The UpStream

Hotz in Hot Water with Sony but Microsoft Cools Him Down

posted Sunday Jan 23, 2011 by Nicholas DiMeo

Hotz in Hot Water with Sony but Microsoft Cools Him Down

Let's all raise our glasses to a guy known as George "Geohot" Hotz. Some of you may know this infamous Internet deviant as one of the key guys who hacked the Apple iOS and aided in showcasing the jailbreaking process to the masses.

More recently, some of you may know him as the guy that Sony has taken to court. After learning about Sony's move to take out OtherOS functions to further secure the PS3, Hotz decided enough was enough and released exploits and security flaws that allow a user to reinstall OtherOS. Hotz has even disclosed the PS3's security codes, which was finally the straw that broke Sony's back, and has caused Activision to take action on the PlayStation Network.

So, what does all this bad news mean for Hotz? Hit the break.

Apple's CEO Steve Jobs Takes Leave Again, Citing Medical Conditions

posted Sunday Jan 23, 2011 by Nicholas DiMeo

Apple's CEO Steve Jobs Takes Leave Again, Citing Medical Conditions

This week, Steve Jobs announced that he will be taking an indefinite medical leave from the company for a third time since being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2003.

In 2004, Jobs left the company to undergo a difficult surgery that proved successful, which removed a tumor in his pancreas. This surgery is common for people with the same condition that Jobs has but the downside is that it removes part of the pancreas and digestive tract system. These removals can lead to other problems later on, like the weight loss that we were able to visually notice in 2008.

In 2009, Jobs left again, for what we later learned was a liver transplant procedure and that happened right before the last Macworld (no, really). This time, the announcement of the new iPad looms around the corner and the iPhone is headed to Verzion and Steve Jobs has to once again leave the reigns of the company to someone else in his absence.

For more on this news, follow the break.

Google's Eric Schmidt Resigns as CEO

posted Sunday Jan 23, 2011 by Nicholas DiMeo

Google's Eric Schmidt Resigns as CEO

Yep, you heard it right. Google's CEO Eric Schmidt is out as the Chief Executive Officer of the company starting April 4th. Co-founder Larry Page will take over the everyday operations of the company and co-founder Sergey Brin will assume the role of taking lead on key products and projects moving forward.

Schmidt will still remain active as Executive Chairman, which entails concentrating on internal matters, business relationships, partnership deals, government lobbying and technology training. He will also serve as an advisor to the two co-founders.

Rumors around the change roam the Internet Prairie. According to Schmidt's Twitter account, "Day-to-day adult supervision is no longer needed!". This leads us to believe that the CEO feels that the team under him can step up and lead the company into the years to come.

Fun fact: On the day of the announcement, Google posted a year-end $8.5 billion profit.

Spotify and Sony Come to a Musical Meeting of the Minds

posted Sunday Jan 23, 2011 by Nicholas DiMeo

Spotify and Sony Come to a Musical Meeting of the Minds

Just last week I talked about Spotify, a European music service, making its way to the States. It appeared deals were very close to being finalized and now it has been announced that Sony has sealed a deal with Spotify.

Sony and Spotify have not commented on the deal, and this doesn't officially bring Spotify to the States until the terms of the deal are agreed upon, but sources have confirmed that Sony looks to have the service be similar to the one in Europe: Streaming music free for a limited amount of hours per month, with an option to pay for an ad-free version and the ability to stream it from a mobile device.

For full details on the deal, hit the break.

Small Xbox Live and Xbox.com Updates

posted Sunday Jan 23, 2011 by Nicholas DiMeo

Small Xbox Live and Xbox.com Updates

Turning on your Xbox 360 console last week may have led you to notice a random, unannounced update downloading to your console. After downloading it, you may not have even noticed what was changed. This is a common practice that Microsoft does when it needs to fix some back-end things and minor cosmetics on the dashboard.

First, something you will notice is the ability to once again select "Boot to Disc" as an option. This was taken out in the latest dashboard refresh but now you can once again either start up your Xbox to either the dashboard or directly to a game that you have in the tray. You can access that option from your System Settings menu.

Behind the scenes, Microsoft fixed a couple of issues that will prevent users from playing modded copies of games on their consoles. They also added a few security measures to prevent exploiting certain games or hacking the console.

For Xbox.com, a few cosmetic changes were made. You'll notice that the Gamerzone is off your Xbox Gamercard. You'll also see that the overall design of the card was slightly modified and gives a refreshed feel to it.

All in all, not much was changed, but for those of you who were asking us and were curious, you now have the answer.

Activision Considers Ending PSN Playability

posted Saturday Jan 22, 2011 by Scott Ertz

Activision Considers Ending PSN Playability

We all know Call of Duty is popular, but that popularity means it is more popular to cheat on as well. With the recent PlayStation 3 security exploits published on the Interwebz, it has made the process infinitely easier. This fact has not escaped the notice of Activision and they are prepared to take drastic action to solve the problem if Sony isn't.

Activision is considering shuttering their PSN-based servers until Sony can ensure the quality and security of the network. Senior tester Dov Carson said in response to Black Ops issues,

The publishers have the right to shut down the servers for their game at any time as well which, based on the number of reported posts from users, may be a viable solution over the free PSN.

For the reactions of other parts of Activision, hit the break.

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