The UpStream (Page 270)

Beats Acquires Music Streaming Company MOG, Reportedly for Only $10 Million

posted Sunday Jul 8, 2012 by Nicholas DiMeo

Beats Acquires Music Streaming Company MOG, Reportedly for Only $10 Million

After the departure from Monster Cable, it was unsure how Beats Electronics was going to thrive independently. HTC then swept in and now has a majority stake in the company and Beats Audio is slowly showing up in several more devices here in the States. However, while the company's flagship product, Beats by Dre headphones, has expanded the lineup to include more celebrities, it appears that's all Beats has going for them. The product itself now is not being manufactured by Monster and really lacks the overall sound quality that people are looking for, especially if that person wants to actually listen to music without making it sound like a trunk is rattling in their head.

Beats Electronics has announced that the company is buying the music streaming service MOG, with both sides now confirming the acquisition. For those who don't know, the company is almost an exact replica of the original version of Spotify, which has grown exponentially since its inception in America. MOG is having a very hard time gaining any traction but now with a hardware company behind it, Beats will now attempt to offer a full music experience. This is similar to what Apple does, from the device, to the consumption software to the headphones.

We have more on the acquisition after the break, including the official statement from Beats and what their plans moving forward.

Netflix Eclipses 1 Billion Hours Streamed for the Month of June

posted Sunday Jul 8, 2012 by Nicholas DiMeo

Netflix Eclipses 1 Billion Hours Streamed for the Month of June

I know it doesn't feel like it but The Great Netflix Debacle of Late 2011 happened a year ago around this time. The CEO went nuts and tried to break things up and confuse customers, all while jacking up the price for subscription. After the dust settled from that, we did learn that Netflix was working on some positive things. They purchased DVD.com, planned to add a bunch of original programming to their service and realized that all the people who left because "the prices were too high" decided to come back after realizing there were not greener pastures.

This week, Netflix has fended off the angry investors and customers and has proven that there is a reason they are the #1 video streaming service. The company has reached a new milestone in the world of video streaming: Netflix announced that the Watch Instantly service has over 1 billion hours of streamed content for the month of June. That is a lot of episodes of Parks and Recreation.

The Apple is No Longer Greener on the Other Side

posted Saturday Jul 7, 2012 by Scott Ertz

The Apple is No Longer Greener on the Other Side

Apple has long billed itself as an environmentally friendly company. In fact, essentially the entire line of Apple products has been EPEAT (Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool) certified. Not that this was a big accomplishment, as millions of electronics products are on this registry. It makes sense, since many schools, corporations and government agencies will only purchase products that are on the registry, either by matter of law, conscience or charter. One of the reasons is because EPEAT encourages products to be recyclable, such as being easily openable with standard tools and with the ability to disassemble the components easily.

Well, Apple's products are certainly not that. If you have ever had the guts to try and change the battery in an iPhone, you know that there is no real way to do it without ruining the housing. This coming from someone who has replaced communications boards between phones without concern, so you know it is a pretty serious effort, unless you have Apple's special tools. Unfortunately, Apple's special tools are not "standard tools" and therefore, the products do not meet the EPEAT requirements for registry. Because of this, Apple has notified EPEAT to remove all of their products, almost 40 in total, from the registry.

How will this affect Apple and what do the two organization have to say about the move? Hit the break for more.

Google Wants $4 Million From Oracle

posted Saturday Jul 7, 2012 by Scott Ertz

Google Wants $4 Million From Oracle

It is always a major financial undertaking to sue a large corporation for theft. It is always a major disappointment when the suit goes to trial and you lose. Often times, those two realities come together and cost you a lot of money when you lose. In Oracle's case, it looks like the failed Java/Android lawsuit will end up losing them $4 million.

That is how much Google has asked from Oracle in legal fees. Of course, since Google won, they are totally entitled to recover costs incurred during the suit. According to Google,

Google prevailed on a substantial part of the litigation. {Oracle} recovered none of the relief it sought in this litigation. Accordingly, Google is the prevailing party and is entitled to recover costs.

$4 million seems like a lot, however. As proof, Google has submitted information regarding the break-down of costs, and the most impressive part of all of this is the $2.9 million on copying and organizing files. They had to pull and file almost 100 million documents in its defense, costing almost $3 million. That is an insane amount of Kinko's time.

The same coder/judge who awarded the win to Google will also be deciding how much they are entitled to in reimbursement. Thus begins the second leg of a wild and crazy legal battle between two companies that no one can really root for.

Upgrading to Windows 8 Pro Will Only Cost You a Few Hours and $39.99

posted Thursday Jul 5, 2012 by Nicholas DiMeo

Upgrading to Windows 8 Pro Will Only Cost You a Few Hours and $39.99

With the release date of the popular Windows 8 operating system getting closer and closer and changes out of the way, I think it's about time to shift to what it might cost us to upgrade to the new software. The good thing is that Microsoft seems to agree and posted in their Windows Team Blog this week about just that thing. Specifically, blogger Brandon LeBlanc wanted to talk about upgrading to Windows 8 from a prior operating system.

LeBlanc said that the goal with Windows 8 was to make it so that practically anybody could essentially "upgrade" to the new Microsoft way of life. To start that, any Windows XP, Vista or Win7 user will be able to upgrade to Windows 8 for just $39.99 in 131 different markets across the globe. For those of you wanting the "Windows Media Center Edition," an additional checkbox will be available for you to click on at no extra charge with the Windows 8 Pro upgrade.

What other perks and options do you get when you upgrade to Windows 8? Well, we have all of the information after the break, including what happens to you Windows XP users out there.

Pikman 3 and Wii U For You

posted Wednesday Jul 4, 2012 by Jon Wurm

Pikman 3 and Wii U For You

Pikman was a fun, family-friendly title that provided countless hours of entertainment for children and families around the world. Finally, after 10 years Nintendo decided to blow the dust out of the cartridge and introduce Pikman 3 for the Wii U during their E3 2012 Press Conference. Not surprisingly, Miyamoto and his trusty translator made it a point to show off what Pikman 3 being a Wii U title actually meant for gamers. The most oblivious improvement comes from the enhanced graphics of the Wii U but Miyamoto also mentioned the extra resolution will make it much easier to deal with Pikman that are spread out across a large area. The gameplay mechanics have also changed a bit as your Pikman can manipulate the environment to build bridges and you have much greater control over targeting. Now you can discover and hone in on key items in the environment or weak spots on enemies to be much more effective in combat. There is also new type of Pikman, the "Rock Pikman," which is used for breaking hard surfaces and enemies that stand in your way.

To accurately control your horde of colorful Pikman you have the option of basic controls that utilize the Wii Remote Plus and Nunchuck or exclusively using the Wii U controller that provides some more advanced options. Depending on which you chose, the gameplay you experience will be different. For example, using the Wii Remote Plus and Nunchuck combination gives you a the more specialized targeting that adds depth to the battle at hand. If you go the Wii U controller route, the game seems to act more like an RTS (real-time strategy) where your focus is more about managing 4 groups of "Leaders" and Pikman at a time. This is done by dedicating the Wii U controller's screen to acting as a map that improves your ability to navigate to the different groups.

If you didn't get to try it out on the show floor then you'll just have to sit tight until whenever the TBA 2012 release date ends up being. In the mean time, check out the Pikman 3 portion of the Nintendo E3 2012 Press Conference after the break.

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