Weekend tech reading: Haswell starts shipping to PC makers

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Intel's next-gen 'Haswell' chip now shipping to PC makers Intel's "Haswell" chip is now shipping to major PC makers, a source close to the company told CNET today. Intel's fourth-generation core, aka Haswell, is "shipping to customers now and will launch later this quarter," the source said. Intel is expected to make a statement to this effect at the IDF Beijing conference next week. Haswell, expected by June, is the next-generation mainstream Intel processor that will power ultrabooks and a variety of hybrids that straddle tablet and laptop designs. CNET

GDC 2013: Michael Abrash on "why VR is hard (and where it might be going)" At GDC 2013, the legendary Michael Abrash took to the stage to talk about the Oculus Rift and virtual reality. Abrash, now working at Valve, has been researching augmented and virtual reality technology for the company. When he began his talk I thought he was discouraging virtual reality because of the many problems that need to be solved for a truly perfect VR experience. However, as he continued, I realized that he was actually being encouraging... Road to VR

"I was an iPad skeptic" It's hard to believe that the iPad and the hundreds of tablets that arrived in its wake have been around for only three years. On April 3, 2010, Apple released the original iPad to the public, kicking off a whirlwind of innovation in a space that was previously known only for niche, experimental, and downright odd products. One could still argue that the iPad -- and other tablets like it -- are meant for a niche audience, but it's clear that tablets as we know them today have struck a chord with the masses. Ars Technica

Hollywood archaeology: The Super Mario Bros. movie You can learn a lot about the way the movie industry works in a given moment by looking at its successes (whether accidental or engineered), but often you can learn even more by looking at its failures -- the long-in-development projects that never make it to the screen, the labors of love gone wrong, the should've-been blockbusters that fail to land -- particularly those that caught Hollywood by surprise, miscalculations that everyone involved has attempted to sweep under the rug. Grantland

Mark Zuckerberg on Facebook Home, money, and the future of communication As caretaker of a service with a billion users, Mark Zuckerberg is used to sparking protest. Any time his company releases a new product, adjusts a privacy setting, or even tweaks the design, thousands of outraged Facebookers take to the Web to decry the change. So Zuckerberg can expect to hear sirens today, as he announces Home, Facebook’s most dramatic response to the pivot from desktop and web to phones and tablets. Wired

When cancer stole Roger Ebert’s voice, Twitter gave him a new one After a long battle with cancer -- which took away his vocal chords and eventually most of his lower jaw -- veteran Chicago-based film critic Roger Ebert passed away on Thursday, leaving a host of passionate film buffs mourning his loss. Many of those fans likely formed an even closer connection to him after he could no longer speak without the aid of a computer, because of his enthusiastic use of Twitter and other social-media tools. paidContent

Opinion: Violence limits BioShock Infinite's audience -- my wife included My wife was excited to play BioShock Infinite, the new first-person shooter from haloed developer Irrational Games. Her video game experiences are few, mostly the easy-to-play shorts made by thatgamecompany. But Infinite and its inescapable ad campaign piqued her interest. A video game about American exceptionalism, religious zealotry, the limitations of science and poor parenting sounded to her like a great book or film. Polygon

California court rules it illegal to check maps on your phone while driving For years, we've discussed the problematic nature of "distracted driving" laws that seek to outlaw things like talking on your phone or texting while driving. It is not that we don't think these behaviors are dangerous. It seems clear that those activities can take one's attention away from driving and potentially increase the likelihood of an accident by a significant amount. However, the laws are often broad and inconsistent... Techdirt

From touch displays to the Surface: a brief history of touchscreen technology It's hard to believe that just a few decades ago, touchscreen technology could only be found in science fiction books and film. These days, it's almost unfathomable how we once got through our daily tasks without a trusty tablet or smartphone nearby, but it doesn't stop there. Touchscreens really are everywhere. Homes, cars, restaurants, stores, planes, wherever—they fill our lives in spaces public and private. Ars Technica

Researchers create 3Gbps LiFi network with LED bulbs Researchers at the Fraunhofer Henrich Hertz Institute (HHI) in Germany have successfully transmitted data at 3Gbps using conventional LED bulbs in a laboratory setting. In a real-world setting (at a trade fair), the same system was capable of 500Mbps. The concept of visible light communications (VLC), or LiFi as it is sometimes known, has received a lot of attention in recent years, mostly due to the growing prevalence of LED lighting. ExtremeTech

Apple's slide-to-unlock patent invalidated in Germany (decision is appealable) Samsung and Google's Motorola Mobility have just scored a win over a famous Apple user interface patent. The Bundespatentgericht, Germany's Federal Patent Court, ruled that all claims of EP1964022 on "unlocking a device by performing gestures on an unlock image" are invalid as granted, and additionally held that none of the 14 amendments proposed by Apple could salvage the patent. FOSS Patents

The 2013 Game Developer gender wage gap I’m reading through the latest digital edition of Game Developer Magazine which contains their annual survey.  The salary numbers overall weren’t concerning to me, until I scrolled down and saw the differences between the male and female survey respondents.  The next time someone tells me that men and women get paid equally for their talents in the game industry, I wanted something to link to them.  This is just plain disgusting. The Border House

New Skype malware makes money by using victims’ machines to mine Bitcoins A new piece of malware propagating across Skype has been discovered that tries to convince the recipient to click on a link. What makes this particular threat different is that it drops a Bitcoin miner application to make the malware author money. While malware has spread on Skype and mined Bitcoins before, putting the two together could be an effective new strategy. TNW

Judge deals blow to high-tech workers' lawsuit A federal judge on Friday struck down an effort to form a class action lawsuit to go after Apple, Google and five other technology companies for allegedly forming an illegal cartel to tamp down workers' wages and prevent the loss of their best engineers during a multiyear conspiracy broken up by government regulators. ABC News

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