The UpStream

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$400 CrunchPad

posted Sunday Aug 2, 2009 by Scott Ertz

Anyone who follows The UpStream knows we are fans of the guys over at TechCrunch. We get a lot of story ideas from them, but this one isn't from them, but about them. Apparently, the company has been working on a tablet PC that would allow people to browse the web, edit documents, watch videos, etc.

According to reports, the device will have a 12" screen and weigh about 2.5 pounds. It is based on a custom operating system, also developed by the TechCrunch guys, but will house no internal usable memory. Some analysts believe this to be a bad thing, but the point of the device is to take advantage of "cloud computing" which is the practice of using the Internet to do your bidding. The idea is similar to the Google Chrome OS, using things like Google Docs to edit and store your word processing, spreadsheet and presentation documents as opposed to having onboard memory.

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Sony Puts the Squeeze on Natal

posted Sunday Aug 2, 2009 by Jon Wurm

Sony Puts the Squeeze on Natal

The way we experience video games has been changing more drastically ever since the Wii made its debut with the Wii Mote motion sensitive controller. Even before that Sony had released their EyeToy and at E3 this year Microsoft put Project Natal in the limelight. Dr. Richard Marks, the special projects manager for Sony gives us his 411 on the continuing battle for motion capture supremacy.

Of course EyeToy came out before Wii, but that does not diminish the contribution Nintendo made to game interfaces. I'm a gamer first, so the way I see it both EyeToy and the Wii controller represent advancements that broadened the gaming market and enabled new experiences. Our new controller takes this even further by combining the strengths of previous interface approaches with responsive new high-precision tracking.

He continues to say this about Natal:

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Halo Wars Leaderboards - Gone

posted Sunday Aug 2, 2009 by Scott Ertz

<i>Halo Wars</i> Leaderboards - Gone

If you have been a hardcore Halo Wars player since the beginning, this week was probably not your favorite. For the rest of you who haven't been playing the game, we are talking about a data failure leading to the loss of ALL of the leaderboards. Yes, I said ALL - single, multi and Trueskill - gone.

Major Nelson posted a decent attempt to make people feel a little better about the issue, which he calls "human error," saying:

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Welcome to the Digital Realm: The Kindle Ate My Homework!

posted Sunday Aug 2, 2009 by Nicholas DiMeo

Just when you thought the excuses couldn't get any more predictable, leave it to Amazon to conjure up another! 17 year-old high school student Justin Gawronski purchased a Kindle, the digital book storage device, in hopes to make his literature reading a bit easier. It did just that, up until his purchase of the George Orwell novel "Nineteen Eighty-Four." Justin was reading the book and taking notes, which are also stored on the device, in hopes of getting into an advanced placement class for his upcoming school year. He was required to take notes and write "reflections" of his experiences every 100 pages. All was well until one day he decided to turn on his Kindle only to have the novel miraculously disappear from his device. Amazon remotely pulled the book from its network after discovering the publisher, MobileReference, changed its mind about selling the content on the Kindle.

This was the message Amazon sent out regarding the matter:

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Windows 7 Upgrade Prices

posted Sunday Aug 2, 2009 by Nicholas DiMeo

Windows 7 Upgrade Prices

On Friday Microsoft finally released the price for the Windows 7 Family Pack. With the Family Pack, users will be permitted to upgrade to the Home Premium edition on up to three PCs. The Family Pack was unintentionally announced previously on the Internet, but a price was never made public. At only $149, the Windows 7 Family Pack is very economical for users upgrading from XP or Vista.

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Sony Sales Slump

posted Sunday Aug 2, 2009 by Nicholas DiMeo

Sony Sales Slump

The latest report by Sony stated that sales of the Sony PS3 continue to decline worldwide. In the last quarter, ending June 30, Sony suffered an astounding loss of $390.5 million dollars. Thanks to Angels&Demons, Sony's sales did improve in the motion picture division 6.5%, but this did not make up for great losses in every other department. As compared to last year, Sony's sales in both gaming and computers have declined 37.4%, according to an article in The New York Times.

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