Author Archives: Zev Rosenbaum

Net Neutrality or Net Tyranny?

 

This is a possible nightmarish outcome from Net Neutrality

Today, the FCC will vote on Net Neutrality, a law that on paper promises equality between consumer and provider, but in reality poses many disturbing results. Proposed by FCC chairman Julius Genachowski, Net Neutrality hopes to create an even ground for all Internet users. However, the law is written in a way that it is up for interpretation, and that in the future, could be misinterpreted and misused for big companies to use to their unfair advantage.

Let’s start with what Net Neutrality is. Net Neutrality wants to create an even playing field for the regular people, us, and big companies. However, what the creators of Net Neutrality want is not what they shall get. The FCC, by passing this law, is giving the power of the Internet to big companies that can pay for more data, while small companies that can’t pony up the same cash will be tossed to the wayside

Why this matters to you

Imagine an Internet where you can get movies downloaded in minutes and songs in a second. This is going to be feasible and plausible but only to the big companies, that have partnerships with the Internet provider. By doing this, the FCC is putting start-up businesses and entrepreneurs at a disadvantage and soon it will be harder and harder to get your business off the ground because they will be able to get their information much faster than you ever could.

An even worse part of Net Neutrality is the watered down restrictions of wireless companies and their customers. While AT&T and Verizon still can’t control what websites you access, they will be able to control what applications you use.

Why this matters to you

With these watered down restrictions, AT&T and Verizon could control your favorite third-party apps and make you use their own paid service. For example, say you use google maps which is a great free app, Verizon could shut down google maps and make you use their own GPS app, VZ Navigator, which is a paid app and maybe worse than the free app. Also, the ambiguity of Net Neutrality could potentially allow AT&T and Verizon– in an extreme case– to cut your Facebook app off from the Internet if you say something that they don’t agree with. This loopholes Free Speech as they are only taking away your Facebook app which doesn’t serve the sole purpose of status updates. Also, they would back it up with a viable reason that doesn’t include what you said, but instead would attribute the Facebook shutdown to a bug in the app.

Not only that, but providers will be able to make certain websites paid services, by lowering the price of the Internet, and toting that you can save money

Why this matters to you

Imagine the way the Internet is one now as an amusement park. you pay a modest amount for admission and once you’re in you can go on as many rides as you want. Under Net Neutrality, the Internet would be more like a carnival, you pay a lower admission and then you pay per ride. Imagine YouTube or Google as a paid per month service. That is the Internet under the vague rules of Net Neutrality.

Have your voice heard, call your local congressman or, better yet, call the FCC and let them know how you feel about an industrialized, restricted Internet.

FCC number – 1-888-CALL FCC
Chairman Julius Genachowski email – julius.Genachowski@FCC.gov

FCC address for snail mail

Federal Communications Commission
445 12th street, SW
Washington, DC 20554

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Doritos + Hungry Gamer = Madden ’11 in 3D

doritos madden 3d

If you get hungry in the next few weeks pick up a bag of Doritos because there may be a code to unlock a 3D mode in Madden ’11. All you got to do once you have the code is log onto the Doritos/Madden Change the Game site and redeem your code– its that easy. The best part? No 3D compatible TV necessary . That’s right, all you need is a pair of those silly looking red and blue glasses that’ve been around forever and you’re ready to go with whatever TV your Xbox 360 or PS3 is hooked up to. And if you don’t have those ridiculous glasses, you can pick up a special edition of the glasses, Madden style, in the next issue of ESPN The Magazine (on newstands November 5th. You can also buy some cooler looking Doritos branded glasses for $2.99 each, including shipping, from the Madden/Doritos site).

If you’ll excuse us, we’re suddenly in the mood for a lot of chips.

Info from Doritos Change the Game, ESPN and Deadspin

Three or More: Monster Match Review

Halloween is right around the corner and you know what that means– Halloween themed apps are coming, and one of the first is Three or More: Monster Match by a new App Store developer, Mighty Fun Apps. Monster Match is very similar to the classic Bejeweled, but with a Halloween twist on it.

Monster Match comes with two modes, classic (in which the goal is to keep your time going by matching monsters up) and timed (in which the goal is to get as many points as possible). The gameplay in both of these is smooth and quick, but– these are the only two modes. There is no online multiplayer or Facebook connectivity like Bejeweled 2 . Speaking of Bejeweled 2, the similarities between these games are ridiculous to the point where I felt I was just playing Bejeweled 2 with a Halloween theme.

