The technology world is abuzz today with news of the abrupt departure of a key executive at Microsoft. Steve Sinofsky is probably the second most important figure at the company after the chief executive Steve Ballmer. Now he is leaving with immediate effect.
His exit, just weeks after the launch of Windows 8, raises questions about the future direction of the business, not least because he was seen as a credible successor to Ballmer. A 23 year veteran of the company, he was a familiar figure to anyone who attended a Microsoft launch, a polished performer explaining just why we should be excited about the latest innovations in the Windows operating system.
When a letter landed on my desk addressed to the BBC Technical Correspondent, I opened it with care. In the past, a typewritten envelope has sometimes proved to contain something extremely unpleasant - but this time the opposite was true.
Inside, I found an extremely courteous and interesting request for information and a stamped addressed envelope for my reply. My correspondent, a lady from Leicester, wanted to know whether there were simple phones on the market that did little more than just make calls. She went so far as to lay out in some detail exactly what she was seeking, right down to a diagram of the size of the keys.
The news that the government has developed an app, the Number 10 Dashboard, to give David Cameron and his top team data on the state of the UK has met with a cynical response. "Not the way to run the country. X Factor gov't!" - according to one tweeter.
The idea that the prime minister and senior civil servants might be running the country from an iPad with some kind of iGov app has obvious comic potential. We know for instance that the PM is a fan of Fruit Ninja - let's hope he does not get the two mixed up.
Wednesday could see another important step towards the modernisation of money. iZettle, a device that allows small traders to take credit card payments, is arriving in the UK after a successful rollout in other markets. But a failure by big payment firms to agree common standards on how we use these mobile money systems could mean the whole idea fails to fly.
iZettle is a small card-reader that plugs into iPhones, iPads and a number of Android smartphones or tablets. It is designed for use by any small trader who can't afford the infrastructure needed to take credit card payments. You hand over your card to the stallholder - or plumber or window-cleaner - it is swiped through the device, and then you sign for your purchase. The merchant pays a commission of 2.75% a transaction, and the consumer gets to use their plastic rather than cash in new places.
Thirty years ago a young man called David Braben arrived at Jesus College, Cambridge to study Natural Sciences. But he ended up spending most of his time building a video game with another undergraduate, Ian Bell.
What they built was a 3D space trading game called Elite. It was unlike just about every other game - "It didn't have a score, it didn't have three lives, you had to play it for a long time," says Braben - and proved to be a landmark for the young video games industry.
For 36 hours, I have been trying out 4G in two cities where it has been launched by the EE network. Everywhere I've gone in London and Manchester, outside, indoors, on trains and in cars, I've used a speed testing application. And while I've seen some breathtakingly fast results, there has also been some worrying evidence that the speed and extent of the 4G network is being oversold.
Competition between the world's electronics manufacturers seems to be getting ever more intense - which is good news for gadget lovers.
From phones to cameras to set-top boxes, every device seems to get smarter every few months, thanks no doubt to Moore's Law. And now it seems any new product has got to have something else - an internet connection. I've been looking at two new gadgets whose appeal could be transformed by the addition of connectivity.
The last time I met a Blackberry boss it ended rather badly. Eighteen months ago Mike Lazaridis, then co-CEO of RIM, took exception to a question and terminated our encounter. So I was very grateful that Thorsten Heins, now in sole charge, agreed to meet me this week and give me so much of his time.
He took over in January, after Mr Lazaridis and his co-CEO Jim Balsillie stepped down, battered by the crisis at the Blackberry company which probably explained the tensions of our interview the previous spring.
In a hectic year, the tectonic plates of technology are shifting again. In the space of a few days, three giants of this industry - Apple, Microsoft and Google - are holding major product launches, and it is tablets which are centre stage.
Apple kicked things off last night with what had been billed the iPad mini event, but turned out to be a rather larger scale "refresh" of the range than expected, with updated desktop and laptop computers, and a fourth version of the full-size iPad.
Now I'm sure that Joanna Shields is relishing the challenge of her new job as a standard-bearer for British technology firms. But it must be easier to leave Facebook now than it was just a few months ago when the social network was the hottest, fastest growing, most exciting company on the planet. And if more of its top talent decides that there are now more interesting challenges elsewhere, that could be a big problem.
Make no mistake - the appointment of Joanna Shields as the new boss of London's Tech City cluster is a big coup for No 10. Getting one of Europe's most high profile technology leaders to take on what has been a relatively low profile job should do wonders for the image of London as a hot place for hi-tech.
Ms Shields is the European boss of Facebook, and has overseen a big expansion of the business since arriving in 2010. Prior to that, she was chief executive of another social network Bebo, where she helped to pull off one of the best deals in web history, selling the company to AOL for $850m - only for the buyer to sell it on for $10 a couple of years later.
Can the government run one decent and cost-effective website, which gives customers speedy access to vital information and services? Unlikely, you might think given a track record of over spending on far too many sites that deliver a poor user experience at a hefty cost.
But today sees the launch of www.gov.uk which seeks to change all that. The vision is of one website to rule them all - or rather a single destination for the government's customers rather than more than 400 different addresses spread across the various Whitehall departments.
Now that Steve Jobs has gone, who is the most powerful and influential CEO in the technology world? My nomination is Jeff Bezos, founder of the first e-commerce business to make a real splash, and still running Amazon 18 years on.
Not only has he shown real tenacity and long-term vision in repeatedly starting risky ventures amid investor disquiet, he is also a charming and interesting man - not something you can say of every tech CEO. Kind enough too, when we met him in London, to warn us about his explosive laugh which can rattle windows, and send the needles on recording equipment into the red zone.
As I predicted, peace has broken out in the 4G wars that have pitched the operators against Ofcom. The deal unveiled by the Culture Secretary Maria Miller on Tuesday night should see all the operators offering 4G by next summer.
But in the short term, EE - the owner of Orange and T-Mobile - will have the field to itself.
It's a crucial meeting at which Britain's hi-tech future could be decided. Later on Tuesday, the new Culture Secretary Maria Miller presides over peace talks between the chief executives of the major mobile phone operators and Ofcom's boss Ed Richards.
The issue at stake - can the 4G auction be accelerated enough to convince O2 and Vodafone not to go to war with Ofcom over what they see as favouritism towards their rival Everything Everywhere?
The e-reader and tablet markets are sorted, right? Amazon owns the e-reader business with its Kindle, Apple's iPad dominates in tablets, with a bit of room at the cheaper end for Google's Nexus and the Kindle Fire. But a giant US book chain begs to differ.
Barnes and Noble has unveiled its plans for an assault on the UK market this morning. It will be offering British customers its Nook range of e-readers, along with new colour tablet computers, the Nook HD and the Nook HD+.
Rory has been watching the technology scene like a hawk for the last 15 years.
From the dotcom bubble of the late 1990s to the rise of Google and Facebook, from the Psion organiser to the iPad, he's covered all the big gadget and business stories, and interviewed just about everyone who's played a part in the story of the web.
Dot.Rory, his previous blog, was named among the Top 100 blogs by the Sunday Times
He aims to look at the impact of the internet and digital technology on our lives and businesses. Rory has been described as "the non-geek's geek", and freely admits that he came late to technology - but he aims to explain its significance to anyone with an interest in the subject.
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