Archive for the ‘weather channel’ tag
Intern abuse is always good fun. The Weather Channel is celebrating the beginning of Tornado Week today by putting its interns in a room and blowing powerful winds at them, with the force of the breeze increasing for every public mention of #TornadoWeek on Twitter. They're broadcasting the whole thing live on YouTube (see below—although for the full experience, click the link above). There have been about around 6,000 mentions so far, and the winds are in the mid-90 mph range. If the tweet count hits 1 million, the channel is vowing to pummel the interns with a "full blown EF-5 tornado." That would mean wind speeds of more than 200 mph. They'd better have a lot of desk fans on hand.
The Weather Channel Releases Lumia-Only Windows Phone App: Augmented Reality, Social Weather Alerts, And More
The Weather Channel has been working hard to improve its mobile experience, with a new iPad app, a revamped iPhone app, and now a brand new Windows Phone app for Lumia devices. The WP app for Lumia will have features exclusive to Lumia owners for the next three to six months, at which point the same features will be ported over to the old Windows Phone app, available to all.
Along with support for seven languages, the app will offer improved alert functionality and a new augmented reality feature. The Augmented reality feature allows you to check out the weather through your camera using photos submitted by users in your area. So, for example, if you pointed your phone’s camera at the Empire State Building, and someone had just posted a photo of it in the rain, your screen would show that user’s photo and the accompanying weather in your display.
The app also provides channels for you to chat with friends about weather in your or their area. But perhaps the most important social feature is Weather Alerts for your friends, alerting you if any of your friends or family are under a sever weather threat.
Lumia users will also get a bit better at planning out their lives thanks to the “My Amazing Day” feature on the new app. Users will be able to specify weather conditions for certain activities (between 70 and 80 degrees, low pollen for a picnic in the park, or rainy and cold for a day spent reading indoors). The TWC app will then notify you ten days out that Tuesday looks like the perfect day for your picnic, or that Saturday’s conditions will be perfect for your planned reading day.
In a few months, all Windows Phone users will have access to the new language support, along with the ability to add live tiles with weather-triggered backgrounds to the phone’s homescreen. Users will also be able to track their favorite weather moments by checking out TWC’s gallery of user-generated photos, or upload their own photos.
But for now, loyal Nokia users will be the only lucky cool kids with access to TWC’s new WP app.
Weather is normally really dull, but it’s a tad more exciting when there’s lots of money involved.
Weather provider The Weather Channel is scooping up online weather veteran Weather Underground. Exact details of the deal weren’t disclosed, so our references to “Make it Rain” will have to remain vague.
Weather Channel says that the buy will allow it to improve its weather forecasts. The company will also make use of the Weather Underground’s popular Wundermap, an interactive weather map and radar that allows users to overlay over a dozen variables.
With the buy, The Weather Channel will also pick up a valuable brand, user base, a slew of mobile apps, and the personal blog of Weather Underground co-founder Jeff Masters.
The Weather Channel will also acquire Weather Underground’s entire staff, along with its San Francisco office, which The Weather Channel will use as regional office of its own.
Weather Underground has been around for 17 years, and fortunately for longtime fans the site won’t change at all. The company’s new name will be Weather Underground, LLC.
In all, the move has all the telltale signs of a smart acquisition: A large, well-known player grabs a lesser-known but highly esteemed and knowledgeable veteran along with its loyal user base. Best of all, the acquired site remains largely the same. No storm clouds here.
Photo: Raining cash/Shutterstock
Smart move, this: The Weather Channel has acquired pioneering online weather service Weather Underground for an undisclosed sum, the companies announced today. The deal is expected to close in several weeks.
The Atlanta, Georgia-based The Weather Channel has long had a strong brand name, wide reach, and big revenues, but I’ve personally found its web and mobile presence (centered around Weather.com and its related apps) to be pretty wanting. The 17-year-old Weather Underground, meanwhile, runs Wunderground.com, easily one of the best digital weather forecasting and tracking websites out there, along with a suite of solid mobile apps. This deal will put Weather Underground’s awesome technology to use on a much bigger stage, bringing better information to a large number of people — which is almost always a good thing.
