and that they're gonna have to be paying soon.

To see the letter and find out more, click that break!

Catholic Church Likes Digital Confessions

posted Sunday Feb 13, 2011 by Scott Ertz

Catholic Church Likes Digital Confessions

Everyone likes being pardoned for their sins, but who has the time to go to a church and sit down with a priest to do it? Well, the Catholic church has, assumedly in an attempt to get back some of those kids they scared off, approved a new iPhone app that helps Catholics through the process of absolution.

The app, Confession: A Roman Catholic app, is the first ever to be officially sanctioned by a church authority. The creators, Little iApps, said,

Taking to heart Pope Benedict XVI's message from last years' World Communications Address, our goal with this project is to offer a digital application that is truly 'new media at the service of the word... Our desire is to invite Catholics to engage in their faith through digital technology.

Of course, an app designed to bring people to the faith will be an outreach ministry, right? Wrong. It sells for $1.99 in the iTunes App Store. At least paying for salvation here is cheaper than a Papal Blessing.

Audiovox Buys Premium Audio Company Klipsch for $166 Million

posted Saturday Feb 12, 2011 by Nicholas DiMeo

Audiovox Buys Premium Audio Company Klipsch for $166 Million

With the Digital Music Forum East coming up in just a few days, it's time for some news to shift towards the audio industry. We usually expect big names to show up to the event and this year CEA's President Gary Shapiro is also expected to make an appearance, complete with a fire-side chat about his latest book, The Comeback. It's also the time of year where we see big things happening with some of the major players in the field.

Well, after rumors at International CES about a possible acquisition, audio hardware manufacturer Audiovox wanted to get into the mix and bring themselves back to life as a serious name in the music world as they announced this week that they were going to officially buy out high-end speaker company Klipsch for $166 million, as well as brands Jamo, Mirage, Energy and Athena. Klipsch will end up being a subsidiary of Audiovox.

For more on what this means, click the break.

Like Something? Facebook Will Exploit You

posted Saturday Feb 12, 2011 by Nicholas DiMeo

Like Something? Facebook Will Exploit You

Over the past couple of weeks, Facebook has rolled out some new changes like it seems to do without warning, rhyme, reason or usefulness. Aside from the one cool ability that we use on our Fan Page, everything else that's been changed seems to just further the frustration and proof that Facebook may not be here in a few years.

One of the things you may or may not have noticed just yet is the "sponsored stories", where Facebook takes the Check-ins from Places - which you shouldn't be using anyway - and turns them into advertisements. Because your friends' profile pictures show up as part of those ads, the idea is that you'd be more inclined to relate, be interested and click on the ad. This also applies to any Likes from websites that have the Facebook Like system integrated into their content.

Facebook is trying to spin it into a good thing but the effects from this could be disastrous. For more on Facebook farming your friends' favorites for fortune, follow the break.

Netflix's Stream Turns Into a $2 Billion River

posted Saturday Feb 12, 2011 by Nicholas DiMeo

Netflix's Stream Turns Into a $2 Billion River

In a time where their primary competitor, Hulu, is suffering from financial loss, a failed launch of a new service and possible restructuring, Netflix is on the other end of the see-saw. If the company in red were to have a Gamerscore, it'd have to be over 9,000 as Netflix keeps breaking records and getting new achievements, one after another.

Reports have come in that after their fiscal year ending on December 31st, Netflix has eclipsed the $2 billion mark in total revenue, at $2.16 billion, which is 29% higher than last year's numbers. The company also raked in $160 million in net income, up $45 million from last year.

Those are pretty impressive numbers. To see how else Netflix was awesome last year, follow the break.

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