The UpStream

iPhone Isn't the Problem, Everyone Else Is!

posted Saturday Jul 17, 2010 by Scott Ertz

iPhone Isn't the Problem, Everyone Else Is!

Apple has been under the technological and consumer microscope since the release of their iPhone 4. There was the issue where a user had the screen break within the first few hours of owning it, calling the quality of Apple's glass into question. Of course, everyone knows about the overall shortage of handsets across the country. People who had pre-orders at Best Buy, RadioShack, AT&T and Apple still haven't received their phones a full 3 weeks after the launch and are still not being told when they might receive them. Their biggest public issue, however, has been reception.

Now, before we get started here, I want to clear the air. Yes, we are sponsored by Microsoft at this time. Yes, most of the company is run on Palm phones. We do, however, have an iPhone 4, an iPhone 3Gs and a Blackberry running around the offices and studio as well. That being said, Apple is getting a lot of crap about the reception of the iPhone 4. Some of it deserved, some of it normal usage issues. All smartphones, and in reality, all phones have reception issues. If the antenna is inside, the phone has a place you can hold that will cut off reception. It is the nature of the technology. The sign of a good or bad phone design is where that is placed.

Hit the break for more of "antennagate" and a video from the presentation.

Music of The Old Republic

posted Saturday Jul 17, 2010 by Josh Henry

Music of The Old Republic

One of the elements of the Star Wars movies that truly impacted me and made the franchise truly memorable is the music created by John Williams. Williams has been known for creating the score for various hit movies, like the Indiana Jones movies to more recent films like The Terminal or Harry Potter. He truly shows great aptitude for being able to capture a moment on the screen with nothing but a few subtle notes, to having you go on a thrill ride as Luke destroys the first death star.

By the looks of it, BioWare plans to carry on the traditions John Williams and continue to let music guide us on our journey through The Old Republic. According to their most recent Developer's Dispatch TOR will have 5 hours of original score, the score from both Knight of the Old Republic 1 and 2 AND the original score from the Star Wars movies. So when BioWare says that this is their biggest project to date, they aren't just blowing hot air.

Hit the break for details and a video of the music in the game.

RIAA Takes Another Loss, This Time in Tenenbaum Case

posted Sunday Jul 11, 2010 by Nicholas DiMeo

RIAA Takes Another Loss, This Time in Tenenbaum Case

This week, more evidence came to light that RIAA is crazy as another judge, this time in the Joel Tenenbaum case, found that the ordered $675,000 fine for copyright infringement was just a little too much for an individual to pay. The fine has since been reduced to a tenth of that, or $67,500. U.S. District Judge Nancy Gertner has decided the original amount was "unconstitutionally excessive", furthering showing that judges aren't happy with the damage amounts that juries are allowed to set under the current federal law.

Check after the break for more on the case.

Blizzard Gets The Cold Shoulder

posted Sunday Jul 11, 2010 by Josh Henry

Blizzard Gets The Cold Shoulder

One of my favorite aspects of posting on forums is the anonymity behind it all. So if I have something to say about a particular thread i can use my alternate account or something to put in my honest two cents in. Blizzard however doesn't or rather didn't think that I should have that privilege. For those of you that have been on a public forum before I am sure you are familiar with terms like flame wars, or trolls ect, and keeping those terms in mind, is how Blizzard came up with the Real ID system.

The Real ID system essentially requires you to give your real life name, and have your name show up on every official forum post you make. Can you say privacy concerns? After the announcement on their brilliant idea...lets just say that the Blizz Boys had a ton of complaints to deal with. So much in fact that they ended up deciding that it was in their best interest to not go ahead with the plan.

Blizzard stated Tuesday:

Removing the veil of anonymity typical to online dialogue will contribute to a more positive forum environment, promote constructive conversations, and connect the Blizzard community in ways they haven't been connected before

So you can kind of see where they are coming from but forum users didn't see it the way that Blizzard did. After all of the forum posts made by users the following quote basically sums up the communities thoughts in saying:

I know a lot of people are going to just simply STOP using the forums when you do this, you're not bringing us together, you're making us all too afraid to interact with each other out of fear of identity theft

Blizzard also made it clear that the Real ID system they were going to implement in the forums was not the same as the optional feature to link the real life names of players on your friends list. In its effort to improve forums, Blizzard said Friday, it will still move ahead with new features such as the ability to rate posts up or down and highlight posts based on rating, as well as improved search functionality, and more.

Public Testing for Star Wars: The Old Republic Begins

posted Sunday Jul 11, 2010 by Josh Henry

Public Testing for<i> Star Wars: The Old Republic</i> Begins

If you've slowly become interested in Star Wars: The Old Republic by way of my shoving information down your throats, or if you were already following the game before I brought it to your attention, I have some great news for you. This week BioWare finally stated that "testing has begun" for TOR and that if we were invited to partake in testing we would have received emails and should be able to access the game immediately. They also stated that if you didn't get into beta on the first wave of invites, you needn't worry because there will be several other invitation waves hitting us in the near future.

There were, of course, some naysayers in the forums stating that we already knew that testing was going on, so this was a waste of an update. However, I beg to differ. It is obvious that BioWare would do in-house testing, as any other developer would. As helpful as beta's can be a majority of the time, players who gain access often are looking to just play the game rather than test it like they should. The reason why BioWare's announcement is exciting is because we now know beyond a shadow of a doubt, that players are getting their hands on the game, which means that we will also be getting a lot more information about the game.

Some information unfortunately has come through leaked footage. Yes, you read right, not even 24 hours after the announcement of the beta and there is already leaked footage out there on the net. Is there nothing sacred in this world? Now, granted, I am extremely excited to get my hands on the game but to basically spit in the faces of the people who gave you access to beta by leaking footage is just wrong. That being said, if you were lucky enough to get access to the beta, feel free to tell us, if it isn't a breach of the non-disclosure Agreement of course.

Google's Street View Cars Now Refueled and Good-to-go

posted Sunday Jul 11, 2010 by Nicholas DiMeo

Google's Street View Cars Now Refueled and Good-to-go

Google's Street View cars are back up and running and will be going to town in Ireland, Norway, South Africa and Sweden next week, after Google finally explained its processes to the respective countries' regulators. All of the WiFi collection equipment have been stripped out of all the cars globally, which included all hardware and software.

"Our cars will no longer collect any Wi-Fi information at all, but will continue to collect photos and 3D imagery as they did before," said Google Geo engineering vice president Brian McClendon in the blog post.

More of the backstory and the future of Google's Street View process is after the break.

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