The UpStream

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.

At Taipei University, Remote Is You!

posted Saturday Jan 22, 2011 by Jon Wurm

At Taipei University, Remote Is You!

The gaming/entertainment industry has enjoyed a much wanted transformation thanks to technology like Kinect for the Xbox 360 which has taken an exciting step toward phasing out the need for an external physical device, such as a remote, to conveniently use another device. Personally, the thought of never having to locate, replace batteries and reprogram any remote again gives me hope for the future.

Think about how the crew of the USS Enterprise communicates with the ship through voice commands as well as body language and you will have a good idea where this is headed, to the final frontier, or rather the next frontier, but you know what I mean.

Hit the break to find out what I actually mean.

Batman's Villains Revealed

posted Friday Jan 21, 2011 by Scott Ertz

Batman's Villains Revealed

It was just a matter of time before Warner Bros. would finally reveal who will play the villain/villains in the upcoming Christopher Nolan The Dark Knight Rises. Oh, and who they will be playing. This week finally brought those hopes to life. Here is what WB had to say,

Warner Bros. Pictures announced today that Anne Hathaway has been cast as Selina Kyle in Christopher Nolan's "The Dark Knight Rises." She will be starring alongside Christian Bale, who returns in the title role of Bruce Wayne/Batman. Christopher Nolan stated, "I am thrilled to have the opportunity to work with Anne Hathaway, who will be a fantastic addition to our ensemble as we complete our story."

In addition, Tom Hardy has been set to play Bane. Nolan said, "I am delighted to be working with Tom again and excited to watch him bring to life our new interpretation of one of Batman's most formidable enemies."

Nolan will direct the film from a screenplay he wrote with Jonathan Nolan, from a story by Christopher Nolan and David S. Goyer. Nolan will also produce the film with his longtime producing partner, Emma Thomas, and Charles Roven. "The Dark Knight Rises" is slated for release on July 20, 2012. The film will be distributed worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.

I know I am intrigued to see how Hathaway does as Catwoman. Let's hope it goes better than some of the past, and I won't mention any names...

FAA Warns of DoD GPS Tests

posted Friday Jan 21, 2011 by Scott Ertz

FAA Warns of DoD GPS Tests

Do you live in the southeast US and plan to use your GPS any time soon? Well, you're in a bit of bad luck as the FAA has warned that the Department of Defense will be running tests on the GPS system in the southeast. According to the FAA,

GPS testing is scheduled on January 20th through February 11th, 2011 from 0000-0245 UTC daily and February 15th through February 22nd, 2011 from 0000-0245 UTC daily. These tests may not be concurrent so pilots are advised to check NOTAMS frequently for possible changes prior to operating in the area... Several test events will be conducted and will be active for 45 minutes followed by 15 minutes of off time.

While this is fairly annoying information for anyone wanting to use GPS, it is really interesting as well. What might the Department of Defense be testing? Are they trying to increase accuracy? Strain? Hopefully they will tell us what they are testing after the tests are complete. We'll keep you posted.

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