Game services UIs are now updated for Material Design across all SDKs. The update also brings real-time multiplayer capabilities in the cross-platform C++ SDK, as well as new quest features, features, completion statistics and multiplayer statistics available for integration in Android games. Google is also expanding the alerts available in the developer console for additional issues, including real-time implementation and duplicate achievement and leaderboard image problems.

Google Play Games team member Ben Frenkel announced all the Android developer tool updates in a blog post.

Facebook releases open-source Chef cookbooks and tools
Facebook has made two DevOps tools for the IT automation and configuration management platform Chef available free and open-source, in addition to the company’s two open-source “cookbooks” for Chef.

Taste Tester, available on GitHub, is Facebook’s testing framework for managing a Chef zero-instance and testing changes on a production server.  Taste Tester also keeps track of  where in Git the instance occurred and can be controlled using a variety of configuration file options or a customized plugin. The second tool, Grocery Delivery, is a utility for managing cookbook uploads to distributed back-ends within the Chef infrastructure.

The two cookbooks, for running scheduled jobs and for system controls, respectively, are also available on GitHub.

Brown Dog: The Super Mutt of Software
A team at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) is working on an easier way for researchers to manage and make sense of digital scientific data. The problem with digital data is that it’s often trapped in outdated file formats, according to the NCSA.

The team is working on Brown Dog software, a service that would make past and present un-curated data easily accessible and useful to scientists. Instead of starting from scratch, the team will work on top of previous software development work to create a service that can deal with vast amounts of data.

“Brown Dog is the proverbial “super mutt” of software, serving as a low-level data infrastructure to interface with digital data content across the web and enabling a new era of science and applications at large,” according to the NCSA team’s website.