WiGLE.net already exists. In fact it is fairly trivial to scrape information off of their site as well, although they make no guarantees of any kind of stable API whatsoever. They also have an android app for wardriving.
I also have a w520 from Lenovo at the moment. Before this laptop I used a Z60m from IBM ( Both thinkpad branded ). If you have the money and are looking for a sturdy (I regularly cut cheese on mine), long lasting (6+ years) laptop I'd recommend Thinkpads. Everything works out of the box thanks to acpi and such. Multiple distro's including ubuntu, fedora, centos, gentoo. The GPU is the only sticky spot, the drivers for optimus by nvidia aren't that great. Set the bios to either integrated or nvidia based on battery preferences. Rob
I find it okay to work in. Coming from VI and the command line some of the features are nice, others not so much. One thing I noticed about the python plugin for VS is that when using PySide, you must run in interactive mode, rather than debug. A nice feature that I found lacking was for VS to automatically generate a list of classes and functions for a library that is imported. Obviously this tool is integrated fairly heavily into python at points as evident in the profiling section ( good work by the way ), so it would be handy to refresh classes/module listings when "import foo" or "from foo import bar" was detected in a save. All in all, not a bad development system.
I agree, differing distributions can be confusing to a newcomer on the linux scene. That being said, when at a local Unix meeting I regularly hear newcomers referring to "linux" when in fact they mean "ubuntu". This can easily be averted with a 5 minute explanation, not to mention there are very similar things going on in the Windows world ( Vista Home Premium vs Home vs Work vs Ultimate, etc. ). As for documentation, does the person you're referring to actually make use of Microsoft documentation? I doubt it. Microsoft documentation is known for being cumbersome and bloated. I agree, software is the key issue facing the Linux desktop today. I still have to run wine or full emulation for some things. Installing programs, in newish distro's can be done by a website, without requiring the package to be in the repository. Slax and *buntu offer this to some extent. Not to mention a lot of packages are self contained, and will have a simple gui for
./configure && make && make install.
The command line is being used a little to much for "end users" in my opinion, and I agree with you on this. That being said, there are many different package managers out there for all different distro's that provide a way of avoiding the command line.
All in all, very valid points. In the end all distributions including Linux, Windows, and Mac OSX, have the same problem: If the user is doing specific things, or wishes things to be done in a certain way, they will find a way to do it. This extends to saying "My computer is broken, by me a Mac" - which happens more often then one would think.
It's worth noting that the presentation titled "Bad Memmories" was presented at the BlackHat conference is very similar to this. PDF available http://media.blackhat.com/bh-us-10/whitepapers/Bursztein_Gourdin_Rydstedt/BlackHat-USA-2010-Bursztein-Bad-Memories-wp.pdf
To avoid massive amounts of bandwidth, you could use two webcams that are independent of the computer, have their own IP address, and set them to only update and show on movement. I would look into some "home security" stuff, as most of those cameras have a small IP stack and it would be straight forward to forward a port.
I just finished setting up a via epia 5000 - it maxes out at 20watts power and runs a 533mhz cpu. It retails for about $100 US.