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Friday Five: Digg out of a hole, Monopoly’s iron bumped

Chris Mayer

A quintuplet of irreverent stories from the world of tech and elsewhere

The week has flown by at JAX Towers, likely due to the excitement at announcing the initial speaker lineup for JAXConf (cheap plug over). Here’s some reasons to be excited ahead of the weekend…

1. LibreOffice 4.0 lands

OpenOffice’s successful fork LibreOffice hit its fourth major release yesterday, bringing several new features to the office suite. The most interesting update appears to be in how you can contribute, introducing Gerrit for code submissions and review, which should break down some boundaries. Check out the release notes for other new features.

2. Digging itself out of an early grave

Reboots of mid-noughties Web 2.0 companies have been all the rage recently, but more often than not fail to capture the success of the original (see: MySpace, Delicious). News aggregator Digg may have bucked the trend however, with The Verge reporting a 40% referral traffic rise month on month in the six months since its redesign.

The in-depth feature explains how Digg has managed to pull users back to the social news site, after the 2010 Reddit exodus. It may not be seeing traffic levels akin to its heyday, but it’s a solid recovery nonetheless.

3. Cat trumps iron

Facebook fans of the real estate board game Monopoly have chosen to oust the iconic iron token in favour of a feline option. The month-long Facebook vote held by makers Hasbro ended with the cat beating a robot, helicopter, diamond ring and a guitar to the lucrative spot, while the iron was the loser of a survival vote against the dog, car, shoe, thimble, and wheelbarrow.

“I think there were a lot of cat lovers in the world that reached out,” Hasbro’s Jonathan Berkowitz told the Associated Press. However, not all were impressed: iron fans took to Twitter to campaign for it to be reinstated, although their tweets may fall on deaf ears. After all, on the internet, cats will always come out on top.

4. Tumblr of the week – Menswear Dog

We freely admit that the JAX Editorial team isn’t exactly well versed in fashion, but we recognise the importance of this Tumblr. All the latest looks styled by a three year-old shiba inu from New York. Pure genius. Our favourite is the Ryan Gosling look.

5. Open source for good

And finally… South African five-year old Liam was born with Amniotic Band Syndrome, meaning he has no digits on his right hand. However, thanks to two generous engineers, Liam has been granted a series of new prosthetic hands, designed using MakerBot 3D printers and open source software.

Ivan Owen and Richard Van As have open-sourced their design on Thingiverse as a digital download, allowing those without access to expensive prosthetics an alternative option. The backstory, reported by Ars Technica, is fascinating and really demonstrates the potential of 3D printing – not to mention the power of open source.


Image courtesy of SkilliShots

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