Microsoft Windows Q and A

Windows 10 may have breathed new life into your PC, but it didn't do anything to juice PC sales this summer. Both Gartner and IDC estimate that computer sales dropped several points year-over-year (between 7.7 and 10.8 percent) in the third quarter, right when the new Windows arrived. That's one of the steeper drops in recent memory, in fact. Not that it comes as a complete surprise. As the analyst firms explain, Microsoft's fast-tracked release left many PC makers shipping existing systems with Windows 10, which weren't going to drive demand as much as brand new models. You're not going to buy a months-old laptop just because it's running new software, are you? The big question is whether or not the wave of new Windows 10 PCs launching this fall will make a difference -- if there's still a sharp decline, the industry is really in trouble.

One of the big factors to game engine Unity's success is that for awhile it ran on basically any platform be it Oculus, PS Vita or home consoles like the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. But according to the developer, recent moves by the likes of Google, Microsoft and Mozilla are going to put an end to that. The latest version of Chrome doesn't have support for a specific plugin (NPAPI, specifically) that the Unity Web Player relies on, and Unity says that Firefox's support for plugins is going the way of the buffalo while Edge isn't supporting them at all. Most everything is moving toward WebGL these days.

Jack Dorsey of Twitter

Twitter's 'new' permanent CEO only took the reins five days ago, but he already appears bent on cleaning house. Sources for both the New York Times and Recode understand that Jack Dorsey is planning layoffs that could start as soon as October 13th. While it's unclear how many people will lose their jobs, Recode understands that this is part of an attempt to streamline an engineering team that has become "bloated." Tipsters had already claimed that Twitter was freezing the expansion of its San Francisco headquarters, but Dorsey would be taking that cost-cutting to a new level.

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You read that headline right: according to The Washington Post, China has arrested an unspecified number of suspected hackers for the US government. The suspects were taken into custody a week or so before Chinese President Xi Jinping met with President Obama in late September -- and apparently just in time for the administration to rethink its plan of imposing sanctions on the Asian superpower. An official told the WP that US intelligence agencies came up with a list of names they want arrested and then gave it to the Chinese. He said they used it as a test to see if the country's really determined to forge a set of cyberwarfare rules with the US, which would prevent either side from launching commercial espionage programs against each other. "We need to know that you're serious. So we gave them a list, and we said, 'Look, here's these guys. Round them up,'" he told the publication.

Samsung Galaxy Note 4

NVIDIA's first patent lawsuit campaign isn't exactly going according to plan. The US International Trade Commission has ruled that Samsung and Qualcomm aren't infringing on NVIDIA's graphics patents. The judge rejected two of the patent claims outright and deemed a third patent invalid. There's still a chance that the ITC will rethink its decision following a review in February, but this steals a lot of the thunder out of NVIDIA's legal war -- Samsung and Qualcomm aren't facing a looming government sales ban that could force them to settle the civil dispute. NVIDIA says it's still "confident" that it'll emerge triumphant, but that may be putting on a brave face despite ... especially when Samsung's counterattack is still underway.

A deep space mission to Mars will require more than a few bottles of Poland Spring and water reclamation is a complicated business. Luckily, recent research is showing that liquid water may be more prevalent on the red planet than previously thought. Gathering the data that led to this discovery (amongst many others) didn't just happen overnight. It's the result of over 50 years' worth of missions from Earth with sights set on Mars, not all of which were successful. We've collected some highlights from humankind's long history of hurling spacecraft toward the fourth planet from the sun, and the good news is: We're getting better at it.

STEVE JOBS 2015 Universal Pictures filkm with from left Michael Fassbender as Steve Jobs, Michael Stuhlbarg, Kate Winslet

Danny Boyle (28 Days Later, Sunshine) and Aaron Sorkin's (The Social Network, Moneyball) Steve Jobs is a unique film in many ways, not the least of which is its complete disregard for the tropes of most biographical films. Instead, it's more like a play in three parts, each of which occurs before one of Steve Jobs' infamous product reveals: the Macintosh in 1984; the NeXT computer in 1988; and the iMac in 1998. For a pseudo-follow-up to Sorkin's Oscar-winning Facebook founding story, Steve Jobs basically feels like the complete opposite. We had the chance to sit down with Sorkin and Boyle to discuss how they crafted the film, how Jobs' daughter, Lisa Brennan-Jobs, helped the production and how they dealt with the specter of The Social Network.


CEATEC 2015 is trade show that tries to thinly spread a trend across a whole range of exhibitors: traditional electronics giants like Honda, Sharp and Panasonic mix with university research projects, startups, and just outright weird things. This year, however, there wasn't a standout one. The Internet of Things, energy efficient transport and increasingly precise robots were three vague themes, but with flashes of occasional crazy brilliance. You'll find the best discoveries from half a week in Chiba, Japan, right here. And as a sort-of-sayonara to the show, here's a gallery of the freakier sights.

Rick Moranis And Sigourney Weaver In 'Ghostbusters'

Recommended Reading highlights the best long-form writing on technology and more in print and on the web. Some weeks, you'll also find short reviews of books that we think are worth your time. We hope you enjoy the read.

