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4890RE: [wuhu_software_group] Re: Tornados sweep through central Florida in the middle of the night.

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  • Mark Wyman
    Feb 2, 2007
    • 0 Attachment

      Interesting, this would be a nice piece of information to place in the XML dial program. The client periodically asks for an update from the host server based on timing information in the XML file. The timing information can be modified by the server to dynamically speed up reports during severe weather outbreaks. Then there could be special fields in the XML for web links, severity level, and what to do about it. For example launch a sound player for the live feed, play an alarm sound, automatically pop open some windows with direct information, etc.

       

      Having developed a few sockets programs in the past has resulted in mixed emotions about the viability of such utilities unless doing very data-intensive streams which requires that sort of effort (like the live audio streams). Either that or you want to keep the data proprietary. Firewalls are the #1 nemesis, #2 is client compatibility. It becomes difficult to have multiple-platform software on custom socket protocols. You can’t leave the Mac users out! (Well, I know a few Windows guys that would argue that point). If XML is part of rapid-fire requests, the additional specialized fields can do a heck of a lot for you as long as the client program is aware of them. For example additional fields would be something like:

       

      <pickupRate>5</pickupRate>
      <wathces>Tornado Watch</watches>
      <watchLink>http://watchlink.com</watchLink>
      <warnings>Severe Thunderstorm Warning</warnings>
      <warningLink>http://whatever.com</warningLink>
      <severityLevel>9</severityLevel>
      <playAlarm>True</playAlarm>
      <playLiveFeed>True</playLiveFeed>
      <liveFeedLink>http://whatever.com/liveFeed</liveFeedLink>

       

      p.s. Note the field formatting ;-)

       

      XML defines that these do not always need to be present in the file, so during boring days, the data does not need to be transmitted to save overhead. The key would be to have the pickup rate vary according to severity level (10 being a nuclear bomb is about to detonate under your bed).

       

      Then this is a documentable method that Perl, Java, .NET etc can all access for web interfaces or utilities without writing custom software except for the live audio stream player.

       

      Just some ideas.

       

      -Mark Wyman

       


      From: wuhu_software_group@yahoogroups.com [mailto: wuhu_software_group@yahoogroups.com ] On Behalf Of wuhu_software
      Sent: Friday, February 02, 2007 2:31 PM
      To: wuhu_software_group@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: [wuhu_software_group] Re: Tornados sweep through central Florida in the middle of the night.

       

      Alan,

      I would be interested in developing an application for the tray.

      Let me know when you guys have a protocol/scheme to work with.

      I can throw applications together pretty quickly.

      Thanks.

      --- In wuhu_software_ group@yahoogroup s.com, "Alan Steremberg"
      <alans@...> wrote:

      >
      > Hi,
      >
      > 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.
      >
      >
      > Alan
      >
      > On 2/2/07, wuhu_software <wuhu_software@ ...> wrote:
      > >
      > > Alan,
      > >
      > > 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
      > > years.
      > >
      > > 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:
      > >
      > > http://en.wikipedia .org/wiki/ Specific_ Area_Message_ Encoding
      > >
      > > 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@yahoogroup s.com<wuhu_software_ group%
      40yahoogroups. 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
      > > the
      > > > emergency aspect yet. ie: why people would want their radio to
      > > automatically
      > > > 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
      > > Emergency
      > > > > 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
      > > service.
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > > > -Mark
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > > > ------------ --------- ---------
      > > > >
      > > > > *From:*
      wuhu_software_ group@yahoogroup s.com<wuhu_software_ group%
      40yahoogroups. com>[mailto:
      > > > > wuhu_software_ group@yahoogroup s.com<wuhu_software_ group%
      40yahoogroups. com>]
      > > *On Behalf Of *wuhu_software
      > >
      > > > > *Sent:* Friday, February 02, 2007 8:35 AM
      > > > > *To:* wuhu_software_ group@yahoogroup s.com<wuhu_software_ group%
      40yahoogroups. 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
      > > swept
      > > > > 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
      > > the
      > > > > 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
      > > wake
      > > > > people up in the middle of the night. Especially in
      w:st="on"> 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
      > > guessing
      > > > > 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.wundergr ound.com
      > > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      >
      >
      >
      > --
      > Alan Steremberg
      > Weather Underground
      > 415-543-5022 x 103
      > http://www.wundergr ound.com
      >

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