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Computing Software 

Steve Ballmer to retire as Microsoft CEO

After over a decade as Microsoft’s CEO, and 7 years Steve Ballmer has announced his retirement from Microsoft. He will step down within 12 months, as the search for a new CEO commences. It comes at an interesting time for the company, as Microsoft tries to position itself as a “Devices and Services” company moving forward, having announced a major restructuring plan earlier this year.

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Computing Hardware Software 

Microsoft Surface: The lamentations of an iPad devotee.

Yesterday, Microsoft showed how grown up it’s become over the past 5 years by proving it still remembers what it’s like to be a kid. The venerable software giant held a special event at Los Angeles, but unlike any other Microsoft event, keynote, or trade show presentation that I can remember, this one was…well…cool. Like REALLY cool.

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Computing Featured Software 

Windows 8 first look

Microsoft officially gave the first preview of their next operating system, codenamed “Windows 8”, at D9 yesterday. While still capable of running existing Windows applications, they’ve added a new touch friendly interface that follows the same Metro UI design found in Windows Phones, and users will be able to switch between the two modes seamlessly, depending on the task at hand.

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Acer Iconia Tab to arrive in May (Windows and Android)

As part of its Iconia line, Acer announced a pair of wi-fi multitouch tablets, the W500 and A500 (W for Windows, A for Android). Both tablets sport 10.1″ 1280×800 screens and the Windows will have optional USB keyboard/docks that allow it to be used in a more traditional laptop mode. We’ve received word from an Acer reseller that both tablets should be arriving in Canada sometime next month. The Tab A500 running Android 3.0 has a Tegra 2 under the hood, along with 16GB of storage and will be priced…

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Kinect for Windows getting official SDK

Ever since its release in the fall, Microsoft’s Kinect has been a popular target for coders everywhere, putting the motion controller to use in applications far beyond the traitional use as a game controller. Now Microsoft has made it official, by announcing that it will be releasing an official Software Development Kit later this spring. This SDK will be for non-commercial use, and there’s no word when a commercial SDK will come out. The Kinect for Windows SDK is being developed and released by Microsoft Research (MSR) in collaboration with…

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Acer Aspire Revo 3700 review

One of the recent computers to cross the desks here at RGB Filter Acer’s latest iteration of the Revo nettop line, the AR3700. Powered by the second generation dual core Atom processor and Nvidia’s ION 2 graphics chip, the low cost machine is a computer looking for a niche to fill. With Window 7 Home Premium, it’s certainly capable of handling light processing duties such as web surfing, email and document creation, and at about $350, including keyboard and mouse, it makes for a decent machine for someone looking for…

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Asus O!Play Air – Firmware Updates

Asus has definitely been busy.  Since my last review of the Asus O!Play Air, Asus has released a few firmware updates for it.  The most notable is firmware v1.09 which surprisingly adds Internet accessible content to the O!Play Air.  While it still does not add Youtube support (Asus, please, add YouTube support!!), Asus has provided apps to give access to such sites as Flickr and Picassa.

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Asus O!Play Air Review

(Editor’s note: With newer firmware available Dave has taken another look at the functionality of the O!Play. You can catch the newness that is the update here…) I’ve been checking out HD media players lately; mainly because I’m not sold on the future of content being in the form of physical media.  Sony’s Blu-Ray may have won the optical media war, but for an increasing number of people – not just us tech nerds like myself – shiny plastic discs are so last decade as digital distribution takes centre stage. …

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Boxee Beta now public

As we’ve mentioned before, Boxee threw it’s hat into the settop box ring, and from the looks of what they’ve got on tap, it’s one of the better options. The announced Boxee Box hardware (made by DLink) will have HDMI out, and support 1080p video to your television, using the horsepower of Nvidia’s Tegra 2 chipset, and support a myriad of file formats, networked content and streams from online sources.   The cut off cube look is just begging for a “Weighted Companion Cube” mod,  and is actually small enough that…

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Boxee Beta and Box unveiled

I’m a huge fan of Boxee which is, outside of Windows Media Center, my favourite way to access media on my TV.  Boxee, a social networking aware media center, has been in alpha for a long time, and Monday night’s beta announcement marked the next step for the company that wants to be your media portal to the world. With the announcement of the beta program (chock full of screenshots), Boxee has been given a new look along with new functionality.  The menu system appears to have more polish, making…

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Internet Explorer 9 getting HTML 5 support and GPU acceleration

Internet Explorer may be the most popular browser in the world, but that’s only due to its inclusion with Windows itself.  Mozilla’s Firefox has been steadily clawing at IE’s market share for a couple of years now, and Google’s been pushing Chrome, though with less success, so far. Microsoft tried to change that with IE 8, which actually has a very nice interface, but still presents rendering issues in a number of sites, included.  This is supposedly going to change with IE 9, with more standards compliance in general,…

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