According to a blog post written by Weather Underground co-founder Jeff Masters, Weather Underground will continue to run Wunderground.com as an independent site after the deal closes. Here is how he explained the planned integration:
The Weather Channel is committed to keeping the Weather Underground brand and the web site in its current form. Weather Underground CEO Alan Steremberg will remain in charge, and our meteorologists and developers will continue to create the ground-breaking weather products that we’re renowned for. The plan is to make both wunderground.com and weather.com stronger, by sharing content and infrastructure. Many Weather Underground features, such as our Personal Weather Station data, WunderMap, and my blog, are scheduled to also appear on the weather.com web site in the coming months.
The timing was horrendous – right in the middle of Google I/O – but location-based social network Foursquare announced a major change to its mobile platform this week which shouldn’t go unnoticed (even if it didn’t involve skydivers wearing futuristic eyewear). The company introduced a developer preview of what it’s calling its “next evolution” – Connected Apps. The new framework allows developers create their own experiences inside Foursquare, which enables them to connect with Foursquare users as events are happening. The result? Foursquare is setting itself up as mobile users’ go-to app for socializing around a location.
The platform announcement was accompanied by a list of preview partners, which are the first to have launched mini app experiences within Foursquare. For example, the social friend finder Sonar will tell you if you have friends nearby when you check in to a new venue. The Weather Channel can give you the current forecast when you check into the airport after landing. The full list includes the following apps:
- Eat This, Not That – From Men’s Health Mag, Eat This, Not That tells you what dishes to order and what to avoid at restaurants when you check in
- Untappd - Shows recommendations from friends and others on which beer to order, and easily check-in to beers from within foursquare
- Sonar – Informs you of your connections to interesting people nearby
- Soundtracking – Share and discover songs your friends have shared at a place
- Snoball – Trigger charity donations when you check in, and tells you about friends’ donations
- Foodspotting – Share and get recommendations on which dishes to order
- GroupMe - Makes it easier to share your check-in with a group of friends on GroupMe
- Blue Legends - Notifies you when you earn extra rewards for checking into Lufthansa venues
- Instagram – Share your Instagram photos on foursquare, which friends can see and tap through to the Instagram app
- Path – Share photos and text from Path, which tap through to the Path app
- The Weather Channel – Get the weather forecast with your first check-in of the day and when you check in to a new city
A New Reason To Check In
The move is an interesting one for Foursquare to make especially after all the discussion about how it was taking the spotlight off of the check-in to focus on local discovery and recommendations. These in-app “experiences” are enabled by the check-in – that is, you’re provided with the information from your preferred Connected Apps after the check-in takes place. A new reason to check in, it seems? It’s more engaging than now-tiresome mayorship quests, points and badges, and it’s more predictable than the potential for a local offer or deal. And with users newly encouraged to check in, Foursquare can continue to grow its database of user check-ins to further power its friend-powered recommendations.
But another notable piece to this equation is what it means for the app makers themselves. Foursquare, while already a platform in a sense that it offered an API and a way to build on top of its service, is now really an app platform. Users will be able to choose their “connected apps” from within the Foursquare application itself (this will be better highlighted for users within a few months’ time through an in-app gallery). They can then begin to discover the world around their location in new ways.
In addition, developers will also have the opportunity to re-engage users with their applications – applications which, let’s face it, often get forgotten on the backscreens of our iPhones and Androids after the initial attraction wears off. App developers will be in complete control of when and where to message users through the Foursquare application. That means you won’t see notifications about beers, or food, or nearby friends, or whatever else, unless it makes sense for you to do so. The notifications are timely, relevant, and less intrusive and/or spammy than OS-level push notifications.
Powering App Discovery
Not only will the app platform re-engage current app users, it will now also have the potential to power app discovery. Although the notifications users see will be private to them, their use of the application will be posted to the friend stream (Foursquare’s version of the Facebook News Feed). Friends can then see who among their friends is using the application and then tap on it to connect with it themselves. What’s more, “connecting” doesn’t necessarily mean having to install the app on your smartphone. New users will be able to sign up for an account with the application within Foursquare.
