lga writes: Valve's new Steam Controller looks very different to a conventional one. Sporting two circular trackpads instead of sticks, each one has a resolution that "approaches that of a desktop mouse." The controller has a clickable screen in the middle and 16 other buttons.
Haptics play a big part in the precision of the controller, "capable of delivering a wide range of force and vibration, allowing precise control over frequency, amplitude, and direction of movement" although "employing dual linear resonant actuators" sounds like a recipe for a resonance cascade.
The controller is also designed to work with older games by emulating a keyboard and mouse, which should aid Valve in bringing PC games to the living room with SteamOS and Steam Machines. It should be available in 2014.
lga writes: "Valve announced today in a press release that they are expanding Steam beyond games and will start to deliver other software. This means that Steam will compete directly with Microsoft's Windows Store and perhaps explains some of Gabe's disdain for Windows 8. The ability to save documents to Steam Cloud space also brings Valve into competition with the likes of Dropbox and Skydrive.
According to the press release:
The Software titles coming to Steam range from creativity to productivity. Many of the launch titles will take advantage of popular Steamworks features, such as easy installation, automatic updating, and the ability to save your work to your personal Steam Cloud space so your files may travel with you.
lga writes: A common feature of oppressive regimes is control of information. In Egypt recently the government not only blocked television signals from the likes of Al Jazeera, but they actually resorted to almost completely shutting down the internet across the whole country in an effort to prevent protesters from organising. In China, Iran, Syria, Cuba, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, and many other places, the governments block access to sites that they consider a threat to either the government or to the moral values of the people. This usually includes social networks like Facebook and Twitter and news organisations like the BBC and Al Jazeera.