The UpStream

DZ Series Laptops Will Have You Seeing Double

posted Saturday Nov 28, 2009 by Jon Wurm

DZ Series Laptops Will Have You Seeing Double

Apparently, computer manufacturer Kohjinsha had our visually impaired friend B. Cole in mind when they developed their new DZ series of netbooks. With a 10.1 inch screen even people with eagle eyes can feel like Ray Charles drowning in a pool of blurred colors and text. In an effort to solve the problem, Kohjinsha gave this netbook two screens. The imaginative design gives the user the ability to slide out a second screen on the go. Before you get overly excited there is a downside, it's still a netbook. Which means for doing excel spreadsheets or watching movies while surfing the net you will be computing like no other and your friends will be jealous. For those of us who need the extra horse power this laptop isn't for you. Here are the specs:

Two 10.1in. wide screen LCDs (1024x600)

AMD Athlon Neo MV-40, 1.6 Ghz processor

1GB of RAM (4GB max)

160GB sata hard drive

ATI Radeon HD 3200 internal graphics

Wireless LAN

Bluetooth

1.3 megapixel webcam

Windows 7 Home Premium 32-bit

4.5lbs. with a battery life of approximately 4.5hrs.

This isn't the first dual screen laptop but (this one is) it is the first one to be practical and affordable. It costs around $900 USD or 79,800 Yen in Japan, the only country where this laptop series is currently available starting this December.

I would like to see dual screens trickle upward to the higher end laptops in the near future. It is safe to say they would be expensive and lacking in battery life at first but if you combine it with LED screens and more energy efficient processors it could be acceptable. At the very least it would make editing video at conventions and everywhere else more bearable.

Hit the break to check out the video.

The Hobbit - Better than Ever

posted Saturday Nov 28, 2009 by Scott Ertz

The Hobbit - Better than Ever

There have been a lot of rumors about the upcoming Lord of the Rings prequel films, mostly because Peter Jackson has seemingly refused to talk about it. The good news is, at the premiere for The Lovely Bones, he was asked some questions, and he actually answered them! Time for some updates.

The first rumor put to death - 3D. The Internets bring this one up every few months, and Jackson ended it swiftly.

"The Hobbit will not be filmed in 3D, despite the current vogue for the technology in the movie industry... Guillermo wants to shoot in 35mm, old-fashioned film, which suits me, because he wants to keep it in the same space as the original trilogy."

Twitter Gets Another Cool $100 Million....Seriously?

posted Saturday Nov 28, 2009 by Jon Wurm

Twitter Gets Another Cool $100 Million....Seriously?

I don't know what kind of Christmas party blackmail the founders of Twitter have on major investors T. Row Price and Insight Venture Partners among others but it must have been bad enough for them to throw another 100 million their way. With their newest injection of capital the company has attained a theoretical value of 1 billion dollars and it gets better.

Biz Stone, co-founder of Twitter, made a statement to reporters in Tel Aviv on November 24th stating that Twitter will "start making money" in 2010 by means of "non-traditional" advertising.

My favorite part of this entire story is that Stone still feels there is no need to create a business plan because they have so much money that it doesn't matter.

"There are no dates when we need to break even. We have plenty of money in the bank," Stone said.

EA Does Something Not So Evil: Creates a Football Game for the Disabled

posted Saturday Nov 28, 2009 by Nicholas DiMeo

EA Does Something Not So Evil: Creates a Football Game for the Disabled

Well, B.Cole may still not have access to video games for the blind, but some disabled gamers will soon be able to enjoy the awesome-ness that we call Madden.

The modified version was aimed towards gamers with both physical and developmental disabilities. VTree, a provider of software for those with disabilities, along with EA sports came up with the idea of a game titled "My Football Game."

The graphics may not be up to par, but creating a game for the disabled is a great move by EA. The game will be available for the PC, but instead of the regular NFL jerseys, the uniforms will be those of the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines branches of the military. The reason for this is because many testers for the game were actually disabled veterans. Pretty cool, huh?

Sony Gives Microsoft a Run for Their Money... But Probably Not

posted Saturday Nov 28, 2009 by Nicholas DiMeo

Sony Gives Microsoft a Run for Their Money... But Probably Not

Looks like Sony may have some big news at CES this year. Everyone in the gaming community knows that the Xbox is much more popular when it comes to online play: Xbox Live vs. PlayStation Home. But now it appears that Sony has decided to try to give Microsoft a run for their money.

On Thursday a subtle announcement implied that Sony is coming out with a "premium level" subscription service for the PlayStation Network. Although the announcement was not a sure thing, it was confirmed by Kaz Hirai, and is expected to be released within a year.

It was very unclear what the "premium content and services" will include, but the services already included on the PlayStation home service; Facebook, Netflix, etc., will still be free. This may be the break Sony was looking for, a chance to finally gain the title for best online game play. But with all the features recently released on the Xbox will Sony be able to outdo them?

Oh! Oh! It's Magic for Macs

posted Tuesday Nov 24, 2009 by Jon Wurm

Oh! Oh! It's Magic for Macs

Odds are if you're an Apple fan that usually does not include being a fan of the oddly shaped and otherwise lacking mouse. That is about to change by way of some Apple branded magic that is long overdue. The Magic Mouse ditches the old Apple style of form over function, mostly. The mouse uses touch gestures to determine what you want to do. Swiping up and down will activate the up and down scroll functions in programs and web browsers. Swiping two fingers side to side in Safari will take you backwards or forwards through your webpages as well as flip through photos in the Mac OS X Preview App. Not to worry though if Safari isn't your thing there is a hack for Firefox that will let you switch between tabs like never before (without using the keyboard).

The Mighty Mouse is an optical mouse which is another plus and optical mice have been around forever so it's good that Apple is starting to take advantage of them. Watch out Mac users if Apple keeps this type of innovation up I might even own one again some day.

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