The UpStream

Microsoft Takes Office 2010 to the Cloud!

posted Sunday Jul 3, 2011 by Jon Wurm

Microsoft Takes Office 2010 to the Cloud!

You might be asking yourself right now, "Doesn't Office 2010 already have web apps?" Well, yes, they do. In fact the Office 365 program suite is available right now in 40 markets according to the Steve Ballmer. The things Microsoft realized with the current Office 2010 web apps is that they are a relatively weak solution and with the growing demand for cloud applications, Google Apps could pose a problem in the near future. That alone was probably enough reason for Microsoft to take Office to the next level.

Of course Microsoft is talking about full service Office web apps that would deliver the entire Office experience online over a network and not on a hard drive. This would provide another way for Office users to access and interact with Office products so long as Internet access is available. It will also be very beneficial for wallets according to Microsoft Office Division President Kurt DelBene,

Customers can save money with the product, which eliminates the need to maintain server computers and software. Microsoft estimates the average 1,000-person company will save about $350,000 a year over a four-year period.

Along with the potential cost savings for businesses, Microsoft is looking to grab more of the corporate spending in the technology sector by making the subscription to Office 2010 web apps a month-to-month, per user, kind of licensing. They think that this model will allow them to sell more to small and medium sized businesses.

At $6 per month a user will be able to enjoy Office Web Apps and exchange e-mail services, if they want to, for an additional $12 per month, $18 total, they can have a full version of Office as well. Microsoft says that Office 2010 is being adopted five times faster than Office '07 and it will be interesting to see what effect these changes will have in the near future.

Supreme Court Tells California The 1st Amendment Is Still Constitutional

posted Saturday Jul 2, 2011 by Jon Wurm

Supreme Court Tells California The 1st Amendment Is Still Constitutional

In November of last year, a California bill was signed into law that banned the sale of "violent" video games to minors, AB 1179. Opposition to the bill has not made its way to the highest court in the land where Denny Crane argued that violence is American and the ban would make our children "namby panbies."

On June 27th of this year, the Supreme Court of the United States finally rendered a verdict that ultimately upholds the First Amendment, under which video games are protected by freedom of speech. Justices Elena Kagan, Anthony Kennedy, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor echoed sentiments from Justice Antonin Scalia, who wrote in his opinion,

The Act does not comport with the First Amendment. Video games qualify for First Amendment protection. Like protected books, plays, and movies, they communicate ideas through familiar literary devices and features distinctive to the medium. And 'the basic principles of freedom of speech... do not vary' with a new and different communication medium.

How have other organizations responded and how might this still affect you? Hit the break to get the facts.

Geohot Now One of the Cool Guys Working for Facebook

posted Sunday Jun 26, 2011 by Nicholas DiMeo

Geohot Now One of the Cool Guys Working for Facebook

This is somewhat weird news that I both like and dislike at the same time. Our beloved hacker legend Geohot, also known to me as The Hotz, is now a legitimate working man. That's right, after all of the publicity, the media attention, the Sony lawsuits, the Kevin Butler flubs and countless hard drives seized by the feds, The Hotz is now working... for Facebook.

So while it's cool and all that George received some sort of recognition for his skill-set out of all of this, why is he working for Facebook of all people? Well, it makes sense if you think about it. Hotz has been known for releasing exploits for not only the PS3 but for Apple products as well, specifically, the iPhone. He is known for jailbraking the handset to work outside of AT&T's network.

According to Facebook, they've been eyeing to make an iPad app as of last week. You heard right, Facebook has yet to release an app for the iPad for their own site. Baffling. Regardless, with Geohot's experience with Apple products, he is now under the employ of the incompetently run giant to hopefully make their one good product for the year.

Word got out of this after Chronic-Dev Team member Josh Hill noticed that his challenge to Hotz on hacking the iPad 2 was dismissed because of George's new work. After doing some research we learned that his new work was indeed at Facebook.

Hotz' Facebook status read, "Facebook is really an amazing place to work...first hackathon over."

We wish him luck and hope that he doesn't become tainted by the Zucks.

Hulu for Sale

posted Sunday Jun 26, 2011 by Nicholas DiMeo

Hulu for Sale

Hulu for sale? It seems so. After back and forth talks about their CEO leaving and resigning deals recently with the major networks, the company now has a For Sale sign out on the lawn. Hulu has picked up investment banks Morgan Stanley and Guggenheim Partners to help them setup a sale. Interested parties have already been notified that the sale process would be starting in as soon as two weeks.

Of course, we learned of this news after following a story earlier in the week where Yahoo! came forward with interest in an acquisition but did not make a formal bid. At that point, nobody had an idea if Hulu was willing to sell and they hadn't taken any steps towards preparing for a sale. Now with the addition of the banks, there is a clear line drawn on where Hulu wants to go with this. Not only are they on the minds of potential buyers, but the owning companies, News Corp., Disney, NBC Universal/Comcast and Providence Equity are looking to leave the media streaming service just three years after its inception.

Could this really be? Click the break for more.

Sony Ericsson Xperia Phones Go Hollywood and Underwater

posted Sunday Jun 26, 2011 by Jon Wurm

Sony Ericsson Xperia Phones Go Hollywood and Underwater

I've been talking about Sony Ericsson Xperia phones for a while now and when I heard about the announcement of the Xperia Ray and Xperia Active I was actually intrigued as to what they would have to offer. We know that Ericsson has taken well to Android and is now looking to become the top seller of phones on the Android platform. With Xperia Arc, Xperia Play and Xperia Neo already on the roster what directions would they take with 2 new phones?

It turns out that despite small screen sizes, 3in. for the Active and 3.3in. for the Ray, both phones will take advantage of the Mobile Bravia engine which is intended to transplant the Sony Bravia TV experience to mobile handsets by improving contrast and color management. One noticeable difference is the resolution of the Ray at 854 x 480 compared to the much more standard 480 x 320 of the Arc. That seems cool, we already saw some of that at CES this year but the Arc will deliver something more interesting that might make up for a more lacking display.

Hit the break to see the Reality Display in action from CES this year and for more details.

3M Keeps Your TV Plugged in with Ethernet

posted Sunday Jun 26, 2011 by Nicholas DiMeo

3M Keeps Your TV Plugged in with Ethernet

3M, the stationary company, has created something so cool that you'll want one of their Post-It notes to remember it. They have come up with an Ethernet-powered TV that doesn't need a power plug. If you didn't know or are trying to figure out what index cards and page labels have to do with new technology with TVs, 3M has been also working in the display industry for a long time. They have worked in-depth on a device called a front polarizer, which determines how to infuse light into the TVs. This polarizer rests between the glass on the TV and the actual liquid crystals.

So while that work doesn't relate directly to creating a new tech for televisions, 3M has also been behind pushing the industry to find out how to make displays manage power more efficiently. 3M's polarizers are said to help bring down the power consumption of LCDs, to the point where it won't need to be plugged in.

We have a fact sheet image and more after the break.

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