I’ve been bitching for several weeks, though not here, that weather.com’s recent redesign makes the site unusable by burying the local three-day forecast behind yet more clicks (on top of having to type in a zip and click past pop-up advertising). Not being a total weather junkie quite yet, I’ve been unable to make the jump to Weather Underground. Fortunately, Google has yet again saved me the trouble by offering current conditions and a four-day forecast simply by typing “weather, city, state” into the search field. For example, “weather, austin, texas.” It’s instantaneous, lightweight, concise, and you can save it as a favorite. Like everything else Google, this rocks in a totally understated and obvious way. How are they doing it, who is providing the information, how is it getting paid for? Who cares.
But I think you can see where this is going. Between maps, gmail, picasa, google desktop search, google calculator, and now weather, it’s pretty clear what Google is shooting for: universal mind. I think Google wants to blow right past the application/operating system paradigm and come up with a system that acts pretty much like the computer on the starship Enterprise (TNG and later). That is, you speak into the air and the air spits back accurate if not quite intelligent answers. Prepare for Google Air, gAir, 1-800-ASKGOOG. Will you put up with unobtrusive text ads, and eventually subliminal advertising whispered in your ear, for omniscience? You know you will.