Steve Ballmer's Second Act

Steve Ballmer has built something that sounds really cool and useful: a database that tracks what the government does with our money. The Times write-up makes it sound fascinating:

"Want to know how many police officers are employed in various parts of the country and compare that against crime rates? Want to know how much revenue is brought in from parking tickets and the cost to collect? Want to know what percentage of Americans suffer from diagnosed depression and how much the government spends on it? That’s in there. You can slice the numbers in all sorts of ways.
Mr. Ballmer calls it “the equivalent of a 10-K for government,” referring to the kind of annual filing that companies make."

Ballmer's publishing the data and a report some time today at USAFacts.org

 

The Spreadsheet Is The Game

I think this is super cool:

How an accountant created an entire RPG inside an Excel spreadsheet
Throughout a few months ending this past February, Cary Walkin created the perfect solution to this problem: an entire RPG made of a spreadsheet and many macros. The game, called Arena.Xlsm, is a turn-based RPG encompassed entirely in an Excel file. Users can download that and use it to progress through levels, collect items, and battle enemies and bosses with melee and ranged attacks as well as spells.

Which probably explains a lot about my childhood.