KONFABULATOR -- The slickest desktop dashboard in my space is the Konfabulator. It only works on the Mac but one look at its crisp features is enough to get our web developers salivating. And that motivation will lead under the bonnet with Flash MX Professional for widget development because there's plenty of horsepower inside Flash to produce a compelling MX digital dashboard.
It started with Arlo Rose's idea for a cool little application that would use XML to structure images, and a scriptable language, like Perl, in such a way that someone who knew the basics of Perl could put together cool little mini-applications. The goal was that these mini-applications would just sit around on your desktop looking pretty, while providing useful feedback.
Unlike the Flash widgets running in the Macromedia MX development environment, you don't need an Internet connection for the Konfabulator. That said, it would be possible to rerig the Flash widgets we have on the shelf and to deal only with stuff scraped into temp files on the computer.
Konfabulator -- information and screenshots
Apple -- Mac OS X dashboards
John Dowdell -- "Konfabulator vs Central"
John Gruber -- Dashboard is not a rip-off of Konfabulator
Jon Udell -- "on data visualization"