Google Marches On

Speaking of Google…
I had noticed over the last couple of days that Google had started pre-fetching search results or rather, enabling your browser to do that. Of course this only works with newer browsers that support this feature (not Internet Explorer!). I see that the knee-jerk-reactionists over at slashdot are predicting death and disaster. Google (and Mozilla), of course, tell you exactly how to disable it should you wish to do so. Mozilla’s FAQ entry is on-line too.

I also noticed this morning that I am now using 246 MB (20%) of your 1243 1286 1289 1300 MB. on Gmail. That’s an unusual number! I wonder where that came from. It looks suspiciously like 1000MB more than the space I was using yesterday! Could they, would they, have simply added 1000MB to whatever storage everyone was already using? Presumably in response to Yahoo’s decision to provide 1GB of storage. But they’ve not doubled They are doubling it like some speculated.

Update: Weird! The space available keeps growing!

Update: As Serge points out in comments, The Gmail What’s new page now has info on this. They are doubling the storage. They’ve also announced the ‘richtext’ support I had noticed in the compose pane.

Why Wikipedia Must Jettison Its Anti-Elitism

Founding member Larry Sanger has written a well considered article: Why Wikipedia Must Jettison Its Anti-Elitism over at Kuro5hin. In it he explains why, as Wikipedia hits the big time, it has to address its perceived lack of credibility, and the dominance of difficult people and trolls. A couple of prominent articles last year brought the former problem into sharp relief.
He points to anti-elitism, or lack of respect for expertise as the root cause of the problems. I have to agree with his reasoning, and also his prediction that unless it is addressed that there will be a ‘fork’ of the project with the express purpose of producing a vetted version of the work with a tangible level of credibility.

Hat tip to Matt

Firefox 1.0

Firefox 1.0 is now released!

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. – November 9, 2004 – The Mozilla Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving choice and promoting innovation on the Internet, today announced the worldwide availability of the Mozilla Firefox 1.0 web browser.

See press release for more.
Download it from Mozilla’s homepage. Full details are available on the Firefox homepage.
I’m using it now and it’s great. There were couple of annoying issues with the last pre release version but they are now fixed.

I may back it out later as a couple of extensions I use haven’t yet been updated. But then I’m not doing anything that requires them at this moment.

Update: In the end I didn’t back this version out, and by the end of the day had updated my extensions to 1.0 compatible versions. Verdict: Get it now you won’t regret it.

Gmail does draft!

I’ve just noticed Gmail now has a save as draft option. It’s appeared in the last couple of hours. It was definitely something I was waiting for. It’s another step in the right direction.
Other new stuff: the contacts have moved into the main browser window rather than being a popup. They now appear more like the mail folder interface, though the division is purely ‘frequently mailed’ or all contacts, I think that is too crude to be useful, I prefered the alphabetic links. There is a search which looks in the notes as well as name and email.
Another change is that the “Invite x friends to Gmail” link has disappeared back below the fold (or at least it is if you have a lot of labels). Which I think is a step backwards.

Update: The contact info can now include a good assortment of extra info like telephone numbers, addresses, IM, copany, etc. And in multpiple ‘sets’ like home, work, etc. Groovy. I wonder if import contacts will populate those new fields if they are present in the import…

Another Update:You can now do forwarding! Under settings you can “Forward a copy of incoming mail to [emailaddress]” and optionally put a copy in your gmail inbox, archive or trash. And you can do it in a filter.

And now

This will be the last for for a while, I promise…

Kevan Davis has produced Extispicious is an automatically recombinant memeplex ! Which means it produces a diagramatic representation of the various tags you have used.
Kevan reliably informs us that extispicious is an adverb Relating to the inspection of entrails for prognostication..
He also says:

But what does it all mean?
Aside from the obvious keyword-quantity/font-size ratio, the representation isn’t very meaningful at all – tag positioning is entirely random.

Here’s my my entrails. and

After my rant about how wonderful is, I’ve now found the wonderful by Greg Sadetsky. is an updated version of the pop-up posting form. Greg has added a list of tags including your own to the form. So you can simply click to add tags to your bookmark.
He has cleverly presented the most common tags for that bookmark first, with the other popular ones behind a mouse click. Finally you can click to see your own tags (with your most common ones highlighted). There are other features too.
A note of caution: the pop-up operates through Greg’s server (in order to snag the popular tags for the bookmark) which already seems a little slower than If it gets popular that may become a problem.

I finally got around to signing up to! I’ve been watching the progress of the service for quite a while now but not felt motivated enough to sign up and start using it.

For those of you who don’t know is a social bookmarks manager. It allows you to easily add sites you like to your personal collection of links, to categorize those sites with keywords, and to share your collection not only between your own browsers and machines, but also with others.

But it is much more than that. I’ve used on line bookmark managers before, but my use of them usually tailed off. My bookmarks are already promising to be much more useful than those. My final push to start using the service was motivated by two things. First, the ability to store my bookmarks on line: I have been bookmarking a lot of sites recently. I’m on a new PC at my new job, and whilst I could import all my old bookmarks, I decided not to at this point. It has meant that I have found a lot of more up-to-date resources than I would have perhaps used. Because of this I have found myself emailing lists of links home to myself using Gmail.

This brings me on to the second reason I decided to use Keywords. I really like Gmail’s labels (keywords) and have been adding lots of labels to my emails, and using Gmails great search capabilities to filter on them.’ ability to add arbitrary keywords or tags to your bookmarks as well as comments is really great. You can add multiple tags to each bookmark (a simple pop up “add this site to” bookmarklet is available), and then filter your links on those tags. I will be making good use of that feature.

That brings me to the other great things that does. The social side of bookmarking. It’s incredibly simple yet powerful. When you add a bookmark, it appears on the home page along with your login name, your comments, and the tags you assigned to the link. That feature alone is great. You can simply watch the home page (it’s available as an RSS feed) and see what other people are linking to. You will quickly find lots of interesting sites just doing that. On top of that you can click on the login name of the person posting the link and see what else they are linking to. You can also click on a tag and see what else they linked to under that tag.

Now, let’s go back to the link you added yourself with your short list of tags. The display of that list also tells you how many other people have bookmarked the same link. Click on that and you get a list of those people along with their comments on the link. Now if someone else was interested in bookmarking the same site as you, what else might they have bookmarked? Click on their name and you get to see their bookmarks. It’s another great way to find related links to the same stuff your are interested in. On that display of your bookmark you also get each of your tags as a link. Click on that and you get to see all the links to which you assigned that tag or keyword. But you also get a link to “‘your-keyword‘ from all users”. Click on that and you get to see all the links other people have categorised with that same tag. This is really powerful.

John Udell has some great thoughts about using to categorise his own blog posts and research resources as well as incorporate into his category searches/data mining experiments.

Which brings me to some other great features of I want to mention: It implements a simple REST API, RSS and HTML feeds, and subscriptions to tags, searches, and more.

I think if I can harmonize my tags, my Gmail labels, and my WordPress blog and link categories into a comprehensive taxonomy, I have the makings of an incredible data repository.

If everyone did that and if you throw in other systems like Technorati to perhaps add relevance weighting to your filter/search results, a touch of GeoURL to filter on geography if required and soon you could have a significant piece of the semantic web. At least something with huge potential. Layer a natural language query processor on top and the mind boggles at the potential.

A couple of other points. was written by Joshua Schachter who also wrote GeoURL. I recently discovered REST and was quite intrigued by it only to find that, in essence, it’s what I’ve been doing with my web apps for the last few years!