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NOAA Adopts New Net Policy

samzenpus posted more than 9 years ago | from the you-can't-handle-the-weather dept.

The Internet 204

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has adopted a new policy which applies to provision of all National Weather Service environmental information, including forecasts, warnings, and observations. In June, /. reported that NOAA was taking comments on the proposed policy. Hundreds of Slashdotters responded. And it made a difference: NOAA will make its data and products available in internet-accessible, vendor-neutral form and will use other dissemination technologies, e.g. satellite broadcast, NOAA Weather Radio, and wireless, as appropriate. Congrats to the Slash community for making a difference and helping to set US Govt policy.

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204 comments

free weatherbug? (4, Insightful)

Lord Ender (156273) | more than 9 years ago | (#10971763)

Does this mean someone could write a free version of weatherbug that doesn't include the annoying spyware and registration? That'd be nice.

Re:free weatherbug? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10971782)

Just get yourself the WeatherFox extension for Mozilla Firefox to use instead. That way not only is the code of it free (as in beer and freedom), but also the updates come from the Weather Channel and not the Weather Channel rejects that end up working for WeatherBug.

Re:free weatherbug? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10971934)

What I want to know is where the hell is this free beer people keep talking about? Because I'm totally there.

actually... (4, Informative)

Grandmaster Mort (731817) | more than 9 years ago | (#10972133)

It's called ForecastFox now because of trademark issues with The Weather Channel. You may download it at http://forecastfox.mozdev.org/

Re:free weatherbug? (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10971810)

Sure, I'll write one but it'll use Clippy. "You seem to be getting hit by a PYA hurricane."

Re:free weatherbug? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10972165)

"Would you like me to format a S.O.S letter for you?"

Yes|No|Cancel

Re:free weatherbug? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10971821)

http://www.singerscreations.com/AboutWeatherWatche r.asp [singerscreations.com] Weather Watcher is far better. Try it - it's fantastic. No ads, no nagging. The author accepts donations.

Re:free weatherbug? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10971864)

It needs a background MIDI of Debussy's The Snowflakes Are Dancing, covered by Tomita.

Re:free weatherbug? (2, Interesting)

goon america (536413) | more than 9 years ago | (#10972146)

#!/usr/bin/expect

spawn telnet rainmaker.wunderground.com
expect "Press Return to continue:"
send "\n"
send "bdr\n" # replace with your own 3-letter city code
expect "Press Return to continue"
send_user "\n"
exit

Good stuff! (3, Informative)

Joel from Sydney (828208) | more than 9 years ago | (#10971768)

It's good to see a Government agency actually doing something proactive with technology! Props all round.

Re:Good stuff! (4, Funny)

AKnightCowboy (608632) | more than 9 years ago | (#10971869)

This is scary stuff. If the terrorists got their hands on weather reports in the USA there is no telling what trouble they could stir up. I imagine this kind of thing should remain secret and proprietary.

Pies (0, Offtopic)

Zilverfire (819134) | more than 9 years ago | (#10971769)

Pies and cookies all around Congrats ya'll --------- "I just want you to know, rocks arn't people" - Tucker

The system works!!! (5, Informative)

plover (150551) | more than 9 years ago | (#10971775)

Slashdot even got an honorable mention [noaa.gov] in the NOAA writeup (third paragraph)!

I'm happy because my concerns were addressed. I was afraid that the proposed policy was going to give commercial interests the ability to reqeust the NOAA discontinue a service without review, meaning that if weather.com didn't like the ability of the NWS to issue point forecasts they could behind-the-scenes ask for it to be ended. The modified policy now states they will "Establish... orderly processes for seeking input and suggestions to create, modify, or discontinue products and services".

It's a cool feeling to be a part of a process that actually seems to have worked to our advantage for a change.

Re:The system works!!! (3, Interesting)

Forbman (794277) | more than 9 years ago | (#10971882)

At least wxunderground.com will let you see the fleshed-out NWS scientist commentaries on the weather forecasts, along the lines of "two of the models predict X, but Model A predicts not X, and it seems to be more accurate this time of year, so I'm going with the Model A.", etc.

The NWS/Accu-Trak/TWC reports are what the weather puppets on TV/Radio read anyways. Not too many actually bother trying to interpret things on their own anymore. Tom Skilling @ WGN comes to mind.

