Aug 27 2012

Tracking Isaac, There's An App for That

6 mobile apps for tracking Hurricane Isaac. CNN

 

For those of us who live inland, hurricane-tracking seems more a curious indulgence, but if you live along the coastal regions in a hurricane zone, keeping tabs on these atmospheric leviathans is paramount.

Case in point, Hurricane Isaac — at one stage threatening Florida and the Republican National Convention — has moved well west, now following a path through the Gulf reminiscent of the one Hurricane Katrina traveled seven years ago.

While it's shaping up to be a weaker Category One storm when it makes landfall, with sustained winds of between 74 and 95 miles per hour, it's still very much a hurricane, prompting the governors of Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi to declare emergencies (and in Alabama's case, the governor to order mandatory coastal evacuations).

Here's a rundown of 2012′s top hurricane tracking apps for those on the go with tablets or smartphones.

Hurricane Tracker (iOS)

My pick of the bunch, EZ Apps' $2.99 Hurricane Tracker offers detailed storm maps, National Hurricane Center info, threat level maps, audio/video forecast updates, real-time feeds and push alerts.

Hurricane Hound (Android)

Hurricane Hound uses Google Maps as its framework and tracks both forecasts and the locations of Atlantic and East Pacific hurricanes and tropical storms, points out areas the National Weather Service is keeping tabs on and offers standard NWS "tropical outlooks and discussions, public advisories, forecasts, and satellite imagery."

Hurricane / Hurricane HD (iOS)

Developer Kitty Code's longstanding $2.99 hurricane-watching app (updated in June) offers a repository of global meteorological information, including tracking maps, satellite views, five-day forecasts, radar and bulletins from the National Hurricane Center. 

Hurricane Software (Android)

When I checked in last, Hurricane Software was a promising beta freebie. It's now out of beta — still free, though ad-littered (there's a $2.99 ad-free "Pro" version) — and packing hurricane data from the National Hurricane Center, high resolution maps, satellite images, warning information and storm tracks.

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Aug 27 2012

Facebook Design Changes

Don't let Facebook's design changes trick you into sharing more info. TODAY

 

While a smidgen of lipstick won't make a pig win any beauty pageants, some design changes may affect how easily you hand information and control over to Facebook apps.

As guest writer Avi Charkham points out in a post on TechCrunch, the launch of Facebook's new App Center brought a redesigned app permissions page. While more visually appealing — though this is a matter of opinion — the new design bring some pesky changes that could trick you into exposing more personal info or granting more control to apps than you realize.

For example: The old app permission request page offered two buttons — "allow" and "don't allow — while the new one simple has one button (something along the lines of "play game"). This leaves some users unaware of the fact that they're about to offer an app access to information or the ability to post on their behalf. Of course, someone on Facebook's side of things could argue that the app permission page does indeed outline exactly which permissions you're granting an app when you use it, but — as Charkham points out — details are listed in a tiny grey font or only visible when you hover your mouse over a little question mark symbol.

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Aug 27 2012

Snakes On A Plane

Busted for Trying to Board Plane With 27 Snakes. YAHOO! NEWS 

 

A Brazilian man was arrested for trying to board a flight at Orlando International Airport while carrying 27 snakes that he'd wrapped in pantyhose and stashed away in inside stereo speakers, authorities said.Mateus Del Maso, Jr. checked the speakers as luggage, but they were inspected and the snakes hidden inside were discovered. The creatures never made it onto the aircraft.

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