The UpStream

Dashboard Updates and Live TV for Xbox 360

posted Sunday Sep 18, 2011 by Nicholas DiMeo

Dashboard Updates and Live TV for Xbox 360

The feeling of the start of fall is beginning to fill the air. In Florida, car interiors are no longer burning with the heat of 1,000 raging wildfires, football season has just kicked off and for the Xbox 360, ESPN just got loaded with a bunch of awesome upgrades to prepare you until the mercury rises again. Fall season is also the time where the 360 also sees a dashboard upgrade, and that's what we found out this week.

Microsoft is looking to continue its sleek Windows 8/WinPho 7 look and implement the 'Metro' user interface that we hinted at back at E3 this year into the 360. Not only should we expect to see the Kinect and physical controller areas finally merged together to live happily, we should also see performance boosts, easier navigation and, of course, simpler, indexed searching with Bing via voice or text.

However, that's not all we'll see this fall for the update. Plus, your Xbox is finally getting live TV! We'll talk about these great things after the break.

THX Turns Attention to Mobile Devices and Tablets

posted Sunday Sep 18, 2011 by Nicholas DiMeo

THX Turns Attention to Mobile Devices and Tablets

It seems like HTC isn't the only company who cares about mobile audio. According to THX, they announced this week that they are looking to improve and certify the quality of sound in tablets and mobile devices. THX is considered one of the leading audio experts in the industry that specialize in certifying audio receivers and TVs as products that specifically provide the best sound and video output.

For more on what's in store for the device in your pocket or purse, follow us after the break.

Nokia Is Unsure About Google and Motorola

posted Saturday Sep 17, 2011 by Jon Wurm

Nokia Is Unsure About Google and Motorola

Earlier this month when Steven Elop, the CEO of Nokia, was in China discussing the Q4 rollout of their new Windows Phone, the N9, he made an interesting comment about Google purchasing Motorola.

It creates a great deal of uncertainty for the Android ecosystem. I'm sure it is of great concern for many of the Android participants.

Elop also said that the effects of the deal will only be realized over time and that it will also affect hardware manufacturers' allegiances to the platform.

Android hardware manufacturers like HTC and Samsung are already getting squeezed for every Android phone they produce and Microsoft is making a lot of money off of Google's Android patent infringements. It also doesn't help that Google has made some decisions in the past that might not have been in the best interest of manufacturers, like when they decided to decline Microsoft's offer to join the Rockstar Consortium which would have given them access to the Nortel patents and possibly prevented further patent infringements in the future. Now Google getting their hands on Motorola adds a whole new element to the situation.

Find out what this could mean for Android users after the break.

Virginia is for Lovers... And Haters of WiFi

posted Saturday Sep 17, 2011 by Scott Ertz

Virginia is for Lovers... And Haters of WiFi

I am sure everyone has encountered a person throughout their lives who claims to have been made ill by WiFi and cellular phones. Probably very few of those people have legitimate claims, considering there are other radio waves broadcasting almost everywhere all the time. Well, it turns out that there is a haven for these people who do not quite understand how technology works, and it is in Virginia.

In Virginia, there is the National Radio Quiet Zone, which is a 13,000 square mile area that surrounds the National Radio Astronomy Observatory. As it turns out, because of regulations placed on the area to protect the observatory's telescope and its work, the area is almost entirely free of radio waves and other electromagnetic interference. Because of this, it has become a haven for crazy people.

What do the residents think of the area? Hit the break to find out.

Microsoft's //build/windows Conference Delivers Windows 8 Preview

posted Friday Sep 16, 2011 by Scott Ertz

Microsoft's //build/windows Conference Delivers Windows 8 Preview

Microsoft held their //build/windows Conference this week and there was plenty of stuff to keep everyone entertained. While the event was intended to be a multi-day developer gathering in Anaheim, California, it turned into a display of cool new technology from multiple hardware partners and reveals of amazing new Microsoft technologies.

Whether you are excited about tablets or cars, there was a wide range of conversations that came out of the event, but the thing on everyone's mind was Windows 8. Ever since we got a peek at D9, everyone has wanted to see a big demonstration and many of us have wanted to get our hands on the new interface. At //build we got both of our wishes.

To start off, Microsoft gave us some high-level tutorials on how the OS works and what they have improved on in the Metro UI from the current Windows Phone 7 and the Xbox 360 Dashboard, plus how the computer can operate without the standard Windows UI. For starters, the classic desktop is still available, but through a live tile on the Start screen. This gives you the ability to still interact with applications that could never really work as a Metro app, for example Photoshop or Visual Studio.

How will Metro work for a full computer and how can you try it out? Hit the break to find out.

NBC Gives Free Shows on Zune

posted Thursday Sep 15, 2011 by Scott Ertz

NBC Gives Free Shows on Zune

Do you like free stuff? Of course you do. This week, NBC has decided to give away some free stuff, and we're not talking about old shows or canceled projects. In hopes of gaining interest for their new season of comedies, NBC is giving away the pilots for two of their new series.

The series that are available are Free Agents and Up All Night. It's not just the pilots that are available, either; you can also download behind the scenes and previews as well. Being available from the Zune Marketplace, you have the ability to watch it on your computer, a portable device or on your Xbox, and it is available in SD or HD formats.

Having watched both of them myself already, I can tell you that I am excited to see if the writers can keep up the momentum on these shows because so far they are both pretty wonderful. Want to take a look before you download the shows? Hit the break for a little sneak peak.

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