Don’t get me wrong, Monster Match is a very fun game.  However, it just does not have enough to separate itself from the competition. Sure, the characters are adorable, but the characters themselves do not warrant the $0.99 tag on the App Store. If you really want the cute characters,  download a similarly named Monster Match (from a company called Jirbo) which is free, and if you want the full puzzle game experience then you should buy the full Bejeweled 2 for the same $0.99.

You can check out Three or More: Monster Match in the iTunes App Store here.

Get a Move On: All the Info You Need to Know About Sony’s All New PlayStation Move

ps move pic 1

In four days, Sony’s answer to the wildly popular Wii and Wiimote and Microsoft’s upcoming Kinect for Xbox 360 will be released. You may have already seen some ads for it online or on TV, but are wondering what in the world it is? Is it any good, and more importantly, is it any good for both the casual AND Metal Gear Solid playing hardcore gamer?

We got all that info and more on Sony’s new motion controller, so what are you waiting for? Read on!

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The Teens Guide to Back to School: Top 5 Netbooks Under $400

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As we walk into our classrooms this year, we will see more netbooks in use than ever before. This is in large part because you can get a solid netbook for under $4oo. These netbooks allow us to take notes in class while being way more mobile than laptops that, as we all know, are much bigger and heavier than even the largest of netbooks. All in all, netbooks are the becoming the student’s choice for school use and in this Back to School Guide, we have our top 5 Netbook picks for under $400.

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Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock to Have Story Centric Quest Mode

Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock, the next generation of the hit series coming out in September, is going to be the most story centric Guitar Hero to date according to lead game designer Brian Bright. Warriors of Rock will have a Quest mode narrated by KISS bassist Gene Simmons that will have you fighting “The Machine” throughout the game. “The Machine” will represent all that is anti rock such as pop music, and will be your villain throughout the game. In the final battle with The Machine, you will choose your band from the 8 characters and, using their special abilities, defeat The Machine in an epic guitar battle. You will have 8 characters that all have special abilities and can turn into their respective warrior alter ego. For example, Johnny Napalm, a character that has been in every Guitar Hero game since the beginning, turns into a blue metal mutant and  has a power called “Speed Freak”, which never allows you to go below a 2x multiplier.

Johnny Napalm's Warrior Alter Ego

Along with the revamped Story Mode, Activision is putting a lot of work into creating incredible backdrops for epic guitar battles. The visuals in the story mode will be unprecedented for a Guitar Hero game. Think of the incredible backdrops of Brutal Legend, just custom made for each unique character in the game. During the final battle with “The Machine” you will be fighting in an epic wasteland with a fiery backdrop filled with volcanoes.

So is a beefed up story m0de enticing enough to spend more money on Guitar Hero? Or will you wait instead for the next Rock Band as your music video game of choice?

Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock is set for release September 28, 2010 for the Xbox 360, PS3, and Wii with for $59.99 for the game itself, $99.99 for the game and guitar, or $179.99 for the whole bundle, which includes the game, a guitar, drums and keyboard.

The full set list of tunes is after the break. Read the rest of this entry

First High-End Android Phone Coming Soon to AT&T

So much for AT&T not having a high-end Android. AT&T announced has finally announced that they are officially entering the  high-end Android game (meaning that they are finally launching an Android phone on par with Sprint’s EVO and Verizon’s Droid Incredible) by getting the Samsung Captivate on their side. And wow is the Captivate high end. Running Android 2.1 with a custom Samsung interface (though one that is by far not as drastic as HTC Sense on the recently announced HTC Aria), the Captivate will also be the first AT&T Android phone to have a 1 GHZ processor (which Samsung calls “Hummingbird” and may be Samsung’s version of Apple’s A4 processor), which is a great particularly when you are running multiple apps. Among these AT&T firsts, the Captivate has a numerous amount of handy specs, such as:

