How a site that streams people playing video games became a billion dollar business The genesis of Twitch, one of the most popular gaming-related Websites and applications in the world, can be traced to a few informal meetings in the fall of 2010, including one with Gideon Yu. The former chief financial officer of YouTube, who negotiated that site's $1.65 billion sale to Google and parlayed some of his windfall into a 5% ownership stake in the San Francisco 49ers, came by's offices... BuzzFeed

The six tech policy problems Congress failed to fix this year August isn't the top time of year for thinking about tech policy. For many, it's vacation time, a month when Americans are more focused on hacking a path to the nearest beach than hacking their computers. Congress just left for vacation too, heading home last week for its traditional August recess. When it returns to Washington, election season will be in full swing, which means that betting on the passage of any bold legislation later this year is a long shot. Ars Technica

Valve quietly releases Source 2 engine, Source 2 version of Dota 2, and new Hammer map editor In true Valve fashion, Gaben & Co. have just launched the long-awaited Source 2 engine... as part of the new Dota 2 Workshop Tools. Oddly, Valve isn't confirming that this is actually Source 2 -- but the Steam and Dota 2 communities are confident that this is it. You can also run an alpha version of Dota 2 in the new Source 2 engine, making it unofficially the first Source 2 game. ExtremeTech

A quick look at Diamond's Xtreme Sound XS71HDU If you've ever read our System Guides, you know we like to harp on about sound cards. Like, a lot. Our point is this: on most motherboards, the onboard audio just doesn't do digital-to-analog conversion all that well. The analog output may sound decent enough for cheap headphones and $50 computer speakers, but plug in anything nicer than that, and you'll notice flat highs, muddy mids, and boomy bass. The Tech Report

Yahoo joins Google effort to encrypt email Yahoo said Thursday it will join an effort by rival Google to create an encrypted email system by next year that could make it mathematically impossible to hand over users' messages to a court. If they're successful, it would mark a big step in bringing encrypted messaging -- long the province of privacy hawks and conspiracy theorists -- to a consumer-friendly service. The WSJ (also, Secure websites to get Google search boost)

NASA's 'falling saucer' test vehicle footage released NASA's Martian robots have used the planet's thin atmosphere to their advantage while landing, slowing down through a combination of aerobraking and parachutes. But the space agency hopes to put larger hardware on the red planet's surface -- eventually followed by manned exploration. Those missions will require correspondingly larger braking hardware. Ars Technica (also, Everything you need to know: Supermoon Sunday)

The most fascinating profile you'll ever read about a guy and his boring startup Stewart is hungry. He's munching on potatoes smothered in chicken fat drippings, sitting by a long metal table that once served as a gurney in the morgue at the Treasure Island Naval Base. It's a prominent piece of furniture in what will be the kitchen area for Stewart's new startup. All told, the space is big enough for 75 or so employees, most of whom have yet to be hired. Wired

AMD set to start selling SSDs for gamers AMD plans to throw its hat into the solid-state drive (SSD) arena and compete against Intel, Samsung, Kingston and others for a share of the fast growing consumer flash market. Information leaked from an AMD educational website in China and reported by shows AMD plans to release a series of The Radeon-branded R7 SSDs for gamers and professionals later this year. Computerworld

Literature, ethics, physics: it's all in video games at this Norwegian school A group of Norwegian high school seniors sit in religious studies class, absorbed by a moral conundrum unfolding in the midst of a zombie apocalypse. Their teacher, Tobias Staaby, is screening a scene from the critically acclaimed video game, The Walking Dead, which depicts a knotty ethical dilemma confronting the group of rag-tag survivors... MindShift

Parallax Propeller 1 P8X32A released as open source design The Propeller 1 (P8X32A) is now a 100% open multicore microcontroller, including all of the hardware and tools: Verilog code, Spin interpreter, PropellerIDE and SimpleIDE programming tools, and compilers. The Propeller 1 may be the most open chip in its class. We have decided to provide these free open source files for the following reasons. Parallax

IBM unveils a 'brain-like' chip with 4,000 processor cores The human brain is the world's most sophisticated computer, capable of learning new things on the fly, using very little data. It can recognize objects, understand speech, respond to change. Since the early days of digital technology, scientists have worked to build computers that were more like the three-pound organ inside your head. Wired

A revolutionary drone-based delivery network is being tested -- in Bhutan It's one of the world's first drone-based delivery networks, but it's not in the Silicon Valley. It's in Shangri-la.A Silicon Valley startup is piloting a low-cost drone-based delivery project in the remote Himalayan nation of Bhutan that could save lives in far-flung rural communities -- and perhaps pioneer the system globally. Quartz

Hacker redirects traffic from 19 Internet providers to steal bitcoins Among all the scams and thievery in the bitcoin economy, one recent hack sets a new bar for brazenness: Stealing an entire chunk of raw internet traffic from more than a dozen internet service providers, then shaking it down for as many bitcoins as possible. Wired