Some developers are using Facebook for sign-ups, much like they do with their native apps, while others are offering a faster sign-up through Foursquare’s own authentication mechanisms. Afterwards, users can tap through on the messages the apps share to see details in a web view within Foursquare, or they can choose to install the native application via the app store. (Currently Android and iOS are supported, but support for BlackBerry and Windows Phone is in the works). In the case where the app is installed, Foursquare will immediately switch them over to the appropriate app to continue their interactions within the application.
The interconnected app experience is a big step towards building a “web of apps” where apps, like their hyperlinked counterparts on the desktop web, move away from being isolated, self-contained, and solitary experiences. It’s worth mentioning that Foursquare isn’t the only platform moving to serve as a jumping off point into the mobile app universe – Facebook, too, has been positioning itself as a tool for app discovery in a number of ways. But while Facebook’s size and scope is unrivaled, Foursquare is setting itself up for an interesting niche in the future of the mobile/local/social web. Facebook is the network of people, but Foursquare’s Connected App platform could see itself turning into the network around places. For a service that’s struggling to remain relevant as the lure of gamification wears off and the local offers plan fizzles, becoming the go-to app for the location-based social web is not a bad position to take.
The check-in service Foursquare launched a new connected apps feature that brings in data from a bunch of other apps directly into the Foursquare. This includes data from services ranging from the Weather Channel to the beer recommendation apps Untappd. More »
Plan Your Road Trip and Pick the Best Weather Along the Way with the Weather Channel’s Trip Planner [Travel]
There are lots of great road trip planning tools, but if you’d like one specifically designed to ensure the most sunshine along the way, this webapp’s for you. Created by design studio Stamen for the Weather Channel, the app forecasts the weather along your route and also shows you nearby attractions. More »
TechCrunch is reporting insider information that the big and much-anticipated Microsoft announcement tomorrow is an e-reader and streaming media tablet produced in conjunction with Barnes & Noble. If that’s true — and that’s a big if — I’m more than a little shocked by the massive build-up and pre-launch tension-building secrecy.
Let’s be honest: Windows on a tablet is, at the moment, a loser. Currently, Windows is a tiny, insignificant slice of the tablet market. There’s hope in Redmond, and maybe even belief, that this will change soon, but no-one else is holding their breath.
In this chart from IDC three days ago, Windows is “other.” Get out your microscope.
A second loser
A second moment of honesty: Barnes & Noble is a loser. We all know its chief competitor — the one named after warrior women tough enough to saw off a boob so they could kill their enemies with greater efficiency. And yeah, Amazon is exactly that tough.
Amazon is worth almost a hundred billion dollars; Barnes & Noble under a billion. Amazon had over $50 billion in revenue in the last 12 months; Barnes & Noble just over seven. Amazon’s revenue per employee is triple Barnes & Noble’s … the list goes on. Wolfram Alpha tells the story:
One plus one (plus one)
I believe it was the indubitable Mr. Holmes who said that one plus one has never failed to equal two. Pairing an unpopular and as-yet-unproven operating system with a failing and marginal content partner is not exactly a recipe for success.
However, there is a wild-card: Xbox live streaming.
Microsoft has been adding content partners to Xbox streaming with increasing velocity, announcing 35 new ones in just the past month at E3, including Nickelodeon, NBA Game Time, NHL GameCenter, WatchESPN, and The Weather Channel. These additions, with all the other content partners announced previously, have led to plenty of speculation that Xbox could replace your cable or satellite TV provider.
Now you have something interesting.
If Microsoft’s play is indeed to create a new kind of tablet that can replace — perhaps better than iPad — your TV provider, watch out.
I guess we’ll see tomorrow.
Image credit: ShutterStock
NOTE FROM ROHIT: Likeonomics is now AVAILABLE – if you read my previous post and decided to wait to buy it because I asked you to, thank you!!
About four months ago I was sitting at home during an unseasonably warm evening in late January. It was the night of the State of the Union address, and was feeling that unshakeable mixture of happiness and sadness that happens usually on the last day of an amazing vacation. That day I had just delivered the final manuscript for Likeonomics, but as I read the news online that afternoon I found a story that was still bothering me hours later.
