Aurora is an 4X simulation game in which you start from a civilization barely on edge of the Space Age, and guide them to galactic domination---or possibly crushing, painful defeat at the hands of your equally-ambitious neighbors or grumpy elder civilizations. It is the labor of love of a single dedicated designer (Steve Walmsley), and its depth and attention to detail rival that of the perennial Mefi favorite Dwarf Fortress. (Also much like Dwarf Fortress, the UI has a learning curve, being primarily based around what appears to be a series of spreadsheets.) The main game, and most recent patch, can downloaded from the Aurora forums here and here respectively. [more inside]
The UK Government has published extracts from COINS, the Combined Online Information System used by the Treasury to track all public spending by the Government. Together, the files constitute about 11Gb of data in delimited text format containing consolidated financial information for each department and account type. [more inside]
A company has released a fully web-based spreadsheet program that is utterly amazing. To see it for yourself, go to halfbrain.com and hit the link entitled 'BrainMatter' in the second paragraph in the middle of the page. Incredible.