Archive for May, 2010

Knife Block


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Shared by jg


I like this Knife Block(€ 39,90), good idea and design!

Canadian Open Data Action


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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).
  •, one of the most lovely and functional Canadian federal open government sites yet, launched two weeks ago. 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:

    It’s worth noting that is partly enabled by the work of 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 to bypass the $2500 fee usually charged by StatsCan for this information.

  •, 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 to get started.

Here are some links to other open data apps, news, and resources, collected via our site

Recently Added Apps:


    London, Ontario restaurant inspection scores, mapped.

  • OttawaTrash

    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.

Recently Added News:

Recently Added References:

Fun with Secret Questions


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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.

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