Safari 3 Beta – Finally on Windows

This year’s WWDC has brought a few interesting things: a new Apple.com website layout, the launch of the iPhone, the announcement of the near final Mac OSX Leopard, some updated Mac hardware, and last but not least (and the most surprising), Safari 3!

This time around, Mac is attempting to be a competitor for IE and Mozilla’s Firefox and delivering the browser, not only on the Mac, but on the PC as well! This is great news for developers that don’t have access to Macs as they are finally able to test a little bit on Mac’s browser.

This new release is boasting a few things:

  1. Blazing Performance – Apple claims: The fastest web browser on any platform, Safari loads pages up to 2 times faster than Internet Explorer 7 and up to 1.6 times faster than Firefox 2.
  2. Elegant User Interface – Nothing revolutionary…same old Safari interface which I’m not overly fond of
  3. Easy Bookmarks – Same old bookmarking that you see in IE and FF
  4. Pop-Up Blocking – A good feature…but basic
  5. Inline Find – A fairly sexy find feature
  6. Tabbed Browsing – Ye olde tabbed interface….it lacks the Ctrl+Tab and Shift+Ctrl+Tab that I know and love though
  7. SnapBack – SnapBack lets you instantly snap back to your original search results or to the top level of any website, even after you’ve browsed down a few levels.
  8. Forms Autofill – Nothing new
  9. Built-in RSS – Ok….Safari does handle RSS nicely.
  10. Resizable Text Fields – Cool…I guess
  11. Private Browsing – This is a nifty feature!
  12. Security – ….sure

I’m too much of a Firefox buff to switch…but it will be good to test on any box :) Thanks Apple!

Slashdot Goes Tagging!

Slashdot is a blog no matter how much they attempt to deny it. Its about time that the well known nerd news site implements more searchable articles besides categories. Folksonomy is definately the way to go! Currently, Slashdot is labeling tagging as a Beta feature (*sniff sniff* do I smell web 2.0?). All Slashdot needs to do is make good with its proposed redesign and I’ll be a happy reader once again. Until then, I suppose I’ll remain the slightly disgruntled, yet loyal, reader that steals and elaborates on a number of their topics! w00t!

Alexa Search Data For The Masses

Alexa – for those of you that don’t know – is an Amazon owned subsidiary that tracks “valuable information about the web, how it is used, what is important and what is not.” For example, you can search Alexa for amazon.com and find traffic information, related links, etc. Alexa is a hugely useful tool for developers that want to watch their traffic and compare against competing sites. While combing sites and gathering statistics (which it does by the use of the Alexa toolbar as well as piggy backing onto the back of various other toolbars), Alexa has amassed huge amounts of data…and when I say huge amounts of data…I’m serious! Alexa spiders 4 billion to 5 billion pages a month and archives 1 terabyte of data a day.

They’ve been stockpiling search data since its inception in 1996. The great news? They are now opening it up to the public as a pay to play access to their data! Its called the Alexa Web Search Platform. Wired News writes:

To illustrate the new service’s potential, Alexa developed a photo search engine that allows users to query photo metadata normally hidden from standard keyword searches, such as the date the photo was taken or the camera used.

[…]

From computer scientists to web hobbyists, [Alexa CEO Bruce] Gilliat predicted Alexa’s inexpensive services will spawn numerous creative results.

And Slashdot writes:

The Alexa framework is not for the weak of heart — expect to learn how to use their C API, and expect to pay micro-amounts for requests and CPU cycles used — but it also seems to be more powerful than the rival APIs from Yahoo and Google.

While I have no huge reasons to sign-up and pay (however cheaply) for this service just yet, I look forward to seeing what comes of it! Having that much data available at your fingertips is a huge boon to the development and marketing community!