The UpStream

ConvergeUS Is Atwitter About Social Change

posted Sunday Feb 27, 2011 by Jon Wurm

ConvergeUS Is Atwitter About Social Change

All of us here at PLuGHiTz Live! have been or are currently involved in projects that have great potential to effect social change. We understand first hand the power and potential that technology has to make a positive impact in countless lives and are always grateful to find more and more groups taking up arms to do so.

One such group is ConvergeUS which aims to take on problems with early childhood education and families, healthcare, as well as emergency preparedness and sustainability, by using the power of collaboration and technology. TechNet founded ConvergeUS in Spring 2010 and is partnering with Twitter co-founder Biz Stone to create a real-time 24/7 platform where producers and consumers can meet to focus on solving specific problems.

Our three-pronged approach is patterned after the intense focus deployed in solving specific problems like the need to create the atomic bomb in the Manhattan Project and the national imperative to put a man on the moon in the Apollo Space Mission

To find out more about how ConvergeUS will tackle tough social issues, hit the break.

Blockbuster Video Is A Box Office Bust

posted Thursday Feb 24, 2011 by Jon Wurm

Blockbuster Video Is A Box Office Bust

The last time Blockbuster did something relevant enough to make the news they were filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy last September and getting owned by Netflix. It seems like they finally decided to "shut it down" after 6 months of failing to rent relevance to their customers. Their courtship with bankruptcy reminds me of a movie called The Hours, it should have happened in 90 minutes or less but felt like it had taken months to finish. I'm sure it feels that way to creditors as well which is why four landlords asked a Manhattan bankruptcy judge to make Blockbuster pay rent for 38 locations or give them the authority to evict them. Summit Distribution LLC was told by Blockbuster they will not be compensated for the $6.8 million they are owed for DVDs that include but are not limited to The Twilight Saga: Eclipse, which is a double win as far as I'm concerned. Their financial fiasco can be partially contributed to no details being given about a restructuring plan that they promised after filing for bankruptcy last year. Seems to me like the #125 million they borrowed from billionaire investor Cal Icahn, in exchange for ownership, served another purpose that did not include them continuing business... and after all this they still had the nerve to charge me late fees.

To find out the thrilling conclusion to this made for TV drama about failed business ventures, hit the break.

Blizzard Brings The Heat To Consoles With Diablo III

posted Wednesday Feb 23, 2011 by Jon Wurm

Blizzard Brings The Heat To Consoles With <i>Diablo III</i>

PC gamers, go ahead and take a deep breath, and now let it out slowly. There is only a really good chance that Diablo III will find it's way to consoles, I promise. Blizzard dropped the hint last November and since then many veterans of the Diablo franchise have been waiting in anticipation to find out if one of the few remaining PC/Mac exclusive games will spread it's fiery, hellacious wings, and fly to other platforms. For hardened PC gaming veterans, it's not about holding on, it's about letting go.

To find out when we might see a console version on store shelves, hit the break.

Sony Lays the Ban on Any Pirated Software, Pirates Unban Themselves

posted Sunday Feb 20, 2011 by Nicholas DiMeo

Sony Lays the Ban on Any Pirated Software, Pirates Unban Themselves

Sony's cage has been shaken up a lot lately. First, George "Geohot" Hotz, or as we call him The Hotz, went after the PlayStation 3 after learning that they chose to remove OtherOS and other fun things out of the firmware. He disclosed security flaws and the PS3's security codes. It got so much attention that Microsoft started to take notice. Then a rare flub by Sony's fictionally named but not fictionally employed face of the PlayStation 3, Kevin Butler, when he accidently retweeted a post by user "exiva" that contained the PlayStation 3's METLDR root key, which jailbreaks the PS3 and allows you to use Homebrew. That tweet reached 70,000+ followers and was immediately taken down, but the effects have been tremendous.

Because of all this, Sony became very angry to the point where they wanted to get IP information of every person who saw the tweet or watched The Hotz' video on YouTube and wanted to take those people to court. They are even going after anyone who decides to talk about or distribute the first full jailbreak code. When the Internet decided to laugh at them for those insane ideas, they chose a different route.

Want to know what they're going to do if you don't play nice with their hardware? You do? Want to know how to circumvent what they're going to do? That's an even better reason to hit the break.

Investors Bet The Farm On Zynga

posted Sunday Feb 20, 2011 by Jon Wurm

Investors Bet The Farm On Zynga

Zynga, one of the largest social gaming companies, has well over 80 million users and is best known for FarmVille, the WoW equivalent of social games. Despite their great success it seems that Zynga is close to bringing in another $250 million from big-time investors like Fidelity Investments, Morgan Stanley, and T. Rowe Price. According to Zynga, there is no need for the extra capital even after acquiring Challenge Games Inc and once they secure the $250 million, their valuation will fall somewhere between $7 and $10 billion.

To find out why they might even consider raising more outside capital, hit the break.

The Amazing Spider-Man Revealed

posted Sunday Feb 20, 2011 by Scott Ertz

<i>The Amazing Spider-Man</i> Revealed

Not a lot of information here, but certainly a lot to discuss. We are more than a year out, but that hasn't stopped Sony Pictures from starting the teasing early. The next series of Spider-Man films will lose the generic title and go for a more classic-styled title: The Amazing Spider-Man. A good way to differentiate it from the last 3 films while giving us the hope of seeing a more classic storyline, as well.

In addition to the new title, we also get a shot at the new costume. This is the exact opposite of classic Spider-Man. It's sleek, it's stylish and it has a absolutely none of the homemade feel to it. It should be fun to see how Peter Parker pulls this one off, but unfortunately we will have to wait until the film's release, July 3, 2012.

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