To paraphrase a line from The Big Lebowski, some weeks you eat the Internet, and some weeks the Internet eats you. For myself, the latter was the case, but there was still a great assortment of sharing news that emerged from the tubes:
The latest casualty in the ongoing pissing match between Apple and Google is transit maps. The latest version of Apple's iOS replaces Google map data in favor of an Apple-designed alternative. A major oversight in Apple's flashy new vector-drawn map app is the lack of transit maps. Anil Dash offers an in-depth look at what's gone and how that hurts user experience. OpenPlans is working on an open source application that will provide transit maps for iOS and other platforms, but for the time-being, iOS users who rely on public transit information will have to make do with opening maps.google.com in their iPhone browser.
Most Americans don't have the luxury of strolling down the street to get cuts of organic meat from the friendly neighborhood artisanal butcher. The Fix Antibiotics food map is a crowdsourced web app that allows you to find antibiotic-free meat and farmers markets in your own city, whether that city is Brooklyn or Dubuque.
Prospective students can go tens of thousands of dollars into debt from a college education, or increasingly, they can hack their own damn education. Steve Hargadon, director of Web 2.0 Labs, is on a city-by-city tour to spread the gospel of "hacking your education". At each stop, he's presenting two events, one a talk on developing your own learning plan, and the other a day-long self-education hackathon. He's in Seattle this weekend; check out the schedule to find out when Hargadon is coming to your town.
Amid all the heady talk of urban revitalization and "smart cities", gentrification is an inconvenient topic that receives little attention. The Game of Urban Renewal is a project by Canadian artist Flavio Trevsian that serves as a corrective to the hype. A satirical reimagining of Monopoly, The Game of Urban Renewal is a board game that takes players through the stages of decline, blight, and gentrification. Find out more at FastCoExist.
As the hauls from Kickstarter campaigns continue to grow, so do questions of accountability to donors. Diaspora may be the most high-profile crowdfunding cautionary tale to date, but that may be trumped by the controversy brewing this week around musician Amanda Palmer. She raised $1.2 million dollars through a Kickstarter campaign in June, so her recent call to horn and string players to perform on her upcoming tour sans compensation has garnered critiques from musicians unions and professional crank Steve Albini. At Gawker, Cord Jefferson provides a great overview, and scrutinizes Palmer's expenses, which include an estimated $30,000 for 1,500 vinyl records. Having bankrolled a few of my own music projects out-of-pocket in the past, it occurred to me yesterday that I may be in the wrong line of work:
$30k to press 1500 records? I need to get in the Pressing Vinyl for Amanda Palmer business.
— Paul M. Davis (@paulmdavis) September 19, 2012