The Weekly Digest: August 11 — August 17

 

Hi everyone!

How's your post-Olympics hangover going? Wait, you didn't know the Games were over? Well, in that case, we've got a nice selection of new toys for you to tinker with and drool about. Pull up a chair and take your time.

Articles

We started off this week on one of those 'why didn't I think of that?' features, this time dedicated to a slingshot controller for Angry Birds. Just when Microsoft struggles to think of just one use for its ultra-advanced Kinect system that wouldn't make their customers look like infantile victims of dementia praecox trying to scare off a stray swarm of imaginary bees from their house, two students from Copenhagen design a controller intended exclusively for launching imaginary birds into imaginary pigs - and it looks outstanding. Way to go!

 

Next up, we found that Google had finally struck gold and discovered a comfy vacant niche for the goggle-eyed slowcoach monstrosity that is Google+. Turns out, we are about to witness a whole cast of newborn stars of live TV thanks to Hangouts on Air. If you think you've got it in you, there's nothing stopping you from putting up your own TV channel or a live gig. All from the comfort of your uncrowded Google+ profile. A round of applause, everyone.

 

Then we turned to Twitter and spoke about checking whether someone's followers are real people or just fraud inactive accounts created to inflate one's popularity. The issue goes deeper than just 'artificially augmented' numbers and the size of someone's ego: these fake accounts are often used for spamming and fraud, so it's good to know we've finally got a weapon against them.

 

Further on, we mused about the benefits and drawbacks of Windows RT. With some big names expressing their criticism of forcing users to install apps from Microsoft's web store, you can be sure something is coming.

 

Finally, there's a bit of a conspiracy theory behind Google's changing their favicon for a plain white-on-blue letter 'g'. Could it be that Google is treading in Microsoft's footsteps? Is it all a respectful homage or just a terrible coincidence?

 

Updates

The one update you're bound to know about is the new version of Adobe Flash Player. It's not that you'd usually notice any difference, of course. Let's just hope nothing's got broken.

Here's a big one. A beta version of Firefox 15 saw the light of day bringing a host of tasty features like native PDF support and WebGL enhancements. If anything, a fresh install of your web browser never does any harm.

After updating to 3.6 a few days ago, LibreOffice now sports a release candidate for 3.6.1.

PDF Complete, an extensive PDF editor, also saw an update a few days back. So did BitComet, a well-known torrent client. Finally, RapidTyping, a free typing tutor, followed suit and got a new version.

That's about it for this week. Have a great weekend and be sure to come back when you're short on news!

Comments on The Weekly Digest: August 11 — August 17