Mashable: From kitten gifs to Minecraft modding, these online games make coding fun for kids. “Coding games also give kids an opportunity to improve critical thinking and creative problem solving, and the latest spate of coding platforms is designed to appeal to kids with varying interests. There’s text-based coding for creating art and animation, and puzzle games instructing a robot to move crates.”
EurekAlert: Stanford researchers develop new software for designing sustainable cities. “New technology could help cities around the world improve people’s lives while saving billions of dollars. The free, open-source software developed by the Stanford Natural Capital Project creates maps to visualize the links between nature and human wellbeing. City planners and developers can use the software to visualize where investments in nature, such as parks and marshlands, can maximize benefits to people, like protection from flooding and improved health.”
BetaNews: Paint will soon be available to download from the Microsoft Store. “Four years ago, Microsoft announced plans to kill off Paint, a fixture of Windows since the operating system’s first release back in 1985. There was a huge outcry at the news and Microsoft eventually backtracked, stating its simple graphics program would live on, but in the Microsoft Store.”
Wired: How to Test Early Betas of Software You Use Every Day. “SOFTWARE MAKERS HAVE become more and more open to the idea of public betas: trial runs of new apps and operating systems that anyone who wants to can get involved with. They get their code tested for free, and we get to try out new features ahead of time. Getting started with these betas is easier than you might think, and they’re available on just about every platform out there, as we’ll explain below. It won’t cost you anything, and you can quit a beta whenever you like.”
GHacks: SimpleCodeGenerator is a new tool from NirSoft that lets you create QR Codes for URLs. “Nir Sofer has released a new program called SimpleCode Generator. It allows you to convert links to QR Codes that you can use with any smartphone.” Windows-only, and as it’s a standalone EXE file I guess it’s portable?
MakeUseOf: How to Edit Videos on Your Phone With KineMaster. “You’ve shot a video using your phone, and now it’s time to edit. But what if you suck at video editing and don’t have the money to hire a professional editor? There’s no need to worry. It’s simple to edit your videos (for free) using KineMaster, a mobile video editor. KineMaster is an easy-to-use editing app with tons of features. Its drag-and-drop features let you edit videos on the go, as well as adding media to it.”
Reddit: Fantasia Archive – The free, offline, world-building software with a unique spin. “Fantasia Archive (or FA for short) is an offline, free software that was created as a reaction to the lack of proper offline world-building and writing tools as most of such programs focus almost entirely on just writing instead of on the world-building and all intricacies it brings. This is what sets FA apart: The focus on the structure of one’s works and relationships of all parts of it to each other instead of solely focusing on the writing experience itself.” Windows-only, unfortunately.
Data Center Knowledge: GitHub Sponsors Expands to Help Open Source Developers Make More Money . “GitHub Sponsors wants to make sure independent open source developers can get paid for what they do, so the project has been expanded by adding corporate patrons.”
ZDNet: Google: Our new tool makes open-source security bugs easier to spot. “Google has launched the Open Source Vulnerabilities (OSV) website, offering up a vulnerability database to help triage bugs in open-source projects and help maintainers and consumers of open source.”
New-to-me, from Garage: How ’70s Magazine “Radical Software” Predicted the Future. “In the spring of 1970, a group of self-proclaimed “hardware freaks” published the first issue of Radical Software, a print magazine that detailed emerging trends in video, television, and early computing. Its pages burst with enthusiasm—there are guides for creating neighborhood documentaries, comedic recipes for ‘video rabbit,’ and calls for new ‘information economies’ meant to liberate data from private ownership. In an article for Rhizome, artist Phyllis Segura (then Gershuny, co-founder with Beryl Korot) writes, ‘the underlying circumstances that led to Radical Software… [were] curiosity and confinement.’ Sound familiar?”
Engadget: Tucows closes its once-popular software download site. “It was inevitable, really. In the early days of the internet, Tucows was known as a reliable place to find and download new software. Today, however, most people are happy to use a modern App Store — Microsoft and Apple both run their own — or navigate to developer websites directly. And if you’re looking for inspiration, there’s always Product Hunt. Tucows has decided, therefore, to finally shut down Tucows Downloads.”
BetaNews: WinRAR 6.0 arrives with bug fixes and a host of new features. “25 years after its first release, WinRAR 6.0 is now available. There is, of course, support for the incomparable RAR format, but also for .zip, .tar, .jar, .lzh, .iso and more. This latest release includes a number of important changes and additions such as improved handling of extracting multiple archives simultaneously, and the addition of new command line switches to give you greater control over the extraction process.”
ZDNet: Open-source use goes up while the economy goes down. “This is pretty simple really. Open source works, and it’s cheap. And when the Main Street economy is going rotten, smart businesses turn to open source. Tidelift, a major commercial support, and maintenance company for community-led open-source, found the proof for this idea in its third-annual Managed Open Source Survey.”