The Doom-O-Meter

By   September 20, 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 :-).

10 Comments on “The Doom-O-Meter

  1. Anderz

    Nice, but as a winxp user I want to see some screenshots of the Mac Dashboard widget, so I’ll know what I’m missing.

  2. geir

    The Doom-O-Meter widget looks just like the top part of the webpage, only smaller. The backgrounds change according to the Severity, and the coolest background has never been shown yet!

  3. dave

    Nifty utility. Altough I would think that if discussing the stock market would be my first reaction to the impending apocalypse. I suppose it would feed well of the difference in response time by those who are quick to react and those who are a bit slower on the uptake.

    And what a nice image size.

  4. me

    any chance this could be ported to yahoo widgets for us poor microsoft users!?

  5. Anderz

    Oil price up to $100 yesterday evening! Too bad I wasn’t watching the Doom-o-meter then. 🙁

  6. iluvmyg5

    how about a Mac widget that will track the current US Dollar Index. ive seen the Forex Charts and FXTrade Ticker widgets, but they only compare and convert currencies.

    the widget im looking for will track and chart the US Dollar Index from this site…amp;t=l&a=0 and have the option to show either 1 Day, 5 Days, 1 Month, 3 Months, 6 Months or 1 Year. but if you can only code it to show 1 day then thats fine too. i think the data from that site is updated every 30 minutes, but im not too sure so if you have a better source by all means use it. another cool feature would be to have the day and time the data has been updated showing somewhere on the widget formatted as HH:MM am/pm – Month Day, Year (09:00 am – January 01, 2008). as for the graphic interface, something similar to your oil price widget would be fine (with the little “i” that will flip the widget to select the options).

    please email me at if you can create this. thanks in advance!

  7. Jess

    lovely but I’d like to see a link to wherever today’s headline comes from.

  8. Davis30Kari

    If you are willing to buy real estate, you would have to get the loan. Furthermore, my mother all the time utilizes a secured loan, which seems to be the most firm.

  9. spencer

    I think the doom o meter needs to be a lot higher than 4 given the events in Europe and the ME of late.

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