The UpStream (Page 333)

CES 2012 Tenative Schedule

posted Sunday Jan 8, 2012 by Jon Wurm

CES 2012 Tenative Schedule

Greetings all. While most people have overdosed on technology over the holiday 2011 season, you haven't, and our insatiable thirst for keeping you plugged won't allow us to either. January 2012 means another CES and this year we are coming in stronger than ever with plans to double our coverage from last year's show thanks to Allante Sparks, the newest member of our CES 2012 team. But wait, there's more. We are also combining our forces with the Tech Podcast Network, because we know that when it comes to this kind of thing, the concept of "too much" is irrelevant.

Just like last year, we will be doing a live show almost evey night from various locations in Las Vegas such as The Stratosphere Hotel and Casio. There will also be a wide variety of guests such as Avram Piltch, the online editorial director for Laptop Magazine, who you may know from The Piltch Point segment of Refreshing Technology. This will mark his first live, in-person appearance on the show!

Here are the tenative times and dates for the live shows:

Sunday, January 8th at 9PM ET/6PM PT

Monday, January 9th at 9PM ET/6PM PT

Tuesday, January 10th at 9PM ET/6PM PT

Wednesday, January 11th at 9PM ET/6PM PT

Thursday, January 12th at 9PM ET/6PM PT

Friday, January 13th at 9PM ET/6PM PT

Sunday, January 15th at 9PM ET/6PM PT

Since we can't guarantee that anything in the schedule will happen as planned, be sure to find us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and YouTube so you can stay plugged into the fast-paced world of CES 2012. Also, make sure to stay tuned into the TPN live stream for coverage right from the floor.

Sony Still Hopes for 15 Million PS3 Sales This Year

posted Sunday Dec 18, 2011 by Nicholas DiMeo

Sony Still Hopes for 15 Million PS3 Sales This Year

Even after all of the destruction Sony has suffered this year, like their PlayStation Network crashing, including the second round of account comprises and the delay of the Vita, they are still ridiculously optimistic. Not only are they making improvements to the PlayStation Home, they still feel confident in their PS3 sales.

This week, Sony has said that despite it all and through everything, they are still right on track to push 15 million units across the globe for its fiscal year ending in March. Head of Sony Computer Entertainment Andrew House said that PS3 sales are actually ahead of what they've projected year-to-date. However, he was a little timid on commenting whether or not the Vita is going to meet initial estimates.

Bear Naps in NJ Basement, Woken Up By Cable Guy

posted Sunday Dec 18, 2011 by Nicholas DiMeo

Bear Naps in NJ Basement, Woken Up By Cable Guy

My home state always seems to have something weird and random in the news at least twice a year. Either that, or there's some new smell emanating from the state because we're downwind from New York. I'm talking about my Garden State, New Jersey.

This week, something interesting came across my wire that certainly beats the pants off of the burning squirrel car story we talked about a couple years ago.

Courtesy of The New York Post and with special thanks to the great city of Hopatcong, NJ, I will simply quote The Post's article, which is also available in the source link below. I simply cannot do this story any better justice than the short, concise version provided by them.

A cable TV repairman got quite a surprise when he walked into the basement of a New Jersey home.

There was a 500-pound bear sound asleep on the floor.

The bear had been spotted wandering in the neighborhood in Hopatcong earlier Wednesday. It's not clear how it got into the home.

The bear ambled out of the house before state Fish and Game officials arrived.

WNBC-TV in New York reports the officials fired a tranquilizer dart at the animal, which walked a few blocks to the Missouri Trail before it was knocked out.

Officials plan to relocate the bear.

In a follow up, the bear has demanded that the next place it decides to crash at must have Verizon's potentially upgraded network, or at least a nice fish spread. The bear has been reported to have not had high remarks on the large assortment of spray tan bottles, stating that they "taste like regret and shame." When asked why he decided to nap, he said that he was hiding his eyes from the possible burn they could suffer after hearing news that Jersey Shore would be returning to TV.

Photo courtesy of Westfield, MA Educational System.

Are Too Many Gadgets Draining Our Batteries?

posted Sunday Dec 18, 2011 by Jon Wurm

Are Too Many Gadgets Draining Our Batteries?

