The UpStream (Page 257)

Wholesale Retailer Posts Possible Pricing and Availability of Wii U

posted Friday Sep 7, 2012 by Nicholas DiMeo

Wholesale Retailer Posts Possible Pricing and Availability of Wii U

Nintendo showed us all types of fun and games that could be on had on their Wii U at their E3 press conference. Unfortunately, we only were allowed to see one of the actual consoles and nobody seemed to want to talk about specs or pricing. Luckily, we saw Wii U specs leaked last month prior to PAX but still there wasn't a word about pricing. You'd think that being this close to holiday season, that would be information Nintendo would think we might want to know in order to plan our purchasing. However that does not seem to be the case.

The good news is that there is always one company that lists their holiday bundles a little early on their websites. Whether it be "by accident" or not, we have a little more insight, albeit out of the rumor mill realm of the tech world, on some pricing and availability for Nintendo's make or break console.

For what that news is and a little on "whodunnit," check with us after the break.

Walmart Testing Truly Mobile Shopping, Scanning Items with Your Smartphone

posted Tuesday Sep 4, 2012 by Nicholas DiMeo

Walmart Testing Truly Mobile Shopping, Scanning Items with Your Smartphone

Need a reason to actually shop at a Walmart? How about the fact they're testing out some cool new tech? It seems like most people would need more convincing than just that to step foot into the retail giant, so allow me to elaborate. Walmart is currently testing out a new way to shop and pay for your items throughout its store just by scanning the UPC code with your smartphone.

The system, being tested in a store in Rogers, Arkansas, lets shoppers scan any item with their iPhone (for now) and take their items to a self-checkout counter. Shoppers can also set up shopping lists, check product availability and even put items into bags during their trip, all before heading to the self-checkout lane to finish the purchase. This new "Scan & Go" way of shopping is said to reduce not only checkout times, but costs for Walmart as well. Of course, we all know "costs" mean "employee salaries" in this world, where there would probably be less staff on floor, leaving the machines to checkout customers.

So far, only a select number of Walmart employees with iPhones were able to play with new shopping method. As you'd imagine, mobile shopping, while very cool and innovative, poses several alarming questions. We raise the red flags and analyze it all after the break.

Sprint Rolls Out 4G LTE in Four More Cities

posted Sunday Sep 2, 2012 by Nicholas DiMeo

Sprint Rolls Out 4G LTE in Four More Cities

In July Sprint turned on its first round of true 4G LTE towers around the nation. Soon after, more and more of their high-speed deployment was turned on and, while the network is faster than Verizon's 4G in some areas, it still lacks the coverage its red counterpart had almost two years ago.

This week, Sprint rolled out more 4G to more areas. Baltimore, Gainesville, GA, Manhattan/Junction City, KS and Sedalia, MO are now live with true 4G LTE. Sprint also said that more of Texas will get 4G coverage in the coming weeks. In Baltimore, 4G LTE will now be available from Fells Point, to Inner Harbor, Federal Hill and Pikesville, with more towers being powered up in the next few days. For my 3G users, Sprint still hasn't forgotten about you and officials have said that smartphone users in both Boston and Washington, D.C. should expect better coverage on their 3G towers, which means less roaming and quicker data.

Senior VP of Sprint's network division, Bob Azzi, said,

Our customers are enjoying new applications and devices that increase the demand for mobile data. The network build-out that today is playing out in four new cities will provide nothing less than a state-of-the art network platform for the next generation of customers. Customers across the country will begin to experience better 3G service on their devices and will be able to take advantage of 4G LTE on cutting-edge devices as we continue to launch more cities.

To me, it seems like even though Sprint's 4G LTE is far superior to that of AT&T's or Verizon's, the coverage is more important. It feels like Sprint is still lagging behind, even after being the first to roll out an actual 4G network (WiMAX), and that was back in 2008. Is an unlimited data plan worth it if you're confined to only 3G and/or roaming speeds? Some people may wait it out for the better network, especially Sprint loyalists, but others may find greener pastures, albeit limited to 5 or 10GB.

