Valve demos Steam Controller, confirms awfulness of playing shooters with touchpads Probably the single most-argued argument in all of gaming is the silly, ill-formed rivalry between the console gamepad and the PC mouse and keyboard. It’s a bogus distinction to make, like asking whether spreadsheets are better than graphs -- they are different ways of doing similar things. Still, there is one undeniable downside of the keyboard and mouse, and that is that you have to use a keyboard and mouse, regardless of where you want to play. ExtremeTech

The secrets of Bezos: How Amazon became the everything store Within Amazon.com there's a certain type of e-mail that elicits waves of panic. It usually originates with an annoyed customer who complains to the company's founder and chief executive officer. Jeff Bezos has a public e-mail address, jeff@amazon.com. Not only does he read many customer complaints, he forwards them to the relevant Amazon employees, with a one-character addition: a question mark. Businessweek

Why US government IT fails so hard, so often The rocky launch of the Department of Health and Human Services' HealthCare.gov is the most visible evidence at the moment of how hard it is for the federal government to execute major technology projects. But the troubled "Obamacare" IT system -- which uses systems that aren't connected in any way to the federal IT infrastructure -- is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the government's IT problems. Ars Technica

Legendary Homebrew Computer Club turns to Kickstarter for reunion In 1975 the personal computer revolution got its start at the Homebrew Computer Club. The club is where Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs first showed off the first Apple computer and other pioneering geeks of the time shared their designs. "It was the most important thing in my life and every two weeks I lived for it," Wozniak told CNET in 2005, speaking of a Homebrew Computer Club reunion. CNET

Why Microsoft Word must die I hate Microsoft Word. I want Microsoft Word to die. I hate Microsoft Word with a burning, fiery passion. I hate Microsoft Word the way Winston Smith hated Big Brother. Our reasons are, alarmingly, not dissimilar. Microsoft Word is a tyrant of the imagination, a petty, unimaginative, inconsistent dictator that is ill-suited to any creative writer's use. Worse: it is a near-monopolist, dominating the word processing field. Charlie Stross

Linux only needs one 'killer' game to explode, says Battlefield director It would only take one "killer" game for the Linux platform to explode its way into mainstream gaming, DICE creative director Lars Gustavsson told Polygon, revealing that the development studio would "strongly" like to get into Linux. "We strongly want to get into Linux for a reason," Gustavsson said. "It took Halo for the first Xbox to kick off and go crazy..." Polygon

Microsoft CEO search reveals board rifts Microsoft search for a new chief executive is exposing divisions of opinion among directors over the 38-year-old company's future direction and what it needs in its next leader. Directors on Microsoft's CEO search committee have approached at least two Microsoft executives and at least eight outsiders to gauge their interest in the job, according to people familiar with the matter. The WSJ

A hundred bucks says you won't read this story Our new hundred-dollar bill, like every other single piece of American folding money, is born in this rotary boiler. It's a perfect sphere, an angry kettle fifteen feet across, spinning high off the ground between two stained concrete towers. Most people swear out loud when they see it for the first time. A network of gears, each tooth the size of a fist, churns away in the darkness behind it. Esquire

A Twitter account after one's own tweets Joe Toscano is programmer who works at TigerText, a company that is best known for providing a secure messaging system for health-care organizations. On his own time, Toscano, who lives in Los Angeles, enjoys fiddling around with conversation bots -- computer programs that you can talk to, human to non-human. About a week ago, he developed one for Twitter. The New Yorker

Are Valve and AMD about to ruin PC gaming? When the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One were announced earlier this year, I saw it as a victory for the PC. Soon, it seemed, bringing major blockbusters to the PC would be easier than ever. There would be three major gaming platforms -- the PlayStation 4, the Xbox One, and the Windows PC -- and each one would be only a slight twist on the same basic formula. The Tech Report

New NIST cybersecurity standards could pose liability risks Critical infrastructure companies could face new liability risks if they fail to meet voluntary cybersecurity standards being developed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology. The slated release of a draft of the standard on Thursday was delayed, apparently due to the federal government shutdown. NIST's main website was shuttered on Thursday. Computerworld

Microsoft releases Windows 7 patch made to help delete old Windows Updates While Microsoft does not plan to release a second service pack for Windows 7, that doesn't mean that it will stop updating its older, and currently most used, PC operating system. This week, Microsoft released a new Windows 7 update that should be very helpful for PC owners who want to free up some disc space on their hard drive. Neowin

Shuttleworth: Apple will converge Mac and iPhone Canonical founder Mark Shuttleworth claims Apple will follow Ubuntu's lead and converge the iPhone and MacBook product lines. Speaking to PC Pro to mark the launch of Ubuntu 13.10, Shuttleworth said that the failed Ubuntu Edge smartphone -- an attempt to bridge mobile and desktop computing devices -- had set an example that others will follow. PC Pro