Probably most people have asked themselves at certain times, when is enough, enough? We live in a world that is cannibalized by digital devices which brings along with them a world of connectivity to a torrent of streaming, real-time information. It could be like draining your battery from both poles. Consumers are bombarded by technology, that is essential for life in the civilized world, at an ever increasing pace. Also, consumers have to determine if they should invest their resources in upgrading technology on a continual basis. Does version x.xx of y device actually provide value that justifies upgrading from an existing device or does it merely offer a few more optimizations that produce marginal returns? Underwriters Laboratories conducted a study in search of an answer that culminated in a 42 page report so we'll just cover the results.

The study revealed some findings that someone could infer from common sense as well as some that are less obvious and maybe a little surprising. Health and location of parts manufacturing were surprisingly notable. Over half, 55% of the 1200 consumers from 4 countries that participated in the study noted that where products are assembled isn't as concerning as where the parts are manufactured. This could have to do with both health and economic reasoning but consumers also seemed to be weary of an ever greater exposure to radio waves with the proliferation of WiFi devices.

The analogy of draining our battery from both poles might be surprisingly true with regards to gadget fatigue, as the study concluded that the major problem is a combination of too much innovation and a lack of innovation all at once. "Speed to market" is something that is valued more here by consumers than in other countries and that doesn't change the fact that innovations in design, testing and manufacturing have significantly decreased product cycles. Also companies feel more pressure to compete, which can result in the annual churning out of products with a few tweaks or features that are represented as an entirely new innovative product, like what Apple does. This refers back to the value proposition in the beginning: there has to be a balance between perceived value to the consumer and just being innovative with crap. As a tech savvy consumer yourself, do you ever feel drained keeping up with all your current and future potential devices?

Paypal Says They Can Do Groupon Better

posted Sunday Dec 18, 2011 by Jon Wurm

Paypal Says They Can Do Groupon Better

Paypal has decided to infiltrate the confined space of daily deals along with the likes of Groupon, Amazon, Living Social and thousands of other companies that barely register on the pie chart since an estimated 73% of the market is owned by Groupon and Living Social, according to Yipit. Living Social has managed to stay under the radar unlike Groupon who has been plastered with negative media about their business model, internal practices and lawsuits, not to mention a rather disappointing IPO. Chances are that sometimes Groupon even questions the viability of daily deals but Paypal feels they can make a name in that space for two reasons: they already have 103 million users and they are more familiar with what their users like.

More specifically, what Paypal wants to target are daily deals for the mobile space, not simply targeting deal placement on the geographical location of a city or zip code like Amazon. This is something that Groupon made a big deal about in their IPO roadshow: a targeted method to deliver deals based on current location. Users would be notified of a deal for a retailer when simply walking by their location. Groupon also made a big deal about being able to target deals based on consumers' personality and preferences. The live example they gave during their IPO presentation was notifying an adrenaline junkie of a deal for half-off a couple laps around a NASCAR track. Still, Paypal feels they know their customers better. According to President Scott Thompson,

The experience is going to be completely different than anyone else's, through and through. We'll only give you something that we think fits the category of unique and relevant. Everyone else is going to bombard you.

There are some other reasons why Paypal may want to enter this arena besides their "we know our customers better" reasoning. Find out more after the break.

Cox Becomes Latest Cable Company to Join Verizon Wireless

posted Saturday Dec 17, 2011 by Scott Ertz

Cox Becomes Latest Cable Company to Join Verizon Wireless

A few weeks ago, Verizon made some agreements with cable providers to enhance their wireless network. Bright House, Comcast and Time Warner all had spectrum won in the post-analog television auctions, yet none of the companies had planned to build their own wireless networks. Together they licensed their spectrum to Verizon in exchange for reseller and branding agreements.

This week, Cox Communications, not wanting to be left out, has joined the group in giving control of their owned spectrum to Verizon. The deal with Cox will allow Verizon to sell Cox service in their retail stores, and vice versa. This is an important move for Verizon, because they have decided to stop building out their own FiOS service.

What does this partnership mean for Verizon and Cox customers? Hit the break to find out.

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