The UpStream

Sony Requests That You "Put Your Ears In Control"

posted Sunday Sep 20, 2009 by Nicholas DiMeo

Sony Requests That You

I was browsing through some forums the other day and stumbled across a Sony Ericsson link. Needless to say that whenever Sony is doing something that the forum freaks are ranting about, I'm going to investigate!

Upon clicking, there was a strange man sipping his Slurpee (where's my royalties, 7-11?) and apparently listening to something on a pair of headphones. Above him was a blue background with text in it that said that Sony was preparing something revolutionary in terms of music with an accessory and to check back on September 21st. Interesting, I thought, as I bookmarked it for later reference.

Battlefield 1943: Waiting for Modern Warfare 2 & Loving It!

posted Sunday Sep 20, 2009 by Weston Watson

Battlefield 1943: Waiting for Modern Warfare 2 & Loving It!

Let's face it, this absurd term called "waiting" for Modern Warfare 2 is enough to drive even the most casual FPS fan up the wall. What's that you say? You've got tenth prestige on Modern Warfare AND World at War, and more kills than the populations of some third world countries? Well rejoice FPS enthusiasts! Dice and EA team up to bring you something both cheap and easy to feed your addiction. No, not heroin, it's Battlefield 1943.

For this installment, you're thrown for another tour through the Pacific. Sprawling across three ground maps, Wake Island, Iwo Jima, and Guadalcanal, as well as one aerial map, Coral Sea, you and your team of eleven others fight in true Battlefield style. It's called Conquest Mode, an everything goes version of Capture the Flag, where the object is to capture and hold five strategic points on the map, known as bases. Holding a majority of these bases causes the opposing team's 'tickets' to decrease. The team whose tickets run out first loses the match. Add to that three job classes, tanks, jeeps, airplanes and nine different weapons and you've got the most cost effective multiplayer experience on the market. Running you 1200 Microsoft Points, or roughly 15 bucks if you're using the PlayStation Network, this is the perfect game to hold you over for the gunfest that is Modern Warfare 2.

Controls

The game controls well enough overall, with the air controls being the only thing that really took a little getting used to. Driving feels easy and natural and can be done in either first or third person. Combat moves smooth with firefights that are slower paced than the trigger-happy fragfests of Modern Warfare, but much quicker paced than Halo or Resistance 2. Battlefield leaves you satisfied with combat and maneuverability.

Google Book Deal Doesn't Do It By the Book

posted Saturday Sep 19, 2009 by Jon Wurm

Google Book Deal Doesn't Do It By the Book

For those of you not familiar with this situation, Google has been trying to work a deal with authors and publishers that would let them create a gigantic online library. That sounds like a good idea but Google is finding there is a lot of red tape surrounding this. Back in 2005 many authors and publishers accused Google of copyright infringement because they scanned many libraries full of books. The big issue the government is concerned with is whether this is violating anti-trust laws. The investigation is still ongoing but Google released a statement saying:

The Authors Guild and the Association of American Publishers said the Department of Justice filing 'recognizes the value the settlement can provide by unlocking access to millions of books' in the United States... We are considering the points raised by the Department and look forward to addressing them as the court proceedings continue.

Blockbuster Goes Belly Up, Closing 900+ Stores

posted Saturday Sep 19, 2009 by Nicholas DiMeo

Blockbuster Goes Belly Up, Closing 900+ Stores

With competitors like Netflix and Redbox, Blockbuster appears to have fallen behind this year. Blockbuster set out to close all of its unprofitable stores. Out of over 7,000 stores, a shocking 18% were proven unprofitable. Their plan was to "improve four-wall profitability," and in order to achieve this goal, these stores had to be closed.

Blockbuster intends to close up to 960 stores by the end of next year, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing. This is in an attempt to make the company more financially stable. Even before this information was discovered, Blockbuster was planning "normal closures," which included anywhere between 280-300 locations. Also, an expected 300 or so stores will be considered "accelerated closures."

Next year looks a lot less gloomy for this chain, expecting to close only 100-125 locations that will be normal closures, and 130-150 that will be accelerated closures, according to the company's SEC filing. But overall, between 810-960 stores will be closed by the end of 2010.

Modern Warfare 2 Xbox 360 for $399

posted Saturday Sep 19, 2009 by Nicholas DiMeo

Modern Warfare 2 Xbox 360 for $399

Just as Microsoft announces a drop in price of the Xbox 360 Elite to $300, they come out with a new $400 Xbox, but this one is well worth the price! At the Modern Warfare 2 press event this week, the new Xbox 360 Modern Warfare edition was announced.

This package comes with much more than the original Xbox 360 and Xbox 360 Elite. It includes the console, which is custom designed around Modern Warfare 2, with a 250-GB hard drive, two wireless controllers, a wired headset and a copy the game itself. This is the only Xbox with a HDD this big, and it is not sold separately. All this priced at only $399.99!

Sound good huh? Well, you can pick this new Xbox 360 up soon, seeing as it is already available for pre-order at retailers all over the world!

Musicians Want Money for Nothing

posted Saturday Sep 19, 2009 by Scott Ertz

Musicians Want Money for Nothing

There is a term in music called "public performance fee." That is the money that artists make when their music is played for a live audience. Advocacy groups, like RIAA, believe that there are several types of "public performances" that aren't currently being bought. The most prominent of these is the preview on iTunes.

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