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Surface Pro: an in-depth look at Microsoft’s super tablet


All about Steve

Cupertino, 1980. Steve Jobs is giving an impassioned motivational speech to a small team working on Apple’s Lisa. “It’s social status. It’s social currency,” he says. His voice is deliberate, paced to emphasize the most emotionally-driven words. On the whiteboard behind him it reads “File | Edit | Page Layout | Format.” He asks the team how many typefaces are in Lisa, who in turn respond that it was deemed a less pressing issue. This isn’t the answer Jobs expected. “Everything… is a pressing issue,” he says, his once-inspirational demeanor quickly escalating into a quiet rage. One of the programmers continues to disagree, arguing that it was a necessary compromise. It’s at this point that Jobs’ temper boils over. He shouts at the top of his lungs, fires the programmer — “Apple’s best,” according to Bill Atkinson — but that doesn’t matter since he clearly lacks the vision or passion. The programmer stands there just half a second too long. The fury escalates further. “NO! I ALREADY FIRED YOU! WHY ARE YOU STILL HERE?”

Braindancing in Night City

Cyberpunk is a genre; a dystopic vision of the future exemplified by films like Blade Runner and books like Neuromancer. But it’s also a game. First released in 1988 and designed by Mike Pondsmith, Cyberpunk took the style and feeling of the works of William Gibson and Bruce Sterling and adapted them for the pen-and-paper RPG crowd. It spanned three editions and dozens of books, but with the help of developer CD Projekt Red it will soon see its biggest transformation yet: turning into a video game. We still don’t know everything about Cyberpunk 2077, the game that catapults the series five decades into the future, but its clear CD Projekt is looking to capture the same feeling that made the RPG series so enduring. “We want to assure fans of the pen-and-paper game that this is still the same Cyberpunk you know,” says lead gameplay designer Marcin Janiszewski. “Night City has changed in the intervening decades, but still there are places that you know — this still is the same city.”

What’s in your bag, Justin Rubio?

What’s in your bag? is a recurring feature where we ask people to tell us a bit more about their everyday gadgets by opening their bags and hearts to us. Show us your bag in this forum post. This week, we’re featuring Justin Rubio. When preparing for big shows like CES, Google I/O, or any of Apple’s many events, it’s far too easy to come under-prepared — so I make sure to bring everything I could possibly think of in terms of electronics and, most importantly, hygiene. This usually consists of a couple of phones, lots of cables and chargers, my trusty laptop, and hand sanitizer (to fend off epidemics like the Vergeflu).

Redesigning Google: how Larry Page engineered a beautiful revolution

Something strange and remarkable started happening at Google immediately after Larry Page took full control as CEO in 2011: it started designing good-looking apps. Great design is not something anybody has traditionally expected from Google. Infamously, the company used to focus on A/B testing tiny, incremental changes like 41 different shades of blue for links instead of trusting its designers to create and execute on an overall vision. The “design philosophy that lives or dies strictly by the sword of data” led its very first visual designer, Douglas Bowman, to leave in 2009. More recently, however, it’s been impossible to ignore a series of thoughtfully designed apps — especially on iOS, a platform that doesn’t belong to Google. Google+, YouTube, Gmail, and Maps are consistent and beautiful — in stark contrast both to Google’s previous efforts and even Apple’s own increasingly staid offerings.

NASA’s Space Food Systems lab shows what astronauts really eat in orbit

NASA’s Space Food Systems Laboratory is where the agency researches, tests, and produces food fit for consumption outside of the Earth’s atmosphere. Everything from the packaging to the menu has to be meticulously evaluated; the food must balance nutrition, flavor, and safety with more practical concerns such as preparation time, size, and a shelf life of three to five years. Space food plays another role, too — according to NASA, it “not only provides nutrition for astronauts, but also enhances the psychological well-being of the crew by establishing a familiar element in an unfamiliar and hostile environment.” The agency has posted a series of photos on its website that track the development of space food through recent decades, as well as further details on the laboratory’s work.

Call Of Duty: Black Ops 2 returns to the top of the charts

Well, that didn’t take long did it? One moment,DmC: Devil May Cry is flying at the top of the sales chart. The next, it’s being jackbooted down the list by some of 2013’s strongest titles. Call Of Duty: Black Ops 2 has reclaimed the top slot for the first time since its unbroken six-week run back in 2013, while FIFA 13 and Far Cry 3 land in second and third position respectively. DmC: Devil May Cry drops to fourth position, while Assassin’s Creed III climbs five places to fifth. Need For Speed: Most Wanted and Just Dance 4 both drop a place to sixth and seventh respectively.

Vine Quietly Adds Verified Badges for High-Profile Users

It’s not exactly easy to tell if someone is who they say they are on Vine, Twitter’s new video-sharing app. Case in point: There’s an account with the username Vine. Who is it? Hard to tell — maybe it’s run by the company; maybe it’s an unknown, opportunistic individual. Duplicate usernames and easily faked profiles mean it’s difficult to ascertain the legitimacy of high-profile Viners (if that’s what we’re calling them). For now, our best way to tell who’s who on Vine is if verified Twitter accounts plug their six-second videos, or if they pop up when you look for people to follow via connected Twitter accounts