In February we covered Pingdom's release of a website badge and monitoring service that tracked the status of the Apple Store. A lot of our readers were resourceful enough to make their own widgets from the banner, but Pingdom has polished up and released a widget for everyone who looks forward to the excited anticipation of downtime hysteria.
The widget, and Pingdom's service in general, have the potential to be a blessing to Apple's servers. By pinging once and distributing the results to the masses, it could prevent thousands of simultaneous connections from refresh-happy Apple fans. Not that the servers haven't always handled the traffic with a fair amount of aplomb; it's just that much more breathing room.
Software releases (Safari 3.1 and a Security Update) marked this Tuesday, but without the bated-breath downtime we'd begun to expect. A little element of scheduling surprise, such as the 802.11n Airport Express release on Monday, makes this widget significantly more useful. So, grab the widget from Pingdom and enjoy future frenzies!