If you remember wx.purdue.edu in the old days, this was probably the most awesome weather information site available (also had wx.washington.edu, etc.). Well, the atmospheric sciences people I think got tired of hosting these public wx sites ($$$), and they went non-public in the DotCom days, but now it's in a commercial form of wxunderground.com.

Weather.com's stuff just sucks.

Re:The system works!!! (4, Informative)

idiotnot (302133) | more than 9 years ago | (#10972006)

You can find this stuff pretty easily from NOAA if you take a look around. I'm a broadcaster, and I look at these every day when I'm preparing my forecasts. We get prepared weather from a commercial provider, but I find it to be severely lacking, because the community my station serves has weather that can be quite different, depending upon where you are. During the winter, you can go from just rain to a foot of snow within 40 miles.

Here's the site [noaa.gov] I visit every day. Take a look at things like the "Area Forecast Discussions." While they're a bit cryptic to read, they give you a better picture than the limited local forecast.

Re:The system works!!! (3, Informative)

ErichTheWebGuy (745925) | more than 9 years ago | (#10972358)

Yup, I can vouch for that. While I am not a broadcaster, I am a hardcore weather nerd. I visit the local [noaa.gov] forecast discussion daily. It offers the details that you simply cannot get anywhere else. During the spring/early summer months, the forecast discussion pages offer a *gold mine* of information on where the severe weather will be. Depending on how closely the models agree with eachother, I can usually get enough advance notice to make an eight hour drive to see some action.

Re:The system works!!! (1)

afidel (530433) | more than 9 years ago | (#10972103)

Well I guess in markets without remarkable weather you might have airheads reading reports, but in "lake effect" Cleveland almost all of the channels (except FOX) have a couple actual meteorologists on staff for the weather department. Weather here is fleeting but often brutal, as the saying goes "if you don't like the weather, wait around it's sure to change". Personally I've used weatherunderground.com for about a decade. Recently they added a cool feature which got me to pay for daytime radar, they now added the storm prediction vectors to severe weather systems on their animated radar maps. They also have the predicted precip, cloud height, hail size (if applicable), etc for each front. The subscription paid for itself when I could see a major hail storm was heading right for my area last spring, I moved the car under the carport just 10 minutes before 3+ inch hail caused major damage to my neighbors vehicles (it stripped half the trees by my apartment since it was driven by 60+ mph winds). But having freer access to the info we are already paying for with our taxes will be nice =)

The system works!!!-Elections. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10971922)

"It's a cool feeling to be a part of a process that actually seems to have worked to our advantage for a change. "

And come 2008, you can repeat the experiment.

Re:The system works!!!-Elections. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10971961)

Stop. Now you're just making me cry.

Government not a lost cause yet (3, Insightful)

TimmyDee (713324) | more than 9 years ago | (#10971781)

This just goes to show that not all hope is lost in participatory government. I know I get frustrated at times with how much clout corporations have in government operations, but every now and again I get a little glimmer of hope.

Government not a lost cause yet-Poster. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10971806)

Maybe all the "But I'm helpless..." posters should print this story out, and put it on their wall.

Re:Government not a lost cause yet (4, Interesting)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 9 years ago | (#10971986)

Ironically, the bureaucracy apparently listens better than actual elected officials!

Re:Government not a lost cause yet (1)

DeepHurtn! (773713) | more than 9 years ago | (#10972227)

This should also remind people that there is a helluva lot more to participatory government than voting once every four years. Democracy should be about people participating in the decision making process, not simply rubber stamping decisions made by the elites.

In a lot of ways, Democracy is what we all make of it. Which, when you look at the state of it in much of the West, is actually pretty sad.

It frightens me, sometimes (-1, Troll)

Dancin_Santa (265275) | more than 9 years ago | (#10971788)

To think that a massive group like Slashdotters with the combined IQ of a flea has enough power to influence the Government of the United States at the departmental level, I'm floored.

But then I see who is the President there, and suddenly I'm a lot more worried. It's not just dumb Slashdotters making the important decisions in that country.

But the main point of all this is that it is good that the government uses open standards when disseminating information. Even PDF is a little too proprietary for me, I'd prefer releases in plain text or even RTF. But PDF and HTML work great for this kind of thing and enough freely-available software exists to decode those formats, so I'm temporarily satisfied.

