Five short links


Photo by CJ Schmit

Github Secrets – One of the things I gave thanks for on Thursday were the improvements I've seen in my development environment recently. I was sceptical after being burned by previous 'upgrades', but Xcode 4 is a big step forward, and this post illustrates why Github has been a godsend. It's built by people who live the same problems as me, and it's great to see all the easter-egg features they've snuck in to solve them, even when they haven't been able to expose them through the UI.

Downloading the WIGLE data set – I've been working on an update for my data sources handbook, and I was excited to see a user-generated database of Wifi networks. Unfortunately it's a write-only store in a lot of ways. You can use their proprietary desktop tool to access the data in small chunks, but there's no way of downloading the complete set. I understand their reasoning in a narrow sense, they want to generate value from their data set by keeping it under wraps, but I think they're missing a big opportunity. There's already commercial providers of this information, they could reach a whole different set of people, follow the Wikipedia model instead of the Encyclopedia one.

Libraries – Where it all went wrong – An inspired rant by my friend Nat Torkington. I still love libraries, they were my haven and inspiration as a kid, but they're no longer part of my life.

Weathermob – Crowdsourced weather on your iPhone. I see Britain as a market ripe for the picking, considering the proportion of my conversations with friends and family that are about the weather. They should have used 'cloud-sourcing' somewhere in the message though.

Flamethrower Storage – A notice from an Antarctic researcher with too much time on their hands.

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