Today, the programmable chips that Burger and Lu believed would transform the world—called field programmable gate arrays—are here. FPGAs already underpin Bing, and in the coming weeks, they will drive new search algorithms based on deep neural networks—artificial intelligence modeled on the structure of the human brain—executing this AI several orders of magnitude faster than ordinary chips could. As in, 23 milliseconds instead of four seconds of nothing on your screen. FPGAs also drive Azure, the company’s cloud computing service. And in the coming years, almost every new Microsoft server will include an FPGA. That’s millions of machines across the globe. “This gives us massive capacity and enormous flexibility, and the economics work,” Burger says. “This is now Microsoft’s standard, worldwide architecture.”
The inside story of how Lionhead rose and fell is difficult but also important. Those who worked there describe a studio high on the fumes of furious creativity, a place where mind-numbing failure would often accompany agenda-setting success. They describe a fiercely British culture that benefited – and suffered – from an American overlord hell bent on winning the console war. And they describe a studio created in the image of a man who inspires as much as he frustrates. It’s a complicated story. But it’s one worth telling.
The entire article is fantastic. Personally, I’m still sad that we will never see a new Fable.
The layoffs are in addition to the about 18,000 employees that Microsoft said it planned to let go a year ago, according to people briefed on the plans, who asked for anonymity because the details were confidential. The new job cuts are expected to affect people in Microsoft’s hardware group, among other parts of the company, including the struggling smartphone business that it acquired from Nokia last year in a $7.2 billion deal.
This is huge news.
- I have a weird feeling that because publishers must approve games, backward compatibility with Xbox 360 won’t live up to its full potential.
- Rare Replay, a compilation of 30 classic Rare games, looks sweet. If done right, it will offer some incredible value.
- First thought on Rare’s new game: it looks beautiful. Second thought: oh, it’s an MMO.
- I like Halo but I don’t love Halo. It looked pretty, I guess.
- The new controller that was announced at the beginning of the stream looks really nice. Sell it for under 90€ and I’ll buy it.
- Don’t end a show with a remaster. It sort of deflates the entire thing.
A good article by Brad Jones on the history of one of the world’s most popular browsers.