The UpStream

Privacy Not Very Private Anymore: Part 2

posted Sunday Apr 18, 2010 by Kyria Gianos

Privacy Not Very Private Anymore: Part 2

Remember that school district in Pennsylvania? Yes, we're referring to the Lower Merion School District, the one that allegedly caught students performing inappropriate behavior through webcams in the district-issued latops. The boy's parents were unaware that an override feature allowed the county to access the webcam at any time. On November 11, the student was called into the office and punished for "inappropriate behavior" caught on the webcam. Turns out, some of the images captured were of the boy half-dressed. Also, personal instant messages were viewed without merit.

The override feature was intended to track stolen laptops, and while activated was capable of taking photos on the webcam and screenshots every 15 seconds. Blake Robbins and his parents were not happy when they found out the school had over 400 personal shots. When the laptops were issued, an agreement was signed agreeing to not engage in inappropriate behavior on the laptop itself, but that doesn't include what the student was doing in his home when the photos were captured.

Silverlight 4 is Here

posted Sunday Apr 18, 2010 by Nicholas DiMeo

Silverlight 4 is Here

Silverlight has been in the news a lot lately, and we have been avid supporters of Microsoft's Flash-combatant and have kept everyone up to date on their successes and shortcomings. Well, more great things at happening on the Microsoft front, as along with the announcement of Visual Studio 2010 and .NET Framework 4, Microsoft has launched Silverlight 4!

What's so cool about this version? How about support for webcam and microphones, to start. Throw in a little better plug-in compatibility with Google Chrome to go along with the already supported browser array of Internet Explorer, FireFox and Safari.

Viacom's 'New' YouTube Documents Shed No Light

posted Sunday Apr 18, 2010 by Scott Ertz

Viacom's 'New' YouTube Documents Shed No Light

I had all but forgotten that Viacom was crazy until this week. On Thursday, they released new documents in their Google/YouTube lawsuit. These documents allege, surprisingly, that Google intentionally profited from copyright infringement and coercion. Viacom said in a statement,

{Google} embraced infringement as a business model... Indeed, not long before the {YouTube} acquisition, the executive in charge of managing Google's core product offerings, including search, sent Google's co-founders and CEO an internal presentation explicitly advocating that Google use the threat of copyright theft to advance its business interests.

While, out of context, the document could be taken to say that Google was intentionally trying to get content providers to pay instead of Google ripping them off, a Google representation said,

Library of Congress To Archive Your Twit

posted Sunday Apr 18, 2010 by Jon Wurm

Library of Congress To Archive Your Twit

In the past the LOC has turned its attention to the web starting in 2000 with archiving presidential campaign websites and now it looks to capture your tweets, all of them. They are looking to record every single tweet since the first one written by Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey in 2006. Anyone who has ever used Twitter is aware that the majority of tweets are simply 140 characters or less of disappointment but there are some tweets with historical value like the one President Obama made after winning the 2008 election and the tweets from James Buck, the photojournalist arrested in Egypt. Interestingly enough the LOC is interested in all the tweets because the generally accepted views on historicism in academic circles are changing. The goal is to start recording history that does not involve proper novels and publications but the stories, thoughts, feelings, and mind set that a variety of different people during a specific time had in order to capture a more broad and accurate picture of the reality. Undertakings like this do pose problems for the LOC to overcome but this is necessary if they wish to achieve their goal of being the go to place for important historical information stored in a digital format, or as Matt Raymond, a official LOC blogger put it,

Winter Olympics a Hit, but NBC Sports Strikes Out Financially

posted Sunday Apr 18, 2010 by Nicholas DiMeo

Winter Olympics a Hit, but NBC Sports Strikes Out Financially

As expected, NBC Sports took huge losses for the 2010 Winter Olympics telecast. The Associated Press reported that NBC suffered $225 million in losses from its coverage in Vancouver in February.

However, it's less than what was anticipated. GE projected anywhere from $300 to $500 million in losses, so I guess this can be considered a win for the company. The good news is that NBC took in $800 million in revenue, which can quickly be forgotten as they had to pay out $820 million in production costs and rights fees to the International Olympic Committee.

Hideo Kojima Looking to End Career?

posted Sunday Apr 18, 2010 by Scott Ertz

Hideo Kojima Looking to End Career?

Hideo Kojima is one of the truly legendary game creators. He is best known, of course, for Metal Gear, which is one of the top selling series of all time. Recently his Twitter feed has been getting a little weird, though, and he recently suggested his next game could be his last.

The next project will challenge a certain type of taboo. If I mess up, I'll probably have to leave the industry. However, I don't want to pass by avoiding that. I turn 47 this year. It's been 24 years since I started making games. Today, I got an ally who would happily support me in that risk. Although it's just one person. For a start, it's good.

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