Weekend tech reading: Larry Page's comeback, a DIY 'PiPhone', Windows to go subscription-based?

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microsoft, windows, larry page, raspberry pi, piphone

The inevitable arrival of subscription-based Windows The way Windows is developed and distributed is changing. Big releases every three years could be on the way out, replaced by regular releases and Windows subscriptions. Businesses may still be grappling with getting the user interface-adjusting Windows 8.1 Update deployed onto systems -- after complaints, Microsoft had to give them another 90 days to install it -- but there's no respite in sight. Indications are that there's going to be another big update for the operating system just a few months later. Ars Technica

Vogue-like: This season in wearable dreck Seldom do we praise gaming's Christian Diors and Giambattista Vallis, its Pradas and its Stella McCartneys. We don't often talk about the fashion icons of gaming, but we should -- because the right gamer ensemble can show the world that these tastemaking giants of our favourite passe-temps are never far from our hearts -- or our wallets. Truly, a well-crafted combination of brands, logos and tech accessories declares to one’s peers in no uncertain terms, "I am here. I am now. I am game." Paste

Inside the 'DarkMarket' prototype, a Silk Road the FBI can never seize The Silk Road, for all its clever uses of security protections like Tor and Bitcoin to protect the site's lucrative drug trade, still offered its enemies a single point of failure. When the FBI seized the server that hosted the market in October and arrested its alleged owner Ross Ulbricht, the billion-dollar drug bazaar came crashing down. If one group of Bitcoin black market enthusiasts has their way, the next online free-trade zone could be a much more elusive target. Wired

Inside the secret digital arms race: Facing the threat of a global cyberwar The team was badly spooked, that much was clear. The bank was already reeling from two attacks on its systems, strikes that had brought it to a standstill and forced the cancellation of a high profile IPO. The board had called in the team of security experts to brief them on the developing crisis. After listening to some of the mass of technical detail, the bank's CEO cut to the chase. "What should I tell the Prime Minister when I get to Cobra?" he demanded... Tech Republic

PiPhone -- a Raspberry Pi-based smartphone Here's my latest DIY project, a smartphone based on a Raspberry Pi. It's called -- wait for it -- the PiPhone. It makes use an Adafruit touchscreen interface and a Sim900 GSM/GPRS module to make phone calls. It’s more of a proof of concept to see what could be done with a relatively small form factor with off-the-shelf (cheap) components. I don’t expect everyone to be rushing out to build this one, but I had great fun in doing it, as it builds quite nicely on my previous projects... David Hunt

A first look at Gigabyte's next-gen Intel motherboards Brace yourself, because a batch of new motherboards based on Intel's next-gen chipsets is just around the corner. Gigabyte is prepping no fewer than 37 different models, almost all of which will be available stateside. I got a closer look at a bunch of them at a press event earlier this week. I can't divulge certain details just yet, but I can tell you about some motherboard-specific features. And I can show you pictures -- lots of pictures. The Tech Report

The untold story of Larry Page's incredible comeback One day in July 2001, Larry Page decided to fire Google’s project managers. All of them. It was just five years since Page, then a 22-year-old graduate student at Stanford, was struck in the middle of the night with a vision. In it, he somehow managed to download the entire Web and by examining the links between the pages he saw the world’s information in an entirely new way. What Page wrote down that night became the basis for an algorithm. Slate

Net Neutrality: A guide to (and history of) a contested idea This week, news broke that the Federal Communications Commission is considering new rules for how the Internet works. In short: the FCC would allow network owners (your Verizons, Comcasts, etc.) to create Internet "fast lanes" for companies (Disney, The Atlantic) that pay them more. For Internet activists, this directly violated the principle of net neutrality, which has been a hot-button issue in Silicon Valley for a long time. The Atlantic

Chat wars In the summer of 1998 I graduated from college and went to work as a programmer at Microsoft in Redmond, Washington. I was put on the group that was building MSN Messenger Service, Microsoft's instant messaging app. The terrible name came from Marketing, which had become something of a joke for always picking the clunkiest and least imaginative product names. Buddy List? C U C Me? MSN Messenger? No, MSN Messenger Service. I'll call it Messenger for short. N+1

"The Door Problem" Game design is one of those nebulous terms to people outside the game industry that's about as clear as the "astrophysicist" job title is to me. It's also my job, so I find myself explaining what game design means to a lot of people from different backgrounds, some of whom don’t know anything about games. I like to describe my job in terms of "The Door Problem" Premise: You are making a game. Are there doors in your game? Can the player open them? Liz England

One startup's struggle to survive the Silicon Valley gold rush It was an unseasonably warm December, and somewhere nearby a rising tide in the San Francisco Bay was lifting all kite-surfers, but Nick Edwards and Chris Monberg were crouched at opposite rented desks in a shared coworking space near the Caltrain station in SoMa wondering if, by the middle of February, they would still have a company. Wired

'A real inventor': UW's Gary Kildall, father of the PC operating system, honored for key work Growing up in California, Scott Kildall and his sister Kristin knew that their dad, Gary, was working on important things in the shack in their backyard. Little did they realize how important his work would become for the rest of us.GeekWire

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