Rick Moranis Isn't Retired (He Just Doesn't Know How to Change His Wikipedia Page)
by Ryan Parker
The Hollywood Reporter

When the new version of Ghostbusters arrives in theaters next year, a lot of the stars from the 1980s movies will make appearances in the film. Rick Moranis isn't one of them. In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Moranis explains that "it just makes no sense" to him and dishes on what he's been doing for the last two decades, including his iOS 9.1 woes.

Today on In Case You Missed It: We are rounding up Space Week with NASA's detailed plan to get earthlings to settle on Mars. Meanwhile other scientists teamed up to unravel how a rat's brain works, to then simulate it with a computer. Early testing shows how calcium affects the brain in a way that can only help with studies on neurological disorders. And Disney is jumping into more augmented reality with a coloring book app that brings creatures to life while they're worked on.

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden And Senator Elizabeth Warren Address The American Job Creation And Infrastructure Forum

Rahm Emanuel, former Chief of Staff for the Obama administration and current mayor of Chicago, has called on the president to institute computer coding competency as a national requirement to graduate high school. "Just make it a requirement," Emanuel said during a recent Washington Post-sponsored policy event. "I am fine with Common Core. We adopted it in the city, one of the first cities to do it. I'm great. [But] you need this skill — national policy. Make it a high-school graduation requirement."

Sundar Pichai, SVP, Chrome and Apps, Google

Sundar Pichai must have gotten used to his shiny, new CEO seat, because according to Recode, he's just announced the first exec shuffling under his leadership. By the looks of things, a number of Googlers are celebrating their promotions at the moment, one of the biggest winners being Hiroshi Lockheimer, who used to be the Android division's VP. While he's been overseeing Chrome OS' development and Android's expansion into cars and wearables since last year, he's now officially the Senior Vice President handling Android, Chrome and Chromecast. Android VP Dave Burke, on the other hand, has taken up more leader-level engineering duties.

By the end of October, you might notice that doing a Google search via Safari on an iPhone or an iPad returns results with deep links to iOS apps. That's because Mountain View has given developers the power to do so -- they simply have to add Universal Links to their iOS apps and integrate with the Google search SDK. The company first brought app indexing to Apple's mobile platform back in May, but only the Chrome browser and the Google Search app could dig for info from within applications: Safari had no access to the feature. As we've mentioned, though, those Safari deep links won't start rolling out until late October, and you can only get them when doing a query if you've already installed iOS 9.

Seen Around Spring 2016 New York Fashion Week - Day 7

When Kanye West runs for president, we know what at least one item on his platform will be -- and there will probably be plenty of parents agreeing. We guess he doesn't consider his wife's app a "kid's game," though, considering it's using the same in-app purchasing scheme, and she advised parents just last year to make sure their purchasing controls were set.

Shovel Knight was supposed to come out next week -- the operative phrase there being "supposed to". However SK's developer, Yacht Club Games, announced on Friday that the retail release for the game's 3DS, Wii U, PS4, and PC (Europe-only) versions will be delayed by two weeks until October 30th in Europe and November 4th in North America.

RoboHon ("Robot Phone") is the cutest smartphone ever: a (familiar looking) robot frame that fits in your pocket. It can take calls, dance, project photos, display maps and more. It's a 'bot with a smartphone inside. Yes, some will snort at the idea of a phone with a 2-inch touchscreen, but it's certainly an original notion -- unashamedly so. That said, is it innovative? Is there a point to it all? Does it really fit in your pocket? We'll know better when it launches here in Japan early next year. For now, here's a closer look in person, answering at least one of those questions.

IRS building in Washington DC.  Please see my portfolio for other travel and tax related images.

The fear of AI usually revolves around the fear of an uprising and humans being attacked by our new robot overlords. Researchers at MIT and non-profit technology source Mitre have a new terrifying future for AI. Well, not that scary to most people, but something that could put a fright in the accountants of tax-cheating corporations. The researchers propose a using artificial intelligence to investigate complex tax shelters that keep companies and the rich from paying their fair share of taxes. It's like Skynet but with a really awesome calculator and algorithms.

Bill And Melinda Gates Give Commencement Address At Stanford University

Stanford reportedly has 214 female students enrolled in its Computer Science major -- that's 30 percent of the major's total enrollment -- making it the most popular major with women at the university for the first time. Women constitute 49 percent of the school's total student body and Computer Science accounts for 20 percent of the university's total enrollment. Computer Science did just barely eke out the previous title-holder, human biology, for the top spot by a mere six students.

Horrible browser plugins used to offer extended multimedia features for website, often at the cost of a much worse overall experience -- thankfully, they're going the way of the dodo. Chrome recently banished plugins like Java and Silverlight (and made auto-playing Flash ads disabled by default), and now Firefox is doing the same. Mozilla just announced in a blog post that nearly all old-school plugins will not be supported in Firefox by the end of 2016. That's a long ways away, but it's still good news.

Metal Gear Online hasn't even been active a week and yet and it's dealing with some pretty serious issues. First there's the whole real-money for in-game insurance thing, and as Eurogamer reports, there's a load of balancing and server issues too. But, who needs a game when you could have bitchin' watch modeled after the one Big Boss/Venom Snake/Who Even Knows wears in Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain? While you're enjoying today's broadcast you have the distinct chance to win just that: a Seiko watch that's subtle enough to not trigger any alarms, but those in the know will give a hearty smile if they spot it.