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Renaming RSS

Perhaps this is a bit old, but apparently there has been a minor commotion over the fact that RSS feeds are being called ‘web feeds’ in Microsoft’s IE 7 browser.

To me, it seems like an utterly inane thing to worry about – sort of like arguing over whether it should be called the “WWW” or the “web” or the “net”. If the technology is the same, who cares?

(In fact, I’d argue that ‘web feeds’ is a far more apt name than Google’s recent renaming of RSS as ‘web clips‘)

NewsFire 1.2 screenshot

NewsFire 1.2

A pretty innocuous screenshot at first, but a lot of people have requested the ability to have the spacebar move through lists in oldest-to-newest order, rather than the standard newest-to-oldest behavior in NewsFire 1.1, so hopefully this will be a minor thrill to some.

NewsFire 1.2 screenshot

NewsFire 1.2

NewsFire 1.2 screenshot

NewsFire 1.2

Sarah Harmer’s Escarpment Blues

I’m passionate about digital music – this should be clear by the software I’ve spent the last several years creating. Perhaps less obvious is that I’m passionate about environmental issues – my academic background happens to be in sustainability and environmental policy. So, when Sarah Harmer released the single “Escarpment Blues” on iTunes, I was intrigued. Having recently had an environmental revelation, she is donating all her proceeds from this release towards a campaign to block the development of a mine site within the ecologically unique Niagara escarpment (alas, I’m sure that Apple corporate won’t be donating their cut, which is a shame, albeit an expected one). It’s old-fashioned musical-activism fused with 21st century digital distribution. It’s microdonations. I think that’s awesome, and I wanted to draw attention to it.

I had intended to link to this for some time, but it was Sarah’s appearance at the recent Vancouver Folk Festival that prompted me to post this. It’s a great cause, it’s a great use of the technology, and it’s a great song from one of Canada’s foremost talents. I guess my point is clear – you should buy it! (provided you’re using the Canadian iTunes store, that is)

Inquisitor 1.0

I am pleased to announce the immediate release of Inquisitor 1.0. Inquisitor is a novel search extension for Apple’s Safari web browser that adds live, predictive search features to the standard web search field in Safari. As you type, Inquisitor offers suggestions to complete your query based on your own personal search history as well as the search history of every Google user (screenshot).

As an example, if you were to type “amer” into the search field, Inquisitor will provide the suggestions “american idol”, “american airlines”, “american express”, etc., as these are the most probable completions to your input, as based on the search history of others.

Inquisitor is free to download.

Inquisitor 1.0 (Beta 9)

Inquisitor 1.0 (Beta 9) is now available for download. This is a minor release that includes some performance optimizations.

Inquisitor 1.0 (Beta 8)

Inquisitor 1.0 (Beta 8) is now available for download. This is a minor release that extends the standard Safari shortcut fix in Beta 7 to include all window policy shortcuts (contingent on user preferences). ie. command-shift-return opens the search in a new selected tab, command-option-return opens the search in a background window, etc.

  • Comments Off on Inquisitor 1.0 (Beta 8)
  • July 7th, 2005 2:52 am

Inquisitor 1.0 (Beta 7)

Inquisitor 1.0 (Beta 7) is now available for download. This beta now caches suggestions locally for a certain period of time (1 week), meaning that suggestions for commonly used phrases will appear instantly rather than being refetched each time, positively impacting responsiveness. This is a sensible change given that suggested completions for a phrase should remain valid and sensible for a certain period of time. This beta also fixes the search behavior when holding down the command-key and using tabbed browsing (command-enter will now properly open the search in a new tab, as per the standard Safari behavior).

Given that the feature-set and stability of the application are now roughly where I want them to be, I suspect that Inquisitor 1.0 will emerge from beta status relatively shortly. Thanks to everyone who has sent feedback and supported this little project.

Inquisitor 1.0 (Beta 6)

Inquisitor 1.0 (Beta 6) is now available for download. This release fixes some minor bugs and also adds the optional ability to do background prefetching of the first search result, which can moderately speed up the search experience.