The UpStream

Clearwire Gets Some Help from Sprint for Future and Existing 4G Networks

posted Sunday Dec 11, 2011 by Nicholas DiMeo

Clearwire Gets Some Help from Sprint for Future and Existing 4G Networks

The past few weeks have been a little uncertain for Clearwire. From their possible skip on a huge debt to losing 3 resellers, the industry was worried that it would lose a big player in the wireless game. Never fear, though, because Sprint is here to save the day. The company announced this week that there may be up to $1.6 billion in payments to Clearwire for their WiMax and future LTE services.

These modified agreements were made in what seems to be Clear's last hour of life, but was also put together to meet Sprint's growing 4G needs, as it gives Sprint unlimited access to the network.

OnLive Goes Mobile with Full Versions of Games

posted Sunday Dec 11, 2011 by Nicholas DiMeo

OnLive Goes Mobile with Full Versions of Games

It's been a while since OnLive has made headlines. We go back about a year ago, when we last spoke of OnLive and that they launched a microconsole for your gaming enjoyment. This week, OnLive has recognized the trend that people play games on smartphones and tablets. However, OnLive hasn't drank all of the GameStop Kool-Aid, and won't limit the way or what games you play on the mobile platform.

Apple Fires Employee for Facebook Rant, Internal Policy Revealed

posted Sunday Dec 11, 2011 by Nicholas DiMeo

Apple Fires Employee for Facebook Rant, Internal Policy Revealed

What happens when you work for the big Fruit company and you go rant on Facebook about your iPhone, apps and other things Apple? You get fired, of course. That's what happened to employee Samuel Crisp, one of Apple's beloved and adorned Geniuses. It turns out, even though his profile was set to private, one of his friends turned in his comments to Apple management. Apple termed the guy, stating that his comments violated the company's social media policy.

We've talked about firings over Facebook in the past. However, those were a little bit different. This employee's profile was private, as were the comments. Just because one of his friends/co-workers could only think the things Sam was man enough to post and decided to rat him out doesn't mean he should be canned.

This week, Samuel lost his appeal of the wrongful termination, so obviously the next thing that would happen would be that Apple's internal, private social media policy mysteriously was leaked online, and we have it after the break.

Nintendo 3DS Sees Shallow Sales in U.S. and Europe

posted Sunday Dec 11, 2011 by Jon Wurm

Nintendo 3DS Sees Shallow Sales in U.S. and Europe

Until the defining question of "Will you Wii U," is answered after Nintendo's latest console, that was debuted this year at E3, hits store shelves it will be up to the 3DS and remnant Wii console sales to keep all the yen Nintendo is burning up in losses from creating a financial black hole from which even Mario can't escape.

You may remember back in August, the 3DS price was slashed from $249.99 to $169.99 after Nintendo revisited their 2010 sales forecast and re-evaluated at a 82% decrease which put Nintendo at $257 million for this year. Even for a company like them, a number that low needs no translation as to what it could mean if the 3DS sales don't start spin-dashing in the opposite direction. The good news there is that Satoru Iwata expects to make it rain 3DS's in Japan with 4 million units sold by March 2012 and he recently said that the device had regained it's momentum in an interview with the Nikkei Business Daily. The bad news is that everywhere else in the world that matters, sales were about the same as those for a mediocre Mario game.

This month Reggie Fils-Aime, president of Nintendo America, told Reuters that maintaining the momentum captured by the 3DS from Black Friday sales in the US was his main focus. From March through September, US sales had only made up 34% of all 3DS sales worldwide, just behind Europe at 37%. The major reason attributed to this is the slouching economy is both the US and Europe, but the Xbox 360 had record sales of 960,000 units for the week of Black Friday so that may not be entirely true. Lucky for them, Sony won't be getting their new PS Vita handheld on store shelves until February 22nd, 2012 but if things aren't really happening for the 3DS by then, the only hope Nintendo has of seeing gold coin showers again is if they manage to find some star power.

PowerShrink Technology Cuts CPU Power Consumption by 50%

posted Sunday Dec 11, 2011 by Jon Wurm

PowerShrink Technology Cuts CPU Power Consumption by 50%

The PowerShrink technology from SuVolta comes as a breath of fresh air in a world that has been enamored by new mobile operating systems and applications while improvements in core technology seem to have been slowing down. PowerShrink looks to get the momentum rolling again by improving core technology that is specifically related to special transistors that perform voltage scaling for the CPU in a unique way and reducing leakage, which is a problem when chips can have over 1 billion transistors.

The main focus for PowerShrink is 65nm technologies (1nm is one billionth of a meter) where independent testing by Fujitsu Semiconductor verified their claims of decreasing power consumption by 50% without impacting performance and reducing power lost from leakage by 5 times more than current leakage reduction technology. That's quite a thing since everyone stands to gain from improvements in hardware efficiency.

AT&T-Mobile One Step Closer to Failing

posted Saturday Dec 10, 2011 by Scott Ertz

AT&T-Mobile One Step Closer to Failing

This week, the plot has thickened on the proposed AT&T/T-Mobile merger. So far, the Department of Justice has filed suit to block the merger, and the FCC said they would vote to prevent it after receiving a document revealing their reasoning for the merger. AT&T's response to the FCC was to pull the FCC application, citing a focus on the DoJ case. This has not worked out as expected.

Because of the withdrawal, the DoJ has said they will file to postpone proceedings. Their reasoning? A lack of an application to the FCC. Since both agencies have to sign off on the merger, they feel there is no need to rush the proceedings if AT&T is currently not seeking approval from the FCC. The comments came about during hearings to determine whether or not U.S. District Court Judge Ellen S. Huvelle will reconsider a speedy trial. Both AT&T and T-Mobile USA have said that a speedy trial is essential or the merger will certainly fail.

Legal teams from both companies have said that the FCC request was pulled to allow them to focus on a single application, while the DoJ says that removing their application to the FCC shows a lack of faith that the merger is viable. AT&T needs the speedy trial because there is a $4 billion timer ticking down to September of 2012, while T-Mobile needs a speedy trial because, at present, they are losing investor, customer and partner confidence.

If the trial is delayed, Deutsche Telekom, T-Mobile USA's parent company, will be forced to consider canceling the merger, which means losing out on that $4 billion cancellation penalty against AT&T. In a time of financial difficulty, that could really hurt them, but it is possible that another 7 months of waiting for an answer could hurt them more.

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