The UpStream

Console Game Developers Say 'Press Subscribe to Continue'

posted Sunday Dec 4, 2011 by Jon Wurm

Console Game Developers Say 'Press Subscribe to Continue'

Any hardcore gamer can guess what this is about. Subscription-based gaming is the norm for most social games that aren't free to play and companies like Zynga have not only enjoyed a more stable and predictable cash flow but they've been chipping away at the console gaming market at a steady pace. For the past few years console game developers have been trying to avoid getting pwned by bad economic conditions and the threat of shrinking market share, so naturally they have been gravitating toward the same subscription-based model in an effort to have more security for their revenue streams than Sony had for the PSN back in October. According to THQ's CEO Brian Farrell,

The big win there is you have a consumer base that pays you the subscription fee each month ongoing. That's a very different revenue model for a video game company, when you have this monthly subscription revenue rather than a one-time purchase.

Read on to find out why subscription-based gaming is gaining more momentum after the recent Reuters Global Media Summit.

Spotify Welcomes Developers with Apps and an Open Platform

posted Sunday Dec 4, 2011 by Nicholas DiMeo

Spotify Welcomes Developers with Apps and an Open Platform

Just a few short months after Spotify launched in the US, it was already running into a couple of hiccups, outside of getting enough subscribers to the service. Independent and smaller music label talent were both pulling their songs out of the service, claiming that the artists were not making enough off of each song play. To respond, Spotify has tried to make amends with the affected artists.

Outside of that realm, however, the new streaming company has tried to make a name by teaming up with other companies to show off cool demos and even appearing on our beloved WinPho 7.

So what's next for Spotify? This week, the company announced that it will start to open its music-laden arms to developers, asking them to create apps and other things to distance Spotify from the pack of other new music streaming companies out there, like Google Music.

Nintendo Uses Its Strong Black Friday to Push Through to the New Year

posted Sunday Dec 4, 2011 by Nicholas DiMeo

Nintendo Uses Its Strong Black Friday to Push Through to the New Year

A failed product launch quickly followed by a price drop of that same product are two reasons a company has to apologize for a potential upcoming disaster. Ask Sony for the other reasons a company could fail. For Nintendo, however, things weren't looking so good after the 3DS fiasco. Many analysts of the gaming industry were predicting the tragic end of an iconic company if the holiday season wasn't a success for them.

This week, Nintendo responded to the call. We have the details after the break.

Toyota and Yamaha Bring the Future into the Past With e-bike Collaboration

posted Sunday Dec 4, 2011 by Jon Wurm

Toyota and Yamaha Bring the Future into the Past With e-bike Collaboration

Looking forward into the future, Toyota and Yamaha understand that urban areas will become much more densely populated over the next decade and that population requires reliable and economical transportation capabilities. There are only so many cars that can fit on the road and the forward looking approach Toyota and Yamaha have taken is to focus on small electric vehicles such as bikes and scooters that could play a big role in personal transportation in the future.

The EC-Miu three-wheeler, called the "electric commuter" and PAS-WITH e-bike concepts appeared at the Tokyo Motor show this year and one of the obvious benefits is the "cool" factor built into its futuristic design. It also runs on electricity, which is a plus for those who would like hold their noses up at Prius owners every time they drive by. The best part of this conceptual technology is actually under the hood, so to speak. The collaborative relationship that Toyota and Yamaha are leveraging involves Toyota's Smart Grid technology which was developed through a partnership with Microsoft.

Read on after the break to find out what makes it so cool and to see a video of the technology in action.

Foot Path Steps in It

posted Sunday Dec 4, 2011 by Scott Ertz

Foot Path Steps in It

Well, it turns out not everyone was so jazzed about the new technology from Path Intelligence, Foot Path, that allows retailers to anonymously track a cell phone's journey through a retail environment. To recap last week's report, The malls, owned and operated by Forest City, Promenade Temecula in Temecula, California and Short Pump Town Center in Richmond, Virginia, were trying out the new technology to survey shoppers behaviors in a way more accurate and anonymous than the old "give us your email and we'll send you a coupon" method.

As expected, people have taken offense to the concept of being tracked and after concerns were raised by US Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY), Forest City has decided to halt their testing of the equipment, at least temporarily. Schumer said,

A shopper's personal cell phone should not be used by a third party as a tracking device by retailers who are seeking to determine holiday shopping patterns. Personal cell phones are just that—personal. If retailers want to tap into your phone to see what your shopping patterns are, they can ask you for your permission to do so.

To find out exactly what caused all of this and how the parties involved have responded, hit the break.

Cisco Cius Tablet is Slated for Larger Models Next Year

posted Sunday Dec 4, 2011 by Jon Wurm

Cisco Cius Tablet is Slated for Larger Models Next Year

With all the news about new tablets constantly bombarding us, it's no surprise that Cisco's own tablet, the Cius, would get lost in the clutter of white noise and dessert treats that are iOS and Android devices. The Cius is also running with Android but Cisco's unique experience is largely ingrained on a deeper level that breeds some interesting and exciting usability in what I would designate a hardcore enterprise tablet. RIM and HP should take note.

Cisco's goal with the Cius is to "Redefine the way you work," by allowing employees to stay connected, reduce costs and increase productivity. Staying connected involves ubiquitous connectivity over Ethernet (With Cius docking station), 802.11 WiFi, 3G/4G and Bluetooth. Increasing productivity, refers to their AppHQ store which is a Cisco suite of apps that are tested to be sound and are secured from end to end. Cisco collaborative applications like Quad, Jabber and WebEx Meeting Center offer one touch functionality because they are not bolt-ons to the Android system, they are ingrained much more deeply. Something else worth nothing about AppHQ is that businesses can develop their own apps and create their own app suites within AppHQ, essentially allowing them to have a personal sub-app store within AppHQ. These applications are also subject to scrutiny by Cicso to ensure integrity and security, so they seem to be taking the whole security thing seriously. Another highlight of their product, that goes in-line with productivity and connectivity, is their Virtual Experience Infrastructure. To find out what VEI means for you and what Cisco has in store for the Cius, read on after the break.

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