Google Cloud Platform continues to roll out consistent updates to its App Engine platform-as-a-service (PaaS). Its latest release, version 1.9.0, makes available App Engine Modules, which aims to help developers break their applications into logical components to bring significant efficiency to both cost and performance. The update also includes a MapReduce library for Java and several PHP Runtime improvements.
At the The Next Web Hackathon in Amsterdam, developers played with a lot of new APIs. One that caught our attention is the Gbanga Puppetmaster API. Gbanga is a location-aware gaming platform, intended for use with games where walking around within the real world matter. It's released one game, Gbanga Famiglia, a mobile phone-based app using a theme of mafia families taking over areas and finding loot. Much more exciting, however, is its API, which allows for quests within Famiglia, and other, separate location-based games.