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Friday Five – Adios Google Reader, hello Samsung Galaxy S4

Chris Mayer
boxing-glove

Another quintet of stories that caught our eye this week, including the boxer that came face-to-face with his Twitter troll.

Welcome to yet another installment of Friday Five, our
semi-relevant lookback at the week that was. And what a seven days
it has been, with plenty of stories to get our teeth stuck into.
From big phone launches that fell slightly flat to the retirement
of an old friend, we’ve got it all covered. At least we
hope.

Let’s get to it.

1. Adios Google Reader

Google’s latest round of spring cleaning spawned global
outrage yesterday, with the news that the Mountain View company are
set to

retire Google Reader
. The RSS feed
aggregator has been around since 2005 but will discontinued from
July 1st 2013, due to a declining userbase.

Soon enough, the announcement spread like wildfire on
Twitter, with avid users calling for Google to reverse the
decision. Some went even further by starting a

petition
to keep it running (currently
standing just shy of 100,000 signatures at the time of
writing).

As users scrambled to find an alternative (including this
very writer), editors rushed to put out ‘Top 5 Alternatives to
Google Reader’ pieces. There was also the obligatory Downfall
parody as well.

breaker

So long old friend.

2. Google Annotations Gallery

Finding that your Java annotations aren’t getting the message
across? Fear not, the open source
Google Annotations
Gallery
can help, with its expressive set of
annotations that allow you to say what needs to be
said.

They fall into four sets: Disclaimer, Enforceable, Literary
and Remark. Our particular favourites include: @BossMadeMeDoIt,
@ImaLetYouFinishBut and @SafeForSpeedsNotExceeding

3. Boxer meets Twitter troll

Some sage advice for Twitter trolls here.
Former-footballer-turned-boxer Curtis Woodhouse had been on the
receiving end of a taunt from James O’Brien, after losing his
English light welterweight title last Friday. Rather than brushing
off the abuse (or just blocking the individual), the fighter chose
to track down his antagonist, offering a reward if his followers
could help locate him.

Soon after,
Woodhouse drove around 70 miles
to the
street in which O’Brien lived to confront him. Although the two
didn’t meet face-to-face, O’Brien was suitably spooked as media
attention grew.

Smelling a scoop, UK breakfast TV show Daybreak
brought the two together once more to further embarrass
O’Brien for his actions. But by this point, the two had patched up
their differences.

No one comes out of this well – O’Brien for believing his
taunts to a boxer wouldn’t go unpunished, Woodhouse for making a
publicity whirlwind out of it all, and the media for jumping on the
bandwagon. Although we’re not exactly helping here.

4. Samsung Galaxy S4’s unveiling

The covers finally came off Samsung’s newest
smartphone,

the Galaxy S4
, at a glitzy ceremony in New
York
last night. Those expecting something to rival
Apple’s iPhone 5 launch were likely appeased, yet there was little
innovative to share aside from the pretty advanced specs like the
1080p 5-inch screen.

The Android Jelly Bean-running device’s biggest features
appear to be “dual-camera video recording”
(ie. both
front and back at the same time)
and Samsung Hub for
storing video
and music. There’s also
some nifty eye-tracking features, like pausing a video by looking
away and starting it again by looking back.

Will it be enough to persuade iPhone users to jump
ship
, though? Probably not.

5. Sim City modded for offline


Last week
, we reported on the botched
delivery of SimCity by EA and Maxis, which left fans seething. The
game requires an online connection to EA servers at all times, a
decision which has rightly angered users when high demand crippled
the system. EA assured those left waiting that they were doing all
they could to fix the problem
, but
there’d also been the sneaking suspicion that it
was more about stopping piracy than enhancing
gameplay
. In fact, one
modder has demonstrated that it is possible to play the game
offline indefinitely,
albeit without the ability to
save
.

breaker

Unsurprisingly EA and Maxis have yet to respond to the most
recent news.

Image courtesy of KWDesigns

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