Archive for September, 2007

The Doom-O-Meter

Thursday, September 20th, 2007

Wouldn’t it be nice to be the first to know when something big happens? To get that alert to run for cover delivered automatically to you in time?

I give you the front row seat for Judgement day: The Doom-O-Meter.

The Doom-O-Meter works by querying various webpages for important indicators such as the price of gold (and other important commodities), as well as looking at the amount of activity on certain internet forums where well-informed individuals exchange breaking news.

A formula works on all these indicators, and computes a single number: The Badness. We then take the base two logarithm of the Badness to get the Severity. The Severity is displayed as a dial which goes from 0 to 10 (mathematically, the Severity can go above 10, but I don’t think it’s likely. If it does happen, the possible technical breakdown of the Doom-O-Meter will be the least of your worries!). Also, some cool background images will indicate the Severity of the current situation.

If you’re using Mac OS X, I encourage you to download the small Dashboard Widget version of the Doom-O-Meter, so you can stay on top of the situation at all times (or at least the time you spend in front of your Mac).

All suggestions for improvements, new data sources, etc. are much appreciated. Bug reports are also welcome :-).