Re:It frightens me, sometimes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10971823)

[ OT: your math skills need updating. Slashdotters have a much higher combined IQ than a flea (750,000 users will get there by sheer quantity if nothing else.) What you probably meant to say was the average Slashdotter has the IQ of a flea. ]

Re:It frightens me, sometimes (2, Interesting)

shufler (262955) | more than 9 years ago | (#10972175)

RTF is a proprietary format [microsoft.com].

It's open, sure, but you can say the same about PDF.

Re:It frightens me, sometimes (1)

waferhead (557795) | more than 9 years ago | (#10972248)

IIRC, RTF came from a fellow in the NAVY, and is quite public domain.

The spec on MS site is for MSs IMPLEMENTATION.

Sorta like PDF, only completely different.

I lamely googled for a link, but RTF is sort of a common search result...

A good result of the "Slashdot Effect" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10971797)

Showing people that there are a lot of us out there to consider, those who know what they are talking about and can show others how to support everybody at once... not just the majority (and proprietary) slice of the market. Kudos!

Fight Club. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10971801)

Just to bring you down from your euphoric thoughts that the Slashdot crowd carries any political clout, I leave you with this quote....

Listen up, maggots. You are not special. You are not a beautiful or unique snowflake. You're the same decaying organic matter as everything else.

Re:Fight Club. (2, Insightful)

YOU LIKEWISE FAIL IT (651184) | more than 9 years ago | (#10971832)

I like Chuck Palahniuk as much as the next burnt-out twenty-something office worker, but like Nietzsche, not everything he writes is an endorsement of what comes out of his pen, or for that matter, the gospel truth.

YLFI,
a beautiful and unique snowflake

Hundreds (2, Interesting)

glass_window (207262) | more than 9 years ago | (#10971803)

'Hundreds' is right! I searched their "comment" pdf for slashdot and had to tell it to stop at around 500 and I'm sure it would have kept going for quite some time.

Re:Hundreds (1)

Southpaw018 (793465) | more than 9 years ago | (#10971959)

According to that PDF file, the total comments as a direct referral from slashdot numbered 483. That doesn't count the /.ers that clicked on the nws.noaa.gov/fairweather link first. The response was overwhelming, and I'm smiling very widely knowing that yes, the system does -- sometimes -- work.

As long as you're searching... (1)

Atario (673917) | more than 9 years ago | (#10972216)

Try looking for "sucks". It's in there -- twice. Yay for governmental immortalization of public comment!

Re:Hundreds (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10972305)

And the page "new policy" hosted on noaa.gov mentions "slashdot.com". I guess that's a start.

NOAA's electronic survival (4, Funny)

TWX (665546) | more than 9 years ago | (#10971808)

So, since "Hundreds of Slashdotters responded..." and NOAA both kept functioning and was able listen to the comments, would it be safe to say that they weathered the storm?

yay for superkaramba! (1)

54v4g3 (756080) | more than 9 years ago | (#10971809)

so does this mean that all those nifty superkaramba weather checking apps will be better?

anyway, congrats slashdotters! this just goes to show that people, en masse, can make a difference.

Just think, if we had disposable millions (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10971811)

We might be able to lobby for something useful. The joys of capitalism.

Thank you all for your contributions! (2, Interesting)

Amsterdam Vallon (639622) | more than 9 years ago | (#10971816)

I'm posting this for my brother who works out at the NOAA as an advanced research analyst.

--- Begin ---

Hi there Slashdot, yes, I'm a total weather freak and as such I was really glad to help serve you guys and field your comments, questions, and complaints.

What really hit home for me was how passionate many of you are for our services and that they be delivered in an open, fair medium. As technology advances, some of us tend to go for the first choice, and Microsoft, Oracle, and other closed-source large companies were trying to influence our decisions.

It was thanks to you the people of Slashdot that our eyes were opened and we have begun to embrace cheaper (which my manager likes) and more open (open-source) tools.

Thank you and it's my pleasure to help serve you and continue research our weather systems here on Earth.

Sincerely,
David M. ******* (name withheld for privacy)

--- End ---

Enjoy guys hope that was interesting as a first-hand perspective.

Re:Thank you all for your contributions! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10971878)

I'm glad you've gone the right route. Using proprietary software in the days before GNU/Linux would have been understandable, and some useful work was done even under those limitations. But with alternatives there is really no excuse to be using it. Besides, all real research equipment is migrating to Linux these days anyway, so compatability is definitely an issue.

