Tuesday, December 4

Pretty ornament, useless misinformation

It's no good whinging if you don't do something about it. After posting the previous item about the inaccuracy of iGoogle's weather forecasts, I went into the iGoogle site and found a lively debate among others leaving comments. I added mine:

The pictographs and forecasts are wildly inaccurate in Australia, too. For today, the government Bureau of Meteorology's latest, 45-minutes-old forecast for Sydney shows a maximum 27deg (like most of the modern world, Australia converted years ago to Celsius, aka Centigrade, temps) while iGoogle is showing a max/min range of 24/20deg.

This sort of wild error is common. iGoogle should find a gadget provider who reformats BoM forecasts, not wild guesses. Australia has a number of companies which repackage BoM info for graphical reproduction in newspapers and the internet. Tell your gadget provider to find out how they do it, and follow suit. Check for yourself, hit http://www.bom.gov.au/products/IDN10064.shtml and compare with iGoogle's forecast for Sydney.

I love the iGoogle screen stuffed full of gadgets, but this needs fixing.

If my complaint – and those of many others posting to comments – leads to an improvement in iGoogle forecasts, I'll let readers know.

Meanwhile, I've been seduced by other information panels (iGoogle calls them gadgets) and I've added to my home screen:
  • Word of the Day
  • WordWebOnline dictionary/thesaurus
  • Spellcheck, which incorporates a dictionary, thesaurus and encyclopedia
  • Joke of the day (the nicer ones will be great fillers in a newsletter I produce)
  • This Day in History (at present, it's the Bhopal poison gas disaster of 1984)
  • Australian Stock Exchange – constantly updated All Ords and prices for the individual stocks in our pitifully small portfolio

A busy home page, and generally quite useful, but a great time-waster if you've work to do.

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