Idea: SVN Achievements

Some time ago my friend showed me Git Achievements. I think it’s a great idea and more and more projects are moving to GIT. Still, SVN has a large user base and it would be a great contribution to it. What I really like about achievements in general is how you can set fixed goals and have it automatically checked when someone reaches it. It’s also a visible badge that you can show off, or someone can search for (i.e. find someone with a specific achievement).

One example from the Git project is:

Caretaker
Added a .gitignore file to a repository.

Some could be very introductory, such as doing an update before a commit. You could even have anti-achievements such as breaking the build. Or meta-achievements where you’re the first one to get a specific achievement on a specific project or team.

One interesting twist to this would be a community driven site for creating and sharing new SVN Achievements.

There’s a lot that can be done with this and achievements in general, I’ll probably do a post on it later.

Idea: Show postal code with geo-location

Sometimes when I’m signing a contract or paper I need to write the postal code and name. Usually it’s not a problem but a simple website that shows your position in plain text would be quite useful. Especially when used from a cell phone. Currently the address is very easy to get a hold of but the postal info isn’t.

Idea: Banking visualization purely on client-side

When I talk to people working at banks, even UI people, they love blaming their bad banking services on their legacy systems. So far I’ve been semi-succesfull in convincing people that you could do all those pretty graphs, without touching those old COBOL-mainframes.

Mint.com graphsMint.com uses imported data.

I don’t think banks want to give you a good picture of your economy as it won’t make them more money, maybe it would make them less, and they find excuses for it. To prove a point I’d love to make a bookmarklet that uses JS to generate a page with budget data, or even import it to an online service like Swedish Spenderat.se.

Book review: Aspho Fields (Gears of War)

Gears of War: Aspho Fields – Karen Traviss

(Note: I read this book in 2008, and this is a repost of a review I did then in Visual Bookshelf on my Facebook)

As a regular read this would get a 3-star as it’s nothing out of the ordinary. Being a game-based book that’s entertaining and gives more depth and background to the characters from the Gears of War games in a good way it gets an extra star. I would love to see the character Bernie (or “Boomer Lady” as Cole calls her) in the games. The book started by confusing me profoundly. It states clearly “prequal” on the cover page, yet the first chapters are about what happens between Gears of War 1 and 2. It starts alternating chapters a bit in, with one chapter about binding GOW 1-2 and then several years before GOW1 (and E-day for that matter). It’s interesting to find out more about Phoenix, and Dominic’s brother Carlos. Also some of the mystery of daddy Phoenix is poked into, maybe there’s more in GOW3 or the other book (Gears of War: Jacinto’s Remnant). I’ll be reading the next book soon though!

Conclusion: Read it If you’re a Gears of War fan and liked the story(!). Otherwise read something else.

Idea: What the E?

When you look at some food product, do you ever wonder what the E’s are for?

For example, I’m looking at a bottle of Coca-Cola and it has E150d and E338. The first is “sulfite ammonia caramel” and the second “food-grade phosphoric acid” (with the interesting note “not without controversy regarding its health effects”). Google and Wikipedia works fine to look up what these E’s stand for, but it would be nice with a more formal view of every E, what they actually are and specific foods they’re in.

The base for a site would be to mine Wikipedia to get a base for all E’s and what they are, but then rely on user submitted data to find products that have that E in it. With enough of it one could build a bar-code database so you can take a picture of a bar-code, and get a list of all the stuff it includes. What’s interesting is when the ingredient has controversy or debated health effects, and/or is banned in some areas (like E110 which is approved in EU but banned in Norway).

For fun, it could generate a score. The worse ingredient, the higher the score. The more of it the worse score it gets. Hopefully it would get people to buy less of that product and choose some more natural substitute instead.

Book review: The Game

The Game – Neil Strauss

(Note: I read this book in 2007, and this is a repost of a review I did then in Visual Bookshelf on my Facebook)

Contrary to popular belief this is NOT a handbook on picking up girls. It’s a chronicle of his life in the “pick-up community”. He starts with the simple reflection that he’s a nice guy, he’s good at writing (bibliography before The Game includes: “The Long Hard Road Out of Hell with Marilyn Manson”, “The Dirt with Mötley Crüe” and “How to Make Love Like a Porn Star: A Cautionary Tale with Jenna Jameson”), yet he goes dateless through his life. Hearing about a “pick-up artist” called Mystery he starts his journey by joining the mans training camp.Together they start Project Hollywood where they rend a house in Beverly Hills, where all kinds of crazy stuff happens. The book details that journey and along it he’ll use the vocabulary of his peers as well detailing things he tried. It’s that last part that makes everyone think it’s a handbook when it isn’t.

Conclusion: Read it. It’s an awesome read! I couldn’t put it down, I just needed to know what would happen to Neil and the guys as they create corporations, backstab, party, and try to find the one true girl.

Idea: Update watch

There are some simple pages that I’d like to follow, like job postings. They don’t have a RSS feed and are so seldom updated that a simple email notification will suffice.

So I’d like a service where you enter a URL and it will email you when the page is changed. A bookmarklet would work great with the service. Bonus if the mail included a diff to show what had been changed.

What would you follow?