Black hole sun, Vista gadget come, don't predict China's rain?

by Michael S. Kaplan, published on 2008/12/19 10:01 -05:00, original URI:

Computerized apologies to Soundgarden, an awesome band that at a minimum deserves more intelligent puns....

Someone was having trouble getting something to work in Vista (yes, yes, alert the news media). The problem description:

Hi, there, sorry for spam. I want to use weather service gadget on my Vista sidebar, but it shows “Services not available”.... Do I have to set up any configuration like firewall, proxy? Thanks.

Several others chimed in with a helpful "works for me!". Scroan.

Then thankfully someone else inquired about the language settings. We'll get back to that in a second.

Someone else then pointed out KB article 931272 (Message that you may receive when you try to view the Weather gadget on the Windows Sidebar in Windows Vista: “Service not available in your language or region”).

I hate that article, by the way.

The resolution steps it gives:

To resolve this issue follow these steps.

Note These steps resolve this issue only if you are in a location that supports the Web service that is used to retrieve weather data.

  1. Click Start
    Collapse this imageExpand this image
     Start button
    , type intl.cpl in the Start Search box, and then click intl.cpl in the Programs list.
  2. Click the Format tab, and then in the Current format list, select the format that you want to use for your region.
  3. Click the Location tab, and then in the Current location list, click the location that corresponds to the region that is set on the Format tab.
  4. Close the Regional and Language Options dialog box.
  5. In the Windows Sidebar, close the Weather gadget.
  6. Click the plus sign (+) that appears at the top of the Windows Sidebar.
  7. Locate the Weather gadget, and then drag it to the Windows Sidebar.
  8. Close the Gadgets window.
Note After you change the regional settings, some programs may not work correctly. Some programs and some services provide local information, such as news and weather. These programs and services provide this information based on the regional settings.

If you are a regular reader then you probably know why this annoys me.

It is not so much the article -- that just annoys me.

Or the description -- that just annoys me too.

It is the flaw in the gadget that leads to the problem that I hate. The terrible description is just the cherry on top of the inedible sundae....

It is yet another instance of the If you play with your gadget, there are all kinds of problems you can run into problem.


Anyway, the person having the trouble admitted to having Simplified Chinese/China settings, at which point someone else pointed out a fascinating reference.

And when I say fascinating I mean the way traffic accidents or train crashes or fascinating....

The pointer was to Meteorology Law of the People's Republic of China, specifically Article 22 and Article 25 in that document:

Article 22 The State applies a unified system for the issue of public meteorological forecast and severe weather warning. Meteorological offices and stations subordinate to the competent meteorological departments at different levels shall, in compliance with their functions and duties, issue to the community public meteorological forecast and severe weather warning, with timely supplements or corrections added as the weather changes. No other organizations or individuals may issue to the community such forecast or warning. Meteorological offices and stations subordinate to other relevant departments under the State Council or under the people's governments of provinces, autonomous regions or municipalities directly under the Central Government may issue specialized meteorological forecast to be used within the frame work of their departments. The competent meteorological departments at different levels and the meteorological offices and stations subordinate to them shall issue public meteorological forecast and severe weather warning with improved accuracy, timeliness and service.


Article 25 When the media, including radio, television, newspaper and telecommunication, issue to the community public meteorological forecast or severe weather warning, they shall use the latest meteorological information provided by a meteorological office or station subordinate to a competent meteorological department, while indicating the time of issue and the name of the office or station. Part of the revenues from the distribution of meteorological information shall be drawn to support the development of meteorological service.

Some of the other articles are also fascinating. But if it were up to me I'm not sure I would want to be required to use one service and required to pay their (not subject to competition) rates.

I have no idea if that is why the service is not available in China, but I've heard of stranger things. Both from in China and from other countries.

What was Shakespeare said about the Law? :-)


This blog brlought to you by(U+2600, aka BLACK SUN WITH RAYS)

Ambarish Sridharanarayanan on 20 Dec 2008 4:39 AM:

What setting was Simplified Chinese/China - their user locale? In that case, I don't see what their user locale has to do with their location. I presumed it's their locale since location doesn't seem to have a language component.

Michael S. Kaplan on 20 Dec 2008 9:08 AM:

As the KB article indicated, it was a combination of user locale and location. And yes that is kind of broken design, though it does fit the needs of China....

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