The UpStream

HP Uses the WebOS Platform for Printers

posted Sunday May 23, 2010 by Nicholas DiMeo

HP Uses the WebOS Platform for Printers

When HP purchased Palm earlier this month, we talked about why and for what reason the computer and printer retailer wanted a phone manufacturer. It turns out that now we possibly have found a reason for why they wanted the webOS. They want to introduce the multitask-intensive operating system into a line of printers! Yes, printers. That's what HP's Mark Hurd said on their quarterly earnings call:

I think in this case of Palm, and our planned acquisition of Palm, it really has more to do with the intellectual property and the fact that when you look across the HP ecosystem of interconnected devices, it is a large family of devices. When we think of printers, you've now got a whole series of web-connected printers that, as they connect to the web, need an OS. We prefer to have that OS in our case to be our IP, where we can control the customer experience as we always have in the printing business, and that's a big deal to us.

Google to Own You

posted Sunday May 23, 2010 by Scott Ertz

Google to Own You

Google wants to own you, that is a given. They already own your Internet search, your email, your videos, your browser (either Chrome or a plug-in), your phone and even your ads. What they don't own yet? The web apps you use on your computer, but they want to. How do they propose this next level takeover of our daily lives? The Chrome Web Apps Store.

Coming to Chrome users later this year, Google will be launching a store where you can purchase web applications, similar in style to the Android Marketplace. The difference here is that it will not be exclusive to the Chrome OS and the apps will not have to live only in the Web App Store. What is the reason for developing a non-exclusive store on the Internet? The ability to get more people to spend more of the time on Google's services.

If the images from Google so far are to be believed, gaming seems to be a big part of the store, with Plants vs Zombies from PopCap Games and LEGO Star Wars from LucasArts being features as apps available from the store.

Are you guys at all interested in installable web apps, or is using them on the web just fine with you? Let us know in the comments section.

One Bad Apple...

posted Sunday May 23, 2010 by Jon Wurm

One Bad Apple...

There has been a string of unusual deaths over the past year at a factory in Taiwan owned by Foxconn, a subsidiary of Hon Hai Precision, the worlds' largest manufacturer of consumer electronics and has over 800,000 employees. Eleven of Foxconn's employees have tried to commit suicide and two of them have survived. This all started last year after an employee in charge of shipping for Apple's then iPhone prototype killed himself after one went missing. A sixteen year old employee also died of cardiac arrest while most of the other employees jumped off the building. Foxconn has acknowledged there is a problem and has taken steps to help improve their emotional and mental well being by hiring consolers and Buddhist Monks as well as creating an incentive program for employees to watch out for each other. Apple looked into accusations of bad employment practices and discovered that some employees were overworked during peak hours and not taking any days off. Otherwise the complaints were mostly unfounded.

I'm really not surprised that Apple can't make the connection between bad employment practices and death being a bad thing. The factory in question, where most of the deaths occurred, solely produces iPads and iPhones so they wouldn't want to mess with supply or profit margins in the interests of being humane. We've seen the way Apple treats their employees here and the only reason conditions are better is because they are required to be by law.

Who Needs the Back Story?

posted Sunday May 23, 2010 by Scott Ertz

Who Needs the Back Story?

Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time has a lot to live up to. The games in the series have been fantastic with a storyline perfect for the big screen. However, there has yet to be more than just a few (we have named 4) videogame movies that haven't been just awful. Plus, in the aftermath of Uwe Boll and his offensively bad films, worst of which being In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale which brought in only $10 million worldwide on a $60 million budget, people are scared of videogame movies. This film could be the one to change all that, however.

But, what does it take to make a great videogame movie? Apparently, not knowing you are making a videogame movie is the key. Mike Newell described to ComingSoon.net his realization that he was making a film adapted from a game.

When I first went into it I was absolutely in ignorance of it being a video game. I then discovered within the first few weeks that it was a video game and said to him, "Look, what do you want? Do you want a video game? Because if you do, I think I'm the wrong guy for you. I don't play video games. I'm not video-literate. I can just about send an email." He said, "No, don't worry about it." I think the reason that he said that was that he knew that I would have other things to offer. There would be sort of character and story and emotional things that I would have to offer, and comedy and all of that. He didn't want to freak me by saying, "Actually, the video game audience is very important to me"... and of course, it is. There are a lot of them out there and we must be very careful to satisfy them, you know?

Watch Your Skrulls, the Avengers Are Coming!

posted Sunday May 23, 2010 by Scott Ertz

Watch Your Skrulls, the Avengers Are Coming!

News is fun, but rumors are more fun. Reports from ComicBookMovie have suggested that the first film in the upcoming Marvel mega-movie, The Avengers, will not have the villain we have all expected; Hulk. They claim to have, on good authority, information that suggests we will actually see a battle between The Avengers and the well-known alien shape-shifters, the Skrulls.

For those who have not read the comics, the Skrulls have been around the Marvel Universe since 1962 when they first encountered The Fantastic Four. They have the ability to shape-shift and become anyone, including our favorite superheroes, albeit with green skin. The problem with the believability of this rumor is in the scope of the film. We know this is already a huge project even if they were to introduce no new characters. With the addition of a whole race of new characters plus an intergalactic storyline, it is not just a summer movie anymore, but becomes a much more nerd-centric film.

Malware Is IBM Compatible

posted Sunday May 23, 2010 by Jon Wurm

Malware Is IBM Compatible

With the common usage of USB thumb drives it makes sense that keeping them clean and secure in everyday usage would be top priority for individuals and business alike. It is certainly understandable that even with care bad things will happen from time to time. However, you don't want that to happen at a major security conference like AusCERT in Australia and you certainly don't want to be IBM who was distributing free thumb drives full of malware. Oops. Glenn Wightwick, the chief technologist for IBM Australia wrote a letter to AusCERT explaining what the malware is and how to best get rid of it.

The malware is detected by the majority of current Anti Virus products {as at 20/05/2010} and been known since 2008. The malware is known by a number of names and is contained in the setup.exe and autorun.ini files. It is spread when the infected USB device is inserted into a Microsoft Windows workstation or server whereby the setup.exe and autorun.ini files run automatically.

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