Menu Close
The UpStream Shows Reviews Events Audio Video Contests Staff
Log in Menu
Nicholas DiMeo

Nicholas DiMeo

Former Segment Host

Current Host

Current UpStream Contributor

Current Product Reviewer

Email Facebook LinkedIn Twitter Google last.fm YouTube

With over ten years of audio engineering experience, Nick's addition to PLuGHiTz Corporation is best served when he is behind the mixing board every Sunday night to produce the audio side of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology, Piltch Point and PLuGHiTz Live Night Cap. While mixing live every week, his previous radio show hosting experience gives him the ability to co-host as well, giving each show a unique flare with his slightly off-center, yet still realistic take on all things tech. An integral part of the show, you can find Nick always enveloped in coming up with new (and sometimes crazy) ideas and content for the show and you can always expect the most direct opinion on the stories that he feels need to be shared with the world. During the few hours where Nick isn't sleeping or working on ways to improve the company, he spends his free time going to hockey and football games and playing the latest titles on Xbox 360. Email him for his gamertag and add him today for a fun escape from the normal monotony and annoyance that the Xbox LIVE gaming community can sometimes be!

Recent UpStream Articles

Former Xbox Exec and Zynga CEO Steps Down From Position

posted Sunday Apr 12, 2015 by Nicholas DiMeo

Former Xbox Exec and Zynga CEO Steps Down From Position

As quickly as the Don cometh, the Don leaveth. This is the case for Zynga, as former Xbox executive Don Mattrick took over the job as CEO just under two years ago. Mattrick announced this week that he was leaving the company effective immediately and will also be departing the board of directors.

Zynga will go back to what brought them here, with former CEO and company founder Mark Pincus reclaiming his CEO throne at a salary of $1 per year, exactly what he was taking in when he left the company in 2013. Pincus spoke on Mattrick in a statement about the transition.

Don joined us in a very important time in our evolution. I sincerely thank him for his leadership in better serving our players in a mobile-first world and for delivering world class quality and value to our consumers.

Pincus puts the company back on his shoulders at an interesting time. Despite Mattrick's best efforts, sales are still down in the company. However, revamps of popular titles are on the horizon, as well as new launches. Zynga is looking forward to hopeful success with Dawn of Titans, FarmVille: Harvest Swap, Wizard of Oz Slots and Empires & Allies.

read more...

YouTube to Launch Ad-Free Subscription, Strongly Encourages Video Makers to Fall in Line

posted Sunday Apr 12, 2015 by Nicholas DiMeo

YouTube to Launch Ad-Free Subscription, Strongly Encourages Video Makers to Fall in Line

At the end of last year, rumors started swirling that YouTube would launch an ad-free subscription model for its videos. Well, fast forward a handful of months and in my inbox is an email from YouTube about this exact thing. The bigger issue here is how the video platform is forcing content creators to accept the ad-free model.

The letter from YouTube tries its best to hide the news.

Dear YouTube Partner,

Your fans want choices. Not only do they want to watch what they want, whenever they want, anywhere, and on any device they choose, they want YouTube features built specifically with their needs in mind. Over the past several months, we've taken bold new steps to bring these experiences to life. Since inviting hundreds of thousands of fans into our YouTube Music Key Beta, we've seen tremendous engagement. And we've seen an equally enthusiastic response for our new YouTube Kids app, designed to give families a simpler and safer video-viewing experience- it's already crossed 2 million installations in less than one month.

We're excited to build on this momentum by taking another big step in favor of choice: offering fans an ads-free version of YouTube for a monthly fee. By creating a new paid offering, we'll generate a new source of revenue that will supplement your fast growing advertising revenue.

So what's next?

Launching a new paid offering will require us to update your terms through your Creator Studio Dashboard-a process that should feel familiar to anyone who went through a similar process three years ago when we began distributing and monetizing your content on mobile devices. Today, mobile represents over half of all watchtime and mobile revenue is up 200% in the last year. Just as with mobile, we're confident this latest contract update will excite your fans and generate a previously untapped, additional source of revenue for you. Please look out for our notification, review it and let us know your thoughts.

It's an exciting year for YouTube, as we push ourselves into uncharted territories. But we continue to be guided by a desire to deliver the choices fans want and the revenue you need. By working closely with you, we know it'll be a successful journey.

The YouTube Team

Expected to launch in the second half of 2015, YouTube is doing everything it can to make sure each and every monetized video has the option to be ad-free. All YouTube partners will have to allow YouTube to place its video underneath the new subscription model. If a partner decides not to, the video will be listed as private, which means that the only people that can see them are those the creator selects. Obviously this is not a preferred option for creators.

The good news is that YouTube will also give partners a cut of the subscription income, and the videos are not locked into an exclusivity deal with YouTube. However, critics of the change say they should have a choice in placing a video underneath the ad-free umbrella. And while I agree that choice is a good thing, the hand being forced should only help video makers. As it stands, approximately half of all potentially monetized YouTube views aren't paid out due to ad-block software. Perhaps the switch will entice people to pay the monthly fee, thus giving more potential revenue to the creator. The other benefit is that this won't affect interstitched ads, at least not from the FAQ on the matter.

You mentioned ads-free. Which ads are you referring to?

When we refer to an ads-free experience we are specifically referring to YouTube advertising formats. There are no changes to any other agreements that you may have in place, which may include things like product placements or branded advertising within your videos.

This means sponsored videos or other forms of advertising aren't affected and can still be created, essentially putting ad-laced videos under the ad-free service. But those videos, at least for YouTube, are far less common given the landscape of the platform. YouTube added that it will be giving video creators 55 percent of all revenue generated from the ad-free subscriptions. In the end, this could be a win for the makers, but only if enough people get on board with the service.

read more...