Re:Thank you all for your contributions! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10971944)

Wow that's really cool! I wish you the best of luck in all your open sores endeavors.

Amerstam Vallon is a troll... read for more. (5, Informative)

swiftstream (782211) | more than 9 years ago | (#10972347)

Before anybody accepts this immediately as true, I'd just like to point out that this guy has posted lots of things about his personal achievements and his accomplishments, so much that you have to be a bit skeptical. Besides being the brother of an NOAA analyst, he claims all of the following... (taken from http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=131294&cid=109 59811 [slashdot.org])

Ken Jennings was my roommate freshman year at Brigham Young University

I worked for NASA for 8 years straight out of MIT undergrad.

I'm an editor for Tom's Hardware Guide

I worked for a particular company that denied another company a lucrative contract just because that company's CTO had bullied my company's CEO when he was in high school

I have TWO friends who work at Bungie

I work on LAMP software and deploy to customer's websites.

I obtained a preview release [of GIMP 2.0]


Forgive me for being skeptical, but I have trouble believing all that. A child of the post pointed to above says that the parent poster is a known troll, and a check of his recent comments shows many rated troll.

So perhaps this shouldn't be 5, Interesting?

term 'slashdotting' (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10971824)

That's whole new meaning for ./ -effect. I hope we could ./ the world, starting from software patents.

If only... (1)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 9 years ago | (#10971836)


> NOAA will make its data and products available in internet-accessible, vendor-neutral form and will use other dissemination technologies, e.g. satellite broadcast, NOAA Weather Radio, and wireless, as appropriate.

Now if only we could get the Feds to make their porn available in internet-accessible, vendor-neutral form, and use other dissemination technologies such as satellite, radio, and wireless.

Re:If only... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10971968)

Now if only we could get the Feds to make their porn available in internet-accessible, vendor-neutral form, and use other dissemination technologies such as satellite, radio, and wireless.

You can find some naked chicks right here [usda.gov].

Re:If only... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10972197)

Hot damn, those are some fine ass chicks!

See? (4, Funny)

HoneyBunchesOfGoats (619017) | more than 9 years ago | (#10971848)

Not every *AA is evil!

Yes they are (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10972134)

they are an unconstitutional [lp.org] parasitic [lp.org]entity that must be abolished. Of course, everything in the government unless it's constitutional "Which of course, nothing is" should be abolished. Fuck, we don't need no government owned military, the second amendment states that a well armed militia has the right to bear arms. The people is the fucking militia, not the God Damned government. NO fucking safety nets, known as social services/welfare. if you must use them, then you need to be taken out of the gene pool. He who is willing to give up essential freedoms for temporary safety deserves neither. So in 2006 on, vote Libertarian, the ones that don't are the fucktards that are too stupid to stand on their own two fucking feet.

We'll see how long... (3, Insightful)

Forbman (794277) | more than 9 years ago | (#10971849)

this lasts.

All it will take is someone from TWC or some of the other commercial repackagers of NWS information who happens to have been a good RNC/TeamW contributor to put a whisper in Karl Rove's ear that NOAA is out of line here, that those commie freeniks should have to pay for the information, and it will then fall under some blanket of the US PATRIOT Act, National Security, DMCA, etc., so that their handle on the data from NOAA/NWS is impenetrable for the untermenschen (ie., the rest of us).

Re:We'll see how long... (1)

quarkscat (697644) | more than 9 years ago | (#10971926)

Exactly so.

Someone here at /. should start a pool on
just how long NOAA will hold this position.
In today's political climate, it is not
very difficult to imagine that all that
taxpayer-funded weather forcasting (and
research) will wind up being commercialized,
and "public" data being held hostage to
secrecy and the DMCA (under the guise of
"national security"). As if anyone with
a barometer, a wet bulb, and a window
wouldn't eventually figure out the weather.

NOAA & EAS (4, Informative)

Y-Crate (540566) | more than 9 years ago | (#10971852)

It can never be emphasized enough how utterly valuable a SAME [noaa.gov] equipped weather radio can be. They do not just allow you to get up to the minute weather reports, but they also act as your first warning of any kind of serious emergency in your area.

Warning sirens are only intended to notify people outdoors, and TVs and radios are only useful if you are awake, the unit is on and you are within earshot and paying attention at the time.

