The UpStream

Ground-breaking Gadgets? Or Geek Garbage? You Decide

posted Sunday Nov 8, 2009 by Nicholas DiMeo

Ground-breaking Gadgets? Or Geek Garbage? You Decide

Multitasking sure is popular these days. But has it gone too far? Some companies are trying too hard to combine products, that a honestly, just shouldn't be put together.

Maybe I'm just crazy, but a hamburger USB warmer mouse pad? Really? Has society become so lazy that we can't get up and turn the thermostat up, or grab our Snuggie off the couch? Along with the warmer, many other crazy, pointless inventions have be released recently. Another is the chocolate iPhone case, and I don't mean just a brown case. It looks like an actually Hershey bar! Also, a four port USB hub that looks like an airplane. What happened to the normal rectangular case? Don't get me wrong, I'm not discouraging creativity, but is there really any use for an model airplane that doubles as a USB hub? I don't think so. The one that really made me chuckle, the fine-toothed comb USB drive. Wow! Just wow. Sure, some people need a comb while working on their computer, but it really isn't too much more trouble to just stick it in your pocket. A comb that sticks out of the side of your Macbook is ridiculous. Period. If you have a friend who is looking to buy one of these products, I think it's time to find new friends.

China Disallows Corporal Punishment in its Web "Rehabilitation" Centers

posted Sunday Nov 8, 2009 by Nicholas DiMeo

China Disallows Corporal Punishment in its Web

We brought you this story a while back, an Internet rehab clinic in China was using unconventional methods, to say the least, and one of the patients wound up dead. Well, after this tragic incident, China has decided to ban corporal punishment in Internet rehab. They are no longer permitted to beat and confine patients, which are mere children.

This past week, the Chinese government posted the new regulations, stating,

The concept of 'Internet addiction' has not been fully defined. Parents and teachers must analyse the causes and not arbitrarily condemn, hit or scold youths.

It's Time to Return to a Simpler Time - the Days of the Disco, Hippies... and the First Cell Phone

posted Sunday Nov 8, 2009 by Nicholas DiMeo

It's Time to Return to a Simpler Time - the Days of the Disco, Hippies... and the First Cell Phone

There isn't anybody these days that owns a cell phone that can't send a text message, isn't able to get on the Internet, or is incapable of sending picture mail (well, the iPhone was a little late on that.) Bottom line, the mobile phone has evolved drastically in the last ten years alone, and even more so since the creation of the device.

Martin Cooper, one of the creators of the original mobile phone has announced that cell phones simply do too many things. Now eighty years old, he stated "Whenever you create a universal device that does all things for all people, it does not do any things well," at a privacy conference in Madrid this week. We may appreciate the convenience of having the whole world at the tip of our fingers, but Copper made one very good point, and that was criticizing the iPhone for being "overly complicated." Take that Apple!

Visually Impaired Gamer Demands Clarity

posted Sunday Nov 8, 2009 by Jon Wurm

Visually Impaired Gamer Demands Clarity

I know it sounds strange to think of a company like Sony being sued for violating The Americans with Disabilities Act that says,

No individual shall be discriminated against on the basis of disability in the full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, or accommodations of any place of public accommodation by any person who owns, leases (or leases to), or operates a place of public accommodation,

but it is a reality. Visually impaired gamer Brandon Cole is taking it to the next level after he wrote THQ with suggestions on how to make their games more friendly for visually impaired users and they responded with an e-mail thanking him for his appreciation of the games graphics. Brandon has also contacted Sony many times though postal mail and e-mail with these suggestions only to receive no response. The lawsuit states that Sony ignoring this issue is discrimination and the suit specifies other games that have made efforts to compensate impaired gamers.

According to the suit,

GT6 Won't Take So Long....We're Still Waiting for GT5

posted Sunday Nov 8, 2009 by Jon Wurm

GT6 Won't Take So Long....We're Still Waiting for GT5

Recently, Autoweek sat down with Kazunori Yamauchi, the creator of the Gran Turismo series we have all grown to love and hate. Hardcore fans have been waiting for GT5 even before the PS3 released back on March 15th, 2006... and we are STILL waiting. There is some good news coming our way. The game is scheduled to release March 2010 in Japan and no one is sure when it's going to finally hit our shores because SCEA (Sony Computer Entertainment America) is in charge of the marketing decisions.

Yamauchi gave up some other nifty little details, maybe in an effort to help tide us over (as if this wasn't already killing us). We can expect a whole new Gran Turismo since the development team did away with the legacy code from GT4. There will be more cars than ever since their goal is a whopping 1,000 cars with 20 full tracks and over 70 different layouts. NASCAR and WRC car are even making an appearance in the game. Another highlight is the fact that car will be fully customizable and take damage.

Xbox Updates for Adults Only

posted Saturday Nov 7, 2009 by Scott Ertz

Xbox Updates for Adults Only

The staff here at The UpStream, along with others, have been testing out the new Xbox Live enhancements for a few weeks now. The addition of Facebook, Twitter and Last.fm have been terrific. Thankfully, though, we are all over 18.

When these new features go live to the general public, they will only be available to Xbox Live gold subscribers who are 18 or older. Major Nelson, the only guy at Microsoft who seems to talk, said in his blog,

We're live now - Join us!
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