Archive for May, 2010
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I like this Knife Block(€ 39,90), good idea and design!
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Posted by Jennifer Bell on 2010-04-29 23:16:05
There’s been some inspiring action on open data lately in Canada, at both the federal and municipal levels. I’ve been under the weather lately, so haven’t been able to cover these events to the extent they deserve, but here’s a quick update:
- The OpenDataOttawa hackfest last Saturday looks like it was a great success. The event attracted 120 people for a full day of learning and coding. 16 apps and prototypes were demonstrated, some of which are listed on this Ottawa open-data app directory. Once again, the organizers ran a superior media outreach campaign, getting stories into the Citizen, the Sun, and CBC Radio Ottawa.
- As part of the hackfest, City of Ottawa officials publicized upcoming plans for a $50K open data application contest as part of their data catalog launch (pending a council vote).
- openparliament.ca, one of the most lovely and functional Canadian federal open government sites yet, launched two weeks ago. openparliament.ca combines Parliamentary hansard and House voting records, news stories, and twitter feeds to provide an easily browse-able window into what our federal representatives are up to. Some sample views:
- Parliamentary discussion around Bill C-1
- News articles, votes, and twitter updates from MP Carolyn Bennett
It’s worth noting that openparliament.ca is partly enabled by the work of HowdTheyVote.ca founder, Cory Horner, who created a clever API for looking up MPs and ridings by postal code. Horner’s API, which is a geographic lookup based on a combination of 1) electronics maps purchased cheaply from Canada post, and 2) freely available maps from Elections Canada, allows sites like openparliament.ca to bypass the $2500 fee usually charged by StatsCan for this information.
- datadotgov.ca, a citizen-led federal open data directory, also launched two weeks ago. Led by Canadian open government advocate and guru David Eaves, the site aims to highlight which federal departments are and are not sharing their information. Currently, Natural Resources is in the lead.
- David Eaves also shared on his blog that parliamentary IT will start sharing both parliamentary bios and the Hansard in XML, making it easier for sites like openparliament.ca to get started.
Here are some links to other open data apps, news, and resources, collected via our site OpenDataLinks.ca:
London, Ontario restaurant inspection scores, mapped.
Allows Ottawa residents to subscribe to their garbage shedule via ICal notification.
- IBM ManyBills: A Visual Bill Explorer
A web based visualization of 2009 U.S. congressional legislation.
Want to know how your elected representatives are acting on your behalf? RepresentMe helps you find out who’s representing you and what they’ve done lately.
- Canadian Government Expenses
Since 2003, this project has assessed a total of 67821 Canadian Travel and Hospitality expenses.
- UK MP Expenses
An application visualizing UK MP expenses, sourced from the Guardian's MP expense data set.
- Technology for Transparency Network
Mapping and evaluating technology projects that promote transparency, accountability, & civic engagement around the world.
- Vancouver City Hall’s Open Data Experiment
The transparency push is a year old and working, but you can’t call it wide open, yet.
- World Bank Frees Up Development Data
The World Bank Group will offer free access to more than 2,000 financial, business, health, economic and human development statistics that had mostly been available only to paying subscribers.
- Canadian open government moving in parallel but opposite directions
Lack of resources is causing enormous damage to information rights.
- Canada makes Parliament accessible online
The computer geeks who manage all the information that flows through Parliament Hill every day are working quickly to make that data more accessible to everyday Canadians.
- Delays leave Canada’s access to information rights ‘totally obliterated’
Canada’s Information Commissioner calls on the federal government to follow the lead of the US, UK, and Australia in embracing open government.
- If you won’t tell us about our MPs, we’ll do it for you
Unbeknownst to most Canadians, some interesting experiments in democracy are taking place in the shadows of the Internet. Across the country, a generation of democratic activists who know how to create webpages and write computer code are pushing to make government more open, accessible and transparent.
- City of Ottawa Open Data Report
Ottawa’s Open Data Report, presented to the city’s IT Sub-Committee, outlining plans for a data catalogue in 2010.
- Why everyone should know what makes a good data set
How information is made available online fundamentally controls what can be done with it. Fortunately, an intelligent layperson can understand how structure makes data usable.
- Following the Money: How the 50 States Rate in Providing Online Access to Government Spending Data
This report evaluates states’ progress toward “Transparency 2.0” – a new standard of comprehensive, one-stop, one-click budget accountability and accessibility. At least 7 states have become leaders in the drive toward Transparency 2.0, launching easy-to-use, searchable Web sites with a wide range of spending transparency information.
- Government As a Platform
‘Government as Platform’ Tim O’Reilly’s chapter from the book Open Government, made available for mark-up and comment.
- Blueprint for Government Reform: Creating a more open government
Australian federal government statement in support of making public sector information accessible, searchable, and re-usable.
- Unlocking government: How data transforms democracy (Deloitte Report)
The unlocking of government through the release of raw transaction data represents a fundamentally new form of openness that will place governments under an unprecedented level of scrutiny and accountability, while offering the potential to improve public services.
- Open Data Maturity Model
Intriguing slideshare presentation defining Amateur, Rookie, and Professional open data sharers.
- Guidance on the Use of Challenges and Prizes to Promote Open Government
This US government memorandum highlights for agencies policy and legal issues related to the implementation of the Obama Administration’s commitment to increase the use of prizes and challenges as tools for promoting open government, innovation, and other national priorities.
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Ally Bank wants its customers to invent their own personal secret questions and answers; the idea is that an operator will read the question over the phone and listen for an answer. Ignoring for the moment the problem of the operator now knowing the question/answer pair, what are some good pairs? Some suggestions:
Q: Do you know why I think you’re so sexy?
A: Probably because you’re totally in love with me.
Q: Need any weed? Grass? Kind bud? Shrooms?
A: No thanks hippie, I’d just like to do some banking.
Q: The Penis shoots Seeds, and makes new Life to poison the Earth with a plague of men.
A: Go forth, and kill. Zardoz has spoken.
Q: What the hell is your fucking problem, sir?
A: This is completely inappropriate and I’d like to speak to your supervisor.
Q: I’ve been embezzling hundreds of thousands of dollars from my employer, and I don’t care who knows it.
A: It’s a good thing they’re recording this call, because I’m going to have to report you.
Q: Are you really who you say you are?
A: No, I am a Russian identity thief.
Okay, now it’s your turn.