Ann Arbor Smackdown
March 16, 2009 1:57 PM Subscribe
There's a showdown in Ann Arbor, MI between geeks and suits. It starts when local public tax-funded parking garages start posting the number of available spaces on their site. A few geeks decide to make it more useful while driving so they code up some asterisk hacks to scrape the page and bridge the web content to a phone and presto! you can call to hear which garages have the most spaces available for parking. Not so fast says the city and they shut down access to the site from the app and stop publishing real-time stats (mostly grumbling about a loss of "control"). Geeks are in an uproar (mostly trying to teach the suits what "public domain data" means). This long ass blog post tells the entire tale from both sides of the fight.
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