When NOAA or an emergency management agency (NOAA allows them to utilize the system without running the transmissions by them first) sends out a warning message, it is proceeded by what sounds like intermittent static. In fact, the system is sending out a burst of number sequences that are decoded by SAME equipped radios that compare the number sequence to that which the user has previously entered. If they do not match, the radio ignores the message, if they do match however, a generally ear-piercing alarm sounds while the radio interprets the alert code and displays the corresponding text message before the computer voice announcement (or real person if the situation warrants it) from the NOAA station begins to broadcast. The process takes about 10 seconds (this is to give you a chance to get closer to the radio before the voice warning begins).

Here is a complete list of all of the emergency codes [weather.gov]

They are not as cheap as a clock radio, but they are worth every penny. I'm still astonished when I come across people who live in tornado-prone areas who don't buy them despite their financial ability to do so and their fear of dangerous weather.

Re:NOAA & EAS (1)

Infinityis (807294) | more than 9 years ago | (#10971914)

Fear of dangerous weather OR the lack thereof.

My parents have one and I can still vivdly recall a few years ago when a tornado touched down nearby. We knew about it, and by golly, we were standing outside watching it and my mom was recording it with the video camera.

So yeah, except for the annoying tests those radios run once a week, they're pretty useful to have.

Voobah, voobah, voobah, ping! (2, Funny)

kfg (145172) | more than 9 years ago | (#10971865)

NOAA!

You talkin' to me?

It's Slashdot, NOAA.

Riiiiiiiiiiiight! Who is this. . .really?

KFG

Re:Voobah, voobah, voobah, ping! (2, Funny)

plover (150551) | more than 9 years ago | (#10971946)

NOAA! I want you to make a first post that includes Natalie Portman!

Riiiight . . . What's a first post?

Never mind, NOAA. I want you to go out into the world and collect a cluster of beowulfs, and load them up two by two.

Riiiight . . . am I on JenniCam? How come you want me to do all these weird things?

I'm going to destroy the world.

Riiiight . . . how you gonna do it?

I'm going to post the URL on the front page of Slashdot, and crap-flood 'em all right out.

Riiiight . . .

Re:Voobah, voobah, voobah, ping! (1)

killpog (740063) | more than 9 years ago | (#10971958)

C'mon, you're dating yourself... That's a really old album... I liked it, too.

slash eh? (0, Offtopic)

Anubis350 (772791) | more than 9 years ago | (#10971886)

congrats to the slash community eh? what do explicit homosexual sex stories have to do with noaa? :-P

Re:slash eh? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10972045)

What don't they have to do with the NOAA?

We can't stop now... (1, Interesting)

Infinityis (807294) | more than 9 years ago | (#10971896)

Let's see if we can milk all the way.... Seeing as how the FCC can way overstep it's bounds, maybe the NOAA can too. What are the odds that we can petition them to create a policy that voids the DMCA, declares SCO corrupt and bankrupt, and actively tracks down and imprisons scammers?

We've found something that works, so now it's our civil responsibility to use it to the fullest.

To paraphrase George Carlin... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10971905)

"Tonight, a little bit of darkness, followed tomorrow morning with some scattered light."

No way! (0)

Mullen (14656) | more than 9 years ago | (#10971913)

There can not be any /. comments in that document because I did not see "First Post!", "In Soviet Russia...", anything relating to hot grits or Natalie Portman.

great, but how about distribution? (2, Insightful)

Fess_Longhair (695896) | more than 9 years ago | (#10971932)

The big problem with NOAA is getting the data out the door. Even their NWS field offices only get a small piece of what's available, and they have very tight bandwidth limitations. For example, it would be great to get all of the GFS ensemble member grids in real time, but they're largely unavailable; and it's really a small ensemble compared to what the future (should) hold.

What an achievement. (0, Flamebait)

KZigurs (638781) | more than 9 years ago | (#10971957)

Silly, silly slashdoters, we. Some stupid agency compiled a list of our worthless comments, made some changes they were planning to the original policy and now we all KNOW THEY LISTEN.

Re:What an achievement. (1)

InfiniteWisdom (530090) | more than 9 years ago | (#10972048)

You'd better hope the "stupid agency" is doing its job the next time you board an aircraft, or have a hurricane/tornado/major snowstorm hit your area.

