This week, Google opens the second shiniest marketplace on the Web, HP announces 3 shiny new devices, and for Activision, there are no more heroes.
Scott is a developer who has worked on projects of varying sizes, including all of the PLuGHiTz Corporation properties. He is also known in the gaming world for his time supporting the DDR community, through DDRLover and hosting tournaments throughout the Tampa Bar Area. Currently, when he is not working on software projects or hosting F5 Live: Refreshing Technology, Scott can often be found returning to his high school days working with the Foundation for Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST), mentoring teams and judging engineering notebooks at competitions. He has also helped found a student software learning group, the ASCII Warriors.
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!
Jon is a F5 Live co-host and UpStream contributor as well as the Chief Cash Officer of PLuGHiTz Corporation. We don't know how he wears so many hats so well or how he still finds time to feed his need for all things tech but some questions are best left unanswered. If you're up for a challenge go find him on Xbox Live @shinobiJon and if you figure him out...let us know.
Everyone likes being pardoned for their sins, but who has the time to go to a church and sit down with a priest to do it? Well, the Catholic church has, assumedly in an attempt to get back some of those kids they scared off, approved a new iPhone app that helps Catholics through the process of absolution.
With the Digital Music Forum East coming up in just a few days, it's time for some news to shift towards the audio industry. We usually expect big names to show up to the event and this year CEA's President Gary Shapiro is also expected to make an appearance, complete with a fire-side chat about his latest book, The Comeback. It's also the time of year where we see big things happening with some of the major players in the field.
Early this week Google unveiled the web-based Android Market, which allowed Android users a more comprehensive app marketplace experience and helped bridge the gap between the web and mobile applications. The web isn't the only other platform Android has its eye on either. Having just dethroned Symbian as the leading mobile OS worldwide that might not be so surprising, but something very surprising is that Google isn't behind the expansion this time.
HP decided that their big webOS unveiling should not take place at the International Consumer Electronics Show 2011, but instead at a separate event a month later. That event just ended in an old military building at Fort Mason in California and it was everything we had hoped for and more.
Nokia CEO Stephen Elop has certainly made a lot of news since he left Microsoft and took over the company in September of last year. Little to none of it has been received well by the industry, or at the very least the market. This week, his latest announcement once again shook the tech world when he and Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer announced that they had formed a partnership that would see Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 take over as Nokia's chief operating system on future handsets.
It wasn't long ago that rhythm games were the talk of the town. The leader of the craze was Guitar Hero, a silly game where people stood in front of their televisions and pushed primary colored buttons on a fake plastic guitar. It seemed like no one should have cared, but almost everyone did. You couldn't go to a friend's house without seeing one of those guitars next to the TV. As Jon announced earlier, however, the franchise has now been disbanded.
I have what will be widely regarded as good news for those of you haven't put a second mortgage on your house to keep up with the 7 major versions of Guitar Hero and the 4 expansion packs for game consoles, not to mention the 20+ different guitars Activision Blizzard has spewed out since 2005. The game franchise is officially axed after losing Activision Blizzard hundreds of millions since 2009. The most recent losses suffered in Q4 2010 were 233 million, which is down from a 286 million loss in Q4 2009. With losses like that it is no surprise they decided to cut the franchise before the planned release of another game later this year. This also means that we managed to dodge a bullet and that Activision Blizzard is only about 2 years behind everyone else.
Kevin Butler is the fictional Sony employee that is the spokesperson for the PS3's "It can do everything" marketing campaign. There's a good chance you've seen some of his work but if you think the PS3, Sony and/or Kevin Butler are figments of my imagination then check here to see him in action. Unfortunately for Sony and Butler the fake employee made a very real and funny mistake.
The new web-based Android Market might not be as shiny as the Chrome Store but it will certainly mean more to about one-third the global mobile market since people actually use Android. The Wall Street Journal reported that Android recently surpassed Symbian as the leading mobile OS by a margin of 2.3%, meaning Android has 32.9% global market share and Symbian has 30.6%. Previously, the only access to Android apps was from an Android phone or tablet and the new web store will not just offer another platform to access apps but will serve as an interface between your phone and the web.
Over the past couple of weeks, Facebook has rolled out some new changes like it seems to do without warning, rhyme, reason or usefulness. Aside from the one cool ability that we use on our Fan Page, everything else that's been changed seems to just further the frustration and proof that Facebook may not be here in a few years.
Everybody should care about Spotify. Not only for the reason that it's an awesome service that's slowly creeping its way to the US very soon but also because I'm talking about it! Just a couple of weeks ago we talked about the European-based music streaming service inking a deal with Sony. It turns out that there may be more hints of the service touching down on American soil sooner than we thought.
In a time where their primary competitor, Hulu, is suffering from financial loss, a failed launch of a new service and possible restructuring, Netflix is on the other end of the see-saw. If the company in red were to have a Gamerscore, it'd have to be over 9,000 as Netflix keeps breaking records and getting new achievements, one after another.