from the it's-never-on-time-when-you-need-it-to-be dept.
szczys writes: Tired of his trains being constantly late, Eric Evenchick headed to the Via Rail (Canada's communter train service) website to find which trains had a better on-time rate. Unfortunately they only offer three days worth of data through the dropdown selections — but a bit of investigating showed the GET requests were open for about the last six months. Evenchick built a web-scraper with Python, along with a web interface that queries the resulting SQL db. The harvested data shows system-wide delays that average more than twelve minutes (mostly due to commercial rail having the right-of-way). The good that comes of this? You can now choose your train based on smallest likelihood of delay..
"Anyone attempting to generate random numbers by deterministic means is, of
course, living in a state of sin."
-- John Von Neumann