Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

NWS Public Forecasts to be Gutted?

Filed under
Web
Legal

Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA) has introduced a bill (S.786) that, if implemented in its current form, could mean the end of the freely-available and ad-free weather and climate information on the National Weather Service's web site.

I cringed when I read about the 'National Weather Services Duties Act of 2005.' I cringed some more when I started getting into the text of the measure for, like many draft bills, its language is far too broad, far too vague, and far too potentially damaging to a valuable public service that has existed for many decades longer than the Internet itself.

The NWS web site, run by the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration, provides a wealth of weather, hydrological, and climatological data that has, historically, been freely available in many forms to anyone who wants to go through it. Public forecasts, satellite images, radar maps, aviation forecasts... you name it. If it has to do with weather or climate, it'll be there, at no cost whatsoever to the end user.

Senator Santorum, for reasons probably best attributed to his campaign contributors, apparently wants to end all that in favor of creating what looks to me like a government-sponsored monopoly for companies like Accuweather and The Weather Channel (both of whom are, no surprise, in favor of the legislation).

If the bill is implemented in its current state, it would, in essence, prohibit NWS from providing any forecast, data, or other service that could not be provided by a private-sector source. Public forecasts would disappear, as would much of the other data NWS currently provides.

I don't know about the rest of you, but this bill looks like major Bad News to me. A portion of my tax dollars, and those of every other U.S. citizen, already go to fund the NWS. I don't see why any of us should have to pay twice for (probably) lower-quality information that's been liberally salted with ads (which is what we'll get if this bill goes through).

Full Article with lively discussion.

More in Tux Machines

Desktop GNU/Linux/Chromebook

  • A Minimal Chrome OS Theme for Tint2
    I used to (and sort-of-still-do, I guess) run a sister site focused on Google Chrome, Chromecast and Chromebooks, i.e. the Chrome ecosystem. As such I am a fan of Chromebooks and Chrome OS, a Linux-based distribution based on Gentoo. The appearance of Chrome OS has waxed and waned in sync with Google’s ambitions and positioning for the OS, going form hyper-minimal to a full desktop clone (with the desktop-y Chrome Apps platform) through to a Material Design inspired Android + Chrome hybrid today.
  • Off-The-Shelf Hacker: Linux for Cheap Hardware, Then and Now
    Most people, don’t realize how prolific Linux has become. With the Embedded Linux Conference just a week away, I’ve been reflecting on how Linux has provided a sort of computing “circle of life” experience for me. It’s powered my computational hardware 20 years ago and continues to do so today.
  • [Video] XPS 13 Review | Linux Action Show 457
  • GParted 0.28.1
    This release of GParted restores the ability to move/resize primary partitions when an extended partition exists. The move/resize regression was introduced in version 0.28.0. This release also includes some minor bug fixes.
  • Antergos Linux : The beauty built on Arch
    Hi guys, welcome to the 16th segment of "Introduction with Linux Distro". Most of us know or heard about Arch Linux, which is one of the most widely used Linux distribution. For some reason, few users find it hard to install and use Arch. But in Linux world, there is almost always some alternative to your desired distribution. In today's segment, we will be introducing an Arch-based distribution which turned it completely on user-friendly side. So, let's get to know about Antergos Linux.

Kernel Space/Linux

Leftovers: Software

  • Picard 1.4 released
    The last time we put out a stable release was more than 2 years ago, so a lot of changes have made it into this new release. If you’re in a hurry and just want to try it out, the downloads are available from the Picard website.
  • Linux Digital Audio Workstations: Open Source Music Production
    Linux Digital Audio Workstations When most people think of music programs, they’ll usually think Mac OS or Windows. However, there are also a few Linux digital audio workstations. The support and features of these programs can vary, but they’re a good choice to setup a cheap recording studio. Some of them are even good competitors for paid programs, offering features such as multitrack recording, MIDI, and virtual instruments. Keep in mind that many audio editing programs for Linux rely on the Jack backend. You’ll need a dedicated system to install these programs on, since it doesn’t work properly in a virtual machine. In the following article, we’ll cover audio editing programs that are available for Linux. We’ll talk about the available features, as well as help you decide which program to use for your needs.
  • i2pd 2.12 released
    i2pd (I2P Daemon) is a full-featured C++ implementation of I2P client. I2P (Invisible Internet Protocol) is a universal anonymous network layer. All communications over I2P are anonymous and end-to-end encrypted, participants don't reveal their real IP addresses.
  • 4 Command-Line Graphics Tools for Linux
    For the most part, they’re wrong. Command-line image tools do much of what their GUI counterparts can, and they can do it just as well. Sometimes, especially when dealing with multiple image files or working on an older computer, command-line tools can do a better job. Let’s take a look at four command-line tools that can ably handle many of your basic (and not-so-basic) image manipulation tasks.
  • CloudStats - Best Server Monitoring Tool for Linux Servers
    CloudStats is an effective tool for Linux server monitoring and network monitoring. With CloudStats you get whole visibility into key performance criteria of your Linux Server. You can proactively track different server metrics like CPU, disk and memory usage, services, apps, processes and more. The best thing is that you don’t need to have any special technical skills – this tool for server monitoring is very easy to install and run from any device.
  • New Inkscape 0.92.1 fixes your previous works done with Inkscape
    This blog-post is about a happy-end after a previously published blog-post named New Inkscape 0.92 breaks your previous works done with Inkscape published on 20 January. A lot of reactions did happen about this previous blog-post and the news get quickly viral. That's why I thought it was nice to make another blog post to "close this case".
  • Qt 5.10 To Have Built-In Vulkan Support
    With Qt 5.8 there was experimental Direct3D 12 support that left some disappointed the toolkit didn't opt for supporting Vulkan first as a cross-platform, high-performance graphics API. Fortunately, with Qt 5.10, there will be built-in Vulkan support. Going back nearly one year there has been Vulkan work around Qt while with Qt 5.10 it's becoming a reality. However, with Qt 5.9 not even being released until the end of May, Qt 5.10 isn't going to officially debut until either the very end of 2017 or early 2018.
  • Rusty Builder
    Thanks to Georg Vienna, Builder can now manage your Rust installations using RustUp!
  • GNOME MPlayer knows how to grow your playlist size

today's howtos