What about you? Sprint users, is it worth sticking around, hoping 4G LTE comes to your city two years after Verizon's already entered your market? Sprint said by the end of 2013, they expect to have their new LTE network "largely completed" but will also have improved its 3G service. At least they're not lying about their 3G network being 4G. Let us know your thoughts in the comments section. We'd love to have some Sprint users chime in.

40 Games Coming to Xbox Games on Windows 8

posted Sunday Sep 2, 2012 by Scott Ertz

40 Games Coming to Xbox Games on Windows 8

As much as I enjoy playing the Solitaire Collection, Minesweeper and Mahjong, I long for some more substantial games on Windows 8. I know that the OS is technically not out except to manufacturers and developers, which is why I'm using it, so I am not worried about the lack of titles right now. The question that I have had, as have many online, is will there be titles available at or around launch?

Microsoft answered this question this week, announcing a lineup of 40 titles coming to the platform. Among the titles are several Microsoft exclusives; in addition to the titles already available, we will also get titles like Hydro Thunder Hurricane, Wordament and Adera. While everyone knows what the first titles are, Adera is a new puzzle title that will integrate multi-touch, accelerometers and the power of Xbox Live. The title comes from HitPoint Studios, makers of 130 mobile and social gaming titles. This one seems like it could have a very Myst feel to it, which I am excited about.

Those aren't the only titles. Hit the break to check out the whole list.

Apple Attempts to Expand Its Win Against Samsung

posted Saturday Sep 1, 2012 by Scott Ertz

Apple Attempts to Expand Its Win Against Samsung

As if Apple's win over Samsung wasn't offensive enough, Apple has decided to try and expand the win, targeting new devices in their other legal battle. After proving the concept of shiny and round being exclusive, they have now decided to add the Galaxy S III, Galaxy S II, Galaxy Note and Galaxy Note 10.1 to the list of banned devices. Currently, the Galaxy Nexus has been banned within the US, pending an appeal. Apple believes that these other devices infringe in the same way and are attempting to block the sale of these devices.

While the patents in question here are different from those in last week's decision, the fact that Apple won the other battle might help them get this ban on the books. Clearly Apple is afraid of Samsung and the wild success they have had with their Galaxy S III, especially just ahead of the launch of the iPhone 5 (or whatever name they give it this time). What Apple doesn't quite understand is people. While they might understand how to produce a commercial to make unimpressive technology successful, they do not understand what makes people do things.

So, what result has this threat of a ban created? Hit the break to find out.

Pirate Bay Founder, Gottfrid Svartholm, Arrested

posted Saturday Sep 1, 2012 by Scott Ertz

Pirate Bay Founder, Gottfrid Svartholm, Arrested

In the months since his 12-month sentence was supposed to begin, Pirate Bay founder Gottfrid Svartholm has been evading an international warrant for failing to appear for his sentence in Sweden. According to Cambodian officials, he has officially been detained, possibly found in his riverside apartment in Phnom Penh. As of now, no one has commented on the grounds of the arrest, but Svartholm's lawyer said,

As far as I understand it is because he is on an international wanted list.

In addition, he said that he believes his client will be returned to Sweden, despite the countries' lack of extradition agreements.

One issue is Svartholm's health; he was even too sick to attend his own appeal in 2010, having to stay in a Cambodian hospital. After then missing another hearing without medical excuse, the verdict was upheld and a one year jail sentence was ordered, plus a $1.1 million fine. With bad health and a massive legal problem, it seems like trying to evade the international police is a terrible idea. Even worse is hiding in a place where people know you have lived in the past.

All of that in, there is no telling what will happen with this 27-year-old over the next few months. He might serve time in Cambodia, he might be sent to Sweden to serve time there or he might be too sick to serve any time.

So, do you think he should have gone back to Sweden to serve his time or did he make the right decision to stay in Cambodia? Sound off in the comments.

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