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back to article Government opens public spending database

The government has broken the seal on its UK public expenditure data by releasing the entire contents of the Treasury’s Combined Online Information System (COINS) that details spending undertaken by the previous administration for the past two years. The information has been published on data.gov.uk and contains “detailed” …

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Good on 'em!

You can call me a cynic if you like, but I'll be pleasantly surprised to see this continue when it's them that's pissed the money up the wall and it's in their best interests to hide it.

I don't like the teeth on that horse you're trying to give me either.......

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Grenade

BitTorrent links

I'm reporting them for Illegal downloading:

*****BitTorrent****** link to zipped 2009/10 Fact table, 67MiB (4.28GiB uncompressed)

http://data.gov.uk/dataset/coins

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Torrent

Yet another legitimate use for Bit Torrent - my government uses it to share data with me :D.

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hm

Guvmuppets offering bittorrent links, did I miss something?

<sarcasm>

I thought all torrent files are illegal file sharing according to them...

</sarcasm>

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Torrent ?

.. and another reason why we need bittorrent clients (o:

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Pint

distribution means

it would appear that one of the format used to distribute the large file is Torrent, so I wonder if someone finally realised that this method has indeed valid and proper use for file sharing...

I also wonder which computer/user is doing the first "sharing" (I think the correct term is "seeding")

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Grenade

Oooo....icky

I see they use those godawful GiB and MiB units. While arguably (and please don't start!) more accurate all they achieve is to confuse (me).

Plus you sound like an utter tool saying Mibibyte, much like when the anaesthetic hasn't worn off from the dentist.

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I just ignore 'em.

A Megabyte is 1024 kilobytes is 1024 bytes.

A drive manufacturer's megabyte is 1000 kilobytes is 1000 bytes.

I propose a new set of units. Kidi, Medi and Gidibytes. Decimal variants. That way you can sound stupid when saying them without having to rewrite all your software.

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Pirate

So it seems

there is a legal use for BitTorrent after all.

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UTF16

Nice of them to put it in UTF16, making it much more difficult to parse in PHP and enter into a database.

Would UTF8 or ASCII reallllly have been that difficult?

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UTF16 -> UTF8

> Would UTF8 or ASCII reallllly have been that difficult?

The world is bigger than ASCII, but you can do a conversion easy enough:

iconv -f UTF-16 -t UTF-8 downloaded.txt > converted.txt

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Anonymous Coward

Just use iconv

iconv("UTF-16", "ISO-8859-1", $text);

or write a java app to import it - some people don't insist on using terrible broken excuses for languages to do everything.

UTF-8 might have made more sense to cut filesize, though PHP will immediately explode if there's a euro or pound sign in it because its handling of everything charset related is just awful.

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Go

@Mark: Government contracting

You are learning young padawan, with you the force is strong...

Why should anyone sell a simple and internationally recognised standard to the government when they can sell something non-interoperable and expensive?

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Converted "CSV"

Ran the 09-10 file through PHP, converted to ASCII, ripped out any NULL fields (which accounted for most of the file) and put in CSV with double quoting.

Reduced to 23MB (1.8GB Uncompressed) which is small enough to be opened in excel = http://host.awportals.com/coins/facts_09-19.rar

Gotta do some other work but I'll see about rationalizing it and entering it into a MySQL DB.

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next step in conversion

From the DB to a SparQL endpoint, so people can mash up this data on costs with other data on performance or location - several weeks before the Govt. manages this conversion.

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WTF?

And you thought the Expenses disclosure caused a sh**storm ....

I can just see all the Consultants lining up to work for the newspapers to dig up dirt on who spent what over the last two years. Somehow I suspect that many ex-government ministers are going to be quaking in their boots when people realise how much money has been diverted to the dubious, borderline illegal and wasteful causes.

I have my popcorn at the ready - let the outrage commence :)

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Possibly the most subversive act committed by a government

against itself.

John 8:32

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Pirate

Re: Possibly the most subversive act committed by a government...

Not 'arf. But perhaps (let us hope) this is a clever double-cross by the coalition.

When people see the quality of UKgov management information that ir purports to be using then the myth of the 'Rolls Royce Civil Service', will start to die. There will be growing numbers of civil servants who aren't believers in the official cult. Then Whitehall might be beaten.

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