Weekly News Roundup 11/7/2016

Let’s address the elephant in the room. Facebook getting into the Telco game? Want to see the code that took man to the moon?

Pokemon_GoUnless you are under a rock and not some imaginary digital creature, you would have not been aware of possibly the biggest thing this year.

We are used to seeing members of the public wandering the streets with noses buried in their phones but over the last few days, they seem a little more intent. More driven and even more dare I say social. Looking up to exchange knowing nods, waves and cheers with others like them.

Those that grew up in the 90’s would know what I am talking about. Pokemon a Japanese Trading Card Game complete with a TV series, movies, portable games and a cult following has finally made it into the 21st century with an Augmented Reality Multiplayer Game called Pokemon Go.

pokemongo-vs-tinderSo wildly popular with all ages, downloads and daily use has exceeded Tinder by a big margin and is fast closing in on active daily users for Twitter. It has also seen languishing owner of the game license Nintendo’s stock price jump 23% in a couple of days.

A perfect storm of the technology being ready and an army of twenty-somethings pining for the good old days of Pikachu and Charmander ensured that the first couple of days would see the servers struggle under the load.

But like anything that makes an impact, there is always a dark side with armed bandits using the game to lure players to secluded locations to rob them. They were caught and charged but it shows that there is always potential for anything to be twisted to not-so-nice uses.

That aside, normally sedate gamers have been meeting up and organising massive walks together with up to 2000 people in some cases in capital cities and kids discovering muscles after walking for kilometers in the quest to capture the 250 different Pokemon to be used in battles with other players.

More on the numbers behind Pokemon Go here.

For the story on the Pokemon robbers, go here.

Facebook is developing an open-source cellular network.

facebookcellularIn what would be seen as an attempt to get the disconnected world hooked on its own network, Facebook has been developing a cellular platform designed to radically drive down the cost of deploying a cellular network.

The system is a ruggedised open source radio platform that is allowing developing countries to deploy cellular networks from 2G to LTE class services easily and quickly. The project is expected to be available in a couple of months.

More on this over at The Verge here.

Apollo 11 guidance software is available to the public.

Apollo-11-on-the-moon-picture-950x690Space-nerds will be interested to know that the software that formed the guidance systems for the Apollo 11 space program is available on code repository Github.

For those interested, Github is a place where developers share code both in development and available for public use and is a good place to make your work publicly available and even though the NASA code was able to be accessed previously it was a little harder to find.

With references to Shakespeare and popular songs of the day, you will find little tidbits littered in the code and comments.

Original story from The Verge here.

You can explore the Github housed code here.