I was cleaning up some code; I'm writing a piece for the upcoming mapping hacks of O'Reilly. Anyway, in the process I created a standalone version of Google News Map (i.e. it shows a news map on your desktop vs on your browser) and a nifty program that you can use to grep a property from the CIA factbook database.
The first program should work on any OS as it is pure Python, using the TkInter toolkit. The second one is a command line program. You give it one parameter, for example 'capital' and it will list the capitals of all countries. Works with any keyword of the CIA world factbook, i.e. 'population growth', 'geographical location', etc.