How Hewlett-Packard lost its way A few months after she took over as the CEO of Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) last September, Meg Whitman held one in a series of get-to-know-you meetings with employees. To say the audience, a group of software engineers and managers, was sullen would be an understatement. As Whitman spoke, many of them glared at her. Others weren't making eye contact with their new boss. Their heads were down, and they were tapping furiously on handheld devices. CNN

Black-boxing the User: Internet Protocol over Xylophone Players (IPoXP) We introduce IP over Xylophone Players (IPoXP), a novel Internet protocol between two computers using xylophone-based Arduino interfaces. In our implementation, human operators are situated within the lowest layer of the network, transmitting data between computers by striking designated keys. We discuss how IPoXP inverts the traditional mode of human-computer interaction, with a computer using the human as an interface to communicate with another computer. Berkley (PDF -- video here)

Redesigning chkdsk and the new NTFS health model We’ve all experienced the frustration that can be caused by an unexpected chkdsk that pops up while restarting a computer at home or a server at the office. Beyond the surprise, there’s the interruption while waiting for the process to complete and Windows to be available. With Windows 8, we provide quick resolution to these problems when they arise, putting the user in control and making systems more available and more scalable. Microsoft

Free Radical vs. the Monsters The story of Free Radical Design begins with one of gaming's milestones, and after almost nine years it ended with the studio's blood on several publisher's hands. Founded in April 1999, the Nottingham-based studio created the much-loved shooter series TimeSplitters and third-person psychic drama Second Sight during the PS2 era. But Haze, the company's final game, received a critical mauling, sold poorly, and shortly afterwards Free Radical entered administration. Eurogamer

On Diaspora's social network, you own your data Sitting along Yankee Stadium’s third base line during New York University’s rainy graduation two years ago, Max Salzberg couldn’t focus. The phone in his pocket wouldn’t stop buzzing. With each notification, the NYU senior wiped water off the screen to read an e-mail saying yet another person had given money to Diaspora, the not-yet-even-a-startup he and three college buddies had hatched the month before. Businessweek

Microsoft funded startup aims to Kill BitTorrent traffic The Russian based “Pirate Pay” startup is promising the entertainment industry a pirate-free future. With help from Microsoft, the developers have built a system that claims to track and shut down the distribution of copyrighted works on BitTorrent. Their first project, carried out in collaboration with Walt Disney Studios and Sony Pictures, successfully stopped tens of thousands of downloads. TorrentFreak

The floppy disk means save, and 14 other old people Icons that don't make sense anymore What happens when all the things we based our icons on don't exist anymore? Do they just become, ahem, iconic glyphs whose origins are shrouded in mystery? Save? Save where? You know, down there. Adding the Arrow to the 3.5" floppy makes me smile. Is it pointing to under my desk? What's a floppy? Why not a USB key? Maybe a cloud icon? Hanselman

Two universes You wake up in a small, enclosed glass cube. There’s a bed, a toilet, a radio playing music, and other bare essentials, but no door. You have no idea why you are here or what’s going on. After a few minutes of looking around your tiny space, a calm yet creepy electronic voice begins speaking. The voice explains that you’re part of a testing program, and a moment later a door-sized, orange-tinged portal opens. Rands In Response

Nokia's last stand: can the 147-year-old company design its way back? Marko Ahtisaari, Nokia's 43-year-old chief designer, is giving a performance in a meeting room on the top floor of Nokia's headquarter's in Helsinki. He's imitating a couple he witnessed in a restaurant on Valentine's Day, who were absorbed by their handset screens instead of each other. Ahtisaari bends his head closer to an imaginary screen. Wired

Angry Birds developer reveals its new game Set for release in two months' time, the game will be based on the Casey's Contraption IP recently acquired by the Finnish studio. Casey's Contraption is a highly regarded physics-based puzzler for iOS. Rovio CEO Mikael Hed told Yle that the new game focuses on a curious young boy named Alex who loves to build things, and that it'll have an educational element. CVG

Apple’s Siri: the ‘best smartphone ever’ is the Nokia Lumia 900. Wait, what? When you break out your iPhone 4S and ask Siri what the ‘best smartphone ever’ is, your humble virtual assistant will recommend you to buy Nokia’s Lumia 900. Which is, of course, a decent phone indeed. But really, an iPhone 4S-only service prompting you to check out a rival device when you ask it what the best handset is? The Next Web

Scamworld: 'Get rich quick' schemes mutate into an online monster On a warm summer day in 2002, in Charlevoix, Michigan, Richard Joseph’s bad luck began. The lawyer, husband, and father of two was walking across the driveway with a bag of garbage when his bare foot slipped in a puddle of water that had collected beneath his car’s air conditioner. His leg gave out and he landed on his back... The Verge

Engineer thinks we could build a real Starship Enterprise in 20 years In Star Trek lore, the first Starship Enterprise will be built by the year 2245. But today, an engineer has proposed — and outlined in meticulous detail – building a full-sized, ion-powered version of the Enterprise complete with 1G of gravity on board, and says it could be done with current technology, within 20 years. Universe Today

Driverless cars and how they would change motoring After tests on the famous Las Vegas Strip, driverless cars will soon be a reality on the roads of Nevada. The state has approved the US's first self-driven vehicle licence, meaning that a Toyota Prius modified by search firm Google will be the first to hit the highway. So what would a world of driverless cars look like? BBC