The Web-powered Earthquake Meter

A Japanese company called SunShine, Ltd., has developed an
Internet-connected device that can warn you of an impending earthquake
as many as 20 seconds before the tremors strike. The
paperback-novel-sized device hooks into Japan's Meteorological
Agency's early warning system, and emits an alarm when an earthquake
occurs. The downside? Some reports suggest that it isn't always
accurate. Not to mention that it won't actually give you a heads-up if
you happen to be near the epicenter, since the shakes will spread
faster than the Meteorological Agency's detection system can spread
the word. Life-saving potential aside, a bit of clever hacking could
turn it into a pretty good party trick.—Gregory Mone