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Microsoft

Ballmer To Retire 633

Posted by Soulskill
from the flying-chair-alert-level-green dept.
Today Microsoft announced that CEO Steve Ballmer will be retiring within the next 12 months. He said, "There is never a perfect time for this type of transition, but now is the right time. ... My original thoughts on timing would have had my retirement happen in the middle of our company’s transformation to a devices and services company. We need a CEO who will be here longer term for this new direction." Ballmer, 57, has been Microsoft's CEO since taking over the role from Bill Gates in January, 2000. The company's board of directors has formed a committee to find a replacement for Ballmer, and he will continue his duties until a new CEO is found. Questions about Ballmer's fitness to remain CEO have been circulating for the past several years, particularly after the company struggled to get a foothold in the mobile market. It will be interesting to see how this affects Microsoft's stock price. Upon retirement, Ballmer will be able to cash out hundreds of millions of dollars worth of Microsoft stock.

Comment: Re:Android 2.2.1 can be non-intuitive. (Score 1) 532

by kyrre (#38376048) Attached to: Nokia Exec: Young People Fed Up With iPhone and Android

1. You cannot forward text msgs on Android.
2. You cannot open pics that someone MMSs to you outside of the txt app.
4. If you receive a txt, you cannot click and call them. You have to exit the txt app, and find them in your contacts.

Hold your finger on the message and menu popup that allow you to do all these things. It works on Android 1.5 and it works on 2.3. I am sure 2.2 can do that as well. Point 3 should be fixable if you install an app. Point 5 really does not work if you have hundreds of people in you contact list. You do not remember their names?

Comment: Re:Encrypted (Score 1) 434

by kyrre (#38021200) Attached to: Valve Announces Massive Steam Server Intrusion

That is not true. Credit card companies offer a token, a hashed edition of your credit card number, that can be used for subscriptions or stored credit cards at their servers. The hash is combined with the merchant id making it useless outside of the single merchant. Encryption cabbot ptevent credit card numbers from being copied, Hashing does.

Iphone

iPhone 4S Pre-Orders Sell Out 327

Posted by timothy
from the it-was-a-black-friday dept.
Perhaps to no one's surprise, the just-announced iPhone 4S has been been leaping off the shelves ... in advance of it ever hitting shelves at all. In fact, as reported by numerous sources (here's the WSJ's version), the company's pre-launch inventory has all been sold — and they only started taking the orders on Friday.

Comment: Re:Epic Win, Or Pyrrhic Victory? (Score 1) 311

by kyrre (#37118398) Attached to: Analysis of Google's Motorola Acquisition

Google has done this before. They made bids on US wireless frequencies with the intension of driving up the price and add clauses to the use of the frequencies. The bids where all mathematical puns of some sort. While Larry Page kind of liked the idea of owning wireless frequencies the rest of the board very much did not want to win the bidding war with Verizon and AT&T.

While this fact does not prove that the Nortel bidding was a bluff to drive the price up it shows that Google is very much capable and willing to do so.

Microsoft

Microsoft Reportedly Ends Zune Hardware Development 276

Posted by Soulskill
from the no-need-to-throw-good-money-after-bad dept.
ideaz tips this Bloomberg report: "Microsoft Corp. will cease introducing new versions of the Zune music and video-player amid tepid demand, helping the company shift its focus to mobile phones, according to a person familiar with the decision. The company will concentrate on putting Zune software onto mobile phones such as those running Microsoft’s Windows operating system, said the person, who declined to be identified because the decision hasn’t been announced. Zune software lets customers buy songs and movies, as well as pay a monthly fee to stream unlimited music."
Apple

IPad 2 33% Thinner, 2x Faster, iOS 4.3 1118

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the that's-a-paddling dept.
Steve Jobs was on hand today deliver a speech at Apple's iPad 2 event. The new iPad will feature dual-core processors, 2x faster CPU, and 9X faster graphics, front and rear cameras. And it's 33% thinner. Prices range from $499 to $829 depending on if you want 3G and 64 gigs, and it ships March 11. iOS 4.3 will ship at the same time.
Patents

MPEG LA Attempts To Start VP8 Patent Pool 186

Posted by Soulskill
from the motives-as-pure-as-the-driven-snow dept.
Confirming speculation from last year, an anonymous reader tips news that MPEG LA has posted a request for information about establishing a patent pool for the VP8 video codec. "In order to participate in the creation of, and determine licensing terms for, a joint VP8 patent license, any party that believes it has patents that are essential to the VP8 video codec specification is invited to submit them for a determination of their essentiality by MPEG LA’s patent evaluators. At least one essential patent is necessary to participate in the process, and initial submissions should be made by March 18, 2011. Although only issued patents will be included in the license, in order to participate in the license development process, patent applications with claims that their owners believe are essential to the specification and likely to issue in a patent also may be submitted."
Games

Balancing Choice With Irreversible Consequences In Games 352

Posted by Soulskill
from the no-takebacks dept.
The Moving Pixels blog has an article about the delicate balance within video games between giving players meaningful choices and consequences that cannot necessarily be changed if the player doesn't like her choice afterward. Quoting: "One of my more visceral experiences in gaming came recently while playing Mass Effect 2, in which a series of events led me to believe that I'd just indirectly murdered most of my crew. When the cutscenes ended, I was rocking in my chair, eyes wide, heart pounding, and as control was given over to me once more, I did the only thing that I thought was reasonable to do: I reset the game. This, of course, only led to the revelation that the event was preordained and the inference that (by BioWare's logic) a high degree of magical charisma and blue-colored decision making meant that I could get everything back to normal. ... Charitably, I could say BioWare at least did a good job of conditioning my expectations in such a way that the game could garner this response, but the fact remains: when confronted with a consequence that I couldn't handle, my immediate player's response was to stop and get a do-over. Inevitability was only something that I could accept once it was directly shown to me."

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