Just in time for Groundhog Day, I pulled together a small collection of desktop weather applications for checking everything from current weather conditions to 15-day forecasts and detailed readings on wind and clouds. For those with modest forecast needs, Yahoo and Google both offer a small, attractive widget that shows the temperature at a glance. The only problem is, you have to have already installed a much larger desktop application in order to get the tiny widget.
Even if you're not one to trust a groundhog's shadow as your weather vane, watching a pet rodent emerge from a hole before hundreds of onlookers is a fascinating North American ritual. The rest of us may not have the prognosticating meteorological savvy of a Punxsutawney Phil, Buckeye Chuck, or Shubenacadie Sam, but on February 2, we can have the next best thing--weather widgets and applications.
Here are some of our favorite ways to read the mercury on our Windows PCs.
This updated weather application offers a smorgasbord of weather-related data. Once you've provided a zip code or city, Weather Watcher Live's easy-to-use interface displays detailed weather information, including forecasts, temperature, and expected highs and lows. You can add as many locations as you'd like and switch among them using the system-tray icon.
Automatic updates keep you abreast of the current wind speed, dew point, humidity, barometric pressure, and moon phases. You can display your location's current weather conditions by mousing over the temperature readout in your system tray. Weather Watcher Live provides extensive customizations, measurement conversions, … Read more
It's not the sort of thing that excites your typical Silicon Valley venture capitalist, but companies that weatherize homes could be the sleeper green-business success stories this year.
Many people would like to lower their household energy bills but need an expert to recommend what steps to take as part of a long-term plan.
There's also a substantial amount of government support for energy-efficient retrofits, including from President Obama who has set a target of lowering utility bills at 2 million homes. The federal stimulus plan now being debated in Washington, D.C., sets aside $6 billion to … Read more
Viigo has certainly matured since its early days. While it now grabs weather, financial news, flight status, and sports scores in addition to your news and blog feeds, it's still, at its core, the fastest, most complete RSS reader for BlackBerry. To users' eternal benefit, Viigo makes finding, subscribing to, and adding your own newsfeeds extremely simple with a long list of presets, browsable categories, and a way to add favorite RSS URLs, even from aggregators.
The extra channels to track the weather, flights, and stocks are bonuses, and a testament to the extensibility of Viigo's original engine. … Read more
Before I get to this weeks apps, I found out about some bargain basement prices for a small selection of apps from Ambrosia Software. Aki Mahjong Mobile, Mondo Solitaire, and Mr. Sudoko are all on sale for 99-cents at the app store until November 30th (usually $9.99). If you have any interest in these games, now is the time to start downloading!
For this weeks apps, I'm including one free and one paid app.
The Weather Channel is a free weather-monitoring application that provides many more features than Apple's built-in Weather app. You can find paid weather applications that are more specialized, but The Weather Channel (sponsored by the eponymous cable channel) offers a lot, including forecasts (hourly, 36-hour, and 10-day), quick access to Weather Channel local and regional video forecasts, severe weather alerts, and a dynamic map (which you can use to see everything from rainfall to "feels like" temperatures and the UV index). You can also set favorites and go back to recent locations which makes The Weather Channel … Read more
Weather apps have been a fixture on the iPhone and iPod touch since Day 1, but it wasn't until this week that it gained a full-featured contribution from The Weather Channel.
The free Weather Channel Interactive Interactive makes use of tabs to cram in localized weather, extended forecasts, and video. There's a tab for severe weather advisories and an e-mail function to send a weather notice to a friend in your address book.
The Weather Channel is making much ado about a feature in the Explore Map tab that lets you add "map layers" and neighborhood … Read more
Okay so Sleep.fm, the browser based "social alarm clock" won't actually help you sleep, but it's got a brand new way to wake you up that's straight out of a science fiction movie. In this case it's this past summer's blockbuster hit Iron Man, where Tony Stark's journalist friend wakes up to a local weather report spoken by computer butler Jarvis.
Sleep.fm now offers something similar by waking you up to the local weather conditions and temperature with with a computer-generated voice and soft bell sounds. All you need to … Read more
Sony's PlayStation 3 got a small update early Thursday morning that added a new channel called Life with PlayStation. It merges news feeds, weather forecasts, and live Web cams on a giant world map.
It's an evolution on the Folding@Home application, the protein-folding scientific project that's gotten a hefty processing boost from worldwide PlayStation 3 owners who run the small application when not using their systems to play games or watch movies.
What makes the service neat is that it figures out where you are and automatically jumps to that point when you start it up. … Read more