The UpStream

Spotify Might Be Spotted in the US Very Soon with the Help of Sony

posted Sunday Jan 16, 2011 by Nicholas DiMeo

Spotify Might Be Spotted in the US Very Soon with the Help of Sony

Europeans are quite familiar with Spotify, which is an online music service similar to a mix between last.fm and iTunes. You can listen to music with their free service on your computer (with some ads included). Optionally, you can choose to access it from a mobile device or to connect with your friends and share music sans the ad barrage for a monthly fee. So far Spotify has only been a European service.

That is, until talks with Sony might bring the company over the Atlantic and to the US very soon. It looks as though Spotify may be close to inking a deal with Sony as well as one other music company. One music industry source has said that, "Spotify is launching in the US, for sure. They've got the deals now."

For more on this big news, hit the break.

Skype Acquires Qik Rather Quickly

posted Sunday Jan 16, 2011 by Nicholas DiMeo

Skype Acquires Qik Rather Quickly

At the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), Skype made a huge announcement when they said they were going to acquire the enemy video-chatting company Qik. At that time, nobody knew any terms of the deal but Skype did say that everything would be finalized by the end of the month. Skype sources even said there would be a "focus on providing a richer, more integrated experience that will allow people globally to share experiences in real-time video across different platforms".

Well, fast forward to just over a week later and Skype has posted on their blog that they have officially acquired Qik and the buyout is complete.

Check after the break to see the announcement and press release about the acquisition.

Drinking Leads to Better Scientists

posted Sunday Jan 16, 2011 by Scott Ertz

Semiconductors are an interesting technology. Like most metals, they conduct electricity and also like most metals, they have resistance. The difference is, semiconductors can have their resistance altered by outside influences, such as temperature and components.

A group of researchers at the National Institute for Materials Science in Japan were testing the influences of soaking parts of the semiconductor in various conductive fluids, like water and ethanol. Obviously, the conductive liquids would improve the conductivity of the unit as a whole. The results must have been pretty positive because they decided to celebrate their findings.

To read about what they discovered at their party, hit the break.

Chrome Hides Its Head in the Sand

posted Sunday Jan 16, 2011 by Scott Ertz

Chrome Hides Its Head in the Sand

Google made a very interesting announcement this week; they will be discontinuing support for H.264, the standard for high definition video, in the next release of their Chrome browser. Google's official Chromium blog stated,

We expect even more rapid innovation in the web media platform in the coming year and are focusing our investments in those technologies that are developed and licensed based on open web principles. To that end, we are changing Chrome's HTML5 video (tag) support to make it consistent with the codecs already supported by the open Chromium project. Specifically, we are supporting the WebM (VP8) and Theora video codecs, and will consider adding support for other high-quality open codecs in the future. Though H.264 plays an important role in video, as our goal is to enable open innovation, support for the codec will be removed and our resources directed towards completely open codec technologies.

What does this mean for you and the Internet? Hit the break to find out.

More Big Bang For All

posted Sunday Jan 16, 2011 by Scott Ertz

More <i>Big Bang</i> For All

Anyone who has spent any time around the PLuGHiTz offices will know we are HUGE fans of the CBS comedy, Big Bang Theory. That being said, we are very excited to hear the news that the series was just renewed for another 3 seasons. That means we will be able to enjoy the antics of Sheldon, Leonard, Penny, Howard and Raj through the middle of 2014.

I am certain that this will be no surprise to anyone who watches the series, which seems to be almost everyone. It is the most popular scripted series in the 18-49 demographic and the second most popular comedy period.

Nina Tassler, CBS Entertainment President, said,

It doesn't take a theoretical physicist to see why this show is a BIG part of our comedy future. From ratings to critical acclaim to pop culture buzz, it's struck a chord on all levels. The creative genius of Chuck Lorre and Bill Prady and the on-camera talents of an amazing young ensemble have created a comedy that will entertain viewers for a long time. We're proud to partner with Warner Bros. on another highly successful, long-running comedy.

No doubt. Do you watch Big Bang Theory? Who's your favorite character? Let us know in the comments section.

BlackBerry is Looking for Some Special Jobs

posted Sunday Jan 16, 2011 by Scott Ertz

BlackBerry is Looking for Some Special Jobs

While RIM might have wowed us with the BlackBerry PlayBook last week, they are wowing us in a whole new way this week. Not because one of their products is so good but because one of their marketing people is so very, very bad.

Someone at RIM decided to join the trend of cute, short domain names that get across a particular point. In this case, the company decided to register a domain to lead people directly to their hiring portal. Unfortunately, this domain was apparently never brought to the attention of anyone under the age of 60. If it had, I guarantee it would never have been registered by the company.

What is the domain that caused all of this trouble? Hit the break to find out.

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