08.30.07

New Site Design

Posted in Personal at 8:30 am by elliot

I’ve deployed a new web site at www.eturner.net, my personal web domain.

This site is a repository for various open source projects and other materials. Thanks to my awesome designer for putting it together. At some point in the future, I’ll be posting some open source stuff that’s been gathering dust on my PC. Some of it is unfinished work / research stuff but still might be interesting. (Interested in real-time capture / analysis of closed caption text from TV broadcasts? I’ve got a prototype analysis system working with the Hauppauge TV-capture cards for analyzing news broadcasts and auto-skipping commercial segments.)

08.23.07

The Cut-and-Paste Web

Posted in Clipping, ImplicitWeb at 1:59 pm by elliot

A few days ago I noticed a great quote from Steve Rubel @ Micro Persuasion:

“Imagine for a moment that you can take any piece of online content that you care about – a news feed, an image, a box score, multimedia, a stream of updates from your friends – and easily pin it wherever you want.”

[...snip...]

“This isn’t some far off vision. It’s the near-term future. It’s the coming era of the Cut and Paste Web.”

It’s exciting to see discussion on this topic, as this is something my company has been working towards for some time now. Our AlchemyPoint mashup platform enables the visual cutting and pasting of web content, even dynamic content (like search results). “Clipped” content can be inserted anywhere — into your home page or blog, Google results pages, CNN articles, etc.

Below are several screencasts that illustrate cut-and-paste clipping of web content:

Adding Yahoo Image Search Results into Google Search Results

Integrating the Google News Top-Story into the Rocky Mountain News Homepage

These screencasts illustrate two things:

  1. Grabbing content from a page via the mouse, and storing it in a “Clipboard” for later reuse.
  2. Inserting content into a new page, selecting from the available “Clipboard” of previously grabbed content.

Using this methodology one can clip any arbitrary piece of web content (images, articles, headlines, blog posts, etc.) and insert it into any other web page. It’s worth noting that this process occurs almost entirely using the mouse; the only keyboard interaction required involves typing out a name to identify the clipped content.

On a technical level, cutting and pasting web content is difficult; one cannot simply grab and re-insert raw HTML fragments into web pages. There are a number of hurdles to overcome in order to perform these types of manipulations reliably. A few items that must be considered include: relative URL links, CSS content, Javascript, name/class/id conflicts between a web page and any pasted content, character set differences, how remote servers deal with Referrer headers, etc. We’ve had a good time working out solutions to these issues and others not mentioned above.

For those interested in playing around with cutting-and-pasting web content, we’re going to be opening up invitatations to our AlchemyPoint Technology Preview in the next few weeks. This preview supports the ability to perform all sorts of web manipulations, cut-and-paste of web content being just one example.