"The transformation was painful. We paid the price" It's been tough at Crytek this year. In fact, we've heard developers at the company's vast network of studios, who are responsible for the likes of first-person shooter Crysis, gory action game Ryse and, as of a month ago, Homefront: The Revolution, first noticed something was up as early as 2012. In truth Crytek has had its ups and downs throughout its 15 year history. But this year was perhaps its most dramatic down, with reports of staff going unpaid for months on end, the cancellation of Ryse 2 and vociferous criticism of its focus on free-to-play. Eurogamer

The most wanted man in the world The message arrives on my "clean machine," a MacBook Air loaded only with a sophisticated encryption package. "Change in plans," my contact says. "Be in the lobby of the Hotel ______ by 1 pm. Bring a book and wait for ES to find you." ES is Edward Snowden, the most wanted man in the world. For almost nine months, I have been trying to set up an interview with him -- traveling to Berlin, Rio de Janeiro twice, and New York multiple times to talk with the handful of his confidants who can arrange a meeting. Wired

Smart tattoo generates electricity from sweat, could power future wearable computers Smart tattoos are the hottest thing since mood rings. When they become commonplace, they will be a great way to eavesdrop on both vital signs and not-so-vital signs. The only thing that seems to be holding them back, is getting power to them. Joseph Wang, a researchers from UCSD, has now come up with a way to generate power for these devices without using any external equipment. The secret, is to harness electrons from lactate acid secreted in sweat. ExtremeTech

When is a game a clone Most games can be described as rules (e.g., processes that are largely based on conditionals, limits, and actions) and sets of numeric values (number of an asset type, values for things, etc). You also have a variety of metaphors and presentation elements that are used to convey these: visuals, sounds, etc. In general, if we see a game that has all the same rules and all the same scalars, but uses different presentation, we can consider that "a reskin." It is exactly the same as a Lord of the Rings chess set or the like. Gamasutra

What the hell is going on at Twitch? Been paying attention to Twitch news the last few days? Yesterday, Justin.tv, the parent company of Twitch and general-purpose streaming site, was shut down. Everyone's accounts are being deleted, all the saved videos are being erased. Today, Twitch announces past broadcasts can no longer be saved forever. They will now be deleted after 14 days for normal accounts and 60 days for subscribers. In three weeks all past broadcasts older than 60 days will be erased. Ron Amadeo

Are processors pushing up against the limits of physics? When I first started reading Ars Technica, performance of a processor was measured in megahertz, and the major manufacturers were rushing to squeeze as many of them as possible into their latest silicon. Shortly thereafter, however, the energy needs and heat output of these beasts brought that race crashing to a halt. More recently, the number of processing cores rapidly scaled up, but they quickly reached the point of diminishing returns. Ars Technica

I liked everything I saw on Facebook for two days. Here's what it did to me There's this great Andy Warhol quote you've probably seen before: "I think everybody should like everybody." You can buy posters and plates with pictures of Warhol, looking like the cover of a Belle & Sebastian album, with that phrase plastered across his face in Helvetica. But the full quote, taken from a 1963 interview in Art News, is a great description of how we interact on social media today. Wired

A thousand kilobots self-assemble into complex shapes When Harvard roboticists first introduced their Kilobots in 2011, they'd only made 25 of them. When we next saw the robots in 2013, they'd made 100. Now the researchers have built one thousand of them. That's a whole kilo of Kilobots, and probably the most robots that have ever been in the same place at the same time, ever. IEEE Spectrum

Hemp fibres 'better than graphene' The waste fibres from hemp crops can be transformed into high-performance energy storage devices, scientists say. They "cooked" cannabis bark into carbon nanosheets and built supercapacitors "on a par with or better than graphene" - the industry gold standard. Electric cars and power tools could harness this hemp technology, the US researchers say. They presented their work at the American Chemical Society meeting in San Francisco. BBC

Bezos-owned Washington Post now inserting gross Amazon affiliate links into news articles There's something creepy in this Washington Post piece about Penguin's new "adult" cover for the 50th anniversary edition of "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory." Well, something else creepy, beyond the weirdly over-sexualized cover itself. Six paragraphs into the story, we find this... a "buy it now" button, wedged into editorial copy and linked to an affiliate account of Amazon. Pando

Browser face-off: Battery life explored 2014 It has been five years since we did a benchmark of web browsers effect on battery life and a lot has changed. Back then, our testing included Opera 9 & 10, Chrome 2, Firefox 3.5.2, Safari 4, and IE8. Just looking at those version numbers is nostalgic. Not only have the browsers gone through many revisions since then, but computer hardware and the Windows operating system are very different as well. AnandTech (also read TechSpot's battery life test for media player apps)

AMD hopes to put a little Mantle in OpenGL Next At Siggraph yesterday, we met with Richard Huddy, AMD's newly appointed Gaming Scientist. Huddy gave us some dirt on the incoming wave of FreeSync monitors, but that wasn't all. He also provided an update on Mantle, and he revealed some interesting details about AMD's role in the development of the next-gen OpenGL API. The Tech Report

Controllers A timeline photo gallery of console gamepads. Behance