TfGM gets appy
Transport for Greater Manchester has launched a new route explorer, the latest development in what TfGM committee chairman Cllr Andrew Fender calls "fingertip technology" (i.e., it works on your phone). The app is easy to use with a 'click and select' route map, but deals exclusively with bus routes, and follows the recent launch of separate search systems for trams and Metroshuttle free buses around the city centre. Students from Bolton's Thornleigh Salesian School have designed a dedicated route explorer for school buses – ICT class has certainly moved on from my school days, when lessons were spent arguing with the talking paperclip on Microsoft Word. www.tfgm.com/route-explorer
Kickstart your kid's tech career at CoderDojo
CoderDojo is a volunteer-led youth club where attendees learn to code. While the Manchester branch has been meeting at The Sharp Project since December 2012, September saw the launch of a Stockport CoderDojo. Meetings are held on the second Sunday of every month for Manchester and third Sunday in Stockport. Kids get to grips with technology through the Minecraft environment, learn to program in Python, and use graphical programming language Scratch to create interactive stories, games and animations.
ThIS ONE for best Liverpool shopping
Two apps have been developed in Liverpool to help shoppers make the most of visits. Liverpool ONE has navigation tools (much needed based on personal experience of spending 15 minutes trying to find a toilet), and access to MyONE, the shopping district's loyalty scheme. ThIS Liverpool provides money-saving offers and discounts for the retail core outside Liverpool ONE, and includes an events and thematic trails section. The digital city guides were made for Liverpool ONE and Liverpool BID Company by Instant Business and Apposing respectively and are available on Apple and Android. iPhone users had better have invested in the latest smartphone technology for ThIS Liverpool though – it only works on iOS 7 and above.
North West recycling in a mess
Recycling and resource management company SITA UK has released a nationwide map of local authority recycling data from 2012/13, which shows a vast difference in the recycling performances across the North West. Salford, St Helens and Liverpool are not lagging regionally but are some of the worst in the country – Liverpool ranked 308 out of 326 areas nationwide, recycling 24.7% of its household waste. At the other end of the scale, Stockport is sixth in the country with 61% recycled. The borough puts its city neighbour to shame – Manchester ranked 224 out of 326, with 36.8% recycled.
Grand designs for open source site
Struggling to find a house to fit your specifications? WikiHouse is an open source construction set, for anyone who wants to design, download, and 'print' their own home. An online library is available with a range of downloadable files from designers across the world, and the product can be made from sheet materials such as plywood. Forgotten your hammer? Don't worry, even the mallets are cut with the house. The first WikiHouse was built in central London for the London Design Festival, as a collaboration between Arup, the Building Centre and 00.