Why Microsoft's tablet can't fail After stripping us of our cellphones and anything else that can take pictures, a Microsoft employee who does not stop smiling directs us into a blank, white rectangle of a room, where Panos Panay, the general manager of Microsoft Surface, explains that we're the very first journalists to ever set foot into Store Zero, the model for every Microsoft Store on the planet. We're there because Microsoft Stores happen to be the only physical locations on earth that you'll be able to buy a Surface tablet, which is perhaps the most important product Microsoft's created since the Xbox. BuzzFeed

AMD considers its chances: outlines three growth opportunities Following the announcements of financial results for the quarter and the plan to layoff over 1700 employees, Advanced Micro Devices outlined three rapidly growing opportunities, which the company needs to address. AMD believes that it should focus on developing solutions for cloud servers, embedded applications and ultraportable/ultra low-power applications. Surprisingly, AMD did not note that it needs to keep its PC product line competitive as well. "Our long-term strategy is to rebalance our business towards faster-growing segments of the market..." X-bit labs

Cassette tapes are the future of big data storage The cassette tape is about to make a comeback, in a big way. From the updates posted by Facebook's 1 billion users to the medical images shared by healthcare organisations worldwide and the rise of high-definition video streaming, the need for something to store huge tranches of data is greater than ever. And while hard drives have traditionally been the workhorse of large storage operations, a new wave of ultra-dense tape drives that pack in information at much higher densities, while using less energy, is set to replace them. New Scientist

As Microsoft shifts its privacy rules, an uproar is absent Microsoft instituted a policy on Friday that gives the company broad leeway over how it gathers and uses personal information from consumers of its free, Web-based products like e-mail, search and instant messaging. Almost no one noticed, however, even though Microsoft’s policy changes are much the same as those that Google made to its privacy rules this year. Google’s expanded powers drew scathing criticism from privacy advocates, probing inquiries from regulators and broadside attacks from rivals. The NY Times

Pioneering scientists turn fresh air into petrol in massive boost in fight against energy crisis A small British company has produced the first "petrol from air" using a revolutionary technology that promises to solve the energy crisis as well as helping to curb global warming by removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Air Fuel Synthesis in Stockton-on-Tees has produced five litres of petrol since August when it switched on a small refinery that manufactures gasoline from carbon dioxide and water vapour. The Independent

Behind the mask: being yourself as someone else at New York Comic Con One of the best parts of any New York Comic Con is the walk to the Javits Center, when hundreds of people dressed as superheroes, alternate universe Victorians, and anime characters descend on Midtown Manhattan. For a few days, the blocks around Penn Station come alive with color, playing host to interactions between costumed attendees and the baffled or intrigued locals and tourists who no longer own the streets. The Verge

Memory performance: 16GB DDR3-1333 to DDR3-2400 on Ivy Bridge IGP with G.Skill Memory reviews are, in my opinion, actually quite hard to do. There are plenty of memory kits available that are nice and cheap, and the easy way to differentiate between them in a review is usually though synthetics -- without too much effort we can find memory comparison articles online that deal solely in synthetics. The downside of synthetics is that they rarely emulate real-world performance. AnandTech

How to respond to legal threats with cute animals I registered designskunkworks.com, thinking it would be a good name for an Internet product company, not realizing that Skunkworks was a real, trademarked facility run by Lockheed Martin—or that you can now threaten to sue people just for registering a domain name. I've long been a fan of David Thorne's hilarious email exchanges on 27b/6 and wondered if the technique could be put to use in a real word scenario. Gizmodo

Jack Dorsey: leadership secrets of Twitter and Square You cover a lot of ground hanging out with Jack Dorsey. In just the first 15 minutes of a visit to the San Francisco headquarters of Square, which makes the device that turns a smartphone into a credit/debit card machine, we cover the way he structures his time, how the company organizes work, a recent acquisition, group meetings, corporate transparency and what he eats for breakfast every morning. Forbes

Promises, promiseson Arkane Studios' Dishonored Video games are an important medium of human expression, but sometimes it's nice to remember that they also allow you to stab a Bismarck-helmeted dude in the neck and teleport to a distant windowsill. I fired up Arkane Studios' Dishonored -- one of the stabbiest, most teleporty games in recent memory -- with an excitement I don't recall feeling for a game since Grand Theft Auto IV. Grantland

Night and the city Today, I'm going to tell you about the time my grandfather shot a man in the ass. The year was 1949. The place was downtown Los Angeles. The occasion was a robbery with violence. A small store, I think: a tailor's, or maybe a family-run grocery market? History has not recorded all of the details. It's recorded some of the details, though. "The guy was getting away," my dad explained to me the other day. Eurogamer

Built to last: computer systems that simply cannot fail A failing computer system can be a problem in some settings, but it’s catastrophic in others. No one likes when their computer crashes out while in the middle of an overnight render, but the cost of that delay is nothing compared to a failure in a mission-critical environment, such as in a hospital, on a satellite, or, in the case of Curiosity, on another planet entirely. ExtremeTech

real-time map of global cyberattacks Cyberattacks are happening constantly across the globe, and now you can see what that looks in real-time with this map by the Honeynet Project that shows so many attacks, it looks and feels like it's straight out of an apocalyptic war movie. Each red dot that pops up when you go to the map represents an attack on a computer. The Atlantic Wire

Student engineers design, build, fly 'printed' airplane When University of Virginia engineering students posted a YouTube video last spring of a plastic turbofan engine they had designed and built using 3-D printing technology, they didn’t expect it to lead to anything except some page views. UVA

Evolution of Apple ads 1975-2002 Retronaut