2014 UPDATE: All of these devices have been discontinued and can only be found on eBay and Amazon.
In the video below, I review the following Ambient Forecast Devices:
I also make passing mention of these gadgets which I reviewed last Christmas:
What these devices do is wirelessly display the AccuWeather.com current conditions and weather forecast for your location,* with no computer, Internet connection or subscription required. The Brookstone device runs on batteries and is magnetic -- you can literally stick it to your fridge. You can watch a (more professional) video about them on the Bushnell site:
That means that they are a great gift for relatives that aren't as computer-centric as the younger generation who has grown up in the always-on, always-connected computer world. They may be advertised as "satellite-assisted" but actually that refers to setting the clock; for the weather transmission they use the old Doctor Pager network that hospitals no longer use (as a result you'll need to check the map to make sure you're covered before purchasing).
All the devices are simply a pleasure to setup and use and the attractive backlight available on the 5 & 7-Day Forecaster gives a bright, attractive, modern look to the devices. You literally plug them in and they work (compared to this device I reviewed which took more than 30 steps to setup). They retail for betwee $80 and $200 but you can Google or eBay incredible deals between $30 and $100 for any of the above.
OTHER GADGET BLOGS THIS WEEK:
*The only disadvantage to these devices is that they only provide forecasts for 152 cities. As a result, here in State College, I have to opt for Pittsburgh or Scranton. This is not the case with the Brookstone device, at least here in State College; it has a different, slightly larger list. They say that the 152-City list covers 95% of the population assuming a 30-mile radius, and unless you're in the mountains or near the coast, the nearest city will indeed suffice. If you want more detail on what's coming you can always access AccuWeather.com on your computer or cell phone.
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Massive winter storms in the Southeast and California start out the new year.
A large storm in the heart of the U.S. spawned wind gusts over 100 mph and blizzard conditions.
Like there were in past years, there could be tornadoes on Christmas day.