Follow Breaking World Events From Your Smartphone

By now most everyone knows about the terrible earthquake and tsunami that occured in Japan early this morning, and affected western parts of the United States from Hawaii to Alaska. My colleague Todd Ogasawara was up most of the night after the tsunami warning sirens started going off at 10 PM Hawaii time, and I am happy to report that Todd is ok.

We now have a multitude of ways to keep current on breaking world events thanks to the Internet. Perhaps the most significant of the ways is on Twitter, thanks to the ability to post updates to Twitter from smartphones. Earlier this week I wrote about TuneIn Radio, which is a free app for Android and Windows Phones, and I found it came in real handy today to keep up on today’s events.

TuneIn Radio plays audio streams provided on the Internet by more than 30,000 radio stations from all around the world. I was able to listen to a NOAA weather broadcast in Hawaii to hear what the weather service was reporting there, as well as listen to several radio stations in Hawaii. Later, when reports started coming in that waves from the tsunami were seen in San Francisco, I tuned in to talk radio stations in the Bay area to hear reports of what was going on their. On a whim, I even tuned in to radio stations broadcasting from Tokyo, though I don’t understand Japanese, so I did not now what was being said.

When breaking news occurs, local radio stations usually provide better coverage than national news outlets. While CNN was hoping around the west coast and Japan, I was able to listen to continual coverage from Hawaii. I am finding TuneIn Radio to be a great app that I am happy to have on my Nexus S.

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