This week, SimCity Social takes up our Extra Life, a storm takes down Amazon Web Services and Microsoft decides not to take on building smartphones.
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!
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.
Avram's been in love with PCs since he played original Castle Wolfenstein on an Apple II+. Before joining Tom's Hardware, for 10 years, he served as Online Editorial Director for sister sites Tom's Guide and Laptop Mag, where he programmed the CMS and many of the benchmarks. When he's not editing, writing or stumbling around trade show halls, you'll find him building Arduino robots with his son and watching every single superhero show on the CW.
Vizio has been known for a while now to make affordable TVs that feature a pretty nice looking picture on their screens. Last week, I mentioned that Vizio was launching a brand new line of sleek-looking PCs and laptops. Now, I have learned that the company is also looking to bridge the browsing and viewing products with a new streaming media player.
It appears that Microsoft wants more than just a slice of the social networking pie. If you thought theirSo.cl project was the only social interest the company had, think again. Microsoft has purchased Yammer, an Internet startup company, for $1.2 billion. This is all an effort to bring more social networking features to not just So.cl, but to all of their business software. This is very similar to what we are seeing in the collaboration efforts with their Windows Live suite, Office 365 and the OneNote IE9 integrations.
Zynga has been able to make the news a lot as of late. After their initial $200 million purchase of studio OMGPOP, Zynga was then spotted at the ever so relevant E3 2012, however only in a meeting room. Then, just last week we mentioned that Zynga's usage of its popular games were down so much that the possible Draw Something game show might turn their ship around and make back some of the $200 million they spent on that studio.
With the previous week Microsoft just had, you might assume they will end up taking over the gadget and tech worlds like never before. Microsoft's Surface announcement definitely shocked the industry and caused competitors like Google to play catch-up and release a tablet of their own. More importantly was the fact that Microsoft was now "manufacturing" their own tablet, which we all know is them just putting their logo on the new device. Later in the week, Microsoft announced the new Windows Phone 8, which raised the bar for mobile operating systems.
While I am not usually a fan of social games, especially Zynga-style "villes", I am a huge fan of the SimCity franchise, and this time the name won out. I have spent the past few days playing the newest game in the franchise and, while the game probably doesn't exactly deserve the moniker, I can certainly enjoy the Maxis humor that is spread within.
The allure of new technology and existing companies dabbling in new technology can be too much for some companies to resist. That has been the case with Amazon's Web Services, known as AWS. A large number of companies, some that should really know better, have come to rely on the AWS EC2, Amazon's server system for data storage. Companies like Foursquare, Pinterest and even Netflix have switched their data storage to the EC2 platform.
The word "spin-off" has been surrounding The Office for almost as long as it has been on the air, but it has never happened. The last time major talks were had, it resulted in Karen leaving to run her own branch and, instead of a spin-off, we were given Parks & Rec, which is a more viable show than a Karen Filippelli-centric Dunder Mifflin show. This time the producers are looking at an original to leave and take the reigns of his own series: Dwight Schrute.