Amazon Echo Partners Up with Belkin's WeMo Home Automation System

posted Sunday Apr 12, 2015 by Nicholas DiMeo

Amazon Echo Partners Up with Belkin's WeMo Home Automation System

At CES this year, we had the chance to talk with Belkin about its new line of smart home applications, called WeMo. This week, Amazon's cylindrical Bluetooth speaker and voice-control assistant, Alexa, received an update as Amazon will be partnering its Echo product with WeMo.

As expected for months, Echo's purpose seemed to fit in with the home automation craze that is sweeping the nation. Sporting Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, it only made sense that we'd see Alexa tap into your home network and control these new devices. Echo will officially support all WeMo switches and LED light bulbs, and this will include the Hue collection from Philips. Echo can also shake hands with Lux, the BR30, Bloom and Lightstrip. In the future, it is said that Echo will also link up with the rest of Belkin's WeMo system, like thermostats, water sensors and the line of cookware and kitchen appliances.

As of now, the Echo API does not have much built into it for anything beyond the mentioned switches and bulbs, and giving Alexa any other commands about your WeMo devices simply lead to having them placed on your to-do list. Amazon says connecting your devices to Echo is as simple as connecting Echo up to your network. Alexa will discover the different gadgets and will be able to sync up with them easily.

With Amazon teaming up with Belkin, Google acquiring Nest and Microsoft partnering with Insteon, there are now three major players in the home automation space, all with viable software solutions to boot. Who do you think will win out? Let us know in the comments section below.

read more...

Russian Internet Policy Makes Putin Memes Illegal

posted Sunday Apr 12, 2015 by Nicholas DiMeo

Russian Internet Policy Makes Putin Memes Illegal

Did you know Russia has a team of people in charge of media and how it pertains to the Internet? It's true! The Roskomnadzor issued a statement this week that solidified the country's position on memes and posting them online. The agency said that memes of real people that aren't reflective of their "personality" is illegal. The agency went on to reiterate Russia's law on how one may share photos of other people.

These ways of using (celebrities' images) violate the laws governing personal data and harm the honor, dignity and business of public figures.

So, at least in Russia, you still can't post funny captions underneath Putin's bareback bear adventure photos. Roskomnadzor also said that you also may not create impersonation or parody accounts and websites.

Russia's Internet policy that is being enforced by Roskomnadzor has only been around for three years. The group has already made several noteworthy decisions including blacklisting 180 websites in 2012. They also required that bloggers with other 3,000 monthly readers must officially register with Roskomnadzor.

The friendly reminder of this policy can be attested to a Moscow judge who oversaw a lawsuit involving a Russian singer whose picture was being used in memes across Russian social media sites. While the law will be enforced, public figures and celebrities will still have to report photos on their own volition.

read more...

Rovio to Produce Angry Birds Movie, TV Show

posted Sunday Mar 22, 2015 by Nicholas DiMeo

Rovio to Produce <i>Angry Birds</i> Movie, TV Show

Ever get so saturated with a brand or a concept that you never want to see it again, and then a movie comes out about it? Good news: this is exactly what's going to happen with Angry Birds as Rovio tries to revive the franchise and bring in more sales with its name.

The Finnish game studio will be heading up a 3D movie to bring more awareness to the Angry Birds brand, as if we don't already know about it. The company did report a 73 percent decline in profits recently though, which make have lead to this decision. Rovio attests this loss to a lack of merchandising sales and a drop in licensing deals.

Total sales this year have been down 9 percent at $169 million, however mobile revenue is up 16 percent to almost $120 million. The company also saw a loss in operating profit of $12 million. With competition in the market from big players like Disney Infinity, Skylanders and Nintendo's amiibo, virtual games have started to win out over quick-hit mobile titles by adding in the physical touch to an otherwise digital product.

This move into TV is definitely placing Rovio into an entertainment empire over just being a game company who licenses merchandise. The film is estimated to cost around $80 million, and part of the marketing costs will be paid by Sony Entertainment. It's said that the marketing budget will exceed the actual production budget for the movie. On top of the 3D movie, a TV series is being worked on simultaneously.

The movie sales may be the jump Rovio needs in order to figure out where the company needs to focus. Looking at the past two years, the studio has failed to quickly adapt to the market, and still charges for some of its Angry Birds titles, where the norm lately has been around free-to-enter games with paid content inside of it (no matter how much I dislike the idea, save for one). If the movie does well, the public will have more demand in games, and in turn, Rovio will have to create something new to satiate the consumers who just left the movie theaters. If they're smart, they launch a game based around the movie and include a free download link with your paid movie ticket. Just so it's on record, if they do this, I expect to see royalties for the idea.

read more...

Mobile


Get Mobile App

Subscribe


PLuGHiTz Live - Special Events

VIDEO

iTunes Zune Subscribe on Android RSS

SOCIAL

Facebook Twitter Google+ YouTube Ello

F5 Live: Refreshing Technology

AUDIO

iTunes Zune Subscribe on Android RSS

VIDEO

iTunes Zune Subscribe on Android RSS

SOCIAL

Facebook Twitter Google+ YouTube Ello

Piltch Point

VIDEO

iTunes Zune Subscribe on Android RSS

SOCIAL

Facebook Twitter Google+ YouTube Ello

The 3000 Brigade Podcast

AUDIO

iTunes Zune Subscribe on Android RSS

SOCIAL

Facebook Twitter YouTube

PLuGHiTz Live Night Cap

VIDEO

iTunes Zune Subscribe on Android RSS

SOCIAL

Facebook Twitter Google+ YouTube Ello