Location aware iPhone/iPodTouch apps

The App Store is available if you have updated to iTunes 7.7. I took a quick look at some of the first round of apps (there are 500 at launch) and found the expected Whrrl, Loopt, and Yelp apps, but there are others as well. If you need a map for a subway in the US, you are in luck since there are tons of subway maps. It looks like a couple of the Twitter clients are location enabled, I am pretty excited about that. The upshot is that it looks like we are doing pretty good with the first round of the App Store location apps. There is still a lot of room for growth for a GPS capture and more personalized (GISy) mapping app.

Ghost Towns

I find it fascinating to think about the places human’s choose to call home. Some places are clearly understandable – like along a river – while others are rather perplexing. What might be even more fascinating than that are places we choose to vacate. That’s the topic of this blog post: 20 Abandoned Cities from Around the World: Deserted Towns and Other Derelict Places. It’s interesting to look at these cities and towns and why they no longer exist. Many are due to economic changes, while others are environmental related (note the one town that coated it’s streets in a component of Agent Orange to combat excessive dust!) While the images are brief and the descriptions more so, the list has moved me to examine a few more of these places in detail. Coming from a small (ish), decaying town that’s lost half of its population in under two decades, I can see that the subject is certainly relevant even today.

Dr Horrible coming next week

For those of you who have listened to our first 6 months of podcasts you will know that we are all rabid fans of Joss Whedon. We will consume basically anything he has a hand in for one simple reason…it is good. So when Sue came across the mention of Joss working on something with Neil “Doogie” Patrick Harris and Nathan “Capt Reynolds” Fillion during the writers strike we were beside ourselves in anticipation (not just any anticipation, but the way that Tim “Franke-N-Furter” Curry said it in Rocky Horror) for the wonderfully titled Dr Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog. The one week online video event has a great cast that also includes Felicia Day (creator of the The Guild), Simon Helberg (Howard on Big Bang Theory), and others.

There will be three web episodes of Dr Horrible which will roll out on July 15, 17, and 19 respectively, but they will all go away on July 20th. That’s right you have to watch ’em all next week to see them online. If you are going on vacation or your network connection is down next week, don’t worry they already plan to release them on DVD, probably in the fall. There is a trailer up on the Dr Horrible site to give you a taste of the action, along with a link to an online comic book about Nathan Fillion’s character Capt. Hammer that sets up a little of the story. And in case you aren’t sure about whether Neil Patrick Harris can hold his own in the vocals, check out this great clip of him with How I Met Your Mother cast mate Jason Segel rock the song “Confrontation” from Les Miserables.