Re:What an achievement. (0, Flamebait)

KZigurs (638781) | more than 9 years ago | (#10972284)

I don't care - I live in eastern europe, and you know - we have regular major snowstorms here. Know what? Nobody cares. It's a FUCKING WEATHER. You can't change it and there is no big point to know it in advance in anyway. Except, of course, you are one of those people who needs to pack just to visit the other end of the town.

And, yes, btw - just how exactly, apart from telling people what we should be afraid from today, this agency is changing anything.

(and as for those 'be vevvy vevvy afvaid!' shit - shit it.)

Hundreds, eh... (1)

flamechocobo (792168) | more than 9 years ago | (#10972000)

I'm surprised we didn't /. the weather service. That would have been great. "Now let's look at the weather... Wait... Where is it? Crap, it seems that geeky news site is at it again."

GREAT!! Who do we THANK?! (4, Interesting)

tweedlebait (560901) | more than 9 years ago | (#10972026)

We should write them some nice 'thank you' letters!

I missed this story and acting on it, but if someone with some political savvy could direct myself and others to the people who listened (and those who didn't) to ./'ers input and made decisions with our ideas in mind it would be great!

*AA (1, Funny)

tangent3 (449222) | more than 9 years ago | (#10972087)

First thing that came to my mind seeing the NOAA acronym....

Say "NO!" to *AA!

Re:*AA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10972222)

for ( i=0 ; i MAX_BASE ; i++ ) if ( belongsTo[base[i]] == YOU ) belongsTo[base[i]] = US ;

foreach (base in your.bases):
base.belongsTo(us);

Already been happening (1)

tonsofpcs (687961) | more than 9 years ago | (#10972112)

"NOAA will make its data and products available in internet-accessible, vendor-neutral form and will use other dissemination technologies, e.g. satellite broadcast, NOAA Weather Radio, and wireless, as appropriate"
Has been internet accessible for years http://www.noaa.gov/ [noaa.gov], and if you crawl around enough you can find where they put the raw data feeds and make an app that reads them (seem to be the same ones that go to the automated 'voices' that broadcast NOAA Weather Radio, yes, the Weather Radio network that has been around for a long time, heck, I have scanners and CB sets that have Weather Radio switches). The only one I don't understand directly by this is 'wireless', as the weather radio and satellite networks are wireless, and wireless internet and cellular telephone access is publicly available.

Well in touch with latest technology... (2, Informative)

lpangelrob2 (721920) | more than 9 years ago | (#10972114)

In addition to having written a weather warning widget [widgetgallery.com] with the information they provide, I've noticed that their system usually takes beatings nicely whenever widespread severe weather occurs. Based on the interactions I've had with the website in creating the widget, their backend consists of the PHP/MySQL duo... they also run Apache 2 and Red Hat according to Netcraft [netcraft.com]. Their warnings are in both RSS and XML feeds. So it's been nice working with what they've been willing to provide, especially when you consider the large audience they serve.

Relevance of Slashdot (3, Informative)

eean (177028) | more than 9 years ago | (#10972157)

It is true that a lot of power in Democracy (and probably other forms as well) is given to those that show up. It looks like Slashdot did. But before we pat ourselves on the back, I found an interesting comment when I was scanning the FairweartherComments3.pdf, page 332, it was from the Director of Sales-Media of Accuweather Inc who was also in support of rejecting the changes, citing that it would break a 60 year understanding on the line between what work was done by the private and publich sector.

In other news.. (1)

Bruce Perens (3872) (806888) | more than 9 years ago | (#10972335)

NOAA will make its data and products available in internet-accessible, vendor-neutral form and will use other dissemination technologies, e.g. satellite broadcast, NOAA Weather Radio, and wireless, as appropriate.
In other news, the Bush Administration has announced that a 43 billion dollar contract to determine the best vendor-neutral format to use has been awarded to a joint consortium of Microsoft, Sun, and The SCO Group.

As a weather nerd... (2, Interesting)

ErichTheWebGuy (745925) | more than 9 years ago | (#10972337)

... I would like to say.. YES! This is not only a victory for us weather nerds but for the entire population of the U.S. After all, it's all about the warning time! Imagine, all the media outlets having to pay a licensing fee to Accuweather for issuing a tornado warning... OK, I know that's pushing it but the basic point remains the same. It's our information and it should stay that way!

Also, as a trained weather spotter, I have been in contact with my local weather service office (KPUB) about this issue and they completely agree that the information be as accessible as possible.

Chalk one up for us!
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