Steve Ballmer Will Retire As Microsoft CEO In 12 Months

steve-ballmerIt’s the end of an era at Microsoft: current CEO Steve Ballmer, like BIll Gates before him, will leave as head of the company. According to the press release seen after the break, with all of its marketing jargon, Ballmer simply decided to retire.

Meanwhile, the committee is searching for the next CEO of Microsoft, with Thompson, Bill Gates, Chuck Noski and Steve Luczo also taking part in the search, but Steve Ballmer in his typical head held high fashion, went on to say the following in an internal email to Microsoft employees:

“There is never a perfect time for this type of transition, but now is the right time. We have embarked on a new strategy with a new organization and we have an amazing Senior Leadership Team. 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.”

NASA Creates An Animation Illustrating How They’d Capture An Asteroid

nasa-captureBy capturing an asteroid and having astronauts depart from the Orion spacecraft, NASA could actually break off chunks of rock for examination back on Earth. But, the whole process is much more detailed than that, because NASA’s true goals is actually to find, capture, re-direct and study the asteroid.

The path for human astronauts to embark upon would require a robotic asteroid capture vehicle, where they would spacewalk to get the job done. Pretty awesome; watch it after the break.

ViaNASA

Check It Out: A Custom Moto X Built Using Moto Maker

moto-xThis is the Moto X that I received thanks to the great Moto 137 set of emails that went on internally before members of the media had the chance to beta test the Moto Maker, which is an online builder for Motorola’s flagship phone, the Moto X.

Launching later this month for AT&T versions of the phone (with other carriers incoming), it will let you customize the back with a choice of 18 different colors, two front colors, and several accent colors — and eventually, engraving of a personal message on the back.

My customized Moto X sports a fiery red back, with metallic accents, black front, a custom “Moto 137″ boot screen message, and a wallpaper that I chose to be pre-loaded onto the device. A bug (that most likely will get fixed) is that you opt to sign in to a Google account, so that when the phone arrives, it has all of your information on it. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case when I received mine, so I can only suppose that it’s a pre-production issue.

Otherwise, everything went great, and my email address was etched to the back of the Moto X. For my full review of the stock white edition, check it out here.

Google Keep Gets Updated With Reminders And Fixes

google-keepIt’s been a personal favorite app of mine ever since it released, and while Google Keep is incredibly simple for note-taking and checklists, it still needed some extra muscle to make it a complete app worthy to leave competing options like Evernote.

Consequently, Google gave us just what the doctor ordered: the addition of reminders, depending on time or location, easier ways of adding images to notes, and general fixes. Integration with your Google Drive is still kicking and the app remains free on the Play Store, exclusively for Android devices.

Via: Google

Google Announces Helpouts: Buy And Sell Time With Experts Of Things

g-helpoutsIf you need help or face-time with an expert of a particular subject, or of anything in general, Google will soon have your back. Currently, they’re in the process of speaking “with expertise across a number of topics” to sign up in advance of the public release.

Powered by Google+ Hangouts, the Helpouts will basically be video chats with people that can assist you with advice, give lessons, or confer to. The expert’s service will manage the time costs, by the minute or by the session, and whatever amount it is, Google will take a 20% cut out of it. Current help categories include: Home & Garden, Computers & Electronics, and Cooking.

Better yet, Google isn’t just letting anyone become an expert: qualifications in both academic and professional categories are required, so partnerships with Weight Watches and Sears allow Google to also get major companies on board to provide their own paid help.

Currently, there’s no official release date for Helpouts, but whenever it is, there’s a big chance it will be a success considering how straightforward and useful it could be.

Via: Google Helpouts, TNW

Sony: PlayStation 4 Releases On November 15th For $399

ps4-controllerJust confirming what was known already, Sony is releasing the PlayStation 4 for $399, starting November 15th of this year in the United States and Canada. Priced a full $100 less than the new Xbox One, the PlayStation 4 is betting on its user base as well as exclusive launch titles to reign supreme in the next-gen gaming console wars — or something about profit, stocks, and market share.

Via: Sony

Bang & Olufsen H6 Headphones Review: Nice, But Leather Doesn’t Sound Better

h6-2When Bang & Olufsen, a Danish company renowned for its attention to detail in TV, speakers, radios, and design (as well as its premium pricing) decided to produce over-ear headphones and invite me for three different press meeting involving them, it begged the question: is any of this worth it?

After all, the B&O H6 headphones contain memory foam in the ear cups which are made of lamb leather, with cow leather lining the top. Polycarbonate reinforcements and brushed aluminum make up the rest of the H6 headphones, so by looks alone, you’d be convinced that they sound absolutely amazing.

But, the truth isn’t tan. At least, not in New York City.

Microsoft Announces Project Spark: Anyone Can Now Make Their Own Game

project-sparkStarting in October, a public beta for Project Spark will go live. It’s a game maker app, designed so that everyday Xbox One gamers can begin to create their own games, then publish it to share with friends. The creator can build custom worlds, characters, and animations from an Xbox One, PC, or through a SmartGlass app.

For truly professional detail, both voice and motion capture with Kinect will be possible, to let players capture facial animations, body motion, and voice, and then create custom characters and dialog in their games. Kinect users can record their own face and then use it for an in-game character, or record custom body motions and assign them as an attack move in games.

Microsoft mentioned the release timeframe, too: a closed beta will start for Windows 8 devices in October and a January 2014 for Xbox One. Promo vid, after the cut.

Via: Xbox Wire