The weather is still not exactly compatible with web-related activities, so I didn’t get much done for my websites. But since it’s the 55th anniversary of NASA today, here’s the old Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band hit Urban Spaceman for Music Monday, remade as a fantastic ragtime tune for Neil Innes’ Book of Records!
Don’t expect any major website updates from me in the next week – it’s going to be very hot and my brain is next to useless in these conditions. I’ll be posting the usual photos over at the Photoblog, but I’m going to take a break over on DVDLog. I have one major article coming up here, but it could take some time – so, not to let this blog fall asleep, this posting is all about Weather Forecasts on the Web, which are absolutely essential at the moment. Here’s my little collection – of course tailored to my location, but it may be useful for other regions too.
- WDR Wetter – Mainly for Northrhine-Westphalia, but also for the rest of Germany. Fairly accurate and has very useful satellite images and a precipitation radar.
- Wetterkontor – For the whole of Germany, but also useful for local weather and is often more precise than the WDR. The satellite images are not very useful, but the precipitation radar is good.
- Sat24 – Also known as Niederschlagsradar.de, has versions for many countries and very good satellite imagery, but a somewhat antique and chaotic webdesign.
- YR.no – A Norwegian website providing the best satellite images of Europe on the web, with wondefully smooth animation.
These four websites are the best way to get accurate weather forecasts for Germany, but internationally other sites like Accu Weather and Weather Underground are of course better suited. Most of these website also work very well on mobile browsers, but I have yet to find a really good Android weather forecast app. Any comments, ideas or suggestions are welcome either here or in the postings on Google+ or Facebook!
Note: Icon respectfully borrowed from the weather icon collection of MerlinTheRed @ Deviantart.
Back in May, I posted a bit of a rant after Opera released its new browser generation as Opera Next, which was only a barely-concealed Google Chrome clone. Yes, it was the first browser actually using the Blink engine and yes, it is really fast – but that’s about it. All the great features of the older versions are gone and the user interface is so minimal that there is not even a proper bookmark system.
In June, Opera had announced that they were “working on improving and re-introducing certain features.” and also sort of apologized for having to build a completely new browser, because yanking out the Presto engine out of Opera 12 and putting Blink in was technically not possible. Now it’s July and Opera has deciced to release Opera 15 as a sort of final version – but it seems that my optimism was a bit too premature, because Opera 15 is still exactly the same as it was at the end of May. No bookmarks system save for a barely functioning addon, only a barely functioning speed dial, a “stash” for sites and a useless discover function. No opera:config, no sidebars, no customization. Fortunately Opera 12 is still available, but with this strategy Opera is going to alienate a lot of its users, which are already really disappointed.
And now that Google has updated Chrome to version 28 and finally integrated the Blink engine, the last reason – speed – to use Opera 15 has gone. Chrome is now exactly the same as Opera, has about the same memory consumption, a working bookmark system and much more. It does not have the great user interface of Opera 12, but why use Opera 15 when Chrome does it better? I don’t know what’s going on inside of the company at the moment, but if this trend continues, Opera is going to loose a lot of its relevancy.
My hopes of getting Opera 12 with the Blink engine seem to be too high, so there’s just one thing: use two browsers until Opera gets this mess fixed. I won’t say it may never happen, but who knows?
I actually have no idea who Brandon Flowers is, I only know that his cover of Bette Davis Eyes is the best one I’ve ever heard. It even blows the Kim Carnes version out of the water – this now almost 40-year-old song, originally written by Donna Weiss and Jackie de Shannon in 1974, has never sounded so fresh before.