Website of the month, August 2014…

The website of the month for August 2014 is The Window & Door Repair Shop. Normally when purchasing items online I stick to established channels (e.g. Amazon, eBay) or sellers (e.g. Domino’s, Argos, Marks & Spencer). However, I recently needed to purchase a replacement part for a locking system that wasn’t sold by any household names. Despite looking questionable (notice the domain name change as you try to buy something) The Window & Door Repair Shop provides plenty of information on what it sells, allowing me to select the correct part based mostly on pictures and measurements.

It is on this happy note that I am ending the website of the month feature on this blog. Initially intended to highlight cool and useful websites that it would be easy to miss, there are now websites dedicated to (and far better at) this purpose. It’s also increasingly becoming a restrictive format for me – I have something like 30 links built up for future posts which would be better dealt with in a shorter format (e.g. a tweet) than with a full blog post. Indeed, sharing any non-original content on this blog contributes to the problem of information overload – a problem that I am trying to reduce in my life and appreciate that others may be trying to reduce too.

The (best) website of the month feature has been running since late 2005, and there was also briefly a ‘worst website of the month’ feature. It seems a shame to end the longest-running thing I’ve been doing on the Internet other than this blog (which, essentially, is just an organised way of uploading random stuff), but the spirit of the website of the month shall continue through links I will continue to share on this blog more sporadically and in various formats.

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Website of the month, July 2014…

The website of the month for July 2014 is PressureNet.io, the website for an app that aims to use the atmospheric pressure sensors of Android devices (coupled with their location-awareness) to build the highest resolution weather data collection system in the world. Currently the data collected is only used for a few fun apps as well as research, but it is hoped that eventually it will help significantly with weather forecasting.

Website of the month, June 2014…

The website of the month for June 2014 is Gridwatch, where you can see live (or near-live) information on the UK’s electricity network along with graphs of this data from the last day, week month and year. Information includes the current demand, the output of each type of power generation and activity on the UK’s international power links. It’s fascinating to see such data!

Website of the month, May 2014…

The website of the month for May 2014 is the Music Timeline by Google’s Big Picture and Music Intelligence research groups, which has an interesting visualisation of the current popularity different genres of music from each of the last 64 years. You can drill down into sub-genres and artists – for example, here you can see the popularity of various film scorers. Classical music is notably excluded, as the date normally associated with it is the date of its composition, not its recording.

An interesting related website (also by Google’s Big Picture research group) is Digital Attack Map, which has a live visualisation of DDoS attacks from around the world.

Website of the month, February 2014…

The website of the month for February 2014 is BrianBoru2014.com, a website that gives information about Brian Boru (“Emperor of the Irish”) and links to information about the events being held this year to mark 1000 years since his death. There is a nice summary of events taking place, for example, here. It’s amazing that a man from Thomond made such a mark on history that he inspires such events a millennium later.

Killaloe

This photo of Killaloe, where Brian was born, has been one of the images that shows on the homepage of g400.co.uk for a number of years.

I think Brian Boru’s story and Irish mythology in general (for some details of Brian’s life, such as how he died, have descended into legend) is ripe for dramatisation, like recent films and television series such as Thor, Robin Hood and Merlin.