The Wrap: 31 July

The Wrap: 31 July

So long and thanks for all the fish

This is the final Idealog Tech newsletter to be lovingly birthed into life by your humble tech editor Sim Ahmed. I'm off on to new adventures but do not fear, your weekly tech fix will be catered for by our shiny new technology editor starting in late August. Until then former PC World editor and geek Siobhan Keogh will scour the web and New Zealand to bring you the latest from the tech and startup scene.

Apart from being filled with cake and various flavours of bread rolls, the past 10 months at Idealog has been spectacular for technology news. Startups starting, tech giants stomping, politicians fluttering and Kim Dotcom being himself. Here are some of my favourite stories – in no particular order – from these few months.

Kiwi game developer Dave Frampton takes App Store charts by storm

15-year-old New Zealander takes on Dropbox oversight

Behind the scene photos of Google Loon Balloon launches (plus science!)

Facebook almost doubles revenue, but where's the tax?

Pikpok on the cards for a BAFTA

Ferald takes the guess work out of reading the news

Naked and Famous rides the Reddit love train

Xero now a billion dollar company, what's Rod Drury going to do with its pile of cash?

First test case for New Zealand's Three Strikes Law

Why the GCSB and TICS legislations are so darn scary

 

Facebook has its head in the game

You know what Facebook really needs? More game spam. At least that’s what the execs at Facebook seem to think, as the company has announced a pilot programme for mobile game publishing.

The initiative will see Facebook working “deeply” with small- to medium-sized game developers, and providing them with ad placements across the social network’s mobile apps. In return, Facebook will take an undisclosed cut of the revenue. Initial partners include Gameloft, Space Ape, and a company called KiwiGames which, despite the name, is based in California.

We still control the robots (for now)

Italian Luca Parmitano has been using a remote control to operate a NASA robot. That's pretty cool. But it gets cooler: Parmitano is an astronaut. And when he was controlling the planetary rover, he was on the International Space Station, while the robot was on solid ground in California. 

NASA says it's the first time a planetary rover has been operated from space, but it's unlikely it'll be the last. We'll be terraforming Mars in no time - who's up for colonising the red planet?