The UpStream

Investors Bet The Farm On Zynga

posted Sunday Feb 20, 2011 by Jon Wurm

Investors Bet The Farm On Zynga

Zynga, one of the largest social gaming companies, has well over 80 million users and is best known for FarmVille, the WoW equivalent of social games. Despite their great success it seems that Zynga is close to bringing in another $250 million from big-time investors like Fidelity Investments, Morgan Stanley, and T. Rowe Price. According to Zynga, there is no need for the extra capital even after acquiring Challenge Games Inc and once they secure the $250 million, their valuation will fall somewhere between $7 and $10 billion.

To find out why they might even consider raising more outside capital, hit the break.

The Amazing Spider-Man Revealed

posted Sunday Feb 20, 2011 by Scott Ertz

The Amazing Spider-Man Revealed

Not a lot of information here, but certainly a lot to discuss. We are more than a year out, but that hasn't stopped Sony Pictures from starting the teasing early. The next series of Spider-Man films will lose the generic title and go for a more classic-styled title: The Amazing Spider-Man. A good way to differentiate it from the last 3 films while giving us the hope of seeing a more classic storyline, as well.

In addition to the new title, we also get a shot at the new costume. This is the exact opposite of classic Spider-Man. It's sleek, it's stylish and it has a absolutely none of the homemade feel to it. It should be fun to see how Peter Parker pulls this one off, but unfortunately we will have to wait until the film's release, July 3, 2012.

Apple Audits and Supplier Shortcomings

posted Sunday Feb 20, 2011 by Jon Wurm

Apple Audits and Supplier Shortcomings

Last year Foxconn brought some unwanted attention to Apple with a string of strange deaths that occurred at one of its productions facilities. Apple looked into incidents and discovered some employees were overworked but dismissed the other complaints. Apple also supported Foxconn with their unusual efforts to prevent more employee mistreatments. Apple's annual supplier responsibility report has raised concern with Chinese environmental groups and the media which has generated some tension between Apple, the media and suppliers.

What will this souring relationship mean and what can Apple do about it? To find out, hit the break.

News Corp. is Done with Myspace, Could Become Yourspace for $50 Million

posted Saturday Feb 19, 2011 by Nicholas DiMeo

News Corp. is Done with Myspace, Could Become Yourspace for $50 Million

A couple of weeks ago we were confused when we learned that after a huge redesign and content focus shift of Myspace (little m, big space), that the company, owned by News Corp., was laying off several hundred of its employees. This week we uncovered the answer: News Corp. is done with Myspace. Their COO Chase Carey announced that they are "actively engaged" in talks regarding "strategic alternatives". I read between the lines.

The interesting thing about this is that he mentioned it in an earning call and not during your usual press conference or through a press release. When one of the market analysts asked for an estimated loss projection for Myspace, Carey simply reiterated the same sentence. Basically, they are shopping around for offers.

With a new content focus and structure in place, we believe now is the right time for News Corp. to consider strategic options. We have seen some encouraging traffic metrics in the last several weeks. However, we recognize that the plan to allow MySpace to reach its full potential may be best under a new ownership structure.

For more on the breakup, follow the break.

Nvidia's 'Super' Mobile Processor - Kal-El

posted Saturday Feb 19, 2011 by Scott Ertz

Nvidia's 'Super' Mobile Processor - Kal-El

Nvidia has been trying to make a real name for themselves in the mobile space and they have done a pretty good job of it. Their Tegra 2 processors are the standard in dual-core mobile technology, powering everything from LG's Optimus 2X to Sony's S1 PlayStation tablet. That, however, is not good enough for them.

At Mobile World Congress this week, Nvidia revealed the first quad-core mobile processor, appropriately named Kal-El. Now, we knew they had this processor in development but no one thought it would be ready this soon. It's not just ready, but it was on display, running a live device. Who needs a press release, right? When you have specs like these, paper just won't do the job:

  • First mobile Quad-core CPU
  • 12-core GPU with 3D stereo support
  • Extreme HD - 2560 x 1600

For more info on the new processor, including benchmarks and demo video, hit the break.

Nokia Makes Sure You Know They're not Losing Out on the Microsoft Deal

posted Saturday Feb 19, 2011 by Nicholas DiMeo

Nokia Makes Sure You Know They're not Losing Out on the Microsoft Deal

The 2011 Mobile World Congress was this week and news came in from any and every mobile developer and manufacturer who was boasting the newest, latest and greatest handset and features. Of course, we expected to see Nokia and Microsoft also make their presence known during the event, especially after critics were skeptical if Nokia may have gotten the bad end of the deal when they partnered up with Microsoft's WinPho 7 handsets. In an effort to dispel any notion of that sort, Nokia CEO Stephen Elop was very quick to note that the deal will be beneficial for both parties involved. Elop announced payouts and benefits that Nokia will receive for deciding to stick by the Window-side.

Obviously we know that Nokia will have to pay an undisclosed royalty fee every time they choose to use the operating system but Elop said Nokia will get "very substantial reductions" when it comes to what their spending on their everyday operations, including layoffs, since they no longer need to employ a workforce to develop an in-house OS.

Want to hear more thoughts from the adamant Elop? Click the break.

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