The UpStream

Google Places Reviews on Hold

posted Saturday Jul 23, 2011 by Scott Ertz

Google Places Reviews on Hold

Thursday, Google announced, via their blog, that they were making an alteration to Google Places. Effective immediately, outside reviews have been removed from Google Places. For those who don't know what Places is, it is a service that allows people to find local restaurants, cafes, bars, etc. You can also get and give reviews on the locations you visit.

This service, originally called Hotspot, is not an original concept from Google. In fact, there are several competitors in the market, including Yelp and TripAdvisor. The unique thing about Places is that it collected the reviews from these other sites and showed them on their own pages as part of the reviews and ratings.

So, why did Google remove this information? Hit the break to find out.

War and Twitter, 140 Characters at a Time

posted Saturday Jul 23, 2011 by Jon Wurm

War and Twitter, 140 Characters at a Time

Just last week we were finally able to report that Twitter does intend to become a profitable business and this week CEO Dick Costolo took it a little further at Fortune Brainstorm Tech. Adam Lashinsky fired off some questions at Costolo about Google+, Promoted Tweets and the like, some of which Costolo answered and others he responded to.

Not surprisingly the first question asked was in regards to the Fortune cover titled "Trouble at Twitter." Costolo responded with some stats like Twitter's website getting 400 million unique hits per month and that their users generate 1 billion tweets every 5 days, which is an improvement from June, where it took seven days to reach 1 billion tweets. Costolo also mentioned that their mobile usage is growing 40% every quarter.

That's not all the Twitter CEO had to say. Hit the break to find out else was said.

Capcom Strikes Yet Again!

posted Friday Jul 22, 2011 by Allante Sparks

Capcom Strikes Yet Again!

First Capcom re-releases Street Fighter 2 in full-HD, then they remastered Street Fighter 3 two times (soon to be a third released on XBL and PSN later this year) with Street Fighter 3, Street Fighter 3: 2nd Impact, and Street Fighter 3: 3rd Strike. Let's not even begin to mention the number of games they have re-mastered two to three times over the years.

Capcom's most recent attempt to re-release a game three times was Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition but apparently that is not where it ends... Marvel vs. Capcom 3 was a smash hit from even before it's release date and has X-Factored it's way into fighting game fans hearts. Well now my duckies here come Ultimate Marvel Vs. Capcom 3!

For a list of features and even some video from the game, hit the break.

Amazon Gears Up for War with Netflix and Hulu

posted Wednesday Jul 20, 2011 by Nicholas DiMeo

Amazon Gears Up for War with Netflix and Hulu

With big events like Hulu going up for sale and Netflix raising their prices, sometimes it's easy to lose sight of the rest of the pack. This week, Amazon Prime took it upon themselves to stand out from the crowd.

If you don't remember what Amazon Prime is, it started off as a shipping service on Amazon that would cost a customer $79 a year, but would give you free two-day shipping on almost every item in the inventory. It grew from there, adding new features, but it really took off when Amazon announced that their Prime service would also include their Instant Video services, only repackaged.

As the months have progressed from their announcement, Amazon Prime's video side of the fence has seen an improved interface, smoother and quicker video streaming and a list of new videos to stream while you wait for your orders.

This week, Amazon expanded their video library, directly targeting Netflix and Hulu. Could Amazon Prime take them down? We'll discuss after the break.

Chinese Counterfeiting of Apple Products Is So Last MacWorld, Apple Stores Are Next

posted Wednesday Jul 20, 2011 by Jon Wurm

Chinese Counterfeiting of Apple Products Is So Last MacWorld, Apple Stores Are Next

China has been the leader in imitation ever since the Western World discovered it was cheaper to have all their stuff manufactured in the East. With imitation iPhones, golf clubs and crab out there, it seems to me that if it exists, there is probably some factory in China spewing out knock-offs. The electronics industry is more than familiar with combating production of counterfeit products but it's a costly process that is largely out of their control, especially when it comes to China. The more popular the product, the more of a problem counterfeiting is. That's the good news; the bad news for Apple is that counterfeiting their products is so last MacWorld.

There is indeed not one but 3 fake Apple Stores within walking distance of each other in Kunming. This suggests they are taking the same approach Starbucks used a couple years back to crowd out competition and gain market share. There is certainly a healthy demand for Apple products in China as just recently we've seen people are willing to sell their virginity and kidneys just to get their hands on one. That is assuming they don't sell their hands as well.

The only thing more impressive than Chinese peoples' need for Apple stuff is their ability to reproduce entire retail stores. Hit the break to find out just what I mean.

Amazon Lights Up a New Feature for Their Kindle: College Textbook Rentals

posted Tuesday Jul 19, 2011 by Nicholas DiMeo

Amazon Lights Up a New Feature for Their Kindle: College Textbook Rentals

Are you a college student and own a Kindle? Well, you just may be in luck if you're looking to buy or rent a textbook on the cheap. This week, Amazon has started to rent out those $6,000 college textbooks on their awesome Kindle device. Some books are even 80% off retail price. Hooray! You can now afford something other than noodle cups again!

Amazon's statement this week said that you can get textbooks from John Wiley & Sons, Elsevier and Taylor & Francis. The cool part here is students can rent the books on their Kindle based on how long they need it. Amazon has set up a custom rental option that will allow you to select between 30 and 360 days, perfect for an express class or a year-long session.

For more on what's in store and what the company has to say about the new feature, click that break.

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