A few things: York, the bicycle and the IPCC

I spent the morning wandering around central York today. I took my last walk down the Shambles,


sat and enjoyed a pot of tea at one of the cafés there and generally felt a bit teary about saying goodbye to my fair city of York.

Then I transported our living Christmas tree to a friend’s house,


where I enjoyed some more tea, some delicious home-made baklava and wonderful company.

Some good news: we have found a babysitter for Busby the bakfiets. Some friends will look after him while we decide what to do with him. I am sure he will be in good hands. Even if I did not have children, I would still choose to ride a bakfiets. They really do command the road; their handling and maneuverability is not compromised by their large size – they corner with smoothness and grace; pedestrians smile and comment when you cycle past and say things like “cool” and “awesome”; and you can carry all sorts of things in them like children, Christmas trees, nieces and sister-in-laws. The bakfiets is the king of all bicycles.

Some other news I want to write about here is that last year, a climate scientist friend who reads my blog, Victor, suggested I create an ios app which contains the latest IPCC report. I thought this was a fine idea and so began developing something after Christmas. I have a basic app on my own phone now which essentially just presents the table of contents as shown on the IPCC website and you can select and display, as pdf, the relevant chapter. It doesn’t do much other than let you read, print, email etc the report but there probably wasn’t much more to add except for searching and annotating maybe. Anyway, I thought I’d better write to the IPCC to ask for permission because I imagined there would be copyright concerns and there are. To my surprise, they said no, I cannot release this app. The reason they gave me is because they intend to make their own app. This sounds fine I guess, but why does it matter if there are two? I would not charge for my app, and I said so, and I am making it for free, so why not? They will no doubt pay thousands of dollars to create their own now so why is it so bad to have an amateur developer create and release a version for free which can be downloaded for free? This is very odd to me. Unless they fear I might alter the report in some way but I made clear that I would not do this. Anyway, I’m busy packing and moving now so it doesn’t really matter.

10 Replies to “A few things: York, the bicycle and the IPCC”

  1. I will miss your reports from York Rachel. I don’t get to spend much time down there even though it isn’t very far so I’ve enjoyed spending a sunday or two vicariously drinking tea in the Shambles via your blog, and eating vicarious cakes which is very healthy. I’m glad Busby has a home to go to. I would love him but couldn’t imagine getting him up the hills here and I already get into enough bother with two normal sized bikes about the place 😦

    1. Thanks, Northernbike. I’m glad you’ve enjoyed sharing coffee and cake with me on my blog. I too am pleased Busby has a good home to go to and I think it highly likely I will see him again. 🙂

  2. Sorry you are leaving your beloved city and Busby. Really happy that you have found babysitters for Busby until you work out whether you can have a future together. As for the IPCC, it is a shame that they haven’t taken up your offer re the app.

    1. Thanks, Bronwyn. I am not going to get all sentimental about leaving. Must not! I am lucky to have had the experience of living here and for that I am grateful.

  3. I had not expected the IPCC to be so modern to make an app out of the reports.

    It’s a pity for the work you already put into it, but given that they plan to make an app, I do understand that they prefer not have have another similar app. They would have to do some additional paper work to get the copy rights right. If you are first, you would have more downloads and your app would be presented first if people search for the official app. And even if that does not happen, many people searching for the official app might still have ended up downloading yours.

    Have a good trip back home and bring something nice back for the people of the Auckland tourist office.

    1. I found your comment eventually, Victor!

      You make some good points. I can see that they’d probably rather just have their official app.

      And Auckland tourism beware. I am returning!

  4. I have enjoyed your pictures and travels around York. I will be looking forward to reading about your trip back too.

    1. I am not looking forward to the trip back as I really don’t like long plane flights. I’m like a dog that needs regular exercise and sitting for more than 10 hours on a plane is something I find painful. But, there will be some adventures to be had on the way and I promise to share them.

  5. The reaction of the IPCC group is strange and disappointing. This information is available free of charge,so they should welcome anyone accessing the information in whatever form they wish.

  6. Great news about Busby and love the photo with the Christmas tree! I’ve so enjoyed your posts from York, oh I do hope you return again soon…and as for your app, wow, I’m so impressed with you Rachel but strange that the IPCC wouldn’t let you make it. Odd…

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