Random cool new Web 2.0 thing

So I was reading Techcrunch today, and it seems that Farecast has gone into a public beta period. While beta software has been around for years and years, tagging a new product beta seems to be all the rage among Web 2.0 sites (Yes, Windows Live and Google, I'm looking at you guys).

Anyway, Farecast is an innovative little site that predicts airfare prices for trips you want to take. Basically, you plug in where you're leaving from (current limitation of the beta is they're only doing this for Seattle and Boston), plug in when you want to be there, and Farecast will tell you whether or not it thinks ticket prices will go up, based on some magic-Internet-pixie-dust (I'm guessing they've got historical data; these things are fairly cyclical, I expect). Best quote from the Techcrunch article:

It's nice to see data mining applied to more than watching you and me, for a change.

Overall, it's very cool. Great use of AJAX throughout the site. Brilliant idea, let's see if the major travel sites come up with a response.

It’s Official: Temperature Sensitivity is Back!

After being in Seattle for the past two years, I've now come to realize I'm officially not used to hot temperatures anymore. Yesterday got up to 85°F, and today hit 90°F — and I've been whining about it the entire time.

Pretty bizarre considering I lived in southeast Texas for 20+ years.

OpenSearch

So, today, I enabled the OpenSearch spec on my blog. I doubt people come here to search, but it's good technology that I think should be out there more often.

If you're using IE7, you'll notice that when you're here, your search drop-down has an orange button next to it (details on IE7's auto-discovery implentation can be found here).

IE7 Autodiscovery

Unfortunately, Firefox doesn't support OpenSearch yet (that I can find).

The way I got this working was really to read the OpenSearch spec on A9's OpenSearch How-To page. Pretty simple, actually. I created the opensearch xml file, and added the following to the header of each page on my blog:

 <link rel="search" 
        type="application/opensearchdescription+xml" 
        title="marius dot org Search"
        href="http://www.marius.org/opensearch.xml" />

Simple as that.

[Update: Confirmed that Firefox does not currently support OpenSearch, but it looks like Firefox 2 will]

Amen, Chris Pirillo

Chris Pirillo has an excellent post which contains the following nugget:

Let me start out by saying that the blogosphere has to get over the whole “copyrights and trademarks are evil” jihad.

I've been thinking about this myself recently with regard to DRM music. I sold my iPod and bought a Toshiba Gigabeat S60 (more on why/how/WTF later). I've been researching the various music stores that work with PlaysForSure and reviews of them inevitably take the stance that DRM is inherently evil. I disagree, there's certainly a place and purpose for DRM, and I think portable music is one such experience. Should I disagree, I have the option of going to a store, buying a CD, and ripping it in the format I want. (The same people that think DRM is evil inevitably feel that CDs are also overpriced, which I do tend to agree with).