Today in Tech News Digest, Google Glass for all, Xbox Live refunds, Edward Snowden movie, Spell Up on Chrome, Flappy Bird returns, Mozilla Webmaker Training, and Game of Thrones on DOS.
Google Glass For All With New Apps
Google Glass is now available to everybody who wants it. However, there are some caveats: Google Glass is still in beta, still limited to the U.S., still costs $1,500 a pair, and is only offered as long as stock is available.
Still, this represents a move to a more open beta ahead of a “wider consumer release.” It follows on from a successful one-day sale and Google Glass being sold through a booth set up at the Players Championship.
To encourage more people to become Google Glass Explorers, Google has released three new Glassware apps designed exclusively for keen travellers. This trio of Glassware apps, from Foursquare, TripIt, and OpenTable, should make Glass more desirable to adventurous types.
One possible reason for Google’s sudden resolve to get Google Glass out there is the rumor that Samsung is preparing to launch a big-name rival. Business Korea claims Gear Glass will be unveiled alongside the Galaxy Note 4, which is due to be released in September.
We’re currently asking, “What gadget do you really want right now?” Is Google Glass on your list of desired consumer tech products? Click through and let us know, and you could win a T-shirt for your troubles.
Microsoft Offering Xbox Live Refunds
@Xbox So, are you accepting Kinect returns and refunds for Kinect?
— craig ferguson (@Hells_Warrrior) May 13, 2014
Microsoft has taken the unusual step of offering refunds it’s really not obligated to offer. The refunds for Xbox Live Gold subscriptions come in light of media apps such as Netflix and YouTube being removed from behind the Xbox Live paywall.
The refunds are being offered to those consumers who, if they exist, only used Xbox Live Gold to access these media apps. If, after the update is delivered on June 9, they want to cancel their subscription, Microsoft will refund the amount paid for the number of days between then and the original date the subscription was due to end.
It’s a nice gesture, but we can’t see many people taking Microsoft up on this offer, can you? Microsoft would be better served offering refunds for those who paid a premium for having Kinect bundled with every Xbox One. Which is now no longer a necessity.
Sony Making Movie About Edward Snowden
— Jeffrey Carr (@jeffreycarr) May 15, 2014
Sony Pictures has acquired the rights to turn Glenn Greenwald’s book No Place To Hide into a film. The book details Greenwald’s dealings with NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, while the film adaptation will be produced by James Bond staples Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli.
Spell Up With This Chrome Experiment
Google has released a new Chrome experiment designed to help you improve your English. Titled Spell Up, the game acts like a virtual spelling bee, using your microphone to determine your mastery of the language.
To add a frisson of fun to proceedings the more words you spell correctly the higher the tower of blocks climbs. Until you get one wrong and the whole thing comes crashing down. Which, as anyone who played with LEGO as a child will know, is the most fun part of all.
Flappy Bird Back In August
I’m so glad flappy bird ended before there was legitimate merchandise made like angry birds.
— rachael (@stupidsimpson) May 10, 2014
It’s official, or at least as official as it’s ever likely to be. Flappy Bird is coming back, with creator Dong Nguyen telling CNBC the game will return, complete with new multiplayer elements, in August. Does this game hold any interest for you at this stage or is it too little, too late? Let us know in the comments section below.
Mozilla Offers Webmaker Training
— Mozilla Webmaker (@webmaker) May 12, 2014
Mozilla has launched a free course designed to help spread digital literacy. Mozilla Webmaker Training, which began on May 12, gives people the skills required to teach others to use the Web more successfully and productively. Webmaker Mentor badges are available to those who complete the course.
George R.R. Martin Is A DOS Geek
And finally, George R.R. Martin is already loved and revered for bringing Game of Thrones to life, but it turns out he’s a fan of DOS, which should endear him more to the geeks here at MakeUseOf. At least the ones who appreciate old-skool operating systems.
Martin has DOS installed on the computer he uses just for writing Game of Thrones, with WordStar 4.0 his word processor of choice. His reasoning, as explained to Conan O’Brien, actually makes sense. The hat he always wears, less so.
Tech News Digest… Breaking News Into Bite-Sized Chunks.
Image Credit: Max Braun via Flickr