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google_theme.jpg
a set of 6 different themes, based on a city, a teahouse, a winter scene, a sky, a beach & a bus stop, as a new 'personality' feature of Google Homepage. these themes are examples of ambient visualization / informative art, because they are dynamic & informative, changing according to local time of day, current weather conditions or season. for instance, the beach theme adjusts itself to match the local sunrise & sunset times.

see also ambient widgets

update: related stories & visuals at blog.outer-court.com & ap.org & dopeman.org.

[link: googleblog.blogspot.com|via appscout.com|thnkx Andrea]

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19 COMMENTS

I've never really liked this type of ambient information usage. There are few people who need online visual cues for knowing what season it is, time of day, and general weather conditions.

Thu 22 Mar 2007 at 6:01 AM
krees

I experimentally added the teahouse theme yesterday because it's cute. Only afterward did I discover its ambient/fluid nature--which will ensure that I won't tire of the static theme quickly.

It's not because I need the (very thin) information provided, it's because it's fun.

Thu 22 Mar 2007 at 6:19 AM
euphrosyne

I work in a basement with no windows and love sailing and the theme might indicate whether it's good weather for going sailing. I know of other sites that would give me a better indication of this, or I could even build a little Grease Monkey script to display their details on my home page, but this is neat and easy.

Thu 22 Mar 2007 at 6:23 AM
Helgi

The other day I crawled out of my coding space into the outside world. This huge, yellow ball of fire in the sky blinded me and made my pasty white skin ache and turn pink. I have vowed never to leave my cubicle again. So this Google theme thing will come in handy.

Thu 22 Mar 2007 at 8:50 AM

This strikes as extremely similar to Dunstan Orchard's ambient banner from a few years ago:

http://www.1976design.com/blog/

The banner shows the time of day and weather at his parents' house in England. Dunstan doesn't blog any more and works at Apple now, I believe.

Fri 23 Mar 2007 at 7:34 AM

Is this really actually working for people? I have tried multiple themes and even tinkered with changing my time zone. So far it hasn't reflected my local weather in the slightest and is currently showing me a sunrise (it's 9:30 in my time zone), even when I change from GMT - 6:00 to GMT + 1:00, which is arousing my suspicions because that IS a roughly accurate depiction of what's happening right now on the West coast - PST.

Looking for some confirmation from someone that they are NOT in California or another PST location and have been noticing accurate changes to this supposedly 'ambient' header.

Sat 24 Mar 2007 at 2:31 AM

this doesn't appear to work outside of the US. I'm in Japan.

Sat 24 Mar 2007 at 7:25 PM
johno

I'm in Canada and it works here as well. I'm loving it!

Mon 26 Mar 2007 at 5:56 AM

I'm in New Delhi India and till around 11 AM it shows me darkness and a moon

Mon 26 Mar 2007 at 6:17 PM

I'm curious what timezone Jack is in. Anyone NOT on PST who is seeing this keep track of basic events like weather and sunrise/sunset?

Thu 29 Mar 2007 at 4:31 AM

I am using the Bus Stop theme. I have tried many different zipcodes aroudn the U.S.
Will that guy with the pug ever take his jacket off? I set it to Honolulu with 85 degrees. How hot does he need it?

Fri 13 Apr 2007 at 6:22 AM
Confused

I am in US Central Time Zone (GMT -6:00) and it's ALWAYS screwed up for me. I had my zip code in there and then I tried my town name. It's STILL goofy. It will usually update to the correct 'sky time' when I click on "Select Theme" and then just OK back thru with the same choices. I use the Beach them....and I've tried the sky one too. I really LOVE the idea, but it constantly being off the correct time is kind of annoying (yes, I am very anal about some things LOL)
Anyone figure out a fix?

Mon 23 Apr 2007 at 2:13 PM
Dawn

This is making me crazy. Teahouse at night is pretty cool, and the easter egg is great, so I wanted to see night scenes during the day. So I tried changing the locale setting. It didn't work, so I tried another. It worked for a while, then stopped. So I tried changing it to a different locale and it worked, but without the easter egg. Then it just stopped cooperating totally. It's usually about 3 or 4 hours ahead of my actual time (EST dst), but seems to stay on scenes way beyond 2 hours. It shouldn't be this hard! This is a great toy, if it would cooperate. Help!

Wed 13 Jun 2007 at 4:42 AM
rayen

My bus stop does show the weather, when it's raining the guy in the red puts on a scuba suit and the guy with the paper puts it on his head... I am a little confused because it won't let me change themes. I wanted to try a different one this week and nope it won't let me. Am I missing something?

Wed 20 Jun 2007 at 8:42 AM
LJ

I adore these themes. I just changed mine from the frog and lady bug to the teahouse. Whoever created the character design did a fabulous job of making them so appealing.

Thu 21 Jun 2007 at 11:41 PM
Nicole

how do you cange your locale?

Fri 31 Aug 2007 at 8:59 AM
Martha

I don't understand why I can't change my theme again?? The button that says select theme is unclickable. I am bored of the teahouse theme. How do I fix this?

Thu 01 Nov 2007 at 1:28 AM
Rachel

For my personal page on Google, do you have a winter scene or Christmas theme?

Tue 04 Dec 2007 at 3:07 AM
Mar

My "Select Theme" is also unclickable. Does anyone know how to fix this?

Mon 31 Dec 2007 at 3:47 PM
Elizabeth
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