• Will Siri change the way people get their local forecasts?

    Lots of people were tuned in to the Apple announcement event Tuesday afternoon waiting for the company to unveil its latest phone. We learned about the iPhone 4S, and all the upgraded technology behind it, but what struck me as the most interesting thing to come out of the presentation was the arrival of Siri. Siri is Apple’s new iPhone assistant that will come with the new iOS5 software which will be released on Wednesday, October 12.

    It does lots of cool stuff. You can use your voice to ask it for directions to a Chinese restaurant. You can ask it for movie times or to send you a reminder to call your wife. It can also give you the weather. Wait, what? That’s my job. During the Apple presentation, the slide displays weather related questions like “What is the upcoming forecast?” or “Do I need an umbrella today?” or even “Is the weather going to get worse today?” These are all questions my wife asks me on the way out the door in the morning, and now Siri says it has all the answers.

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  • Mastering The Early Morning Routine: Gary Sadowsky

    There are no good shifts in local television news but among the worst, I’d say that the morning shift has to be the hardest. I’ve only had to fill-in for a week of mornings here and there, and I can tell you that by Thursday and Friday, my brain is pretty much mush. Its a change in lifestyle, and it can be a big adjustment for any broadcast meteorologist making that transition. I spoke with WCAX morning meteorologist Gary Sadowsky to shed some light on waking up well before dawn, and give us a perspective on the early morning routine.

    What’s your daily routine like?

    Alarm goes off at 2 AM.  Earlier in the winter.  Eat breakfast while zipping through recording of 11 PM news from the night before to get an idea of what the weather/news has in store for the morning broadcast.  Minimizes any surprises. Get to work by 4 AM (should be earlier, but I’ve got the routine down so I can do it in my sleep).  Look at all the model data, NWS forecast/discussion, do forecast, make the pertinent graphics, quick make-up session, and on the air at 5 AM sharp. 4 half-hour shows in a row (morning viewers are fluid – different people watch at different times, usually for about 10 minutes while they get ready for work/school).  5 weather “hits” per ½-hour show, so you never go too long without giving a forecast.

    During those shows, I constantly run back to the weather center to check for updated conditions/watches/warnings, etc. and change the necessary graphics. Also check e-mail, phone messages and Facebook for viewer reports/comments and use pertinent information from viewers on the air. At 7 AM, network takes over bulk of broadcasting. We do 4-minute cut-ins at 7:25, 7:55, 8:25 and 8:55. During the off-air times between 7-9 AM, I update our website forecast, record the weather phone, Tweet, and Facebook. 9 AM – break time!  I live 20 minutes away, so I go home and take a nap.

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