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4883Re: [wuhu_software_group] Re: Tornados sweep through central Florida in the middle of the night.

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  • DKee
    Feb 2, 2007
      I don't understand most of the technical stuff you guys are discussing (although for some weird reason, I find it interesting!) but can easily say that Ambient as well as the Weather Channel desktop software aren't that great. First negative I personally find is the clutter, or excessive stuff that is not optional to get rid of. It would be really great to have a straight-forward, no nonsense program. If a person wants extra bells and whistles, it should be a users choice.

      Just my 2 cents worth  :-)

      ~ Deborah

      On 2/2/07, Alan Steremberg <alans@... > wrote:


      We have an email alert product right now that you can sign up for by zipcode ($10/year or free to weather station owners).

      Ed at AmbientWeather has a desktop app that alerts you in the tray, but I don't think it is quite what we want. 

      We have all the data, we are just missing a scalable way to deliver the alerts, and the small client application to start playing the local NWS weather feed, as well as putting up some alert data (plus it could optionally run an external program that could fire off x-10, etc).

      If someone wants to build the client application, we will be happy to do the heavy lifting in the back end.

      Using UDP is tricky - it is unreliable (TCP doesn't have that much overhead if we implement it carefully with custom software) and we can't really easily send UDP packets from wunderground to anyone's computer at home since 99% of them are behind a firewall router.  We could use UPNP from the client and try to open a hole in the firewall (like MSN messenger and others) but it doesn't work on all the routers I have.. Just some of them. My bellsouth modem doesn't support it. my linksys router does.

      I was hoping to send alerts of IM but I haven't built it yet, seems like that might be easy / good.


      On 2/2/07, wuhu_software <wuhu_software@...> wrote:


      A few weeks ago I was attempting to find various real-time NWS feeds
      that are available to the general public. I found three feeds that
      are available to the pulic. One is free, the other requires a one
      time $75 fee, and I am not sure about the 3rd (I heard that it is
      expensive). I am not sure which feeds you guys are subscribed to.

      In any case, I was exchanging emails with Art Kraus looking for some
      simple method to receive all SAME alerts that are active throughout
      the U.S. Apparently there is no such mechanism at the moment. He
      thought this might be something that is developed over the next few

      The SAME alerts may be fed over the EMWIN network, although it is
      difficult to find protocol information. They might also be sent over
      the NWS Wire Service or NOAAPORT, I am not sure. That might require
      some parsing to decode the SAME alerts from the other data.

      If you guys at WU could parse the NWS streams to decode alerts, you
      could develop an efficient polling and dissemination protocol, this
      could open up many possibilities. The key to any such system would be
      responsiveness without wasting a ton of bandwidth.

      As an example, if a client application could send WU a poll packet
      that contains a list of FIP and event codes, WU could repond with a
      packet that describes a list of matching FIP codes and event codes if
      those events are active.

      These packets could be kept small and fast with the use of UDP
      packets. Perhaps the clients register themselves one time with WU and
      WU will send out alerts when they become active. A simple watchdog
      packet could be used to detect Internet failures on the client side.

      On the client side, once the client receives a packet from WU and
      sees matching FIP and alert codes, that is all it really needs to
      begin alerting operations. It could then perform audio alerting,
      reading and displaying the NWS XML based warning information (based
      on the active FIP code), and possibily take other user defined
      actions including prompting the user to stream live audio.

      If such a service were open to developers, any number of client
      applications could be developed to take advantage of such a system.
      You could have stand alone applications (perhaps on the toolbar), or
      integration with existing appications (weather apps, home automation
      systems, email and pager alert systems).

      So basically, it seems that all of the pieces could be put together
      easily. The main problem seems to be finding a real-time stream that
      contains all SAME alerts (or that can be parsed from the stream), and
      a central server to disseminate that data in real-time using an
      efficient mecahnism to deliver the encoded data.


      Here is a breakdown of the SAME alerts:


      Here are the Internet feeds that I found.

      1) Emergency Managers Weather Information Network. It is available to
      the public. I am still trying to dig up information on the protocol.
      It is not well documented. This data is sent several ways, satellite,
      VHF radio, and the Internet. This data contains text and graphics
      mixed together. There are 3 software packages for sale that
      understand how to process the protocol, none are free.

      2) NOAA Weather Wire Service. Although the stream of data is
      controlled by one company, there is one time $75 registration fee.
      Since you can telnet in to it, I am assuming it is just text. It
      might be different using the satellite links, I am not sure. This
      might be used to capture the events as they are put out on the wire
      but it may be more work as the alerts/warnings are not encoded.

      3) The NOAAPORT broadcast system provides a one-way broadcast
      communication of NOAA environmental data and information in near-real
      time to NOAA and external users. This broadcast is implemented by a
      commercial provider of satellite communications utilizing the C-band.
      It's primary purpose is for providing internal communications within
      the National Weather Service and for providing forecasts, warnings
      and other products to the mass media (newspapers, radio stations, TV,
      etc.), emergency management agencies, and private weather services.

      --- In wuhu_software_group@yahoogroups.com, "Alan Steremberg"
      <alans@...> wrote:
      > I think we need to make a desktop of flash widget that we can
      trigger with
      > an alert and start the audio playing. I also spoke to the sonos
      people about
      > integrating it into their system, but they didn't really understand
      > emergency aspect yet. ie: why people would want their radio to
      > switch from pretty music to weather radio.
      > Alan
      > On 2/2/07, Mark Wyman <mark@...> wrote:
      > >
      > > I always wondered about having telephones linked into the
      > > network, so your phone would emit a specialized ring during local
      > > emergencies like this. It would be driven by law from the
      telephone company,
      > > who could target just the areas of concern. Since these days
      everyone has a
      > > phone, and not many have weather radios, it would be an ideal
      solution. Of
      > > course they would probably tack on another $2 a month for this
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > > -Mark
      > >
      > >
      > > ------------------------------
      > >
      > > *From:* wuhu_software_group@yahoogroups.com [mailto:
      > > wuhu_software_group@yahoogroups.com] *On Behalf Of *wuhu_software

      > > *Sent:* Friday, February 02, 2007 8:35 AM
      > > *To:* wuhu_software_group@yahoogroups.com
      > > *Subject:* [wuhu_software_group] Tornados sweep through central
      Florida in
      > > the middle of the night.
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > > I was just watching the news this morning about the tornados that
      > > through central Florida. The current estimate is that at least
      one was
      > > an F2 tornado. I guess 1988 was the last time one swept through
      > > area in the middle of the night (so the news says).
      > >
      > > Looks like a real mess over by New Smyrna (one of my favorite
      spots in
      > > Flordia, been there many times visting family).
      > >
      > > On the news, they discussed the real need for weather radios to
      > > people up in the middle of the night. Especially in Florida.
      > >
      > > Interestingly, the two Orlando WU audio streams are up and
      running. I
      > > am not sure if they were up when the alerts went out, but I am
      > > that they were.
      > >
      > > It sure would be nice to have the WU SAME radios on the desktop.
      > >
      > > Even if the audio streams do go down, the virtual radio could
      still get
      > > a users attention by playing alert sounds, alert text, or even
      > > activating alert devices (say X10 devices).
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > --
      > Alan Steremberg
      > Weather Underground
      > 415-543-5022 x 103
      > http://www.wunderground.com

      Alan Steremberg
      Weather Underground
      415-543-5022 x 103

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