The UpStream

Microsoft's New Beta, Fix it Center

posted Sunday Apr 25, 2010 by Nicholas DiMeo

Microsoft's New Beta, Fix it Center

Late last week, Microsoft subtly launched a new beta service, the Fix it Center. This program already contains 300 fixes, which will help users figure out and solve problems with their Windows PCs.

Upon installation of the Fix it Center client, it automatically downloads the latest troubleshooters in our library to your PC. The troubleshooters can "find and fix" issues immediately or "find and notify" you of the issues it detected. The "find and notify" puts you in control - you decide which issues you want the troubleshooters to resolve. No matter what you choose, we show you a report of what was performed on your PC and offer you options to learn or further investigate the issue or submit a support request at Fix it Center Online.

Halo 2 - The Battle Continues

posted Sunday Apr 25, 2010 by Scott Ertz

Halo 2 - The Battle Continues

As you know, Microsoft shut down the Original Live service on April 15th, much to the dismay of all Halo 2 players. Well, I can't say ALL players, as some have kept the battle alive. How have they done this with the service shut down? Simple - don't turn off your console or exit the game... EVER!

As of Friday there were 27 unbelievably dedicated players still online, which is impressive considering that the system had been down for 8 days, with no power cycles, console failures or Internet glitches for any of them. As of today the number has shrunk significantly, and among the fallen is one of the broadcasters of their screen, known to Justin.tv as fraggedears. Among the other players and streamers are mrtankjump and xxbookerxx. As of the last known update, xxbookerxx was the only broadcaster still connected.

While I may not understand these players' obsession with the game, I do admire their dedication to keep alive this legendary title for as long as they can. We wish the final 17, now called The Legendary Few, good luck in their endeavors and hope they can find happiness after Halo 2's inevitable exit from Xbox Live.

Another Broken Internet Cable in the Middle East

posted Sunday Apr 25, 2010 by Nicholas DiMeo

Another Broken Internet Cable in the Middle East

In 2008 the Middle East suffered a crippling blow to their Internet, with multiple cuts on the underwater wiring system that rendered them without web service for almost a week. Last week, the Middle East was struck with another outage, when cable SeaMeWe-4 had a "shunt fault" and made contact with the sea water somewhere in the Mediterranean.

This cable that just runs over 12,000 miles long, which gives Internet connectivity between Europe and Egypt, had a disruption that affected areas from Pakistan to the Gulf states. A segment of the cable running to Singapore, however, appears to still be functioning properly. A repair vessel is already on the scene and the fix should take place within the next 48 hours.

There is some good news, however, and it is that the SeaMeWe-4 will no longer be needed in the next year. Five new cables have been prepared to enter service between Europe and Egypt in 2010. These cables will allow up to a 4 tbps capacity each, where the SeaMeWe-4 was only able to sustain a maximum of 2 tbps.

Countries Ask Google to Try not to Screw Up Another Service Launch

posted Sunday Apr 25, 2010 by Nicholas DiMeo

Countries Ask Google to Try not to Screw Up Another Service Launch

Have you heard the buzz? Google Buzz. The botched launch of Google's attempt at social networking has forced the hand of government leaders from Canada, Italy and eight other countries to tell Google to either shape up, or ship out. They are asking the company, in an open letter, to adhere to a list of privacy principles in which they will need to follow before launching any new project. Apparently, we're all tired of Google's "launch now, fix later" campaign.

The letter sent directly to Google CEO Eric Schmidt showed criticism on how Google handled its launch of Buzz in February, stating that the privacy problems "were serious and ought to have been readily apparent to you." Google users were surprised when Google automatically connected everything Google related into each other, including private Gmail contacts and Google Reader items.

Of course, Google responded to that matter days later by doing program-wide default settings change, but by that point users were already aggravated at the system. The letter to Google explains this:

Hulu Plus: $10 Per Month For How Much Stuff?

posted Sunday Apr 25, 2010 by Jon Wurm

Hulu Plus: $10 Per Month For How Much Stuff?

Hulu seems to be finally caving into the pressures of making money that are inevitably placed on free services that grow quite large. Currently, Hulu is allowed to have no more than 5 episodes from any series available at one time. Meaning that in order to add new content the old content must go and this is where the $10 a month subscription comes in. Hulu plus subscribers will be offered a more comprehensive collection to choose from but how extensive is still uncertain. 10$ isn't a lot but it might not get you much either. Hulu has to pay $1 to $1.50 per subscriber to each of the networks with content on the site for retransmission purposes as well as streaming costs. In the end Hulu will need to pay $3 to $5.50 for every $10 subscription.

Facebook Takes Over the Web

posted Sunday Apr 25, 2010 by Kyria Gianos

Facebook Takes Over the Web

If you weren't sure yet, Facebook is taking over the world! Well, at least the Internet. We've all become accustomed to clicking "like" button on the social networking site when something interests us and now we'll be able to do it on a number of other sites. This feature is intended to make the web "more social." Essentially, everything on the Internet will be linked to Facebook. When you "like" a photo, link, or web page, it will post directly to your wall. Many have also noticed the "link-website" box that pops up when you sign into your account. This will link your accounts from sites like Gmail with your Facebook. If you don't already have a Facebook, it's about time you get one!

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