Weekend tech reading: Windows Blue leaked, detailed

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Windows Blue leaks online, includes smaller Live Tiles, new side-by-side Snap Views, and IE 11 An early build of Windows Blue, the next version of Windows, has leaked online on the same day that Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer celebrates his 57th birthday. Build 9364, a partner version that was originally compiled on March 15th, has been made available on file sharing sites and includes some of the new changes that Microsoft is building into its significant Windows 8 update. The Verge

Embrace, extend, extinguish: How Google crushed and abandoned the RSS industry Google Reader was born in October 2005. Within two weeks of its soft launch, it had hundreds of thousands of users. I know those details because the team responsible for developing Google Reader blogged about their progress regularly beginning with that first “Hello, Internet” post more than seven years ago. The most recent post on The Official Google Reader Blog came earlier this month, when the company announced it was "Powering Down Google Reader." ZDNet

Can you fix a failing mobile GPU with a hair dryerOver the years, I’ve encountered my fair share of hardware failures while writing for AnandTech. For example, nearly every SFF I reviewed back in my early days failed within a couple years (usually a dead motherboard); Both of the first AM2 motherboards I reviewed also died within six months. I’ve seen more than a few bad sticks of memory, particularly overclocking RAM that couldn’t handle long-term use at higher voltages. And let’s not even talk about hard drives... AnandTech

Netflix adultery: the smallest, most insidious betrayal Three weeks ago I cheated on my boyfriend. He was perhaps twenty feet away from me, sleeping in my bed with the door open while I betrayed his trust on the living room sofa. At one point, he woke up and walked right by. "You're not watching House of Cards without me, are you?" he asked. "No," I lied without hitting pause. With my ear buds in, you could say Netflix was actually inside of me as my boyfriend returned to bed. I stayed in the living room and kept watching. The Cut

ICANN reveals regional winners of new gTLD The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has approved and released a list domain names as per its new global Top Level Domain (gTLD) plans. A total of 27 domain names have been cleared for use by ICANN and all of them are non-English domain names. Comprising of Chinese and Arabic names, the domain names seem to be mostly for regional companies; among which prominent are .Qatartelecom and .Mozaic domains. Parity News

HP creates glasses-free almost-holographic 3D smartphone display Researchers at HP Labs have built a small, multi-angle, glasses-free 3D display that could allow for smartphones, tablets, and watches to produce Princess Leia-like holograms. The current prototype devices can produce full-parallax 3D images and videos that are viewable from up to a meter, within a 90-degree arc -- and, like the Star Wars hologram, the 3D image or video varies as you move your head up and down, or around the display. ExtremeTech

Apple acquires WiFiSLAM indoor location tech startup In a reported $20 million acquisition deal, Apple has bought the "indoor GPS" company WiFiSLAM, according to the Wall Street Journal Digits blog. The startup, founded by Stanford CS grad & former Google coding intern Joseph Huang, offered a way to let smartphones find their location indoors to an accuracy of less than 10 feet (2.5 m) using the ambient WiFi signals in the environment. This isn't Apple's first foray with WiFi localization... Tuaw

Attack of the killer smartwatches First came the smartphone and now comes the smartwatch. The smartwatch is a wristwatch that connects to your smartphone to present pertinent information so you don't have to take the phone out of your pocket. Because it takes a lot of effort to pull your phone out of your pocket, you know. The speculation about an Apple smartwatch, already referred to as the iWatch, has been running rampant for a while. Like all such rumors about Apple there is absolutely no proof... ZDNet

Set phasers to Hulu Today is William Shatner’s birthday, and Hulu is making every episode from every Star Trek series available to watch for free until the end of the month. Resistance is futile. Almost as futile as controlling a population of tribbles. We’re polling folks to find out which episode they’d like featured on the home page this weekend, and later today, iconic characters will face off in March Madness-style brackets, with Trek fans voting for their favorites. Check out Hulu’s Tumblr for more details. Hulu

Bidding war for Dell appears likely A bidding war for Dell Inc. appears likely, with Blackstone Group LP and Carl Icahn separately expressing interest in the company on Friday before a key deadline for offers expired. Blackstone and Mr. Icahn, an activist investor, each notified a special committee of Dell's board that they are working on firm bids for the computer maker, a step that will afford them four more days to put together offers, people familiar with the matter said. The Wall Street Journal

How NASA got an Android handset ready to go into space It’s what science fiction dreams are made of: brightly colored, sphere-shaped robots that float above the ground, controlled by a tiny computer brain. But it isn't fiction: it’s the SPHERES satellite, and its brain is an Android smartphone. Two and a half years ago, the Human Exploration and Telerobotics Project (HET) equipped a trio of these floating robots with Nexus S handsets running Android Gingerbread.. Ars Technica

GOP lawmaker seeks 'virtual Congress' with telecommuting plan Rep. Steve Pearce (R-N.M.) wants to create a "virtual Congress," where lawmakers would leverage videoconferencing and other remote work technology to conduct their daily duties in Washington from their home districts. Under a resolution Pearce introduced on Thursday, lawmakers would be able to hold hearings, debate and vote on legislation virtually from their district offices. The Hill

2012 Free Software Award winners announced Free Software Foundation president Richard M. Stallman announced the winners of the FSF's annual Free Software Awards at a ceremony on Saturday, March 23rd, held during the LibrePlanet 2013 conference at Harvard University, in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Two awards were given: the Award for the Advancement of Free Software, and the Award for Projects of Social Benefit. FSF

China to standardize around local version of Ubuntu China has picked Canonical's Linux-based Ubuntu OS as the reference architecture to establish a standardized operating system in the nation that could end up in PCs, servers, tablets and smartphones. The result will be a new version of Ubuntu, specifically made for the Chinese market, Canonical said in a statement on Thursday. InfoWorld

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