Desktop weather displays aren't as old as talking about the weather, but it sometimes seems that way. There's no shortage of online weather and forecast data to pull from, so they all do the job pretty well. What's left boils down to a combination of features and appearance, mostly appearance. That's certainly the case with MobilityFlow's Animated Weather Free, a desktop widget for Windows XP, Vista, and 7. It stands out by virtue of its realistic animated weather effects, which add a nice touch to current condition displays and forecasts as well as the quick … Read more
As avid weather stalkers, we can confirm that most of the programs and apps we turn to for our immediate climate information tend toward stale, overly detailed interfaces crammed full of information that the majority of people aren't terribly concerned with. Don't get us wrong, we're glad sites like Wunderground exist--the granularity is great--but the design is just so Web 1.0. Enter Weather Doodle, an arty iOS app with a creative and minimalistic interface with the ability to draw in even those who scoff at reports in favor of stepping outside.
What's great about Weather … Read more
Apple is being sued for allegedly letting mobile apps on the iPhone and iPad send personal information to ad networks without the consent of users.
Jonathan Lalo, who filed the lawsuit on Thursday in U.S. District Court in San Jose, Calif., alleges that Apple's iPhones and iPads let ad networks track which applications people download, how often they're used, and for how long, according to a Bloomberg article published today.
What if your toothpaste could tell you whether you needed to leave the house carrying an umbrella? Or how hot the day was going to be?
Odd as it may sound, David Carr of MIT's Media Lab is working on just such a prototype product, "Tastes Like Rain."
Carr and his colleagues are focused on super-mechanicals, or the idea of taking a basic object and giving it dynamic properties (consider, for example, the Proverbial Wallets, also out of MIT's Media Lab, that know your financial state).
In this case, toothpaste is modified to dispense one of three flavors depending on the weather. If it's mint, you know it's colder out than yesterday. Cinnamon means it's hotter. Blue stripes indicate tartar precipitation.
The prototype is currently hooked up to a small Linux computer that pulls forecasts, using custom software to compare previous and current temperatures and divvy up the flavors.
Then, linear actuators squeeze out the proper variety of toothpaste through a heavily modded Mentadent dispenser. … Read more
The Obama administration today launched of an energy efficiency program that will provide consumers with a home efficiency rating.
Vice President Joe Biden, Energy Secretary Steven Chu, and other officials announced that the initiative, called the Home Energy Score program, is now in pilot phase in ten communities. The DOE also announced a set of guidelines for home efficiency workers which provide specifications for high-quality work.
The program is designed to encourage homeowners to make energy-saving upgrades and to jump-start the industry for home energy retrofits, Biden said in a statement. It will also include financing for homeowners and software … Read more
Jack White (White Stripes, Raconteurs, Dead Weather) has a cool video demonstrating his "triple-decker," three-records-in-one 12-inch single, "Blue Blood Blues." You have to watch the video to see exactly how the technology works, but let's just say for now it's a 7 inch 45 rpm single glued to one side of a 12-inch single; but the 12-inch can be pried open to retrieve another 45! It's a limited to 300 edition so I'm sure it'll sell out quickly. The Triple-Decker Record is a Jack White invention; and it's assembled by … Read more
The federally funded weatherization program has been expanded to cover comprehensive home energy retrofits, rather than only traditional energy audits.
The Department of Energy on Thursday announced that is has been funded with an additional $120 million and that participating energy service providers have weatherized 31,600 homes in the U.S. as of June.
Of that total, $90 million is being made available to home efficiency providers to offer installation of on-site solar power, efficient appliances, and home energy monitoring tools.
Traditionally, home weatherization providers do an audit of consumers' homes and recommend ways to save energy through air … Read more
Getting more accurate forecasts about space weather may not help you decide whether to water your garden, but it could soon clue you in better to when events in the solar system may be putting a damper on your electronic activities.
Johns Hopkins University, Boeing, and Iridium Communications announced on Wednesday that they have launched a new space-based service that they say will help scientists monitor magnetic storms around Earth.
Dubbed the Active Magnetosphere and Planetary Electrodynamics Response Experiment (AMPERE), the system utilizes commercial satellites orbiting Earth to take magnetic-field measurements in real time. The result is output that gets … Read more
I'm a city boy, so I don't relate to the "outdoor" speaker category all that well, but I certainly acknowledge the need for such things. For me outdoor audio is limited to my iPod and whatever headphones I'm reviewing. Geoffrey Morrison over at Home Entertainment magazine sees the bigger picture so he reviewed the Polk Audio Atrium Sat30 satellite ($150 each) and Atrium Sub10 subwoofer ($300), and came away pretty impressed by what he heard.
It's a plus that Polk managed to avoid the usual styling gimmicks that most outdoor sound systems rely on, … Read more