The UpStream

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Large Judgement in Bad Radio Stunt

posted Saturday Oct 31, 2009 by Scott Ertz

Large Judgement in Bad Radio Stunt

American radio stations remind me of Japanese TV stations. They come up with these crazy endurance trials that people willingly go through, and award the winner with something trivial. Somehow, however, both groups actually get contestants to participate. The difference is that Japanese broadcasters do research before subjecting unsuspecting people to dangerous tasks.

A few years ago, a radio station in Cali held a radio contest where you had to drink as much water as possible in a very little amount of time. The winner of the contest would win a brand new Wii. As this was going on, people were calling into the station telling the DJs that they should stop this because it can be very dangerous. As any good american radio personality does, they belittled their listeners and made fun of the concept of being harmed by water on the air. Unfortunately for Jennifer Strange, the callers were right, and she died from water intoxication.

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'Terrorists Less Scary Than Zombies,' Says Australia

posted Saturday Oct 31, 2009 by Scott Ertz

'Terrorists Less Scary Than Zombies,' Says Australia

When I started writing for The UpStream, I always dreaded the Australian game stories, but I have come to love them, because you never really know what you're going to get. Today is no exception to that rule, for sure.

A recently leaked video from the much anticipated Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 has stirred up the crazy pot with our kangaroo-loving friends down under. The scene depicts the player as the terrorists. A rather common-place game tactic, especially in a multiplayer game; the ability to play as both sides. The difference seems to be in that you actually get to play storyline as the bad guys. This teaser trailer for the game clearly contains the audio portion of the beginning of the scene in question.

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N-Gage is Dead... Again?

posted Saturday Oct 31, 2009 by Scott Ertz

N-Gage is Dead... Again?

Nokia, the makers of most of the annoying phones you have ever owned, has announce that they will be discontinuing the N-Gage brand. This news probably comes as a shock to most, who thought the brand was discontinued in 2005, but they would be wrong.

The original N-Gage, released in 2003, was a terribly designed little handset that looked like a combination of a Sega Game Gear and a T-Mobile Sidekick (pictured here). The theory was sound - one device for Internet, phone and gaming, but Nokia didn't seem to get any of the aspects right. It was a fairly large device, which made talking on the phone rather arduous. The cartridge slot for the games was lodged in with the battery, meaning you couldn't swap games while the device was on, instead you had to pop the battery off first.

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First Imitating Fruits, Now Animals: Apple's a Bunch of Copy-Cats?

posted Sunday Oct 25, 2009 by Nicholas DiMeo

First Imitating Fruits, Now Animals: Apple's a Bunch of Copy-Cats?

Looks like Apple is going to have to call their lawyer after being served a lawsuit filed by Nokia with the Federal District Court in Delaware. Allegedly, the Apple iPhone infringes on Nokia patents for GSM, UMTS, and wireless LAN standards.

With one of the most extensive patent portfolios in the industry, Nokia has become the mastermind behind many discoveries in wireless communications, investing more than 40 billion Euro in research and development in the last twenty years. With license agreements (which include these patents) with almost 40 countries, the company has become one of the leading innovators in the wireless market.

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Some Readers Won't Digest the FCC's Net Neutrality Rules

posted Sunday Oct 25, 2009 by Jon Wurm

Some Readers Won't Digest the FCC's Net Neutrality Rules

On October 22nd. FCC finally released the rough draft for its Net Neutrality rules which will expand and codify the rules set in 2005 that limited telecom companies from stopping customers from using specific services such as conference calling and adult chat lines. Currently, the only way they are allowed to block services or devices is if they are "harmful" to the network. The rules are also expanding to broadband internet providers who will also not be able to limit how their customers use the internet. That's not all folks, Net Neutrality is going WiFi by extending its reach to networks like 3G, satellite and WiMax. They will have a little more leeway in shaping bandwidth but it only must pertain to better managing the network. Also, telecom companies and ISPs will be required to send reports on how they manage their networks to the FCC. The 107 page proposal will be open for debate for the next 60 days giving lobbyists on both sides plenty of time to try and change the wording in their favor. The Open Internet Coalition with members such as Facebook and Google welcomed the new proposals while others like Apple and AT&T are less than excited. Here is the proposed text to the rules which are up for vote:

1. Subject to reasonable network management, a provider of broadband Internet access service may not prevent any of its users from sending or receiving the lawful content of the user's choice over the Internet.

2. Subject to reasonable network management, a provider of broadband Internet access service may not prevent any of its users from running the lawful applications or using the lawful services of the user's choice.

For the rest of the list, hit the break.

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TV Is Everywhere, Hulu Is Not

posted Sunday Oct 25, 2009 by Jon Wurm

TV Is Everywhere, Hulu Is Not

Who knew that Hulu would have turned out to be so successful? The backers for the endeavor sure didn't. Their original goal was to use Hulu as a bartering tool with companies like Apple or Google but with growing success and a changing industry it looks like competition might be forcing Hulu to change it's ways. It seems that they are not exactly sure how this is going to work but the joint venture between News Corp.'s (NWS) Fox, GE's (GE) NBC Universal and Disney's (DIS) ABC will in the future be offering a premium content package that will go beyond the normal free content that Hulu users are used to seeing. The site is already close to breaking even just off of add revenues but charging for content is a delicate thing so they need to be very careful not to upset their current users since less traffic to the site would hurt ad revenues and possible premium subscriptions. As of right now we can only speculate to how things will actually pan out.

Comcast and Time Warner have a similar idea with a service called "TV Everywhere." It's a premium service where the customer would be able to watch all the available channels under their current subscription over a broadband internet connection. So you would get your programming on more screens for free right? Right now it seems that way but if TV Everywhere catches on price increases can be expected in other areas in the future. TV Everywhere isn't all gravy to some. The "user-authenticated" model it uses is a threat to sites like Hulu and a possible barrier for competition in the marketplace. Critics had this to say about TV Everywhere.

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