Web

Finally, now you can collect all your hurricane news in one place

finally now you can collect all the hurricane news in one placeIf you’re the kind of person who finds shows like Discovery Channel’s Storm Chasers a little too much, and finds themselves thinking about all of the potential hurricanes that could touch down near them (Hi, Erika), then you’ll be happy to know that there is, as the ad says, an app for that. Specificially, an app from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration that’ll let you know where all the earlier hurricanes have been.

“We feel that it’s important for people to understand where hurricanes have hit in the past, to give an idea of where they might touch down in the future,” NOAA communications director Donna McCaskill told Talking Points Memo when explaining the organization’s new Historical Hurricane Tracks app. The app, which allows users access to data about tropical cyclones all over the world, is actually an updated version of technology that’s been around – and in use – for almost a decade, now updated and made available to the general public.

According to geographic information system developer and contractor at NOAA’s Coastal Services Center Jen Boulware, who’s been working on the app for the last nine years, “one of the bigger changes we made in this version was moving from just Atlantic storms to international data.” The new generation of the web app means that you can input a city name (or even specific zip code within the US) and see a map of the area, complete with the passage of any and all hurricanes that have traveled through that area in the last 150 years. Hurricane paths are delineated in colored lines that show their intensity, from Category One (yellow) through Category Five (purple), with each path offering details on the date of when it hit ground and, if clicked upon, information from the NOAA archive about the hurricane’s speeds and pressure throughout its journey on land.

Other features on the app include “access to storm reports written by hurricane specialists at the National Hurricane Center,” with reports being made available for both the Atlantic and East-Central Pacific Basins, as well as the chance to build custom URLs to enable users tracking specific information (So that “users can follow… specific storm tracks,” apparently; I find this kind of wonderful, the idea that people could build fansites for one particular storm track being something that seems so weirdly specific that it really appeals to me).

There is, however, one problem with this app: Namely, that it’s not really an “app” as much as a website; it’s based online, and runs on Flash, which means that Apple products such as iPhones or iPads can’t access it at all. Clearly, what the world needs – or, at least, we do – is a true app version that can be used anywhere in the world on any device, to let us know if and when hurricanes are en route and we need to make a last-minute run for it.

Emerging Tech

Want to know which drones are flying near you? There’s an app for that

Want to know what that mysterious drone buzzing over your head is up to? A new system developed by AirMap, Google Wing, and Kittyhawk.io could soon tell you -- via a map on your phone.
Mobile

Having trouble logging in? Here’s how to reset your Apple ID password

To use any of Apple's services, you need to have an Apple ID and know your password. Thankfully, there are ways to deal with forgotten passwords and regain access to your account. Here's how to reset your Apple ID password.
Computing

Our favorite Windows apps will help you get the most out of your new PC

Not sure what apps you should be downloading for your newfangled Windows device? Here are the best Windows apps, whether you need something to speed up your machine or access your Netflix queue. Check out our categories and favorite picks.
Mobile

We tried all the latest and greatest smartphones to find the best of 2019

Smartphones are perhaps the most important and personal piece of tech on the planet. That’s why it’s important to pick the best phone for your individual needs. Here are the best smartphones you can buy.
Computing

Miss AIM? These are the best desktop chat clients to use today

Desktop chat clients are far from dead. In fact, they're currently enjoying something of a renaissance. So, which one should you be using? We take a peek at the best chat clients for teams, gamers and mainstream web surfers.
Computing

Make a GIF of your favorite YouTube video with these great tools

Making a GIF from a YouTube video is easier today than ever, but choosing the right tool for the job isn't always so simple. In this guide, we'll teach you how to make a GIF from a YouTube video with our two favorite online tools.
Smart Home

Booth babes, banned sex toys, and other mishaps at CES 2019

From female sex toys bans, to fake Tesla/robot collision stories, there was some weird stuff going on at CES 2019 this year. Here are some of the biggest mishaps and flubs at the world's biggest tech show.
Mobile

Apple Maps boosts Flyover locations, indoor mall maps, and more

In a boost for Apple Maps, the tech company has recently added more than 50 new locations for Flyover, the feature that offers spectacular 3D photo views of particular cities and famous landmarks around the world.
Mobile

Google has found a clever way to make your search history more useful

Google has found a clever way to make more use of your search history by showing links to pages you've visited before. Ideal for repeat searches for the same page, the links show up on cards at the top of mobile search results.
Web

Shutdown makes dozens of .gov websites insecure due to expired TLS certificates

The US government shutdown is causing trouble in internet security. As the shutdown enters day 22, dozens of government websites have been rendered insecure or inaccessible due to expired transport layer security (TLS) certificates.
Computing

Our favorite Chrome themes add some much-needed pizzazz to your boring browser

Sometimes you just want Chrome to show a little personality and ditch the grayscale for something a little more lively. Lucky for you, we've sorted through the Chrome Web Store to find best Chrome themes available.
Social Media

A quick swipe will soon let you keep bingeing YouTube on mobile devices

The YouTube mobile app has a new, faster way to browse: Swiping. Once the update rolls out, users can swipe to go to the next (or previous) video in the recommended list, even while viewing in full screen.
Web

Switch up your Reddit routine with these interesting, inspiring, and zany subs

So you've just joined the wonderful world of Reddit and want to explore it. With so many subreddits, however, navigating the "front page of the internet" can be daunting. Here are some of the best subreddits to get you started.
Business

Cathay Pacific messes up first-class ticket prices — again

A couple of weeks ago, an error on Cathay Pacific's website resulted in first-class seats selling for a tenth of the price. On Sunday, January 13, the airline made the error again. The good news is that it'll honor the bookings.