This week, AOL adds red to their media rainbow, Nvidia's going to Superman those tablets and Sony gets banned from their own Network.
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.
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.
Ever since the FCC considered taking over the Internet, the government has been taking more of a role in managing the Internet. We have seen several instances of the federal government seizing control of websites, primarily over copyright issues. This week we had an interesting seizure - 84,000 domains in regard to child pornography. The only problem? They were seized on accident.
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.
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.
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.
Apple this week announced a new subscription service for the iTunes library, wherein you can subscribe to services like News Corp.'s The Daily, the first and currently only iOS-based newspaper. This announcement, however, certainly paves the way for other publications to come behind and be successful. From the press release,
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.
It seems Sony is finally coming out from behind the curve with the announcement of the PSP2 and the Xperia Play smartphone. Of course, it only seems that way because Sony never intends to be a first mover in the industry which could work to their advantage if they spent more of their time addressing some fundamental issues instead of just cramming more and more power into their devices.
Sony's cage has been shaken up a lot lately. First, George "Geohot" Hotz, or as we call him The Hotz, went after the PlayStation 3 after learning that they chose to remove OtherOS and other fun things out of the firmware. He disclosed security flaws and the PS3's security codes. It got so much attention that Microsoft started to take notice. Then a rare flub by Sony's fictionally named but not fictionally employed face of the PlayStation 3, Kevin Butler, when he accidently retweeted a post by user "exiva" that contained the PlayStation 3's METLDR root key, which jailbreaks the PS3 and allows you to use Homebrew. That tweet reached 70,000+ followers and was immediately taken down, but the effects have been tremendous.
I'm not quite sure where AOL is getting the money to purchase all the companies that they are frightened by but they are sure doing a good job at creating a huge cluster of big brands underneath their umbrella. With TechCrunch, Engadget, Joystiq, Moviefone, Mapquest and Switched already under their belt, AOL has now purchased Huffington Post for $315 million, $300 million of it in cash. Co-founder Arianna Huffington will become president and editor-in-chief. Since its inception in 2005, the HuffPo has been ever-growing in popularity and now reaches an average of 25 million visitors and over 4 million comments each month. AOL and Huffington Post's board of directors have agreed on the transaction as have the shareholders and the finalization of the deal should happen no later than early Q2.
Apple's new iTunes based subscription service barely made it off the tree before Google stepped in to try and steal their sunshine with their new digital subscription service called One Pass. The service will consist of the usual suspects, e-books, newspapers, and magazines but there are some distinct differences between One Pass and Apple's service that Google CEO Eric Schmidt made light of in Barcelona. A significant decrease in the cut Google takes from publishers and a less strict policy about relinquishing user info to them could help Google stick it to Apple in a different way than at the grocery store.
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.