The media was reporting on comments from politicians delivered in something called a “prebuttal.” A prebuttal (as opposed to a rebuttal) is based on the idea that you can talk about all the ways that you disagree with someone before they have even said a word. Welcome to politics in 2012. In fact, welcome to the world itself.
I have written before about how we are in the midst of a very real believability crisis and to find our ways out of it and build a more trustworthy world will take a new philosophy. Along the path to writing Likeonomics, I researched (and wrote about) many interesting nuggets from history, such as the moment when Microsoft almost bought Pixar to the moment almost exactly thirty years ago when two guys with a crazy idea started The Weather Channel. From the story of Nelson Mandela in South Africa to the surprising tourism policies of the Bhutanese government, the process of writing the book also took me to some unexpected places. Ultimately, what I learned was about far more than marketing or even business.
Likeonomics is really a book about how any of us might become better people. How likeability might be the real secret to trust AND success … and most of all how BEING more human could help any of us be better in every part of our lives.
This week is launch week for Likeonomics. A chance for me to FINALLY share everything about the book with you. A chance for me to tell you NOT to wait anymore and to go out and buy the book and buy as many copies as you can!
So every day this week I’ll be sharing a different story and exclusive excerpt from the book here. Each day will be from one of the chapters featuring a different principle of Likeonomics:
- Monday – This Post!
- Tuesday – Truth
- Wednesday – Relevance
- Thursday – Unselfishness
- Friday – Simplicity
- Saturday – Timing
My goal is simple. The more I can share about the idea of Likeonomics and offer some value back to you and your daily life, the more likely you are to see what the book is about and perhaps decide to pick up a copy.
To give you a head start, here is a password free, no-email-required, completely FREE download of the Prologue from Likeonomics, starting with the interwoven stories of a Lard Salesman, an NFL Agent and a YouTube Star: www.likeonomics.com/excerpt
If your interest is peaked, or even if you are just up for doing something to support me and my efforts this week because you may have found some value in my blog over the years, PLEASE consider buying a copy of Likeonomics RIGHT NOW.
Not only do I hope it will help you become a better entrepreneur, friend, parent, marketer and human … but I look forward to sharing some real stories and lessons from the book with you throughout this week to show you exactly how!
In an effort to streamline its digital offerings, The Weather Channel has today announced that its popular iPhone app has undergone a major redesign. It started with the launch of the iPad app, and just a few weeks ago The Weather Channel followed suit on the web. But the iPhone marks a major portal between TWC and its consumers, in that mobile and weather undoubtedly go hand in hand.
The redesign reminds me a bit of HTC’s Sense 3, with the home screen offering up a weather-themed background based on the weather outside. The user interface seems much more navigable, but the features themselves are getting a bump as well.
The revamp streamlines the TWC app in a big way, in that you can have as much or as little weather as you’d like when you hop in the app. You’ll obviously get automatic weather updates, but the ability to save more locations or expand more detailed information within the app makes it a much more friendly user experience.
It’s clear that The Weather Channel is trying to unify its digital products. The company added social sharing features to the web site, which will also be available on the iPhone app. This includes the ability to upload a photo of your local weather and publish it to iWitness, Facebook, or Twitter.
We spoke with EVP of digital products at The Weather Channel Cameron Clayton about the direction in which these products are headed.
While this release represents possibly the biggest improvement in The Weather Channel App for iPhone to date, it’s just the start of what we’re setting out to accomplish. Yes, we’ve staked a claim with the accuracy of our weather forecasting with our TruPoint technology, but soon we’ll take that to the next level and tell users when rain will start and stop, as we do on the new weather.com. But we also plan to expand the social functionality during severe weather events and beyond to allow people to connect through weather at all times. Additionally, we’re in the infancy of our global expansion on mobile, which we will rolling out over the coming months and years.
According to that, sounds like quite a lot of work has yet to be done, but either way the new TWC iPhone app is a huge improvement over the last version. So if you’re interested in downloading the app, head on over to the Apple App Store and check it out.