Tech News

Get DRM-Free Steam Games on GOG, Google Tests Your Website… [Tech News Digest]

Dave Parrack 03-06-2016

GOG Connect strips the DRM out of Steam games, Google puts websites to the test, brand new emoji are on their way, Apple fixes the iPad Pro, and Surgeon Simulator puts Trump under the knife.


Get DRM-Free Games With GOG Connect

Steam is a fantastic platform for gamers 8 Things You Didn't Know About Steam Steam started out as an annoying program that came with Half-Life 2, but it’s grown into the PC game store of choice for most PC gamers. Although some people aren’t fans and prefer alternative stores,... Read More , offering a huge catalog of games for PC, Mac, and Linux. Its only real downside is the DRM (Digital Rights Management What Is DRM & Why Does It Exist If It's So Evil? [MakeUseOf Explains] Digital Rights Management is the latest evolution of copy protection. It’s the biggest cause of user frustration today, but is it justified? Is DRM a necessary evil in this digital age, or is the model... Read More ) built into the platform. This means you’re rather limited in what you can do with each game you buy. However, GOG (formerly Good Old Games) is trying to solve this problem with GOG Connect.

GOG Connect lets you download DRM-free versions of games you previously bought on Steam. And all you have to do is download GOG Connect, connect your Steam account, and add eligible Steam games to your GOG library. It really is as simple as that.

Unfortunately, GOG Connect currently only supports a handful of titles, including FTL: Faster Than Light, The Witness, Trine Enchanted Edition, Saints Row 2, and The Witcher: Enhanced Edition. However, GOG will be adding more titles in the future. GOG will also be removing some, as the option to nab DRM-free copies are a “limited-time offers made possible by participating developers and publishers”.

Regardless of these caveats (and reports that GOG Connect isn’t yet working correctly), this is still a great opportunity to start building a DRM-free library of your favorite games for free. With GOG obviously hoping you’ll start buying more titles from its library in the future.


Put Your Website to the Test


Google has released a new tool designed to help developers improve their websites. But even if you don’t own your own chunk of the Internet You Are Missing Out By Not Creating A Personal Website: Disproving The 6 Myths Have you ever considered having a personal website? You know – a place where people can go to read about who you are, what you do, your goals and aspirations, and of course to contact... Read More , you can use the tool to see how your favorite website stacks up against the competition.

The Think With Google tool rates websites on three different metrics: Mobile Friendliness, Mobile Speed, and Desktop Speed. Websites are scored out of 100 in each category, and owners are advised on how they can improve those scores.

MakeUseOf currently scores 95/100 for Mobile Friendliness, 60/100 for Mobile Speed, and 79/100 for Desktop Speed. Which means there is significant room for improvement. Luckily, I just write and edit for the site, with James Bruce in charge of the back-end stuff.


What’s interesting is how much onus Google puts on the mobile experience, with the desktop experience something of an afterthought. But then more of us than ever are consuming content on our mobiles, and most of us use Android smartphones. Hence Google’s obsession.

77 New Emoji Are Incoming

The Unicode Consortium, the governing body which decides the fate of all emojis everywhere What Does This Emoji Mean? Emoji Face Meanings Explained Confused by the emojis in that text message you just got? Here are the commonly accepted meanings of popular emojis. Read More , has announced 77 new emojis we’ll all be using (and likely sick of) in the future. 72 of them will be added to Unicode 9.0, due to be released on June 21, with another five added to Unicode 10.0, due to be released in June 2017.

The new emojis include one depicting ROFL (Rolling on Floor Laughing), a clown face, a Pinocchio-inspired lying face, a shrug, a face palm, a selfie, a black heart, pancakes, and… bacon. If none of these take your fancy you can submit your own proposals using the guidelines featured here.

Apple Updates Its iPad Pro Update


Apple has finally fixed the iPad Pro Powerful Things, Small Packages: iPad Pro 9.7" Review For some people, a 12.9" screen is the main draw of Apple's first iPad Pro. For others, size was the main barrier to entry. Read More , releasing a new version of iOS 9.3.2 just for its high-end tablet. The original iOS 9.3.2 update, which was released on May 16, had the unfortunate habit of bricking some iPad Pro devices, with users hit by an Error 56 message.

To be fair to Apple, the company pulled the original update the same week it dropped, and offered support for anyone adversely affected by its mistake. According to MacRumors, some iPad Pro owners even had their devices replaced free of charge.

The new iOS 9.3.2, build 13F72, is available as an over-the-air update on any iPad Pro that wasn’t exposed to the previous version. Anyone experiencing difficulties should follow the advice outlined in this Apple Support document.

Error 56 is not to be confused with Error 53 Apple Bricks iPhones On Purpose, Google Tackles ISIS With Ads... [Tech News Digest] Error 53 can kill your iPhone, Google uses ads to deter terrorism, Yahoo Games is no more, The Frinkiac is a search engine for The Simpsons, and the robot golfer who scored a hole-in-one. Read More , which saw Apple responsible for bricking iPhones Error 53: Is Apple Really Bricking iPhones? Does Apple have it in for customers who get their iPhones repaired by a third party, or is something more going on? Read More .


You Can Now Operate on Donald Trump

And finally, there’s new DLC (Downloadable Content) available for Surgeon Simulator, and it lets you operate on a virtual Donald Trump Clicking Consequences: Why Donald Trump Is Your Fault Every time you click an article about Donald Trump, the media thinks that is what you want to read, and so it spends more time talking about Trump. Stop clicking! Read More . Unfortunately, you can’t give him a brain transplant, removing his malfunctioning mind and replacing it with another, better one. But that’s about all you can’t do, to be honest.

Surgeon Simulator is a bonkers game which has you operating on people without the proper training, and Inside Donald Trump adds a celebrity politician into the mix. You can see the resulting mayhem in the video above. And if you want to try it yourself, it’s free to Surgeon Simulator: Anniversary Edition owners on Steam, and available to everyone else at a discount.

Your Views on Today’s Tech News

Would you prefer all games to be free of DRM? How does Google rate your, or your favorite, website? What’s your favorite emoji right now? Did Error 56 affect your iPad Pro? What famous politician would you like to operate on?

Let us know your thoughts on the Tech News of the day by posting to the comments section below. Because a healthy discussion is always welcome.

Tech News Digest is a daily column paring the technology news of the day down into bite-sized chunks that are easy to read and perfect for sharing.

Image Credit: Actualitte via Flickr

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  1. Anonymous
    June 4, 2016 at 2:05 pm

    The single biggest reason I buy from and support GoG is that it is not Steam. I'm glad it has negotiated a way to free games from Steam's umbrella. That is legitimately good news. Were there a way to purchase games so that I could divorce all of them from Steam, that news would be even better.