Three Of Microsoft’s Top Shareholders Want Bill Gates Out

Bill-GatesAs a young technology journalist, I have to remain neutral. But in the realm of good acts and general great decision-making that has changed the world for the better, Bill Gates has every right to stay in the company he help founded.

But according to the views of three top shareholders at Microsoft, as reported by Reuters, not everyone is such in a loving mood:

The three investors are concerned that Gates’ presence on the board effectively blocks the adoption of new strategies and would limit the power of a new chief executive to make substantial changes. In particular, they point to Gates’ role on the special committee searching for Ballmer’s successor.

They are also worried that Gates – who spends most of his time on his philanthropic foundation – wields power out of proportion to his declining shareholding.

With Microsoft looking for a new CEO and Steve Ballmer stepping down from the position, Gates will most likely have to make a move that changes the company that he holds a 4.5% share in.

Via: Reuters

Grand Theft Auto Online: Los Santos Is Now Open To Multiplayer Havoc

actual_1380327200That’s right: October 1st marks the day that Grand Theft Auto Online debuts. With the inclusion of multiplayer in the game, gamers will begin to see the new storyline part of the multiplayer, which takes place months before the campaign. Of course, server reliability will be put into question: there are currently over 16.5 million people with GTA V — regardless, have fun committing virtual crime with your friends.

Via: Rockstar

Google Releases A Web Designer App, In Beta, For PC And Mac

downloadIt’s pretty straightforward from Google this time. A new app available for download in its beta stage called Web Designer lets a newcomer to web design build their own site, while also letting a veteran get dirty with the HTML5 and CSS3 code.

Better yet, you can animate individual elements using layers — or have Google fill in the blanks if you have no idea on what you’re doing. Additionally, you’ll find a pretty decent suite of 3D rendering tools inside, along with illustration features.

Monetization options include Google’s own AdMob and DoubleClick Studio — in the end, this all sounds pretty useful, but not particularly so if you already have an existing platform for managing the design of a website.

ViaGoogle (1)(2)

Helly Hansen Skagerack Catalina Review: A Fall Rain Jacket Great For NYC

4The last time Helly Hansen was mentioned on this tech site, I was talking about a jacket of theirs and the accompanying technology that made it possible for it to be worn in warm and cool climates. Now, I’m just talking about a jacket with Helly Tech Performance fabric; it’s designed to keep the wearer dry in the rain, effectively making it a classy rain jacket.

Nexus 7 With LTE: Every Bit As Good As The Original

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For those of you wondering, the Nexus 7 with LTE still retains every single feature of the existing WiFi model that I reviewed during the summer — the only difference being that Verizon, T-Mobile, and AT&T will support the use of their micro-SIM cards in the tablet for 4G LTE data connections.

Google was kind enough to send one over for testing, and while this is not a formal review, per usual, I think it’s worth going over slightly.

Troisième Partie: Valve Announces The SteamOS Controller

steam-controller

This is the Steam OS controller. It’s rather unique, as is obvious by its appearance and dual trackpads, haptic feedback and a touch screen — all with the option to be hacked for additional functions. Electromagnetic sensors adorn the two trackpads that you place your thumbs on so that they are not only precise, but like a computer — after all, this is the Steam OS we’re talking about here, with hardware and software partners already taking part.

Also, users who signed up for the hardware beta are also automatically eligible for the Steam controller — it’s all luck from here on out. 2014 is going to be a very eventful year for Valve, that’s the only certainty.

Via: Valve

HTC Has Sold Beats Audio Its Stake Back For $265 Million

IMGP5646It’s official: Beats Electronics will buy back the remaining 25 percent stake it lost to HTC about two years ago, as part of a partnership that was never truly successful. This means, in all versions of this story that could be possibly spun around, one thing will remain the same: HTC no longer has a formal partnership with Beats Audio, but will still remain a partner in other matters.

The next thing that HTC will have to resolve is whether or not they will be authorized to continue engraving Beats Audio logos on their smartphones; in our observations, probably not.

Via: Nasdaq, HTC

Curiosity Makes It Official: Water Can Be Mined From Soil On Mars

MarsIt’s amazing news when it comes to the characteristics of other planets, but doesn’t bolster the idea of life in places besides Earth. It’s confirmed via samples taken from the Mars Curiosity rover under NASA’s control, that water attached to molecules is in the soil — a much more accessible place than the ice caps of Mars, or even closer to the core.

To find out all of this, the Mars Science Laboratory Team used a device known as the Sample Analysis at Mars, or SAM.

As lead author Laurie Leshin, dean of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, puts it, a baby aspirin-sized piece of the sample was fed into a tiny cup in Curiosity’s on-board laboratory, then heated to temperatures of 835 degrees Celsius (over 1,500 degrees Fahrenheit). The gases that came off revealed the discovery.

There are few caveats, however. First of all, this doesn’t confirm life on Mars — it only tells us that water is technically, in abundance, if we mine it from the soil. Secondly, the sample also revealed the presence of perchlorate, which can limit thyroid hormone production — a manageable risk, but one nonetheless.

But overall, this is awesome.

Via: NASA