  • A 4-inch Super AMOLED multi-touch touchscreen— Remember those great AMOLED screens on phones like the Samsung Impression and Moment? You know, ones with insane clarity? Not only is this screen much bigger than those (it’s pretty much on par with the EVO’s minus .3 of an inch), this does all of that but in a much thinner design– which when you look at this phone you can tell it’s paid off, as well as fix one of the biggest problems facing AMOLED phones, the horrible quality they produce when in outdoor or bright light areas.
  • 3G, WiFi and GPS— With the WiFi supporting the latest wireless N. Oh, and the Captivate also is loaded with Bluetooth 3.0, something we have yet to see a lot of (or pretty much at all) in phones (Bluetooth 3.0 should make for things like wireless transfer between say a computer and phone much quicker among other things, but we also have yet to see many devices take advantage of the new Bluetooth, so take that as you wish). 
  • 3D graphics with gyroscope for better gaming
  • Support for Google Maps, YouTube, Android Market and other standard Android apps— Though we couldn’t tell if AT&T is allowing Google Maps Navigation to be put on the phone. Let’s hope they do.
  • 5 Megapixel camera with autofocus and 720p HD video recording— On par with the iPhone 4
  • 3.5mm headphone jack for listening to your favorite songs
  • 16GB of built-in storage, with the ability to add another 16GB via a microSD

Wow is right. I personally am really excited for this over the upcoming HTC Aria because the captivate is AT&T’s first really good Android phone (just look at those specs!), and I plan to get it. Of course, we will have to wait until this phone comes out to see how the Hummingbird processor and Super AMOLED handles in real life and if this is more this just talk, but until then, my plans for the Aria have been shelved and I am waiting anxiously for this phone.

The Samsung Captivate will be coming out “in a couple of months, for an undisclosed price” according to AT&T. In the meantime, check out AT&T’s “Coming Soon” page for the Captivate here. So, anyone else planning on holding off on getting their AT&T Android fix Sunday with the Aria for this?

HTC Aria Landing in Stores June 20th

Enough about video games, lets talk phones. AT&T announced  yesterday the first not horrible Android phone for its’ customers. The HTC Aria is a 3.2 inch Android phone coming to stores June 20th. This phone will have a 3.2 inch multitouch screen and Android 2.1, unlike AT&T’s first Android phone the Motorola Backflip (which is still running 1.5). Like pretty much all new HTC phones such as the Droid Incredible and the EVO 4G, the Aria will come with HTC Sense which will allow you to keep in touch with your social life while on the go, with HTC’s FriendStream app making Twitter and Facebook just a swipe of the finger away– all while also offering a much nicer and cooler Android homescreen.

Personally, I am excited about this phone because it will stand out as a viable iPhone opponent. Sure it’s not crazy high spec’d and powerful like Verizon Droid Incredible or Sprint EVO 4G (phones designed as true iPhone competitors), but for those on AT&T not looking for an Apple phone, the Aria will be AT&T’s first good Android phone. The thin, sleek design and beautiful touchscreen will rival the iPhone, and when combined with HTC Sense and Android 2.1, offer a nice change and in my opinion a big step up from the Motorola Backflip. It really looks to me that the HTC Aria will blow the Backflip out of the water.

Other specs for the Aria include 3G, GPS (with Google Maps Navigation), and WiFi, a microSD card slot, and a 5 megapixel camera.  The Aria will be available starting this Sunday (June 20th), for $129 after a $100 mail in rebate and new 2 year contract.

The wrap up on all of Microsoft’s E3 announcements: http:/bit.ly/99zpKU #kinect #e3 #Microsoft #xbox

Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock Announced– Get Ready to Shred

Activision officially announced what we all knew was coming– Guitar Hero 6, or as Activision calls it Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock. Activision promises a more rock centric soundtrack, and with a rocking soundtrack you need a rocking new guitar. So Activision announced a new type of guitar specifically made for shredding. This guitar has the electronics in the neck instead of the body so you can swap your favorite guitar bodies instead of buying more plastic instruments. To see a picture of the new guitar or to see the new trailer, hit the more link.
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New Call of Duty: Black Ops Trailer

Freaking Awesome.

That’s what I think of the new Call of Duty: Black Ops. In this trailer, we see soldiers rappelling down enemy buildings, enemy buildings blowing up, and a crossbow that shoots dynamite? Freaking awesome.

From what I can gather, this game will be built around quite a few clandestine missions. Think Metal Gear Solid strapped with 20 sticks of dynamite and machine guns and you get Call of Duty: Black Ops. Oh, you also get to blows things up in a Helicopter. November 9th can’t get here fast enough! See for yourself in the trailer below.