The UpStream

Samsung Continues Production of LED TVs, Still Leading in Market Share

posted Saturday Sep 12, 2009 by Nicholas DiMeo

Samsung Continues Production of LED TVs, Still Leading in Market Share

This week, Samsung has revealed a full set of LED televisions in Germany. At this IFA event, they announced that they will continue the production of this very slender TV, and I'm sure we could all agree that this news is very exciting. This LED is the best on the market but Samsung hopes to continue sweeping away the competition by being the first to release the AMOLED (Active Matrix Organic Light Emitting Diode.)

The company is doing well even without the AMOLED TV, selling more than 700,000 LED units worldwide since they were first plucked off the production lines. And it was only out for four months! Samsung is anticipating to ship out 2 millions units in 2009, and is expecting to be responsible for 35% of the global LCD market by 2010.

Do You Want to be T-Pain? I Don't!

posted Sunday Sep 6, 2009 by Nicholas DiMeo

Do You Want to be T-Pain? I Don't!

There are two things I despise: an overabundance iPhone users and the overabundance of Auto-Tune users. Fortunately, media company Smule has teamed up with Antares and T-Pain to create a duet from hell with the new app, I Am T-Pain. The app allows you to plug in your iPhone to a set of speakers and sing along to your favorite T-Pain hits and then send the sorry excuse for a song to your friends. Sounds exciting, right? It gets better! It comes with several of the Top 40 hits along with 3 original beats for you to get your off-keyness on.

For those who are unaware, Auto-Tune is a feature that corrects, or tunes, your voice to the correct pitch if you wind up flat or sharp during singing. The more corrections you hear on a song typically correlates with the talent of the artist. Currently there are thousands of young artists with aspirations to make it big who are using this software thinking it will launch them to the top just because T-Pain did it. However, they fail to realize that a singing ability is still required to not make the correction software overwork itself into oblivion on the track.

Bluetooth usage declines in '09

posted Sunday Sep 6, 2009 by Nicholas DiMeo

Bluetooth usage declines in '09

Bluetooth headsets were quite the rave not too long ago, but a recent study shows a decline in use of Bluetooth headsets in the United States. In 2008, 43% of Americans used their headsets daily, but now the number has decreased to 26%. American consumers are finding that hands-free car kits are easier to use and performed better when professionally installed.

Although the number of consumers who use their headset daily has plummeted in the United States, it has increased in Europe. Talking to someone with a flashing stick in their ear sure can get annoying, but I'd have to admit the Bluetooth is much more convenient and can be used in more than just the car, unlike a hands-free car kit. So which is better, the Bluetooth headset or the hands-free car kit? We'll let you decide.

The Wannabe PC

posted Sunday Sep 6, 2009 by Nicholas DiMeo

The Wannabe PC

Ever heard of the computer manufacturing company Linutop? Good, I haven't either. Apparently their goal is to cater to the cheapskate of the world by making computers whose sole purpose is to annoy technicians and reviewers like myself by creating a device which can only run Solitaire without crashing. It's called the Linutop 3. This beast - and when I say beast, I mean kitty cat - of a machine comes with a whopping 1 GB of RAM with a 2 GB flash-based hard drive. You may be wondering why I'm bashing a netbook so much, but this is a desktop machine, standing at a manly 9" tall and 2" wide!

Why so harsh, you ask? This is only going to further widen the technology gap for people who only buy new devices based on price. Yes, I understand that this machine could prove to be useful for the 70 year old grandfather who merely wants to check up on his family and maybe receive a picture or two. This can even be useful as an Internet center at your local library. However, we all know the difference between impact and intent.

"Comes With Music" Comes With Delays for U.S.

posted Sunday Sep 6, 2009 by Jon Wurm

Unless you care about Europe for some reason then you are probably not familiar with Nokia's "Comes With Music" service and why it being delayed in the U.S. could make U.S. phone owners a sad panda. Nokia unveiled the service in December 2007 one year before its official launch in the U.K (it's in Europe). Come With Music basically works as a prepaid music service where you pay a certain amount up front and get unlimited downloads from their music library for a whole year. Well that sounds pretty cool but what's the catch? It seems that in order to get European wireless companies to jump on board and foot some of the bill they had to slip some DRM into the mix.

TiVo Dishes It Out To Dish Network...Again

posted Saturday Sep 5, 2009 by Jon Wurm

TiVo Dishes It Out To Dish Network...Again

Hey everyone remember TiVo, the device that revolutionized the way we watched TV by bestowing upon us the ability to warp time? Except for the fact that we had one sitting around where I used to work, I don't either. It turns about they are still alive and have been trying to rip Dish Network a new one since 2004 because of alleged patent infringements. Originally, they sued EchoStar, which is part of Dish Network now for infringing on their patent for their "multimedia time warping system" (wow that sounds cool).

To put it simply, they are referring to the TiVo's ability to record one channel while watching another. Fast forward to 2006 and a federal court ruled that EchoStar had to pay TiVo a whopping 73.9 million for damages but it doesn't stop there. Recently Dish was also ordered to pay $103 million plus interest for continuing to sell DVRs with technology that violates a permanent injunction by federal courts but wait round 3 is coming up next. This dispute has now remained unsettled for 5 years so TiVo went for the killing blow and sued Dish for $1 billion based on the profits they had made from their DVR in this timeframe. Now fortunately for Dish the judge ruled that only $200 million more was justified and said that Dish had made a good faith effort to work around the technology and did not willingly infringe TiVo's patent.

TiVo released a statement saying,

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