The always-excellent Rock, Paper, Shotgun has an interview with Valve head honcho Gabe Newell where he discusses, among other things, the naming of the company:

We had other names for Valve. One was “Fruitfly Ensemble”, speaking of terrible names. Another was “Rhino Scar”, which was fun because of the visual. [Gabe draws a vague cartoon outline of a man with a circular hole through the middle of his torso – click for the full-size version] We’d have had this guy running around… But no, it was Valve.

Here’s another tidbit about Gabe’s plans for Steam:

Oh yeah, I expect we’ll go back in time and eventually pretty much every game that’s ever been available will be on there 24/7.

An awesome story about people in their early twenties hired by Google to run some of their most critical teams:

Earlier attempts to hire veterans from firms like Microsoft had awful results. “Google is so different that it was almost impossible to reprogram them into this culture,” says CEO Eric Schmidt. The difficulties led Google VP Mayer (employee No. 20) to wonder whether experience was way overrated. The earliest Google employees were distinguished by an abundance of brain cells as opposed to a fat résumé or a stint at McKinsey. Why not replicate the phenomenon?

APM No. 1, hired July 2002, was newly minted Stanford grad Brian Rakowski. “You’re going to be responsible for Gmail,” Mayer told him, explaining that he was to launch a product designed for tens of millions of users. “I was 22 years old, and shocked that they were going to let someone that young and inexperienced do that job,” says Rakowski, who is still working at Google. He succeeded by a combination of technical acumen (necessary so the engineers, Google’s true royalty, wouldn’t write him off as a bozo) and the good sense to lead with wit and enthusiasm.

The Guardian reports that a British team has grown a human heart valve from stem cells. If the animal tests are successful we could see actual use within three years!

The track is Junior Kickstart by The Go! Team, btw.

I’ll let the creator do the talking:

I just finished building a game of pong for those of you with Sudden Motion Sensors on your Mac. Using the Sudden Motion Sensor, you can now play Pong. Tilt the laptop to control the paddle and scream to increase the size of the paddle. Enjoy! But play it at your own risk.

You can get the game here.