The UpStream

This Week in Portal

posted Sunday Mar 7, 2010 by Scott Ertz

This Week in <i>Portal</i>

Do you remember Portal, the fantastic shooter puzzle game from Valve where you had to escape from a psychotic robot? It turns out that Valve remembers about it, too, and even updated the PC version of the game this week completely unexpectedly. Their release notes said,

Changed radio transmission frequency to comply with federal and state spectrum management regulations.

Immediately we got excited and knew something was up with the radios. In digging into the audio files for the game, it was discovered that there were a number of new MP3 files all related to the radio. The new files include several Morse Code transmissions and the rest are SSTV encoded photos. The images all appear to be photos from inside Aperture Laboratories, possibly from the security cameras. There is definitely a lot of thought behind what is going on here.

The guess has been that all of these new challenges are leading up to a Portal 2 which Valve then announced officially. The official description of the game says,

Looking for a Vacation? Why Not Visit Google, Kansas?

posted Sunday Mar 7, 2010 by Kyria Gianos

Looking for a Vacation? Why Not Visit Google, Kansas?

You know the Internet has taken over when a capital city is actually considering renaming themselves to Google. Yes, Google.

The mayor of Topeka, Kansas has decided that the city will temporarily be named Google, through the end of March. This decision has been made in hopes of receiving Google's new "Fiber for Communities" service. Google has begun taking nominations for the service that may have been successful if it wasn't for Buzz and DNS. Google's failed attempt at a social networking site makes the "Fiber for Communities" program less impressive in our opinion. Yet, 79-year-old mayor Bill Bunten thinks that the quicker service will benefit the residents of Topeka...I mean Google, Kansas.

Nominations run through March 26th but the number of cities that will be chosen for the project is unknown. Google has said, "We'll offer service at a competitive price to at least 50,000 and potentially up to 500,000 people." This program is intended to get the U.S. caught up with the world when it comes to Internet speeds. We'll have to see how that goes.

Scammers Pull Off $150k Heist on Twitter, Facebook

posted Sunday Mar 7, 2010 by Nicholas DiMeo

Scammers Pull Off $150k Heist on Twitter, Facebook

Jon has been upset for months over the fact that droves of people flock to Twitter for absolutely no useful reasons, and investors keep throwing money at them because of it. So when users were scammed for over $150,000 on the social media site, we knew Jon would be elated.

Scammers set out to target brides-to-be and exhibitors last week when they opened an account on Twitter for promotion of a nonexistent bridal show, claiming to be part of the The Boston 411, a community site for local Boston residents. Police have launched a full investigation and are hunting down the conmen.

New Line to Reboot Police Academy

posted Sunday Mar 7, 2010 by Scott Ertz

New Line to Reboot <i>Police Academy</i>

Are you as tired of reboots as we are? Well, get ready for another 80s franchise making a return from the dead: Police Academy. You guys remember the films, right? A city is in danger and there aren't enough police, so they bring in anyone who is interested in joining and most of them are nuts? After they joined they seemed to not be able to get rid of them because there were 5 more films after? Good, you'll need that information to prepare for even more films in the series!

The good news is that Paul Maslansky, the producer who brought us the original comedy gold (and the rest of the series as well) is back to oversee the project. Hopefully New Line will let him do what he wants like the first movie and not try and make it something it's not, such as a family movie, like Warner Bros. did with the last 5. Maslansky seems to think they will, saying,

A Prius Kills

posted Sunday Mar 7, 2010 by Scott Ertz

A Prius Kills

I know what you're all thinking - another Toyota car fails? Big surprise. Well, this story is not at all what you're expecting. In Asia there is a free-to-play MMO called Prius in which you take care and raise "Anima" children. A couple allegedly let their real life baby starve so they could focus their energy on their virtual child instead.

Apparently these "parents" were spending up to 12 hours each day in Internet cafes playing this game, all the while leaving their 3-month old baby at home by itself. Now, if it were a 3-month old poodle, there would have been little to no problem, but baby humans tend to need a little more attention and food than their canine counterparts at this point.

WinPho + Xbox Live + Games for Windows = Awesomeness

posted Sunday Mar 7, 2010 by Scott Ertz

WinPho + Xbox Live + Games for Windows = Awesomeness

Apparently Microsoft couldn't wait until the next major conference to whip out their new little friend, Windows Phone 7 Series. This week, it peeked its head out at TechEd Middle East in a surprising new way: a demo of a three-way cross-platform gaming experience, all held together with Xbox Live.

Microsoft's Eric Rudder got the chance to keynote the conference and decided this would be the best place to show the world what gaming on all devices would look like. While the game itself was simple, the technology was not. Built in Microsoft Visual Studio with the capability of 90% code sharing, a team designed an Indiana Jones game that could be played on the PC with a mouse and keyboard, the Xbox with a controller and the ASUS WinPho device with accelerometers and multi-touch.

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