An introduction to semiconductor physics, technology, and industry I must confess that until recently, I wasn't well-versed in semiconductor physics or technology. While it's rather easy to understand what a transistor does and some of the terminology thrown around, going deeper was tough. A great deal of the information on the internet is simply too cryptic to understand, even for those that want to learn. Seeing as how this site is all about the results of semiconductor physics and technology, this was the best place to share the knowledge that I've acquired. AnandTech (also, a guide to video card overclocking software)

The weird economics behind Steam prices around the world PC gamers love Steam for its convenience and its mod communities and its vast catalog. But above all, we love it for one thing: prices. Sales. Digital games don't carry the manufacturing and distribution overhead that plague physical discs, bringing prices down in the first place, and Steam Sales slash those prices even further. But there's one area of Steam's purview that's puzzling at best and downright frustrating at worst: how widely, and seemingly unfairly, game prices vary across the globe. PC Gamer

Testing a $35 Firefox OS phone -- how bad could it be? Hey! You there! You've got it pretty good, you know that? While you're sitting there using your Internet-enabled device to read about some other Internet-enabled device, it's easy to forget that the majority of people doesn't have any access to the Internet at all. The "World Wide" Web is actually not that worldwide -- only about one-third of the population is online. That's 4.8 billion people out there with no way to get to the Internet. Ars Technica (also, Ars pits the iPhone 6 Plus camera against a $3,400 DSLR)

Gargantuan $1.4 billion Thirty Meter Telescope begins construction in Hawaii After years of planning, construction of the $1.4 billion Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) has started in Hawaii. This gigantic next-generation telescope will provide astronomers with unparalleled power -- about 10 times the resolution of Hubble -- to observe the intricacies of the universe from the comfort of Earth. However, its location atop Hawaii's Mauna Kea volcano has some local residents up in arms. It's a case of the age-old clash of tradition with scientific progress. ExtremeTech

AMD moves forward with unified Linux driver strategy, new kernel driver Alex Deucher of AMD has taken the floor at XDC2014, which got underway today in France to provide an update on the company's new unified open-source driver strategy. Compared to what I originally reported earlier in the year when breaking the news, there's some notable changes but overall this is an exciting endeavor for AMD Linux customers with the open and closed source AMD GPU drivers going to share the same (open-source) Linux kernel driver. Phoronix

AMD's CEO transition is a natural next step I just finished listening in to the conference call for financial analysts regarding AMD's CEO transitionfrom Rory Read to Dr. Lisa Su. As usual in cases like this one, the words spoken by Read and Su were carefully chosen and partially scripted ahead of time. As a result, they didn't offer a completely satisfying answer to the questions on everyone's minds about why Read is leaving just a few short years after he took the helm at AMD. The Tech Report

Reverse engineering the Oculus Rift DK2 provides brilliant insight into inner workings Spurred by the current lack of a Linux SDK for the Oculus Rift DK2, a group of developers sought to dissect the Rift's optical tracking system by reverse engineering the DK2. The information that was tediously corralled together is quite technical so we've have rounded up the critical focal points in an easier to read format to show why this community project is important. Road to VR (also, Oculus is hiring)

The design thinking behind London's new $4b subway trains Descend underground into London's subway system, and "Mind the Gap" is everywhere. It's spelled out in tiles on the edge of the platform, it's announced through the loudspeakers, and it's probably splashed across a tourist's t-shirt. But sometime around 2020, the actual gap -- the dangerous space between the train and the platform that prompted the transit system in 1969 to start warning passengers – will begin to disappear. Wired

Best Linux Distros 2014 We're going to get a lot of flak for writing these words, but we're not scared -- Linux Voice drops ice cubes down the vest of fear. So here we go: you might be using the wrong Linux distribution. Or to put it more diplomatically, you might not be running the distro that's best suited to you. "What a load of codswallop!", you respond. "My distro does exactly what I need it to do. I've been using it for years and I'm happy with it." Linux Voice

Why we live in an anti-tech age Though it seems as if we're surrounded by innovative products, services and technologies, there's a growing counter argument that we're living in a dismal era. Science is hated. Real technological progress has stalled. And what we call innovation today really isn't very innovative. Peter Thiel, a co-founder of PayPal, billionaire investor and author, is among those challenging the notion of innovation and progress. Computerworld

Amazon robot picking challenge 2015 Amazon has lots and lots of warehouses, sorry fulfilment centers, all over the world and they employ lots of humans to find the stuff you buy. The Amazon Picking Challenge is about getting robots to do the same job. i-programmer